Acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and polysorbate (topical)

Common Brands Actos
Drug Class
Controlled Substance Classification
Not a controlled medication
Generic Status
Lower-cost generic available
Prescription only
Allison Barnes, PharmD
Allison Barnes, PharmD
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Medically reviewed by Allison Barnes, PharmD last update on 20/12/2023


Acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and polysorbate, though distinct in their chemical compositions and applications, share a common thread as versatile topical solutions. These compounds find themselves ingrained in various aspects of our daily lives, playing crucial roles in beauty, healthcare, and industrial settings.

Starting with acetone, a potent solvent known for its effectiveness in dissolving various substances. This colorless liquid has earned its place as a key ingredient in nail polish removers and paint thinners. Its molecular structure facilitates the breakdown of polymers, making it an efficient choice for stripping away layers of paint or stubborn nail polish. The ease with which acetone accomplishes these tasks has made it a household essential for DIY enthusiasts and beauty aficionados alike.

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, emerges as a powerful antiseptic with a myriad of applications. Its role in first aid as a disinfectant for minor cuts and wounds underscores its significance in healthcare. The quick-evaporating nature of isopropyl alcohol lends itself to surface disinfection, making it a staple in cleaning routines and sterilization processes. Medical swabs soaked in isopropyl alcohol further demonstrate its versatility in promoting hygiene and preventing infections.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation