animation removing acrylic nails with acetone and foils

Acrylics are more than just a set of nails. They make you feel super put together (‘I totally have everything under control, okay? Just look at my nails!’) and are your biggest cheerleader whenever you’re texting someone (no matter what about, that tapping is just so satisfying). The only problem is, they’re a pain to get off and trips to the salon are expensive. Luckily, there is a way to remove them from the comfort of your own home.

What do I need to remove acrylic nails?

Manicure set
Petroleum jelly
Cotton wool
Hand cream

Superdrug Superdrug Manicure Set £3.99 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Hand Cream Intensive Moisture 75ml £1.49 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Acetone Nail Polish Remover 50ml £0.79 Buy Now

Step 1: Get clipping

First up, you need to clip your nails down using nail scissors. If you’re like us, when you treat yourself to acrylics you like to make your nails as long as possible. Whilst they look totally amaze, it makes them even harder to get off. So, clip off as much as you can (or are willing too!)

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

Step 2: File your nails

Okay, so first, you need to file your nails the normal way (smoothing the top of your nails after clipping them). But for acrylics, you’re also gonna need to take an extra step. Gently file down the acrylic covering the whole of nail. Aim to make the acrylic as thin as possible, as this will make your life much easier.

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 – you’ll thank us later.

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, relax and indulge in your favourite show while the acetone does all the hard work. After 30-40 minutes (depending on your choice of acetone), you can remove the foil. If the acrylics aren’t quite off, don’t force them! Just wrap your nails back up and continue to relax until your acrylics are ready to slide off. Once off, gently buff your nails to remove any pesky 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.