4 Tips On How To Remove Nail Glue From Skin

There are so many designs and types of artificial nails that can be fixed in just minutes! They are fixed with nail glue which holds both surfaces tightly and also dries quickly. Nail glue is easy to use and remove, not until it drops on your skin.

Nail glue contains cyanoacrylate, a compound that is also found in superglue. This compound gives it its strong binding power. However, it also contains formulations that allow your natural nails to grow while artificial ones are on it.

That being said, nail glue is a strong adhesive. Although there are no serious health threats with having some on your skin, it might be discomforting and could cause injuries if you try to remove it using the wrong method.

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Here are easy methods to remove nail glue from your skin;

#Tip1: Use An Acetone-based Nail Polish Remover

In this method, you would use an acetone-based nail polish remover specifically, because acetone would easily dissolve the constituents of the glue more than other options. However, acetone can easily dry out your skin.

For this, you need a cotton ball to apply the compound only to the affected parts of your skin. You would also need a toothbrush and some warm water as you might need more force and heat to remove the glue at some point.


  1. Put some warm water into a bowl and add soap to make the lather. Make sure the water is warm enough for you to soak the area for 15 minutes without scalding yourself.
  2. After 15 minutes, remove your hand (or any other part), from the warm water and gently brush that area with a toothbrush. You could also use a nail buffer or an emery board. Do not rub or pull the area, but gently scrub it.
  3. Dip the cotton ball into acetone and gently apply it to the area that you have scrubbed. Hold this for about 10 minutes.

Note: Do not apply this on areas that have cuts, bruises, or hang nails as acetone could cause stinging.

  1. After applying the acetone, gently brush the area again to remove the remnant glue.
  2. Apply some olive oil or petroleum jelly to the area you have treated. This would moisturize the skin against the drying effect of the acetone.

#Tip 2: Use Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is an effective way to remove nail glue from your skin without using acetone. You would need generous amounts of petroleum jelly, which is the chief ingredient of the method.

You would also need soap and some warm water to wash and remove the residues at the end of the process.


  1. Get a good amount of petroleum jelly applies it to the area of the skin that has the nail glue on it. Apply the jelly in a circular motion while massaging it very well into the skin. Do this for 10-15 minutes.
  2. After the stated time, the glue would soften and break up. It might even pull out of the skin by itself without pulling. If this does not happen after 15 minutes, continue messaging the area with petroleum jelly until you get these results.
  3. When you get those results, wash the area with soap and warm water to remove the petroleum jelly and glue residue from your skin.

You can also apply the petroleum jelly to the area and place a damp towel over it. The towel should have been soaked in warm water before being placed over the petroleum jelly on the skin.

#Tip 3: Use Soap And Warm Water

You could use soap and water to remove nail glue from your skin, but this method is time-exhausting. However, if you don’t have other ingredients like some of the methods mentioned above, you could resolve this option.

You would need mild soap and warm water. Mild soap because you don’t want something that would irritate your skin. Warm water breaks the binding power of the glue and hastens the process.


  1. Mix cold water and hot water in a bowl to get lukewarm water of a certain temperature. Mix the water with the mild soap to form a lather.
  2. Immerse the affected area into soapy water until the glue comes off. This depends on how quickly you noticed the glue on your skin. It could take 10 to 40 minutes for the glue to dissolve.
  3. Once the glue starts to dissolve, take out the area and gently pull off the glue by yourself.
  4. After taking off the glue, you should use hand cream to moisturize the area of the skin that might have dried out during the process.

#Tip 4: Use Hand Lotion

Another easy method for removing nail glue from your skin is with hand cream or lotion. This method might take time, but it also gives the needed results.

For this method, you would need a hand lotion or hand cream, warm water, and mild soap to hasten the process.


  1. Get some amounts of hand lotion and apply it to the area of the skin that has glue on it. Massage it into the skin in a circular motion for 15 minutes or more.
  2. After some time, the glue might start to flake out or might become easy to pull off.
  3. Wash the area with some soap and warm water to wash away the lotion and help remove some of the remaining glue on your skin.
  4. After washing, apply some lotion on the skin again to moisturize it as it might have dried out during the washing.

How To Prevent Nail Glue From Reaching Your Skin

Prevention is better than cure, even in little matters having a nail glue on your skin by mistake. You could prevent nail glue from reaching your skin with some of the prevention tips below;

  1. Do not use too much: When applying nail glue, apply a thin layer, just one drop might be enough. If the layer is thick, it would eventually spread when you press the artificial nail on it.
  2. Push back your cuticles: If you mistakenly apply too much, you can create some space for the glue to spread by pushing back your cuticles. This is not painful and would save you a lot of stress of getting nail glue off your skin.
  3. Use the brush applicator: Some nail glues come with a brush applicator which helps to prevent the glue from spreading to your skin.


Nail glue on your skin could disturb the beauty of your artificial nails and could be discomforting. We discussed how to remove nail glue from the skin with and without acetone.

You could use petroleum jelly to remove nail glue on skin burns and cuts, but don’t use acetone, soap, or lotion as they might cause a sting.

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