Acrylic nails are the easiest way to take your look to the next level. From sultry to sophisticated, there’s a lot of styles to choose from. But what happens when it’s time to remove them? It might be tempting to get them removed by a pro at a nail salon, but think of how much time and money you could save if you learned how to do it yourself!
Removing acrylic nails is actually very easy AND very cheap. Your secret ingredient? Acetone. For just a few dollars and a few minutes of your time, this chemical will dissolve your acrylic nails, freeing your natural nails.
What are acrylic nails?
Acrylic nails, also known as fake nails, false nails, or nail extensions, are a sort of accessory that is placed over the fingernail. They can be used as a beauty or fashion statement. Acrylics can be very versatile, ranging from a variety of different colors, lengths, and textures.
Can acrylic nails damage your actual nails?
Taking off acrylic nails improperly can severely damage your nail bed. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a quality glue that’s specifically designed for acrylic nails. Using the wrong glue could cause your acrylics to fall off prematurely, or worse make them nearly impossible to take off without damage.
I recommend this nail glue, not only for its long-lasting ability, but also for its versatility. It can be used for acrylic AND gel nails.
What should I avoid when taking off my nails?
If your skin becomes reddened or irritated in any way, stop what you’re doing immediately, and wash your hands. This moisturizer should help soothe away any irritation, but if it does not subside be sure to call a trusted medical professional.
In addition, never try to take off your acrylic nails without any preparation. Many glues are made to last several days or weeks, so trying to rip them off without taking the time to loosen them up may lead to nail damage. If you find yourself scraping or tearing your nails or nail beds, make sure to take a break. When continuing, make sure to be gentle, as to not further irritate the skin.
How are acrylic nails removed?
There’s three safe ways to take off your false nails at home. They’re all really inexpensive and don’t require much effort. If you’ve used a high quality glue, like the one that I mentioned above, you should have no problems with this. Here are the two ways to take them off:
- Acetone (rub off & moisturize)
- Soak (warm water)
Feel free try these out together for best results. A warm water soak with a acetone good rub works particularly well!
What do I need to take of fake nails?
In order to take off your acrylic nails, you’re going to need a few common household items:
- petroleum jelly
- one bowl
- cotton balls
- cuticle sticks (optional)
- tweezers (optional)
- towel (optional)
Before you start, you might want to cover your work surface with a towel or rag. Acetone can strip away and stain furniture. Any towel will do, but I recommend a smaller or medium-sized one.
In addition, if you’re worried about boredom or productivity, you can soak one hand at a time instead of two. Personally, I prefer this because I can work with left hand as I soak my right and vice versa. Another solution is to put on a TV show or movie. You obviously don’t have to do this, but it’s a little less boring.
How do I take off false nails with acetone?
Once you’ve decided on what you want to do, here’s how to start:
- Begin by pouring acetone into a bowl, deep enough to cover your nails. Before putting your fingers inside, coat your fingertips with petroleum jelly. Apply it everywhere about an inch or two from tips of your fingers EXCEPT on your nails. This will help remove your false nails, while at the same time protecting your skin from the harsh acetone.
- Once this is done, soak your fingertips in the acetone for about 20 minutes. Only put your nails in the solution, not your entire fingers or hand.
- After 2o minutes or so, the acrylic should soften and begin to dissolve. At this point, you can use a cuticle stick like THESE to gently scrape the soft acrylic. You can try to do this with your hands, but I recommend using cuticle sticks because they are more precise.
- If you do not have any cuticle sticks, you can try to pull them off with tweezers. If you feel some resistance, do NOT keep pulling. Keep in mind that the acrylic may become sticky and gooey, so you may need to soak it a few more times.
As a warning, be careful not to scrape off too much or you may damage your natural nail. Some people like to leave on a thin layer of acrylic to avoid scratching too close. But, if you’d like to take it off, when the acrylic is almost gone, wash your hands and allow the nails to air-dry. Then, make sure to use a buffer, like this one, to gently smooth away any remaining acrylic.
Once again, you can apply a moisturizer to soothe any irritation.
How do I remove fake nails without acetone?
If you’re not inclined to use acetone or if you simply don’t have any, it IS possible to take of acrylic nails without it. Here’s what you’ll need:
- a small bowl
- tweezers (optional)
How do I take off fake nails with a water soak?
Here’s what you can do if you don’t have any acetone:
- The first thing you’re going to want to do is to put some warm water in a bowl. Put your hand in for about 20 minutes and then check to see if they’ve loosened. By this point, you should be able to remove at least some of your acrylic nails. If there are any nails remaining, continue to soak them in about 5 minutes intervals until they have all been removed. If you’re having trouble taking them off, you can use tweezers to gently pry them from your natural nail.
- After this, use a nail buffer to rub off any excess acrylic and apply some moisturizing cream.
What should I do if I break my nail?
While it’s unlikely that you’ll break your nail if you’re gentle, accidents can happen. If you do damage your nail while taking off your acrylics, do not worry. First of all:
- Be sure to file or trim the nail down, so that it does not catch on anything and get worse.
- Soak your finger in cold water for 20 minutes to relieve pain and swelling.
- Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream.
- Cover your nail with some sort of tape or adhesive bandage until the pain has subsided.
How do I prevent infection with a broken nail?
With a broken nail, the most important thing that you can do is to take precautions to prevent infection. Signs of infection include increasing heat, pain, redness, swelling, or pus. Here’s what you can do to prevent any future infections:
- Keep the nail dry, clean, and covered with an adhesive bandage.
- Change your bandage frequently.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment. I’ve been using Neosporin for years without infection, so I always make sure to keep some at home.
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