No matter how many nail polish removers you have on deck this spring, it’s important to adjust your mindset as the seasons change. Okay, so maybe this is just a gentle reminder for myself. Personally, I almost never get pedicures during the winter because it’s probable that my toes will be hidden the entire time. And when I do get my toes painted in the dead of winter, a habit I almost always pick up is letting the polish stay there past its expiration date…or until it starts chipping.
And more often than not, that same habit creeps its way into my spring and summer routines, thus throwing my poor nail beds into oblivion. I’m talking discoloration, constant chipping, and dryness that won’t seem to go away…yuuuuuck. This is precisely what Gina Alcedo wants us all to avoid on the cusp of another toes-out season. Take off your polish and make sure it isn’t old. The owner and founder of NVLA and manicurist to high profile clients such as George and Amal Clooney, and the Carters (yes, those Carters) starts off by telling me that the expiration date for polish is about three years. If you keep it in the refrigerator standing upright, it’ll last a little longer.
If you have a bag full of polishes (like me) and have no idea how long you’ve had them, Alcedo says the “polish is definitely expired when it starts to separate and you see clear liquid at the top of the bottle.” Beyond that, you should actually be changing your polish on a weekly basis with a non-acetone remover. Should you go beyond that one-week deadline, “the most noticeable sign that you have been wearing your nail polish for too long is your nails become discolored.”
Additionally, “if you’re seeing a lot of dryness and breakage, it’s time to give your nails rest for a few days.” Overally, using polish and products with fewer harmful chemicals will always help your cause. This includes nail polish removers, which again, should always be non-acetone. “Acetone is an extremely harsh chemical used to strip paint which means it will strip oils, like keratin from your nail bed, and dry nails out causing them to peel and break,” says Alcedo. “Also, the fumes are not healthy for the technician to inhale. Non-acetone is better for everyone.”
With that being said, knock one must-have off your list with our top picks.
Cutex Nail Polish Remover Pads
$5.43 at Amazon
Cote Takeoff Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover
$18 at Cote
Dazzle Dry Remove Lemongrass & Clove Oil Lacquer Remover
$18 at Dazzle Dry
ella + mila Soy Polish Remover
$11.50 at ella + mila
L.A. Colors Nail Polish Remover
$8.97 at Amazon
Mountain Falls Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
$22.32 at Amazon
Priti NYC Soy Polish Remover
$13 at Priti NYC
Tenoverten Rose Polish Remover
$14 at Tenoverten
Karma Naturals Nail Polish Remover
$12 at Karma Organic Spa