Top 10 Nail Polish Removers

10 Nail Polish Removers That Can Tackle Even The Most Stubborn Manicures Without Destroying Your Nails

There are two easy ways to remove nail polish. One is to simply let it chip away with the normal wear and tear of everyday life. Eventually, a nail tech will remove the rest of those tiny remnants where a fresh paint job used to be. And then there's the more astute option: nail polish remover, whether at the nail salon or DIY-ing it at home. Sure, it’s not as fun as swiping on a bold lipstick or slipping into a pair of killer heels, but for those who swear by a mani-pedi, nail polish remover is as necessary as a base coat. Not only does it handle the obvious—removing all nail polish once it starts to wear down—but it can also be utilized during the application process. For example, when polish goes beyond the cuticles and onto the skin, a bit of remover on a pointed Q-tip can erase the mess-up before it completely dries down. Nail polish remover is also a quick and easy remedy for nail polish that appears too thick and eventually causes uneven application. Diluting the polish with just a hint of nail polish remover can restore the nail polish to its former glory.

Another notable benefit of nail polish remover can be credited to some of today’s most popular nail-care brands, who enrich their formulas with ingredients that promote optimal nail health. Chipping, brittleness, and polish stains are common complaints, but with regular use of the best nail polish remover, they eventually become a distant memory. In addition to the more traditional acetone nail polish remover, those made specifically for gel nail polish are also climbing the ranks, as gel manicures have become the new standard for many. It would be easy to simply grab the first nail polish remover on the shelf, online and otherwise, but reviewers have spoken, and this Top 10 list contains their all-time favorites.

How We Found The Best Nail Polish Removers

As always, each one of these nail polish removers was selected by Rank & Style’s proprietary algorithm, which scored and ranked them against a variety of shopping data, including reviews, editor recommendations, social media buzz, and more. In a sea of the “best” nail polish removers, these are the elite.

Next up, check out the 10 Best Nail Strengtheners.

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July 11, 2022

Words:Rank & Style

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


Cutex Strength Shield Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.3

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Transform weak and brittle nail beds by removing polish with this acetone solution. It’s enriched with hydrolyzed silk, a protein-rich ingredient known for its strengthening properties. 

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: The formula is 98% acetone, making it ideal for removing the toughest polish, including gel.

Eternal 100% Pure Acetone

Our Score4.3

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: For taking off dark colors, gel, and shellac top coats, this acetone formula removes color in just a few swipes. Another benefit of using 100% acetone remover is getting rid of excess oil, stains, and general residue.

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Those with sensitive or allergy-prone skin should use this with extra care, as acetone can cause irritation with direct skin contact.

Onyx Professional 100% Pure Acetone Maximum Strength Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.3

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Here’s another cost-effective nail polish remover made for removing stubborn polish and even artificial nails. For color removal, soak the solution in a cotton swab and press firmly onto the nail bed before swiping up and away from the cuticle. 

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Shoppers who want to use this for gel polish or artificial nails should also have a sanding block or manicure sticks on hand to assist in removal.

Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.35

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Shoppers who swear by natural nail polish can turn nail polish removal into a mini spa experience while using this lavender-scented formula. It’s free of acetone, an ingredient that's powerful but can also be very drying. Instead, this one is enriched with a soy-based remover and multiple vitamins for boosting overall nail health. 

HELPFUL TIP: Allow the remover to absorb into the nail bed for about 20 seconds before wiping all of the polish away.

Cruelty free

Cruelty Free

Zoya Remove + Polish Remover

Our Score4.4

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: The best part of this multitasking nail polish remover is the push-down top that promotes mess-free application to a cotton pad. Despite being an acetone-based formula, it also has a pleasant herbal scent.

USER REVIEW: “I bought this nail polish remover on a whim, and I honestly didn't expect it to work so quickly and effectively! I have used so many different types of nail polish removers in the past, and it's always been a long process and several cotton balls that are used. BUT not with this remover. I only use one or two cotton balls, and all my polish is fully gone!! AMAZING! Definitely a great product and I love that it has a pump and is able to lock and unlock."

Cruelty free

Cruelty Free

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.5

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: For the shopper wary of harmful ingredients, Mineral Fusion leaves many of the commonly used (and potentially harmful, depending on the person) remover ingredients: talc, gluten, acetone, and formaldehyde, to name a few. Still, though it’s strong enough to remove most polishes, it’s not recommended for removing salon gel formulas. 

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: This can also be used as a nail cleaner before applying new color.

Cruelty free

Cruelty Free

Olive & June Polish Remover Pot

Our Score4.55

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: No cotton rounds are needed for this nail polish remover, which just so happens to be cute enough to keep on display too. Attached to the top is a sponge foam round that will be saturated with remover if shaken beforehand, and can be easily swiped across the nail bed. 

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: The formula is cruelty-free, vegan, and acetone-free.

Cruelty free

Cruelty Free

Up & Up Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.55

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: One of Target’s staple brands makes some of the most popular nail polish remover around. It’s 100% acetone, but it also classifies as a clean beauty product since it’s free of parabens, aluminum, dye, and phthalates.

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: The formula is also enriched with aloe and plant extracts to keep the nail beds moisturized instead of dry, a common result of using acetone.

Cutex Ultra Powerful Nail Polish Remover

Our Score4.6

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Tough enough to remove long-wear polish yet gentle enough to condition and nourish, this 98% acetone remover is truly the best of both worlds. In fact, the oil blend is patented, guaranteeing results that are truly unique.

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Reviewers are really into the cucumber fragrance too.

Pronto 100% Pure Acetone

Our Score4.6

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: The best of the best is an oldie but a goodie: a salon-grade acetone that removes polish in the blink of an eye and leaves the nail bed completely dry and stain-free. The formula is also free of formaldehyde, a commonly used preservative that shoppers with sensitive skin may not want in their go-to remover. 

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW: Reviewers also use this acetone to clean brushes and glass.

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