Adding color and glamour to life, one nail at a time.


Author Note:

 As I did research for this article, I started to find more topics discussing the health aspects of acetone vs. non-acetone. I’m no scientist, or health fanatic, though I do like to be aware of what I’m putting into my body( I have just begun to have some interest in chemicals that are used in everyday beauty products thanks to the information I’ve found on natural hair care boards). The science of acetone or non-acetone and the health aspects of each one I will leave for you to read and decipher on your own. I will leave links to some informative articles at the end of this post.

I love my nail polish, but I hate removing it. Taking off nail polish is a tedious task that I could really do without. Today I wanted to fling my nail polish remover soaked cotton balls across the room after struggling to remove my Jesse’s Girl Polish . I shouldn’t have to be able to bench press 360lbs. just so I can scrub off some nail polish, Okay!  

That’s what I get for using three coats plus a topcoat….

Anyway, that got me to thinking about  nail polish remover in general.  Such as what is the best type of remover? Which remover takes off polish the quickest?

There are plenty of options out there, though I always end up standing in front of the nail aisles trying to decide between acetone or non-acetone. Then I have to figure out  in what manner I want to remove my polish. You have the regular ol’ liquid remover that comes in a bottle, then there is kind that you can dip your finger into a remover soaked sponge in a container, or the simple nail polish remover wipes. I’ve used all three and for whatever reason I keep breaking out my cotton balls and remover bottle. 

When I decided to investigate the subject, I figured that the form that the remover came in made the most difference. And in some aspects, I still believe that it does play a role. But, after looking deeper into the subject, I found out what is most important.

What I found is that the active ingredient in the remover determines how effectively it will remove your polish. Since acetone and non-acetone are the  most prevalent removers I find and the only ones that I have used, those are the two I focused on, though I realize that there are  more options available besides those two.

So the question is, which one works best?


Acetone is a solvent used to break down the components in your nail polish so that it is easily removed from your nail. To give you an idea of its potency,  it is also used in paint thinner, and other household items.

Nail polish remover with acetone removes polish quicker than the non-acetone versions. I can personally attest to this. This past summer I discovered  Onyx 100 % pure acetone remover. Not that I paid attention and was aware that it was pure, I was just visiting my family and that is the only remover my sister had in the house.  I was in awe of how fast it took my polish off. It was a miracle! I only needed one cotton ball! When I returned home I promptly bought some of my own.  

But all was not perfect.

Over the next few months, the area of my fingers around my nails began to get irritated and sore for hours after using it. I didn’t want to believe that my magical new remover was the culprit. I lived in denial and blamed this new polish I had bought (Even though I had used that brand plenty of times before. Anything will make sense when you are in denial!). Eventually, after I grew tired of sore fingertips, I had to give in and stop using it. It wasn’t until I was looking up nail polish removers for this post, that I realized why it caused my poor fingertips so many problems:

 Acetone can be irritating and drying to skin.

So my days of 100% acetone are over.  On the other hand (no pun intended), I have used removers that had some acetone in it, and my fingers were just fine. Obviously, diluted acetone isn’t as harsh as pure, but it also doesn’t remove as quickly.


Non-acetone remover usually contains a gentler solvent called ethyl acetate that is also effective in dissolving nail polish. It  isn’t as strong as acetone, so it takes longer to remove polish with this type. That explains my annoyance from earlier today.

Discovery Health has this to say about it:

“The key active ingredient in non-acetone removers is usually ethyl acetate. Made from ethanol and acetic acid, ethyl acetate is colorless and also flammable. In addition to also being used as a solvent, its fragrant smell has led to its use in perfumes.”

I have also read that ethyl acetate is used to decaffeinate coffee and tea, so it must not be that harsh.

I see advantages to both. Acetone removes polish rapidly, but non-acetone is gentler on the skin. Being in impatient person, I would love to use pure acetone, but my fingers won’t let me so I will stick to non-acetone, and practice patience.  What do yall prefer?



Comments on: "Taking It Off: Acetone Vs. Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover" (5)

  1. well we doing a research and we need help

    • Amber Moore said:

      Use proper English. Sorry, I am a professor at Hunter College and I am all about this. It is a requirement in my world, and my students surely know that. You mustn’t use improper English, please. I am truly sorry for my long lecture, as I know that teenagers greatly despise them, but if lecturing is what I have to do to get the next generation to talk with intelligence, then it is what I must do. I was talking to Priscilla, not the intelligent lady who wrote this article. You wrote it like you had a spark of smart in your brain. I’m sure you were very well educated, because you used a style that captured interest, I’m assuming with the high interest level it is written on. However, I fear that I can not like this article because my internet is overheating. I laugh as I write this. Overall, nice opinion essay. Thank you for your time, and please continue to write these pleasant and enjoyable articles. I prefer one about good makeup choices, as I fell the need to impress some girl students who think I am of the olden ages. Surely you can understand. Bye.

      • Random Teenager. said:

        I would recommend that you use semicolons to split your “spaghetti sentences.”


        A Random Teenager.

        Also, there are “formal” and “informal” tones. On a Word Press blog, most people are informal, just sayin’ man.

        Your tone is to formal for this personally, but that’s just my opinion.

  2. I would love to find a good non-acetone polish remover. What are some of your recommendations?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: