The right way to remove a gel manicure at home

We’ve got the expert-approved technique

Gel nail polish has revolutionised the manicure industry. No longer do you have to wait for your polish to dry before leaving the nail salon; and you can now say goodbye to chips a few days into a glossy manicure.

And while the correct thing to do at the end of your two-week gel manicure would be to go to the salon to remove it, that’s not always feasible. But do you know what you shouldn’t do to clean your nails? Pick at it.

When you pick off your gel polish, you are removing layers of your natural nail, which sets the stage for weakened nails,” says CND Education Ambassador Skye McIntyre.

Here, McIntyre shares exactly how you should remove your gel manicure at home.



McIntyre says to start by saturating a cotton pad with CND OFFLY FAST™ Replenishing Remover, and placing the pad lengthwise directly on your nail. Then, wrap some foil tightly around the cotton pad, squeezing to secure it. The foil should be snug on your finger. Repeat on all fingers and leave for eight minutes. The remover has been formulated to work on a CND Shellac manicure, so if you’ve used a different brand, you may need to leave it to soak for a bit longer.

CND OFFLY FAST Replenishing Remover
TOP TIP: McIntyre suggests doing one hand at a time, as this is easier to manoeuvre.



Next, using a twisting motion and pull the foil wrap from your nails, loosening the polish, which will begin to have a raised or flaky appearance. Once the foil is off, gently slide off any gel polish remains with a manicure stick.

Try: Manicare Cuticle Sticks

Manicare Cuticle Sticks
TOP TIP: If you still have some gel polish on your nails, McIntyre recommends repeating the process in step 1, this time leaving your wraps on for about two minutes.



Once all of your polish is removed, McIntyre says to add a dose of hydration to your nails. Apply a cuticle oil, like CND™ SOLAROIL® or Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab, to your nails and cuticles, massaging the product in to nourish.

Sally Hansen Cuticle Repair

Heading to the nail salon this weekend? Here are five things you need to know before applying dark nail polish.

Image credit: Getty

Carli is BEAUTYcrew’s Editor and has been since the site launched in 2016. She is currently on a quest to find the perfect medium-coverage foundation for combination skin, is trying to narrow down her mascara collection to just three, and is embracing the power of AHAs. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.