How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

Step 5: Begin gently removing gel.

Use your cuticle pusher to gently (key word: gently) scrape the gel off your nails. “If there’s any resistance, place your fingertips back into the acetone for another minute or two and then try again,” says Hanna. “Repeat this process until the gel is completely removed.”

Step 6: Buff and moisturize nails and cuticles.

Once the gel is completely removed, use a buffer to smooth your nail plate. Generously apply cuticle oil, and massage into your nails to nourish them.

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Method 2: Wrap your nails in acetone-soaked cotton and foil.

remove gel nail polis with foil

Nuñez’s preferred method uses a few more materials, but leaves your hands a little more free than the soak method.

Step 1: Gather your materials.

You’ll need cotton rounds or cotton balls, acetone nail polish remover, aluminum foil, a nail file, cuticle oil, a manicuring brush, scissors, and a cuticle stick.

Step 2: Prep the foil and cotton.

Cut your foil into small squares that will fit around the tip of your finger, then cut your cotton pads or balls into pieces that are big enough to cover your entire nail.

Step 3: Break the seal.

Same as the method above, remove the top layer of the gel polish with the nail file, using light pressure. Start with the tip of your nail all the way down, then file the top of your nail, and use the manicuring brush to wipe off excess dust.

Step 4: Apply cotton and foil.

Soak the cotton pads in remover, and then place them on your nails, making sure to cover your entire nail. Wrap the tip of your finger and the cotton pad in foil, and fold over the tip to lock in place. Repeat on all fingers, leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 5: Remove the polish.

Going nail by nail, rub the foil and cotton back and forth a few times, and gently pull it off. Most of the polish should come with it. Then gently scrape off the rest with the cuticle stick. Repeat for each nail.

Step 6: Clean and nourish.

Wipe away any residue with alcohol and a cotton ball, and then generously apply a nail and cuticle oil.

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Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.

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