Soak-off gel nail polish is a type of polish that is cured onto the nails using an ultraviolet lamp. Soak-off gel nail polish looks like regular nail polish but it lasts longer, states Catherine Saint Louis of The New York Times.
Soak-off gel nail polish is applied and removed by a professional manicurist. During the process, a base coat, two color coats and a top coat of gel polish are painted onto the nails. The soak-off gel nail polish is briefly cured under an ultraviolet light between each coat. To remove the polish, pads that are soaked in acetone or a special gel polish remover are placed on the nails and worn for 10 to 25 minutes. Any gel residue that is left on the nails after they are soaked is scraped off by the manicurist.