Q&A

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

Q.

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

A.

First we need to determine what you mean by UV gel top coat. There are generally three different gel products that 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 need to be filed off.

UV-cured sealing gels with no sticky residue usually cannot be soaked off and must be filed off, but there is at least one type I know of that will soak off.

UV-cured top coats are technically not gels but they have some of the same properties. They are used over polish — like a traditional top coat — but cure very quickly when exposed to UV light. They can also be removed with any nail polish remover or acetone.

An easy solution is to use an e-file with a coarse sanding band. Since gel is easy to file, it usually takes less time to file off than to soak. And when you get close to the natural nail, just 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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