How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home the Non-Toxic Way?

I love to get a gel pedicure, especially before going on a holiday. But its a love hate relationship because, unlike normal nail polish, removing gel nail polish is a process. In fact, it is a real pain. Some salons even have the nerve to charge me half the price of the pedicure to remove it! Hence, I am resigned to remove it myself by soaking my feet in acetone for some time, followed by scraping the nails to get the gel polish off. Then soak. Scrape. Soak. Scrape. Soak. Scrape. You get the point!

In the end, what I get is tortured-looking set of toe nails, a floor full of gel nail polish flakes and a sore back.

Not to mention, acetone is a toxic chemical compound that carries potential health risks. It is a skin irritant that can cause disorder of the nervous system. Exposure to acetone’s toxic fumes is dangerous; it is also inevitable that acetone can be absorbed into the blood stream through nails, cuticle and surrounding skin.

Nonetheless, there is an answer: Use a water-based non toxic acetone-free nail polish remover. Look for nail polish removers that are also free from formaldehyde, toluene, pthalate.

Here is how to remove gel nail polish at home in 4 easy steps – the non-toxic way.

Step 1: Gather supplies
You will need a non toxic acetone-free nail polish remover, preferably one that is water-based. Also, cotton pads, strips of tin foil, petroleum jelly and hand lotion.

There are quite a few water-based non-toxic acetone free nail polish removers you may find at your nearest nail salon and pharmacy. Alternatively, you may go online to find great nail polish remover brands such as Karma Organic Spa, PeaceKeeper, Gaiam, Acquarella and Scotch Naturals.

Step 2: Protect skin around nails
It is important to protect the skin around the nails from direct acetone contact. Simply rub a tiny layer of jelly around your cuticles to the skin just below your toe joints. Try to avoid applying jelly on the nail polish because the acetone needs to be able to dissolve the the gel polish for removal.
Step 3: Soak and wrap
Completely saturate your cotton pads with acetone-free nail polish remover, place the soaked pad on your gel polished nail, grab a strip of tin foil and wrap it around your toe to secure the cotton pad in place. This will also create some natural heat to “lift” the gel off the nail.

Step 4: Remove, rinse and condition
After five to eight minutes, take a foil off and see if you are able to gentle scrape the gel polish off. You don’t need to use a fancy nail scrapper tool. Just the blunt side of a butter knife or even the edge of your thumb. The polish should flake off easily. Once all the gel is removed, rinse and dry off any remaining trace of nail polish remover. Finish with a pump of hand lotion to moisturize your hands and nails.

Wait for a week before applying a new set of gel nail polish. This will allow your nails to “breathe” and naturally restore back to its healthy state.

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