Why Your Clients Nails are Discoloring in The Sun and How To Avoid It

As your clients are taking their summer vacations and jetting off to somewhere sunny, you may notice that their gel nails are discoloring. This issue is extremely common, yet most Nail Technicians are unsure of what it is or how to avoid it. It can leave clients feeling dissatisfied and confused, especially when their manicure is only a couple of days old! In this blog, we will delve into the reasons behind gel nail discoloration in the sun and provide you with valuable troubleshooting tips to resolve this problem.

Understanding Gel Nails

Before we delve into the causes of gel nail discoloration, we need to talk about how gel nail polish actually works. Gel polish products are made from a combination of liquid monomers and powder polymers that harden when exposed to UV light. This curing process ensures durability and a flawless finish. However, certain factors can lead to unwanted color changes when the nails are exposed to sunlight.

An image of Miss Dolla gel nail polish

UV Exposure

UV exposure is a primary cause of gel nail discoloration. This may seem counterintuitive as we use a UV lamp to cure the gel nail polish in the first place. However, the UV rays in sunlight can react with the chemicals present in the gel polish, causing them to break down and change color due to overexposure. Your gel product cures in around 60 seconds under the lamp, so over time, overexposure to UV rays can cause over-curing which results in the gel turning yellow, brown, or even greenish.

An image of gel nails curing under UV Light

Sunscreen and Tanning Products

Another common cause of gel nail discoloration is the use of sunscreen and tanning products. Sunscreen often contains chemicals that can react with the gel polish, leading to color changes. When it comes to tanning products they often contain active ingredients that promote the tanning process and sometimes skin coloring ingredients that can also cause discoloration when they come into contact with gel polish.

Troubleshooting and Prevention Tips

Now that we understand the potential reasons behind gel nail discoloration in the sun, here are our top troubleshooting tips to help resolve this problem and prevent it from occurring in the first place.

An image of a nail tech with a client

Educate Your Clients

Informing your clients about potential gel nail discoloration in the sun is crucial as you will be making sure that it doesn’t come as a nasty surprise when they’re on vacation. Advise them to protect their nails by applying sunscreen with a high SPF on their hands before sun exposure, just like they would with the rest of their body. If they plan on using tanning products, it’s a good idea to recommend that they use gloves whilst applying them to prevent any color changes.

Quality Products Matter

Ensure that you are using high-quality gel polishes from reputable brands. Cheaper products may contain chemicals that are more prone to discoloration. It’s also advisable to use a gel color and top coat from the same brand, as these products will have been tested to work perfectly together, making it less likely to have an adverse reaction. Usually, the gel polish itself is protected, so it’s the top coat that is likely to lose its color. Make sure to use a sun-resistant top coat like our Miss Dolla Diamond Top Coat in order to keep the integrity of the manicure - don’t let your hard work go to waste!

An image of Miss Dolla top coat

Gel nail discoloration in the sun can be a frustrating issue for both Nail Technicians and clients. However, with a solid understanding of the causes and some troubleshooting tips, you can help your clients maintain their gel nails' color and quality even whilst they’re sunning it up! By following these guidelines and offering regular maintenance, you can ensure that your clients enjoy beautiful, long-lasting gel nails without worrying about discoloration in the sun. If you need any more support, just click the chat icon below and we will be happy to help!