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Five ways to safely remove your gel nail polish at home

Fashion and Beauty
 Biting off chipped nail polish will do more damage than good (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you got your nails done and you can’t get to the salon for whatever reason, you have to take matters into your own hands but, worry not.

Personally, after a week of chores, my nails begin to lose the shiny and glossy feel. And once they start to lift, they must go. Unfortunately, I learnt the hard way that ripping off your gel manicure is not a good idea.

Instead of giving in to the temptation to bite off the chipped nails, you must resist the urge or you will do more damage leaving them susceptible to breaking and peeling. 

Whether you want to give your nails a break or do a fresh manicure here is how to remove gel nail polish safely, the technician approved way. 

Before you get started, it is important to be in a well-ventilated room so you don’t breathe in the acetone and nail filings. Here we go. 

Apply oil

Since you will be soaking your nails in acetone it is important to protect the skin around your nails with some cuticle oil or cream. But no need to get fancy considering you may be home. Some Vaseline will do. Generously apply it on the skin around your nails to minimize the damage of acetone.

File the gel polish

For the remover to work faster without damaging your nails, you must file off that clear glossy top coat that is applied to seal the nail polish. 

Use a nail file to buff the surface layer of the top coat until no shiny parts can be seen. Be careful not to overdo it or you may damage your natural nails.

 Wrap each finger with aluminum foil and wait for 10 to 20 minutes for the acetone to work (Photo: Shutterstock)

Soak cotton balls in nail polish remover

It is highly recommended to use an acetone remover to break down the polish effectively and quickly. Drench the cotton balls with remover and place them on the nails. 

Wrap each finger with aluminum foil and wait for 10 to 20 minutes for the acetone to work. Start with your dominant hand and rewrap until the gel polish is lifted off and falling off the nail then move on to the other hand.

Scrap off the layers

Using just a little pressure gently remove the remaining polish with a manicure brush or cuticle stick. If there is some resistance, repeat the above process. Soak a cotton ball in remover, place it on the nail and wrap with foil for a few minutes.

Wash and apply oil

Since acetone is drying to your nails by removing natural oils, you must wash your hands thoroughly and apply some moisturizer. To keep your nails strong apply some cuticle oil. If you don’t have one, some Vaseline, glycerin or shea butter will do.

Considering many of us are using sanitizers and washing our hands more frequently, it is advisable to keep your hands moisturized at all times. 

If you realize your nails are brittle, take a short break from nail polish and get a moisturizing hand cream.

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