I’ve been getting pedicures for decades, and I never thought it would happen to me, but suddenly one of my toenails seemed a bit, well…yellow. A visit to the doctor confirmed that I had picked up something at the nail salon I definitely didn’t want.
Millions of men and women visit salons for manicures and pedicures every day. For the most part, they’re perfectly safe. As my doctor informed me, however,even if the salon uses chemical and electronic disinfectants, the strength or heat may not be enough to kill every single, tiny germ on re-usable products, from pushers to clippers, to abrasive tools such as files and buffers,
Here are some ways to help keep your nails beautiful, but also safe, when you get a manicure or pedicure:
1. Buy your own manicure or pedicure kit and take it with you when you visit your manicurist. Make sure you clean and disinfect your manicure kit after each use, even if you are the only one using your kit.
A cute kit I just discovered from CVS’s own, brilliantly-budget-friendly line (it costs a lot less than the average manicure), is the ESSENCE OF BEAUTY PERSONAL SALON SAFETY KIT (arp. $6.99). *For more information visit http://www.cvs.com/ or your closest CVS Pharmacy. A six-pack of portable pedicure essentials is housed in a zipper-lock type clear plastic bag, and features a nice, lilac-colored, long-handled plastic nail brush, a crystal glass foot pumice (to smooth and soften feet), a large and fairly rough nail file (to hone down those “claws,” and smooth the surface), a set of cherful freen and white candy-cane sriped toe separators (a lot more comfortable than the paper towel twists a lot of salons use), a white block file (to smooth the top of the nail and help polish look it’s best), and 2 cuticle sticks (for cleaning under nails and pushing back the cuticle).
I suggest you also invest in a set of high quality steel manicure and pedicure tools. They are an investment that will last for a lifetime.
Here are some other tips you can use to keep your fingers and toes, salon-safe:
2. Remove your old nail polish at home, and bring your favorite nail polish, base coat, and top coat with you. *the Advice Sisters What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review colums always include great new nail products you might like to try. Our September What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column will be up the first week in September, and will feature lots of new colors!
4. Choose your salon, carefully. If the salon looks unkempt or dirty when you arrive, or the manicurists are sniffing and coughing, maybe it’s not the best place for you to be. If you’re not bringing your own tools, check out the disinfectant containers and make sure that they are clean without any trace of debris. Watch the manicurist and see if s/he is using clean instruments on each client.
5. Pedicure lovers, beware-especially if you have broken or cracked skin. Make sure the pedicure tub is clean and that the tub is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each use. The same should, be true for the steps you have to climb up and down to get to the tub. You wouldn’t just walk anywhere with bare feet, and you shouldn’t do so at the nail salon, either. Alas the steps that clients have to walk on with bare feet are usually not cleaned and disinfected before each client,as they should be.
6. Check out your manicurist. If her hands aren’t washed before she touches your hands, you may be in for a sorry surprise.
7. If your cuticles are not large, consider asking the manicurist just to push them back with a cuticle softener, rather than cut them cuticle scissors. This reduces your risk of infection due to broken skin occurring.