Manicures, nail polish, and nail art are a world unto themselves these days. There are so many amazing shades of nail polish and no end to the types of nail products available today, online and in salons and beauty stores. Nail art can suit any occasion and style, from high-end affairs to casual street looks. Naturally, one needs to remove nail polish from time to time if one wants to experiment with new nail art every now and then. So let us take a look at some different ways to remove stubborn nail polish.
1. Nail polish remover without acetone
The simplest way to remove nail polish easily is using an acetone-free nail polish remover. Usually, acetone-free nail polish removers contain alcohol and they get the job done pretty quickly. They are also readily available everywhere. Take a liberal amount of the remover on a cotton ball and rub down and up and from side to side on the nails. If you plan on immediately applying new nail art, then it is important to wash and dry the nails before applying the new nail polish. In such a case, you may want to avoid using cotton wool to wipe down the nails as they tend to leave behind tiny fibers in the nail bed. So go in for lint-free pads or tissue papers. Note that alcohol-based removers can dry the nails and surrounding skin. So moisturize your hands using a hand lotion or hand cream.
2. Acetone (to remove nail polish stains from clothes)
Another method to remove nail polish easily is with acetone-based nail polish remover that is readily available in the market. Simply take a required amount of the product on a makeup remover pad and press it down on your nail for about 10 seconds. Wipe the nail dry. Repeat the step for all of your nails. This is undoubtedly the fastest way to remove nail polish but it also ends up drying your hands. So it is best to avoid excessive use of acetone-based nail polish removers. If you want to remove nail polish stains from clothes/fabrics/carpets, then rub the acetone in the affected area, rub gently and wash off with warm water. Do not use acetone on delicate fabrics like silk or modacrylic clothing as they could literally dissolve.
An easy way to remove nail polish when you do not have a nail polish remover is using any alcohol-based perfume. Spray the perfume all over the nail and wipe down with a cotton wipe or tissue. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive method of removing nail polish.
4. Nail polish removing lotion or cream
This is a quick and gentle way of removing stubborn nail polish. The advantage of using cream or lotion remover is that you can do all of your nails in one go unlike the methods described above where you can treat only one nail at a time. Apply a generous layer of the cream on all of the nails and wait for a few minutes. Wipe your nails dry with cotton balls or makeup remover pads. Nail polish remover creams and lotions often contain moisturizing, hydrating, healing, and protecting elements like aloe vera, shea butter, etc which soften the nails and skin. There is also not much rubbing and scrubbing required, so there is minimal abrasion on your nails and skin.
5. Transparent nail polish
This might seem counter-intuitive, but this method actually works very well. Apply a coat of transparent nail polish over the layer of existing polish that you want to remove. Before the transparent layer dries up and sets, wipe it away with a clean tissue. The fresh coat of transparent nail polish removes the underlying layers of old polish. It is a slightly difficult and time-consuming method to remove stubborn nail polish, but it works. Do note that this method of removing the nail polish can be a bit abrasive on your nails and skin.
An alcohol-based deodorant works just as well as the perfume trick mentioned above for removing old nail polish. Spray each nail with deodorant and wipe down. The method is quick and easy but tends to be drying and abrasive on the nails and skin.
7. Soy nail polish remover
Soy-based nail polish removers contain castor oil and soy extracts and are an all-natural method of removing nail polish. Dab the cream on the polish and wipe and scrub each nail with a soft tissue or cotton ball. This natural method of removing nail polish will leave your nails shinier and the surrounding skin softer and healthier. On the downside, this method takes longer than the other methods of removing nail polish above. But, if your nails are brittle and dry, it is definitely worth taking the extra time.
8. Acetone gel pads
Acetone gel pads are a convenient way to remove nail polish easily. Just rub the pad on each nail and voila! Your nails will be clean and clear in no time! The advantage of using acetone gel pads is you can carry them everywhere you go. On the downside, they do have a strong smell.
9. Nail file
A natural way to remove old, stubborn nail polish is using a nail file. Nail files are abrasive and generally used for shaping the nail. You can choose between a high grit and low grit nail files. So a 100 grit file is used for shaping whereas a 240 grit file is used for filing the nail to remove nail art.
10. Peroxide and warm water
This method works but you have to be patient. Also, compared to other methods above, it is time-consuming and harsh on your skin and nails. Take hydrogen peroxide and warm water in equal quantities and dip your nails in it for about 10 minutes. Wipe dry then scrape off the loosened polish using a nail file.
11. Lemon juice and vinegar
This is a harsh yet completely natural method of removing old nail polish. Mix lemon juice and vinegar in equal quantities and apply the mixture using a Q-tip on the nail polish. Wait for a few minutes, then wipe clean. The mixture stings a lot, so be careful if you have any cuts or dried skin around your nails.
12. Hand sanitizer
Use this method to remove old nail polish only if you have tons of time and none of the ingredients mentioned above. Apply a dollop of hand sanitizer on the nails. Scrub the nail gently with a nail file. This method takes a lot of time but it does work. Be patient!
13. Hair spray
This is a quick and easy method to remove stubborn, old nail polish and it works really well. Spray the hair spray on a tissue or makeup remover pad and gently rub the soaked tissue on the nail. Within moments your nail will be clean and clear! Wash your hands to remove the stickiness.
As can be seen, many methods work well to remove nail polish. You can always buy acetone-based or non-acetone removers available out there. However, surprisingly, methods like hair spray, deodorant, perfume, and more nail polish also work really well. Certain methods like toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, and vodka may not show results quickly.