Skip to content
Why Does My Nail Polish Change Color?

Why Does My Nail Polish Change Color?


Have you ever wondered why your nail polish changes colors? Whether you're a fan of regular nail polish or gel nail polish, the phenomenon of color change can be quite fascinating. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind this intriguing transformation.


What Causes the Color Change?

The color change in nail polish is primarily due to a special type of pigment called thermochromic pigment. This pigment is sensitive to temperature variations, causing it to alter its color when exposed to different temperatures.

When your nails are at a lower temperature, such as in a cool environment or when you dip them in cold water, the nail polish appears one color. However, as the temperature increases, the pigment reacts and changes its color. This reaction is reversible, meaning the color will revert back to its original shade when the temperature decreases again.


Exposure to Chemicals

Chemicals can have a significant impact on cleaning supplies, often altering their effectiveness and properties. Certain chemicals can react with the ingredients in cleaning products, leading to changes in color, texture, or even the formation of new compounds. For instance, mixing bleach with ammonia-containing cleaners can produce toxic fumes. Strong chemicals might degrade the structural integrity of cleaning tools like brushes or sponges, causing them to deteriorate faster. Moreover, chemical interactions can impact a cleaner's ability to break down stains and dirt, rendering it less potent. To ensure the desired cleaning outcome, it's important to use cleaning supplies as directed and avoid mixing different chemicals without proper knowledge of their compatibility.


Food Ingredients

Certain food ingredients can potentially alter the color of your nail polish when they come into contact. Vibrant and highly pigmented ingredients like turmeric, berries, or dark sauces can transfer their colors onto your nails, leading to staining. For example, consuming foods with strong dyes might result in temporary discoloration, particularly if your nails are porous or lacking a protective base coat. While these stains are usually temporary and can be removed with proper nail care, it's advisable to minimize direct contact between intensely colored foods and your nails to maintain the desired polish color.


How Does It Work?

Thermochromic pigments contain molecules that undergo a structural change when heated or cooled. These molecules have two different forms: one that absorbs light and appears colored, and another that reflects light and appears transparent or a different color.

When the pigment is in its colored form, it absorbs certain wavelengths of light and reflects others, giving it a specific color. As the temperature increases, the molecules rearrange themselves, causing the pigment to transition into its transparent or different-colored form. This change in molecular structure alters the way light interacts with the pigment, resulting in a new color.


Why Does Gel Nail Polish Change Colors?

Gel nail polish, like regular nail polish, can also change colors. However, the mechanism behind the color change in gel polish is slightly different. Gel polish contains photochromic pigments, which react to ultraviolet (UV) light.

When you apply gel nail polish and expose it to UV light, such as a UV lamp used during the curing process, the photochromic pigments undergo a chemical reaction. This reaction causes the pigments to change their molecular structure and, consequently, their color. The pigments return to their original color when not exposed to UV light.



The color-changing properties of nail polish, whether it's regular or gel, are a result of special pigments that react to temperature or UV light. These pigments undergo structural changes, leading to a transformation in color. So, the next time you notice your nail polish changing shades, you can appreciate the fascinating science behind it!



Want early access to upcoming collections and exclusive discounts? Download our mobile app! Enjoy an easy & seamless shopping experience right from the palm of your hand. Join our text club to stay up to date on the latest news from us! You'll be the first to know about any upcoming sales or promotions. Want to become a VIP member? Join our FREE Rewards Program and start earning points for your purchases! Points may be redeemed for special discounts or free products! Like shopping with us? Tell your friends! We'll give them $10 off their first purchase and give YOU $10 for every successful referral. Shopping has never been easier thanks to Afterpay! Shop now and pay for your order in 4 easy, interest-free installments. The best part is that there are no additional delays in getting your order. 


My regular nail polish turns from a pretty red purple to a red after applying any brand clear top coat. Why?


Is there a color change to show high blood pressure or high sugar


Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for stopping by our blog. Here’s a list of reason why your nail polish on your nails vs in the bottle is different

1. Lighting
2. Skintone
3. Nail texure/conditions
4. Numbers of Coats
5. Base Coat

If you have any other questions – Feel free to reach out to our customer service team at HELLO@BEYONDPOLISH.COM

BP Team

⭐ Christina - Beyond Polish Team ⭐

Hi! Nail polish always becomes a different color on my nails than in the bottle. What is the cause & can I avoid that? I buy nail polish because I like the color & then it looks different on my nails.

Leave your thought here

Related Posts

Gelish Cat Eye Magnetic Reflections
July 19, 2024
Gelish Cat Eye Magnetic Reflections

create a rich, velvety look with this new collection from Gelish.

Read More
Introducing the CND Dynamic Duality Fall 2024 Collection
July 18, 2024
Introducing the CND Dynamic Duality Fall 2024 Collection

CND's Fall 2024 Collection has arrived! Learn more.

Read More
Drawer Title
Similar Products