How to Remove Acrylics Without Hurting Your Natural Nails at Home
Try this method for removing fake nails without causing damage.
- Remove as much acrylic nail as possible with a file
Instead of filing your nails along the top edge, thin down the entire region that the acrylic covers. “Find as much of the acrylic product as you can with a coarse grit file,” Walker advises. You’re going to need a decent file for this; an emery board won’t suffice. Look for a nail file with a 100-grit grit or a nail drill with a coarse enough grit to file down the acrylics’ surface.
- Remove any remaining acrylic nails by soaking them in water.
Walker suggests soaking the nails in 100 percent acetone nail paint remover for as long as it takes to dissolve the acrylic after it has been filed down as much as possible.
There are two options for accomplishing this. Walker suggests putting an acetone-soaked piece of cotton over each nail and then wrapping each fingertip in foil. She claims, “This is the superior technique.” If that doesn’t work, try soaking your fingers in acetone. Although it is easier, “the bowl technique is quite hard on your skin and takes longer,” according to Walker. If you go this method, only dip your nail tips in the dish to avoid drying out the skin on your fingers and hands, according to the instructions. Because acetone is quite volatile and can easily irritate your respiratory system, never use it in a well-ventilated location.
- Gently scrape or buff away any remaining acrylic.
Check your nails after soaking them in acetone. Scrape off the softened acrylic with an orange stick or cuticle pusher every 20 minutes or so, repeating the process until all of the substance has been dissolved. There may be a few small patches of acrylic left, but don’t treat them harshly! A soft foam nail buffer can be used to buff those little obstinate portions smooth if there are any little bits of acrylic that won’t budge.
- Prevent future acrylic damage to your nails
Acrylic isn’t always bad for your nails, but it can harm your natural ones. If you use acrylics frequently, try taking a week off every month to keep your nails healthy. Brush on one coat of a strengthening nail treatment every day during that period to avoid breaking, such as Deborah Lippmann’s hydrating oil. Apply cuticle oil and cream to your nails, then wrap each hand in a warm washcloth for five minutes. You’ll have brighter, stronger nails in no time.
How to get rid of acrylics without using acetone
As a soak-off solution, you can remove acrylic nails without acetone by using an acetone-free nail polish remover. However, Anastasia Totty, a LeChat Nails Educator in Saint Johns, Florida, warns that “if you want to avoid acetone, it will take longer to remove acrylics.” Here’s how to do it:
- To save soaking time, she recommends reducing the additional length of the augmentation with nail clippers.
- Remove as much product as possible with a 100-grit nail file without filing into the natural nail.
- Soak a cotton swab in the remover and wrap your fingertip in a two-inch-long piece of foil with the cotton in direct contact with the acrylic, repeating on each finger. Remove the foil and cotton after 15 to 20 minutes, then gently press the soaked substance away from the cuticle with an orange wood stick or cuticle pusher. “Be patient, and if it’s not moist enough, don’t scrape or peel any of it,” she advises.
- If any acrylic remains on your nails, wrap them again with additional remover.
- Shape your nails with the file, buff lightly if necessary, then wash your hands to remove any remaining solution.