How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home Is it possible to remove gel nail polish at home? Yes, but not with any old acetone. Salons use UV light to cure and harden the polish onto your nails, so you need a heavy-duty remover to break down the polymer chains. A few excess wraps of acetone-soaked cotton or aluminum foil will get the job done.
“We always recommend people try to take off their gel polish at home,” says Jin Soon Choi, founder of JINsoon hand and foot spas in New York City. “But be careful that you’re not scrubbing off layers of your nails.” Try one of these methods for a safe, salon-quality removal:
1. Use an electronic nail file to gently buff away the topcoat (the shiny part) of your manicure.
2. Soak a cotton ball or pad in pure acetone and place it directly on your nail. Wrap each finger in aluminum foil or plastic wrap so that the polish won’t evaporate while it’s soaking. For dark polishes, let them sit for 10 minutes; lighter shades should take 15 minutes minimum.
3. Press on the soaked cotton pad with a cuticle pusher or orange stick wrapped
You’ve had your fill of gel manis and you’re ready for a change—which means removing the gel nail polish. But don’t head to the salon just yet. There’s a way to remove gel nail polish at home, and it doesn’t involve soaking your fingertips in an acetone bath.
“You can remove gel polish at home using a regular manicure kit,” says Los Angeles-based manicurist Natalie Minerva of Nail Swag. “Using the right technique, you will take off the color without damaging your nails.”
Here’s how to remove gel nail polish at home:
1. Use 100 percent acetone, which is a highly effective solvent (it’s also used in some nail polish removers). But keep in mind that acetone dries out nails, so use it carefully and sparingly.
2. Start by cutting 10 cotton balls into quarters; the smaller pieces will fit more easily on each finger. Soak one piece in acetone until it’s completely wet, then wrap it around the tip of your nail like a little cap.
3. Place a square of aluminum foil over that cotton ball and press down firmly so that it sticks to your finger. Press gently but firmly with your other hand to make sure it
You can easily remove gel nail polish at home with nothing but acetone and aluminum foil, says manicurist Jenna Hipp. “It’s really simple to do,” she says, and it’s cheaper than a trip to the salon. Here’s how:
– First, buff your fingernails with a coarse file so the polish is easier to remove.
– Next, you’ll want to wrap each nail in an acetone-soaked cotton ball (or use a gel remover wrap) and then cover them in foil to keep the acetone from evaporating. Wait 10 minutes before removing them.
– Finally, take off the foil and rub off any remaining polish using a cuticle pusher or orange stick. You can also use a nail buffer or fine file to smooth out any rough spots on your nails.
Hipp says it’s important to follow these steps exactly because failing to buff or soak your nails long enough could damage your nails or cuticles. “If you try to rush it, you won’t get all of the polish off,” says Hipp. “You don’t want to leave any residue underneath.”
Gel nail polish is the best thing that’s ever happened to manicures. It lasts longer than regular nail polish, and it’s much easier to apply and remove than acrylics. With gel nails, we can skip the nail salon and give ourselves a long-lasting manicure in the comfort of our own homes.
The only downside? Removing gel nail polish is a little more work than removing regular nail polish. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with the easiest way to safely remove gel nails at home, so you can get those gorgeous gel nails whenever you want—without breaking the bank.
Removing a gel manicure at home can sometimes seem like a scary prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is the right type of nail polish remover and a little bit of patience!
Why do you need specific nail polish remover to take off gel?
Regular nail polish remover isn’t made to dissolve the bonds between your natural nails and the gel manicure. Gel has to be cured under an LED or UV light in order for it to harden and last for longer than 14 days (which is what regular nail polish lasts), so it needs something stronger than straight acetone to break down that bond.
How do you remove gel nail polish at home?
Step 1: Remove all the shine from your nails by buffing them with a fine grit buffer. This will allow the acetone to penetrate through the top layer of your gel manicure more easily.
If you’re like me, and spend most of your time on the internet watching beauty tutorials on YouTube, you probably know that gel nail polish is the hottest trend in nail care right now. It can last for as long as two or three weeks without chipping, making it a favorite among ladies who love their nails to be done.
The only problem with gel nails is that when the time comes to remove them, things get a bit tricky. And by tricky, I mean downright impossible. At least, that’s what it seems like if you try to do it yourself at home with traditional nail polish remover. It just doesn’t work!
So, how do you remove gel nail polish at home?
Well, you could wait until your next manicure appointment and have the professional do it for you. However, this usually means having to pay extra cash (well into the double digits) just to get your nails back to their natural state. That doesn’t sound too appealing to me…
Or you could go out and buy those special kits for removing gel polish that cost a small fortune but don’t even include everything you need. If you bring up this topic on any of my social media channels or ask one of my
Gel nail polish is made with a type of methacrylate polymer that gives gel nails their durability. Gels are typically cured under UV or LED light, making them different from traditional polishes that air dry. The downside? Removing gel nail polish can be tricky and time-consuming.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick to removing gel nail polish without damaging your regular manicure. But there are things you can do to make the process less painful.
Sara Bir, author of the cookbook Tasty Every Day and former senior food editor at Sunset magazine, has been wearing gel nail polish for years, so she’s tried just about every method for removing it herself. We asked her to share what she’s learned along the way.
What You’ll Need: