How to safely remove gels at home - without wrecking your nails!

Jul. 30
Maybe you've invested in the equipment to do your own gel nails at home, or perhaps you're sporting an old gel mani or pedi that you just want to be gone without the effort and expense of visiting a salon? Let's look at the best way to remove gel polish at home without ruining your natural nails.
Whatever you do, DON'T be tempted to pick or peel off your old gel polish - it will take part of your nail with it and damage your nail bed, leaving you with unsightly weak nails that will take months to grow out. Instead, by following our step by step guide, you can be rid of that old color while protecting the natural nail plate.
Preparation is key! First of all, make sure you have a well ventilated place to sit, plenty of time (allow at least half an hour), and that you've gathered together your equipment, as follows:
  • Cotton balls 
  • Foil, cut into squares big enough to wrap around your fingers
  • 100% pure acetone (plus a bowl)
  • A nail file 
  • A nail buffer
  • A cuticle pusher or orange stick
  • Cuticle oil 
  • Hand lotion
  • A nail strengthening treatment 
It's best to deal with one hand at a time,  starting with your non-dominant hand. You'll thank me for this later!
GENTLY use the nail file to rough up the top coat of your gel mani. You're NOT looking to file off the color at this stage, just to break the shiny top coat so the acetone can penetrate and soften the gel color to make it easier to remove. If you can see your natural nail, you've gone too far!
Apply cuticle oil to your cuticles to protect them from the harsh acetone.
Soak ten cotton balls in a bowl of 100% pure acetone until fully saturated. Don't be tempted to use standard nail polish remover as it's just not strong enough for the job.
Place the cotton balls on each finger of one hand, and wrap with foils. Wait for 5-10 minutes before testing one nail to see if the polish has softened. If not, soak for another 2 minutes. If it is soft, gently push the gel off your nails using the cuticle pusher/orange stick until it's all gone. You shouldn't need to scrape too hard - if you do, soak it for a little bit longer (thumbs can be super stubborn!).
Once the color is removed, gently buff the surface of your nails with the buffer to smooth before washing to remove the residue.
Repeat with your other hand (now you know why I told you to do one hand at a time!!!).
Finish by moisturizing your hands and nail beds with a nourishing cuticle oil and your favorite hand lotion. Acetone can be incredibly harsh and drying, so keep on moisturizing over the next few days..To keep your nails strong and healthy, apply a nail strengthening treatment for extra protection once you're finished.
Same rules apply for removing a gel pedi, although you can do both feet at once, and you may need to soak with acetone for a slightly longer time to soften.
If you follow these steps, you're sure to nail it! 😉
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