As part of the clean beauty revolution many people are starting to wake up to the importance of using non-toxic nail polish— but what about natural nail polish remover? Arguably, you get more chemical exposure from the acetone in regular nail polish remover than you do from chemical nail polish. So, why not switch to a cruelty-free, acetone-free nail polish remover that’s better for you and the environment, as well?
Below, we cobbled together this breakdown of the best cruelty-free, acetone-free nail polish removers on the market right now. Herewith, we explore the pros and cons of each product, as well as insight from our personal use trials.
As a result, some of the products mentioned in this article contain Amazon Affiliate links, which means that in some cases we earn from sales. However, we don’t write about anything we haven’t extensively researched and personally tested on ourselves and our loved ones. We’re just trying to find safe products we can trust and get the larger clean beauty community to do the same. Every clean, ethical beauty purchase improves the health of our whole community and ecosystem. Thanks for shopping green and investing in a New Earth economy (one that’s better for people, animals, and the planet). Enjoy!
Priti NYC’s Soy Nail Polish Remover (Unscented or Lemongrass Scent)
We are in awe of Priti NYC’s Soy Nail Polish Remover. This soothing, non-toxic, cruelty-free, acetone-free vegan nail polish remover is– wait for it– oil based. As a result, it not only removes any brand of nail polish perfectly, but it won’t try out the nail bed and actually leaves nails feeling fresh, clean, and hydrated. As a true earth-friendly product, it’s also readily biodegradable. And yet: it can even remove gel nail polish!
This natural nail polish remover comes in two flavors– unscented (which is truly unscented; it’s great for people who don’t want any fragrance at all) and lemongrass scent. The latter is made with essential oils sourced directly from farms. Neither contains any volatile organic compounds so they are safe to inhale, so to speak.
Overall, this acetone-free nail polish remover is super effective and gentle. Ideal for all skin types, it’s proudly made in the U.S.. Plus, in comes in ideal 2-oz travel-sized containers, as well as the standard 4-ounce bottles. It’s a little pricy for the volume that you get in each bottle, but a little of this remover goes a long way. For best results, use on clean, dry polish. Then, wash your hands afterwards as normal.
Cote’s Wild Sea Rose Nail Polish Remover
Cote’s Wild Sea Rose acetone-free nail polish remover is as soothing and herbaceous as it sounds. We love the uplifting sea rose scent and the fact that it doesn’t leave any oily residue or chalky dryness in its wake. This cruelty-free nail polish remover works perfectly on Cote nail polish (of course,) but it’s also effective at removing non-natural nail polish, as well. It doesn’t remove gel polish, however.
As far as acetone-free nail polish removers go, Cote’s is one of the pricer options on the market (~20 for 4 oz, approximately twice the price tag of other natural nail polish removers on this list)– but you do get what you pay for. The application pump is very elegant, it travels well, and it’s made in the USA. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made without parabens.
Ella + Mila Soy Polish Remover
As we wrote previously in our guide to the Best Natural Nail Polish Brands of 2020, we love Ella + Mila’s non-toxic, cruelty-free nail polish. But now, we also love their super cutesy but still effective acetone-free nail polish remover. Ella + Mila’s Soy Polish Remover is enriched with lavender essential oil for a friendly, calming scent. Plus, it comes in an adorable pink container that blocks drips and prevents spills. And, like the brand’s nail polish, it’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and PETA-certified.
Enriched with lavender essential oil for a friendly, calming scent, this acetone-free nail polish remover is easily one of the most affordable brands on the market. They also make an unscented version for those who don’t like fragrance.
Either way, both the scented and unscented nail polish remover contain Vitamin A, C, and E oil to nourish and soften nail beds and cuticles. However, neither is intended for removing gel polish. (It only removes regular nail polish.)
Pair one of these natural nail polish removers with a bottle of Ella + Mila nail polish and a set of reusable cotton pads to make a perfect eco-friendly nail care gift. It’s better for you and the environment!
Ella + Mila Nail Polish Removing Pads
For a travel-ready twist on the above, try Ella + Mila’s Unscented, Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover Wipes. This convenient, single-use packaging is good for on-the-go touch ups or people who forget to bring cotton balls. It’s pretty much one-stop shopping with this product, and the lack of scent means you can discard each wipe after use without any lingering smell coming from the trash. (In contract to disposable nail polish remover wipes made with acetone, which tend to stink up the whole bathroom with chemical fumes.)
If you don’t need nail polish remover that often, this is a good bargain because the wipes are cheap ($5) and they last forever. Do not use them on gel polish, though. And yes, these are also vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
Karma Naturals Organic Nail Polish Remover Wipes
Karma Naturals Organic Nail Polish Remover Wipes are acetone-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and easy to use and dispose. Like Ella + Mila’s non-toxic wipes, they are great for travel, only these ones are also organic and biodegradable (though they are twice the price as a result). (Karma Naturals also makes a line of cruelty-free, acetone-free liquid nail polish removers in various scents like tea tree, rose, and kid-friendly cherry.)
This soy oil based formula is scented with lavender, for those who like the additional calming scent (I do). Best of all, no plastic is used in their packaging; they even use soy-based ink! Ultimately, the result is a fully “green” acetone-free nail polish remover wipe that works as effectively as the chemical stuff– only with much more convenient and eco-friendly packaging.
Take these wipes on your next vacation or stash them for easy cleanup the next time you give yourself a pedicure. Either way, you can rest easy knowing your chemical exposure is limited. Phew!
Related: Read our article on the Best Cruelty-Free, Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands <— These are the nail color brands that we trust the most!
Scroll our guide to the 6 Most Effective, Dermatologist-Approved Reef-Safe Sunscreens.