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Expert Advice on How to Safely Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

Good old gel nail polish remover is the bane of every nail professional’s life. The first “solution” that often springs to mind is the urge to remove gel nail polish at home by plucking, tearing, or chewing it off. But please don’t do it for the sake of beautiful nail art.

Remove Gel Nail Polish
Safely Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

People often whine that their gel manicures damaged their nails, but in actuality, the peeling is to fault. You remove layers of the nail plate each time you want to remove your gel nail paint. Although at first glance this may appear innocuous, over time your nails may deteriorate and become more fragile. Your nails may not grow back for many months after this harm has been done. And if that’s not enough of an incentive for you, it also affects how nice your next gel manicure will appear.

Let’s be clear: going to a professional to have your gels removed is always the best option. Ideally, this should be the expert who applied your gels. Your nail technician has the necessary instruments, understands precisely how to do the task safely, and, without a doubt, has more patience than you do.

We understand that sometimes life occurs. There is a technique to do it that won’t hurt your nails or cause your nail tech to lose their mind after seeing the results since you are unable to attend the salon and must take things into your own hands (quite literally).

Here is all you need to know about removing gel polish at home, along with a step-by-step instruction, in order to preserve your nails and your relationship with your nail technician.

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What is a gel manicure?

According to celebrity manicurist and licensed nail technician Michelle Humphrey, “a gel manicure employs gel paint that is cured into the nail plate using either an LED or UV light, it will not dry without the lamp.” A base coat, two color coats, and a top coat are often used in this. The gel polish is cured under a UV/LED light after each application. The gel polish is set by doing this. The gel paint won’t set or cling to the natural nail without this procedure, which is why it lasts so long, according to nail specialist Metta Francis. Consider a gel manicure to be a semi-permanent polish since it is far more resistant to peeling than conventional polish, says Humphrey.

Gels are sometimes referred to as “shellac,” although the two terms aren’t always equivalent. The makers of gel technology, CND, are the owners of the trademark Shellac. Consider how “jacuzzi” and “hot tub” relate to different types of products, the former being a trademark brand name.

The advantages of a gel manicure

The various advantages of gel paint manicures have altered the way that people have their nails done today. The first and most evident benefit is that they unquestionably last a lot longer than a manicure with ordinary nail paint.

“It keeps its appearance while being worn, and it keeps its lovely, glossy sheen. There are no surface scratches or dulling over time, and if proper maintenance and aftercare are practiced, there won’t be any chips until the next manicure, according to Francis. She continues, “Getting a gel manicure may also help maintain your natural nails by giving a tougher covering (compared to nail paint) and this can enable your natural nails to develop (by protecting them).”

They aid in the growth of natural nails and may aid habitual nail biters in quitting, says Humphrey. If you’re completely impatient when it comes to waiting for your nails to dry after you leave the salon, gels are a terrific option since they “cure” under a light as opposed to drying in the air.

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish?

You’ll need a file, buffer, acetone or gel remover, cotton, squares of aluminum foil, cuticle oil, and an orange wood stick or cuticle pusher, according to Humphrey.

Step 1: Protect your surfaces

Now let’s get to the removal itself. Humphrey cautions to cover your surfaces before beginning. Gel remover may remove coatings or varnish from surfaces, so use caution. Consider using an old mat covered with a towel and some paper towels. In this manner, you can be sure that even if you spill something and create a mess, your favorite dining or coffee table won’t be permanently damaged.

Step 2: Buff

The effectiveness of removal depends on this first step. Grab a 180 grit nail file, which Humphrey suggests for the process, and start filing off the top layer of your gel nails, being careful to get rid of all the gloss. By doing so, the gel seal is broken and the acetone may start breaking down the dried paint. Humphrey warns that skipping this step will make removal difficult, if not impossible. Francis continues, “Some gel polish top coats are so durable that if you don’t buff or file it beforehand, it won’t budge.”

Step 3: Protect your skin and cuticles

Even while it’s still not absolutely necessary for removal, this really aids in preventing any drying caused by the acetone. Humphrey advises using cuticle oil to the area around the nail to prevent dehydration. Since pure acetone may be harsh, she continues, “it doesn’t halt or restrict the removal; it merely helps to make the removal less drying.” Are the “gels destroy my nails” crowd missing this step, I ask you?

Step 4: Soak them off

The actual soaking off comes next. With order to remove a nail, Humphrey instructs, “saturate a square of cotton (either a circle cut to size or ball) in acetone, lay it on the nail, and then wrap the foil around as tightly as you can.” “Give this a few minutes,” she said.

It’s crucial to completely saturate the cotton round since sometimes it might dry out. Just do five at a time to make things simpler as it might be challenging to perform this on all 10 fingers at once.

Step 5: Watch the gel flake off

Once the foil has been removed, the gel should seem to be actually peeling off. Use your orange wood stick or cuticle pusher to gently remove any gel that has come free, advises Humphrey. There shouldn’t be much pressure required from you. Never try to push any substance off the nail plate as this may harm it, she advises. “Re-wrap if required and repeat if sections of the gel have not gone off.”

Step 6: Rehydrate

After removing all of the gel, Humphrey suggests lightly buffing your nails with a gentle buffer (220 grit is best) and liberally applying cuticle oil. “I advise using hand cream to rehydrate and Essie Apricot Nail and Cuticle Oil.”

Francis adores Susanne Kaufmann’s Hand Cream for its rich, hydrating texture that absorbs right away and Famous Names Dadi-Oil for its effectiveness on dry skin and lack of greasy residue.

Humphrey estimates that you can do this task by yourself in 30-45 minutes, so start your favorite Netflix series so you won’t be tempted to open the package too soon and scrape the gel off your nail plate.

You may safely remove your gel polish at home if you follow these instructions. Humphrey explains that it only requires care and patience. She continues, “At no time should you attempt to pull or scrape any gel away from the nail plate as this might result in harm.” Humphrey cautions against doing DIY gel treatment at home if you are untrained owing to the possibility of long-term allergic response.

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