Remove Gel Nail Polish Without Hurting Your Nails 

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Too many nail beds have been sacrificed on the altar of gel nail polish. Here are three safe ways to remove a gel manicure without hurting your nail.

A gel manicure is a busy woman’s best friend. It stays chip-free and glossy for nearly 2-3 weeks after it is first applied. But, alas, like all good things, this too must come to an end.

When you see the polish around the edges start to lift, it takes all your self-control to not pick at it, right? Or are you the careful kind who knows the dangers of removing gel nails? You’ll probably headover to the salon to get a good job done. But what if you don’t have the time? Can you remove gel nail polish at home, without damaging your nails?

Yes, you can, but to do that you must know what removes gel nail polish at home. There are three ways that I know, ranging from the quick-n-dirty, to the I’ve-got-time-on-my-hands. Choose wisely and learn how to remove gel nail polish at home from the experts.

#1 The kitchen foil method

You will need:

-A bottle of acetone (should find it at any chemist shop)

-Cotton balls

-Kitchen aluminium foil

-An orange wood stick

The method:

-Scrape the gel with a nail file to remove the top glossy layer.

-Saturate a cotton ball with the acetone and place it on the nail.

-Cover the finger tip with foil.

-Repeat this for all fingers.

-Wait for 15-20 minutes.

-The gel nail polish will come right off if the acetone has done its job.

-Any remaining gel can be scraped off (gently!) with the orange stick.

-Acetone can be drying. Moisturise your hands, giving extra love to your cuticles.

#2 The soaking method

Let’s say you have the time and the acetone, but no foil. What do you do then? Head to the kitchen,ladies.

The method:

-Take two bowls from your kitchen, one sufficiently larger than the other.

-Fill the larger one with warm water and the smaller one with acetone.

-Make sure the smaller bowl is large enough to accommodate one hand, if not both.

-Place the smaller bowl in the water.

-While you wait for the acetone to warm up, you can remove the glossy gel with a nail file.

-Never, ever heat the acetone in the microwave. It will catch fire!

-Dip your hands in the warmed acetone for 10-15 minutes.

-The gel should start coming loose from the edges.

-You can hasten the process by nudging it gently with an orange stick.

-Do not rush it or you will damage your nails.

-Moisturise your hands, as acetone can make them dry. 

#3 The no-acetone method

When you don’t have acetone or are averse to using it on your hands then this could be the method for you. Be warned; this takes much longer than the soaking method. And if not done carefully, you will definitely damage your nails. I do not recommend you try this the first time.

-Find a loose corner of the gel and lift it; don’t try and force the gel off the nail.

-Hold your hand under a running tap (yes, I know; you will waste a lot of water doing this. Sorry!)

-Use the nail of the other hand to try and lift the gel.

-You can try doing this with olive oil instead of water. Don’t pour it over the finger but liberally cover the nail with it, trying to get as much under the gel as possible.

-Keep nudging and pushing until the gel comes off.

-Use an orange stick to remove any residue.

-Moisturise your hands with a nourishing cream like Olay, to give extra tenderness to your cuticles.

Now that you know what removes gel nail polish, you can skip the salon appointment and take care of your hands at home itself. 

Pro-Tip: Actually using gel nail polish during monsoon is the best option, as you would not have to worry about your nails all season! You can even check out essential monsoon makeup tips here to make your life easier this rainy season.

Find more makeup tips as well as makeup tutorials at to be your best beautiful daily!

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  1. 3
    Polish Perfect

    I like step by step tips. Most women like gel nail polish because it can last 2 weeks. Aside from that they also want to avoid changing their nail polish so often because it will make your nails unhealthy. It’s important that we are aware of how to properly use gel nail polish as well as removing it.

  2. 4
    Wendy C.

    What is the difference of a gel nail polish from a regular nail polish? I haven’t tried using gel nail polish yet, and I wonder how it goes with my nails. Thanks for sharing the tips.

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