This week's question comes from Ava, who asked the following:
“Help!  I just learned that the nail salon I visit has closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I have gel nails and need to remove the gel without damaging my nails.  What’s the best way to do this?”
First and foremost, do not, I repeat - do not peel, pick or rip the gel off your nails.  If your nail salon was open my advice would be to have the gels removed by a professional to ensure the least amount of damage to your nails.  The improper removal of gels can leave deep ridges in the nails, along with the peeling and cracking of the nail bed.  
Removing the gels at home can absolutely be done, but will require patience.  You can remove the gels by soaking your nails in acetone and allowing the gels to “melt” off your nails.  After about 20-30 minutes the gels should be soft enough to push off your nails with a wooden nail stick.
Or, you can soak cotton balls in acetone and apply to each nail with foil wrapped around the cotton ball and nail to hold it all in place.  Again, you’ll want to give the process about 20-30 minutes to allow the breakdown of the gels to allow easy removal from the nail.
I would follow this procedure with soaking your nails in a hot coconut oil treatment. Place warm coconut oil in a bowl and allow your nails to soak for 10-15 minutes.  Be sure to massage the coconut oil into your nail bed. Coconut oil will moisturize, nourish and strengthen your nails.  It's antibacterial and antifungal properties will work to protect your weak nails.  
Give your nails a chance to repair themselves by allowing them to breathe. Avoid putting anything on your nails for at least a week or two.  You may, before bedtime, continue to massage coconut oil into your nail bed daily.
If your nails are weak from the gels make sure you're drinking water, getting adequate sleep, eating fresh greens and consider taking supplements. Remember, your body repairs itself from the inside out, so be patient with the process!
Lastly, a regimen of consistent at-home manicures will help your nails remain neat and groomed.  It will also help with taking the worry away from how quickly your nails heal and get back to good health.  Just be sure that the products used during your at-home manicures are 10 FREE, toxin-free!
I really hope this helps!
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