Few things frustrate nail clients more than yellowing nails. After all the love and care that’s gone into a perfect manicure, the last thing you want to see is your beautiful nails turning yellow. This can happen with both gels and dip powders, so let’s take a look at what causes the yellowing, how to prevent it, and what you can do to fix discoloration if it happens.
First and foremost, yellowing is far less likely with a quality product professionally applied. SNS GelStar and SNS dip powders are crafted with the finest ingredients to maintain their premium colors for the entire lifetime of the application — two or three weeks’ of wear.
Even with SNS products, however, yellowing can sometimes occur, because of an error in application or later exposure of the nails to sun or chemicals. Discoloration is most common with white nails but it can occur with other colors, too. For example, red may turn pink or even orange.
What Causes Yellowing?
By far the most common cause of yellowing is excessive sun exposure. It’s easy to forget just how powerful the sun can be, especially in summer. Even the finest gels and dip powders will only tolerate a certain amount of direct exposure. The UV light from the sun reacts with the chemistry of the nail application, and this alters the color. Not surprisingly, the same holds true of artificial tanning.
Harsh chemicals of many kinds can discolor the nails. Spending a lot of time in a chlorinated swimming pool risks yellowing the nails. So do hair dyes, some makeup products and many household cleaning products. Turmeric and other cooking spices can cause problems. Even some hand sanitizers can discolor the nails. Needless to say, smoking is a no-no!
Yellowing can occasionally be caused by errors during application. Nail professionals trained by SNS know never to contaminate a white powder with other colors. They use separate bases and sealers for white applications, and they carefully clean their brushes after every use. Less experienced technicians may not have this know-how, and will carelessly contaminate one color with another. The effect is like washing colored clothes with whites.
In the case of gels, it’s essential to provide the right amount of UV light correct during the drying process. Again, SNS professional training ensures the right balance of UV exposure, but not all nail technicians are skilled in this.
How to Fix a Yellowing Nail
Prevention is always better than cure! The first step is to use either SNS GelStar nail gel or SNS dip powders and get them applied by an SNS Certified Nail Artist. Cover the nails if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun or a chlorinated pool, and if you’re handling dyes or other chemicals. Gloves are your first line of nail defense!
If the worst happens, and you see yellowing of the nails, all is not lost. It is often possible to reverse the discoloration. Here are six ways to go about it.
- If the yellowing is mild and recent, try just washing the hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- For dip powders, gently buff the nails to remove the very top coat and see if the yellowing simply rubs off.
- Fill a bowl with water and mix lemon juice and baking soda, then soak the nails for 10 or 15 minutes. These two natural cleansers may correct the discoloration.
- Applying a little rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover with a Q-tip can do the trick — but don’t use too much or rub too hard.
- Surprisingly, some people have found that using hairspray on the nails may remove the yellowing: if the other fixes don’t work, it’s worth a try!
- If all else fails, you can have a new layer of color added to the nails, or better still redo the affected nails or the entire set.
Good News From SNS
Remember that the biggest threat to your nails will always be excessive sun exposure. That’s why SNS has just released a new Sealer Dry formula with enhanced sun protection. Properly applied by a trained professional, this wonderful new product is likely to keep your manicure in mint condition throughout its lifetime.