How To Remove Gel Manicure At Home

Gel Manicure Tips: How To Remove ‘Em Without Damaging Your Nails


Gel manicures are (arguably, of course) the greatest thing to happen since, well, nail polish was invented.

If you were either born with paper-thin nails or the unfortunate habit of jamming your fingers around every opportunity you have (we know, the keyboard does not need to be slammed, but we just can’t help it), gel manicures can be a life-saver.

They dry instantly, for all of us with the patience of a new puppy, and last for weeks.

But there is a downside: they’re not all that easy to take off! (Especially for those of us who can’t seem to resist peeling off all our nail polish the second we notice the tiniest chip).

So whether you’re fickle like us and just want a new hue, or started to see some new growth and just.couldn’ (sigh, us too…), taking off your gel manicure at home is a terrible idea. Or at least is was until just this very second.

Sure, you can (and probably should!) go to a nail salon to have your gel manicure professionally removed, when that just ain’t gonna happen, Skyy Hadley, owner of As U Wish Nail Salon has the step-by-step tutorial you need to safely remove your own gel manicure at home.

As Skyy explains, “You may not have the time or money to get your gel mani removed at a salon and it’s essential to learn because it can be harmful to your nails when removing gel improperly. By peeling off a gel manicure, you are not only removing the gel, but also the top layers of your nails. This can result in white patches and textural irregularities throughout the nails.”

Eeek. Okay. We’re listening…

How To Remove A Gel Manicure At Home


  • File– Use an emery board to lightly buff each nail to remove the shiny top coat so you’re left with a powdery finish. Be careful not to over buff so you don’t hit your natural nail underneath the gel.
  • Soak– Next you must soak your nails in 100% acetone polish remover. To do this, take a piece of cotton ball the size of your nail and pour the acetone on it, place it on your nail and cover your nail with a piece of aluminum foil or tape to keep it in place. Do this on every nail and let soak for 15 minutes to relax the gel.
  • Remove– Remove the cotton pieces from your nails and take a wooden cuticle stick to push the gel polish off your nails. If you have trouble, instead of forcing it, soak your nails with a cotton ball for 5 more minutes and try again, repeating as necessary.
  • Moisturize– After the gel has been removed, wash your hands, and apply a cuticle oil to the nail and cuticle. This will rehydrate your nails after using acetone on them to keep them strong and healthy between polishes.

Remember to take your time “It’s important to take your time when removing a gel manicure yourself as it can be a slow process and you want to treat your nails very delicately and carefully to avoid weakening them,” explains Skyy. And, well, we’re at least gonna try and listen!

PS. Click here to see how to DIY the manicure in the picture!