How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home

August 18, 2017

Tako Phanoraj

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish At Home

I love, love, love getting my nails done, especially when there is a special occasion coming up; whether it be for an engagement or a wedding. I make it a mission to get a manicure, simply because I love getting manicures. Besides from the painstaking stress of choosing the right colour and hoping that the colour on the bottle is the actual true colour that is applied on your nail it makes it all worthwhile; with the soft feel of your hands, that fresh smell of the polish and the glossy sheen of the chosen nail varnish. The pampering of getting a manicure is certainly a real treat I give myself, being a busy working Mummy and all, so choosing a gel polish rather than your standard nail polish is only fitting for me to make it worth every single dollar and last as long as it can without any chips is ideal for me.

However, on occasion I always get the rogue one where the gel polish starts to lift after three weeks of wear and then all of a sudden like an ambush they all start to lift, so unconsciously I start to do the worst thing you can do while having gel polish… I start to peel them away. Shock horror I know! Peeling the gel lacquer is not only quite gross when you leave behind bits and pieces of nail polish wherever you go, but it is also the most detrimental thing you can potentially do to your nails. Your nails are composed of tiny cells called keratinocytes, which are delicate cells that help stimulate the growth of your nail, so by peeling your polish you are also ripping off helpful cells too. And by doing so this harms the strength, texture, colour and irregularity of your nail.

Usually the white cloud looking marks on your nails indicate signs of trauma to your nails, so be careful of how you treat them. Your nails become weak and brittle, and trust me this is coming from experience as my nail just ripped in half after peeling gel polish.

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish – A technique that works

But, do not fret, here is a technique on how to remove gel nail polish I have found when I restrain myself from peeling away and am in between manicures and want my nails to be healthy and strong again… plus, this will save you $5 – $10 asking them to remove it in a salon for something so simple and easy to do by yourself in the comfort of your own home!

You will need:

  • Pure acetone
  • An orange stick/ cuticle pusher
  • Aluminium foil
  • Scissors
  • A nail file/emery board
  • Cotton wool
  • Cuticle oil
  • Hand cream
  • Nail strengthening polish

There are two things you will need to prep before starting the gel polish removing process and they are cutting your aluminium foil into rectangles about eight to nine centimetres long and about five centimetres wide. There should be 10 pieces of these.

The second thing to prep is to rip or pull away at your cotton wool into small balls or threads that will fit onto of your nail bed, once again 10 pieces. Now let’s begin.

How To Remove Gel Nail Polish – 10 Easy Steps

  1. Start by taking your nail file/emery board and roughly file at your existing gel fingernails. Don’t forget to do the sides, file them until the original colour becomes chalky. Do keep in mind this part does not have to be perfect.
  2. The next step is to take your pure acetone and douse your cotton ball with it.
  3. Your acetone saturated ball should feel wet but not drippy. Place this ball on your filed nail bed.
  4. Now take your foil rectangle, put it on a flat surface, place your finger with the acetone cotton ball in the centre of the rectangular foil. Take one side of the foil and wrap it over the fingernail. Take the other side of the foil and wrap it towards the opposite side and then you should be left with a flap from where your fingertip is. Move that flappy piece towards you. You should have a secured fingertip glove/ sleeve. Repeat this step for all your fingernails. You may struggle with the other hand on your own to ask for help if need be.
  5. Wait for the acetone to react to the gel polish for about five to ten minutes.
  6. Unwrap all your foiled fingers as you do this you will see the gel polish has started to deteriorate. Take your orange stick or cuticle pusher and scrap away the lifting gel polish in a chiselling motion. If your gel polish is still not coming off after you have scraped it, just repeat steps 1 through to 5 again but leave it on for longer.
  7. Once all your nails are bare. Push your cuticles back into place with an orange stick and rub some cuticle oil onto the nail bed and the skin around that area as the oil will help the regenerating cells stick together.
  8. After letting your cuticles absorb the oil, take a nail strengthening polish and paint that over your nails for extra care to ensure your nails grow and stay strong.
  9. Follow this on with hand cream and massage this around your hands. And that’s it!


How To Remove Gel Nail Polish – Other Aftercare Tips: 

Did you know that manicures can help stimulate blood flow in the hands and assist with nail growth? If you don’t have the time or the money to frequent the salon, then here are some products you can invest in that you can take home to DIY:

Step 1: Hawley Illume Hydrofresh-Advanced Nail Dehydrator Twist & Lock 

The Hawley Illume Hydrofresh is a nail cleanser and dehydrator in one which, dramatically improves adhesion. It is a hydrophobically balanced solution that, defats, dehydrates, purifies and combats the risk of cross-contamination and will brighten up your nails in no time!

Hawley Illume Hydrofresh – Advanced Nail Dehydrator Twist & Lock

Step 2: Hawley Illume Activate 3 in 1 Exfoliator 

The Hawley Illume Activate 3 in 1 exfoliator has a unique foaming formula, that softens, conditions and erases. Activate can be used in all nail services including Gel, Manicure and Pedicure. The key to using this product is in the foaming action. Use a small drop on the nail plate close to the cuticle area, then use the Activate brush in small circular movements to agitate and produce the foam. This works the product into the Eponychium, True Cuticle and the Nail Plate. It penetrates deeply into the skin and nail plate providing moisture where needed and exfoliation in those tough areas.

Step 3: Natural Look Hand & Nail Treatment Cream

The Natural Look Hand and Nail Treatment cream is an intensive, high-performance moisturising hand cream, formulated with creatine and U.V. filter to revitalise skin cell energy and protect from premature ageing. Restoring hands to feel smooth and supple. Infused with moisturising sunflower oil to soften & soothe dry hands and replenishing vitamin C to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. Used daily it will help firm, tone and brighten the skin for youthful looking hands and healthier nails.

Natural Look Hand & Nail Treatment Cream 500ml
Natural Look Hand & Nail Treatment Cream

Step 4: Kiara Sky Nourish Oil

This is my favourite product of the lot as in winter, my cuticles dry out and I start picking at them, so the Kiara Sky Nourish oil used as a cuticle oil is a real lifesaver as it hydrates the cuticle and replenishes them back to health!

Kiara Sky Nourish Oil

Let us know if you have any great tips on how to remove gel nail polish in the comments!

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