How To Whiten Yellow Nails After Removing Polish

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If you're anything like us, you love a good manicure — but you don't love removing polish only to find that your nails have turned a bit yellow. 

(Dark-colored long-lasting polishes and gel manicures are usually top culprits — are we right?) 

Now, before he gets into why that happens and what you can do about it, physician Dr. Ian Smith stresses that you should always pay close attention to your nails.

"Fingernails are actually sometimes the window to the body's health," the doctor explains. "There are disease processes that could be happening internally that could be reflected if your nails are splitting or clubbed." 

"You should pay attention," he stresses. (In other words, if your nails are curved, intensely yellow or splitting, talk to your doctor.)

If they're just a little bit discolored after removing nail polish, though, the doc explains why — and what you can do about it.

"Your nails are porous even though they're hard," he says. 

That means polish could seep through your pores, and get this — nail polish remover could actually make the nail polish seep through even further. (Wait, what?!)

"Even though you have the nail polish coming off," the physician explains, "you now have residual yellowing and staining because it's embedded in there."

Not fun, we know! BUT the good news is, there's something you can do about it.

Use a soft brush to scrub nails gently with a whitening toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide, Dr. Ian suggests. 

If that doesn’t work, mix three to four tablespoons hydrogen peroxide with one half cup warm water in a bowl, stirring well. Soak nails for two minutes, and then scrub. 

And going forward, make sure you use a base coat. That can act as a barrier to prevent polish from breaking through. 

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