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How Can You Take Off Gel Nail Polish

Peeling Off The Nail Gels

The Right Way to Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home | Beauty How To
  • 1Wait until the nails are mostly chipped away. Gels tend to chip off after a week or two, and its best to wait until they’re mostly gone to start peeling them yourself, so you reduce damage to the surface of your nail.XResearch source
  • 2Insert a cuticle stick under the surface of a gel. Work it gently under the gel until the gel is slightly raised around the edge. Don’t dig too hard under the gel, or you may damage your natural nail.XResearch source
  • 3Peel off the gel. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to grasp the edge of the gel and peel it back. Repeat with each finger until the gels have been completely removed.
  • Don’t rip off the gels. A layer of your natural nail will come up with them.
  • If the gels are tough to peel, consider using another removal method.
  • 4Condition your nails. Use a file to smooth out the edges, and use a nail buffer to smooth out the rough spots on the surface of your nails. Rub lotion or oil on your nails and hands. Wait a week before applying another set of gels.Advertisement
  • Mistakes Youre Making When Wearing Gel Nail Polish

      Chipping a perfectly good manicure is one of lifes most annoying frustrations. Since Im constantly opening packages and typing stories, wearing gel nail polish has been a saving grace when it comes to preserving my mani. While I love the flexibility a regular manicure provides, gel polish is so much more durablewhich is why I tend to stretch each manicure for as long as possible.

      With gel polish, your manicure can last from two to three weeks, but with regular polish you’re lucky if it lasts five to seven days without chipping, Kristin Pulaski, owner of Paintbucket Nails in Brooklyn, tells SELF. According to Pulaski, in addition to staying power, another great benefit of gel is that it provides a harder layer of protection over the natural nail, which can result in increased nail growth.

      Unfortunately, this durability and protection can be rough on your nails and make them weaker and prone to splitting. No one wants that, so there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain the health of your nails when youre getting gels. We asked Pulaski, celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley, and Christy Harpring, co-owner of Sea Salt and Sugar Nail Bar in Savannah, Georgia, to clue us in on gel polish mistakes to avoid.

      Growing Your Nails Offers A Safe Alternative

      Dr. Lipner says the best way to remove gel nail polish is to let your nails grow out. Clipping them once a week will remove the gel nail polish and help prevent the nails from catching on clothing and other objects. If you choose this option, you need to resist the urge to pick at your gel nail polish. Picking and scraping off the polish can damage your nails.

      Letting your nails grow is a slow process. Dr. Lipner says, It takes about six months to grow out your fingernails. Toenails need 12 to 18 months to grow out.

      To properly trim your nails, follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists: How to trim your nails.

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      Wait At Least 10 Minutes

      This is the most important step in how to remove gel nail polish and requires the most patience. You will need to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes to loosen the layers of polish. To help speed up the process, Soon suggests taking a hot towel and wrapping it around your handthe warmth helps the acetone work while softening the polish to make it easier to remove.

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      How to Remove Gel Polish Without Acetone

      Chillhouse, French Girl Cuticle Oil, $22, available at Chillhouse.

      Featuring a rollerball application, this cuticle oil is easy to apply after removing polish.

      We only include products that have been independently selected by NYLON’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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      Wait Wait Waitnow You Can Take It Off

      This depends on how long you’ve had the gel polish on , but it takes at least 15 to 20 minutes. Speaking from personal experience, we’d recommend closer to 25 or 30 minutes to be safe. Once those tin-foil claws come off, you really don’t want to put them back on.

      As you’re taking off each aluminum-foil wrap, apply pressure and rub it back and forth like you would if trying to take off regular polish. If there is still polish left on any nail beds, use a wooden nail stick or a nail file to loosen and remove the remaining gel polish. Soaking should have softened the grip, which means this should not risk stripping your nail bed.

      How To Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Destroying Your Nails

        All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

        You may not have had reason to wonder how to remove gel nail polish before, but if youre currently avoiding your salon and going the DIY nail route instead, its important to learn how to do it properly. Spoiler alert: Just ripping off your gel manicure is not a good idea. Everything might appear to be okay to the naked eye, but you actually strip the delicate layers of the nail plate when you tear your gel nails off this way, and it can potentially cause permanent damage.

        To avoid screwing up your nails, we asked celebrity manicurist Patricia Yankee how to remove gel nail polish at home. Her professional advice to ensure the health of your nails is to head back to your salon for proper removal when its safe to do so. But if you cant or dont want to make the trip right now, there are a few easy-to-follow steps to get similar results at home.

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        Wait 10 To 15 Minutes

        Cue up some Netflix and let the acetone to do its job. If you used the soaking method, wait until you notice the corners coming loose, then as your nails are still steeping in the acetone, take an orangewood stick and gently begin to loosen the gel on each nail until it is removed completely. If you used foils and cotton, the gel manicure should slide off with the cotton ball when you remove the foil. If some residue remains stuck to your nail, again, use an orangewood stick to work it off. “When removing my own gels I use my thumbnail to scrape the softened gel off. I find it gets very close to the nail, but doesnt hurt it, Poole says.

        If the gel polish is being stubborn give it another five minutes to soak and then try again patience is key here. The nails should soak until the gel appears to be bubbling, Poole says. This could take 10 minutes but Poole says its often longer. A good rule of thumb: Don’t scrape off the polish until it’s fully softened, she says.

        How To Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Acetone

        How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

        Dont have acetone? Thats no problem. Just soak your nails in warm water with a few drops of dish soap and a teaspoon of salt. According to the Ever After Guide, leave your hand submerged in the water for at least 20 minutes before peeling off the color. However, it is always recommended to moisturize after.

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        Gel Manicures Can Damage Your Nails

        Whether or not you choose a gel or standard polish formula, the fact is that normal nails of any type of kind can weaken your all-natural nails. how do nail salons remove the rest of your gel nails says Dr. Adigun. I have seen my clients can be found in with peeling, thin, damaging, blemished nails and also uncomfortable nail beds, clarifies Jenna.

        That fact isnt to hinder beauty salon regulars, nor those who live for an at-home manicure. However, according to Dr. Adigun, by not considering your all-natural nail a minimum of every 2 weeks you wont have the ability to effectively examine its problem, plus you may even be missing infections and also in particular, extreme instances, growths. The thick, armor-like finishing of polish likewise blocks nails from being able to move oxygen, discusses Jenna.

        Protect Your Skin With Cuticle Oil Or Cream

        In addition to prepping your nails, you’ll also want to prep the skin around your nails by applying a heavy layer of cuticle oil or cream . That will help protect your skin from the acetone, which can be very drying. “Try to avoid getting any cream or oil on the nail itself, though, as that will slow down the removal process,” Soon warns.

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        Let The Cotton Sit For 10 Minutes

        When the time is up, remove the plastic wrap and the cotton. The polish should be mostly or completely gone. Take off any remaining polish by gently rubbing your nails with a washcloth soaked in warm water. Dont try to scrape it off with an orange stick or you might damage your nails and cause white spots.

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        How Do You Take Off Gel Nail Polish at Home

        Gel nail polish has revolutionized the beauty world but there is no denying that removing the color from your nails is easy. Whether its soaking your nails in acetone for what seems like an eternity before your next manicure, or chipping it off, taking off gel nail polish is a chore.

        However, beauty experts have some secrets when it comes to removing gel polish at home that wont completely destroy your nail beds and cuticles. So how should you approach the process? Keep reading to find out!*

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        Loosening The Polish By Soaking

      • 1Fill a bowl with warm water, dish soap, and salt. Use a small bowl that will be big enough to submerge one or both hands. Add a couple of drops of dish soap and a teaspoon of salt.XResearch source
      • Be sure the water is quite warm or it wont loosen the gel polish. You may need to add more warm water if it gets cold while you are soaking your nails.
      • 2Soak your hand in the bowl for about 15-20 minutes. Dip your hand in the water so that all your nails are completely submerged. There is no need to move your fingers. Simply keep them still under the water for 15-20 minutes.XResearch source
      • You can soak one hand at a time, or place both hands in the bowl at once.
      • 3Take your hand out and dry it with a towel. Take you nails out of the water and dab them with a clean towel to dry. You may already start to notice some of the gel nails cracking or peeling off.XResearch source
      • If it doesnt look like the soak has loosened the nails at all, you can repeat the soaking process once again, or go straight to filing or peeling them off.
      • 4Remove the gel nails by peeling or filing. Soaking your nails will probably not take any of the gel nails off by itself. But once you have soaked your nails, it will be easier to remove them with whatever acetone-free method you choose.XResearch source
      • If you choose to file off the gel nails after soaking, be sure that your nails are totally dry before you start. This will make the filing much easier.
      • Soak Cotton Balls In Acetone

        Next, soak a small piece of cotton, or a cotton ball, in acetone and place it on the nail, Poole says. Just be sure this is 100 percent pure acetone, not the standard “nail polish remover” sold at your local drugstore. “Regular nail polish remover contains acetone but is diluted,” explains Poole. “You probably could remove gel nails with regular polish remover, but you would have to allow the nails to soak for a very long time. You need pure acetone to effectively and quickly break down the gel polish.” A bottle of acetone like Pronto’s 100% Pure Acetone will do the trick.

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        What To Do After You Remove Acrylic Nails

        Now that youve gotten those acrylics off, lets talk post-manicure removal. When you remove your acrylics, you may be left with some residue. Use a glass nail file to buff the tops of your nails and smooth the edges. Your cuticles will also be needing some love so apply cuticle oil generously to soften and care for them. And finally, show your hands some TLC and reach for a hydrating hand cream to wrap your skin in soothing moisture.

        How To Remove Gel Polish The Aluminum Foil Way

        How to Remove Gel Nails at Home! Damage-Free!

        Before you try this method to take off your gel nails, make sure you have:

        Acetone

        Cotton balls

        Orange wood stick

      • Gently buff down the topcoat or the shiny layer of the gel polish with a 180-grit file
      • Run the file over the tip of your nail so the gel lifts up at the edge.
      • Dip half a small cotton ball in an acetone-based remover and apply it to the surface of your nail.
      • Take a small square of tin foil and wrap it around your fingertip to keep the cotton ball in place.
      • Repeat on all ten nails. This process can be unwieldy. You may want to call a friend for help.
      • Wait about 7 to 10 minutes and then peek to see if the gel has lifted off the nail.
      • With an orange wood sticka long, narrow stick that manicurists often use to push back cuticlesgently push the gel flakes off the nail.
      • If the gel isn’t coming off easily, replace the cotton ball with a new, acetone-soaked ball, re-wrap with foil and wait a few more minutes.
      • Add a few drops of cuticle oil on your cuticles to prevent your skin from drying out.
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        Using New Nail Polish To Remove The Old

      • 1Select another nail polish that will not dry too quickly. Nail polish dries due evaporation of the solvents it contains. Applying the second coat effectively softens these same solvents. This allows the polish to return to a liquid state and be wiped away. The best type of polish for this method is thin and slow to dry. A clear top coat would work, as they tend to dry slowly. Avoid quick dry nail polishes or sprays or drops that cause nails to dry faster.XResearch source
      • Some blogs suggest that darker colors than the polish you’re removing often have the best effects. That said, the rate at which a polish dries is the most important factor. It should be slow.XResearch source
      • 2Apply the polish to one nail at a time. Paint the nail, covering the old polish. You do not need to take as much time applying the polish as you normally would as you are going to wipe it off anyway. Do not allow the new polish to dry. If it dries on, the nail polish will be even more difficult to remove which will take even longer.
      • 3Wipe the new polish off quickly. Immediately after adding new polish, wipe off the old nail polish. For the best results, use a paper towel.
      • While many people typically use cotton balls when using nail polish remover, you should avoid cotton balls when using this method. They are likely to break apart or get stuck to the wet polish, leaving the polish stuck on.
      • Grab Your Nail File And Get To Work

        Bonus points if you have an extra rough nail file, but any will do. Start by filing down the polish until the shine is gone and the color looks buffed. There’s no need to file down the color all the way that risks hitting your nail bed . This quick and easy step makes the whole process go much more smoothly.

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        Taking Preventative Measures With Glitter Polish

      • 1Make a base coat with glue and water. If you struggle to remove nail polish due to a preference for glittery polishes, there is a way to take preventative measures to make removal easier. This method must be done before you paint your nails but can be a great way to avoid nail polish removal problems down the road. You make a mixture of glue and water that you apply prior to glittery nails.
      • You will need white elementary school glue, an empty nail polish bottle, and water. Fill the bottle with about a third of the way with glue. Then add water and swirl around until the mixture is thin enough to be spread on your nails.
      • 2Apply and dry the glue base coat before putting on polish. Paint your nails with one layer of the glue base coat before adding your polish. Wait about five minutes for it to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. If you normally use another kind of base coat, such as one to prevent staining, apply that after your glue base coat.XResearch source
      • 3Apply nail polish. When you are done with your glue-based coat and any other base coats you use, apply your glittery nail polish as you normally would. The glue has hardened on the nail, and the polish hardens on the glue. Luckily, the glue comes off of your nail easily with some force, making it much easier to remove.
      • How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home

        How to Remove Gel Polish Without Acetone

        Removing a gel manicure’s long-lasting lacquer can leave you with weak, peeling, brittle nails. The issue isn’t necessarily the polish, considering you’re probably using some of the best nail polishes, so much as it is the method of removal, explains Dana Stern, MD, a dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. You’re going to need to soak your nails in acetone and then use tools to physically push the polish off your nailsa harsh and potentially damaging process.

        “When there is aggressive scraping with a metal or a wooden tool to remove gel polish, the nail plate also gets removed and this results in significant thinning,” says Dr. Stern. If you damage the nail matrix, the area of the nail beneath the cuticle, you’ll have white patches, ridges, and other surface irregularities to contend with as your nails grow, she warns. Follow these tips to be your own at-home manicurist. And make sure you’re using the best gel nail polishes for the best results.

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