How To Remove a Gel Manicure At Home: A Lifestyle Expert's 5-Step How-To

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Playing Removing a Gel Manicure At Home With Lifestyle Expert Amy Goodman
Removing a Gel Manicure At Home With Lifestyle Expert Amy Goodman

Many people are staying home home right now — rightfully so — and it'll probably be a little while before it's safe to visit the nail salon. (A small price to pay for the health and safety of others!) But if you have the urge to peel off your weeks-old gel manicure, please don't!

Lifestyle expert Amy Goodman is showing you how to safely remove a gel manicure at home without damaging your nails. 

Watch the video above and get the step-by-step below. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO REMOVE A GEL MANICURE AT HOME:

- 100% acetone
- Cuticle oil 
- Cotton balls
- Pre-cut foil squares
- Nail filer
- Cuticle pusher
- Buffing cube (optional, but suggested)
- Moisturizers (like coconut oil and your favorite hand cream) 

MORE: The Key To Whitening Yellow Nails After Polish Is … Toothpaste?!

HOW TO REMOVE A GEL MANICURE AT HOME:

1. File down the top coat — or glossy part — of the gel manicure.

"This is breaking up that top coat," Amy explains. "It's going to kind of make it look a little bit matte. The goal here is not to remove absolutely everything — it's just to remove that glossy finish, and maybe the first layer of that gel polish." 

Pro tip: If you have one, a buffing cube will come in handy here.

2. Rub cuticle oil on the skin around each nail.

"As you know, acetone is really drying for the skin and the cuticles," Amy says. "We want to take a protective step against that."

3. Create acetone wraps + leave on for 5 to 10 minutes.

BUT FIRST: make sure to add a protective layer to whatever surface you're using. Amy uses a double-folded dish towel and one sheet of paper towel.

Pour 100% acetone in a bowl. Pull apart a cotton ball 4 to 6 times until it's about the size of your nail bed. Soak with acetone and place on each nail. Tightly wrap each nail with foil squares and squeeze. 

"That is to keep the acetone from evaporating," Amy explains.

If your acetone is less than 100% (Amy admits that all she had on hand was 96%), you may have to leave your wraps on a little bit longer. 

4. Remove foil wraps and use a cuticle pusher to gently push the polish off. 

"You might hit the base coat," the nail pro says. "[And] that's okay." But don't hit the natural nail!

Pro tip: If there's a stubborn nail, just put the foil wrap back on and let it sit for another five or so minutes, Amy suggests.

5. Moisturize nails with a moisturizer (like coconut oil) and more cuticle oil. And moisturize your hands with cream.

MORE FROM OUR FRIENDS AT ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Best Gel Nail Kits for At-Home Manicures

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