Nail Care 101: How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home

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You can actually learn how to remove gel nail polish at home. All you need is to follow these three simple and easy DIY tricks.

Gel manicures might be more durable and shinier than acrylic. But when they break off unexpectedly, you might be tempted to pick and peel them off yourself. This can further cause damage to the nails, and take time for them to repair. Lucky for you, DIY is also possible. You can actually learn how to remove gel nail polish at homesafely.

And, with a bit of patience and time, you can remove gel nails in three easy steps!

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home Safely

1. File ‘Em Down

The first step if to file your nails down. Use a fresh nail file to remove gel nails at home, which is similar to doing it at the salon.

Just file the broken nail down to the desired shape, and leave it alone after. You can remove it entirely by slowly filing away just the topcoat seal. The only condition is that you should have a filer that isn’t too harsh on your nails. Try this nail file by Sephora that does the job perfectly.

how to remove gel nail polish at home

After the polish comes off, moisturise your nail beds with a cuticle serum or an oil. | Image courtesy: Stock image 

2. Soak It Off

This step is slightly more challenging. But not impossible. Let your nails soak as you wet them in acetone. Do this for each of your hands one-by-one. Then wrap them in foil and secure the tips.

Get them soaking for ten to 15 minutes, or longer if the polish does not come off easily. Wrap hands in a warm towel for a spa experience and to speed up the soaking process. You not only remove the gel nails, but also give yourself a free hand spa. Winning!

3. Remove Gently

Is your polish still not coming off? Well, place a fresh acetone-soaked cotton ball on the nail.

After the polish comes off, moisturise your nail beds with a cuticle serum or an oil such as CND’s Solar Oil. This is also an effective way especially if you just learnt how to remove gel nail polish at home. 

Hard Gels Vs Soft Gels

In order to acer how to remove gel nail polish at home, you should best be ready with all the knowledge about gel nails. This helps you understand which step is best for your nails. 

Typically, you can get two different types of gels in salons: hard and soft gels. Hard gels are immune to acetone and they need to be filed off. On the other hand, you can remove the newer ‘soak-off’ soft gels without aggressive scraping.

Incidentally, hard gels can damage much more than soft gels. But beware, even soft gels can result in some problems even with the 10 minute or more acetone soak.

Why Are Gel Nails More Damaging 

Sad to say, but all gels are still relatively damaging for your nails, and may cause nail thinning. It is still not unclear to find out the reason, but it could be attributed to the acetone soak used to remove the gel. Alternatively, it can also be the gel polish’s actual chemical composition.

Another reason could be not removing the gel properly, as it totally dries out the nails, even scrubbing at regular polish with some acetone.

The removal process contains most of the damage, combined with not following proper instructions or mixing and using two different brands.

But Worry Not. All Is Not Lost!

Acknowledging the possibility nail damage done, you should try to lessen the risk with a few tricks.

For instance, you can ask the nail salon before the manicure how to remove the product. You can also ensure that they use no gritty file, sander, or other tools that are usually used to scrape off nail gels roughly.

This way, gel polish should remove easily after soaking in acetone. Just remember that if your gel nails are not taken care off properly, it can result in huge and irreversible damage to your nails and cuticles. So be sure to always keep your hands moisturised and use a nail gel or serum to add strength, both pre and post the removal process.

You should become your best advocate in this process, as no one else bothers about it as much as you do.

Also read: Choosing The Wrong Salon Can Damage Your Health

(All images courtesy: Unsplash)

Written by

Melia Widjaja