How To Remove Nail Glue From Skin

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Lots of us love long, beautiful nails? Whether they be acrylic nails, press-on nails, or whatever, they’re fun to wear and look amazing.

Fake nails can be attached to your natural nails in several ways. You can use the or you could use nail glue  to secure them in place. 

Nail glue is a strong adhesive used to stick on artificial nails. However, if you accidentally get some on your skin, it can be hard to remove! 

And now you’re wondering how to take nail glue off skin

Fortunately, there are ways to remove nail glue from your skin without too much trouble. In this article, we’ll tell you how to remove nail glue from skin.


What Is Nail Glue?

nail glue

Are you having trouble keeping your fake nails sticking to your natural nails? The answer to that is to use nail glue   instead of using the double-sided adhesive that could come with your set of fake nails.

The nail glue is somewhat similar to or superglue when it comes to strength but there are still differences. The active ingredients can be similar but nail glue is formulated to be much safer to use on the body

Superglue, on the other hand, is meant to be used for inorganic items, and it is not safe to use on teh body. 

How To Take Nail Glue Off Skin

nail glue application

While attaching your fake nails, you might accidentally get some of the nail glue on your skin. You may have placed too much that it spilled over the edges and got onto your skin. (similar thing can happen when working with eyelash glue).

So what do you do now? How can you remove this notorious sticky glue from your skin?

If you want to remove the nail glue from your skin, you have to prepare a few things such as an acetone-based nail polish remover, nail file or buffer, oil, warm soapy water, a soaking bowl, and some cotton balls. 

Here are the steps on how to use all those materials to remove the nail glue. 

  1. Soak the skin in soapy warm water. Use the warmest temperature that you can stand without scalding yourself. 

Make sure that there is enough soap to make the solution sudsy.  Do the soak for about 15 minutes to help loosen the nail glue. 

  1. Use the nail file, buffer, or even a toothbrush to remove the bits of nail glue that are already raised. Be careful not to pull them off or rub them harshly. You can end up wounding yourself. 
  1. Use the acetone-based nail polish remover on the area where the nail glue is stuck. You can use a cotton ball soaked in the nail polish remover for about 10 minutes. This helps further break down the stickiness of the nail glue. 

Sometimes, the acetone can feel uncomfortable on the skin especially if you have cuts, hangnails, or open skin (many people don’t like acetone for this reason). 

  1. Use your nail buffer again to lightly brush the area and remove the other nail glue that has loosened. 
  1. Use the oil to help moisturize the area since the acetone can cause it to dry. Furthermore, the oil can help further loosen some of the remaining glue that is sticking to your skin. 

At that point, you’d be able to remove most of the glue. Sometimes, there can still be some left and they would eventually loosen after some time. 

A similar process works for removing nail glue from your nails. If you’ve got nail glue on your clothing, see our guide here.

Other Alternatives

Aside from the instructions above, you might also want to try to use these:

Glue Removers

Glue removers are usually sold at craft stores to help remove super glue. Although the nail glue isn’t identical to superglue, you can still give this a try. 

Please remember that the glue removers may help loosen the bond but they can be irritating to the skin. 

Apart from that, they can have a strong odor and could be flammable. So take precautions whenever you use them. 

Hand Lotion

Using a hand lotion is another alternative that you can use. With the hand lotion, all you need to do is apply it to the area and massage it circularly. Usually, the glue starts to flake off. This is a good alternative because it doesn’t dry out your skin but keeps it moisturized and nourished. 

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly has a lot of uses and it can be used to help remove the nail glue from your skin. 

All you have to do is to rub a generous amount on your skin and the dried nail glue. Just continuously rub it for a few minutes and you’ll see some of the nail glue begin to loosen. 

Afterward, you can wash the area off with soap and water. This will help remove the petroleum jelly  residue and some of the remaining nail glue too.

Things You Shouldn’t Do

The nail glue sticking to your skin can feel uncomfortable. It can start to loosen or peel off from the edges. 

However, you must resist the urge to pull it off forcefully. That will just rip off your skin or cuticle and create an open wound. It is best to gradually remove the glue by following the steps outlined above. 

In case the nail glue gets to other areas of the body like the eyelids or lips, do not use acetone-based products on it. It’s time to go to the doctor for help. 

Also, take note that you don’t have to remove the nail glue (assuming it’s just on your finger or someplace inconsequential). 

You can just allow the glue to stick for a little while because it will loosen gradually. 

Usually, it dislodges on its own after 1-2 days. So if the area is just small and won’t interfere greatly with your daily activities, it is best to leave it to fall off on its own rather than force it. 

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).