There’s nothing quite like looking down and finding beautifully manicured, polished and flawless-looking nails day after day. Since the arrival of the gel nail trend, long-lasting, sensational looking nails are accessible to all.
Gel nails mean that finally, we don’t have to choose between acrylics and regular, easily chipped polish. But what are gel nails, and can they be removed without acetone?
It should be noted that whilst they offer a great polish alternative, incorrect application or removal will ultimately harm your natural nails.
Acetone solutions are the go-to removal method. But, if you can’t get hold of acetone, have overused the chemical, or happen to be allergic, what then?
Fear not. Where there is a problem, there is always a solution close by. This guide gives you all the information on the popular gel nail trend. Discover the facts about the 2 main types of gel nails, and their ingredients.
Learn how to apply gel nails like a pro, so you achieve the ultimate gel nail manicure at home. Read how to correctly remove your gel nails without harming your natural nails.
And for the purpose of this article, we show you the quickest way to effectively remove gel nails without a hint of acetone! Don’t forget to read the conclusion for extra tips and informational support, too.
What Are Gel Nails?
The gel nail trend is basically a nail upgrade for all nail fans. This nail technique enables people to achieve stunning, long-lasting nail polish in a salon or the comfort of their own home.
Gel nail extensions offer endless possibilities for our gorgeous nail goals.
Whether you want to add tips for the immediate look of longer, stronger, and thicker nails, or want to create much-needed extra space for some unique nail design applications, this technique is like the holy grail of the nail world.
That said, the gel nail trend has garnered some nail-tarnishing commentary along the way for being an unsafe technique. This is mainly due to an initial lack of available information for UV lighting, and home-system application.
In order to put these safety concerns to bed, we need to understand the key gel nail varieties, facts, and if the ingredients hold any safety concerns.
Gel nail innovations have provided an array of gel nail choice. Now, you can opt for 3-D gel nails, gel-polish hybrid (shellac nails), and soak-off formulas.
These types can be removed without acetone, naturally and fast. But shellac nails are not as durable as the gel nail mani provided by your nail technician.
If you want the salon-worthy gel nail result, there is a certain process to follow. This professional gel nail technique that can be easily created at home with correct materials or gel nail kits.
This process requires the use of a base coat, polish, and sealant (top coat), as well as an LED or UV lamp.
Gel nails, and gel nail extensions are softer, and much more flexible that acrylics. However, they can peel easier than acrylics. So, correct application is imperative to avoid this potential nail crisis.
This leads us to our second question: What is meant by ‘curing’ your nails?
What Is Nail Curing?
Nail curing refers to setting or hardening the nail polish formula. Curing can occur when the polish is directly in contact with air (such as with acrylic nail formulations).
Gel nails, however, should be cured under an LED or UV lamp. The process takes minimal effort and time, and gives you flawlessly chip-free nails for weeks.
What Ingredients Are In Gel Nail Polish?
Gel nail polish ingredients include acrylic monomers and oligomers that join together and harden under a UV or LED lamp. The ready-mixed liquid-gel formula can be likened to acrylic formula that is premixed.
It is painted on. With the help of an LED lamp, they very quickly set in place, becoming a chip-proof and chemical resistant coat.
There still remain some gel nail polish manufacturers who include what is commonly referred to as ‘the toxic trio.’ These harmful substances are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
Therefore, if you plan on giving an at-home gel manicure a whirl, it is vital you check the labeling. Make sure the product does not contain these 3 ingredients, and you are good to go.
How To Do DIY Gel Nails
As we have discussed, proper application and removal is vital for beautiful long-lasting results, and ensuring your natural nails remain healthy. The process for at-home gel nail application is as follows:
1. Prep, Prep, Prep – It doesn’t matter what nail enhancement you want to create, a lack of prepping will result in nail doom. Make sure your hands and nails are clean, filed, and buffed. Use scissors and your cuticle pusher as necessary.
Never attempt to use your nail clippers to shape after creating your gel manicure. This will lead to the gel polish peeling away.
Next, apply a cuticle oil to thoroughly hydrate your nails. Make sure you don’t overdo it – any excess oil will thwart the gel nail’s sticking abilities. Once your hands are in tip-top condition, the gel nail fun can commence.
2. Base Coat – Apply your gel base coat evenly. This will ensure optimal sticking and long-lasting results. To apply, cover the entire nail in thin layers and cure under an LED lamp for about 30 – 40 seconds.
Make sure you ‘cap the free edge,’ which basically means covering the edges too. If you do this with each layer you apply, the polish will fully hold.
3. Paint on the Gel – Next, in thin layers again, apply your chosen gel polish. Two layers will suffice. Remember, the more coats, the richer the color. Cure between each coat.
4. The Top Coat – Finally, brush on your top coat (sealant). The purpose of a top coat is to give it long-lasting chip-proof protection and an iridescent shine. Never forget this step!
Once you are a DIY gel nail wizard, you might want to branch out and try gel nail decal (a tool used for applying beautiful nail art designs).
How To Remove Gel Polish Without Acetone
Now we have covered all the essential gel nail facts, we can look at natural and effective removal methods, that don’t take forever to achieve.
If you regularly apply gel nail polish, you may want to look for an alternative removal method other than acetone. Frequent use of acetone will cause gradual harm to your nails. This is due to the potency of the chemical substance.
It can be extremely dehydrating for your hands and nails. However, it is possible to remove your gel nail mani without acetone. Here’s how:
The Wonder Of Water
Surprisingly, gel nails can be removed naturally and fast, with just a bit of hot water. It is worth noting that the older your gel nail manicure, the faster it is to take off.
File off the shiny top layer before you soak your hands in water. Doing so will speed up the removal process quite significantly.
Simply fill 2 containers with hot soapy water and submerge your hands for a good 15 – 20 minutes. Make sure the water is not so hot that it will burn. Then take your cuticle pusher and begin making small holes/gaps in your nails.
The more gaps, the easier the process will be. If your nail polish still won’t budge, soak them for a little longer and retry.
Finish off by nourishing your nails with a good cuticle oil. Also, leave a bit of time for your nails to recuperate before beginning your next nail enhancing adventure.
There can be no denying the brilliance of having a gel nail manicure. The DIY gel nail kits make this so easy to achieve and is a great alternative to the standard or acrylic nail enhancements.
However, the takeaway is to never skip any of the steps in both applying and removing your gel nail polish. Improper application results in peeling and lifting. This means you will want to remove them sooner than anticipated.
Should you want to look for a natural and fast way to remove your gel nails, then hot soapy water will work.
Hot water is effective due to the fact that it triggers your polish to expand and contract at a different speed to your natural nails. This process weakens the polish, allowing it to come away easily.
Here are a couple of handy gel nail tips to help you on your way.
Never Attempt To Cut Your Gel Nails Away Or Pick Off The Polish
This is not safe, effective, or fast. It will damage and weaken your natural nails.
If Your Gel Nails Peel Or Lift Prematurely…
It is likely due to improper coating of your base and top coats. Leaving any gaps at the edges will prompt your gel polish to gradually shift.
Remove The Shine
Some nail technicians suggest filing off the shiny top coat of your gel manicure before soaking your nails. Avoid damage by ensuring you do not file too far down.