What’s The Difference Between Gels & Acrylics
First things first, lets brush up your nail vocab.
Perfect for a natural-looking manicure, gel nails are achieved in three simple steps. A base coat, a polish colour and a top coat. In-between each stage, the gel is cured under an LED or UV lamp , to leave you with firm, non-sticky nails that shine. Gel nails tend to last around two weeks before they start to lift or chip, and only take half an hour to apply.
What about acrylics? Warning: things are about to get a little technical. For acrylic nails, monomer liquid and polymer powder are combined to create a paste-like formula. This formula is then placed over a cured acrylic extension and left to set. After shaping and buffing, the acrylics are normally painted with a polish of your choice. They tend to last up to four weeks and are perfect for those who want to add length to their nails.
Use A Gel Nail Polish Remover
There are a number of different gel nail polish removers on the market.SensatioNail Gel Polish Remover is a budget-friendly liquid that helps budge the long-lasting product.
SalonsDirect is another brand that sells a cheap remover for manicure-lovers.
Using the two acrylic nail removal methods should also be successful for getting your gel polish off.
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Make Sure You Have the Right Tools: While having your gel manicure professionally removed is optimal, with a little patience you can achieve the same, non-damaging results at home. To make it happen, you’ll need acetone, cotton balls, foil and a wood nail stick.
Maximum Strength Acetone Is a Must: As for the acetone, “no need to spend double the amount on a brand name that states it’s specifically for gel removal,” said the pros. Just make sure that it’s labeled as maximum strength and that it doesn’t say non-acetone.
Protect Your Cuticles: Creating a barrier between your cuticles and the acetone is key. For the job, Enamel Diction recommended using Vaseline or Aquaphor. Since you must cover your entire nail bed with acetone-soaked cotton to ensure that the gel is removed properly, that barrier layer will help from ravaging and drying out delicate cuticles during the process, they explained.
Moisturize Nails: Once all of the gel has been removed, “the nail beds will look dry and brittle at first so make sure to properly moisturize with a nail oil,” recommended the experts. Another way to revive nails post-gel is to take a timeout for an overnight, hydration treatment. “Apply a healthy amount of Vaseline or Aquaphor to your cuticles and gently rub it into your nail beds right before you go to bed,” shared the pros.
Done and done!
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Diy With Tinfoil And Cotton Balls
While the tinfoil method is similar to the soaking method, this technique allows you to soak just your fingernails in acetone preventing the rest of your fingertips from coming into contact with it.
This method is a little more complicated if youre doing it by yourself. By the time youre on your last few fingers, it can be difficult to apply without help.
To try the tinfoil method, you can:
If You Have Soft Gel Polish
A soft gel manicure is relatively safe to remove at home if done properly. However, youll want to carve out some time since its not a quick process, Colley said.
For the DIY route, Colley said you first need to give your nails a light buff with a file or buffer to remove the shine and break down the top coat.
Then, soak your nails in acetone for about 10 minutes. Youll want to briefly dip your fingers in a bowl of acetone then use acetone-soaked cotton balls and secure them to your nails with pieces of tinfoil, creating a finger wrap.
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After you remove the finger wrap, start removing a layer of the polish using a wooden nail stick. Repeat the acetone treatment if needed.
After a few more minutes of acetone, use the nail stick to remove another layer of polish. Make sure you are taking off the polish and not scraping your actual nail.
Its a very, very long process as you can only work on one hand at a time, Colley said. It needs to be done with patience and in different layers.
Your polish should lift with the acetone treatment, but Colley said its important to know when to stop.
As long as youre using an orangewood stick and not filing on the actual nail, you should be OK, she said.
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If you have a Shellac manicure, Colley said you can also use a removal kit made by the brand.
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Myth Or Fact: Does Gel Ruin Your Nails
You may have heard that after some women get their gel nails removed, they find their nails in very poor condition. Thus, they put the blame on the coating. But, does gel ruin your nails? Actually, it is not. If you apply and remove gel polish correctly, then nothing can hurt your nails. However, if you rip off the coating or pick at it, you risk tearing off the top layer or even a piece of your nail. As a result, your nail becomes feeble and fine.
Why Should I Be Careful Taking Off Acrylic Or Gel Nails
If you peel off your false nails without using one of these methods, you risk scraping off the top layers of your delicate nails.
This can lead to breakages or unsightly white patches on your cuticles.
Scrubbing at your nails without caution could also lead to them becoming coarse, dry and flaky.
This affects the skin texture, making any future manicures look a lot less polished.
Alternatively, if you want to avoid risking it yourself, you can maintain them for as long as possible simply by giving them a fresh coat of paint with a little extra detail.
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How To File Your Gel Polish Off
Bonus: A Few Products To Make Your Life Easier Next Time
The process of removing gel nail polish isnt exactly the hardest thing in the world, but hey, sometimes you want to streamline the whole ordeal even more. There are sets with everything you need to take off your gels, as well as handy products to troubleshoot some of the more annoying parts of the process. Below, find our recommendations for taking your gel removal to the next level.
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How Do You Get Gel Nail Polish Off With Out Acetone
Do not have acetone? There are methods to take away your gel nail varnish with out acetone however these typically require soaking and peeling off the varnish. This will trigger harm to your pure nail, so is not suggested. One of the best ways to take away gel nail polish is to buff, soak and scrape away the gel utilizing an acetone-based remover.
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One: Gently Buff The Top Of Your Gels
“Start off by buffing the nail,” says Kirsty. When we say gently, we mean very gently, and be careful not to scratch the cuticles and surrounding skin. Always use a buffer with a low ‘grit’, which measures how abrasive the buffer is . This breaks the uppermost seal of the gel formula, to allow for the nail polish remover to penetrate more effectively. “You’re not buffing to remove the gel, but to create a rough surface,” explains Kirsty.
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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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Give Your Nails Some Tlc
Acetone is drying, so it’s important to restore moisture to your nails and hands after a DIY removal.
“After removing the gel, use a gentle buffing block to smooth out the surface of the nail,” she says. When the nail is clean, Poole recommends soaking the nails with cuticle oil, like Sally Hansen Vitamin E Oil . After a few minutes, wash your hands and apply an ample amount of hand cream to restore moisture. Do this for several nights and then feel free to polish back up. If you need to reapply gel the same day, try to give your nails a few hours to breathe first.
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Gently Remove The Polish
Remove the foil and lift up the cotton balls to see whats going on with your nails. Some of the layers should be lifted at this point, but you can almost guarantee that there will be some polish left, hanging on for dear life.
If you cant rub the polish off with the acetone-soaked cotton balls, then you can grab a cuticle stick or pusher and use it to gently lift the gel layer off.
If the gel isnt budging, we recommend soaking your nails again. Another 5-10 minutes should do the trick. Whatever you do, just resist the urge to peel and pick .
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Gently Scrape Away The Layers And Soak Again If Needed
Once you give the acetone time to work its magic, grab the file and continue to gently scrape the layers to safely remove the gel polish from your nail. If youve soaked long enough, the first few coats will begin to peel off easily.
If you encounter more resistant layers, youll need to loosen them up with another acetone soak. Repeat the soaking-and-scraping method until youve safely removed all of the color, including the base coat.
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Do moisturize your handsWater alone can be drying to the skin. Keep your hands moisturized to prevent your skin from scaling and cracking. Make sure to rub lotion onto your nails and cuticles, too.
Do use a base coat when wearing nail polishit protects your nailsStay away from polishes that contain toxic chemicals such as dibutyl phthalate , formaldehyde and toluene. These chemicals lead to brittleness, splitting and cracking.
Dont bite, peel or pull hangnailsYou might rip the tissue along with the hangnail. This can cause minor cut alongside the fingernail, allowing bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection. Clip off the hangnail instead.
Dont bite your nailsPlenty of germs lurk underneath your fingernails, and its difficult to get rid of all them even by washing your hands. Biting your nails increases the risk of catching a cold, developing skin infections around the nail and causing long-term nail damage. Trimming your nails every two weeks is recommended.
Dont peel off gel polishIf you pick or peel off gel polish, youre also peeling off layers of nail. This causes thinning of the nail plate and makes them brittle and weak.
How Do You Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home
If you’re doing a DIY beauty hack usually reserved for the professionals, we advise using the same techniques as they would use too. We never recommend attempting to peel old gel polish from the nail, as this can cause it to break or become thin. We’ve also detailed the foil method below, as this is more suited to people with dry or sensitive skin, due to minimal contact of the surrounding skin with the acetone.
1.Use a buffer or nail file to remove the fine, top layer of existing nail polish.
2.Soak squares of cotton wool in acetone and place on each nail.
3.Wrap each tip of the finger in foil to keep the cotton wool in place.
4.Keep the wraps on for about 5-20 minutes, depending on how old the polish is and what colour .
5.Gently remove the loosened polish with a specialised scraper or cuticle stick.
6.If its still hard, place the nail back into the foil for a further two minutes, making sure the cotton wool pad is sitting on top of the nail and has adequate acetone
7.Once this is all done and all remnants of the polish have been removed, apply a generous dollop of cuticle oil to each nail to hydrate and restore the vulnerable nail bed and massage in.
8.Do the same with some thick, nourishing hand cream.
PRO TIP: Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before apply the cuticle oil and hand cream, to remove any lingering traces of acetone from your skin, which can be damaging.
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Soak Cottonballs In Nail Polish Remover
While acetone-free nail polish removers may work fine for regular polish, you should probably stick to the strong stuff when removing gel manicures. “I highly recommend an acetone-based remover because it will break down the product quicker,” says Nunez.
Fill a small dish with nail polish remover and soak 10 cotton balls . Cotton balls are also smaller and better fit your nail, which means less harsh acetone on your cuticles.
How To Remove Gel
We know too well the temptation that comes with wanting to pick and peel off your gel polish. That moment of satisfaction will be fleeting, but the damage you inflict on your nails could take weeks to repair. Sarah Gibson Tuttle, CEO and founder of the celeb-favorite nail salon Olive & June, shares the rundown on how to safely remove a gel manicure at home.
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& : Soak It Off & Wrap It Up
There are two ways you can do this next part.
The first option is to pour acetone into a small dish and soak your fingers in the acetone for 10-15 minutes. To make the process even faster, we recommend placing your small dish of acetone into a bigger bowl with warm water. Warming up the acetone will allow it to penetrate the product faster and make your removal process much easier.
The second option is to soak your cotton balls in the acetone instead. One by one, place an acetone-soaked cotton ball on top of your nail. Grab a small piece of foil and wrap it around your fingertip to secure the cotton ball to your nail. Gently press the foil, so it forms to your fingertip. Allow your nails to soak for 10-15 minutes.
Pro Tip: Cut your foil during the prep phase, and use plain, non-moisturizing cotton balls
Why Its So Hard To Remove
While many nail polish brands may use the term gel, true gel nail polish involves applying a base coat followed by several thin layers of polish to give the nails a chosen color.
After each layer is applied its cured or hardened under either a light-emitting diode or an ultraviolet light, which sparks a chemical reaction that causes the polish to harden more than traditional polish. And its why another name for it is nail lacquer.
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Cant Get To The Salon Tricks And Products To Help You Look Good Even In A Lockdown
Soak your cotton triangles generously in acetone polish remover, then pop them on your nails before wrapping the whole lot in foil.
Reader, I turned to . The current time we live in is new to most of us it is certainly unprecedented within my lifetime. I worried that recommending nice beauty products during this time might seem in poor taste, or inappropriate, or maybe even insensitive. Reader response when I asked this question on Instagram was a resounding Dont be such an eejit we need escapism for goodness sake.
The requests took two general routes the first was for problem-solving tricks and products that help those of us who might usually visit a salon for nails, hair or other treatments, and now no longer can. The second was just a general appetite for nice things, because we have sufficient unpleasantness to cope with.
Youll need acetone nail polish remover nothing else will do the job
With all this in mind, well start with the practicalities. If you are living with a pair of hands festooned by two-week gel polish which has been there far longer than two weeks and the regrowth is starting to grind your gears, you can remove it yourself.