Nails

We Tried It: A Nail Polish Remover That Doesn't Reek

It's acetone-free, soy-based, and ... it doesn't stink

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Manicures are therapeutic. As a reformed nail-biter, seeing my fingernails transformed from uneven and chipped to smooth, glossy ovals with each stroke of polish takes me to my happy place. But nothing rips me away from my Zen manicure quicker than the nostril-scorching scent of most nail polish removers.

READ: A Real Life "Breaking Bad" Beauty Product?

So, when we caught wind aboutt RGB Nail Color Remover Pads, a new polish remover with zero acetone and acetate (the chemical culprits behind the stench), you can imagine the red flags it sent up in the office. A polish remover we can use anywhere, anytime, without triggering glares from the stink police? No. Way. Then again, RGB made its reputation on top notch nail polishes that are free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor (carcinogens found in most nail polishes). Reek-free polish remover? I had to find out.

The remover is delivered on 100 percent cotton, individually wrapped pads that promise to remove polish gently and to leave your nails and cuticles nourished -- not sucked dry like acetone-based products. Since I'm constantly removing and changing my colors (one chip in my polish is essentially an invite for me to start biting my nails again), this caught my attention.

First impression: the soy-based remover isn't totally odorless. I ripped a pad open, held it to my nose and took a big whiff. The smell isn't overbearing but it is hard to place -- it falls somewhere between a warehouse/industrial earthy smell and the scent of those all-natural cleaning products. But it's practically non-existent when you're actually using the product (and not shoving it in your face like I did). The true test: no one near my desk could tell I was giving myself a mini mani (until later, when I cracked open a bottle of base coat).

I was skeptical that the pads -- which don't feel like they're saturated with much product -- could take off all the glittery, purple polish I was wearing. But after getting in a couple warm up swipes, the pad got to work and it removed every last bit of polish on all ten fingers. It did leave behind an oily residue that I had to wash off, but I feel like that's a fair trade for a stealthy use-at-any-time polish remover. I'm no stranger to giving myself a mani in weird places (the car en route to Winter Formal 2009 comes to mind), so these portable pads will definitely be stashed in my purse for the next time I attempt an undercover polish change.

READ: 12 Best Nail Products

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