When it comes to beauty, some things are not so glamorous, including the potent stench of nail polish remover.

While it's something many nail polish fans are resigned to, a YouTube video has demonstrated just how powerful acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover, really is.

The video shows three Styrofoam cups disintegrating into a foamy mess seconds after touching the acetone, and has been watched more than 300,000 times.

The video shows foam cups melting as soon as they touch the acetone.
The video shows foam cups melting as soon as they touch the acetone.

Present in many nail polish removers, acetone can cut through nail varnish in a flash, but it can also dry out and damage fingernails.

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While there are products that don't contain the potent chemical, they are often not as effective at removing nail polish, especially polish that has been thickly applied or contains glitter.

For those who love nail polish but have been put off using acetone-based remover, an Indian beauty blogger might have a solution.

In a YouTube clip, Prachi Agarwal uses toothpaste and a nail brush to scrub off the paint in less than two minutes.

She removes the top coat with regular nail polish remover, but then saves her nails from further onslaught by applying Vaseline to the thick, glittery paint underneath.

Next she mixes a generous dab of toothpaste with a little water, and adds an optional squirt of lemon juice. As she rubs the mixture onto her nails with a nail brush, the polish comes away in thick chunks.

- nzherald.co.nz