How to Get Nail Glue Off Skin

When it comes to stylish nails, artificial ones are a great go-to because they come in a variety of designs to suit different preferences and they don’t take long to apply. Having a sleek nail look in minutes is as simple as gluing them atop your natural nail beds – and voila! 

Applying artificial nails is typically an easy and fun process, until you get nail glue on your skin, that is. The type of adhesive used to apply nails can be tricky to remove, but when it’s done correctly, you can have smooth, glue-free nails without too much hassle. 

Below, we’ll share some information with you about how to get nail glue off skin, so stick around!

About Nail Glue

The glue used for nails contains a chemical known as cyanoacrylate, which is found in many household superglues. Regardless of sharing this ingredient, these glues differ in some ways. 

For example, nail glue often contains ingredients that are designed to support the growth of nails, unlike household adhesives. Both are engineered to adhere tightly to nail beds, dry quickly and turn clear upon drying.  

Things You Need

To remove nail adhesive from skin, you’ll need a few specific items that you probably already have in your home. These include the following:

  • Nail polish remover that contains acetone
  • Nail file, nail buffer or toothbrush
  • Container for soaking purposes
  • Any oils, such as baby oil, petroleum jelly or olive oil
  • Soapy, warm water
  • Cotton balls or pads


Removing the Glue

There are several techniques that can be used for removing nail glue from skin, but the common denominator among all of them is – you guessed it – acetone. When you’re purchasing your nail remover from the store, keep in mind that some nail polish removers don’t contain this chemical, so make sure the one you choose does!

Below is a technique you can try when trying to remove nail glue from skin:

  1. Soak your fingers in soapy water for 15 minutes. The warmer the water, the better- just be sure not to burn yourself. The purpose of this step is to loosen up the glue from the skin.
  2. Using a clean toothbrush, gently scrub the area where the glue is. A nail buffer or file can be used as well, just don’t pull or rub.
  3. Next, you’ll want to soak the areas with nail glue within the acetone. However, if you don’t want to put your hands directly in the nail polish remover (since it can be harsh on skin), you can soak a cotton ball or pad in the acetone and place that onto the glue-area as well. Let the area stay soaking in acetone for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve soaked your skin with glue, you can take that toothbrush you used earlier and brush the area gently to remove any remaining glue.
  5. Finally, because acetone is harsh on skin and at this point, it’s drying up, follow up this process with an oil or petroleum jelly to moisturize your skin and get rid of any resides once and for all.

Glue Removal Alternative Method

The technique we just described requires that you soak your hands twice, however, the alternative method below involves just one soak:

  1. First, boil water and pour it into a large basin.
  2. Next, you’ll want to place a container of your acetone-based nail polish remover into the hot water. Make sure it’s immersed almost to the top so it can warm the acetone, taking care to keep the water from getting into it – as this would dilute it.
  3. Place your skin with the glue into the acetone solution once it’s warmed up and leave it there for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve soaked, you can use a toothbrush to remove the loosened up nail glue.
  5. Finally, like the last technique, you’ll want to end with moisturizing your skin and removing any last bits of glue with oil or petroleum jelly.

Things You Shouldn’t Do

Because the chemicals within artificial nail glue (and acetone) damages and weakens your nails, we encourage you to go with the fake nails occasionally rather than all the time. If possible, try to give your natural nails a break from acrylics once in a while and whiten them if you want to. 

Additionally, when you’re removing the glue from your skin, try to resist the urge to force or pull on it because this can rip your skin. Finally, if nail glue gets on your lips, eyes, or eyelids, do not try to remove it with acetone. Instead, see a doctor immediately.

And with that, we wish you safe and happy gluing! 

Like content? Share it!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest