How Safe is your Manicure?

If you regularly go to your beauty salon for an enjoyable manicure and massage, you should be confident that the treatment you’re receiving is safe as well as relaxing. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and there are a few questions you should be asking in order to ensure that you are receiving the safest treatment. 

An unregulated industry

First of all you should be aware that the nail and manicure industry is largely unregulated. Local trading standards are expected to monitor businesses in their area, but the industry doesn’t have to have a certificate from the British Association of Therapists and Cosmetologists (BABTA). You should always ensure that your therapist is wearing disposable gloves from Brosch Direct or other suppliers, but it’s difficult for members of the public to assess whether they’re literally in a safe pair of hands when they attend their nail salons.

Scalpels should never be used

If you ever see a nail technician using a scalpel that hasn’t come from a sterile bag run for the hills. Scalpels should never be used in either pedicures or manicures outside hospital. A story in The Daily Mail featured a whole litany of procedures endured by members of the public that horrified BABTA. One woman even claimed that she had probably contracted HIV as a result of the use of an unclean scalpel in a manicure. The BABTA website suggests that if you’re at all worried about the standard of cleanliness in your salon, or you can’t see your therapist’s qualifications on display, then it’s best to leave before treatment commences. 

Problems with products

Most people looking for a pedicure or manicure aren’t scientists. This isn’t to say that scientists might not also invest in some pampering, but at least if they read the list of ingredients on the label of any product that will be used on their nails, they will at least be able to understand them. One ingredient that should be avoided at all costs is methyl methacrylate (MMA) that’s used to attach artificial nails to the surface of the real nail. 

This dangerous product is actually banned in the US, but it’s still used in some salons in the UK. This glue should never be used on nails as it’s usually used by surgeons in hip replacements or knee surgery. Not all salons use the product, and those that do tend to be at the budget end of the market. Something that causes the real nail to peel back and damages the skin of the nail bed should never be employed in the beauty industry.  

Always assess your nail salon

Although this industry is unregulated you can always ensure your safety by asking around to see which are the most highly rated salons in your area. The BABTA website is a useful resource, as is your local Trading Standards office. When you visit a salon check that insurance certificates are on display. After all you’re having your nails done for beauty so you don’t want to end up in hospital as a result of your treatment. 


1 comment

  1. It is so incredibly difficult to find a good nail salon here. They ALL cut corners and re use the equipment on EVERY customer and never replace it. It's absolutely shocking. I have had to stop going at the minute ( my nails are currently manky little stumps because of this ). The amount of poor girls I've been sat next to in salons that have been bleeding profusely because of lack of care is terrible. I have also been cut on several occasions and they never sterilise the equipment. There's only so long I could turn a blind eye to it so I am now searching high and low for a legit salon! Wish me luck. :-/ and I'm so glad you raised this issue.