Now that we have COVID to thank for fewer trips to the nail salon, we have to start getting creative in terms of our nail care. If you are a fan of the long-lasting gel polish options out there – welcome to the club. Many of us have started investing in at-home gel kits, which is quite a process, especially when it comes to changing your gel polish (therefore having to remove it).
As someone who has long visited nail salons, I personally appreciate the speed, attention, and accuracy of the nail masters who create the perfect gel nails. When I undertook this process on my own at home, I first had to remove the current gel I had on my fingers and toes. Naturally, I just assumed that regular nail polish would take it off but was quite surprised to learn that regular polish wouldn’t be a viable option (unless I wanted to soak for hours on end, and who knows if that would even work!).
What Really Works
Luckily, I realized that acetone nail polish remover DOES actually remove gel polish – whew! Acetone polish quickly breaks down the gel, but it can wreak havoc on your natural nails so it’s important to use extra care when applying such a harsh chemical.
Steps To Removing Your Gel Polish With Nail Polish Remover:
- Buff Away the Topcoat
That super shiny sealant you get at the end of your manicure does a lot to protect your polish and your color. When you use a file to diminish this topcoat first, you won’t have to spend as much time soaking. Just be sure not to file too much to the point where you see your natural nails.
- Soak Cotton Balls in Acetone Nail Polish Remover
We’ve been warned for decades that acetone can harm your natural nails and cuticles, but unfortunately, it’s the only remover that can effectively break down the gel. Soak about 10 cotton balls in the remover until they are fully saturated.
- Apply Cotton Balls to Nails…with Aluminum Foil
It might sound (and feel) a little odd but secure each cotton ball to a finger and wrap with a small amount of foil to secure. Now just wait about 15-20 minutes for the acetone to go to work. Once you remove the foil, your polish should be prepped to come off.
- Buff Away Remaining Polish
Ever so gently, you can apply a manicure stick to lift or a buffing brush to remove the remaining polish. If you are having difficulty, just reapply another soaked cotton ball and give it some more time. Don’t go crazy picking at it, just resoak.
- Apply Cuticle Oil
Now that you have buffed and applied a strong chemical to your nails, it’s important to give your cuticles a little TLC. Our hands are especially dry right now due to the weather and all the hand sanitizing, so you want to restore some moisture and nourishment, especially if your nails are feeling brittle.