Okay, gonna be your mom/elder/annoying friend for a second: Please stop trying to pick and peel your acrylic nails off at home. Seriously—the safest, most effective way to remove acrylic nails is by going to a salon where a trained nail tech can use potions and patience to get ‘em off with minimal damage. That being said, I’m also aware we’re living in weird times, and doing the ~right~ thing—i.e., going to a salon—isn’t necessarily possible right now.
And in these rare, annoying times, we must resort to DIY methods. Which is where I come in. I parsed through the questionable world of nail advice to find the best tutorials on how to remove your acrylic nails without the damage—or, well, without as much damage as you’d probably inflict on your own.
How to remove acrylic nails at home with acetone
the classic removal technique for the average DIYer. As a ~hot~ tip (literally), try warming up your acetone before starting, which will help it work faster and more effectively on your nails. (Note: Acetone is incredibly flammable, so don’t microwave it—just run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes.)
- Carefully clip off your excess acrylics, cutting them as close as possible to your real nails.
- Using a nail buffer, rough up the surface of the polish until the shine is completely gone. Removing the top layer helps the polish soften faster in the acetone.
- Pour 100 percent pure acetone into a tray or bowl and soak your nails in it for five minutes.
- With a metal cuticle pusher, gently push the polish off your nails, pushing from your cuticles downward.
- Redip your nails for five mins, then gently push again. Repeat until your acrylics have completely soaked off.
- Buff off the rest of the smaller pieces with your nail buffer.
- Massage cuticle oil into your nails to rehydrate them, then buff it into your nails with the soft side of a buffer. Finish with another layer of cuticle oil.
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