What is more tempting than having your nail polished? It feels so aesthetically satisfying to look at the end-product: cutesy colorful finger nails wherever you go! But, you might get bored with only that color being stuck on your finger after a while. Hence, you consider cleaning it off and replacing it with a new one. Since there are many types of polish, you might wonder how to remove gel nail polish. If you cannot go to hair salon to get it done easily, you can do it yourself at home.
One thing to remember: removing your gel nail polish does not mean only to playfully rip, pick, or even bite off your good, old polish. Although it may become the first thought popping up in your mind, it is not the right solution for how to remove gel nail polish. It is a weirdly satisfying act and hard to resist, but when you do that, parts of your nail bed layers may also be pulled out. If this happens, it becomes more prone to peeling and breaking. So, you’ll need to apply this comprehensive gel nail polish removal ‘ritual’ to clean your nails.
What to Prepare before Cleaning the Gel Nail Polish?
Basically, there are five things you will require to clean off your nail polish: nail file, cuticle oil/conditioner, cotton balls (or pads, but cotton balls are more preferable), aluminum foil, and lastly, nail polish remover (or the mighty acetone). Some people even go with 100% acetone. But, if your hand is already dry, it is recommended to steer clear this ingredient from your nail polish cleaning set. If you are stuck with this at home, then make sure you got a bottle of cuticle oil to protect the surrounding areas of the nails.
You might wonder what aluminum foil will do along the process. That aluminum foil, which you need to cut into 3” x 3” beforehand, will secure the soaked cotton balls (or pads). Briefly said, soaked cotton balls on your finger, wrap them up with the aluminum foil.
It is also preferable to choose cotton balls over cotton pads, since this type of cotton will hold the acetone way better than cotton pads. No need to add moisturizing agents to your soaked cotton, since such act makes the process slowed down.
How to Remove Gel Nail Polish: The ‘Prelude’
Now let’s get into the business. Below is what you should do to remove the gel nail polish comprehensively.
- First, have a nail file. Then shine off your nail by filing it.
Since it has been awhile since you applied that gel polish, you must have realized that there is this glossy top coat on the surface of the manicure layer. To ease your polish removal process, it’s time to say goodbye to that glossy coating.
File the coating with a nail file. But remember, don’t do it too far until you can see spots of your natural nail. The objective is only to remove the coating, not the whole polish. As a result, you might see a pinch of the polish colors. It is totally OK.
- Protect your skin with cuticle oil
As mentioned earlier, you will require cuticle oil (you can replace it with a thick cream, too). Although this may not be essential for the whole process of how to remove gel nail polish, it is important to keep your nail-surrounding skin and fingertips moisturized before the act. You know, nail remover is very drying. Having cuticle conditioner should work the same way as cuticle oil as well.
Saturating Your Nails with Acetone
Let’s continue the process of removing your gel nail polish.
- Soak the cotton balls in acetone or nail polish remover
To continue how to remove gel nail polish procedure, allow yourself to find a well-ventilated room. Getting exposed for too long with acetone can make you dizzy, that’s why it is recommended to find a room with nice air circulation.
If you’re there already, soak the cotton with acetone then place it on top of each nail. You can also soak your fingertips in a small bowl of acetone, but this trick isn’t much recommended due to acetone’s skin-drying characteristic.
- Wrap the cotton with the aluminum foil.
This will ensure that the cotton balls will stay in place. You’ll need about 15 minutes before unwrapping your nails and check the progress. After the acetone, usually you can scrap the remaining polish off easily – with little to no pressure. If you are still struggling with it, saturate the nails for five more minutes.
To scrap the remaining polish, you can use manicure sticks or brush. But, if you are running out of budget, dry cotton balls should help. Remember, you don’t have to clean it hard way as if cleaning a dirty cloth.
Say No to Brittle Nails Post-removal: Re-moisturizing the Nails
As the last step of how to remove gel nail polish, you will need to apply something to protect your nails from saturated acetone ‘attacks’. To do that, you should:
- Prepare coconut oil and soak your nails in it for around seven minutes.
- Apply your cuticle oil/moisturizer
- Put on some hand cream / hand lotion to avoid dryness in further area of your hand.
You might think that you put too much moisturizer products. It is needed to rejuvenate your skin after polish removal, as well as restoring its moisture; since acetone is a moisture-gulping product. Not only that, acetone usually removes nail’s natural ‘oil’. Although it may not damage your nail bed directly, it is best to do it to avoid bad nail day on the upcoming days.
That’s how to remove gel nail polish – easy way that you can do at home. To do that as whole, you probably need merely 30 minutes. As mentioned before, it is easier to have a company to help you wrapping the nails with aluminum foil. But, hey, as long as you can cut off the expenses, isn’t it fun to be your own manicurist for a day?