How to Remove Your Gel Nails at Home

After months of social distancing, chances are you’ve taken your bi-weekly gel nails manicure fix into your own hands. Earlier this year, when the nail salons closed, I purchased a whole gel nails kit and decided to give it a try.

I will say that it took some practice, but I’m starting to get the technique. I haven’t been to a salon since. Gel nails are a great alternative to your regular polish and can hold up to any #momlife, but are a little harder to remove.

Luckily, I was able to find all the salon staples necessary to remove your gel nail manicure without sacrificing your nails.

How to Remove Your Gel Nails at Home

What You’ll Need:

The most effective way to remove gel nails is with pure acetone. Acetone will break down the material making it easier to remove. You’ll also need a few additional items to make the process easier.

Here’s a few items that I use in this tutorial.

Step 1: Take Off The Topcoat

Use the nail file to take off the topcoat. This will make it easier for acetone to penetrate the layers underneath.

nail file to remove gel nails at home
Houston lifestyle bloggers Maria Munoz of Bella Style Living shares how to remove gel nails.
Houston lifestyle blogger Maria Munoz removing gel nails manicure at home

Step 2: Protect Your Skin

Since you will be soaking your fingertips in acetone, you’ll want to protect the skin. Smear a layer of vaseline on the skin and cuticles for extra protection.

Step 3: Soak Your Nails

There are two ways to go about soaking your nails in acetone. You could soak a cotton ball in acetone and place it on top of your nail. Then, using a strip of aluminum foil, wrap your finger to keep the cotton ball in place.

There are also small clips you can buy that hold the cotton balls in place. Or you could just fill a bowl with acetone; just enough to be able to submerge your fingertips.

Make sure you do not place the bowl of acetone in the microwave as it is highly flammable.

RELATED: How to Do a Professional Gel Nails Manicure at Home

Step 4: Remove Polish & Buff Nails

After about 10-15 minutes, the polish should start to wither and detach from your nail bed. You can use a nail scrapper to further assist in removing the polish.

Lifestyle blogger Maria Munoz removing gel nails flaking off
scrapping gel nails off
gel nail polish off

When you’re removing your gel nails at home, try to resist the urge to peel off the polish as you may damage your nail bed and need to repair them.

At this time, you can also clip your nails to the desired length. After all the polish is removed, you will want to use a buffer to gently buff your nails smooth.

Step 5: Wash Your Hands

Next, wash your hands with a mild soap. Your nails will be dry and need extra hydration.

Step 6: Hydrate Your Nail Beds & Prep For New Polish

Use nail or cuticle oil to massage onto your nail bed. You may want to give your nails a few days polish-free to give them a chance to recuperate. If you have to reapply polish, try waiting a few hours before reapplication.

buffing nails for manicure
Lifestyle blogger Maria Munoz of Bella Style Living with cuticle oil for manicure at home
how to remove gel nails at home
See more beauty tips and tricks you can do at home HERE.

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  1. 7.13.20
    Amy said:

    Thanks for this! I’m going to share this with my mom because she was just asking me and I told her to google it. I’ll send her your link!

    • 7.13.20

      Awesome! I did my mom’s nails too and she loved them. A lot easier to do on someone else but I feel it’s a good investment if you like long-lasting nails. Thanks for reading 😊