Do You Practice These Nail Salon Safety Tips?


woman painting nails hands

Over the weekend, I was at my local dermatology center for my routine visit. The nurse pointed out how much she loved my nail polish color (it was OPI’s “OPI Scores a Goal” if you must know) and assumed that I must’ve had my nails professionally painted. When I informed her that I do my own nails, she was impressed by how great they looked, which led us to start talking about how expensive manicures and pedicures can be. I mentioned how leery I am about nail salons and their sanitary protocol. That conversation sparked an article idea so without further ado, here are five things to take into consideration before booking your next appointment.

1. Make sure all tools are disinfected. It’s one thing for a salon to look clean and pretty on the outside, but don’t be fooled. You never know what’s lurking behind closed doors. Always make sure that all tools, including your manicurist’s hands are completely cleaned, disinfected and sanitized before the service begins. If not, speak up!

“These tools should be made from durable surgical-grade metal, which can be cleaned using a hospital-grade disinfectant and sterilized,” explains Dr. Charis Trench-Simmons, MD and owner of Opulence Nail Bar & Boutique in Alpharetta, Georgia. “Nail salons that believe in the importance of sanitation and maintaining a clean environment will work to ensure that its clients stay bacteria-free. [Therefore], you can expect them to use each tool on only one client at a time.”

Also, ask how the tools are sanitized and request that all equipment be sanitized right there in front of you to give you some peace of mind. Dr. Trench-Simmons says that once the nail technician is finished with his or her client’s service, all bacteria should be removed from the tools by following these three steps:

    • They should use an anti-bacterial washing liquid to clean the tools.
    • They should soak the tools in Barbicide.
    • They should sterilize the tools in an autoclave. An autoclave is a chamber used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam.

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