How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home Safely

Humphrey instructs beginning with the following materials: cotton, aluminum foil squares, cuticle oil, a file, buffer, acetone, or gel remover, an orange wood stick or cuticle pusher.

Step 1: Protect your surfaces

Okay, prior to beginning the actual eradication process, Humphrey advises that surfaces be protected. "Gel remover will strip varnish or coatings off surfaces so be wary of this."

Step 2: Buff

While this is not essential for complete removal, it significantly aids in mitigating any dehydrating effects caused by the acetone. 

Step 3: Protect your skin and cuticles

This isn't necessary for removal, although it helps with acetone drying. "Apply cuticle oil to the skin surrounding the nail to help with dehydration

Step 4: Soak them off

He recommends saturating a cotton square or ball in acetone, placing it on the nail, then wrapping the foil tightly around it. Wait about 10 minutes."

Step 5: Watch the gel flake off

After unwrapping the foil, your gel should flake off. "Gently push off any gel that's come loose using your orange wood stick or cuticle pusher," he explains. You shouldn't press hard.

Step 6: Rehydrate

Humphrey recommends buffing nails with a 220 grit buffer and using cuticle oil after removing gel. I recommend Essie Apricot Nail and Cuticle Oil and hand cream to moisturize.