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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Here’s What You Need To Remove A Gel Manicure:
- Hydrating Oil: CND Solar Oil
There are also removal kits available, like this Red Carpet Manicure version and these nail polish remover soak off foils, but these options can be pricier than having your gel polish removed at the salon.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, carve out about 30 minutes for the whole process, since you’ll need to soak and file your nails. Find a well-ventilated place, either near an open window or a fan so you don’t breath in too much acetone. Finally, settle in with your favorite podcast and get started.
How To Remove Your Gel Nails At Home
Be Sure Your Nails Are Ready
Before you even begin considering the removal of your gel nails, Sally Hansen ambassador Hannah Lee, tells NYLON that you should first make sure your gel is ready for removal, noting that gel can usually last for two weeks. If you notice nail growth or that your gel has lifted, that’s a signal that your polish is ready for removal. She specifically suggested looking out for lifting, saying, “That allows for moisture to get under the gel and possibly create bacterial growth.”
Gather Your Tools
According to Molly Romah, lead nail tech at Chillhouse, you’ll want to begin by ensuring you have everything needed for removal. For gel nails, she recommends having pure acetone, cotton, a nail file and aluminum foil. As an added bonus, you may also want to make sure your Netflix is nearby, as the soaking process may seem to go a lot faster when you have something to watch.
Time To File And Soak
According to Lee, you’ll want begin the process by using a coarse nail file to carefully, and slowly, file down the top layer of gel. “You want to focus on removing the top coat and not the actual polish, so make sure to do this slowly,” she added.
Soak your nails for about 15 minutes and then check on the progress. “The gel polish should look as if it is falling off the nail and lifted,” Romah said. “The remaining polish should be able to be removed with little to no pressure. If not, go back and soak for another five minutes and try again.”
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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.
Easy Ways How To Remove Gel Polish At Home Without Acetone
Gel Polishes are extremely durable and long-lasting when compared to regular nail polishes. But at the same time, gel polishes are much more difficult to remove.
This is why most individuals soak their gel polish nails in acetone for long periods of time.
But prolonged exposure to acetone can be very damaging to your natural nails. You see acetone is a very strong chemical and will severely dehydrate both your nails and skin. Citation.
Now, thankfully they are other removal methods you can use. So in this article, I am gonna walk you through several different ways to easily and safely take off gel polish without using acetone.
4 Ways How to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without using Acetone are:
Table Of Content
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Soak Your Nails In Acetone Using Cotton Balls And Aluminum Foil
Acetone is stronger and more effective than non-acetone nail polish remover, making it exactly what you need to remove your gel nail polish. Drench some cotton balls with the stuff, then hold them in place on your nails by wrapping each finger with aluminum foil. According to Yankee, this traps in heat to help the gel break down faster. Gel polish formulas vary in strength, so the wait time can be anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. If you dont get it exactly right, you can always rewrap and keep on soaking.
Yankee’s expert tip: Sometimes its best to do one hand at a time at home. I like to start with the dominant hand to get the toughest part out of the way. So if youre a lefty, begin soaking the nails on your left hand, and then your right hand will be a breeze. Its a small change, but it makes a huge difference, she says.
Cut And File Your Nails
Before you apply any polish, you need to make sure your nails are prepped and ready to go. Start by cutting your nailsyoull want them all equal lengthsand then file to smooth out any rough edges. Pro tip: Glass nail files are great for getting a smooth finish, since they’re a bit more gentle than traditional emery boards .
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Why Are Gels Harder To Remove
If youre new to using gel nail polish, you might be wondering why youve scrubbed and scrubbed but it just wont budge with your standard remover. Gel polish is cured under a UV light which is the secret to that super staying power. But naturally, this makes it more stubborn.
Cutting, filing or peeling off the gel coating might seem like a quick fix, but these methods can not only damage the nail underneath, theyre also not that effective. So, how can you remove gels quickly without harming your lovely natural nails?
For the most professional results, we recommend heading to a salon to soak off gel nails. But with the right know-how, its possible to bring your nails back to basics at home.
Wrap Each Nail In Foil
Douse cotton balls in 100 percent acetone and place one on each nail. According to Allure, the cotton balls hold more remover than pads and better fit the nail shape to make removing gel polish go faster. Then wrap each finger in a three-inch square of foil. This will hold the acetone-soaked cotton on the nail and keep the solution from evaporating, Soon explains.
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How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home Step By Step
Okay, it’s been two weeks, and while your gel polish is still pretty perfect, it’s time for it to go. If you have the funds, Herman recommends heading to the salon, where they can offer professional gel removal with the help of special tools, like electronic files and warming mitts.However, if you are looking to save money, or you have a DIY spirit, you may wonder how to take off gel nail polish at home. It can be done in one of two ways.
The Owners Of Dc Nail Salon Group Nailsaloon Share Their Go
If you were one of the wise ones who got a gel manicure before the pandemic closed all non-essential businesses, your nails are probably just grown out enough now to start annoying you.
Removing a gel manicure at home can be tricky, though, so we reached out to the owners of DC nail salon group Nailsaloon Andréa Vieira and Claudia Diamante for their tips. The duo recommends being patient and gentle while following these steps so as to minimize damage to your nails. The good news? You probably have a lot of time on your hands , and much of this can be done while bingeing Netflix or on a Zoom call.
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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.
Is It Worth Doing Gel Nails At Home
Well, that depends on what you’re looking to get out of the process. One of the best things about doing your own gel nails at home is that it’s cheaper than going to the salonespecially if you get them regularly. Professional gel manicures usually start at $35 , whereas DIY kits start can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 and can be used as frequently as you like.
That said, if you’re a total newb when it comes to painting and filing your nails, you might want to leave your gel manis to the pros, since the process does require a steady hand and a decent amount of patience.
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Why Not Use Acetone
It is true that acetone is a popular and powerful chemical for removing polish. It is definitely effective, but it is also very harsh. It can remove natural oils from your skin and make your skin and nails look very white. In other words, using acetone will dry out your skin. It is, therefore, important to know the other methods of gel polish removal that do not use acetone. However, it is worth pointing out that whether you use acetone or a non-acetone method to get rid of nail polish or gel nails, you should always moisturize your hands afterwards.
Make It Easier To Remove
If you want to make it easier to remove your gel nail polish, here are a few tips:
- Resist the urge to peel off the polish. While it might seem like a safe alternative to using acetone, it can actually cause more damage in the long term. Repeatedly peeling off manicures can cause onycholysis, a common nail condition caused by the nail lifting away from the nail bed.
- File your nails before soaking them. It doesnt seem like it will make a difference, but it can require more soaking and scraping if you skip this step.
- Try using a different brand of gel polish. Certain brands are easier to remove than others, but that typically means they may not last as long. Ask your nail technician for their recommendations on the easiest brands to remove.
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How To File Your Gel Polish Off
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:
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How Do I Remove Acrylic Nails
Trim start by carefully clipping your acrylics, cutting them as close as possible to your real nail length.
Buff like with the gel removal, grab a nail buffer and rough up the surface of your polish until the shine is completely gone.
Soak next up, fill a nail soaking tray with acetone, then place your nails in it for five to 10 minutes.
Remove gently test a nail with a cuticle pusher. If nothing shifts, re-dip your nails for a further two to five minutes, then gently try again. Repeat the process until your acrylics have completely soaked off.
Aftercare just a few finishing touches to go! Rub away any stubborn pieces of acrylic with a nail buffer before filing into a shape of your choice. Round, oval, square you decide. Now wash your hands and apply cuticle oil and hand cream.
See that wasnt so hard, was it? Looks like youve nailed it.
French Girl Cuticle Oil
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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Secure Cotton Balls To Your Fingernails With Aluminum Foil
Place an acetone-soaked cotton ball on top of your nail, then wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around your nail to hold the cotton ball in place. Once all ten digits are wrapped up, sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes will the nail polish remover does its thing. Once you remove the foil, the nail polish should look like it’s fall off of your nail.
Soaking Off The Gel Nails
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File The Shine Off Your Gel Polish
You know that clear, glossy top coat you get at the end of your gel manicure to seal in your polish? It’s time for that to go. “Removing the top coat of your manicure will help accelerate the removal time,” says Nunez. “Youre essentially giving your remover a head start and one less coat to break down during the soak off time.”
Use a nail file to buff away the surface layer of manicure. When you think you’ve removed the last of your top coat, place your hand under a light and inspect your nails. Any remaining shiny patches will reveal where you still need to file. But heads up: If you start seeing spots of natural nail, you’ve gone too far. “You still want to see some color on the nails before you soak, to ensure you are protecting the integrity of your natural nails,” says Nunez.
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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