7 Easy Ways to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without Destroying the Nails!

7 Easy Ways to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without Destroying the Nails!

There are many benefits of getting a gel manicure, and seeing those can light up our mood for the whole day. The happiness that these polish is giving us are truly priceless. Who doesn’t want to have two weeks of chip-free wear and glossy shine? Of course, none! There are many benefits of getting a gel manicure, but removing the LED-cured lacquer is another story. Once the free edge around the cuticle starts to lift, it takes all of our self-control trying but sometimes we’re failing not to rip them on our own, that can cause major damage to our natural nail bed underneath.

Whether you're wearing a gel manicure from the salon or done on your own, we've broken down the best and easiest methods to effectively remove gel polish without destroying your nails health in the process. 


Your Gel Manicure Removal Tool Kit Includes:

  • Coarse Nail File
  • 100% Acetone
  • Cotton Balls
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Orangewood Stick
  • Cuticle Oil with Vitamin E 


  1. Protect the skin around your nails with cuticle oil, cream, or Vaseline.

Gel polish and acetone can give us dry looking nails after every application or removal. And since you'll be soaking your nails in acetone in the process, it's important to protect the skin around the nail before getting started. You can use a cuticle oil or cream, or even Vaseline to provide a secure protective layer.


  1. Buff off the shiny top layer of your nail polish with a coarse nail file to help the acetone penetrate.

The next step is to buff off the shiny top layer of your nail polish with a coarse nail file. The main purpose of this step is to break open the top layer of gel to help acetone penetrate or stick on your nails. Go slowly and stop once you’ve removed the natural shine and glossiness of the polish.


  1. Soak cotton balls in 100% Acetone and place them on top of your nails.

Next, soak a small piece of cotton or a cotton ball in acetone, and place it on top of each nail. Just make sure you’re using a 100% pure acetone, and not the standard "nail polish remover" sold at your local drugstore.  Regular nail polish remover contains acetone but is usually diluted and not pure. You can probably remove gel nails with a regular polish remover, but make sure to allow your nails to soak for a longer time than usual. You should use pure acetone to effectively and quickly break down the gel polish. A bottle of 100% Pure Acetone will do the trick.


  1. Secure the cotton in its place with aluminum foil.

To hold the cotton or cotton ball in its place, grab a roll of tin foil available at your home and cut them into small squares. Then, wrap the foil on each finger to secure the cotton ball in place. If you don’t feel comfortable using the foil method, you can use nail clip caps / nail clamps. Just place the cotton on top of nails and clip them so it won’t slip away while moving.


  1. Or, skip number 4 and soak your nails in a bowl of acetone instead.

This takes a bit longer than the foil method, but surely works. This can be done especially when you don't have any foil or cotton balls available at home. Grab two clean bowls, make sure that the one is slightly larger than the other one. Fill the larger bowl with the right amount of warm water, enough to place the smaller one inside as you would with a double-boiler, and pour in some acetone. This is recommended because we all know that acetone is highly-flammable, and should not be heated with a microwave or stove. Allow to heat for a minute or two, then place your hand inside the acetone and allow the gels to gently soak off.


  1. Wait for about 10-15 minutes, until the corners of the polish come loose from the nail.

Just sit, relax, and let the acetone do its job. If you’ll stick on soaking method, wait until you’ve seen the polish coming off from the nail, and while your nails are still soaked in the acetone, grab your orangewood stick and begin to unstick the gel on each nail gently until it is completely removed. 


If you’ll be using the foil and cotton method, the gel polish should slide off with the cotton ball when you remove the foil. Just apply a little pressure to remove them off. If some polish residue or marks still remain stuck on your nail, use an orangewood stick to work on it. If the gel polish is really stubborn, soak for another five minutes and then try again, remember patience is the key! Don't scrape off the polish until it's fully softened, force can damage your nails.


  1. Give your nails some TLC.

Acetone can be really drying, so it's important to restore the moisture of your nails and hands after the removal. After removing the gel, use a gentle buffing cube to smoothen out the surface of the nail. When the nail is clean, apply some cuticle oil and let them soak for a while. After a few minutes, wash your hands and apply enough hand cream to maintain the moisture of the skin. Do this for several nights and then feel free to apply another polish style or color. If you’ll reapply gel the same day of removal, just try to give your nails a few more hours to breathe first before the next application.

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