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How To Take Off Gel Nail Polish At Home

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home: A Beginners Guide

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

Feeling anxious about damaging your nails while removing gel nail polish at home by yourself? You’re not alone.

This is our complete guide on how to remove gel nail polish going into every nitty-gritty detail so you won’t need to visit your nail technician.

These are the removal steps we take here at S& L Beauty Company, which has allowed us to keep our nail beds healthy for an immediate gel manicure right after the other. We also touch on common mistakes to avoid that lead to brittle nails.

In other words, theyre proven to work.

Below are is a complete step-by-step guide on how to remove gel nail polish:

Before you begin, to remove gel nail polish you will need these items:

  • A nail file
  • A cuticle pusher
  • Cotton balls or cotton pads
  • 100% pure acetone
  • Give Your Nails Some Well

    A long acetone adventure can be extremely harsh and drying, so treat your clean nails to some TLC: “Soak your nails in coconut oil for 5 to 7 minutes, then apply a deeply hydrating cuticle oil on your nail beds,” says Choi. Finish up with a rich hand cream, like Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

    It’s best to give your nails a break for at least a few days before your next manicure, but if you can’t stand having bare nails, you can apply a strengthening treatment, like Soon’s HyperRepair Treatment. It’s formulated with vitamins C, E, and B5 to hydrate, reinforce, and nourish brittle nails.

    For more stories like this, newsletter.

    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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    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!*

    Apply Cuticle Oil On Your Nail

    How to remove gel nail polish at home

    Removing gel polish with acetone is damaging to your nails and skin. The acetone dries your skin and makes your nails coarse to touch.

    Apply cuticle oil to rehydrate your cuticles to keep your nails healthy and strong.

    Then, massage the cuticle oil to completely cover your cuticles.

    You can never use too much cuticle oil. Apply cuticle oil as frequently as three times a day daily if you feel its worth keeping your nails and skin in perfect shape.

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    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.

    Ways To Remove Gel Nail Polish Acrylic Nails At Home

    For anyone who has trouble making a normal manicure last more than three days, discovering the magic of gel nails can be life changing. But the worst part about gel nails is that moment when you need to take them off and you just can’t.

    The options are basically stab and scrape and peel your fingernails with various objects for what feels like hours or head back to the salon to pay someone else to take them off. With social distancing and self-quarantining for coronavirus, the latter isn’t even an option right now.

    So, I tested three methods to see if there was a better way.

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    How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home

  • File your nails: The point of this step is to gently penetrate the surface of the gel polish so the acetone can soak in more easily. You don’t need to do more than gently sand the surface to remove the shine. We recommend the ClassyLady Professional Glass Nail File.
  • Protect your skin and cuticles: Acetone is extremely drying, so take the extra time to coat the area around your nails with a thick cream or oil to protect your skin. You don’t need to go overboard, just a drop will do. We like the Deborah Lippman Nail Cuticle Repair Cream.
  • Soak the cotton balls: Fill a small bowl with OPI’s Nail Polish Remover and soak 10 cotton balls in it.
  • Wrap your nails in aluminum foil: Tear 10 3-inch squares of aluminum foil, one for each finger. Then take a soaked cotton ball and wrap your fingertips. This can be tricky, so we suggest wrapping your non-dominant hand first to make it easier. Now, sit back and relax for about 15 minutes.
  • Check your progress: Peek inside one of the foil wrappers. If the gel looks loosened and falling off the nail you’re ready to move on to the next step. If not, wrap the foil back up and wait another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Removal: Remove the foil and apply slight pressure to the nail. The gel should slide off easily with the cotton ball, and any residue can be removed with a wooden nail stick. We recommend Adecco’s Nail Art Orange Wood Sticks.
  • Apply A Nail Strengthening Top Coat

    The Right Way to Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home | Beauty How To

    After I remove the gel polish, I like to apply a strengthening top coat to give my poor nails a little boost. After all, gel can have a pretty harsh effect on them.

    Ive also been seeing this Hard As Hoof Strengthening Cream everywhere and it has incredible reviews so I may try that next! It claims to help reguvinate your nails and cuticles with calcium, vitamins & hydrogenated jojoba oil. Aaaaand its coconut scented :).

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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 .

    Keep Reading: The top nail polish myths debunked

    Four: Nourish And Replenish

    Your nails will be feeling a little delicate from the gels and the acetone, so make sure you replenish lost moisture and support healthy growth with a rich oil. We love Loubelle Dadi’Oil , which contains 21 nourishing natural oils and is a firm fave among the pros, or you can use anything with almond oil in it . Simply add a small drop to each nail and massage it into each nail bed and surrounding cuticle. Follow with a generous dollop of hand cream and bask in your nails’ natural beauty.

    Finally, “it’s a good idea to invest in a nail strengthener to apply once a week,” says Kirsty. “This can prevent breakage and protect from any further damage caused by the gels.”

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    File Off The Top Layer Of Your Gel Manicure

    Before you break out the nail polish remover, you will need to take off the clear, glossy top coat that’s applied at the end of your gel manicure. “This will help the acetone penetrate the polish, making it easier and quicker to remove,” says Soon. “That’s key because less time soaking in acetone means less damage to your nails.” Using a coarse nail file , sand down the top layer of polish until it looks matte and powdery.

    If your not sure whether you’ve removed all of the top coat, place your hand under a light and inspect your nails, says Nunez. “If you see any shiny spots, that’s where you still have top coat onand still need to file.” Go slowly and gently, and, most important, avoid filing all the way to your natural nail surface. “To ensure you are protecting the integrity of your nails, you want to still see some paint color on your nails before you soak,” says Nunez.

    Then Give Yourself A Hydrating Manicure

    How Do You Take Off Gel Nail Polish at Home

    Gently file nails, push back cuticles, and apply a nail strengthener, like CND Rescue RXx Daily Keratin Treatment , which repairs damaged nails with the power of keratin protein and moisturizing jojoba oil. Next, hydrate and harden the cuticles by massaging an oil into each nail for 10 seconds. Try OPI ProSpa Nail & Cuticle Oil , which has a brush-on applicator so you don’t have to get your hands greasy.

    Also Check: How To Get Dip Nails Off At Home Without Acetone

    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.

    Loosen Up The Top Layer With A Coarse Nail File

    The gel topcoat is a tough nearly impermeable layer that seals the color in placethats why gel manicures are able to last for weeks instead of days. Scratching the surface with a coarse nail file will help the acetone to penetrate without a hitch. When filing, apply a light and parallel pressure, Yankee says, which will help you avoid scratching the nail plate underneath.

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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:

  • Cut or tear your tinfoil into 10 medium-sized squares. Each piece should be large enough to wrap completely around your fingertip while holding a small cotton ball against your fingernail.
  • After filing the top of your manicure, soak each cotton ball in acetone, and place it on your fingernail starting with your nondominant hand. Use a piece of tinfoil to secure the cotton-soaked acetone to your nail.
  • Allow your nails to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Check your nails. Once again, the polish should begin to lift away from your nails. This should make it easy for you to gently scrape the polish from your nails with a cuticle stick.
  • Apply a small drop of cuticle oil, if necessary.
  • Remove Your Aluminum Foil Wraps And Any Remaining Polish

    How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

    After your nails have soaked for 15 minutes , slide the aluminum foil and cotton off one finger with a twisting motion. “The polish should look like its falling off the nail and be fairly easy to remove,” says Soon. “If it’s still stuck to the nail, wrap it back up and let it soak longer.” Use a wooden cuticle pusher or orange stick to gently lift any remaining bits of residue off the nail plate, and repeat the process until you have polish-free nails.

    Got some really stubborn spots? That’s a sign you need to do even more soaking. Rewrap the nail, allow the acetone to penetrate for a few more minutes, and try again.

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    Place Cotton Balls On Each Nail

    As you may have guessed, youre then going to grab the remover-soaked cotton balls and place them on top of your nails. Try to make sure that theyre touching as little of your cuticle as possible as it can dry them out. And we want to avoid that.

    Now the method of execution can go two ways. You can either pick up some aluminum foil, which you probably already have laying around, or you can buy these really cool soak-off caps.

    I recently bought a 10-pack for $3.99 and theyre the best purchase ever. Especially if you plan on doing gel manicures often!

    Youre going to grab the cotton ball and place it on top of your gel polish for 15 minutes.

    If you chose aluminum foil: grab a small piece of foil and wrap it around your nail while hugging the cotton ball as firmly as possible so as to hold it in place. You want it to fully cover your nail so that the acetone can do all the work and remove the gel nail polish.

    If you chose the caps: open the cap and enclose the cotton ball + nail

    After 15 minutes, check in on the gel polish to see if it has lifted up and loosened up. If so, youre ready for step four.

    How To Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Acetone

    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.

    Also Check: How To Remove Impress Stick On Nails

    How Do I Remove Gel Nails

    Before you get to work, youll need to get your hands on some acetone. Why not try Sensationail Gel Polish Remover or Sensationail Remover Wraps?

    There are two popular methods for removing gel nails soaking and foils. Well cover soaking first.

    Soaking method

    Buff using a nail buffer, rough up the surface of your gel polish until the shine is completely gone.

    Soak next up, fill a nail soaking tray with acetone, then place your nails in the liquid for five to 10 minutes. Heres a little tip for you stand your bowl of acetone in a slightly bigger bowl of hot water. This should help speed up the process.

    Remove gently test a nail with a cuticle pusher to see if any gel polish has come away. If not, dont stress. Just soak your nails for a further two to five minutes. Once youre ready, remove the gel by gently scraping it with the cuticle pusher. Repeat the process until all the polish is removed.

    Aftercare youre almost there! Finish off by buffing the nails to remove any residue, then filing them into a shape of your choice. Once youve washed your hands, re-hydrate with a splash of hand lotion and a touch of cuticle oil.

    Foils method

    This is ideal for people with dry or sensitive skin as theres less contact with the acetone.

    Buff like with soaking, youll start by roughing up the surface of your gel polish until the shine is completely gone.

    How To Remove Gel

    Lulu and Sweet Pea: DIY Gel Nail Removal

    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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    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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    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 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.


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