A Manicure or Pedicure is a Decadent Treat!Many people enjoy getting pampered with a manicure or pedicure. The opportunity to have one's arms and hands or legs and feet massaged draws some people into a salon. Others enjoy being pampered as it is difficult to properly cut their own nails, cuticles, and remove calluses on their own.
I am in no way advocating that you forgo your manicure or pedicure. I want you make informed choices as you pamper yourself so that you leave relaxed AND healthy. For whatever reason you enter a nail salon, you need to be aware of some risks you may be taking.
Enjoy the ProcessLook for salons that embrace innovative brands that are natural and not chemical based. When you transition from chemical based nail polishes to natural ones, it is suggested that you let your nails "rest" for a week or two to be ready for the change. Communicate your needs with the esthetician and relax!
Take Care of Your Nails At HomeMany estheticians recommend massaging oil (neem, coconut, jojoba or even olive) into the nail and cuticle regularly.This simple treatment at home will help maintain the work done by the professionals!
Dermatologists recommend applying lotion to the nails after a pedicure as the treatments can be drying.
Eat a nail boosting diet. The proper amount of iron and protein will keep your nails strong. Having enough zinc in your diet will keep away the lines and white spots that may form on a nail when there is a deficiency. Eating a diet that includes good fats and adequate hydration will ensure that your nails do not split or peel
Be Aware of Potential Dangers
ChemicalsChemical based nail salons use caustic chemicals that have been documented to cause medical problems for some workers. Some salons are well-ventilated and the chemicals are not in high concentration in the establishments. If you enter the salon and are greeted by a strong chemical smell, you know the salon is not well-ventilated and you will be inhaling chemicals for the duration of your relaxing treatment.
BrushesBring your own nail polish. Do not use the polish the salon has available as the brush MAY have been used on a previous client(s).
Spa Tubs, Sponges, and Nail FilesMake sure the spa tub in which you will soak your feet is clean. If the water is filtered properly you will NOT notice any debris. If you do, ask for a clean tub with fresh water.
Make sure the salon uses a fresh nail file and a clean sponge for your treatment. This will ensure there is no cross-contamination with previous clients.
Jessica Rubino's article for Delicious Living: Nontoxic solutions for healthy nails