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Why Does my White Gel Nail Polish turn Yellow? How to Fix It!

Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

We all enjoy flaunting our fresh French manicures or our painted white nails. But, it only takes a few days or a plunge into a delicious gravy dish to stain them.

There can be a lot of reasons for White nails to turn yellow, including excessive or insufficient UV light radiation during the drying process, or your nail coming into contact with powerful chemicals such as household cleaners, skin care products, or even ingredients like turmeric or tobacco, among others.

Gel nails, unlike ordinary nail paint, stay considerably more, allowing you to go much longer between manicures. However, gel nails, like any nails, have their own set of difficulties. As a result, white gel nails do have a tendency to become yellow after a while.

Why Does my White Gel Nail Polish turn Yellow? How to Fix It!

Nobody enjoys it when their white gel nail paint turns yellow, regardless of what caused the discoloration. There is no definitive explanation for why white gel nails turn yellow; it might be a variety of factors, or perhaps a set of factors.

Furthermore, there is no defined limited time for how long white gel nails will fade post a manicure.

The yellowing may emerge in as little as a day or two for certain people. It might take a week or longer for the nails to turn yellow for others.

As a result, the causes of discoloration can vary widely, and so can the period in which they occur.

Reasons behind the Gel Nail Discoloration

Here are some of the top and basic reasons for your nail’s discoloration. Knowing the reason will help you prevent them!

Top Coat

The most common problem is a declined-quality top coat. A solid topcoat will not accumulate contaminants and will contain light-protective chemicals.

When choosing a cheap top and base, you may be able to save up. However, in the mean term, they will not only add to your expenses but will also harm your image.

Tanning Beds

When gel nails are exposed to Ultraviolet radiation, they begin to discolor. As a result, they must be safeguarded from the sun or a tanning bed.

They can be shielded from UV rays by directly wrapping them or covering them with a UV protective barrier. Bandages or nail savers are also viable options.

Poor Quality Gel Or Products

Gel nail paints, unlike acrylic nails, are not absorbent. This indicates they don’t absorb substances or become solid when exposed to other agents or even dust.

However, not all salons have been using the same gel material. There’s an explanation why gel nails are available in almost any price bracket.

Generally speaking, the more a nail salon costs for gel manicures, the more likely they are to apply a higher-quality gel.

Of course, that’s not always the case, but there’s no disputing that there are different types of gels, and using the wrong brand can lead your nails to become yellow shortly after your manicure or pedicure.


The next factor in yellowing your nails can be smoking. This bad habit not only turns your teeth yellow, dries up your skin, and makes your clothes stink, but it may also stain your gel polish brown or yellow.

Just like it makes your teeth seem yellow, it creates a strain on your white gel nail polish. As a result, if you smoke, your probability of finding yellowing on your gel nails is greater.

Cigarettes include nicotine and tar, which create stains on your nail beds and sometimes even your skin. Additionally, smoking reduces the oxygen flow to the fingernails, resulting in yellowing.

Exposure To Harsh Chemicals

Proceeding on to other likely explanations, exposure to powerful chemicals is yet another possibility. Cleanup products are composed of harsh chemicals.

When combined with gel nail paint, it generates an effect that results in yellow streaks. Chemicals are also found in cosmetics. It may be tough to remove make-up stains from your fingernails if you stain them by mistake while wearing them. As a result, yellow stains may form and persist.

Exposure to some compounds in beauty products also can induce coloration.

Hydroquinone, for instance, is a commonly used external depigmenting agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. When it comes into touch with nails, it has been documented to cause discoloration as well as dark staining.

Yellow nails have also been observed as a side effect of tretinoin. When it comes to sun-damaged skin, applying tanning lotion or self-tanners can cause complications with the gel nail polish.


Nails and nail polish can be affected by UV exposure. Overexposure to the sunlight may cause yellowing and fade the color of your nail polish.

Exposure to sunlight, or even fake tanning products that leave stains on the body, is unhealthy for the skin and nails.

As a result, this issue is more widespread in the summer than in the winter. Furthermore, everybody’s skin and natural nails respond differently to tanning, and people have different problems with their skin after exposure to the sun or getting a tan at a salon.

Furthermore, because not everyone tans the same way, it’s possible that different people have varied reactions to their white nail polish darkening after visiting a tanning salon or spending a lengthy period in the sun.

Not Moisturizing

Moisturizing your nails is just as vital as moisturizing your skin. It not only maintains your nails healthy, but it also protects your nail polish from yellowing by forming a barrier between the skin and yellowing agents.

The solutions to Get Nail white again

Sad to say, it is often not possible to stop any staining. At a certain point, white nail polish is going to tarnish or discolor.

If you realize that your white gel nails are going yellow, there are a few things you may do to cure them. This will recover their original white appearance and continue to stay white for a prolonged period of time.

Nail Polish Remover Or Rubbing Alcohol

Nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol are great options to eliminate minor to medium discoloration from white gel nail polish. If you apply this procedure as early as the stain develops, it will be the most efficient.

Also read: Is Nail Polish Remover Same as Rubbing Alcohol?

Check to see if you’re applying acetone to your nails. Use a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to gently wipe off the stains to cure the yellowing and recover the white color of your gel nails.

But be careful not to scrape too hard or you’ll remove the top coat of white gel paint. When the stain is still relatively new, this technique should be performed.

Scrub It Well

If the nails seem to turn yellow soon after eating something with your hands, coming in contact with turmeric while making food, or applying certain makeup products, rinse your hands properly with soap and warm water as soon as possible.

Make sure to exfoliate your nails thoroughly to eliminate any yellowing substances. Take care to not scrub your nails too hard.

Soak In Lemon And Baking Soda

The mixture of these two ingredients is a natural stain remover. Baking soda combines with the acidic property of the lemon to lighten up the stains on your pastel nails more quickly.

Put some lime juice into a bowl of water and stir in a teaspoon of baking soda. One part of the lime juice must be mixed with three parts of baking soda.

Then, for five to ten minutes, immerse your fingertips into the solution. Afterward, use normal water to cleanse your fingers while carefully washing your nails with only your fingertips.

Let’s go through some of the causal factors of this discoloration, as well as some ways to assist you to cope with it.

Use Hairspray

Hairspray works well for harder stains, and it can also be used to eliminate the coloring of nails you might have accidentally got hair coloring.

Apply hairspray to your fingertips and gently massage away the stains with a cotton swab.

After that, ensure you clean your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

This procedure is better for gel manicures than for regular nail polish. Because hairspray is fairly strong, if you use too much, it may begin to remove your nail polish.

Soak In Tea Tree Oil

Another natural stain remover is tea tree oil. Gently immerse the yellow nails in a basin containing one spoonful of tea tree oil diluted in water.

Allow the nails to sit in it for five to ten minutes, before washing your hands. Repeat the same procedure twice a day until the stain disappears.

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities, making it a potentially beneficial therapy for nail fungus. It also strengthens your natural nails, preventing them from breaking easily.

Also read: Soak Off Gel Polish: What It Is & Why You Should try it

Get Your Nails Redone

If all else fails and you can’t get rid of the yellow stains on your white gel nails using home remedies, it’s better to head back to the nail salon. You can either get spot-fixing, have one or two nails repaired, or have all of your nails replaced, based on the extent of the gel nails turning yellow or discoloration.

If you believe the problem is due to the quality of the gel, you should visit an alternative nail salon this time. You can even try to do your nails yourself using one of any high-quality gel nail kits.

How can you prevent your Gel Nails from Discoloring?

Among the most common concerns among professional nail, tech is a yellowing topcoat. There are a variety of factors that can cause your gel nails to yellow.

The most common cause of such discoloration is a substandard, cheap gel that absorbs dirt and is sensitive to light.

Many gels are sensitive to the solarium’s radiation. The solution is to use a special sun gel or to varnish the nails before heading out in the sunlight.

While applying gel manicure, dealing with fibers that the gel does not withstand can result in staining of the gel. Cracked nails, on the other hand, are more difficult to deal with since they enable moisture to enter.

While you can’t stop your nails from yellowing, you can take precautions to keep your white gel nails looking good for as long as possible.

— Put a glob of moisturizer to the tops of your nails if you work with colors and dyes frequently. Although it would be nice if you can somehow wear gloves, if you can’t, this trick will come in handy.

— Try to brush the traces away with a good quality nail paint cleaner for the gentler yellow stains. After using any stain-causing products, such as your cosmetics, make sure you quickly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

— When you’ve finished your manicure, go out and get a usual topcoat from any label and paint your nails with two coats of it.

This generally keeps your nails from becoming yellow, but when they do, simply remove the top coat and reapply a fresh layer, keeping your manicures undisturbed.

Does Only Gel Nail Polish Discolor?

The powder, or the notion that it’s white or another bright hue, isn’t usually indicative of yellowing. The discoloration of gel powder is produced by the chemicals we subject it to, as well as some procedural errors.

The most typical application error that results in yellowing is when the gel coats are not completely cured.

White polish is usually observed to get stained faster than darker shades of nail polish. It is recommended that you use a second topcoat again for applying the lighter shade.

Every color of gel polish will turn yellow with time. It’s just that white gel polish makes it stand out much more. It can develop with conventional nail polish or even natural nails, although gels, acrylics, and dip powders are far more prevalent.

Acrylics can also turn yellow as a result of the quality of the topcoat and chemical contaminants and other environmental conditions.

Also read Why Are My Gel Nails Turning Brown/Black/Grey


Nail polish completes the aesthetic of your hands. Manicures, in general, offer a touch of sophistication to otherwise unremarkable hands and nails.

Nails are known for elevating your appearance, conveying a sense of fashion, and displaying your artistic sensibility. Why make it look boring and dingy if they express so much about you?

Follow the above-mentioned techniques to take care of your nails and nail polish, and show off your white gel nails.

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