remove gel nails

Glossy and oh-so glamorous, gel nails are a worthwhile treat at the time of application. But, fast-forward three weeks and that growth gap screams ‘must remove immediately’. To save you another trip to the nail salon, learn how to remove gel nails in the comfort of your own home by following these 5 savvy steps.

remove gel nails

What Do I need to Remove Gel Nails?

  • Acetone
  • Bowl
  • Foil cut to small squares
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Nail file
  • Nail strengthener top coat (optional)
Sally Hansen Sally Hansen Miracle Cure Problem Nail Strengthener 13.3ml £9.99 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Cotton Balls x100 £1.49 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Acetone Nail Polish Remover 50ml £0.79 Buy Now

Step 1 – File Nails

Remove gel nails step 1

Before removing the gel polish, cut and file nails down to the desired length.

Top tip: To keep the skin around the nails protected during the gel removal process, carefully apply petroleum jelly (eg. Vaseline) to the targeted areas – this will stop the skin from drying out.

Step 2 – Soak nails in acetone

Remove gel nails step 2
Fill a bowl with half a cup of acetone. Soak cotton balls in the acetone and place gently over each individual nail so that the entire surface area of the nail is covered in the acetone. If you’re doing this process solo, then focus on one hand before moving onto the other hand for ease.

Step 3 – Wrap nails in foil

Remove gel nails step 3

Wrap each finger in a segmented square of foil, keeping the ball of acetone wrapped underneath. This will add a little pressure and lock in heat to help the acetone work its magic.  

Step 4 - Leave to soak

Remove gel nails step 4

Keep nails soaked for up to 30 minutes, for the best results (but always check the label on the acetone for recommended timings). Just pop on a TV show and relax...

Step 5 – Remove foil & repeat

Remove gel nails step 5

Remove the foil from each finger – it will pull easily if the gel polish has completely lifted. For any leftover patches simply wrap and repeat until you are happy with the results. Repeat steps 1-4 on the other hand.

Top tip: Apply a coat of hard-working nail strengthener after removing the gel polish as you may notice that nails are a little weak following gel polish wear.

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Superdrug Superdrug Foil Wrap Gel Nail Polish Remover 24 Pack £2.49 Buy Now
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