Nail Polish Removal

How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish

Lots of people love the way shellac nail polish looks on their nails, but they don’t love how difficult it can be to remove. If you want to know how to remove shellac nail polish, there are basically two ways to do it: The professional way and the natural way.

Disclaimer: Not an expert just a nail polish aficionado and DIY lover. The contents of this article are strictly for informational purposes and not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Due to varying skin types and allergies, there is no one size fits all approach for how to remove gel nail polish. Some of the techniques listed below may produce adverse effects in certain skin types. Understand that attempting to remove your gel nail polish on your own will likely lead to adverse effects and doing so is at your own risk. Please consult a dermatologist, general physician, or nail technician before attempting any of the techniques listed in this article. If you are uncertain about which course of action to take, it is best to visit a nail technician. Though it may save you money to remove your gel nail polish at home, nail technicians are extensively trained professionals with a complex understanding of different nail products and their effects on the skin.


I’m going to explain how to remove shellac nail polish using both ways. But before I do, a word of warning: Both methods involve the use of chemical or household items that could be potentially harmful if used incorrectly. If you aren’t 100 percent confident of your ability to use these substances, you probably should pay the extra money and have a professional remove your shellac nail polish at a salon. Better safe than sorry!

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s dive into the first of the two ways of how to remove shellac nail polish.

How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish — The Professional Way

I’m calling this the professional way how to remove shellac nail polish because it’s the methods professionals use at commercial nail salons. But you can just as easily use this method at home as long as you order the right products.

There is a product professionals use called CND Shellac Remover Wrap, which is used to remove shellac nail polish. It’s basically a product that is specifically designed for removing this kind of polish. You can find buy CND Shellac Remover Wrap or other products like it online at Amazon or at other beauty products websites. It may also be available in stores, but it might not be widely sold in every geographic area.

Once your shipment of CND Shellac Remover Wrap e arrives – or another product specifically designed for removing shellac nail polish, here are the steps how to remove shellac nail polish the “professional” way:

  1. Wash your hands with liquid soap and warm water. Use a clean towel to dry them. This is important because you want to remove any potential chemicals or substances on your hands that could potentially react with the acetone you will soak the CND Shellac Remover Wraps in. (I know, I know, I’m a freak about this sort of thing but safety first!)
  2. Next you want to massage a sanitizing solution into your hands to sanitize them thoroughly. I prefer a brand called CoolBlue, but you can use any sanitizer your like. By the way, if your cuticles are particularly sensitive to acetone, you may want to use a little cuticle oil to protect your skin.
  3. In the meantime, soak the cotton pads of each CND Shellac Remover Wraps in acetone. Then place the cotton pad over the natural nail and wrap the shellac remover wraps around the rest of your finger. Tighten the shellac remover wraps so they are really tightly bound to your nails. The tighter they are, the better they will work.
  4. Repeat this for each nail. When you are finished find something quiet to do for 10 minutes that doesn’t require the use of your hands. (Hello, satellite TV!)
  5. After ten minutes have passed, gently massage the wrap so that you can break down the shellac nail polish into pieces. You will actually feel it cracking off your nails. Weird, right?!
  6. Next you want to firmly pull the CMD Shellac Nail Remover Wraps off of each finger. There probably will be a few flakes of shellac nail polish clinging to each nail. These can be easily removed using the little wood stick that comes with the set.
  7. Once all of your nails are clean, finish cleaning your nails with pure acetone.

So now you know how to remove shellac nail polish the professional way. Now let’s learn a second method how to remove shellac nail polish … the natural way!

How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish – The Natural Way

The next method of how to remove shellac nail polish doesn’t require you to mail away for professional gear. It can be done using common items most people can find lying around the house:

  • Cuticle oil (Okay, it’s not absolutely mandatory, but it’s helpful to have, especially if your have cuticles that are sensitive to acetone, like mine!)
  • Buffer
  • Cotton Ball or Pads
  • Aluminum Foil (Yup, just like you would use to wrap a casserole!)

This is called the natural way how to remove shellac nail polish because you can do it practically anywhere. So here are the steps how to remove shellac nail polish the “natural” way:

  1. Combine cotton balls or cotton pads so they are large enough to cover your entire nail. You can cut cotton pads to shape with a scissors (cuticle scissors work great for this!) or you can just smash together a bunch of cotton balls.
  2. Next, take a small piece of aluminum foil – probably about 4 inches by 4 inches, and wrap it around your whole finger.
  3. Next you want to apply a little cuticle oil to protect you skin from the acetone (Again, not mandatory, but you know me!)
  4. Soak the cotton balls or the cotton pads in acetone. Don’t use diluted acetone because that will be too weak. Instead, use pure acetone.
  5. Next, place the cotton balls on your nails
  6. Wrap the aluminum foil around your finger tightly. This is what’s going to hold the cotton ball in place.
  7. Wait 10 minutes
  8. Use a toothpick or something similar to gently pry and remove the shellac nail polish. If it doesn’t come off easily, try sliding the aluminum foil with the cotton ball on again and wait another five minutes. It will! Keep repeating this with each nail until the shellac nail polish comes off easily.
  9. Use the nail buff to make the nail look buffed and clean!

So now you know how to remove shellac nail polish the natural way. No matter which method you use, you are now ready to apply a new coat of shellac nails!

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