With most of us staying at home quarantined perhaps you like so many of my customers are finding yourself in a nail predicament…..that is with 4 week old gels that are grown out and in need of removal asap. Since so many of you are asking, I have put together this list of steps that you can follow to remove your gel and acrylics at home. Unfortunately there’s no gentle, natural, or clean way to do this…but it is doable with some time, and simple supplies. And it is best to get them off safely and use this time to heal your nails or better yet, make the switch to a healthier alternative like Lauren B.
For the supplies, you are going to need some acetone, cotton, and tinfoil or you can order finger nail wraps which you can find on Amazon.
Below are my simplified tips for removal of Shellac/ Gel/ Acrylics:
- The easiest and most effective way (and I cringe while typing because it makes my nails hurt thinking about the process) is to first start off by buffing or file the top shiny surface of your nail polish with a medium to corse file/ buffer block. This step is to basically help remove and break the bond of the existing polish, as it will make it more porous. This step of buffing is important to loosen and remove the topcoat to make it a little bit more porous allowing the acetone to do its job.
- Next break off little cotton pieces about 1 inch in size. You will need 10 one for each finger. Soaking each piece of cotton in acetone and placing one piece on top of each nail. Each piece of cotton should cover the nail fully. Tightly wrap that finger with tinfoil and let soak for 10-15 minutes…maybe longer for acrylic depending on what product was used.
- Unwrap one tinfoil covering, remove the cotton from nail to check and see if polish has lifted, softened etc. Gently push off the polish with a wooden orange stick. it should flake or peel easily. Gel or acrylic should never be forced off. If it’s not coming off at this point you are going to have to soak a little bit longer. So essentially repeat/ re-wrap the process of buffing /filing /sanding, wrap in cotton soak in acetone until it’s all removed. After two or three cycles most of the polish should easily lift off nail, and come off with a gentle tool or buffer. I reiterate never to force the polish off, or pick it off, or use harsh tools because when you do that you’re peeling away layers of your nail which is how you get super weak brittle nails.
- Once you have removed all of the polish gently buff the surface of nails to smooth nail plate, and any ridges/ imperfections.
- Cleanse nails with our acetone free nail polish remover which is enhanced with botanicals. It works well to remove any additional debris and sanitize nails.
- Next wash hands and dry, then apply and massage a liberal amount of cuticle oil and hand creme. If you dont have any use a fatty oil that will penetrate, try coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or any other hydrating oil. Our cuticle oil is an amazing blend of 14 super hydrating oils that will surely do the trick!
- Important note- you will NEED intense hydration and cuticle oil after this process to restore cuticles which will have taken a large toll throughout this process. Alcohol and acetone used during this process, combined with more frequent hand washing (which we all have been doing more of these days) will strip your skin of natural oils and can leave hands, nails and cuticles very dry and damaged. It is important to replenish some of these good oils that our skin needs to remain moisturized and supple. I also recommend giving nails some time to heal and re hydrate before diving back in.
Here is also a link to a video on the steps you can follow at home to give yourself the perfect healthy Laure B. salon quality manicure at home. If doing nails is not your thing and you require a bit of extra guidance, check out our DIY Nail Kit which gives you the tools needed to succeed.