Beauty 101

You trust your nail salon with sharp tools, nox­ious fumes, even hot wax. A healthy, clean space should be a given.

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - News -

How safe is your nail salon?

A wall of pol­ish, a rack of mags, and the prom­ise of a foot rub—what’s not to love about a pro mani-pedi? it de­pends on where you go. if a spa isn’t san­i­tary, you run the risk of any­thing from a headache due to po­tent fumes to a se­ri­ous in­fec­tion from dirty tools. we’ve mapped out the red flags.

Sec­ond­hand Fumes

while that nail pol­ish smell is un­avoid­able, your eyes shouldn’t wa­ter upon en­try. work­ers are the most vul­ner­a­ble to fumes, but short-term ex­po­sure to haz­ardous chem­i­cals can still be harm­ful.

Tainted Tools

A dirty nail kit can trans­fer se­ri­ous germs, which can re­sult in any­thing from a fun­gal in­fec­tion to a staph in­fec­tion. “imag­ine if you went to your den­tist, and he used a tray of tools he’d used on an­other pa­tient,” says lau­ren Breese, di­rec­tor of pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for opi. Au­to­clave ma­chines (which use steam to kill germs) and hos­pi­tal-grade soak­ing so­lu­tions are ef­fec­tive, but it’s tough to know if a salon is san­i­tiz­ing the tools long enough or us­ing the right for­mula.

Janky Jacuzzi

pedi tubs are po­ten­tial germ farms, es­pe­cially those with Jacuzzi fil­ters, which get trapped with dead skin. if your lo­cal pedi place doesn’t do jet-free bowls, in­spect the tub be­fore they fill it, and see if there’s any grit, grime, or gunk. if so, ask them to clean it once more.

Ag­gres­sive Han­dlers

"Nail tech­ni­cians should not cut in­grown toe­nails," says der­ma­tol­o­gist Ya­nee Vasquez, MD, of Aes­thetic science Clinic. 'This can lead to in­fec­tion and wors­en­ing of the in­grown toe­nail. Most of the time, it's just ex­cess dry skin that needs to be soft­ened with mois­tur­izer. for ex­tremely both­er­some in­growns, it's best to see your der­ma­tol­o­gist or sur­geon for sur­gi­cal re­moval."

Poi­sonous Prod­ucts

some sa­lons ap­ply a red an­ti­sep­tic Merthi­o­late onto cu­ti­cles af­ter cut­ting them to "pre­vent in­fec­tion." some­times a nail tech will ask per­mis­sion since the dis­in­fec­tant leaves be­hind a tem­po­rary pink stain on skin. Merthi­o­late con­tains mer­cury, a toxin which poi­sons the body when in­gested or used reg­u­larly over long pe­ri­ods of time. "A great nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tive is tea tree es­sen­tial oil, which has anti-mi­cro­bial and an­ti­sep­tic prop­er­ties. it's safe to use di­rectly on skin," sug­gests Dr. Vasquez.

Over-ea­ger Cut­ters

Tech­ni­cally, cu­ti­cles should be left alone since they pro­tect you from get­ting an in­fec­tion. if you in­sist on the neat, clean look, Dr. Vasquez warns, "fin­gers should be soaked in warm wa­ter or oil be­fore re­mov­ing," so they're less likely to tear when cut­ting.

Hairy Sit­u­a­tion

Go­ing for a wax? The treat­ment ta­ble should be cov­ered in a fresh pa­per sheet. And if they dou­bledip? Run.

Your nails look great—but at

what cost?

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