There are many benefits of dip powder nails. They’re durable, they’re beautiful, and they can even fortify your nails with vitamins. But, like any other manicure, they don’t last forever. If you’ve decided that it’s time to remove your own dip powder nails, it’s best to do so in a way that doesn’t damage your fingernails. In this how-to guide to dip powder nail removal, I’ll tell you how you can do this in minimal time and with zero damage to your natural nails.
How to Remove Dip Powder Nails?
In this guide, we’ll focus on three different methods of removal:
- Using acetone
- Using alcohol
- By using acetone-free nail polish remover
All three methods are effective at removing dip powder, though some will work much more quickly than others.
How To Remove Dip Powder Nails with Acetone
Acetone is the go-to compound for removing virtually every type of manicure. That’s because it works! It’s really easy, though slightly demanding of your time, to remove dip nail manicures with this essential product. Here is a step-by-step guide to using acetone in the removal of dip powder nails.
Using acetone is easily the fastest way to remove dip powder on nails. If you choose to go with acetone, it’s best that you know how to do it right. Acetone is very drying and harsh to skin and nails, so improper use of acetone can lead to damage.
Here are the materials you will need:
- Acetone nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Tinfoil or nail covers
- A cuticle pusher
- A nail file
- Cuticle oil
Step 1: Prep Your Nails
You will need to use a coarse nail file to buff away the top layer of your manicure – just enough to remove the shine. You can file it down a little further to help the acetone more easily break down the product.
Step 2: Cover Your Nails
For this step you will need cotton balls, nail covers or tinfoil, and an acetone-based nail polish remover. Soak the cotton balls thoroughly in acetone and press them – one at a time – to your fingernails. Use your nail covers or tinfoil to secure the acetone-drenched cotton to your nails. You should do this one nail at a time. Otherwise, you run the risk of some cotton balls drying out and therefore being less effective at removing your manicure.
Step 3: Wait
Once all of your nails have been covered, you now need to set a timer. 20-30 minutes is usually adequate enough time to allow the acetone to break down the manicure on each nail.
Step 4: Remove the Cotton
When time’s up, you should remove the cotton balls from your nails. After uncovering your nails and exposing the cotton, rotate the cotton around the nail in hopes of getting some of the dip powder product off. Afterward, use a cuticle pusher to gently slough away whatever product came loose during the acetone application.
Step 5: Repeat as Necessary
There’s a very good chance that you weren’t able to remove all of the product on your nails in the first application of acetone. Repeat steps 2-4 as many times as you need to completely remove your dip powder manicure.
Step 6: Rehydrate
Once all of the dip powder is gone, you should now reach for your cuticle oil. Acetone is very drying, so a quality cuticle oil will help restore hydration in your skin and nails. It’s important to take care of your cuticles, as these features of the nail are essential for protecting new nail growth.
How To Remove Dip Powder Nails Without Acetone
Acetone can be harsh for some people’s nails, and the fumes can be even harsher. So, it makes sense that many manicure enthusiasts are trying to avoid the use of acetone altogether. While an acetone-based nail polish remover can quickly and easily get the job done, you do have alternatives available to you: using alcohol or using an acetone-free nail polish remover. Let’s discuss how these methods can be done, in just a few simple steps.
Removing Dip Powder Manicures with Alcohol
You might have something like hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol or even hard liquor lying around the house. These are great for removing dip powder manicures because of the high alcohol content found in these items. Grab your alcohol-based remover of choice, get comfortable, and follow these steps.
Step 1: Prep Your Nails
First, you should wash your hands. Then, use a manicure tool to trim away at the top layer of the coating. This will make it easier for your chosen solvent to dissolve the polish. Make sure that you’re working in a well-ventilated area.
Step 2: Soak Your Nails
This is the easiest part, but it is also the most time-consuming. Get a small bowl and pour your alcohol into it. Soak your nails until the polish begins to feel soft. This can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 3: Wipe Away the Polish
Using something like tissue or a cotton round, wipe away the softened nail polish.
Step 4: Repeat if Necessary
Because alcohol isn’t the best solvent for this purpose, you may have to repeat this process to get all of your manicure off your nails. Take a break between soaking sessions to minimize the amount of alcohol fumes you’re exposing yourself to.
Removing Dip Powder Manicures with Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover
While there are many acetone-based polish removers on the market, you should understand that many don’t contain acetone in its purest form. There are other additives brought into the solution, many with nail-strengthening properties. You can find nail polish removers that have a very low acetone content – or are free of acetone altogether.
The steps for removing your nail polish with a nail polish remover are the same as the steps outlined above, for the removal of polish with alcohol. However, because you are using a product designed specifically to remove nail polish, you likely won’t have to take so long. You may not even have to repeat the process!
Repairing Your Nails After Removal
Manicures and the removal of manicures can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of natural nails. That’s why it’s so important to give your nails some TLC following the removal of your nail polish – whatever kind you choose. If you plan to get a dip nail manicure again in the future, you’re going to get the best results when your nails are in great shape. Here are some tips to help you strengthen your nails post-manicure!
- Trim your nails. Longer nails are more prone to breakage. Trim your nails down to a shorter length to encourage stronger regrowth.
- Buff the edges of your nails. This will help minimize breakage by smoothing away any jagged or uneven edges.
- Get a quality cuticle cream. These products are formulated with vitamins to restore your natural nails’ luster and strength.
- Keep your hands moisturized. A thick hand cream or salve will do the trick. This helps to ensure that hands – nails included – remain adequately hydrated. Dryness is a big problem that many face after removing their manicure.
- Consider soaking your nails in warm milk for 5-10 minutes. Your nails will absorb the nutrients found in milk, strengthening them and making them whiter.
- Skip the nail polish for a few weeks in favor of a nail strengthener.
- Treat your nails to a spa day by purchasing some keratin gloves. You can buy these online or at a local beauty supplier. They’re very convenient because you can wear them when doing leisurely activities, like watching TV.
- Do not cut your cuticles! Push them back instead. Your cuticles serve the important role of protecting new nail growth.
Your next manicure will look its best only if you take proper care of your natural nails. Give them a break from polishes for a week or two between manicures. Instead, focus on restoring your nails to a better condition.
If you don’t take a multivitamin, now is a great time to start! Getting your vitamins will nourish your body and your nails from the inside. There are even vitamins that are formulated specifically for hair and nail growth!
Related: How to repair damaged nail bed
5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Removing Dip Powder Nails
Removing your dip powder nails isn’t an exact science, but there are definitely things that you shouldn’t do when your manicure has run its course. If you do any of these five things, you could be causing a tremendous amount of harm to your natural nails – and nobody ever wants that.
Scraping Off Your Manicure
If your manicure is beginning to peel or crack, you might feel compelled to pull or scrape it off. Don’t do this! This is one of the most damaging things that you can do to your manicured nails. Instead of taking this method of brute force to remove your polish, use the techniques detailed above. Scraping and peeling of your manicure can cause your natural nails to peel and even break.
Rushing the Process
You need to let your chosen solvent – be it alcohol or acetone – have some time to do its work. Removing a dip powder manicure is a time-consuming task. Trying to hurry by rubbing nail polish remover over nails repeatedly (like you may do with some other nail polishes) will not only be ineffective, but it could damage your cuticles.
Not Performing Aftercare
Manicures and manicure removal can put nails through a lot. That’s why it’s so important that you perform some aftercare to strengthen your nails and restore their natural shine. Get your hands on a nutrient-rich cuticle oil and hand cream to nurture post-manicure nails. If you’re serious about nurturing nails back to their best health, take a multivitamin designed to strengthen nails and promote their growth.
Cutting off Cuticles
Cuticles are an incredibly important part of your nails. This thin piece of skin serves the purpose of protecting new nail growth from bacterial exposure in the nail root. Even though it is very important, the cuticle is very delicate as well. Instead of cutting it after removing your manicure, use a pushing tool to push the cuticle back.
Not Allowing Nails to Heal
When your fingernails are covered with any kind of polish, they aren’t afforded the opportunity to breathe. If you’re a serious lover of a good manicure, you might be tempted to set yourself up with a new dip powder manicure right after removing your old one. Don’t do this! Instead, let your nails recover from the manicure and the removal process. Even taking a week-long break from manicures can help restore natural nail health.
Dip Nail Removal is Easy If You Do It Right
Dipping powder nails are well-loved because of their durability. It is this durability, however, that makes them so difficult to remove intentionally. In addition to having the proper supplies, you need to have a fair amount of time set aside to dedicate to removal. This is true whether you use acetone or not.
Acetone is certainly the most effective solvent used to remove dip powder nails and tips, but it’s totally understandable if you don’t want to use it. It is very drying and gives off a harsh smell. If you use alcohol, you will experience some drying as well, plus longer soaking time.
Regardless of what you use, you need to prioritize aftercare to ensure that your skin and nails are left in good condition. A cuticle oil and a quality hand moisturizer are key to post-manicure aftercare. They offer hydration and vitamins that strengthen nails and help to restore their shine. After you’ve taken care of your manicure, you should give your hands a week or more to rest and recover before getting a new manicure.
I hope that this guide to dip powder nail removal has been helpful to you fellow manicure enthusiasts out there! While removing dip powder nails certainly takes a lot of time, these methods will easily and safely break down the product on your nails.