What's the Best Way to Remove Stubborn Nail Polish?

There’s nothing better than some new nail art to boost your mood and your look. Even your classic, everyday uniform gets a lift with fresh nail colour! With so many colours, textures, and designs available to choose from, nail art is an easy way to update your style without taking a big risk.

But what happens when you’ve had enough of your polish, you want to remove it, and you find you can’t? Stubborn nail polish happens! Regular nail polish should come off easily with a couple swipes of nail polish remover. But glitter, gel, and bold colours can take a little more effort to delete.

With the right product and technique, those stubborn nail polishes won’t stand a chance. It’s time to free your nails from lingering nail colours! So, you know how to remove nail polish without wrecking your nails, we’ve listed some tried-and-true nail care, polish removal methods for you.

What's the Best Way to Remove Stubborn Nail Polish? - hands with red nail polish are holding a white mug with blue stripes - 1200 x 800What's the Best Way to Remove Stubborn Nail Polish? - hands with red nail polish are holding a white mug with blue stripes - 1200 x 800

Wrap it up in Aluminium Foil

If you know how to remove gel nail polish, you’ll be familiar with the foil-covered fingertip look! The foil method, commonly used as a hard gel nail polish remover, is also very effective at removing stubborn regular nail polish. You'll need:

  • Aluminium foil

  • Acetone nail polish remover

  • Cotton wool balls

Pour an appropriate amount of nail polish remover into a glass or ceramic bowl and soak the cotton wool in it. Once the cotton wool balls are saturated, shred them into pieces small enough to fit on your nail beds.

Now, grab a nail file. Gently and slowly sand down the top layer of your polish. You’re not trying to remove the polish; you’re just roughing up the top coat and removing the shine, so it all breaks down easier.

Next, place a piece of soaked cotton wool on each nail. Wrap each finger in aluminium foil. Let the remover sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Try to ignore the fact that you look a bit like an alien!

This method requires a bit of time and effort but is very effective at softening and loosening hard layers of nail polish. Counteract the drying effects of this intensive treatment by applying an ultra-moisturising hand cream afterwards.

Use Glue as a Base Coat

Don't feel like trying a peel-off base coat? This unusual method is pretty effective if you want to rock your polish for only a couple of days or if you’re planning on using glitter nail polish. Glitter nail polish can be tough to budge, but if you use kind nail care products, the glue method is very doable!

This easy technique suits your one-night-stand manicure perfectly. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lightweight glue that dries clear

  • An old nail polish brush

  • Cotton buds

Prior to applying your nail polish, spread a small amount of glue onto your nails using the nail polish brush. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the glue to dry completely. Remove stray glue from your skin with cotton buds. If your polish is bright, consider using a base coat as well.

Next, apply an eye-catching nail colour and exotic finish of your choice. After your event, gently lift the nail polish and peel it off. You don’t have to worry about damaging your nails, since glue doesn’t completely adhere to your nail beds. Pretty easy stuff!

Nail polish remover wipes are great when you want to switch up your look in a flash. Take one sheet and lay it over your nail polish for 5 minutes. You can secure the wipe with a small rubber band so it won’t shift out of place.

OPI Expert Touch Lint-Free Nail Wipes wipe away unwanted polish without leaving behind any frustrating lint. Loved by professionals, the highly absorbent, dry nail wipes work perfectly with acetone free nail polish remover and stubborn shellac nail polish remover.

Some nail polish remover ingredients can be a little harsh on the skin and nail beds. Keep your hands looking and feeling good with your own nourishing nail care kit.

Dry, cracked hands and fingertips will love the soothing, healing effects of Weleda Skin Food. With a winning formula that’s so effective, it’s stayed the same since 1926! The 100% natural cream provides deep hydration. Rosemary, Lanolin, Chamomile, and Sweet Almond blend to nourish and smooth. Not to mention these ingredients smell amazing! Apply to your hands after you’ve removed your polish to keep hands feeling soft.

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If you’re always playing with your nail shades and constantly apply pressure to remove sticky polish, it could be worth picking up a beauty supplement to help keep your nails in tip-top shape.

The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost has been designed to support the body’s production of Collagen. High levels of Collagen help the body radiate and look plumped from the inside out. By taking a nail supplement, you’ll help combat cellular damage and support healthy skin, hair, and nail growth.

To keep your nails in good condition (and ready for your next polish), Dr.Hauschka Neem Nail Oil Pen cares for cuticles with an easy-to-use applicator. The intensive formula will give your tired, cracked, and peeling nails a new lease on life with every application. By softening and protecting the cuticles, this Neem nail oil curbs your urge to cut them away, so your nail beds stay strong and healthy. To help your nails grow, massage the oil into the skin regularly—especially after you’ve removed your polish.

To build damaged nails back to their best, try butter LONDON Horse Power Treatment. Enriched with Horsetail, a super-strong herbal ingredient, this basecoat helps repair and strengthen the nails. Apply 1 coat every week and repeat for a month to get those nails table-tappingly good.

Playing with nail colours and designs is a fun way to mix up your style. But if you’re using stubborn gel polishes or glitter that sticks, it’s important you remove the polish in the most caring way possible. Stubborn nail polish? Pah! No problem. Get yourself set up with the above ideas to keep changing your look with an ever-evolving nail style!

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