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Why does gel turn yellow on some people (and not on others) in the summer?

April 05, 2007 | Bookmark +

Why does gel turn yellow on some people (and not on others) in the summer?


Summer brings a sudden desire to tan. Since many people are more aware of the harmful UV rays of the sun and tanning beds, they may prefer to use “sunless” tanners. These products and some products designed for UV tanning sometimes yellow the top surface of traditional gels and can be easily buffed away at the next appointment. Instruct your clients to wear gloves or some other kind of barrier during application.

Also, people are in the sun more in the summer. Some gels actually absorb the UV rays, and this can cause yellowing as well. Some people are in the sun more than others and some self tan more than others so it varies from person to person and many times they have different brands of product on as well. — Melisa Hansen owns Lehi, Utah-based Pinkies Nailz and is an Accents’ educator.


My first response is you should switch your gel system. I have been doing gels for almost 10 years and I’ve never encountered yellowing with any gels I’ve used except one, which was a resin product. However, smoking can contribute to staining of the nails. If you do overlays and skip the sealant, the polish can sometimes cause the gel to discolor.

Some people have a natural yellowing to their nails and since gels are clear that can show through. Try using a pink-toned gel and see if it helps. You’ll need to file the old gel off and start fresh.

There are many excellent gel systems out there that don’t yellow or discolor. — Michelle Lyden is a nail tech who specializes in gel nails at Robin’s on Broadway in Hillsdale, N.J.

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How can I prevent lifting when my client's hands are constantly in water?

I have a client who is in the medical field so her hands are constantly in water. She has me keep the length of her acrylic nails short. No matter what I do, she always has at least one nail that comes off, and she always has lifting and gets water under the acrylic. I prep the nails correctly, I have a cuticle bit to clean the cuticle area, and I wipe the nail with alcohol, dehydrate the nail, and prime the nail. What should I do?

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