Q&A

Is there an easy way to remove a UV gel top coat?

Q.

Is there an easy way to remove a UV gel top coat? Or is there a product for removing this?

A.

Generally, three different gel products are considered top coats: UV-cured sealing gel with a sticky residue, UV-cured sealing gel with no sticky residue, and UV-cured top coat. Sometimes UV-cured sealing gels with sticky residue can be soaked off like an acrylic with acetone, but not all can. Some must be filed off.

UV-cured sealing gels with no sticky residue usually can’t be soaked off and must be filed off, but at least one type I know of will soak off. UV-cured top coats are technically not gels but have some of the same properties. They’re used over polish — like a traditional top coat — but cure very quickly when exposed to UV light. They can be removed with any polish remover or acetone.

Gel usually takes less time to file off than to soak. Use an e-file with a coarse sanding band; when you get close to the natural nail, switch to a block buffer or a fine grit file. — Karra Westcott is the director of education for Gelousy Gel Nail Systems in Phoenix.

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