Removing Acrylics At Home? Here's Why You May Not Want To Skip The Acetone

There comes a point with every manicure where you just get sick of having the nail set on your hands. The nail paint might have chipped, the shape is no longer sharp, or it might just be time to give your nails the break it desperately deserves. Regardless of your reasoning, it is time for you to get the acrylics out of your hands. In an interview with Ipsy, Celebrity and editorial manicurist Jin Soon Choi explained that she and other nail techs prefer acetone to soften the acrylic. "It gradually melts the acrylic to make removal easier," Choi told the publication.


However, if you plan to do it yourself, you may not have acetone at home. This might seem like a great opportunity to try and use other household products to remove your acrylics. Removing your nails improperly and without acetone can be harmful to your nails and cause long-term damage.

The damage of removing acrylics improperly

While it might not seem like a big deal, removing your nails incorrectly can lead to serious issues. "Often, incorrectly removing the acrylic nail damages the natural nails underneath," explains Michele Green, MD, a leading board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, in a conversation with Byrdie. "The removal process requires a lot of filing and the use of chemicals. If the nails are filed too far, the nail will become thin and weak. Also, poor quality removers can also irritate the skin around the nail." It can also exacerbate nail issues, prolonging healing time and discomfort.


A common way people have tried to remove their nails is by biting and peeling lifting nails. However, Marion Yau from the Harley Street medical foot and nail clinic explained that this can cause nail infections. "Nail infections are difficult to treat and may require oral medication, laser treatment, or even nail surgery," she told the Mirror. It is best to remove your nails properly to save the health of your nails.

How to remove your nails with acetone

When it comes to removing your nails with acetone, it's not hard to do at home. To use acetone to remove acrylic nails without causing damage, you first need to trim down your acrylic and buff out the nail. This process helps the acetone break down the acrylic a lot faster and thus saves you time. From there, place petroleum jelly around your nail, then wrap acetone cotton pads around your nails. From there, let your nails sit for 20 minutes, and then use a cuticle pusher to remove the melted acrylic. If extra acrylic is still on the nail, repeat the process until your nails are bare.


Once the acrylics are removed, it's best to implement cuticle care for healthier nails. "Our cuticles act as a protectant for nail growth and protect your nails from getting any deformation," explained Jin Soon Choi to Instyle. Choi recommends cleaning cuticles, pushing back the cuticle, and snipping only the dead skin you notice. From there, your nails should look beautiful and healthy as ever.