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Four Things to Know About Nail-Polish Remover
Before applying a new coat of polish, the nail technician is going to need a clean canvas. Read on to learn what it takes to banish old polish.
1. Nail polish “hardens” through evaporation. Nail polish begins as a chemical mix of a solvent plus various organic polymers. Once the solvent evaporates, the dry polymers band together, resulting in a hardened shell that not even water can breach.
2. Hardened polish has only two natural enemies: chipping and time. To remove polish completely, the best alternative to remover is a tiny mallet and chisel. Otherwise, it takes about four to six months for the nail to grow out naturally.
3. Nail-polish remover is actually just the solvent that dried from the polish. Think of it as the reverse process of painting your nails. Just as the solvent evaporated from the polish when it dried, the remover permeates the hardened huddle of polymers, turning the polish back into a liquid solution that can simply be wiped away.
4. There are two common solvents: acetone and non-acetone. Although acetone has been known to dry out nails and the surrounding skin, it’s also the only compound that can remove Shellac and gel polishes. Non-acetone solvents, such as rubbing alcohol, are usually gentler on the skin but may require more effort to use, particularly if the polish contains dark colors, glitter, or shavings from the Hope Diamond. Regardless of which kind of remover you use, you should always moisturize your hands and nails afterward to prevent drying them out.