This is definitely the gentlest option of the bunch, but there are two caveats to using it effectively: 1) It works best on fresh glue, meaning act quickly. As soon as you get glue on your skin, get to soaking. 2) It will take the longest, so be patient.
What you’ll need:
- A small bowl
- Warm water
Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water. Soak your hands (or fingers) in it for as long as it takes for the glue to soften and dissolve. From our experience, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour or more, depending on the glue that was used and how quickly you began soaking it off. Just keep an eye on things and when you start to see the glue lifting, gently rub the remaining adhesive off.
Regardless of which method you use, after-care is crucial.
Whether you use an acetone-based remover or simply soak your hands in soapy water, you’ll want to treat your hands to some TLC afterwards. We recommend coating them in a heavy-duty moisturizer with ceramides (we’re loving Goop’s Goopgenes Nourishing Hand Cream and Tenoverten’s The Heroine Hand Cream at the moment). Oh, and don’t forget your cuticles! Swipe some cuticle oil or serum over them before applying your hand cream and reapply throughout the day.
Some parting tips...
Despite the urge, don’t try to forcefully peel the glue off your skin. You could end up taking off some skin with the glue by accident. And the next time you apply press ons, use less glue to avoid getting it onto the sides of your nails and skin. Better yet, use a brush-on nail glue for an even neater application.