Gel manicures leave beautiful and enduring results. They wouldn’t be so popular if they didn’t. Still, for one reason or another, a person might want to remove their gel nail polish without the help of a professional manicurist. So, how to remove gel nails quickly and safely at home? We found 3 easy methods which we will discuss in further detail below.
The removal of gel nails without proper care and caution can cause damage to the natural nails, including breakage. In this guide to gel nail removal, I’ll teach you how to remove gel nails quickly and safely. With this information, you won’t have to subject your nails to damaging removal techniques any longer!
How to Quickly Remove Gel Nails
In the article below, I’ll explain three different methods of gel nail polish removal:
- The Gel Nail Steam Removal Machine, and how it works?
- The Magic Nail Polish Remover and how to remove gel polish using it?
- Acetone and tinfoil nail wraps, are a classic DIY approach to nail polish removal.
All three of these methods have their benefits. Most importantly, all three removal methods are perfectly safe for your hands and your natural nails.
How to Remove Gel Nails With a Steamer Machine?
This at-home salon product is a great way to quickly and effortlessly remove gel nail polish. It harnesses the power of steam, paired with a solution that’s predominantly acetone, to make quick work of even the thickest of gel nail polish applications.
Benefits of Using a Steamer Machine to Remove Nail Polish
There are many reasons that drive consumers to abandon their old removal techniques in favor of steamer machines just like this one.
- They are more environmentally friendly. The machines are 100% reusable and do not require the use of disposable tools (like cotton balls and aluminum foil). The acetone remover can even be used repeatedly to clear away multiple manicures.
- Machines like this can break down nearly any type of nail polish: LED or UV gel polishes, standard nail polish, basecoats, and topcoats. So, if you like to switch it up, you don’t need to switch machines!
- It takes 10 minutes or less to remove nail polish when used as directed.
- Steam machines do no harm to natural nails and cuticles. The acetone-based steam only breaks down polish – nothing else.
How to Use a Steamer Machine to Remove Gel Nail Polish
The use of this machine is very straightforward, so even the most inexperienced gel polish lovers can remove their gel manicure easily. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to using this effective and convenient machine.
Step 1: Prepare the Machine
This machine needs to be plugged into a standard outlet to operate. Make sure that you have a solid and stable surface to use the machine on before plugging it in.
Step 2: Fill the Machine
Remove the top of the machine to reveal a shallow reservoir. This is where you will deposit 5-10 mL of gel nail polish remover or acetone. For best results, the manufacturer recommends using a removal agent that is 80%-90% acetone. Let the machine heat up for about 5 minutes. This ensures that there will be enough steam to get the job done.
Step 3: Use the Machine
Though steps 1 and 2 are pretty simple, this one is probably the easiest yet. Simply put your hand into the machine, one at a time. After a minimum of 5 minutes, you should find that most – if not all – of the gel nail polish has been removed. If you’ve used a 3-step gel nail polish system, however, it may be closer to 10 minutes to see these results. Repeat on the second hand.
Step 4: Finish the Job
There might still be a trace amount of gel polish remaining, but this kit comes equipped for you to deal with that. Use the steel pusher tool to remove any traces of polish that remain. Wash your hands, and you’re done!
How to Remove Gel Nails With the Magic Remover
This is a specialized product that’s designed to break down nail polish without the use of harsh-smelling acetone. For those of us who are tired of dealing with unpleasant-smelling products, the Magic Nail Polish Remover is Heaven-sent!
Benefits of Using Magic Nail Polish Remover
Magic Nail Polish Remover has been applauded by manicure lovers for quite a few reasons.
- You never have to use acetone again. Acetone is a harsh substance that can cause headaches and irritate eyes with its fumes. This product doesn’t use acetone at all.
- Using the product is incredibly quick, as it breaks down polish in as little as three minutes.
- Storing the container is very easy and convenient since the bottle is roughly the size of your existing nail polish bottles. You can even store it in your purse, handbag, or another travel bag.
- The nail polish remover usually comes in a two-piece set, so you won’t be running out for quite some time.
- Magic Nail Polish Remover is incredibly effective while remaining gentle to your nails.
- The product can be used to remove all types of nail polish, including LED and UV gels, topcoats, basecoats, and other nail polish formulations.
How to Use the Magic Nail Polish Remover
Using this unique product is simple, painless, and effective. It only takes three steps!
Step 1: Prepare the Nail
Though Magic Nail Polish Remover can certainly remove your top coat of polish, it helps to gently buff the top of your nail before applying the product.
Step 2: Application
Applying the Magic Nail Polish Remover is as easy as applying nail polish. Simply cover the nail with this product and wait until your nail polish begins to seemingly “melt” away. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, sometimes longer for thicker applications of nail polish.
Step 3: Finish Removal
Using the small steel pusher tool that comes with the nail polish, simply remove the remaining nail polish that’s been affected by the removing agent. Wash your hands, and you’re ready to apply your next beautiful nail design!
How to Remove Gel Polish With Acetone and Foil Wraps?
Acetone and tinfoil finger wraps are a tried and true method of removing nearly any type of nail polish, including gel polishes. This DIY approach to gel nail polish removal can be achieved with products you probably already have at home:
- A nail file
- Cotton balls
- Aluminum tinfoil
- Acetone/nail polish remover
These finger wraps essentially soak the nails in acetone to ensure a complete breakdown of unwanted gel polish.
Benefits of the DIY Finger Wrap Method
Though this process isn’t very innovative in this day and age, it’s a trusted removal method for a few reasons.
- It’s easy to get your hands on everything you need. You can find nail files, cotton balls, foil, and nail polish remover in many stores – even your local grocery store.
- The materials required are very inexpensive to purchase, if you don’t have them on-hand already.
- This is a very simple and effective method of removing gel nail polish.
- Using acetone and tinfoil to create fingernail wraps isn’t harmful to nails when done properly.
How to Make and Use DIY Finger Wraps to Remove Gel Polish?
We all know that gel nail polish can be quite stubborn to remove. This process allows you to soak your fingernails in acetone to effectively break down polish. Without having to keep your nails dipped in such a harsh-smelling product via an open container or bowl.
Step 1: Prepare Your Nails
The first thing you have to do is to buff your nails. You don’t need to do this for any longer than a couple of seconds on each nail. Just pass the nail file over your nails enough to remove the shiny top layer of nail polish.
Step 2: Create the Wraps
After your nails have been prepped, it’s time to make the wraps. You will want to do this each nail at a time. Otherwise, you risk one cotton ball drying out while you work on the others.
Soak a cotton ball in the acetone or nail polish remover until it is completely saturated. Press the cotton ball to the buffed nail and secure it in place using the tin foil.
Step 3: Wait
Once all 10 finger wraps have been applied, all that’s left to do is wait. You can expect to be able to remove your wraps in about 10 minutes. This process can take a bit longer if you’ve used a 3-step gel nail polish system.
Step 4: Finish Up
At the end of this process, your fingernails should be free of all gel nail polish. Wash your hands to clear any leftover acetone from your fingers. Because of how drying acetone can be, I recommend following up with a nourishing hand moisturizer.
5 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Remove Gel Polish
The improper removal of nail polish can result in damage to your nail beds and cuticles. Here are 5 common bad practices that people use to remove gel polish – even though they shouldn’t.
Using a Remover Low in Acetone
Many people use a nail polish remover that’s lower in acetone because they think it will save their nails from harm. 80%-90% acetone nail polish remover can be effective, but you may need to make more passes of it over your nail to remove everything. This can lead to damage. To save yourself from this problem, use 100% acetone nail polish remover.
Not Buffing the Nails First
You shouldn’t apply the acetone to your nails without first using a nail file to remove the top, shiny surface of the polished nail. Gently filing away the shiny top layer will allow the acetone to penetrate more deeply and therefore lift the nail polish more effectively.
Not Soaking the Nails in Acetone
Acetone nail polish remover works best when it is allowed to soak into the nails. This is why finger wraps, like the DIY wraps I mentioned above, are so important to use. Simply making numerous passes over your nail with an exposed acetone-soaked cotton ball is going to take forever and may lead to damage to your nails.
Forcing/Chipping Gel Polish Off the Nail
If you’ve soaked your nails and the gel polish still doesn’t want to come off easily, don’t force it! Instead, reapply your fingernail wraps and wait an additional few minutes to allow the remaining bond between polish and nail to break down. This will make it easier for you to remove the polish, as well as minimize the risk of damage.
Not Following Up with a Cuticle Oil
Acetone is incredibly drying to both nails and the skin surrounding them. When you’re finished removing your gel nail polish, you need to restore the moisture that’s been lost. The best way to do this is by applying cuticle oil to your nails. Wash your hands first to remove any remaining acetone that might be left behind before using the oil. This will restore the beauty of your nails in no time, through an essential infusion of moisture and vitamins.
Gel Nail Polish is Easy to Remove – if You Do it Right
If you feel it’s time to remove your gel nails, you might feel compelled to rush and chip away at your polish or attack it vigorously with acetone on a cotton ball. What you should be doing, however, is taking a “slow and steady wins the race” approach to gel polish removal. Using the 3 methods of removal detailed above will quickly effectively and safely remove gel polish from your nails. And they will do this without causing any added damage.
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