How to remove gel nail polish properly (and without ruining your nails)

Resist the urge to peel!

Ask any top nail technician and they’ll tell you that peeling off gel from your nails is one of the worst things you can do for their health and condition. Of course, we get that you may not have the time to make an appointment for in-salon removal – but that’s exactly why it’s important to know how to remove gel nail polish properly.

In fact, ensuring proper removal is one of the best ways to stop your nails from splitting and peeling.

‘Gel polish is a wonderful thing – the high shine glossy finish, having chip free nails for up to three weeks, all with no risk of smudging or having to factor in a drying time,’ says Lou Stokes, UK ambassador for ORLY. ‘However, it’s completely essential that the gel polish itself is removed very carefully.

It’s tempting to rip the whole thing off once those edges start to lift, but Lou stresses that doing so is a major no-no. ‘The lure to bite or peel off polish that has started to lift can be very tempting, but the damage you can do to your nails can last for months.’ Noted!

how to remove gel nail polish

How to remove gel nail polish step-by-step

Step 1: ‘Lightly file over the top of the nail using an emery board. Breaking the surface of the Gel Polish allows the remover to penetrate the polish and work effectively.’

Step 2: ‘Cut a cotton pad in half, so you have a semi-circle and saturate with ORLY Genius Remover. This is perfect for removing nail varnish, gel polish and hybrids and contains a fantastic selection of conditioning agents including Eucalyptus, Peach and Green Tea extract to counter act any drying effect from acetone and leave your nails and cuticles in great condition.’

Step 3: ‘Place the pad over the top of the nail and wrap ORLY Gel FX Foil Remover Wrap around, so that the heat will act as a catalyst and help speed up removal time. To speed up the process, you can add further heat by placing hands on top of a water bottle or by simply just wrapping in a towel.’

Step 4: ‘After 10 minutes, unwrap one nail to ensure the polish has lifted from the nail. Using the ORLY Cuticle Pusher and Remover, remove all remaining product from the nail. Once all product has been removed, condition the nail with cuticle oil.

‘It’s best to remove the foil from one nail at a time, keeping the others wrapped whilst you work through. Once the foil has been removed and the gel polish is exposed, it will begin to re-harden.’

If your excuse has always been ‘I don’t have time to go to the salon!’, now there’s no excuse not to remove your gel nails properly.

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