How to Stay Safe at the Nail Salon
By Abby Gardner
One of the simple luxuries that most of us afford ourselves — especially during the summer months — is the manicure/pedicure combo. While we agree that it's a great way to pamper ourselves and make our hands and feet look pretty, you need to know what to look for at your nail salon, so you don't end up with a nasty infection.
We talked to CND (Creative Nail Design) nail technician Shelena Robinson about how to keep yourself safe while you're indulging in a little “me” time.
• When you walk into a salon, look for all-around good housekeeping. If there's dirt and dust in the front area, that's a fairly good indicator that cleanliness might not be tops on their priority list.
• Ask the proprietors how they clean their foot baths — and how often. This is obviously a place where bacteria can live, and you have the right to know what you're putting your feet into. The big jet baths are easier to clean and maintain, but there are also disposable liners that can be used for manual baths.
• When it comes to tools like files and pumice, the ideal is to use something that is only for you. Though anything that is not disposable should be clearly disinfected. You may want to consider bringing your own tools with you to insure cleanliness. Just check with your nail tech about what sort of file works best for the service you are receiving. A regular manicure would require something different than if you were getting, say, acrylics.
• Absolutely do not let them cut living tissue, i.e. your cuticles! The only acceptable trimming is of dead dry skin away from your nail bed. Cutting the cuticles on the fingers and toes is the easiest way to get an infection. If you have cuticle issues, your nail technician should be able to direct you to a product, like CND Cuticle Eraser, that will remove the excess safely.
• The same rules apply if you are offered the razor to remove skin on the bottoms of your feet. Just say no!
• Don't be afraid to ask questions. Shelena suggests you treat the process like an interview. You are paying for the service after all, so you deserve to feel comfortable and safe.