How to remove gel nails

Posted by Rachelle Laplante on


I had gel nails for almost 3 weeks and they still looked good but I was getting tired of it and didn't want to go to the salon.

Gel manicures allow us to wear polish for weeks at a time without experiencing a single chip. But many of us have experienced a bad removal — from peeling or sanding off the polish — which can make your nails thin and fragile and can even break them. So what is the right way to remove gels safely, without causing damage?

How to gently yet effectively remove your gel nails from home. The best way to safely remove your gel polish does take a bit of time and patience, but it will help to keep your nails in good shape.
A foolproof step-by-step guide to getting it all off without damaging your nails.

Step 1: Gather your tools
You'll need 100% pure acetone nail polish remover, a coarse nail file, cuticle oil or cuticle cream, aluminum foil, cotton balls, wooden cuticle pushers, coconut oil, and a rich hand cream.

Step 2: File off the shiny top coat
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.

Step 3: Soak your nails in acetone wraps
Soak the cotton ball in acetone. Place it on top of the nail, then wrap the nail with aluminum foil. Wrap only one hand at a time. You can use the other hand while you’re doing the removal.
Let the wraps sit for about 10 minutes. (Soak hard gel for 20 minutes.)

Step 4: Scrape off the gel nail polish
You’ll know you’ve soaked long enough when you see the edges of the polish curling up. “When the gel is obviously breaking down or sliding off, gently use a rubber-ended cuticle pusher to clean the polish off your nail plate. This is the critical point in how to remove gel nail polish. Aggressive pushing and rubbing here will damage the nail bed. If you have to use more than gentle pressure, you’ll need to repeat the soaking step.

Step 5: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
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 like coconut oil. 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. For an extra dose of hydration, apply your favorite hand cream every time you wash your hands.

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