Hokay, gonna be your mom/elder/annoying friend for a second: Please stop trying to pick and peel your acrylic nails off at home. Seriously—the safest, most effective way to remove acrylic nails is by going to a salon where a trained nail tech can use potions and patience to get ‘em off with minimal damage. That being said, I’m also aware we’re living in weird times, and doing the ~right~ thing—i.e., going to a salon—isn’t necessarily possible right now.
And in these rare, annoying times, we must resort to DIY methods. Which is where I come in. I parsed through the questionable world of nail advice to find the best tutorials on how to remove your acrylic nails without the damage—or, well, without as much damage as you’d probably inflict on your own.
How to remove acrylic nails at home with acetoneThis content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Ah, yes, the classic removal technique for the average DIYer. As a ~hot~ tip (literally), try warming up your acetone before starting, which will help it work faster and more effectively on your nails. (Note: Acetone is incredibly flammable, so don’t microwave it—just run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes.)
The steps:Carefully clip off your excess acrylics, cutting them as close as possible to your real nails.Using a nail buffer, rough up the surface of the polish until the shine is completely gone. Removing the top layer helps the polish soften faster in the acetone. Pour 100 percent pure acetone into a tray or bowl and soak your nails in it for five minutes.With a metal cuticle pusher, gently push the polish off your nails, pushing from your cuticles downward. Redip your nails for five mins, then gently push again. Repeat until your acrylics have completely soaked off. Buff off the rest of the smaller pieces with your nail buffer. Massage cuticle oil into your nails to rehydrate them, then buff it into your nails with the soft side of a buffer. Finish with another layer of cuticle oil.
The only 4 nail files and buffers you'll needMischo Beauty Glass Nail Filemischobeauty.com$15.00 Breukelen Polished Stay Polished Nail Kitbkpolished.com$3.50 Tweezerman Neon Buff & Shine Blockamazon.com$9.99 HeeYaa Nail Files and Nail Buffersamazon.com$3.99
Removing acrylic nails with an electric file/nail bitThis content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
If you’re both lazy and an acrylics addict, you should seriously consider picking up an electric nail file to make the process way easier and safer on your nail beds.Get access to *all* of Cosmo
Yes, technically, this is the ~professional~ way to do it and it’s definitely a skill to learn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it at home (at your own risk and by watching a ton of tutorials).
The steps:Gently and carefully sand down the acrylics with a sanding bit, taking off the top layer of your acrylics. Then soak a cotton swab with 100 percent acetone, wrap it around your nails, and cover it with tinfoil, until all your digits are swaddled in foil.After 10 to 15 minutes of soaking, unwrap your fingers, then remove the excess acrylic with a cuticle pusher.Rinse your hands and finish with a cuticle oil.
The 4 best cuticle oils to try rnPear Nova Growth Green Tea Cuticle Oilpearnova.com$13.50 Nash + Pino Hydrate Cuticle Oilnashandpino.com$12.00 Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail & Cuticle Pendermstore.com$19.00 CND Essentials Nail & Cuticle Oil SolarOilamazon.com$8.50
Removing acrylics at home with plastic bag soaksThis content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
If an e-file sounds like way too much work and you don’t exactly have a ton of spare nail trays hanging around your house, try the ultra-easy—albeit not exactly environmentally friendly—way of removing your acrylics with a plastic bag.