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How to Get Acrylic Nails Off – Without Damaging Your Natural Nails

Looking for a way to remove your chipped acrylic nails? Our tutorial includes a step-to-step guide to help you with this process.

Have you just had a manicure and treated yourself to a set of new acrylic nails? If so, your nails must be looking great. But after two to four weeks, probably not so much.

Question is, what’s the best way to remove your acrylic nails? Some individuals usually pry them from their natural nails, which is incredibly painful. Others mindlessly bite them off while engrossed in a Modern Family binge-watching session.

Here’s the thing though, both of these methods are wrong. If you’re struggling to get your acrylic nails off, we have the perfect tutorial to help you. So let’s dig in!

Step-by-step guide to remove acrylic nails

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Step 1. Filing

The first step to removing your acrylic nails entails filing. But rather than file along the top edge, this time, your goal will be to thin out the whole area of the acrylic covers. A coarse file like the 100 180 Grit File by MAKARTT is an excellent choice for this application.
When you’re filing, be cautious not to cut the skin around your nails. It’s also good practice to season a brand new file by using an extra file over the edges so as to soften them.

Step 2. Soaking in acetone

Once you’ve scraped off as much of the acrylic nail as you can, the next step is to soak in a solution of 100% acetone.
You can go about this in one of two ways. For starters, you can soak a piece of cotton cloth in the acetone, wrap it in foil, then use this to wrap each fingertip. Or, you could simply pour acetone into a container and soak your nail tips directly.
The second option is a little harsh on your fingertips, so we’d certainly recommend using the first approach.
That said, if you feel like you’re crunched for time, and prefer to take the second route, ensure you soak only the tips and not your entire finger. This way, you can avoid drying out the skin on your fingers and hands.
Another tip that helps is to always use acetone in a space with ample ventilation. Remember acetone is quite volatile and it can cause irritation on your respiratory system very easily.

Step 3. Buffing

Once you soak your nails in acetone, it’s good to monitor the progress of the acrylic nails removal every 20 minutes. When you do, scrape off the softened product, and continue repeating the process up to that point when all the product has dissolved. For this process, you can use either an orange stick or cuticle pusher.
There will likely be a couple of sections that refuse to budge. For these, consider using a soft foam buffer to scrape them off.

Tips to protect your nails from acrylic nail damage

If you can’t live without acrylic nails, there are a few things you can do to avoid causing unnecessary damage to your natural nails. While acrylic nails aren’t bad, they can take a toll on the health of your natural ones over time.

One tip is to always give your nails a weeklong break after removing the acrylic ones. During the resting phase, look for a strengthening nail treatment and brush it on your nails to avoid breakage.

Another thing that can help is to opt for soak-off gel nails as opposed to acrylic ones. Compared to the latter, gel nails are easy on your natural nails because of the flexibility they offer. They’re easier in the sense that they make your nails less likely to crack.

If you do choose gel nails, then it’s good to use LED light for curing rather than UV light. Here’s the deal, LEDs emit a much lower level of radiation than the latter. Better yet, LEDs also result in faster curing; hence, reducing your exposure to UV.

Given the social distancing recommendations to curb the spread of coronavirus, planning a trip to your usual nail salon might have to wait. But this doesn’t mean that you have to get stuck with acrylic nails which are chipping.

To remove them, start by filing the acrylic nails. Then follow it up with soaking them in an acetone solution. It’s also advisable to allow your nails to rest for at least a week after removing the acrylic ones.

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