How to remove gel nail polish at home

Love gel nails but loathe the look of a chipped, outgrown mani?

With salons still closed are you looking at your nails in despair. Or, worse still, are you avoiding painting them and have <screams> naked nails!!

If the thought of your nails being trapped under old gel is preventing you from indulging in a manicure, then you’ll be relieved to know that removing gel nail polish doesn’t have to be a salon procedure. There are plenty of relatively simple, ‘at home’ ways to remove gel nail polish without the need for a trip to the beauty salon every time.

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used.


Removal method 1 – picking (don’t try this at home!)

Whilst this is the most common option people resort to, it is the absolute no no of gel nail removal. So, let’s be 100% clear about what NOT do:

  • Don’t pick
  • Don’t bite at it
  • Don’t rip it off

Whilst the temptation to do all three of these things when your manicure is past its best can be high, it’s important to try not to. Why? Because whilst it may peel the colour from your nails, you will also strip layers of your nail plate away too. Leaving them weakened and vulnerable to future peeling and breaking.


The good news is you can remove a gel manicure at home without damaging your nails…


Removal method 2 – DIY foil wraps

For anyone who is used to making trips to the beautician for gel nail polish removal, this method will feel the most familiar.

First you need to buff your nails with a nail file, this helps to remove the shiny top layer of gel polish. Next soak a ball of cotton wool in acetone – make sure it’s well saturated. Then sit the cotton ball on top of your nail, check to make sure that all your nail is touching the cotton wool, then wrap a small piece of aluminium foil around the top of your finger - this helps to keep the cotton balls in position. Repeat the process for all your nails and then check the time and wait. It will take a good 10 minutes for the acetone to work its magic.

Once the time is up, remove the foils and use the cotton balls to wipe across the nails to remove any stubborn gel polish and, voila, clean nails!

To replenish the moisture in your nails and protect the delicate skin around the nail plate, it’s a good idea to apply hand cream once you’re done.    


Removal method 3 – the double boiler

This method starts the same as #2 - by gently filing the top off your gel polish to remove the glossy coating – but then you’ll need two bowls rather than foil.

The bowls need to be different sizes. Fill the larger bowl with hot water and then sit the smaller bowl inside – this one then needs to be filled with acetone.

Next place your fingertips into the acetone bowl and leave them there to soak for roughly 10 minutes. Then remove your hand and use a cuticle pusher - or better yet a nail stripper specifically designed for the task – to gently push off the remaining gel polish. It’s easiest to tackle one hand at a time, but this will obviously take longer.

Again, it’s advisable to moisturise once you’ve finished and dried off both your hands.


Remove gel nail polish like a pro

Here at the Semilac Shop UK, we live for gel nail polish – and we hate the thought of people enduring a bad manicure or avoiding gel polish altogether just over concerns about how to remove it. So, no matter if you are – an at home gel polish lover or a salon owner preparing for the deluge of customers once you can re-open your doors - we have everything you need to professionally remove gel nail polish without damaging your nails, right here.

From convenient remover wraps, acetone, and specially sculpted stripper tools right through to hand care creams and cuticle oils to help keep your nails in peak condition. We’ve even put together a ‘gel manicure removing set’ with everything you need.

Oooooh and don’t forget, now you know how to easily remove your gel polish at home, you can get painting even more frequently – so why not check out the fabulous collection of colours we have on offer?

For further information on gel polish removal or any of the Semilac products we have available, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.