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Tell us about: Prestige Nails

What you May Not Know Could Hurt You

Why Details Matter at the Nail Salon

Getting our nails done is more than just for vanity’s sake.  Healthy feet and hands are vital to our overall well-being, and a manicure or a pedicure performed by a professional technician can prevent ingrown toenails and dry or cracked skin that becomes prone to infection, as well as promote good circulation and relaxation while keeping stress at bay.  Still, not every salon is the same when it comes to providing a safe environment for these services.  We often pick a nail salon due to its close proximity and service menu that’s easy on the wallet.  We get it, there’s nothing like a $20 Mani Pedi combo, right? But knowing what to look for and the questions to ask at your next visit can mean the difference between happy fingers and toes, or a nasty infection that could take months to heal and put a hole in your wallet.  Tsu and Nataliia, owners of Prestige Nail Boutique offer these tips on salon safety and cleanliness, as well as red flags to watch out for.

Red Flags and Things to Stay Away From:

The best way to judge a salon is by its pedicure bowls.  Always look for a salon that uses individual, jet less foot baths.  Spa chairs with built in bowls are very hard to properly clean and bacteria love to live in the jets and pipes. Dead skin, bacteria and hard to kill spores thrive in these hiding spaces inside the mechanisms, thereby exposing you to contaminated water and potential issues.  A solid surface bowl fitted with a disposable liner is the best way to prevent infections.

Another area of concern is the tools being used. Do the files or buffers look like they’ve been used on another customer? If you see any lines in the paper from previous use, it’s a red flag.  We’ve often seen these items being reused in salons all around the world. These should be one time use items since they can’t be sterilized and do harbor bacteria.  At Prestige Nail Boutique, we use disposable files, buffers, cuticle sticks, pedicure liners, manicure bowls, toe separators and slippers.  We feel it’s worth the extra investment to provide peace of mind for our clients. 

Finally, ask how the tools are cleaned.  Don’t be shy, after all its your health that is at risk!  Find out if the salon uses an autoclave or a dry heat sterilizer or at the very minimum, a hospital grade disinfectant.  Unfortunately, many salons skip both steps entirely and use either cheap Windex, soap, alcohol or autoclave brand pouches that are never run through the actual machine.

How Should Tools be Properly Cleaned?

Sure, you see the manicurist soaking the tools in disinfectant solution or removing them from what looks like a microwave with UV light but what does that mean?  It’s surprisingly hard to clean what is essentially surgical equipment used on your hands and feet.  Sanitizers and disinfectants reduce bacteria, but can’t kill all forms of spores and fungi that can live dormant for months.  UV light sterilizers are typically what are seen in most nail salons, but they don’t really do anything.  It’s as if you left your tools out in the sun.  An Autoclave or dry heat sterilizer are medical-grade devices that are able to reach the ideal temperature for killing all bacteria.  This is considered the highest level of sterilization.  If the tools come in an autoclave pouch (usually blue & white), check the label to make sure the color strip has changed color.  If the strip on the packet looks new and the color is unchanged it’s a good indicator that the salon is pretending to use an autoclave and the tools might not be properly sterilized or worse, not sterilized at all. 

At Prestige Nail Boutique we clean our metal tools using a 3-step process: sanitation, disinfection and sterilization in a U.S. made FDA registered, dry heat sterilizer that’s guaranteed to kill all pathogens.

Watch out for Products and Environments that are Toxic

The kinds of products used on your body do matter.  Why expose yourself and your nail technician to harmful chemicals if it’s not necessary?  Most nail salons use inexpensive polishes that contain toxic ingredients known or suspected of causing health issues from cancer and dermatitis to reproductive and neurological disorders. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor are commonly used in polishes and can be harmful.  Unlike most other salons, Prestige Nail Boutique only uses high quality, Cruelty Free, Vegan, Big 5-Free nail polishes, Odorless and MMA free Acrylic and Big 5-Free Hard Gel resulting in healthier nails.  We even carry water based, non-toxic, hypoallergenic polishes that are safe for kids and expecting mothers.

In addition, Prestige Nail Boutique features a state of the art ventilation system that continually replaces the inside air of the salon with fresh air from the outside, thereby minimizing exposure to whatever is left lurking in the air.  We feel the health of our customers and nail technicians is of the utmost importance, and worth the added cost we incur in providing these upgrades.

So next time when you are getting your nails done, ask questions – be aware – and proactively chose a salon that puts YOUR health and well-being at the forefront of their business.

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