3 Ways to Remove and Prevent Yellow Nail Stains

We dare you to go bare!

It's good to go bare (on your nails, that is) every once in awhile. In fact, Julie Kandalec, celebrity manicurist and Paintbox creative director, recommends doing so at least once a month for polish manicures or after every third gel manicure. But the annoying yellow tinge that inevitably pops up can make it hard to take that advice. So we asked Kandalec how to get rid of the pesky blemishes and prevent them from popping up in the first place. Here’s what she had to say.


Never Skip the Base Coat.

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It not only helps your polish last longer, but it also prevents the pigment in your polish from getting to your nail, which is what causes your nails to yellow in the first place. For extra protection, Kandalec recommends doubling up on your base coat. Just be sure to use thin layers to keep polish from looking too thick.


Scrub Them Clean.

If the damage is already done, Kandalec recommends this DIY scrub to lift any hint of yellow and get nails extra clean. Mix two parts baking soda with one part water until you have a thick paste, “like peanut butter” says Kandalec. Apply it onto each nail and let it sit for at least 30 seconds (but no longer than two minutes). Then massage the formula into the nail before rinsing.


Take a Break

Just because you give your nails a break doesn’t mean they can’t look good! Kandalec recommends buffing out your nails with a fine grit file (Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator Buffer Nail File, $12; sephora.com). The resulting shine is super polished looking and acts as a shield to protect nails from absorbing too much pigment. Kandalec also recommends wearing a polish that has nourishing benefits (Essie Treat, Love, & Color Nail Polish, $10; target.com). It has a slight hue to hide imperfections, but also containes collagen and camellia oil to strengthen nails.