Polygel nails are a popular choice for those who want a long-lasting, durable manicure. Their flexibility and strength make them a suitable alternative to traditional acrylics or gel nails. However, when the time comes to remove your polygel extensions, it’s essential to do it safely to prevent any damage to your natural nails. While you can always go to a professional, removing polygel nails at home is entirely possible with the right tools and techniques.
Before you begin, make sure you have the following items:
- Acetone (100% pure is preferable)
- Aluminium foil
- Cotton balls or pads
- Nail file
- Orange stick or cuticle pusher
- Petroleum jelly or cuticle oil
- Buffing block
Step 1: Preparation
Start by setting up your workspace. It’s a good idea to work on a flat, stable surface in a well-ventilated area. Keep all your materials close at hand, so you don’t have to go searching for them halfway through the process.
Step 2: Buff the Surface
Use a nail file to gently buff the top layer of the LS nails. This will break the seal and make it easier for the acetone to penetrate. Be cautious not to file down too much, as you do not want to damage the natural nail underneath.
Step 3: Protect Your Cuticles
Before you expose your nails to acetone, it’s advisable to apply petroleum jelly or cuticle oil around the skin that surrounds your nails. This step will protect your cuticles and surrounding skin from drying out due to the acetone.
Step 4: Soak in Acetone
Saturate a cotton ball or pad with acetone and place it directly onto the polygel nail. To keep it in place, wrap a piece of aluminium foil around the nail, securing the cotton ball. This will help to accelerate the removal process. Repeat this process for all your nails.
Step 5: Wait Patiently
Once all your nails are wrapped in foil, wait for at least 20-30 minutes. The time may vary depending on the quality and thickness of the polygel, but it’s essential to give the acetone time to break down the material. Resist the temptation to peek, as this will slow down the process.
Step 6: Check and Scrape
After the waiting period, remove one foil and check if the polygel has begun to lift away from the natural nail. If it has, use an orange stick or cuticle pusher to gently scrape off the polygel. If the material is stubborn, reapply the acetone-soaked cotton and foil, and wait for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 7: Buff and Moisturise
Once you’ve successfully removed the polygel from all your nails, use a buffing block to smooth out any remaining uneven areas. Don’t forget to moisturise your nails and cuticles afterwards. This is crucial as both the polygel and acetone can be quite drying.
- Ventilation is Key: Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling acetone fumes.
- Skin Protection: Never skip the step to protect your cuticles and surrounding skin.
- No Force: If the polygel isn’t coming off easily, don’t force it as you can damage your natural nail.
Can I use nail polish remover instead of acetone?
While some nail polish removers contain acetone, they are often not as effective as pure acetone. Using 100% acetone will yield faster and more efficient results.
Is there a natural alternative to acetone?
There are some acetone-free nail polish removers on the market. However, they may not be as effective in removing polygel nails, which are designed to be durable and long-lasting.
Can I reuse the polygel after removal?
No, once the polygel is removed, it cannot be reused. The structure of the material changes during the removal process, making it unsuitable for reapplication.
Removing polygel nails at home can be an easy and convenient process when done correctly. Always prioritize the health and safety of your natural nails by following each step carefully. With patience and the right tools, you can achieve salon-quality results from the comfort of your home.