Why Are My Dip Nails Turning Yellow?

Why Are My Dip Nails Turning Yellow?

dip nails turning yellow

Reasons Why Your Dip Powder Nails are Turning Yellow.

Yellowing is most often seen in white or french dip powders. It’s uncommon for dip powder to yellow but there are a few reasons it could happen. First you need to determine if the yellowing happens immediately after application, or if it happens over a long period of time (1+ weeks).

Why Your Dip Nails are Yellowing after a Week.

The truth is, if your nails are yellowing after a week of wear, the powder formula wasn’t designed correctly. Ingredients like titanium dioxide are added to dip powder to create vivid color. However there is such a thing as “poor quality” titanium dioxide. While titanium dioxide does not have a real shelf life (it lasts pretty much forever) it is recommended to use it within 2 years because overtime, the pigment can become prone to yellowing from exposure to oxygen if it is a lower quality pigment. The higher quality titanium dioxide pigments are usually exposed to zinc stearate to help prevent this yellowing effect, but if you use a powder that has not been treated with zinc stearate, then it can be prone to yellowing.

foundation or sunscreen can cause yellowing in dip nails

Yellowing dip nails can also be caused by some makeups or sunscreens.

We use our fingers to do a lot of different things! Sometimes touching makeup, such as foundation or base, can yellow our pretty white nails, especially if you touch it before applying a top coat. Sunscreen or tanner can also cause yellowing overtime. 

UV light can cause yellowing in acrylic powders.

Quality acrylic polymers are treated with special chemicals that prevent yellowing when the powder is exposed to UV rays. However, if you are using a lower quality powder brand that was not treated to block out UV light, your powder can yellow overtime. Not all acrylic powders are created equal! 

Using old dip liquids can cause yellowing in dip nails.

Expired and old dip liquids should never be used on your nails. The chemicals can break down overtime and leave you with a messy dip liquid system that yellows your nails! Dip liquids typically have a shelf life of 1-2 years, which is a much shorter time period when compared to the dip powders (which is normally 3-5 years). Make sure you are purchasing from a company that does not sell old or expired dip liquids, and toss out any dip liquids that you have had for a long time.

You're bad smoking habit can cause yellowing nails.

The nicotine from smoking comes in close contact with your nails while you're holding a cigarette. The nicotine smoke can stain your nails yellow overtime, especially if they're white nails! Kick that smoking habit and your beautiful dip nail color will last a much longer time.

Food stains can turn your nails yellow.

While this might seem obvious to some, you may not have noticed that some of your favorite foods can stain your pretty nails! To help prevent food staining, use a high quality, glossy top coat that won't absorb any external colors as easily--with a glossy top coat, you can usually wipe the stain away. Be wary of your eating habits when wearing a matte or rough color that can more easily stain.

How Can I Prevent my Dip Powder from Yellowing?

There is only so much you can do to prevent your dip powder from yellowing. However, if you are having yellowing issues, consider adding another layer of top coat and making sure your dip powder is fully covered. This will help cover the nail and prevent exposure to the oxygen that can cause yellowing. 

One other thing to look out for is your activator. Try applying your powder without using any activator and see if the yellowing goes away. Some activator liquids are not formulated properly and can cause yellowing of the dip powder when they make contact with titanium dioxide.

If your Nails are Yellowing, Pick a new Brand of Powder.

Really, the best thing you can do if your nails are yellowing is to pick a new brand of dipping powder. It shouldn't be yellowing at all! That is, unless you're like... dipping them in yellow paint. But we're assuming you don't do that. If you’ve had your jars of dip powder for a short time and they are already yellowing, then you’ve purchased old powder that was not formulated correctly.

Have you had issues with your nails yellowing overtime? How did you fix them? Let us know in the comments!


1 comment


  • JULIANNA LIN

    Thank you – exactly the answer I was looking for!


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