Nail discolouration can be caused by various things such as the types of food we eat, smoking and illnesses, among other things. Today we're focusing on nail discolouration due to the chemicals in nail polish.
"Nail polish, also called nail enamel or nail lacquer, has evolved throughout the centuries thanks to scientific research. Most nail polishes on the market today are non-toxic, yet contain chemicals to help with application, drying, glossiness and long-lasting adhesion to the nail.
Ingredients you'll find in nail polish today are:
- A film-forming agent, most often nitrocellulose, which is also used in auto painting
- A solvent, which is the volatile part of your nail polish
- Diluents, such as ethyl acetate, that lower and stabilize the viscosity of the solvent while keeping the nitrocellulose from separating out
- Resins and plasticizers, like dibutyl phthalate and castor oil, to ensure the lacquer finish "gives" instead of chips when your nail bends
- Pigments, and sometimes reflective particles, to give the polish its color
- Additional chemicals to adjust the viscosity of the polish, which affects ease of application and drying time
- Ultraviolet stabilizers that prevent the polish from changing color in UV light"
Like I mentioned previously, there are various things that could cause nail discolouration. In the case of nail polishes, the nail absorbs some of the pigment from the product causing the nail to turn yellow. Some of the polish pigments contain iron-oxide which we refer to as "rust" and it is used mostly in yellow and red variations of pigments. These colours are more likely to discolour your nails. It is recommended that you use a base/clear coat of polish before applying colour to your nails to reduce discolouration (though it may not necessarily work for everyone). The use of nail polish remover can dry out the skin and nails and also make the nail more susceptible to discolouration. So with all these issues to take into consideration, how do we attack the problem? Here are a few ways.
- Firstly, when using nail polish remover, keep changing the cotton swabs to fresh ones to be able to properly wipe away any excess liquid.
- Try to apply a clear base coat before coloured polish when doing a manicure.
- A smooth nail bed is less likely to absorb pigments so invest in a nail buffer. This will allow you to buff away the discoloured layer of nail leaving a healthy look. DON'T do this very often as buffing may weaken the nail bed.
- Give your nails some time to breath. Don't paint your nails non-stop. As unsightly as your discolouration may be, this is the ONLY fool-proof method to restoring your natural nail colour. Just leave your nails alone.
I hope this was helpful! See you soon :)