Product Review: Scotch Naturals Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover

I’ve been on a big manicure kick lately and now I have a question…

Can someone please explain to me why, for the love of God, a basic manicure requires about four scrubs with a super-harsh nail polish remover? Question not rhetorical.

Seriously, this stuff is terrible for your nails and is super toxic in a not-really-up-for-debate kind of way. Other aspects of the salon experience are far from natural as well—including that three-free polish—but I suck it up for the most part because manicures are fun, they make me feel put together and I can’t be bothered at this moment in time to perfect my shakey left-hand-on-right application technique.

So I bring my own polish or I cave and use OPI, I don’t let anyone cut my cuticles, and I make sure to take off my polish before I got to the salon.

With what, you ask? Scotch Naturals’ nail polish remover. It’s touted as a remover for water-based polish but I’ve used this stuff for just about every brand under the sun—even Essie one time, shh!—and it works perfectly well. Some people apparently like to apply it and then let it sit for a few minutes then wipe it off. I used to do that with Suncoat’s remover, but I don’t find I need to do this with Scotch’s, nor do I think that technique works that well. Instead I spray a paper tower or cotton round with the stuff, then rub the polish off.

No, it doesn’t come off in one sweep like the industrial strength stuff at the nail spot, but it requires minimal effort for the result.

One bottle has lasted me the better part of a year, and it costs $11.99. I like it so much that I have a bottle at home and at the office.

What’s your favorite nail polish remover? And do you do anything to minimize your exposure to garbage at the nail salon?

23 Responses to “Product Review: Scotch Naturals Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover”
  1. philosophotarian says:

    sorry to go off topic, but what happened to all the posts below this one? Every part of those posts now appears in that giant pink font.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Wow, you had the completely opposite experience from mine! Maybe the formula has changed?? I tried Scotch several months back, and I hate the polish and the remover. For me the remover required painful rubbing, which is ironic because almost anything (like sitting quietly for 5 minutes) will take the Scotch polish right off me. I had somewhat better luck with Suncoat remover. Ultimately I switched to Zoya for polish and remover. I don’t like the smell of the Zoya remover but it works so dang fast there’s minimal exposure. I’m already breaking my usual rules of “if I can’t eat it, I don’t use it” to do nail polish, so I may as well use something I love. And I don’t necessarily believe Scotch Naturals are any more natural than other polishes, in spite of the name. I do all my own manicures, so there’s no extra exposure there. They do nails where I get my hair done, but I’ve never been there while it was actually happening and never smelled anything polish-y (which doesn’t necessarily mean there’s not exposure).

  3. Ginny says:

    Siobhan – Thanks for the great review of our soy remover! Rebecca – We hope that you will give Scotch Naturals another chance. Our polish works better on hydrated nails, which takes a little more preparation by buffing and applying oil like jojoba. Make sure to wash off the surface oil on the nail before applying the polish. Our customers are also reporting longer lasting manicures with the use of our new base and top coat. Even so, we are always working to innovate and improve the product. On a side note, we don’t use any toxins or solvents in our products. We are happy to walk you through application and removal. Please feel free to contact us on our 800 number.
    Best regards,
    Ginny Cardenas, CEO and Founder
    Scotch Naturals

  4. Maybe I will take your lead on this one… All the removers I have ever tried that were natural were a nightmare, you had to scrub and scrub to get the polish off.

    I use Sally Hanson, boooo! Not good!

    Nicole <3

  5. Kate says:

    This is such a great topic! My nail polish is the next item on my list to begin to clean up. I do my nails myself, so I’m not really exposed to fumes and such at a salon. I have mostly OPI (the colors are so beautiful…) and I use non-acetone nail polish remover from Target. I don’t always have a manicure with polish, but when I do, I want it to be really worth my while and last.

    I’ve also read that OPI has been 3-free since 2006. Does anyone know if that is true? Also, are their any actually CLEAN polishes? Ones that do more than just not use the big 3?

    Another blog is always plugging the Priti NYC brand of polish and remover. Has anyone had any experiences with it? I’ve read that many in Hollywood are using it. That doesn’t say much about the safety of it, but I does make me think the colors are going to be beautiful.

  6. Siobhan says:

    Oh the other thing I should say is, really saturate the cotton round — like use a lot of it. Somehow the bottle doesn’t get used up quickly even though I do this. I also find that once there’s a little polish on the cotton, it comes off even easier, probably due to friction. Old socks work the best, but I ran out of old socks to use.

  7. Colleen M says:

    I have a few scotch naturals polishes and I love them, but I do have problems with the polish staying on my nails. I don’t have the top or base coat… do those help? And I have a lighter color that I can’t seem to get to look opaque. Does the top/base coat help with this too? I love the color but I’ve had a hard time getting the color I want on my nails. I’ve also used the polish remover and it works like a charm. I was surprised how easily it worked. @Siobhan i agree the more polish that’s on the cotton the easier it does the job.

  8. Sarah says:

    I use Priti remover. Although, it takes a bit more time to remove the polish, versus the toxic stuff, it works well. They even have travel envelopes of clothes with polish remover, which doesn’t seem important until you need it!

    I’d like to try the Scotch sometime too. Thanks for the review.

  9. Julia says:

    @Kate, I use the Priti NYC polish remover, and I really like it. It has a nice lemongrass scent, and it doesn’t leave my fingertips feeling dehydrated. I’ve used it to remove Essie, OPI and Chanel polishes, and it only took a few swipes with a saturated cotton ball. Would definitely recommend!

  10. Letitia says:

    @ Colleen M: I just got the base/top coat a few months ago after using the Scotch Naturals colors without it, and wow…what a difference. The colors stay longer if you do a base coat, and the top coat gives the colors that shiny, glossy depth other nail polishes have. Without the base/top coat, I felt kinda “meh” about Scotch Naturals, but when I started taking that extra step, it really improved the final result. Also, I use the base/top coat as a clear nail polish when I don’t want color.

  11. Marie says:

    I love Scotch naturals polish! I honestly didn’t realize how gawd-awful normal polish (even 3-free) smells until I started using water-based nail color. Huge difference. I’ve only used their polish with the top coat and basecoat, so I’m not sure how it works without them, but I can definitely say that I haven’t had any big problems. I will say that certain colors work amazingly well and others tend to streak; in particular, both of the red/orange and bright pink shades I’ve used cover really well and don’t wash off, but I have problems with the lighter, nude-ish pink color I have. I also do my nails before bed and then let them dry overnight before I get my hands or feet wet. When I was playing with the colors and hopped in the shower right after, the polish washed off immediately (and entirely, which was actually a bit of a bonus because my toes were badly painted and four different colors), but I haven’t had the same problem when I let the polish dry overnight. After about 4-5 days, the polish on my fingers does start to fade, but I will say that I wash my hands a lot because I work with children. For me, this isn’t any faster than regular polish starts to chip, so it doesn’t bother me too much. The polish remover also works really well, and I second Siobahn that you the more you use, the easier it is to get the polish off.

  12. Marie says:

    P.S. @ Kate – Water-based nail polishes, like Scotch Naturals and Acquarella, are supposed to be cleaner than 3-free polish. Skin Deep cosmetics database gives Acquarella (the only water-based polish on there, based on the brands I know about) a score of 1 (, which is better than the score for any 3-free polish, but they also don’t have a lot of info about many of the ingredients, so who knows whether it’s actually any better. Water-based polish doesn’t smell terrible, so that seems like an improvement.

  13. Heidi says:

    Scotch Naturals soy based remover is my favorite type of nail polish remover. It works really well with Scotch Naturals nail polish. I also saturate a cotton round and it takes the polish off easily. It leaves my nails looking shiny and moisturized. It is good to know that it also works with regular solvent based nail polish. I haven’t tried that yet.

  14. Anna says:

    Woh woh woh, this stuff works for non-Scotch polishes?! I always only use it for Scotch. I use Priti remover for everything else.

    But… this one time, in Florida, I asked my aunt if she had any nail polish remover, and she gave me pure acetone, and I could not believe how quickly it took everything off. I wish there were something that effective that didn’t threaten to eat my brain out or whatever!

  15. nancy says:

    I use Zoya Nail Polish Remover and I really like it . The bottle cap is awesome and the product itself does an amazing job. Opposite to Rebeca’s experience, for me the scent is almost pleasant . I also use Zoya nail polishes, which work best for me .
    I have tried Scotch Naturals in the past and again.. staying power is minimal. I do my own nails and was never able to get a nice coat without streaks (be it with light or dark colors)

    @ Kate, I have tried Priti NYC (nail polish only) and liked it too.

  16. Charissa says:

    i use the scotch naturals nail polish because it’s the only one so far that doesn’t still smell toxic. all the other brands that claim to be 3 free (that i have tried) still smell awful! but i have to agree with rebecca that the polish really doesn’t last. my manicurist says it will last better with the base and top coat, but i have yet to try them out.

    however, i do like the nail polish remover – it takes a bit more elbow grease than the usual ones, but it works fine and smells ok. have to say that the Priti remover smells better though.

  17. Rose says:

    I’m so glad you reviewed this! I think it is such a brilliant product since I’ve found that it removes every kind of polish (except shellac), and does so without any horrible odor and I think really moisturizes your nails rather than drying them out. I’ve used Aquarella products for a lot of years but once I found this remover I would never use that one again. It was soapy and I could never tell if it was removing my polish all the way with light colors.

  18. Kate says:

    Thanks you all for your reviews :) Seems that everyone who has tried Priti NYC has liked it :) Thanks!

  19. Natasha says:

    I have the Priti polish remover and it takes a lot longer. My life is hectic enough without taking 5 minutes to just remove nail polish!

    Aside from that, although Priti is “3 free” it still has lots of other chemicals which I’m pretty sure puts it on the same level as Essie and OPI, which are also “3 free” and much cheaper.

    Scotch is water-based, and I am actually very happy with the results. Lasts as long as a regular polish (when used with base and top coat) and the colors are awesome too.

  20. Dawn says:

    Agh! I’ve been meaning to try this stuff (along with Scotch Naturals polish). Looks like I need to get on it.

  21. Melanie says:

    I’ve had the complete opposite experience with Scotch’s polish remover. I LOVE their polishes, but the remover literally takes 45 minutes for me to get the polish off of my fingers. And the worst part is the scrubbing that I have to do to get the polish off has cause my nails to strip and peel. I follow the instructions to a T and can never get the results everyone else seems to get. I didn’t have as much problem when I used the polish without the base and top coat, but now that I use those, the remover doesn’t touch it. (I have the first version of remover they have – maybe they reformulated it?)

  22. Johnag says:

    Best nail polish remover. Removes nail polish great and fast. Leaving nails shiny and helping keep the hydrated and as an added bonus it smells absololoutely amazing

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