How to safely remove gel nail polish at home

As salons close, here is how to get gel polish off without damaging your nails

Bright neon red manicure on female hands on the background of jeans. Nail design. Beauty hands.

Long-lasting gel and Gelish nails are a beauty staple of many – considering the manicure lasts up to three weeks, usually chip free.

But anyone who is a salon regular will know that professional removal is also essential in order to prevent nail damage.

However, as we're currently in isolation and salons around the UAE have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, if you have a gel manicure that needs shifting, the removal is now down to you.

So, before you get tempted to chip away at the polish (we've all done it), the experts at Tips and Toes salons have advice on how to safely remove a long-lasting manicure or pedicure.

What you need: 

  • Acetone-based nail polish remover (ideally with a conditioning oil)
  • Cotton wool
  • Foil sheets, cut into squares around 4cm x 4cm
  • Nail file and buffer
  • Wooden manicure stick
  • Nail and cuticle conditioner

How to remove your gel nail polish: 

1. File the top layer of gel polish using a nail file, this helps the remover penetrate the polish for quicker removal.

2. Finger by finger, saturate nail-sized pieces of cotton wool with the remover.

3. Place cotton pad directly onto the nail and secure it into place with the foil wrap.

Removing nail polish from hand fingers with foil, beauty nail work tools

4. Wrap all 10 nails and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. It will get harder to secure the wraps as more fingers get covered. You can do the whole process one hand at a time to make it easier.

5. Unwrap your nails and scrape the loosened polish off with the wooden stick.

6. Buff the nail slightly to remove product residue using nail buffer.

7. Soak your nails in water to hydrate them, then condition with cuticle oil.

As of Wednesday, April 1, UAE salon Tips and Toes is selling full DIY Gel Removal Kits online, which they will deliver to your door in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Another salon, Bedashing Beauty Lounge is selling a manicure kit, which includes tools to remove gel wraps via BGX Official, an app that connects with Uber to deliver beauty products to your door quickly. They are also selling hair dye and facial kits.

Tips & Toes salon is also selling DIY Root Kits, a tailor-made set, created by the chain's Hair Masters to suit individual needs. They each consist of a disposable bowl, a bottle of developer, a tinting brush, a disposable cap, shampoo and conditioner, disposable gloves and a disposable hair net. They cost Dh150.


Read more: 

Cut your nails and shave your beard? The hygiene advice we should be following during the coronavirus outbreak

The dirt on clean beauty: some natural products are just as toxic as their chemical counterparts

What is hair lamination? The Dh55 quick fix that will keep your hair glossy and protected


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