How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home Safely Without Damaging Your Nails
Have you ever given in to the temptation of picking or peeling your gel polish off your fingernails?
And then once you’re all done, you’re left with a sprinkling of nail polish bits on the floor around you, mangled nail tips from the picking, and destroyed nail beds that look like they were attacked by an evil cheese grater.
Maybe you got a salon manicure and they left you with no way to remove the gel polish without going back and paying MORE to have it removed.
Or maybe you just have a bad habit like I used to of picking at your nails.
Seriously, I don’t have too many meetings as a software developer, but if I ever ended up in a meeting that seemed to drag on and on, I would start that awful picking to give my hands something to do. And then I would always regret it as I stared at my fragile nails that were just getting thinner and thinner and more brittle. No wonder I used to never be able to grow them out!
If there is ONE thing that I want to get across with this post, it’s to hopefully convince you to NEVER pick your nail polish off that way again!
It’s not the polish!
Many people don’t realize that gel polish isn’t what’s damaging their nails, it’s how the polish is being removed.
A good, non-toxic gel polish can actually be protective and lead to healthier and stronger nails, but it must be removed properly.
One issue can be the type of acetone and how it’s used.
Another issue is using a sharp metal cuticle pusher to push the gel polish off after it has soaked in acetone remover. If you push the wrong way, you can accidentally scrape or gouge out your nail. So I always recommend using an orange stick to push the loosened polish off.
The deal with acetone
You will need to use acetone to remove your nail polish, and yes, it “can” cause your nails to dry out. If the skin around your nails looks white afterwards, then you are damaging it with acetone.
But you can definitely still use acetone while minimizing the drying effects and remove your polish in a way that keeps your skin and nails healthy.
- The most straightforward way to use acetone without damaging your skin or nails is to simply use less of it! Don’t just stick your whole finger in a cup of acetone and let it sit there. Use remover pads (or make your own with bits of cotton balls) so the acetone mostly sits just on the nail polish.
- Don’t leave acetone on for too long – just enough time to loosen the polish. If left on your nails too long, the acetone can start to dry up before you push the nail polish off. If that happens, it can actually end up being MORE difficult to remove the polish. I always set a 5-minute timer on my Echo Dot as soon as I have secured all the remover pads on my fingers. Once the timer goes off, I remove one pad at a time and gently push the polish off. If some spots of polish don’t come off super easily, then I just reapply the remover pad and move on to my other nails before returning to that one.
- Don’t use 100% acetone on your nails! Use an acetone remover that also contains calcium, which will counteract some of the the dryness and prevent the acetone from damaging your nails.
GelMoment Remover Pads
GelMoment’s remover pads contain 11% calcium to counteract the acetone’s drying properties.
The remover pads also use a minimal amount of acetone. They have just enough to remove the polish well without drenching your whole finger in it.
Since they are individually packed, it’s super easy to keep a few in your purse or wallet so you have them on-the-go.
Even thought GelMoment’s gel polish is super durable and typically lasts up to 2 weeks, there are some things that no gel polish will ever be able to stand up to…like the zipper on my Freshly Picked diaper bag, haha! (that thing is unnecessarily sharp and has already gouged out TWO of my nails!!)
So if you ever do get a chipped nail while you’re out and about, pull out a remover pad and just remove the rest of the polish on that finger so you won’t be tempted to pick the rest off. Seriously. One bare nail for half a day is SO much better than a damaged, thinning nail.
The best way to remove your gel polish safely
These instructions are particular to GelMoment Remover Pads, but apply similarly to other brands (though you may be missing out on some beneficial ingredients when using other brands)
1) Open up a remover pad and wrap it around your finger with most of the pad on top of your nail.
2) Secure the pad with the pink sticky strip or use a remover clip to hold it in place more securely.
3) Wait 5 minutes.
4) Take off one remover pad at a time and GENTLY push the polish off with an orange stick.
5) If the polish doesn’t come off easily, replace the remover pad and continue with your other fingers before trying that one again.
–> If you need a way to remove your gel polish at home without damaging your nails, then pick up some GelMoment remover pads right here!
Have you ever struggled to remove gel nail polish before? Share your experience in the comments below!