No nail salon? Here's how to remove your gel manicure at home

Experts break down how to remove your gel mani at home.

Nail salons, like hair salons and barbershops, have been advised to shut down in several U.S. states amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

This has become a concern for those who love to indulge in a weekly manicure and for the nails artists and business owners who are impacted economically.

"Not all nail professionals work as an employee of a salon," nail expert Tracylee Percival said to "Good Morning America." "A lot, like myself, are self-employed with no employees and work as independent contractors, some rent salon space, some have home-based businesses."

She added, "These freelance nail pros would not be able to collect from the current unemployment nor small business benefits being offered for COVID-19 relief. With no money coming in and no relief from the government, as of yet, this is a frightening financial time."

Percival said buying salon gift cards is one way to help nail technicians.

There is also a Nail Professional Relief Fund with a goal of raising $10,000 to help nail professionals who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are longing for a fresh mani, the good news is that you can always do one at home. You may, however, be wondering exactly to remove a previously done gel manicure (which tends to last for roughly two weeks) as it doesn't simply rub off with a swipe of acetone on a cotton ball.

Essie's global lead educator Rita Remark connected with "Good Morning America" to provide some basic tips on how to remove gels at home.

"Be patient and gentle removing your gel polish so that the nails you wear afterward are healthy and free of damage," said Remark. "Don't expect it to be as quick as your when your manicurist does it as we are the pros! We're supposed to make it look easy."

Gel nail polish removal how-to:

Step 1: To help speed up the process, file the surface of your gels with a nail file to remove all the shine as this allows the acetone to soften and for the polish to lift away faster.

Step 2: Saturate a cotton pad with 100% acetone, press onto the nail and wrap with a square of tinfoil. Lightly press the foil for a tight seal and leave each nail wrapped for 15 minutes. Pro tip: If you only have a diluted form of acetone (nail polish remover with acetone and added scent, glycerin or oils for hydration), soak the gels for twice as long. Also, note that non-acetone removers will not remove gels regardless of how long you soak them.

Step 3: Use an orange wood stick to remove the gels. Pro tip: When you remove the gels, your cuticles and nails will be temporarily dehydrated. Restore moisture by massaging cuticle oil and applying hand lotion.

Step 4: If you have a nail strengthener such as Essie's Treat Love & Color Nail Polish & Strengthener, add a couple of coats after removal to help strengthen weak nails.

"Good Morning America" also tapped CND Education Manager, Roxanne Valinoti, for thoughts.

- Don't be quick to remove your enhancements or coatings unless it's absolutely necessary. At-home removal can do more damage than good to the natural nail.

- Don't pry, pick or peel off enhancements, gels or coating as this can peel off nail plate layers and leave nails damaged, soft and weak.

- Do file gel with a coarse file to reduce the length and refresh shape instead of cutting them off. This will allow the coating to grow out safely without full removal.

- Do condition skin and nails nightly to combat the drying effects of handwashing and hand sanitizers.

For at-home gel removing after-care, renowned nail artist Jin Soon Choi recommends taking a nail detox. Allow your nails to breathe and apply a nourishing base coat such as JINsoon HyperRepair.

"This base coat is strengthening and packed with essential nutrients to restore your nail health," said Choi. "Think of it as skincare for your nails. It also has a slight pink tint for a healthy and clean looking finish."

You can also keep caring for your cuticles and nails with a conditioning treatment such as CND Solar Oil.