How to Safely Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

metallic nails

With social distancing and lockdown in full effect, booking a trip the salon to remove your gel nail polish will have to wait until it’s safe to do so. Of course, many of us don’t want to deal with our gel polish growing out during lockdown which means it is time to take matters into your own hands. If you can’t stand the sight of your gel nails any more, the experts at  Steenberg Spa are offering their tips on how to safely remove your own gel polish at home.

How to remove gel polish

To begin you will need the following: cotton wool, tin foil, a rough nail file and acetone (you can source this from your local pharmacy, off the shelf nail varnish removers will take much longer).


gel polish
Cut tin foil into shape, around 5cm x 10cm for each finger. Prepare cotton wool into individual pieces to place on the nails. If you have cotton discs cut them into quarters and split them in half (you will have 8 pieces), 2 cotton wool discs should be enough.

Step one: Remove any shine off the gel using your nail file. This is to break the top coat so that the acetone may reach the gel underneath. Take care not to file too hard and watch out for those cuticles.

Step two: Take one of your quartered cotton wool discs and drench it in acetone. Place this on the nail and wrap one of your tin foil pieces (shiny side inside) tightly around your nail and finger. Repeat until all the nails are covered.

gel polish

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Step three: Depending on the type of gel used, wait 20 to 30 minutes before doing a quick test to see if it may be removed. Remove the tin foil and cotton wool on the first finger that you wrapped. If the gel has started to peel away you may continue removing it all. If not, repeat the above procedure and reapply. Test after 15 minutes.

Step four: Remove excess gel by gently scraping it away with your nail file. If you really feel like spoiling those cuticles, this is the ideal time to use your cuticle pusher or wooden manicure stick.

Step five: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to neutralise the acetone.

Want more beauty finds, reviews, and tips? Check out our Beauty section for more exciting reading!

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