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How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Yourself at Home

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish

Gel Nail Polish is great if you want to keep your nails looking professional and chip free for 2 weeks or sometimes longer.

Using the gel formula creates a tougher surface and therefore resists chips and means you don’t have to redo your nails every other day.  You can simply wait until your nail grows out or you want a change before removing it.

There is a downside to the gel nail polish and that is because it is tougher, it doesn’t come off easy.  If you try to pick at it and peel it off, it will damage your nail beds and will even peel a layer of your nail off with it.  Most women will head to the manicurist and have it removed for a fee, but you can remove gel nail polish yourself at home with just a few simple tools and save the money.

Removing Gel Nail Polish

You need to set aside at least 30 minutes to do this, so don’t be in a rush for this project.  

What you will need:

Nail Polish Remover that is pure acetone

Super Nail 16 oz. Pure Acetone
Amazon Price: $11.80 $4.59 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 5, 2013)

Tin foil

Cotton Balls

Cuticle Pusher

Old towel for working on

Moisturizer (your nails, cuticles and fingers will be dry)

Method for Gel Nail Polish Removal:

Some people will simply soak their fingertips in the acetone but this is not good for your skin, so it is best to use the cotton ball method and limit how much gets on your skin the best you can. If you soak your full fingertip in the acetone you will see the skin go white and dry.

Gather your supplies, and then take a cotton ball and break it into 5 pieces.  This way you don’t have to soak a large cotton ball with acetone just a small piece that fits right over your nails.

Then cut up pieces of tin foil into squares, enough to cover your entire fingertips (this will hold the cotton ball in place on your nail so it can do its work.

Now you can get started.  Lay your old towel out so that if you spill any acetone you don’t ruin furniture because this stuff will eat through varnish the same way it does your polish.

Take your little piece of cotton ball and soak it with the acetone then place right on your nail bed covering all the polish. 

Now wrap a piece of tin foil around your fingertip and press so as to keep the cotton ball right against your gel nail.

Repeat this for all your fingers. 

Now you need to wait at least 10 minutes from the last one you did.  So look at the time as you finish wrapping that last finger.

Remove Gel Nail Polish

After your ten minutes is up, press down on the nail part and pull the foil cap off.  It should all come off at once and you should see the gel polish gone, or mostly gone.  Do this for your other fingers.

If you have some little tiny pieces left then you can simply take your cuticle pusher and scrape the remaining bits off gently as they should be soft, don’t pick at the bits with sharp instruments or you will damage your nail.  If it is not soft, then repeat the process, but usually after 10 minutes your gel polish will dissolve with the acetone in contact.

After you have made sure all the little bits and any residue are off, take another cotton ball soaked in the acetone and quickly swipe it over all your nails.  This will pick up any residue left and leave your nails looking clean.

Spa Sister White Cotton Overnight Moisture Gloves
Amazon Price: $5.59 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 5, 2013)
These gloves are perfect for moisturizing your hands and fingers after removing gel nail polish.

Moisturize Well After Removing Gel Nail Polish

Then moisturize like crazy because your nail beds and skin around your nails will be dry if it has come into contact with the acetone. 

One great way to get your hands and fingers looking great is to find good fitting cotton gloves and use heavy moisturizer on your hands and fingertips at night and then wear the gloves to bed.  By morning your hands and fingers will be soft and supple. (works great for feet too!)  This works really well for those dry bits that sometimes form around your nails from abuse!

Removing Gel Nail Polish

Removing Gel Nail Polish from Toes

Follow the same routine as for the fingernails but use a toe spacer to keep the toes apart and to limit how much acetone gets on the skin and you don’t need as much cotton ball, just tiny pieces for the toe nails.

Why Not Give Your Nails a Break?

It might be wise to give your nails a break for a week before putting on any more polish, but if you don’t like that idea at least use a good base coat before adding more polish so that you protect your nails from damage.

Being careful how you remove polish is just as important as the steps for putting it on.  If you don’t take the time and remove it properly you can end up with dry, brittle and thin nails that can take a very long time to heal.  So, take the time to do it right and then trying new nail art and different polishes won’t cause as much damage.

Some salons will charge you between 5 and 15 dollars to remove gel nail polish, so if you want to keep your budget for getting new polish, then try removing it yourself at home first.

Graham Hands Down Soak Off Gel Nail Wraps, 100 Count
Amazon Price: $31.88 $14.89 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 5, 2013)
You can purchase a kit such as this one that makes removing gel nail polish easier.

Gel Nail Polish Remover

If you don’t like the idea of doing this completely yourself with foil and acetone, then you can purchase special kits that will remove the gel quickly.  This will still be cheaper than having it removed in a salon.

You can get most supplies online to help keep your nails strong and healthy and also show off your creativity. 

Just remember the stronger and tougher the nail polishes become the harder it is to simply chip it off, you need to do this process carefully, but removing gel nail polish yourself at home can be done.  If you like a more simple look to your nails then check out how to do a french manicure at home! or if you want to try something a bit more elaborate check out How to do a Caviar Manicure at home.

Opi Expert Touch Removal Wraps 250ct
Amazon Price: $20.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 5, 2013)
If you use Opi nail polish products then try these removal wraps.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Yourself

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