Thinking of removing your acrylics yourself? Here’s how to save your nails | HerCanberra

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Thinking of removing your acrylics yourself? Here’s how to save your nails

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It may be a #firstworldproblem but as our acrylic and gel nails start to look a little worse for wear in lockdown, the question of how to remove them might be crossing your mind.

Ripping them off (and taking the whole nail with you *shudder*) is a big no, no in the nail industry but as they start to lift and peel, the question of how to safely free your natural nail underneath arises. 

Fortunately for the HerCanberra team, Erin Cross solved this problem last lockdown when she removed her own acrylics in three easy-ish steps. While at home removal can leave your natural nails looking rough and a little worse for wear, to help you save your nails she spoke to nail extraordinaire Jessica Peris from The Beautique to learn how to care for them post removal. 

Erin’s three easy-ish steps to remove acrylic and gel nails

While Erin often has fabulous nails, she isn’t a professional nail technician. Readers are advised that these steps may damage the natural nail and it is up to their discretion if they choose to follow these steps. 
  1. Start by taking a nail clipper and cut all of your nails as short as you desire. The shorter they are, the easier it will be to remove the acrylic powder. Then, immerse them in acetone for 10 minutes to weaken the powder. 
  2. Taking a cuticle pusher, slowly scratch off the gel paint and repeat the process until the polish is completely removed from the nail. Soak your nails twice more and repeat the process. Once you are satisfied they are soft, take the cuticle pusher and insert it underneath the nail to pop them off one by one. 
  3. Leave nails to rest for 10 minutes or longer. If needed, remove remaining nail fragments. Using a nail grinder, grind down the remaining parts of the fake nail until gone, leaving the natural nail as smooth as possible. 

So, you’ve removed your acrylics. Now what? 

Jessica Peris from The Beautique shares her tips for caring for your nails

Jessica Peris, owner of The Beautique. Credit: Tess Godkin.

If you’ve removed your acrylics or gels, try to keep your nails cut short. The nail plate (basically the main part of your nail) and the free edge (the natural white-ish tip), is likely to be a bit compromised or weak, depending on how your enhancements were removed. Your nails may not be used to being naked, so keeping them short will minimise the risk of them splitting at the edges. 

Keeping your nails bare is also not a bad idea. Take this time to let them breathe and grow but if you want to enjoy having some colour on them while in lockdown (totally a good idea for the spirit), remember to always use a base coat first. Pour yourself a cocktail in advance as you’d want to allow at least half an hour to let them dry.

To stimulate new nail growth, gently push back your cuticles. We don’t recommend going crazy with cuticle clippers – but if you need to give them a tidy up, make sure you don’t cut any living tissue, only cut hangnails or what is dry. This would look obviously lighter in colour than the rest of the skin around your nails. 

Remember they’re jewels, not tools! While we are likely to be spending more time in the garden, reorganising our pantries or doing a good Spring clean, make sure you’re not using your actual nails to pick at anything. This includes cans, peeling off labels, or using them to open boxes. 

To keep them happy and healthy, nourish your hands and nails with a good cream, oil and/or cuticle oil. We of course love our By The BE dedicated hand and cuticle oils. You can also eat your way to strong nails by ensuring you’re ingesting a good amount of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants pertinent to hair, skin and nail health. Lots of veggies, berries, nuts and supplements like Collagen are a delicious way to help your nails glow-up.

Feature image: Nathan Harradine Hale for The Beautique

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