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How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

A common misconception is that wearing gel polish on your nails will damage your natural nails. It is actually incorrectly removing gel polish that can damage your nails. Picking or peeling your gel nail polish can damage your natural nail bed underneath and cause your nails to feel thinner or more bendy and prone to breakage. Keep reading for several methods to correct and safe gel polish removal. 

Removing Gel Polish

Every removal process for gel polish removal starts with the buffing / filing of the top layer. This is to remove the shine from the top coat. This must be done firmly as the surface must be opened up to allow you to penetrate your gel polish with remover. Do but be careful not to file too much and damage the nail underneath your gel colour.

Once the top layer is thoroughly buffed, there are several options to remove your gel polish. You can soak a cotton pad, cotton ball, or Lint Free Wipe with Mylee Gel Remover, or 100% Pure Acetone and place over the gel colour. You can then secure this with clips or a piece of foil wrapped around the fingertip. Leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes to soak.

You can also use our Mylee Pre Soaked Remover Wraps, where you tear along the line of the sachet, discard the film to reveal the sticky side, pop your finger in so your nail is against the pre-soaked pad, and fold over the sides so they stick on the sticky side and your fingertip is snug inside. Then leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes to soak.

Either method you choose, after 10 to 15 minutes, remove the wrap or clip around your nails, and using a Wooden Cuticle Pusher Stick or the Mylee Gel Scraper,  to gently push away any the gel polish from your nail bed. You need to be super gentle with this, and don’t scrape your natural nail bed or you could damage it. If the gel is still being tough and stuck of there, re-buff and re-wrap your nail for another 10 minutes to remove the remnants. 

Another option to remove your gel manicure is using the Mylee Magic Gel Remover. It’s super quick and easy to use, and can remove your gel polish in just 6 minutes! Don’t be afraid of the texture, it’s a bit thick and gloopy to apply, but it works! To use: 

  1. Buff your nails to remove the shine of the top coat.
  2. Apply a generous layer Magic Gel Remover over the gel, avoiding the skin.
  3. Leave it on for 5-6 minutes. During this time it should start to bubble
  4. Use a scraper or a cuticle pusher to scrape off the polish.
  5. Wash your hands immediately after use.

Once your gel is removed, via any method, make sure to re-hydrate your nails using some cuticle oil and hand cream

How do you remove gel nail polish without acetone?

Acetone is a key ingredient in most gel removal products. If you don’t want to use 100% acetone, you can try a remover with a lower percentage. Normal nail polish removers without acetone are best used on regular nail polish, and won’t penetrate gel polish. 

Is it OK to peel off gel nail polish?

If your gel polish is starting to lift or peel, it can be very tempting to peel it off! Peeling or lifting can occur if you cured any gel polish on your skin or cuticle, or if you didn’t cap the free edge of your nail. But please don’t peel! Peeling gel polish off your natural nail bed can cause damage to your nails and make them a bit thinner. To keep your nails strong try the methods outlined above! 

What is the fastest way to remove gel nail polish?

Have you tried out our Magic Gel Remover? It can remove your gel nail polish in just 6 minutes! Simply buff your nail, apply the remover, let it sit for 6 minutes and gently push it off your nail bed.

Is acetone different from nail polish remover?

Acetone is a key ingredient in most nail polish removers, at varying percentages. You can use 100% acetone to remove your gel polish, and you can also use gel polish removers. Some normal (non-gel) nail polish remover may not contain any acetone, however this won’t be effective to remove your gel mani’s. 

How long do you soak nails in acetone?

Depending on the thickness of your gel manicure the time you need to soak your nails in acetone or gel polish remover can vary. We recommend soaking your nails for 10-15 minutes. If your gel polish isn’t lifting away or is a bit more stubborn, you can soak for a bit longer, or repeat as needed. Stronger products such as the 5-In-1 Builder Gel or Polygel might need a bit longer soaking to remove. Acetone can dry out the skin and cuticle around your nails, and the longer you soak, the more dry your nails could get, so be sure to add some cuticle oil once your gel is removed.

How long should you keep gel nails on?

A normal gel manicure usually lasts around 2 to 3 weeks. However if you have prepared correctly, and looked after your hands and nails, it can last a lot longer. If you’re a bit more tough on your nails, e.g. exposure to lots of cleaning products, it can effect the longevity of your manicure. The main reason to switch up your manicure after 2-3 weeks is due to nail growth. As your nails grow out, your gel polish will grow out with it. At Mylee we love switching up our nails often and trying out new shades and designs!

Is soaking nails in acetone safe?

Soaking your nails in acetone for a short time to remove your gel manicure is safe. Acetone can be dangerous when ingested, so be sure to keep it in a safe place away from children or pets. 

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