This Is Why Your Gel Nails Are Turning Brown

If you have just treated yourself to a gel manicure, it isn’t great if they start turning brown. Gel manicures are a splurge but are worth the investment.

They last much longer than a standard manicure with regular nail polish. A proper gel manicure can last up to three weeks without chipping (you’re lucky if a regular manicure lasts one week!)

Keep reading and we’ll promise you’ll learn here why your gel nails are turning brown in the first place and how to remove them if you need to.


Why Your Gel Nails Are Turning Brown?

gel nails are turning brown

Yes, your beautiful gel nail manicure can sometimes turn brown. This color change can happen soon after the manicure or even weeks later.


The Most Common Reason

The emergence of brown spots or brownish discoloration on your gel nails can pop up for many different reasons.

However, one of the most common reasons is when your nails are either underexposed or overexposed to UV light during the drying process at the salon.

The fear of under or over-curing is why many salons use a timer with their UV lamps – so that your nails dry for the perfect amount of time.


Additional Reasons That Can Cause Your Gel Nails Turn Brown

There are other potential reasons as to why your gel nails are turning brown. This discoloration could be because your nails come into contact with:

  • Strong chemicals, like cleaning agents
  • Heavy dyes, like hair dye
  • Colorful spices, like turmeric
  • Skincare or other beauty products, like make-up or self-tanners
  • Heavy sun exposure

Exposure to any of these items can cause discoloration of your gel nails. The appearance of brown stains is especially common when using strong chemicals or beauty products, all of which can easily come into contact with your nails.

In addition to these reasons, certain medical conditions, such as fungal infections, diabetes, and thyroid conditions, can also cause your nails to turn brown.

Finally, smoking can also cause your gel nails to turn brown or yellow. This is caused by the nicotine and tar in cigarettes, which can stain your nail beds.


How Can You Remove the Brown Discoloration?

Thankfully, there are a few ways you can remove the brown color from your gel nails yourself.

Nail Polish Remover or Hydrogen Peroxide

nail polish remover to remove brown shade

Now, don’t dump a whole bottle on your nails! But if you use a small amount of nail polish remover on the brown stains, it won’t harm your gel manicure. Simply use a Q-Tip, dip into an acetone-based nail polish remover, and gently rub the brown coloring.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent, in a similar fashion to remove brown stains.


Baking Soda Concoction

baking soda and lemon to remove brown shade

Baking soda is another whitening agent you can use to remove the brown stains from your gel nails. However, baking soda works even better when combined with lemon juice.

Combine two parts baking soda, one part water with a few drops of lemon juice, and mix. Use a cotton ball to dip into this mixture and rub it onto your stained nails. Repeat until the stains have faded.



using hairspray for gel nails

Hairspray is surprisingly helpful for many DIY projects, and this task is no exception. Just spray hairspray on your discolored nails and rub off with a cotton ball.

Unfortunately, if nothing works to fix your gel nails, it might be time to go to a different salon to remove gel nails and get a new set.


How to Prevent Your Nails From Turning Brown in the First Place

tips to prevent nails from turning brown

The main mode of prevention for keeping your gel nails from turning brown is to avoid the chemicals, body products, dyes, etc., that can discolor them. If you must use them, wear rubber gloves to protect your gel manicure.

It is also a good idea to go to well-recommended or well-reviewed salons that have plenty of satisfied customers who approve of their gel nail services.

There are many reasons why your gel nails are turning brown. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent discoloration in the first place.

And if they do start to turn brown, there are also measures you can take to remove the brown color.


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