How to remove glitter nail powder

How to remove glitter nail powder

Traditional glitter nail powder removers are often filled with harsh chemicals. Try these alternatives the next time you want to change your nail color.

Glitter nail powder remover will remove your glitter nail powder quickly and effectively, but what else does it remove in the process? If you want to clean up old glitter nail powder from your nails without using regular nail polish remover, there are actually a few alternatives that can work. One of the main ingredients in the generally accepted “traditional” nail polish remover is acetone, which is very drying and harsh, but the “remover” works very quickly, and it can cause serious damage to the nail.

Non-acetone removers are gentler on nails but take a little more time to be effective. Soak your nails in some warm water before starting any of the following removal processes. The water will cause your nail bed to swell. This can help loosen the glitter nail powder and prepare your nails for one of the other removal methods.

Safe, moisturizing glitter nail powder remover won’t hurt your nails.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer are the two best ways to remove glitter nail powder without using an acetate remover. The general idea is to apply some to a cotton ball or cotton pad and place it on your nail. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, and then gently rub it back and forth. Your glitter nail powder should come off quickly.

Also, if you have an alcohol-based fragrance, Boyce notes that this can work in a pinch but requires more product than if you use regular rubbing alcohol. Also, remember that the scent can be overpowering, so it should definitely not be your first choice.

Vinegar and orange juice

Mix your favorite juice with white vinegar, and you have a homemade solution for removing glitter nail powder. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and natural orange juice together, dip a cotton ball/cotton pad in the mixture and press it on your nail for about 10 seconds until the glitter nail powder softens. Then, pull off the cotton pad and remove the glitter nail powder.


Lin Ling says regular lemons can also remove glitter nail powder. Place a slice of lemon or lemon juice on the nail and let it sit until the glitter nail powder softens, then wipe it off.


The claim that hairspray can remove glitter nail powder is true, but it has to be aerosol hairspray. Dip a cotton ball or cotton pad into the hairspray and wrap the cotton around your nail. This tactic is especially useful if you have spills. The hairspray will lift the glitter nail powder off the carpet or fabric without discoloring it.

Soy-based makeup remover

Soy is becoming the ingredient of choice for making non-acetate glitter nail powder removers. Soy-based removers, as well as other suggested solutions, are predicated on softening glitter nail powder. galglitter explains that acetone is a solvent that dissolves glitter nail powder. Soy-based makeup remover, which does not react as quickly, is also a gentler option. After applying soy-based makeup remover, you may need to wait 45 seconds before scrubbing your nails with a makeup sponge.

Aftercare after makeup removal

After you remove glitter nail powder with your method of choice, be sure to do some follow-up nail care. According to GALGlitter: since alcohol and hand sanitizers can dehydrate the skin and nails, use cuticle oil to re-moisturize your nails, cuticles, and surrounding skin.

On the other hand, taking care of your nails doesn’t necessarily mean you need fancy products. According to GALGlitter: you definitely want to hydrate as much as possible to keep your nails healthy. A proper diet is always good for strong nails, but hydration is so important. Drink plenty of water and then, specifically, hydrate your nails.

Some views of society on glitter nail powder

Did you know that the glitter in your glitter nail powder is illegal under current FDA laws? What about glitter lip gloss or eye shadow? Yes, that is also illegal. The FDA has not approved glitter as a cosmetic color additive, which means that it is currently illegal to use glitter in any cosmetic formulation, even though most “cosmetic” glitter is made from ingredients that are currently approved for use in cosmetics. So why do major cosmetic companies still regularly release products containing glitter, such as eyeliners, mascaras, lip glosses, and of course, glitter nail powder?

All the information I have been able to gather indicates that current policy is not enforced when it comes to glitter in cosmetic formulations. The FDA insists that it is giving cosmetic formulators a “grace period” to respond, but it doesn’t say how long that grace period is or when it will begin. To add to the confusion, most companies (large and small) don’t seem to realize that formulating cosmetics with glitter is not an approved practice, and most consumers remain unaware of the problem.

As a consumer, I find this confusing because I can’t find any record of “cosmetic glitter” being harmful. I also can’t really remember a time when I didn’t have glitter in my own collection of cosmetics. I recently decided to do some research on glitter to see if there was a reason not to include it in cosmetic formulations; here’s a summary of what I found.


There are different types of glitter, not all of which are manufactured for cosmetic purposes. That is, among the companies that produce glitter for cosmetics, “cosmetic” glitter is made from plastic flakes and foil, specifically polyurethane terephthalate or PET. This is the same plastic used in single-use water bottles. PET has been repeatedly found to be non-toxic, even when ingested PET has been repeatedly found to be non-toxic, even when ingested. Polyurethane 33 is recognized as an adhesive by the FDA and is also classified as non-toxic. Aluminum is a characteristic of many glitter agents and is currently approved by the FDA for cosmetic formulations around the eyes (but not for the lips). These films are colored with colorants approved for cosmetic use, although some have restrictions on the area of use (i.e., safe for lips and nails, but not around eyes; or safe around eyes and nails, but not lips, etc.). These flakes are cut or shredded to create glitter, and the most common glitter sizes used in cosmetic formulations are .008″ and below. .008″ is approximately 203.2 microns. Micro glitter is .004″ or 101.6 microns; a much smaller particle size than many color additives already approved for use in the eye (such as synthetic mica). In addition, many manufacturers of “cosmetic glitter” attest that their products are approved for use in the EU and are registered under the EU REACH program.


I call on the FDA to revisit its decision to use glitter in cosmetic formulations. I asked them to reevaluate “cosmetic glitter” as a color additive and add it to the list of approved cosmetic color additives. I also asked them to develop safe use guidelines for glitter manufacturers and cosmetic formulators regarding particle size and labeling practices for consumer safety and education.

Literally, the holidays are your time to shine. Sure, you can go crazy with glitter or sparkly eye shadow, but one of our favorite ways to spend the holidays is with our glittery nails. We’re talking gorgeous, sparkly glitter nail powder.

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