The beauty of a gel manicure is that it’s long-lasting. And when it’s time to say goodbye to your nail look, you need an efficient way to remove the polish. Some removal methods can hurt your nails rather than help, so it’s essential to learn how to safely remove gel nail polish at home. Keep reading to learn about the safest removal method.
Why People Love Gel Manicures
People love gel manicures because they’re long-lasting, chip-free, and they dry faster than traditional nail polish. In fact, the main distinction between a regular manicure and a gel one is the drying process. Instead of air drying, gel manicures require a special UV or LED light to activate the chemicals in the gel polish and dry your manicure.
In addition, gel manicures can grow your nails. The polish adds a layer of protection over your natural nails, encouraging them to grow longer and stronger. Essentially, if you love long-lasting manicures that help your nails grow, then gel nails are the best option for you.
Is It Hard To Remove Gel Nail Polish?
Given the long-lasting and chip-free nature of gel manicures, you’re probably curious about the removal process. Comparing traditional polish removal with a cotton ball and nail polish remover, getting rid of gel nails requires a few more steps. However, once you gather the right tools and review the removal process, you may discover that the process is easy!
Tools You Need for Gel Polish Removal
To remove a gel manicure, it’s essential to gather the right tools. Here’s a list of everything you need:
- Nail file
- Cuticle conditioner
- 100% acetone nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Aluminum foil
- Wooden tool tip
After Care Tools
- Nail clippers
- Nail file
- Buffer tool
- Hand cream or Moisturizer
Steps for a Safe Removal Process
By following these important steps, you can safely remove your gel manicure.
Step 1: Find a Well-Ventilated Area
A well-ventilated area prevents you from breathing in acetone, so the first thing must do is find an adequate space for the removal process. It’s important to note that removing a gel manicure can be a lengthy experience; you can’t rush the process. Typically, it takes 30 minutes but it may be longer depending on how well the acetone removes your polish.
Step 2: File the First Layer of Nail Polish
When you remove regular nail polish, you usually head straight to the cotton balls and polish remover. However, when you remove gel nails, you must file off the first layer of nail polish. Doing so makes the gel polish easier to remove with the acetone. While filing, be sure to sand down the first layer gently and slowly.
Step 3: Apply Cuticle Conditioner
After filing the first layer of polish, you need to coat the skin around your nails and fingertips with a cuticle conditioner (you can also use cuticle oil or thick cream). This protects your skin from the acetone, which is extremely drying to your skin. You don’t want to skip this step because you need hydration throughout the removal process.
Step 4: Soak Cotton Balls in Acetone
Soaking your fingertips in acetone is the key to effectively removing gel polish. Some people place acetone in a bowl and soak their nails, but there is a better way to keep acetone on your fingertips—you can use cotton balls! They’re highly absorbent as they hold the acetone while it soaks into your nails. For gel polish removal, soak ten cotton balls in acetone, and then press them against your nails.
Step 5: Wrap Aluminum Foil Around Your Fingertips
After pressing the cotton balls on your fingertips, tear aluminum foil into three-inch pieces and wrap them around your tips. Repeat this step until all 10 of your nails have foil on them. Now, allow the foil to sit on your fingertips for 10 to 15 minutes. However, you can check the progress after 10 minutes. The gel nail polish should look like it’s falling off the nail or lifting.
Step 6: Use Wooden Tool To Remove Excess Polish
When you remove the aluminum foil wraps, most of the polish should fall off or lift from your fingertips. However, you can remove the remainder of the polish with a wooden tool. Gently scrape the polish off to remove the leftover product.
Important Note: Wooden tools can hold a lot of bacteria, so after removing the polish, please dispose of the tool.
Step 7 (Optional): Place Fingertips in Bowl of Acetone
If the polish isn’t easily lifting, you should soak your fingertips in a bowl of acetone for an additional five minutes. After removing your fingertips from the bowl, the excess polish should lift off.
Aftercare Steps You Should Know
Once you remove your gel manicure, you need to take care of your natural nails. So, you can think of aftercare as a way to revamp your nails while letting them breathe.
Important Note: It’s best to wait a few days before getting a new manicure once you remove the gel polish. And if you experience dry or brittle nails, you should wait three to four weeks.
Step 1: Trim Your Nails
Your nails grow when you get a gel manicure, and once you remove the polish you will experience longer (and stronger) nails. Although initial length is great, trimming your nails actually promotes more growth! You also free your nails from damage or snagging on clothes.
Step 2: File and Buff Your Nails
After trimming, it’s best to file and buff your nails to shape them. Filing gets rid of rough edges, and buffing smooths the surface of your natural nails.
Step 3: Clean Your Hands and Apply Moisturizer
From removing the gel manicure to taking the necessary aftercare steps, your hands went through a lot. So, to get rid of germs, bacteria, or the acetone smell, you should wash your hands. Use a mild soap and wash away the germs. Afterward, apply moisturizer to your hands and avoid scraping or picking at your fingertips.
After learning how to safely remove gel nail polish at home, you can effectively remove your manicure without damaging your nails. And when you’re ready for your next manicure, be sure to shop at Nail Company Wholesale Supply for your products. We have items like OPI nail powder and nail accessories that will make your manicure look fantastic!