How to Safely Remove Apres Nails

Apres nails present a healthier and more natural false nail option for us lovers of gel nails. They last long, but nobody is happy when it’s time for the manicure to be taken out. 

The first solution that comes to mind when trying to remove gel nails at home is picking, chipping, or biting at them. For the love of a good manicure and healthy nails, please do not do that!

Apres Nails
Apres Nails by polishedbyykim

When you peel off the gel nails, you’re inadvertently removing layers of your nail plate. Over time, your nails get thinner and more brittle which also affects how good your next mani looks.

It is always best to visit a professional to remove your nails, preferably the person that fixed them, but sometimes something happens and you can’t make an appointment.

In such a situation, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands (ahem).

How to Remove Apres Nails

Here’s everything you need to know about apres nail removal at home.

Materials Needed

The success of any project depends on the availability of materials needed. Before you start to worry about the steps, you’ll need to surround yourself with your tools and reagents. 

You’ll need to gather the following

  • A nail file
  • Buffer
  • 100% acetone or gel remover
  • Cotton wool
  • Cuticle oil
  • A cuticle pusher or an orange wood stick
  • Foil or plastic wrap

How to Remove Apres Nails

We all know the temptation that comes when our natural nails grow out of the falsies or start to lift badly or start chipping. 

The urge to bite or pull the nails off becomes so overwhelming. That fleeting moment of satisfaction after removal will come, but the damage inflicted could take weeks to repair.

Please use the following tips below when removing your apres nails at home.

1. Protect Your Surfaces

Before you get into any actual removal, protect your work surface. The remover can strip away the varnish or coating of the surface you are working on.

You can use an old towel with some paper on top. This way, your beloved table won’t be ruined if there are any spillovers or drops.

2. File Away

This first step is very crucial to the success of this removal. Grab a nail file, don’t overthink what you are doing, and file away as much of the top coat as you can.

This process is to break down the gel seal so that the acetone can penetrate the gel, breaking down the cured paint.

Some top coats are so tough that if you skip this stage, you’ll find the removal process so tough because the paint won’t budge.

You’ll know you’ve filed enough when the color fades and the finish becomes dull. Be careful not to file too much or only in one area.

3. Protect Your Cuticles

While this step isn’t crucial to the removal, it helps to protect your skin from the drying that occurs with acetone.

Pure acetone can be harsh, so rub some cuticle oil around the skin surrounding your nails to help with dehydration.

4. Soak The Nail

Now comes the tricky part. Soak a cotton pad or ball completely in acetone, place it on a nail, then wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap.

Do this for all ten nails. It can be tricky to wrap all your nails at once, so do one hand before the other. Leave this for around 10 to 15 minutes.

You can let it stay longer if the polish is hard to remove. You’ll know if the acetone has worked fully if the nail looks like it has lifted. 

You can hasten the process by wrapping your hands in a warm towel or a heating pad. The extra heat will make the acetone work better.

If you don’t have acetone, make a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl and soak your hands in it for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Remove the Gel Gently

Unwrap the foil and gently push any gel that has come loose with your cuticle pusher or orange wood stick. Never use a metal tool as this can damage your nails.

If any parts are refusing to come off, grab a freshly soaked cotton ball and wrap the nail again. Don’t try to force any product off your nail.

After removing, you can use the remaining acetone on the cotton ball to wipe your nails clean.

6. Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands with a healthy and moisturizing hand soap to remove any polish, file, and acetone residue. 

7. Moisturize

Use a rich hand cream to hydrate your hands and apply plenty of cuticle oil to add moisture back to your nail beds.

This process should take 35 to 50 minutes to do yourself, one hand at a time. With patience and care, you should be able to remove the nails with no damage.

FAQs on How to Remove Apres Nails

Does apres damage my nails?

Apres’ nails feel better and look more natural. They can be easily customized to the shape and look of your nails.

There is no drill filing with apres nails, so there is no dust and damage to your natural nails.

How long should apres nails last?

Apres nails last three to four weeks because even when the natural nails start to grow out, it is not noticeable because apres gel is thinner and hardly lifts at the edges 

Can you paint apres nails before putting them on?

If you paint the nail tip with an opaque color before applying, the gel under will not be able to cure, leading to the nail not lasting.

Can you reuse apres nails?

Apres nails are damaged during the removal process due to their gel content. So it’s mostly impossible to reuse them. 

Are apres nails better than acrylic?

Unlike acrylic nails that are put only on the tip of the nails, apres nails fully cover the nail bed, protecting and encouraging your natural nails to grow with less potential damage.