3 ways to remove gel nail polish at home

Can't go to the salon to have your gel nail polish removed? We compiled a list of methods for how you can do it at home without damaging your nails.

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At this point, we all wonder how and when we can finally leave quarantine and return to some kind of a normal life. What is your "back to normal"-outfit going to look like? What are your roots going to look like? Your eyebrows? Your nails? Since we can't go to the salon to have our gel nail polish removed at the moment, we have to do it on our own, at home. Otherwise, we'll probably look a lot like @wizzameme's post-quarantine-collage!

Here are 3 ways to remove your gel manicure yourself without damaging your nails:

There are different ways of removing gel nail polish at home.
Source: imago images / Westend61

This is what you need for two of the gel nail polish removal methods: 

- coarse nail file

- nail polish remover with acetone

- cuticle pusher

- nourishing oil for your hands

#1 Aluminum foil

If you want to remove your gel manicure by using aluminum foil, you additionally need cotton balls (don't use cotton rounds). 

How does the magic happen?

Step-by-step instructions on how to remove gel nail polish.
Source: imago images / Panthermedia

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: First of all, protect your skin from the acetone-based nail polish remover by applying a nourishing oil or hand cream of your choosing. Like this, you avoid dry hands. 

Step 2: Now you use the coarse nail file - use it to buff off the top layer of your manicure. This will allow the nail polish remover to do its job. 

Step 3: Soak the cotton balls in the acetone-based nail polish remover and place them over your nails. They should cover the whole of your nail. Don't use cotton rounds - they don't soak up enough product.

You can remove gel nail polish on your own by using cotton balls.
Source: imago images / imagebroker

Step 4: Wrap your fingertips with aluminum foil to ensure that the cotton balls stay where they are supposed to be. Let your gel nails soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5: Once you've waited for about 15 minutes (you'll notice a difference when the gel starts to come off), you gently apply pressure to the cotton balls and carefully remove them. Now, most of the gel manicure should be removed.

Step 6: If the gel hasn't come off completely, use the cuticle pusher to get rid of the remaining bits. 

Step 7: You have cuticle oil at home? Perfect! Let your fingers soak in it for a little while to moisturize them. Regularly apply hand cream after using this method.

Here is the next method:

You can remove the top layer of your gel manicure by using a coarse nail file.
Source: imago images / blickwinkel

#2 Soak your gel mani in acetone

For this method, you'll need the coarse nail file, the cotton balls and the cuticle pusher again. Additionally, grab a small and a large bowl. 

Step 1: Protect your skin from the acetone by applying a rich hand cream. Now, file off the top layer of your gel manicure.

Step 2: Pour the acetone into the small bowl. Fill up the large bowl with warm water. Now place the small bowl into the big one.

Step 3: Now the bigger bowl does its job: the warm water will heat up the acetone. Do not heat up the acetone on the stove or in the microwave - acetone is flammable!

Step 4: Let your finger tips soak in the small bowl for 10 to 15 minutes.

Nach dem Entfernen des Gels sollte man seine Hände gut pflegen.
Source: imago images / Westend61

Step 5: Once the corners of your gel nail polish start to come loose, you can carefully begin to remove the gel.

Step 6: Don't forget to moisturize!

If you're not a fan of the acetone damaging your skin, the third method might be for you. Still, the first two methods are a good alternative to the nail salon - and we definitely prefer them to having grown-out nails!

Last but not least: method No. 3

A nail polish remover machine removes gel nail polish gently.
Source: imago images / Panthermedia

#3 Nail polish remover machine

As we said before, using acetone to remove your gel mani can dry out your skin quite a bit. A nail polish remover machine is a way more gentle way to get rid of the gel nail polish. Instead of using acetone, the machine works with steam - you simply insert your fingernails into the machine and wait. Just like you did after letting them soak in acetone, you can remove the gel with a cuticle pusher once the machine has worked its magic. 

Which method will save your nails?