4 ways to safely remove gel nail polish

Gel nail polish makes for a fabulous manicure, but removing the gel isn’t quite so fabulous at all. Here are a few tips and techniques to help you remove gel nail polish as quickly and easily as possible.

1. File the gel off

If you’re pressed for time, filing off the gel polish may be your best bet, but you’ll need a very coarse nail file to get the job done properly. Glide your nail file gently along the surface of the nail repeatedly to wear away the colour. Take extra care not to file too much and file away your natural nail underneath. Swipe the file back and forth, lift and repeat. Do not rub continuously without stopping as this can result in both over-filing and will cause an uncomfortable burning sensation.

2. Soak the gel off

This is the most common way to remove gel nail polish. It may take a little longer than filing, but it’s a sure-fire way to remove all traces of your old manicure without damaging your natural nail underneath. To remove gel polish, soak your nails in acetone, as this will melt away the product. Of course, as it melts and thins out, you'll need to scrape some of the remaining layers away with a nail file, but this will be much quicker and easier to do once the acetone softens them up. To soak your nails in acetone, apply gel polish remover pads or cotton balls doused in acetone to your fingernails, securing them in place by wrapping your fingertips in aluminum foil.

3. Apply petroleum jelly around the nails

Before soaking your nails in acetone, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the skin around the nail bed. Acetone is quite harsh and can dry the skin out quickly. Applying a lubricant first will prevent cracks in the skin during the removal process, which can really burn when irritated by acetone.

4. Do not peel gel off

Peeling your gel polish off is definitely not recommended. It can damage your natural nail by peeling off its layers along with the gel. For that manicure to last a couple of weeks, it has to adhere very well. So when UV gel polish is stuck, it’s stuck! For best results and healthy nails, opt for the file or soak off methods instead.

4 ways to safely remove gel nail polish
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