Now, if you want to remove dip nails without acetone, we have some disappointing news. We asked the experts and each pretty much gave the same answer: do not. “An alternative would be to file the product off, but this is time-consuming and comes with a big risk of over-filing and damaging the nail plate,” says Remark. 

Beware of what you read on the Internet and watch on YouTube: “natural” ingredients such as distilled white vinegar and olive oil just don’t have the properties to break down dip powder. If for some reason you really want to skip using acetone, head to your nail salon so they can use an e-file safely, says Remark.

3. Gently Push the Dip Off Your Nails

Once the dip loosens and begins to flake, take the metal pusher or orangewood stick and lightly scrape off the polish, starting from the cuticle area to the end of your nail. “The dip should come off without applying too much pressure on your nail bed,” says Monserrat Rodriguez, nail artist and owner of Shears and Laque nail salon in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

4. Buff and Shape

If there are tiny pieces of polish remaining, don’t worry. Take your buffer and gently rub them off. Buffing will also even out the texture of your nail and create a smooth finish. If the shape of your nails is jagged and uneven, take your nail file (180 grit) and create your ideal shape, but keep your length on the shorter side, especially if they seem weak. Johnson says this is the best way to prevent damaged nails from breaking or splitting.

5. Hydrate and Massage

Last, but certainly not least, replace all of the moisture you just lost. Your nails (and skin) will likely be dehydrated from the acetone soaking and filing, not to mention the extreme hand-washing and hand-sanitizing, so go heavy with your favorite hand creams and oils

Le opts for Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil, while Johnson loves Byredo hand creams. “I’m big on scents, especially now when a scent can really lift my spirits,” says Johnson. “The little luxuries make a big difference,” she says. For more affordable options, Allure editors love Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream and Love Beauty and Planet’s Murumuru Butter & Rose Delicious Glow Hand Cream.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hand Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

Love Beauty and Planet Hand Cream


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