Starting from the end – if you notice brownish discoloration or spots on your acrylic nails, know that you are not alone.
Acrylic nails… they’re the perfect way to give your hands some WOW effect, or pizzazz as we like to say – and make you feel like an absolute queen in an instant (well… almost…). But sometimes, after taking the plunge and investing in a full set of acrylics, you may find that your once-beautiful nails have started to develop unsightly brown spots or discoloration.
Don’t panic, that’s never good. Browning acrylic nails is a common phenomenon. If you learn and understand it, it would certainly help you avoid it in the future. Let’s dive into why this happens and what you can do about it.
But first thing first…
Gel Nails Discoloration VS Browning Acrylic Nails
Before I dive a bit further into the problem with acrylics, people often confuse brown spots on gel nails with the ones on acrylics. However…
While gel nails and acrylic nails are both types of artificial nails that can be applied to natural nails to add length and strength, or to change the shape or color of the nails, there are some key differences between the two types of artificial nails.
In short, gel nails are created using a type of nail polish called gel polish, which is cured under a UV or LED light. Gel nails are known for their natural-looking appearance and ability to maintain their shine without chipping.
Acrylic nails are created using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer, which are mixed together to create a paste that is applied to the nail. Acrylic nails are known for their durability and strength and are often used to add length to the natural nail. They are also more affordable than gel nails, but they can be more difficult to remove and may cause damage to the natural nail if not applied or removed properly.
Overall, gel nails and acrylic nails are both popular choices for artificial nails, but they are best suited to different needs and preferences.
So as you can see, the two are not the same, and as such, the issues related to brown spots or discoloration in gels and in acrylics do not result from the same reasons. Neither is the solution.
What Causes Browning Acrylic Nails?
Browning acrylic nails can be caused by a number of factors. Here are the most commonly seen:
Improper Storage or Older Products –
One common cause of browning acrylic nails is the age of the acrylic. As acrylic ages, it can start to yellow or brown, particularly if it is exposed to sunlight or other sources of UV radiation. This is because the acrylic polymer degrades over time, causing it to discolor.
Lower Quality Acrylics –
Another cause of browning acrylic nails is the type of acrylic used. Some types of acrylic are more prone to yellowing or browning than others, due to the presence of certain chemicals or impurities. For example, acrylics that contain methacrylate monomers may yellow or brown more easily than acrylics that use other types of monomers.
Incorrect Application Procedure –
Improper application or maintenance of acrylic nails can also contribute to browning. If the acrylic is not applied correctly or is not cared for properly, it can start to yellow or brown over time. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as using the wrong type of nail polish or not using a top coat to protect the acrylic.
Poor Hygiene –
Whether bad prep, poor nail hygiene on your end, or a work area that isn’t regularly cleaned and disinfected, bacteria can build up in the acrylic mixture which will then transfer onto your nails when applied. This bacteria buildup (combined with moisture from washing dishes or doing other household tasks) can also lead to discoloration over time.
What are the Actual Effects of Browning Acrylic Nails?
Discoloration of your acrylic nails can vary from yellowing to dark spots or even blackening. In some cases, the discoloration may be visible only on certain areas of the nail or in small areas, while in other cases it may spread across the entire nail.
It is important to note that browned acrylic can be difficult or impossible to remove without damaging the nail, so it is important to take steps to prevent browning in the first place.
In essence, it means avoiding all of the reasons we’ve mentioned above. And it’s not that hard. These steps include using a quality acrylic blend and practicing proper application and maintenance techniques.
Good products are super easy to find in this day and age considering that a short visit to any retailer will disclose hundreds if not thousands of reviews.
Are There Treatments for Browned Acrylic Nails?
Unfortunately, the discoloration caused by browned acrylic nails cannot be reversed. The only way to remove it is to soak off the acrylic and start again with a new set of nails.
It is important to note that soaking off the acrylic can damage your natural nail plate if not done correctly, so it is best to seek professional help if you want to remove your acrylics.
If you decide to soak off the acrylic nails at home, it is important to keep in mind that the longer you leave the acrylic on, the harder it will be to remove. Soaking off the acrylic can take anywhere from 5 minutes (for a thin layer) to over an hour for thicker layers. You will also need to use professional-grade acetone, which can be purchased at most beauty supply stores or online.
It is also important to note that browned acrylic nails can be much more difficult to remove than regular acrylics, as the discoloration may have weakened the bonds between the nail plate and the products used to create the design. For best results, it is recommended to seek professional help if you want to safely remove browned acrylic nails without damaging your natural nail plate.
To avoid having to go through all of this hassle, it’s important to take steps early on to prevent discoloration and browning of your acrylics in the first place. This includes using quality products, proper application and maintenance techniques, and good hygiene practices. Doing so will ensure that your nails stay looking beautiful for longer.
Ultimately, browned acrylic nails can be unsightly and difficult to remove. But with the right precautions and maintenance, you can enjoy a set of beautiful acrylics for weeks or months without having to worry about discoloration.