The nail polish ‘nailing it’ in the fashion stakes right now is gel nail polish. Nothing beats the long lasting shine, durability, and chip resistance of gel nail polish. Unlike acrylic nails that are more porous - so more susceptible to fading, gel nails are on a league of their own.
How to remove gel nails requires some elbow grease and (a little more) patience compared to other nail polishes though. With all that long-lasting power comes an equal amount of effort to get those beauties off your nails. Obviously, you can always head back to the salon to get it professionally done but what if time (or frankly, money) isn’t on your side?
You’ve probably heard that the only way is to get it done at a salon but have you looked into tutorials on how to remove gel nail polish at home? Remember one thing: resist the temptation to scratch or pick at your nails as that only damages and weakens your nails. If you think that that is how to get gel nail polish off –this article will change your mind and your bad habit!
Why sacrifice your nail beds and break them when there’s a perfectly safe way to remove gel polish?
Tools of the trade
- Some aluminium foil
- orange stick
How to remove gel nail polish is straight forward if you follow these simple steps:
1) Find a show or movie you’d want to binge on
The process will take time so set yourself up in a comfortable area. A room with good ventilation will save you from getting a head rush from inhaling too much acetone.
2) Whip out your nail file
For this process to work, you’d need to file down the shiny top coat of your gel polish. To do this, gently and slowly file away the top layer without scratching your cuticles or surrounding skin.
Use a buffer with about 100 to 300 grit (the lower the number the more abrasive and coarse the file will be). There is no need to file through all the layers, just the shiny layer.
This is very important so that you break the top most layer of your polish making it easier for your gel polish remover to seep through.
3) Remember to moisturize
The next step will be drying on your skin so protecting your skin with some heavy cream or cuticle oil will go a long way. You can buy Sally Hansen’s cuticle cream for $14.99 at Chemist Warehouse
4) Soak cotton in acetone
Pick a maximum strength nail polish remover with acetone. A formula with no acetone will not help breaking down the formula of your gel nails. Professional nail technicians suggest to soak cotton balls instead of pads as they tend to hold more product without drying out quickly.
5) Prep your foil wraps
Cut some aluminium wrap into squares. The size of the squares will depend on your fingers but perhaps you can start with 8cm x 8cm and see if you need them bigger or smaller. Start with your non-dominant hand for ease. Place an acetone soaked cotton ball on your fingernail and use the foil to secure it in place.
Leave your nails wrapped like this for about 10 –15 minutes. Check if the polish looks loose or lifted –it should be effortless to remove. If it isn’t coming off easily, leave your cotton soaked ball and foil wrap on for another 5 minutes.
6) Work on it with an orange stick
Once your gel polish looks lifted, remove all your aluminium fingertips. Use the remaining cotton to add some pressure on the nail to wipe off the polish. If you find any residue, you can use an orange stick to lift it off your nails.
Dispose of your wooden sticks afterwards.
7) Hydrate those digits
After your long acetone soak, you’ll find that your nails will be a little dry. You can soak your nails in coconut or olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Pat them dry and apply your cuticle oil however, if you’ve decided to paint your nails again, you should skip this step.