Can you remove nail polish with lemon and vinegar?

The hack
Run out of nail polish remover? Tired of getting brittle nails from traditional remover? Kitchen staples are a gentle alternative, say DIY beauty fans.

The promise
Lemon juice or cider vinegar can replace remover in your beauty repertoire.

The test
In the 1920s, when nail polish took off, oil-based removers were enough to get it off. But now that polish is so advanced, acetone (a strong industrial solvent) and ethyl acetate (used in varnishes and dry cleaning) are commonly used. I can see the appeal of an alternative: acetone drys the skin. Each recipe I find online begins with soaking my hands in warm water for 10 minutes to soften the polish. First up is plain old fresh lemon, which I juice into a small bowl. I soak a cotton pad in it and wrap it around my nail for five minutes; unsurprisingly, the polish remains. Next, I add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar to the remaining juice and do the cotton pad thing again, for 10 minutes this time. I’m left with vinegary fingers and wasted time.

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The verdict
Traditional remover is drying, but it is also fast, and soaking nails in a lemon/vinegar acid bath even for 10 minutes could be more damaging. I’ll be sticking with the gentle Manucurist Green Polish Remover, £16, simply because it works.


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