While not everyone is into nails, if you are a manicure girl like I am, you know that after a few weeks, those stunning acrylic nails that once looked amazing, will start to look raggedy and sad and there is nothing a girl hates more than have to go through that tedious process of taking them off at the salon.

So when google told me that it was possible to skip the salon and do the job myself at home and still come away with my original nails intact, I had to give it a try. Now big disclaimer, it is true that the experts do recommend that you remove your acrylics at a nail salon, but I found that if tight for time and money, you can actually do it at home.

Start off with Cutting Off Those Extensions 

Using an acrylic nail clipper, trim away the nail extensions and their acrylic coating that extends past the length of your natural nails. This prep helps to speed up the removal process. 

The Next Step Is To File Down the Top Layer of Acrylic

Using a coarse nail file, begin to file down the acrylic coating to thin out the acrylic and to scratch up the surface. The scratches that the file creates on the acrylic coating will act as channels that will help the acetone absorb more quickly. 

Now It’s Time To Apply Cuticle Oil 

Before you soak off the acrylic layer from your nails, you need to hydrate because acetone remover is extremely drying, so be sure to apply a generous amount of cuticle oil around the perimeter of the nail, on the cuticles and even under the nail and on to your fingertips.

It’s Now Time To Soak the Acrylic Off 

After your nails and fingers are sufficiently moisturised and protected, saturate a cotton ball into 100% pure acetone, place the cotton onto the surface of the nail, and wrap each nail in foil. Wrapping the nail in foil prevents the acetone from evaporating too quickly and the added benefit is that the foil retains your body heat, which triggers the acetone to work even faster. Let each nail remain wrapped for at least 20 minutes to allow the acetone acrylic to fully break down.

Gently Scrape Away The Acrylic

Unwrap and work on one nail at a time, so the other nails remain wrapped as long as possible. After unwrapping, make sure that the acrylic has a soft and gummy consistency before you take a wooden stick cuticle pusher and gently scrape off the softened acrylic, working from the area closest to the cuticle outward toward the tip of the nail. If the acrylic isn’t coming off easily, don’t pry it. Instead, stop, place the acetone-soaked cotton back on and re-wrap the nail for a few more minutes. 

Buff Away Any Remaining Acrylic 

If there is any acrylic left behind, use a multi-sided buffer to buff away the last bits until your nail bed is clean and smooth. 

The Last Step Is All About Hydration

Apply a final layer of cuticle oil to rehydrate the nail and finish with a keratin-based nail treatment. Because our nails are made out of keratin, a keratin-based treatment absorbs into the layers of the nail plate to make the nail strong and healthy.

That’s it. It took a while because it was my first time, but I still came away with my real nails intact. So if you do want to give this DIY a go, be sure to follow the instructions and do your research.