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How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jan 31, 2024 - By the dedicated team of editors and writers at Newsletter Station.

Shellac nail polish is a popular choice for long-lasting, chip-resistant manicures. While it offers fantastic durability, removing it can be challenging compared to regular nail polish. Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, you can safely and effectively remove shellac nail polish at home without damaging your nails.

This blog post walks you through a step-by-step guide on removing shellac nail polish like a pro.

Before You Begin

Before you start the removal process, gather the following supplies:
  1. Acetone-based nail polish remover
  2. Cotton balls or pads
  3. Aluminum foil
  4. Nail file
  5. Cuticle oil or moisturizer
  6. A buffer (optional)

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspac

Find a well-ventilated area to work in, as acetone fumes can be strong. You may want to place an old towel or newspaper under your hands to catch any drips or spills.

Step 2: File the Top Layer

Using a nail file, gently file the top layer of your shellac nails. This helps break the seal of the polish and allows the acetone to penetrate more effectively. Be careful not to file too aggressively, as you don't want to damage your natural nails.

Step 3: Soak Cotton Balls in Acetone

Take small pieces of cotton balls or cotton pads and saturate them with acetone-based nail polish remover. You can use pure acetone for faster results, but moisturize your nails and cuticles afterward, as acetone can dry.

Step 4: Apply Cotton and Foil

Place the soaked cotton balls or pads onto each nail, covering the entire surface. Then, wrap each fingertip with a small aluminum foil to hold the cotton in place. Repeat this process for all ten fingers.

Step 5: Wait Patiently

Let the acetone-soaked cotton and aluminum foil wraps sit on your nails for 10-15 minutes. This time frame may vary depending on the brand of shellac polish and how many layers you applied. You'll know it's time to remove the wraps when the shellac starts to lift or crumble.

Step 6: Gently Remove Shellac

Gently press down on the foil-wrapped nails and slide them off. You should notice that the shellac nail polish has softened and started coming off. Use a wooden cuticle stick to gently scrape off the remaining polish if there are any stubborn areas. Be extremely gentle to avoid damaging your natural nails.

Step 7: Hydrate and Cleanse

After removing the shellac polish, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any acetone residue. Apply cuticle oil or a good-quality nail and cuticle moisturizer to rehydrate your nails and surrounding skin. This will help counteract the drying effects of acetone.

Step 8: Buff and Shape

If necessary, use a buffer to smooth your nails' surface and gently shape them. However, be cautious not to over-buff, as this can weaken the nails.

Removing shellac nail polish at home is a valuable skill that saves you time and money. By following this step-by-step guide, you can safely and effectively remove shellac nail polish while maintaining the health and beauty of your natural nails.

Remember to be patient and gentle throughout the process to avoid damage, and always follow up with proper nail care to keep your nails looking their best.
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