Drugstore Nail Polish Removers: Cutex, Bobbie, Caronia and My Nails

Currently, there are four brands of nail polish removers lurking in my dresser. All drugstore brands. All contain acetone. Here are my thoughts on all four:

Bobbie Nail Polish Remover

Ingredients: aqua, acetone (formula 27), ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, butyl acetate, sodium PCA, glycerin, fragrance, cl 19140, cl 42090

Promises increased nail polish adherence, no white film left on nails. Label also states it is non-drying and non-smearing.

I recall getting this because it was the only nail polish remover available at Market Market at the time I needed one. The slightly bigger than a pinhole opening of the 275ml bottle limits evaporation and allows for better control of the amount of liquid one disperses. No other smell emanates from the bottle or clings to one’s nails and fingers (used for removing nail polish) but the floral scent.

The Bobbie Nail Polish Remover takes time to remove certain nail polishes and I often have to either rub vigorously or leave the cotton ball over the nail to get every bit of nail polish off. Even so, I was fairly content with this because it is better than some nail polish removers I’ve previously encountered which could not completely remove some nail polishes, no matter the amount of rubbing or cotton ball drenching was involved.

Cutex Caring Nail Polish Remover

Ingredients: aqua, acetone, ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, butyl acetate, sodium PCA, glycerin, citrus auratium dulcis, cl 42090

Label states that it is “especially formulated to remove nail polish without damaging the nails” and that it is “enriched with moisturizers to help care for the condition of the nails.” It carries a warning, “in case of accidental skin contact, wash affected area.”

I got this earlier this year, anticipating that I will soon run out of Bobbie Nail Polish Remover. It is quite pricey at P106.75 for 118ml. I am not a fan of the bottle opening which requires one to pierce a hole on the cardboard seal. Upon twisting the cap off, with a hole already punctured on the cover, one is assaulted by the smell of chemicals. Plastic balloon comes to mind. A distinguishable orange scent soon mingles with the smell and is left behind on one’s nails and fingers but it does not last for long as well.

Out of the nail polish removers I have tried, Cutex Caring Nail Polish Remover removes nail polish fastest and consumes less cotton balls. Amount of acetone content is not indicated but I think it is quite high considering that it has the same ingredients as the Bobbie Nail Polish Remover and still does a better job. Also, at that time I nicked a cuticle, I felt searing pain after I accidentally swiped a cotton ball of this nail polish remover over the tiny wound.

Edited 10/25: Make sure to keep the bottle upright as it leaks. I came home one day to find my bottle toppled over with the cap wet. I’ve also noticed that this remover tends to smear nail polish. I’ve managed to get nail polish unto the back of my fingers after wiping it off my nails.

Caronia Nail Polish Remover

Ingredients: 81% acetone, water, butyl acetate, isopropyl myristate, propylene glycol, fragrance, dimethicone copolyol, mineral oil, lanolin alcohol, cl 60730, cl 17200

Promises to “remove nail polish fast without drying.”

A 30 ml bottle was included in Nail Swirl Kit I have won in a previous Caronia FB Contest (see link to related post below). The bottle opening has a foil seal that needs to be punctured. It has a floral scent which has an underlying  smell of acetone. Caronia Nail Polish Remover  removes nail polishes almost as fast as the Cutex Caring Nail Polish Remover, for a lesser price.

My Nails Nail Polish Remover

Ingredients: 29% acetone, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, fd & c blue #1, aloe vera, propylene glycol, dl water, benzophenone

Label states it is nourishing, strengthening, moisturizing and smear-free.

I found myself with a 60 ml bottle of this after my mom, remembering me stating that I’m almost out nail polish remover, got one from the supermarket. I already have spares but I am not one to turn away gifts:) It has an opening covered by cardboard that needs to be punctured. My Nails Nail Polish Remover is very much like the Bobbie Nail Polish Remover in terms of performance and the Cutex Caring Nail Polish Remover in terms of initial whiff. Unlike the latter, the smell turns awfully sour and not at all pleasantly citrusy.

Obviously, the higher the acetone content, the faster nail polish is removed. Which is why of the four, for me, the best nail polish removers are Cutex and Caronia. If the drying effect of acetone is the concern, wouldn’t the longer time of contact with ones nails by the nail polish removers with lower acetone content put them on even terms as the ones with higher acetone content? That’s just me thinking. I’m not a chemist.

All four brands have incorporated ingredients supposed to counter acetone’s drying effect. They also seem to be aware that users know of the effect that they either promise that their formulation doesn’t dry nails or is moisturizing. I prefer not to wait and find out if they live up to their promises or not. I’m using a hand and nail cream and cuticle oil/conditioner.

Edited 9/4: However, for people who have nicks near their nails, better use Bobbie as it obviously stings mighty less. Cutex and Caronia’s gonna hurt. Oh, and never sniff bottles of nail polish removers  in one sitting least you want to end up with a headache. 🙂

I have yet to use an acetone-free nail polish remover. Maybe I’d get some after I finish up all four and see how those fare.

A limited amount of information on Bobbie nail care products is available on their website here. Caronia details their products on their own website here while their facebook page is here. I get my Bobbie, Caronia and Cutex fix from Landmark. Some branches might not carry a particular product at a certain time though.

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