Acetone is stinky and irritating to breathe in, and, you know, there's also that whole "mildly toxic" business.
While it may seem to be the only method for removing polish, that's actually pretty far from the truth. A number of non-acetone, all-natural products have hit the market. While they all prove to be costly—especially when compared to that 99-cent bottle you just picked up at Rite Aid—it's an alternative whose benefits should be weighed.
Personal experiments in the past with the non-acetone formula on the shelves of drugstores proved to be a maddening, slow experience (I'm impatient and demanding!), but these freshly developed removers seem to have finally caught up to the speediness and convenience of acetone-based ones.
LAVENDER ORGANIC SOY NAIL POLISH REMOVER BY KARMA ORGANICS
It's 100 percent biodegradable and 100 percent soy-based. I picked up a 4-ounce bottle for $12 at my local Whole Foods (hey, now, I had a Living Social deal left!) after reading a stellar review on Jezebel.com.
One, two, three strokes of the cotton ball, and my polish had disappeared. What was left was a clean nail that looked as if it'd been moisturized and conditioned, not damaged by chemicals on top of chemicals.
PRITI NYC SOY POLISH WIPES
Advertised as both non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, Priti NYC claims its wipes are 100 percent biodegradable. The polish wipes are derived from farm crops and do not contain any petroleum products. The actual ingredient list is limited to just three components: natural soybean esters, biodegradable dibasic esters, all infused with organic lemongrass essential oil.
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While the Priti NYC Soy Polish Wipes definitely took a bit more swiping and work at the nail, they still get the job done without drying out the nail. I managed to use one wipe for all 10 fingers painted with dark lacquer. Available in 10-count packages at PritiNYC.com, $9.99.
KAIA HOUSE ORGANICS SOY NAIL POLISH REMOVER
It comes in a pretty green bottle! And it's free of phthalates, toluene and formaldehyde! The Kaia House Organics remover didn't leave my cuticles dry after removing a clear base coat, two coats of Essie polish and one layer of top coat rather quickly. The only problem? At 2 ounces for $8, it's easily the priciest of the bunch. Pass! Available at KaiaHouse.com, $8.
Follow me on Twitter @VickieChang!
This column appeared in print as "Adiós, Acetone!"