What Is Soak Off Gel Nail Polish?

Soak-Off-Gel-PolishSoak off nail polish differs from the traditional forms in many different ways. Each layer of gel is applied using a brush. Each layer is then dried, or “cured”, by means of an ultraviolet light. Additional layers are then applied using the same method to dry each coat before applying the next one.


By using UV light to dry the gel, this allows for each coat to dry thoroughly within minutes, eliminating the longer drying and wait times common with traditional polishes. This quick drying method also puts an end to smudging and denting of the finish before it is fully dried.

Using soak off polish also makes the need for drilling or filing of the nails unnecessary, therefore, causing less damage to nails and delicate cuticles. It offers more wear time with less chance of chipping. Your new manicure can now last for approximately two to three weeks without the finish chipping away.

The enhancement can be used either to add length to existing nails, or directly applied to the natural nails. If the colour you’ve chosen proves to be undesirable at some time before the manicure is completed, the salon professional can simply paint right over it with a regular type of polish. The gel, along with the traditional polish, can then be removed using a non-acetone containing remover.


This all sounds great, however, there are some downsides when considering this type of enhancement. They can only be completed using a salon professional and are more expensive than a manicure using traditional polish or acrylics. While fill-ins are available, most times changing colours requires the total removal of the former polish. This can be done at the salon, or you may wish to use the method at home.


To complete the process on your own, you will need an acetone based remover, cotton balls, and aluminium foil. The cotton ball will need to be soaked in the acetone based remover and then placed over the nail on which the gel is to be removed. Then, wrap the soaked cotton ball around the finger using aluminium foil. Sometimes after the soaking, some additional filing will be required to fully remove the soak off gel.

Other Information

Here are some other things to keep in mind when considering this type of treatment for your manicure

  • The process of applying this type of finish to your nails takes a bit longer to complete than manicures done using a regular type of polish.
  • If you stick to a design that uses a clear base, it will be less likely to show nail growth and keep your manicure looking sharp longer.
  • Within a couple of weeks after choosing a solid base colour, the growth will definitely show.
  • When choosing darker colours, the process will take longer to complete.
  • Any embellishments or nail art will also lengthen the time of the gel application process.