7 acetone free nail polish removers

Nail polish is pretty tough stuff. It was designed to be—after all, who would want to buy it if it readily chipped or rinsed away the first time you washed your hands? But that toughness comes with a price. In order to remove it, you need a solvent.

Chemically speaking, a solvent is any substance that dissolves something, but in this case, you need a solvent with particular chemical qualities. Acetone is one solvent that readily fits the bill. Many nail polish removers use it as a primary ingredient, but it has drawbacks. It is volatile, which means that it easily evaporates at room temperature. Inhaling acetone vapors can cause irritation and, if you’re breathing a lot of it, lung damage. Acetone also strips away the oils in your skin, leaving it dry and prone to damage.

For those looking to find gentler, less volatile solvents, there are now a host of acetone free nail polish removers. Check out these seven examples:

Pure Body Naturals

This nail polish remover uses the solvent methyl oleate as its primary active ingredient. This solvent is derived from plant oils (like olive oil), and has very little odor. It’s much less likely to be drying to the skin and nails, and the additional botanical ingredients in Pure Body Naturals’ polish remover provide extra moisture, and a fresh lavender scent!

Pure Vitality Beauty

This nail polish remover is also based on methyl oleate. It’s ingredients are completely petroleum product free, so it’s much more environmentally friendly than traditional polish removers, which typically rely on byproducts from petroleum processing. With no volatile fumes and much gentler treatment of skin and nails, Pure Vitality Beauty nail polish remover is an excellent alternative to acetone-based removers.

Karma Organic

Karma Organic offers a line of non-toxic nail polish removers in several different scents, including tea tree and lavender, but all use the same active ingredient: propylene carbonate. This solvent, a colorless and essentially odorless liquid with no harsh fumes, can be made sustainably from the same plant-based substances used to make biofuels! Karma Organic’s products use propylene carbonate coupled with soy-based methyl ester (a similar plant-based solvent) to give nail polish a one-two punch that doesn’t dry your hands in the process.

Mineral Fusion

A common alternative to acetone in non-toxic nail polish removers is ethyl acetate, but Mineral Fusion’s polish remover uses instead a chemical cousin, methyl acetate. This solvent can be made from plant-based methanol, and while it doesn’t produce the fumes and odor that acetone does, it does take off polish with the same ease.

Marley Marie Naturals

Marley Marie Naturals’ line of nail polish removers smell so heavenly you’ll get a little aromatherapy while doing your nails! The active ingredient in these polish removers is a soy-based solvent called hydroxymethyl dioxolanone. This gentle, odorless solvent pairs well with the natural fragrance oils in these polish removers, plus you’ll get an added boost of skin-repairing vitamin E.


This nail polish remover uses plant-based solvents, namely ethyl lactate (made from corn) and methyl soyate (made from soy) in a unique gel preparation that’s so easy to use you might find yourself doing away with soggy cotton-balls for good! With no harsh fumes or animal testing, this is a gentle remover you can feel good about using.

Honeybee Gardens

Coupling its plant-based methyl acetate solvent with botanical ingredients like aloe extract, Honeybee Gardens offers a gentle polish remover that gets the job done without any of the fumes or drying effects of acetone removers. In fact, the added aloe and vitamin E will leave your hands feeling as great as they look!

Acetone is generally considered safe, but if you don’t like its strong smell or drying effects, or if you prefer a plant-based alternative, there are many acetone free nail polish removers to choose from. Try a few and see which ones work (and smell!) the best for you.

Picture Credits: CC0 Public Domain @ Pixabay