What Kind of Nail Polish Remover for Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are stronger and more durable than natural nails.

Photo: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Acrylic nails can give you longer, stronger nails to enhance what nature did not give you. Acrylic nails are artificial nail tips attached to your natural nail with an acrylic based powder combined with a liquid sealant. Like natural nails, acrylics can be painted any color or style. Unless you want to remove your gorgeous acrylic nails entirely, avoid acetone nail polish remover all together. Instead, use a non-acetone remover to remove colors and designs while leaving the acrylic nails in place.

Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Non-acetone nail polish removers contain ethyl acetate or nethyl ethyl keytone instead of acetone. These ingredients are gentler on your nails and will not damage, harden or dissolve the acrylic. Non-acetone removers are also less abrasive to the surrounding skin and nail cuticles. Apply a generous amount of a non-acetone remover to a cotton ball and gently working the color off the nail. It may take longer to remove the polish than acetone based removers but your acrylic nails will remain entirely intact and ready for their next design.

Acetone Nail Polish Removers

Acetone nail polish removers are tougher on your skin and cuticles while slowly dissolving the bond between the acrylic nail and the natural nail. When applied directly to acrylic nails, acetone removers soften the nail at first but once dry, the acrylic will harden and crack or break. To remove the acrylic nail entirely, cut off the length of the nail first. Soak the remaining nail in a bowl of acetone remover for about half an hour until it becomes completely soft with a gel like texture. Peel off the artificial nail and soak in the remover for a few more minutes to remove any adhesives.


Professional nail technicians are another safe option for removing nail polish from acrylic nails. Because the artificial nail is already in place, having your nail polish color changed is inexpensive. Nail technicians take added precautions to protect not only the acrylic nail but the surround skin and cuticles. Once the old polish is removed, the technician will repaint the nail with the color and design of your choice. This method ensures there are no mishaps from the home care and treatment of acrylic nails.


Although, non-acetone nail polish removers are safe to use on acrylic nails, keep in mind that changing out your polish color too often will lower the strength and durability of your acrylic nails. Excessive use of any products and chemicals on acrylic can be damaging. Acrylic nails require regular maintenance to fill in the gap created between your nail bed and the nail, as the natural nail grows. Changing your nail polish at each fill-in time is the safest way to make sure your acrylic nails continue to look naturally beautiful.

Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Hair Concerns
or Register
Beauty School iPad App


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with typeF.com
  • Use your email to create your account