Your Manicurist's Dirty Little Nail Secret


Unsanitary-looking tubs and bowls should be the least of your worries when visiting a nail salon. Most women don't realize that some of the tools commonly utilized are actually illegal in many states and can lead to serious infections. (Think about a skin eating infection and try not to shudder.) You think it won't happen to you? Better to be safe than sorry. Here are the dirty details and how to protect yourself:


The Details
While it's hard to know if the metal tools (cuticle and nail clippers, cuticle pushers and scissors) used during your manicure and pedicure are properly sanitized without actually watching the process every day. Essie Weingarten, founder and creator of Essie nail polishes and nail care, says that the best method of reassurance is seeing a sanitizer out in the open. "You want to look for an Enclave sterilizer and tools kept in sealed bags that are opened in front of you," she says. Anything that's not properly disinfected can transmit bacteria from one client to the next. And you have no idea who was sitting in that chair before you.

How to Protect Yourself
Most salons use sanitation kits, but there is a large percentage out there of manicurists who don't use them because they are expensive and time consuming. Before sitting down, ask the salon owner how they sterilize their tools. If you don't see UV sanitizers around and you decide to still patron the salon, bring your own set of tools with you. "That's a sure way of knowing they are sanitized and used only on you," says Weingarten.

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