Applying nail polish on your fingernails gives you extreme pleasure as it accentuates your beauty and makes you presentable. A well-done manicure can last comfortably for two to three weeks. In the meantime, your nails keep growing naturally beneath the OPI gel color layer. The growing nail gently pushes the polish layer outwards. So, in two weeks, you might require the removal of the nail polish layer, for which you need to visit a nail salon. However, you can learn how to remove nail polish at home. Besides saving time and costs, it can help you in an emergency.
How to Remove Gel Polish at Home?
The primary ingredient you need for removing OPI gel nail polish colors at home is the nail polish remover. These solutions contain acetone because acetone is the most widely used nail polish remover globally. The organic compounds present in gel polish dissolve in acetone quickly. However, using acetone has its significant demerits.
Acetone has dehydrating properties because of which, prolonged exposure can drain out the moisture from your nails and the skin surrounding them. Unfortunately, there is no better solution to this problem. People have tried using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and many other compounds to remove nail polish, but nothing is as effective as acetone.
Let us, therefore, discuss how to remove nail polish using acetone.
Prepping the Nails
Just as you prep the nails for a manicure, it is essential to do so again when removing the OPI gel color from your nails. Protecting your cuticles is critical at all times. Otherwise, you can create havoc with your nails and damage them. The best way to protect your cuticles is to use cuticle oil. If cuticle oil is not readily available in your home, the trusted petroleum jelly or Vaseline can do the trick equally well. In addition, petroleum jelly can help neutralize the damage done by acetone and help in rehydrating your nails.
Loosen the Top Layer Gently
OPI gel nail colors last long because of the impregnable coating that the topcoat provides. The layer is tough enough to prevent even acetone from accessing the polish. Hence, it requires softening up a bit. Using a sterilized coarse nail file can scrape away the top layer gently without damaging the nails. One should apply as little pressure as possible because it can scratch the nail plate underneath the polish layer.
The Acetone Soak Formula
Though you can soak your fingers directly in acetone solution, it is not advisable because it causes unnecessary exposure to acetone. Your skin can get dehydrated and look pale. Hence, the best way is to soak a few cotton balls in acetone solution and place them over your nails. It ensures that the nails alone get acetone exposure. If you feel that the cotton balls could slip out or the acetone could evaporate, you can tie up your nail tips with an aluminum wrap. These wraps are easily available locally, and every house might have them in the kitchen for wrapping food.
The Waiting Time
Acetone takes time to penetrate the nail polish layers to dissolve OPI gel color. It explains why you scrape the nail polish topcoat layer to facilitate acetone to dissolve the polish and remove it. However, the dissolution takes time. Hence, you need to wait for a minimum of 20 minutes. At times, it can take longer, depending on the extent of polish used during the manicure.
Remove the Wrap
After the soaking period is over, you can remove the wrap and cotton balls to examine the extent to which it has removed the polish. The polish layer should slide off on its own. You can also rub the nails gently using a dry cotton swab. Again, the polish layer should come off easily. Otherwise, you need to repeat the soaking process.
Wash Your Nails with Water
Once the removal procedure is over, you should wash your nails thoroughly with water to remove all acetone traces. Subsequently, your cuticles, nail bed, and the skin surrounding your nails need proper nourishment. Cuticle oil is the ideal remedy. Hence, massaging the nails and cuticles with cuticle oil can help rehydrate the nails.
Give Your Nails the Much-needed Holiday
The recuperation process can take time. Hence, it is better to give your nails a week’s rest to restore their original moisture content and health. Subsequently, you can apply your OPI colors.
Are There Alternatives to Acetone?
Yes, you can use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and even your toothpaste to remove gel polish colors from your nails. The prepping and soaking procedures are the same, but the duration of the soak depends on the ingredients you use. However, you always resist any attempts to peel off the layer using your bare hands. It can damage your nails irreparably.
One can follow this procedure for nail polish removal at home. It is easy to master the technique. It is the best method today, especially in the pandemic where all nail salons are closed.