Before you make that next appointment for a manicure or pedicure, heed this advice from Halina Nguyen who has been a nail technician for 15 years and have also managed and owned 5 nail salons.
"Most nail salons out there are focus on making money and unfortunately this come at a cost to your safety. What customers don't realize is that the potential for infection is greater than they think."
Here are some tips for what to look for in a nail salon.
Ask How Nail Salons Disinfect Their Tools and Inspect for Yourselves
State's protocol calls for liquid disinfection such as barbicide, 70% alcohol solution or autoclaving. If the nail salons are using liquid disinfection, the implements should be sanitized in accordance with the sanitizer product manufacturer's instructions and must be free of nails or skin particles. Most nail salons use barbicide so you need to know that the contact time for barbicide is 10 minutes. What this means is that the implements need to be in contact with the barbicide for at least 10 minutes in order to be effective.
Although this is legal and standard to use liquid disinfection, you need to know that this is not totally effective at killing all bacteria and infection. The only solution that works and which kills 100% of all infective organism is autoclaving. Because autoclave machines are costlier, many salons prefer to use other methods to sterilize their equipments.
How can you find out if your salon is using an autoclave so that you are protected? Ask the salon manger how they disinfect their tools. If they don't autoclave, know that you are not 100% protected. If they do, make sure that the implements are stored in sealed autoclave pouches. Therefore, autoclave pouches are sealed and should be open in front of you.
Make Sure Your Nail Salon is Using Disposable Non-metal Implements
Many nail salons reuse their non-metal implements such as cuticles pusher, buffers and filers. You can be at risk for infections if your nail salon does this. Make sure that your nail salons use new disposable non-metal implements and that these implements are discarded after use.
Make Sure Your Nail Salon is Using Disposable Pedicure Liners
A pedicure often means letting your feet soak first. Other people's microscopic skin flakes and nail debris can harbor viruses, bacteria and fungi which can collect inside the soaker tub. To ensure that you are protected, check to see if there's a plastic liner inside the tub.
Inspect the Store
If you walk into a salon and the premise is not as clean as you like, you should take that as a sign. Make sure the bathroom is clean and there are wash sinks in the work area. Make sure the floor is clean.
Make Sure that the Your Nail Salon is Well Ventilated
Products used in nail salons may contain chemicals that can affect your health. You may breathe in the harmful vapors, dusts, or mists. To reduce the risk of this, your nail salon should have an air exhaust system at every station. There should be direct source capture for dusts at your manicure tables.