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How to remove acrylic nails at home – Superdrug
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How to remove acrylic nails at home

animation removing acrylic nails with acetone and foils

Me at the beginning of the month: 'I've been paid, time for a new set of gorgeous acrylic nails!'

Me towards the end of the month: 'I'm so broke and I need to get these nails off!'

When the times comes around to deciding whether to fork out for some infills or to remove your nail extensions, the struggle is real.  Heading back to the salon is usually a pricey affair, so what are you to do? Luckily, there is a way to remove them from the comfort of your home without without damaging your nails or what's left of your bank account!

how to remove acrylic nails

What do I need to remove acrylic nails?

Fill your basket with these items for the ultimate at-home nail pampering session:

Manicure set
Petroleum jelly
Cotton wool
Hand cream

Step 1: Cut your nails down 

First of all, you need to clip your nails down using nail scissors. If you like to keep your nails long, we totally do, that's fine but bear in mind it will make them harder to get off. So, clip down as much as you are willing to do.

acrylic nails being clipped with nail cutters
Buffing nails with smooth side of a nail file block

Step 2: File your nails

Next up, take your nail file and smooth the top of your nails, including gently filing down the acrylic covering the whole of the nail. Aim to make the acrylic as thin as possible. This will make your life so much easier (and who doesn't want that?!)

Step 3: Protect your skin

Acetone can be harsh on your poor skin. To protect it, apply petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding your nail beds. This will stop the solution from drying out your skin. So you will have nice, healthy looking skin to match your new acrylic-free nails!

animation of nails being pampered with cuticle oil
animation removing acrylic nails with acetone and foils

Step 4: Wrap your nails

There’s two ways to apply acetone. The first is simply soaking your nails in acetone for 30-40 minutes. However, your hands are not gonna thank you for that extra acetone exposure. The best way to do it? Soak cotton wool pads in acetone and place over your nails. Then wrap each nail in foil, securing it in place.

Step 5: Sit back and relax

Now you can sit back and relax in front of an episode on Netflix, 'cos you're going to want to let the acetone do its thing on your nails for at least 30-40 minutes. After this time, remove the foil and see how the acrylics are doing. If they're not ready to come off, don't force them! Just wrap your nails back up and continue to relax until you can remove them with ease. Once they're off, buff your nails to remove any remains.


animation of nails being filed down
Nails being wiggled with acrylic nails removed

Step 6: Nourish your hands

Your hands have been through a lot. First the acrylics (worth it), then the acetone. It’s time to apologise by lathering them in a nourishing hand cream. You could also apologise to your nails by coating them in a strengthening top coat.

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