How To Remove Acrylic Nails Without Damage

Removing acrylic nails can be a real headache, with worries of causing damage to your natural nail beds or cuticles.

But there are ways to safely remove acrylic nails at home without causing any lasting damage.

I’m going to share how to remove acrylic nails without damage, so you can protect your natural nails when removing your acrylic nails.

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Without Damage

Why Are Acrylic Nails So Damaging On Your Natural Nails?

Acrylic nails are a popular trend among women as they make the nails look longer and more attractive.

However, acrylic nails can be very damaging to your natural nails due to the harsh chemicals used when applying them.

Acrylics require an adhesive that creates a strong bond with the natural nail bed.

These adhesives contain monomers, which can infiltrate and damage the protein bonds in the nail plate, weakening them and leaving behind small cracks or ridges in the nail plate surface.

The acrylic also prevents oxygen from reaching your natural nail plate, causing dehydration of the nails.

As well as this, while acrylics are being applied to your nails they are filed down so much that it removes layers of your natural nail plate, further weakening them over time.

If they aren’t removed professionally, there is a greater risk of infection due to bacteria getting trapped under your acrylics, which can lead to infections in both skin and nail beds.

Even after removal of acrylics, many people have experienced side effects such as discoloration or brittleness of their natural nails due to acetone exposure during the removal process.

How To Remove Acrylic Nails Without Damage

Removing acrylic nails without damaging your natural nails can be tricky, but with the right technique and some patience, you can get it done in no time.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove acrylic nails quickly and without damage:

1. Start by soaking your hands in warm water for 10 minutes. This helps to soften the adhesive that holds the acrylic to your nail bed, making it easier to peel off later. If needed, use a slotted spoon or similar device to remove acrylic nails fast keep your hand submerged in the water.

2. Once softened, work on one nail at a time and gently start peeling away from your nail bed starting at the tip and working towards the cuticle area. Be sure not to pull too hard or fast as this can cause tearing of your natural nails and also cause separation of any remaining nail glue still attached underneath them.

3. If you feel resistance while attempting to remove an artificial nail, trim down the edge using manicure scissors or a file until it comes off easily with less effort.

4. When all of the acrylic is removed, take a few moments to inspect each nail for leftover pieces of glue and chipped bits of acrylic, which can be removed with nail clippers.

So, you don’t leave behind any kind of residue which could create irritation later on when applying new fake nails.

Apply some cuticle oil over each nail bed afterward for extra moisturizing measure before moving onto the next step.

5. Finish up by massaging some nourishing hand cream into the hands and wiping off excess oils with tissue paper.

How to Avoid Damaged Nails When Removing Acrylic Nails

To avoid damaging your nails when removing acrylics, there are several things you can do before, during and after the removal process.

Begin by taking care of your cuticles and natural nails before removing the artificial ones. Make sure they are trimmed, buffed and hydrated with lotion or oil as this will help strengthen them from potential damage later on.

When gel polish is ready for removal, use an adhesive nail polish remover, specifically designed for acrylics and dip cotton balls into it before placing it over each individual nail for up to five minutes.

Which will break down the adhesive bond easily without causing too much damage. After doing so, gently remove the acrylic using a cuticle pusher or wooden stick and carefully slide it off from one end, then file away any remaining traces.

Lastly, make sure that you don’t neglect taking care of your nails afterward, either. Taking regular breaks between having acrylics on is important, as this will give you time to properly hydrate them.

Including applying cuticle oil daily, which can help prevent peeling or splitting, which is common when dealing with weakened nails due to removing acrylics.

Visits every few weeks with your nail technician who can re-shape and reshape your fingertips, thus avoiding excess filing at home, is essential too.

Cut Down Your Acrylics as Much as Possible

Cut Down Your Acrylics as Much as Possible

When removing acrylic nails, it is essential to cut down the product as much as possible. This not only helps to avoid damaging the natural nail underneath, but also makes removal less of a chore.

Before attempting to remove acrylics, use a metal cuticle pusher or nail clipper to reduce the thickness of the nail tip wherever possible.

Take care not to press too hard or use an excessively sharp metal implement, as this can cause splitting and tearing of the natural nail plate.

Filing should be done carefully with moderate pressure and away from the skin around your natural nails at all times.

File Off as Much of The Acrylic Nail as Possible

When removing your acrylic nails, it is important to file off as much of the nail as possible. This will help reduce the chances of residue being left behind that could potentially cause damage to your natural nails.

The first step when filing off acrylic nails is to ensure you have the correct tools. You should use a heavy-duty nail file (180 or higher grit) and cuticle nippers if necessary.

If you are not sure which type of file to use, ask your manicurist for advice. Then begin filing at one side of the nail, and then work your way across in one direction until most of the acrylic has been removed from the top surface or perimeter of the nail bed.

Then lightly push each end down slightly, so it is flush with the surrounding area, and straighten out any bumps or ridges that remain on the surface of your natural nail bed.

Make sure to be gentle, so you do not damage or break any parts of your natural nail bed when pushing down on each end to make them even with the rest of your natural nail bed.

Once all this is done, take an acetone soaked cotton ball and rub it gently onto q tip of each finger for a few seconds.

Before wiping away any excess product residue from around each finger with a tissue before moving on to either reapplication or removal completely.

Soak Off Any Remaining Acrylic Nail

You’ll need to file and buff the top of the artificial nail down so that it’s as thin as possible.

Then use an acetone solution or an acetone-based remover to soften up the acrylic on each nail until it is pliable enough to lift off.

If necessary, you can use dental tools such as an orange stick, or tweezers to help remove any remaining bits of acrylic around the cuticles and edges of your natural nails.

Once all the artificial nails have been removed, wet a cotton ball with warm water and soak each fingernail for 5 minutes.

This will break down any last bits of adhesive holding on to your natural nail bed and make removal easier.

After soaking, finish by using a manicure stick or cuticle stick to gently push away any pieces left behind before you can move on with filing and painting your nails.

Gently Scrape or Buff Off the Last Bits of Acrylic

Gently Scrape or Buff Off the Last Bits of Acrylic

Step 1: Gather All The Necessary Tools – Before you start, make sure you have all the tools you need for the job. You’ll need:

  • Wooden cuticle pushers or plastic nail scrapers
  • A 180-grit fine nail file or a buffer block

Step 2: Unwrap Your Nails – After soaking your nails in acetone for at least 20 minutes, unwrap each nail, one at a time. This will ensure the other nails remain wrapped and soaked for as long as possible.

Step 3: Check the Acrylic Consistency – Once you’ve unwrapped a nail, check if the acrylic has turned soft and gummy. If it has, you’re good to go! If not, re-wrap the nail and allow it to soak for a few more minutes.

Step 4: Gently Scrape Off Acrylic – Using a wooden cuticle pusher or a plastic nail scraper, gently scrape off the softened acrylic.

Start from the area closest to your cuticle and work your way outward towards free edge of the nail tip. Remember to always scrape gently, applying minimal pressure to avoid damaging your natural nails.

Step 5: Buff Your Nails – After you’ve scraped off the acrylic, use a 180-grit fine nail file or a buffer block to gently buff your nails.

This will help remove any remaining acrylic residue and will smooth out the nail’s surface. Be gentle when buffing regular polish, as excessive force can lead to nail damage.

Apply Cuticle Oil

Cuticle oil should be applied to nails and cuticles after the removal of acrylic nails to repair damaged nails.

Cuticle oils, like the CND Essentials Nail Oil, are enriched with essential vitamins and natural oils that moisturize, nourish and protect the cuticles from damage.

The cuticles act as a barrier for the nails and provide protection against bacteria or fungus buildup underneath the fingernail or toenail.

Cuticle oils help keep this barrier healthy, nourished and strong enough to offer effective protection against infection.

Without proper hydration, the skin around the nail may become dry, cracked or damaged, which can cause discomfort, pain and further damage to your nails.

Strengthen and Repair Your Natural Nails With A Nail Hardener

Strengthen and Repair Your Natural Nails With A Nail Hardener

Did you know that you can quickly strengthen and repair your nails after removing acrylics?

Say hello to nail hardeners, the miracle product that will have your nails feeling stronger and healthier in no time, without having to head to a nail salon.

1. Choose the right nail hardener: Not all nail hardeners are created equal, so it’s important to choose one that has a blend of nourishing and strengthening ingredients like keratin, biotin, or vitamin E.

2. Apply it correctly: First, ensure your nails are clean and dry. Apply a thin layer of the nail hardener to your natural nails, avoiding your cuticles.

Allow the product to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat if needed.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results, as some products may require daily application, while others recommend a few times per week.

3. Combine with a good nail-care routine for your real nails: Nail hardeners work best when paired with a healthy nail-care routine.

Keep your nails trimmed and filed, moisturize your cuticles daily, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage your nails, like acetone-based nail polish removers.

4. Give your nails a break: Do not forget to take breaks from using nail hardeners, as overuse could make your nails too hard and prone to breakage.

Aim to use the hardener for a few weeks, followed by a break to let your nails recover naturally.



Acrylic nails are a popular trend among women, but they can be damaging to natural nails due to the harsh chemicals used in application.

To remove acrylics without damage, start by soaking your hands in warm water for 10 minutes and then gently peel away from your nail bed starting at the tip and working towards the cuticle area.

Cut down the product as much as possible, filing off any remaining pieces of acrylic after soaking each fingernail for five minutes with an acetone solution or remover.

Finally, apply cuticle oil to moisturize and strengthen weakened nails before finishing up with a nourishing hand cream.

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Gemma Etc.
Gemma Etc.

Hi, my name is Gemma, and I’m the writer behind I’m a true beauty obsessive, and love writing about anything to do with beauty. In addition to Gemma Etc., I also own, and love sharing my thoughts and feelings about beauty and lifestyle products.

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