How to Safely Remove SNS Nails at Home
Published Aug 2, 2021
There’s a reason why SNS nails are taking the beauty world by storm: they’re the bomb! Not only do they look really good but they’re also very durable. Unlike shellac or acrylic nails, they can last up to two weeks without chipping or peeling.
Be that as it may, SNS nails have one major drawback: they can be really hard to remove. If you’re not careful, you can end up damaging your precious nails forever.
Fret not. We’re here to give you the deets on how to remove SNS nails at home without butchering your nails. But before digging deep into the topic, you first need to understand how SNS nails work.
The Nature of SNS Nails
Also known as “dip powder manicure”, SNS nails involve dipping your nails in powder for color. “SNS” is actually a brand of powder coloring for nails which is how the method got its name.
Unlike gel nails, it doesn’t require placing your fingers under a UV light. Or waiting for eons just for the color to dry as in the case of traditional nail polishes. That’s because SNS nails use acrylic powder (polymer) which dries and hardens on its own.
But aside from the acrylic powder, SNS nails also contain Ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s one of the main ingredients in super glue. Yes, SNS nails essentially use superglue. This is why removing it on your own at home can be risky.
What You Need
Before getting down to the business of removing your SNS nails at home, you must first prepare the following:
cotton balls/cotton pads
aluminum foil (cut into portions just large enough to cover a single fingernail)
bowl for soaking
Removing SNS Nails at Home
1. Remove the top coat.
Start removing your SNS nails by gently buffing the topcoat. This will make it easier for you to remove the rest of the nail polish. Buff it off until the shiny coat turns matte.
2. Soak your nails in warm water.
Most people would skip this step but doing this helps soften the nail polish layers. Fill the bowl with warm water and soak your nails for about 15 minutes. Then dry it off with a paper towel.
3. Soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in acetone.
Grab a cotton ball or a cotton pad and thoroughly soak it in acetone. We’re talking of dripping wet kind of soaked here. It’s important to use pure acetone as anything weaker won’t work on SNS nails. Also, make sure that your room is well-ventilated as acetone fumes can be pretty strong.
4. Wrap your nails with the acetone-soaked cotton ball.
Put the acetone-soaked cotton balls or pads on each of your fingernails then wrap it with aluminum foil. Twist the ends to secure the cotton pads and stop the acetone from leaking. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes while the acetone dissolves the hardened SNS powder.
5. Gently rub off the rest of the SNS nail polish.
Before removing all the aluminum foils, check to see if the nail polish has dissolved. Remove a foil from one finger first then using a dry cotton pad, wipe off the nail polish. If it comes off easily, then you can proceed with the rest of your fingers. If it doesn’t, wait for a few more minutes. Or you can try wrapping it in a new set of acetone-soaked cotton balls/pads.
6. Apply cuticle oil
After being exposed to various types of chemicals (SNS, acetone, etc.), your nails need some TLC. Apply some cuticle oil to revitalize your nails and keep them healthy before applying a fresh coat of polish. You can also try soaking them in coconut or olive oil for a few days to let them heal and restore them to their former glory.
Should You Go to a Salon Instead?
The cost of removing SNS nails at a salon is rather negligible. Most salons charge anywhere from $5 to $20 depending on the location. So if you’re in a hurry or are not that confident about DIYing the removal process, just head to your favorite salon. Trust me, with things like this, nothing beats a professional.
(Related: Gel vs. Regular Polish: Which is For You?)
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is the lead writer for the Salon Suites of Palm Beach website and blog. Her many years of blogging experience and passions for beauty trends helps her create content that has helped millions of people worldwide.