5 Easy Steps to Remove Gel Nails at Home

Forget the removal fee, here’s how to remove gel nails from the comfort of your own home.
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Gel nails are back, baby. Forget the acrylics and dip powders, people are starting to opt for a more nail-friendly approach. Following the resurgence of gel nail polish, however, you may be wondering how you actually remove it.

Gel nails are all the rage. But how do you remove them?

(Image: Instagram)

What’s the difference between gel nail polish and regular polish?

Gel polish, which is comprised of stronger ‘nail-grasping’ ingredients than traditional polish, must be cured under a UV or LED lamp. Upon ‘curing’ for about 60 seconds per coat, the polish is then solid and can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Think no chips and a long-lasting shine.

WATCH: Gel nail removal tips. Article continues after video.

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Gel manicures are a hot topic due to the mainstream popularity of BIAB manicures (Builder in a Bottle). BIAB, which is said to rival the strength of acrylics, is a thicker form of gel polish which is heralded by brands such as Australia’s The Gel Bottle.

Because of gel’s lasting power, however, the nails must be soaked off to avoid damage to the nail plate. While salons offer this service, why fork out the big bucks when you can perform the same service at home?

Removal of gel polish is a process!

(Image: Getty)

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to remove gel nails at home (the right way).

You will need:

  • Acetone

  • A nail file

  • 5 cotton pads cut into halves

  • 10 pieces of aluminium foil

  • Stainless steel cuticle pusher

  • Hand cream or cuticle oil

Step One

Grab your nail file!

(Image: Getty)

Gently file the top layer of nail polish with a medium grit nail file.

Step Two

Using your cotton pads, apply a generous amount of acetone nail polish remover to each one. Place a soaked cotton pad on each nail and secure with the foil by wrapping each strip around the fingertip.

This step will secure the acetone to each nail, softening the gel for easy removal.

Wait 15-20 mins.

Step Three

After your polish remover is done processing, remove each piece of cotton and foil. The polish should be slightly peeling up from the edges.

Removal tools.

(Image: Instagram/@glow.kam)

Then, picking up your cuticle pusher, gently start to remove the softened gel in a ‘scraping’ motion. This step should not be painful or difficult. If so, your nails may need to soak for a little longer.

Step Four

After scraping the remainder of the polish off your nails, wash your hands with soap and water.

Dry with a towel.

Using your file, gently buff your nails one last time to even out the surface.

Step Five

Your nails will need the re-hydration.

(Image: Getty)

Finish with a hydrating cuticle oil and/or hand cream and, bravo, you’re done!

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