How To Safely Remove Acrylic Nails At Home


  • You can remove the acrylic nails by archiving them and placing a cotton ball soaked in acetone.
  • Then, wrap your fingers and cotton ball in tin foil and wait 10 minutes for them to loosen.
  • Once the acrylic nail is loosened, you can gently push it with a tool called an orange stick.
  • Visit the Insider Health Reference Library for more tips.

While acrylic nails can look beautiful, they can damage your natural nails if you don’t remove them properly.

Here’s a guide on how to safely remove them and the common mistakes people make that you can avoid.

How to Cut Acrylic Nails |

To cause minimal damage to your nails, Hadley King, MD, an on-board certified dermatologist in private practice, recommends patience as you go through the following steps:

  1. Cut the length of the acrylic nail, leaving about two inches of the nail on top of your nail bed.
  2. Use a 100 grit foil (which is thicker than a typical nail file) to foil on the top surface of the acrylic, leaving only a thin layer of the remaining acrylic.
  3. Put a cotton ball in acetone and place on top of the remaining acrylic, and wrap tightly in foil. Repeat for all nails. To speed up the process, put a warm towel over the leaves. It is best to use cotton balls instead of putting your nails in an acetone solution, which can dry the surrounding skin.
  4. Applying a gentle pressure, use an orange stick (a specific type of manicure tool) to gently push in the rest of the acrylic.
  5. Apply cuticle oil and hand cream to moisturize the area.

Are acrylic nails bad for your natural nails?

There is no doubt: Acrylic nails are not good for the health of your natural nails.

That’s why, to apply acrylic, you must first apply paint on the surface of your nails that can make them weak and brittle, says King.

Acrylics are also at risk of damaging the skin around the nails, since the chemicals in the products used to apply the acrylic nails can cause allergic contact dermatitis, a type of skin itching caused by an irritant, King says.


Also, cuticles are usually cut when applying acrylics. The cuticles are meant to protect the nails and surrounding skin from infection, King says. Cutting the cuticles makes you more susceptible to infections.

One last concern is that ultraviolet (UV) lights are used to “cure”, or harden, acrylic nails. When exposed to UV radiation, you are at an increased risk of photoaging and skin cancer. A 2013 study found that 10 minutes of exposure to these lamps exposes your hands to the equivalent of UV radiation from a whole day out. However, the study shows that more research needs to be done to assess the real long-term damage caused by these types of lights.

To minimize damage to your nails, it is best to completely avoid acrylics. But if they bring you too much joy for you to consider giving up, King suggests saving them for special occasions. Alternatively, you can opt for gel nails instead of acrylic ones, which are lightweight less harmful to nails.

Take away the Insider

Be careful when cutting acrylic nails at home. No matter how tempting you may be to try to rip them off, you should never do this.

Remember that acrylics are not good for the health of your nails, and it is best to save them only for special occasions if you want to care for your nails naturally.

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