Monday, September 17, 2012

Removing SensatioNail Gel Polish

One big complaint about SensatioNail that I have seen (and experienced first hand!) is that it can be very difficult to remove. Some would even say it's impossible. I don't necessarily believe some of the claims I've seen folks make on the SensatioNail Facebook page (I've seen more than one person say they went to a salon to have it removed and even the nail techs at the salon couldn't remove it. I'm sorry - maybe that has happened to some folks but I don't buy it.) However I can say I have had some issues in removing this stuff myself so I know it can be a bit infuriating.

Many folks don't like the long soak in acetone that is required to remove the gel polish. I've tried every which way I can think of to effectively remove gel polish without a long soak in acetone. I'm sorry to say this but the acetone is your best bet.If you don't like that then gel polish may not be for you.

Some folks have complained that use of gel polish has damaged their nails. In my experimenting around trying to find a way to remove the polish without a long soak in acetone, I know I did some damage to my nails too. But if you do things properly, your nails will NOT suffer damage from using gel polish.

Based on my experiences, here are some tips for removing SensatioNail gel polish (and other gels as well):

1. Remove the shiny layer. Use a buffer or fine file to remove the shiny layer from your manicure. Make sure you don't miss any spots. That top layer is the hardest for the acetone to work through, so if you buff it off before you get started it will make everything much easier.

2. Use PURE ACETONE. Acetone based nail polish removers won't cut it. It has to be pure acetone. There is a brand called ONYX that has pure acetone; it's sold at Wal Mart. (May be sold at some drug stores too but I've not looked elsewhere for it.) Or of course you can head to your local beauty supply shop.

3. Foil wrap your nails. I start by unrolling a cotton ball and tearing it into smaller pieces, similar to the method I use to remove regular polish but I don't pull the fibers apart. For this, you want a little thicker layer of cotton, but you still don't want to just slap an entire cotton ball on your nails. Saturate the cotton with the acetone, place it over your nail, then wrap securely with a small piece of aluminum foil. The foil keeps the acetone from drying before it has a chance to do it's job, and also helps hold a little body heat around the cotton which also helps the acetone do it's thing. SensatioNail now has a kit for removal that includes pre-cut foil wraps (that have little cotton pads attached) but I don't mind taking a couple minutes to cut some foil to size. It's already in your kitchen anyway, why not save a couple bucks? If you really love the convenience of the kit though, go for it. It's about $8-$10.

4. Be patient! I know, it feels like forever when you're sitting with your fingers wrapped up in cotton and foil. But be patient and take 10-15 minutes to just relax. If you used a lot of layers of gel polish you may need to increase your wait time a bit. I've had as many as 4 layers come off easily with a 15 minute soak, though.

5. GENTLY remove the residue. If you soaked long enough, once you remove the foil and cotton from your nails most of the gel polish should have softened and come right off. You will only have a minimal amount of clean-up to do at this point. SensatioNail makes a tool just for this job (it costs about $5) OR if you have a metal cuticle pusher with a rounded edge you can just use that. Either way, GENTLY scrape the residue and softened gel polish from your nails, cuticle to tip. You should not have to apply a lot of pressure here; a very light touch will do the job provided the polish has soaked in acetone long enough. I use another piece of cotton soaked in acetone to wipe down my nails after scraping off the gel polish to be sure that I got everything.

6. Moisturize like nobody's business! After the soak in acetone, your nails and cuticles will really need some TLC and that means cuticle oils and hydrating lotions/creams/balms more often than usual! If you're re-doing your nails right away after removal, be it with another gel manicure or using regular nail polish, do your new manicure and wait for it to dry completely. If you're giving your nails a break and let them go bare for a while, move right on to moisturizing right away. Massage in some lotion and give it time to soak in, then massage on some cuticle oil or a heavy cuticle balm. For the next couple of days, apply cuticle oil or balm twice a day (morning and night) and be sure to use some good lotion several times throughout the day as well.

I hope this helps some of you out if you've been having trouble removing your gel manicures.







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