How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

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Gel nail polish is nice because it lasts longer than regular nail polish and you can get all sorts of designs and nice colors to them that don’t have to be constantly reapplied. However, there will come a time when you really want to get it off, such as when it starts cracking and flaking. If this happens to you and getting to a manicurist to them redone is not an option, you can remove the gel nail polish at home. It’s important to be very careful when doing this that you don’t damage your natural nails. NEVER try to peel gel nail polish as you can severely damage your natural nails and you’ll probably be left with a mess all over your nails anyway!

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish

Acetone Bath

The best way to remove gel nail polish is through the use of acetone. Acetone is a chemical compound which can loosen adhesives and so will loosen your gel nail polish and allow you to remove fairly. This is hwy it’s found in nail polish remover, but in order to get rid of nail gel, you’ll need a concentrated amount. It’s pretty easy to do, but it is time consuming.

First, put acetone in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or foil and hold that cover in place with a rubber band. Then warm up the acetone in a larger bowl of warm water. You should only do this for a few minutes as acetone is flammable, so be careful with your heat sources and be gentle in warming it up! If you don’t feel comfortable warming it, you don’t have to, but some people find more success with warm acetone as opposed to room temperature.

Then use a coarse file to scratch the surface of your nail gel. You don’t have to go completely wild; you just need to break through the clear coat so that the acetone can seep to the polish. Once you’ve done that, tear five cotton balls in half and soak them in acetone. Then lay the cotton balls on the nails and wrap a foil square around each finger and let it sit for about seven minutes. After that, you can use an orange metal stick to scrape the gel nail off and it should fall off. If you need to soak your fingers longer, then do so. Some people have to soak for upwards of an hour to get the really stubborn adhesives off! It really depends on what was put on your nails.

Once the gel color is gone, you can wash your hands and smooth out the spotty clear layer with a buffer. Then do your clean up-shaping, dust clearing-and repaint them if you like.

A couple of notes: If you have sensitive skin, use petroleum jelly to protect the skin before you use the cotton swab on your fingers. And if you have very sturdy skin, you can always dip your nails directly into the acetone, but for no more than thirty minutes. You should also make sure to use a lotion to moisturize your hands after you’re done because acetone dries the skin.

File Off the Nail Gels

The other way you can remove nail gels is to file them off. This isn’t the best way to do it because it takes a long time and you have to be very careful that you don’t damage the nails or accidentally hit your skin! However, if you have no acetone and no choice, this is an option.

First, trim your nails as short as possible or use a coarse file to grind them down. Then file down the surface of the nails using a coarse grit of between 150 and 180 grit. Be VERY CAREFUL and work in crosshatches so that your filing is even and keep moving to different areas so you don’t get a burning sensation anywhere. Keep clearing the dust as you go so that you can tell when you’re getting close to the natural nail. Once you can see the ridges in your nails and you don’t have much dust, use a fine-grit file to get rid of the rest of the gel. Be extremely gentle and you will likely damage your nails a little as you go. Then condition your nails with a buffer and moisturize with a lotion or oil.

This is not the best way, but it’s better than nothing.

You should never peel off or bite off your nail gels as you can severely damage the nail and you really won’t be able to get all of the gel off anyway. If your nails are looking that awful, it’s time to see a manicurist!

Gel nail polish is a convenient way to make sure your nails look lovely for a while; it’s certainly easier than constantly reapplying color! However, you have to take careful care to make sure that you remove the gel properly and you don’t damage the nail. It’s always a good idea to wait a few days after removing the gel before putting more on to give your nails a chance to recuperate. Enjoy!

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