Okay, I’ll pretend to be your mother/elder/annoying buddy for a moment: Please refrain from picking and peeling your artificial nails at home. Going to a salon where a qualified nail tech can use remedies and patience to pull acrylic nails off with minimal harm is the safest, most effective way to remove them. That said, I’m well aware that we live in strange times, and doing the right thing—i.e., going to a salon—isn’t always doable.
And in these rare, inconvenient instances, we must rely on do-it-yourself solutions. This is when I enter the picture. I sifted through the shady world of nail advice to uncover the finest instructions for removing acrylic nails without causing damage.
How to remove artificial nails using acetone at home
Yes, the tried-and-true removal method for the typical DIYer. Warming up your acetone before using is a hot tip (literally), as it will help it work faster and more efficiently on your nails. (Be aware that acetone is extremely flammable; instead, run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes.)
The steps are as follows:
- Clip off any excess acrylics with care, trimming them as near to your natural nails as possible.
- Rough up the polish’s surface with a nail buffer until the gloss is entirely gone. The polish softens faster in acetone when the topcoat is removed.
- Fill a tray or bowl with 100 percent pure acetone and soak your nails in it for five minutes.
- Gently remove the polish off your nails with a metal cuticle pusher, pushing downward from your cuticles.
- Re Dip your nails for five minutes, then gently put them back into place. Repeat until all of your acrylics have soaked up all of the water.
- With your nail buffer, buff off the remaining smaller fragments.
- To rehydrate your nails, massage cuticle oil into them and buff it in with the soft side of a buffer. Apply a last application of cuticle oil.