Well family, this can be a controversial topic. Should I soak off my gel polish or file it off? What is the best and safest method? What is best for you?
Let’s break it down.
First of all, what is gel polish? Gel polish differs from gel nails in that, gel polish, is a thin coat of base coast, color and top coat. Gel Nails are typically quite a lot thicker and can be built out to add length.
Gel polish can be soaked in acetone for 10-15 minutes. At which point the product becomes rather soft and gummy and can be removed by gently scraping at the nail.
Gel nails will not have this same effect. If you are using a hard gel, this product will not soak off in acetone no matter how hard you try.
Soak Off Removal:
This process is started by gently buffing the top of the nail to rough up that top coat. A very important step. You must buff the top coat first or the acetone will not penetrate.
Then you will need either soak off cups, that come in a variety of styles. Easily purchased on Amazon. Or Ten perfectly cut little squares of tin foil. I recommend at least 1.5 inches square. Also, you will need the same size and shape of paper towel squares.
The paper towel squares get folded to fit the size of your nail. Then add the acetone. Enough to wet the towel all the way through.
Place the paper towel on the nail, then wrap in the tinfoil and voila! Now do this nine more times.
Once all your fingers are wrapped, set the timer. About 10-15 minutes should do the trick. Start with one nail at a time. Please do not remove all the foil at once, or the product will begin to harden again and you will be back at square one.
So one nail at a time, take your cuticle pusher and gently scrape down the nail plate. I wish there was another word I could use other than scrape, but It really describes it best. But gently.
One finger at a time until most of the product is removed. You won’t be able to get it all in one go. There is a little of filing that is required after.
Gently buff off any remaining product and you are ready to reapply your color or use some cuticle oil or nail treatment.
File Off Removal:
Easy as it sounds. Gently push the cuticles back and start filing to remove the product. I recommend using a file that has at least 100/180 grit or my personal fave 100/100. I purchase mine online. Here…
You will find that you get into a bit of a rhythm when filing. Try to never file the same spot more than five times in a row. This overfilling could lead to a burning sensation that is wildly uncomfortable or even worse, you could go to deep and expose the skin under the nail. OUCH!
Once all product is removed, cleanse properly with isopropyl alcohol and you are ready to re-apply.
You can clearly see that one method is more time-consuming than the other. The wrapping, soaking and buffing really are quite tedious and take a little longer.
When filing I feel like we are able to get right to work. I operate with a very tight schedule so that is one of the reasons I prefer the file off method.
Also, how safe is soaking in acetone really? I just feel like the jury is still out on this one and we might have a little more information in the coming years that will suggest that this isn’t so safe after all. Just my opinion.
I know a lot of tech’s that prefer to soak off because they believe this is the less aggressive choice when it comes to removal. I really believe that you, do you. Whatever you are most comfortable with.
Buuuuttttt, if you have a client that is pregnant or trying to get pregnant, chances are they will already be hesitant about the acetone, or perhaps you may want to recommend the removal with the least amount of risk.
Should I soak off my gel polish or file it? The choice is yours. With pro’s and con’s to each of these methods you really can find the one that is right for you.
Consider time. Yours and your clients. Maybe filing is the answer here.
Not so comfortable with the file? Soak them for now and fine tune your filing skills in the meantime.
I do believe it is a good skill to be able to do both. Like I said before you just never know which method the client prefers.
Please let me know what you thought of my article today. What method do you prefer? Any questions or comments please leave them below.
Thanks for reading!
Good Luck Out There!
Cheyanne- The Nail Lamp Tramp