3 Nail Salon Habits You Should Break

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There are many common nail salon habits you should break.

1. Not having proper ventilation. When you walk into most nail salons, the first thing you’ll notice is the smell of chemicals. That’s because most nail salons do not have a proper ventilation system to remove the chemicals from the air. If you can’t see a ventilation system in your nail salon, don’t go there. You don’t want to breathe those chemicals for too long.

2. Smoking on the job. When it comes to smoking indoors, every state has different laws about it but if your salon has a “No Smoking” sign then that means it’s illegal for them to smoke here and you shouldn’t go there either. Every time I see a salon employee smoking, I always tell them they’re not supposed to smoke in the salon and they always tell me they know that but it’s just so hard to quit and I’m like, “Duh!”

3. Using an emery board on someone else’s nails without cleaning it first or using a new one! It’s gross and it spreads germs!

You know how you feel when you leave the nail salon with a fresh set of gels or a new coat of polish? The color, the shape, the shine — everything is perfect. But what about your health? Turns out that some of those salon routines you love so much may be putting your health at risk. Here are three salon habits to break, and what you can do instead.

1. Don’t skip hand sanitizer: A recent study found that nearly half of salon workers don’t wash their hands between clients, which can lead to cross-contamination with nail tools. And infections and fungus can really get into your skin if they’re not properly cleaned off. If a manicurist doesn’t use hand sanitizer, ask her to before she starts working on your nails or request that she wear gloves.

2. Don’t always go for gel polishes: You might think that gel manis last longer than regular polishes, but they’re harder to remove and require special equipment (and UV light) to cure them on your nails. And sometimes they don’t come off completely, which means your nails are exposed in the long run to even more chemicals that can weaken them more over time.

3. Don’t bite or peel nail

We all have our own routine at the nail salon. We chat with the manicurist, flip through magazines, and sometimes even pull out a book to get lost in while we’re waiting for our nails to dry. But not everything you do at the salon is good for your health. Here are three bad habits that could be causing yourself or the people around you some serious damage:

1. Don’t lick your lips

2. Don’t forget about your feet

3. Don’t breathe in dust from acrylics

4. Don’t pick up nails from the floor

1. Not using proper sanitation practices

The most common unsanitary practice at nail salons is reusing files and buffers. Nail technicians are supposed to use a new file on each client, but according to a 2013 investigation, most nail salons do not follow this rule. And it’s not just that they’re being frugal—it’s that they’re putting your health at risk.

In addition to spreading bacteria, fungus and viruses between clients, used files can lead to painful ingrown nails and other infections.

You can check if a salon is keeping its tools clean by looking for an autoclave, which is a machine that sterilizes metal instruments with steam and pressure. If you don’t see one in the salon, ask about their sterilization process—they should be happy you are asking!

And if you are really paranoid (like me!), carry your own nail kit so that you know you’re getting a fresh file every time.

1. They don’t sanitize their tools

Healthy nails are not only important for looking good, but they are also a great indicator of your overall health. And the bacteria that can be found on old cuticles is incredibly dangerous. Nail salons should have an autoclave, a tool that uses heat and high pressure to kills harmful germs and pathogens. If you can’t find this in the salon, it’s probably time to run.

2. They don’t use gloves

Nail technicians who don’t wear gloves while doing manicures or pedicures could be putting you at risk for infection. If a nail tech is handling your cuticles with bare hands, there’s really no telling what kind of bacteria you’re bringing home with your cute new polish job.

3. They soak your feet in dirty water

It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly before getting a manicure or pedicure, but it’s just as important that the technicians do the same before touching you! If the water in which they soak your feet has a layer of dust on top, it might be time to switch nail salons.

Some nail salons will use the same emery board on more than one customer. That’s a huge problem because you could catch a fungal infection or staph infection from this tool, which is used on your nails. It’s the same reason you should never share makeup brushes with friends. And once they use it on you, they’ll likely reuse it again and again on other customers.

And if you’ve ever gotten an ingrown toenail and been treated by a podiatrist, chances are the doctor told you to soak your foot in warm water before clipping your nails. This is so the skin around your nails will soften and be easier to cut. But many nail technicians skip that step, which is why they’re constantly cutting people’s cuticles and leaving them open to infection!

So how do you find out if your favorite salon is guilty of these bad practices? Next time you go for a manicure or pedicure, bring along some of your own supplies. Bring an emery board that has never been used, or better yet-bring along a brand new two-sided buffer (you can buy them in any drugstore).

You might feel awkward bringing along all of these supplies, but think of it this way: it’s not

You’ve heard by now that nail salons can be bad for your health. From time to time, it seems like a new study is published that warns against the dangers of getting your nails done. But as much as we know this to be true, we keep going back to our favorite nail salon.

The thing is, there are a lot of habits we fall into when it comes to getting our nails done that are actually dangerous, and we don’t even know it. For starters, did you know that the average woman ingests about 6 pounds of nail polish in her lifetime? Or how about the fact that most nail salon workers don’t make more than minimum wage? Not only that, but did you realize that the fumes from acrylics and gels can actually damage your respiratory system and cause asthma?

And if those weren’t mind-blowing enough, did you realize that something as simple as asking for “pink and white” can put your health at risk? What does that mean exactly?

We’ve rounded up some of the most popular myths when it comes to getting your nails done, and we’re breaking them down so you don’t have to. Read on to find out why it’s important to double check all of those nail polish ingredients before

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