Remove Your Own Gel Polish in 6 Easy Steps

by theSKIN


Remove Your Own Gel Polish in 6 Easy Steps

Because there’s no way you’re getting a nail appointment for the next 2 weeks.

Who doesn’t love gel nails? They’re shiny, smooth, pigmented, and they last over two weeks. But here’s the thing: as soon as they start to grow out, or worse, lift – it’s over and done. There’s nothing worse than running your fingers through your hair and  getting strands caught between the gel and the nail (so sorry if we just made you shiver at the thought).

If you can’t make it to the nail salon to get them removed (or you’re like us and peel them off when you’re anxious…we know we shouldn’t!), our resident nail expert Queenie Nguyen has a foolproof solution for you. In six easy steps, you can remove gel without ruining, breaking or peeling your nails. Bonus: Queenie added some ultra-satisfying gifs for your viewing pleasure.

  • Nail scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Nail file
  • Cotton (pads or rounds)
  • All-purpose nail polish remover
  • Cuticle stick
  • Nail oil
  • Buffing block


Using the nail scissors, trip your aluminum foil into little squares. Make sure they’re large enough to wrap around the tips of your fingers.


File the top of the nail carefully for about 30 seconds, or until the top layer of gel is mostly white.


Place an aluminum foil square below your finger and a cotton round on top of your nail. Squirt a good amount of nail polish remover on the cotton pad and wrap your nail in the aluminum foil.


Patience is key with this step – it’s where the magic happens! Let sit for 3-5 minutes. The longer you wait, the easier it will be to remove.


Remove aluminum foil. Most of the gel should fall off, so we recommend doing this over a sink or paper towel. To remove the remaining gel, gently scrape the nail with a cuticle stick.


Treat cuticles and nails with your favorite oil and buff out any remaining imperfections.

You did it! We’re so proud. Now either let those babies breathe, or head over to our DIY manicure tutorial to learn how to paint them yourself.

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