Leave Fading To Your Over-Washed Jeans, Not Your Mani

4 min read

Is it us or does August feel a little bittersweet?

Whether it’s fitting in a weekend vacation with your boo, or trying to get the fam together for a socially distant BBQ, we’re all cramming in the last hurrah of summer.

No matter what we’re doing to take advantage of Summer’s last days, one thing’s for certain: nobody wants a faded mani.

What we do want are answers to life’s mysteries:

- Why does my nail polish change color?

- Why does my manicure fade?

- How to keep white nail polish from turning yellow?

- How to keep my acrylic nails from turning yellow?

So, who ordered the mood-changing mani?! There is nothing more annoying than matching your fresh dip mani to the perfect outfit… only to realize it’s morphing right in front of your eyes.

Well, science to the rescue - we’ll help you avoid the dreaded faded mani.

First, let’s talk about the common culprits that can make your mani shade go from “wow 😍” to “woah… 🤔”

Some really common substances can cause chemical reactions with your mani that affect the color:

1. Sunblock

Despite what you’re about to read, don’t skip your sunscreen.

Ok with that little disclaimer out of the way, a lot of SPF formulas can ruin your perfect mani, turning it from petal pink to weird, bleached, splotchy orange. Yuck.

And even if you think you’ve ruled out sunblock, remember it can also be in other stuff on your vanity, like:

- Lotion

- Moisturizer

- Makeup

Using foundation with SPF is a great way to protect your face - just watch out for your nails!

Chemistry is pretty cool, but sometimes it can be frustrating. When dip powder users notice discoloration, they usually find it’s due to contact with SPF.

2. Chlorine

There’s nothing more relaxing than a lazy summer afternoon at the pool, but if you notice fading after a swim, you may have just discovered the cause. Plan a beach trip instead! J/k. Kind of. If you do go for a dip in the pool, be sure to wash your hands and nails afterward to minimize the effects of chlorine.

3. Cleaning Supplies

Welp, here’s a silver lining. You have an excuse to avoid scrubbing the sink: common household cleaners could fade your nails!

They’ll eat up the surface of your mani, just as they dissolve the dirt and grime you’re trying to clean

4. Citric Acid

Yes, the stuff that’s in citrus fruits, juices, brightening serums… even some perfumes. Check your ingredient labels - anything with “Vitamin C” or “citric acid” could be a mani-fading culprit. Citrus might be great for promoting a healthy immune system, but it’s not a friend to your nails.

As its name implies, it’s acidic, and can interact with your sealer.

5. Prolonged exposure to sunlight

It feels like a catch-22 but it’s true: both sunblock and sunshine can fade your mani! So if your colors are fading, watch your sun exposure. UV rays are powerful - they can have the same effect on your mani as they do on hair, and that magazine cover you left on your dashboard.

Not to fret! If your hands are coming into contact with any of these items, below are a few suggestions on how to prevent your gorgeous mani from fading to another color:

1. Guard the edges of your mani with Sealer

Sealer gives you that top-of-the-Chrysler-building shine, but its benefits are more than cosmetic - going over your entire nail, including the edge, with Sealer can help protect your color from chemical interference.

2. Be careful to avoid contact w/ trouble-maker substances

Don’t allow these problematic formulas to sit on your nail and penetrate through the color - when applying cosmetics, focus on using your fingertips and not getting makeup or sunblock on your nails.

Tip: Your mani’s smooth finish can be affected by chemicals, too. We’ve found that certain potions, from lotion to bug repellent, can leave your mani with a sticky or matte, dull finish. 

When in doubt, wash your hands! Scrub your nails as soon as you’ve applied any of the above products that contain citric acid, SPF, or solvents so they don’t have a chance to penetrate.

3. For extra protection, wear gloves

If you’re a little unsure about the stuff you’re handling, wear gloves. They’ll not only protect your mani color, but they’ll keep your hands protected, too :)

Of course, you should also read the label of all chemicals you’re using to be sure you’re using appropriate protection.

Now that you have all the tips on how to prevent your nails from fading, let’s get to the fun part: applying a dip mani.

For a refresh, check out our tutorial on how to apply dip powder nails. And if you want to get real fancy, check out all our other tutorials for how to create nail art using dip powder!

Sharing is caring! We love getting to know our community and seeing all your manis. Be sure to take a #nailfie, tag us on Instagram @dipwellnails, and use our official hashtag #DoYouDipWell.