Pro Hacks: Here Are 3 Ways To Remove Gel Nail Paint At Home!

Kannagi Desai

Junior Beauty Editor

Gel nail paint and manicures have been the best thing that has happened to our nails since the inception of manicures! Two to three weeks of glossy, freshly-manicured looking nails, YES. But removing the UV-cured nail paint is another ball game altogether. Once your nails start growing out, it takes literal self-control to not pick at the open space between your cuticle and the nail paint. Whether you got it done from a pro or pulled a DIY, here are some ways to remove gel nail polish by yourself.

I am sure you are reading this because you have gel nail paint on already, but if you don’t and are planning to get some, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

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What is a Gel Manicure?

A gel manicure is when the manicurist binds synthetic nails to natural ones using a gel. Most places simply use gel polish that hardens under UV light and stays fresh and unchipped for a couple of weeks.

A Few Pointers

1. Part of the process of a gel manicure involves sticking your hands in a box that shines UV lights on your fingers to set the gel. Constant exposure to those lights can definitely cause dark spots on your hands and premature ageing. One thing’s for sure, you cannot go in for one of these procedures without applying a high SPF sunscreen that is water resistant on your hands and fingers.

2. It’s essential to moisturise your hands and fingers like your life depends on it when you’ve got your gel polish on. And don’t forget that cuticle oil.

3. Definitely don’t get back-to-back gel manis. Give your nails a break to repair over a few weeks if you’re considering getting it done again.



Before we get into talking about the removal processes a few things you should keep in mind. Ideally, gel nail paint removal should be left to the pros as should the application, but if you are a little patient and have the right tools you can ensure the same results right at home. All the ways to remove gel nail paint involve the use of concentrated acetone which will dehydrate and damage your nails and the surrounding area. So, make sure you apply a dollop of vaseline around your cuticle and skin around the nails before you begin. Once you are done with the removal method of your choice, follow it up with lots and lots of cuticle oil and nail strengthening serum.





Gel Nail Paint Removal Tool

Nail File

gel nail polish remover kit

Removal Process 1 - Cotton Balls Soak

1. Filing

Take the coarse side of the nail file and start filing your nail paint, GENTLY. The idea here is just to get rid of the shine and top coating of the nail paint.

2. Cotton balls and foil

Soak 10 small cotton balls in acetone for a few minutes. Once done, take each one and stick it on your nails. Then, wrap these up with aluminium foil and wait for about 15 minutes. Slowly take the foil off and drag the cotton off your nails. This should loosen up the nail paint enough for you to just lift it off your nails.

3. Little more filing

Once you are done, if there is anything left, just lightly file it or use the sharp end of a nail file to lift it off the nail bed. This is where you have to be patient and NOT scrape your nails with the file.

4. Hydrate

Apply ample amount of moisturiser and cuticle oil for your nails to regain hydration.

Removal Process 2 - Dip And Soak

1. Soak

After the initial filing, soak your nails in a bowl filled with acetone for a few minutes.

2. Peel

After a few minutes of soaking using the end of a metal nail file or a wooden nail tool, start scraping the gel of your nails gently and slowly so the lower layers start getting soaked in acetone.

3. Lift

Finally, soak the last layer for a little while more and then put your hands in warm water. Post which the last layer can be lifted off your nails with ease without damaging your nail.

Removal Process 3 - DIY Kits

Invest in a few good quality DIY kits for gel nail paint removal. A lot of different kits give you all the tools that you need and have different solution options to try out.

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Please ensure you give your nails some breathing time before you apply any other nail product, yes even normal nail paint. Apply some nail hardening serum and let them breathe. Again let me remind you, that this process will make your nails a little weak and your nail bed a little coarse in the beginning, so be very careful.

Refrain from picking, peeling or scraping the nail surface and if you need to apply something apply one coat of a top coat for a few days before you do another manicure.

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Published on Feb 17, 2018
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