How To Safely Remove Gel Nails At Home, According To A Nail Technician

Happy soaking!

Because you can't really get to the salon right now...

It's hard not to love a gel manicure — two weeks of chip-free wear and glossy shine? Sign us up!

Removing the LED-cured lacquer, however, is another story. Once the free edge around the cuticle starts to lift, it takes all of our self-control to resist the urge (and often failing...) to rip all ten shells from our fingers — which can cause major damage to the natural nail bed underneath.

The good news is, you can remove a gel manicure at home without going to the salon — and without damaging your nails...which is particularly useful given the current situation where many of us are staying at home due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

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So, with the help of MINK, we've devised the ultimate guide to getting your gels off at-home, so you can enjoy them knowing your natural nail strength won't suffer for it.

step one:

Gently buff the top layer of gloss from the gel polish, so the polish turns almost matte in colour.

step TWO:

Cut tin foil into small squares and cut a cotton square pad in half. Place half the square pad in the centre of the foil square and soak the cotton in acetone or a nail polish remover containing acetone. 

step Three:

Seal up the foil square around the nail and leave to soak for 10-12 minutes. Note: 100% acetone will remove the gel polish that little bit quicker.

step FOUR:

Ideally, a wooden pusher from any manicure kit you have at home will safely push away the gel polish. Using a buffer or a soft emery board, gently buff away any excess residue, taking care not to buff too deeply on the nail plate.

step FIVE:

Gently push back cuticles and shape the nails, before slathering on plenty of nourishing oil- if you don't have cuticle oil to hand, any carrier oil works brilliantly, such as almond, or olive oil. Add a tiny drop of essential oil to the carrier oil to make it more pleasant. Adding in a rich hand cream, which we all need right now, will protect the skin and nails hydrated. 

Repeat oil and cream step daily, every morning and night to keep nails in the best condition they can be until this madness is all over and you can finally get to a salon.

Main image by @jessicawashick on Instagram

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