How Prevent and Get Rid of Nail Stains, According to an Expert

August 18, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
nail stains and how to treat them

Nail stains can be tough to address, particularly if you paint your nails often. As it turns out, stains are often caused by applying nail polish incorrectly, without a base coat, or using a color that’s really pigmented. They can also be caused by using hair dyes at home, too. Here, Rita Remark, global lead educator for Essie, explains how to treat and prevent nail stains. 


What Are Nail Stains?

“We can stain our nails from things like hair dye or nail polish, especially dark shades like deep reds and blues,” says Remark. Stains can be especially prominent if you don’t apply a base coat when painting your nails.


If your nail stains don’t appear to be correlated with lifestyle choices regarding nail polish or dyeing your hair at home, see your dermatologist. Yellowing of nails can be a sign of a fungal infection, while other dark marks might be caused by small hemorrhages of the nail bed.

How to Address Nail Stains

Once you’ve pinpointed exactly what may be causing stains on your nails, the good news is that most of them are superficial. “To significantly decrease the color of the stain (or remove it completely), a light buff with a buffing block should do the trick,” says Remark. She recommends following up with a brightening nail polish for a more even appearance. Try Essie Treat Me Bright, which is formulated with collagen and camellia extract to strengthen nails. 


essie treat me bright

How to Avoid Nail Stains

Avoiding nail stains comes down to eliminating what caused your staining to begin with, but no matter what, Remark urges you to wear a base coat. “Base coat doesn’t just adhere to your color, it protects the nail and prevents the stains from ever starting.” In the market for a new one? Try Essie First Base Base Coat.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Essie

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