There’s no denying that acrylic nails are totally Instagramable, but they’re not exactly the easiest to remove once you’re ready for your next beauty look. (Short neon nails, anyone?) You definitely can’t just rip them off—don’t even try it! Instead, you can head to a salon and have a nail technician remove your acrylics—then redo your nails for you. On the other hand, if you don’t have the opportunity to go to the nail salon, you may be wondering how to remove acrylic nails at home. While this may seem intimidating, bringing you back to that idea of ripping off your nails, we promise it’s actually quite simple. Below, we’re sharing a few of our favorite methods for at-home acrylic nail removal, including two ways to remove acrylic nails without acetone.
HOW TO REMOVE ACRYLIC NAILS AT HOME
There are a few tried-and-true methods when it comes to removing acrylic nails at home. Whether you’re rocking a French mani on faux nails or just gave the jelly nails trend a try, you can take your pick from the removal options below.
ACRYLIC NAIL REMOVAL OPTION #1: ACETONE SOAK
One of the most common and foolproof ways to remove acrylic nails is to do an acetone soak. This is typically the same process that’s used at salons. What does it entail, exactly? Simply follow the steps below.
What you’ll need:
Acetone nail polish remover
Step #1: Clip your nails. Use a nail clipper to cut your acrylics as short as possible. The less nail you’re left to work with, the better!
Step #2: File away. Next, file and buff the tops of your nails to remove any nail polish that was applied on top of your acrylics.
Step #2: Prep your cuticles. Apply some petroleum jelly to your cuticles and fingers in preparation for your acetone soak.
Step #4: Soak and wrap. Let the soaking begin! Saturate a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover, place the cotton ball on top of and around your nail, then wrap the nail with a piece of aluminum foil.
Step #5: Repeat. Continue to soak and wrap acetone cotton balls around your nails with aluminum foil.
Step #6: Wait it out. Let your aluminum foil nails be for about 20 minutes or so (now would be a great time to catch up on your favorite podcast or TV show!). Once time is up, gently lift the aluminum foil on one of your nails. If the acrylic doesn’t start to come off easily, leave it (and the rest of your acrylics) to soak for an additional five to ten minutes.
ACRYLIC NAIL REMOVAL OPTION #2: NON-ACETONE SOAK
Wondering how to remove acrylic nails without acetone? If an acetone-free method is your preference, this acrylic nail removal technique is for you.
What you’ll need:
Tweezers or a cuticle stick
Acetone-free nail polish remover
Step #1: Clip your acrylics. Begin by clipping your nails as short as possible.
Step #2: Lift the edges. Use a pair of tweezers or a cuticle stick to gently pry and lift the edges of your acrylics. Keyword: Gently!
Step #3: Soak away. Pour some acetone-free nail polish remover into a bowl, making sure to pour enough so your nails can be fully submerged. Wait 30-40 minutes or more if needed. When the nail starts to loosen, reach for your tweezers once more to pull the acrylics off your actual nails.
ACRYLIC NAIL REMOVAL OPTION #3: DENTAL FLOSS
Another way to remove your acrylic nails sans acetone is to use a bit of dental floss. Yes, you read that right—dental floss! Turns out this piece of string can be used for more than just your smile. That being said, this technique can cause damage to your actual nails, so it’s best used when your acrylics have already begun to come loose.
What you’ll need:
Step #1: Grab your cuticle stick. Gently lift the edges of your acrylics with a cuticle stick. If your acrylics have already begun to come loose, you may not need to do much for this step!
Step #2: Call a friend. You’ll need a friend to execute this removal process. After the edges of your nails have been lifted, have your friend insert a piece of dental floss under the acrylic nail. Move the floss down the nail in a sawing motion until the acrylic pops off. All done!
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU REMOVE ACRYLIC NAILS
Now that your acrylics are a thing of the past, let’s talk post-manicure removal tips.
Tip #1: Buff it out. When you remove your acrylics, you may be left with some residue. Use a nail file to buff the tops of your nails and smooth the edges.
Tip #2: Use cuticle oil. Your cuticles will be needing some love after removal. Apply cuticle oil generously to soften and care for your cuticles.
Tip #3: Load up on lotion. Your hands need TLC, too! Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm – Face, Neck, Chest and Hands to wrap your skin in soothing moisture.