Why Did My Acrylic Nails Turn Yellow? 8 Things To Know For Prevention

Are you facing discoloration of your acrylic nails and have them turned into an unappealing shade of yellow? 

If you’ve found yourself in this dilemma, don’t panic as I’ll help you find the exact reasons behind this frustrating phenomenon and provide you with solutions to prevent it from happening again. 

So if you’re asking yourself,  

“Why did my acrylic nails turn yellow?” Here may be the reasons: 

The yellowing of acrylic nails can be caused by various elements which include staining, tobacco usage, dark-colored nail polishes, and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. They penetrate the porous structure of acrylic nails and leave behind unsightly discoloration. 

Additionally, improper care and wearing synthetic nails for a prolonged time without giving them a pause can also contribute to yellowing. 

When it comes to understanding the science behind nail color change, you have to rely on information from trustworthy and reliable sources. 

This blog on why acrylic nails turn yellow is supported by comprehensive research and expertise in the field of nail care. 

As a team of experienced nail professionals, we have firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by acrylic nail wearers and the most effective methods to combat yellowing. 

Reasons Why Acrylic Nails Get Yellow

If you notice any change in the color of your artificial acrylic nails, you must evaluate the reason because sometimes, it can be a symptom of severe health concerns. I’ve explained all the possible causes below.

So let’s see why does acrylic turn yellow? 

  1. Nail Polish Staining 

One of the most common causes of yellowing nails is staining from colored nail polishes. 

Dark-colored nail polishes particularly those with harsh pigments or those left on for a longer period, can seep into the porous surface of acrylic nails which gradually turns them yellow.

  1. Smoking 

Smoking not only affects your lungs but also other organs including both natural and artificial nails like acrylics. 

The nicotine and tar present in cigarettes can stain the nails over time which results in a yellowish discoloration.

  1. Excessive Exposure to Sunlight or UV Rays 

Does acrylic turn yellow in the sun? Yes, exposing your nails to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) rays for longer can provoke acrylic nails to turn yellow. 

UV rays have the potential to break down the acrylic material inducing it to become discolored.

  1. Poor Quality Products

The quality of the products can’t be ignored when it comes to any deterioration of your synthetic nail extensions. 

The substance used during the application of acrylic nails can affect their longevity and appearance. 

So using low-quality or expired products can cause the nails to turn yellow more quickly.

  1. Fungal Infections

Fungal infections, such as onychomycosis, can also lead to yellowing of acrylic nails. The microbes have the capability to thrive in warm and moist environments under the acrylic nails.

They can discolor your nails and also cause other symptoms like thickening and brittleness.

  1. Natural Nail Health 

The health of your natural nails can also influence the appearance of your acrylic nails. 

If your natural nails are weak, damaged, or have underlying issues, such as a nail plate infection or injury, this can affect the overall impression of the acrylic nails, including potential yellowing.

  1. Chemical Reactions

Acrylic nails can also undergo chemical reactions when exposed to certain harsh substances. 

For instance, household cleaning products, hair dyes, and some beauty products may contain chemicals that can react with the acrylic material and lead to discoloration and yellowing. 

  1. Improper Maintenance

You can’t ignore this factor. Neglecting proper maintenance and care of acrylic nails can definitely contribute to their yellowing. 

For example, failing to clean the underside of the nails, improper removal of nail polish, or infrequent filing and buffing can allow debris, oils, or dead skin cells to accumulate which ultimately causes acrylic nails discoloration. 

How To Prevent Acrylic Nails from Turning Yellow

You must have heard prevention is better than cure, it applies here as well. 

You can enjoy longer-lasting stunning-looking nails by following the tips below on how to keep your acrylic nails from turning yellow. 

  1. Prepare Your Nails Properly 

Before you do your acrylic nails, it is necessary to clean and dry them. Also, make them free of oils or residues. 

Use a nail dehydrator or rubbing alcohol to peel off any moisture or oily substances from your nails. 

This will enable the acrylic to adhere excellently and reduce the chances of yellowing.

  1. Use a high-quality acrylic system

Select a reputable brand for buying your acrylic products. High-grade acrylic systems are less likely to yellow compared to cheaper alternatives. 

Look for acrylic products specifically formulated to resist discoloration.

  1. Avoid smoking and intense heat 

Smoking and excessive heat exposure can induce acrylic nails to yellow. 

The chemicals in cigarettes and heat sources, such as hot baths, saunas, or sunbeds, can accelerate the yellowing process. 

Try to minimize exposing your nails to these factors.

  1. Use UV-blocking top coat over nails

Apply a UV-blocking top coat or gel polish with UV protection. These products create a barrier that shields the acrylic from UV rays which lessen the risk of yellowing.

  1. Wear gloves when using harsh chemicals

Whenever you handle these household cleaning products such as harsh detergents, wear gloves to protect your nails from direct contact. 

It preserves their clarity and prevents discoloration. 

  1. Avoid prolonged submersion in water

Try to avoid your acrylic nails from prolonged submersion in water, such as long baths or extended swimming sessions. 

If your hands are frequently in water, consider wearing waterproof gloves to minimize contact.

  1. Follow proper nail hygiene

Keep your acrylic nails neat and dry. Parch them thoroughly after washing or coming into contact with water. 

If moisture is trapped between the natural nail, the acrylic can get yellow and also fungal growth chances are increased.

  1. Schedule regular fills or maintenance

When your natural nails grow, it leaves a gap between the cuticle and the acrylic that becomes noticeable. 

Schedule regular fills or maintenance appointments with a professional nail technician to keep your acrylic nails looking fresh. 

If you’re more concerned about acrylic nail fill cost and don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on simple infill, I would advise you to do acrylic nails at home

Why Are My Nails Yellow At The Tips?

Natural nail tips can get yellow due to two main reasons. The first one is a fungal attack which usually grows under the nails due to shade and moisture. Another reason is a deficiency of specific vitamins.

How To Get Rid Of Yellow Tint On Acrylic Nails?

If you want to get rid of a yellow tint on acrylic nails, you can try these methods:

  • Bathing your nails in a mixture of warm water and lemon juice for nearly 10 minutes. The acidity in lemon juice will remove the yellow discoloration. After soaking, scrub your nails with a soft toothbrush or a nail brush. 
  • Another option is to make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply it to your nails and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. Don’t leave the mixture on for too long, as it may harm the acrylic.

Why Are My White Acrylic Nails Turning Yellow?

Your acrylic nails may turn yellow due to various reasons but most likely because of continuous exposure to UV rays coming from sunlight. 

Another serious cause is fungal growth and chemical changes due to detergents, soap, and contact with household cleaning chemicals. 

Does Lemon Juice Get Rid Of Yellow Nails?

Lemon juice is often recommended as a natural remedy for yellow nails. The acidity of lemon juice is believed to remove stains and discoloration from the nails.

Although most people claim success with this method, there is limited scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of lemon juice for treating yellow nails. 


Can You Fix Yellow Nails?

Yes, yellow nails can be fixed by addressing the underlying causes. You may have to avoid exposing your nails to extreme heat, sunlight, strong washing agents, prolonged water bathing, and limited smoking.  

Why do acrylic nails turn black?

Acrylic nails can turn black by a fungal infection that develops underneath the acrylic nails. The trapped moisture and lack of proper ventilation can create a favorable environment for fungal growth, leading to discoloration. Other causes include smoking, staining, and inadequate nail care.  

Will transparent acrylic turn yellow?

Yes, transparent acrylic nails can turn their color yellow if good quality products are not used. Moreover, ignoring nail hygiene and missing Anti UV top coat will also enhance the risk of nails getting discolored. 

Why do acrylic nails turn brown?

There are various reasons why acrylic nails may develop brown discoloration. One of the common suspects is staining caused by substances such as nicotine, dyes found in clothing or fabrics, or nail polish with drastic pigmentation.


I hope you find the answer to your query, “Why did my acrylic nails turn yellow?” 

Health should never be compromised for mere appearance. Ignoring minor symptoms can lead to severe health issues. 

If you find that the signs are not what is discussed in the post, you should visit a skin specialist to better help in this regard. 

Thank You!

Marissa Arnold

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