How to remove gel nail polish at home and how to take off acrylics without going to a salon

TAKING off gel and acrylic nails roughly can result in long-lasting damage to nail beds – not to mention how unsightly the end result would be.

Here are the easiest and most gentle ways to remove your mani at home so you don't have to go to the salon – so get your acetone and tin foil ready.

How can I remove my gel nails at home?

Gel nails tend to be easier to remove than acrylics.

Here are the most effective and least damaging ways to do it.

File off the gels

  • Use a large buffer to remove the topcoat off your nails
  • When this process is complete, get the difficult-to-reach areas with a smaller file
  • Make sure to apply a nail strengthener or conditioning treatment after buffing the polish off. This will strengthen the cuticle and prevent your nails from scratching and breaking.

Apply nail polish remover and wrap in foil

  • Soak a ball of cotton wool in nail polish remover
  • Place a section on each of your nails
  • Cover with aluminium foil
  • Leave for around 20 minutes
  • Remove the aluminium foil
  • You should then be able to lift the false nails off

If your skin begins showing signs of irritation, it's advisable to stop the removal process immediately.

In this instance, you may have to head back to the salon to get your acrylics taken off.

Use a gel nail polish remover

There are a number of different gel nail polish removers on the market.
SensatioNail Gel Polish Remover is a budget-friendly liquid that helps budge the long-lasting product.

SalonsDirect is another brand that sells a cheap remover for manicure-lovers.

Using the two acrylic nail removal methods should also be successful for getting your gel polish off.

How can I remove my acrylic nails at home?

Acrylic nails are notoriously more difficult to remove – and it's important to be careful if you are attempting to take them off without professional assistance.

These two methods involve lifting the falsies off your nails without using force or damaging your cuticles:

Use Acetone

  • Avoiding the nail bed, use a nail clipper to trim down your acrylics
  • If they're too tricky to snip off, try filing them down
  • Carefully use a buffer to file the topcoat off your nails
  • Fill a small container with acetone
  • Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline to the skin surrounding your nails to protect it
  • Dunk your hands in the acetone for 30 minutes
  • Use the nail buffer to remove any remaining acrylic residue
  • Moisturise your hands

Why should I be careful taking off acrylic or gel nails?

If you peel off your false nails without using one of these methods, you risk scraping off the top layers of your delicate nails.

This can lead to breakages or unsightly white patches on your cuticles.

Scrubbing at your nails without caution could also lead to them becoming coarse, dry and flaky.

This affects the skin texture, making any future manicures look a lot less polished.

Alternatively, if you want to avoid risking it yourself, you can maintain them for as long as possible simply by giving them a fresh coat of paint with a little extra detail.

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