Wow....its been a while since my last blog post but as you know I only tend to write a blog when I feel I have something to say which is of benefit to my clients and a wider audience and today is one of those such occasions.
For a while now I have been very interested in educating myself with regards to the chemistry and health issues of using nail products, not only for my health but for the health of my lovely ladies who come to see me on a weekly and monthly basis.
Some of you may be aware that allergies from nail products in the UK are at an all time high bordering on an epidemic which is a very worrying situation to find ourselves in and the only way the nail industry that we love so much will survive in the future is by tackling this situation head on by educating ourselves, whether we are a nail technician or client.....if you don't know how or why we should protect ourselves then we have lost the fight already.
The points I want to cover today are:
1/ Who do allergies effect.
2/ Why are we in this epidemic of health issues caused by the use of nail products?
3/ Why is it important to protect ourselves from forming an allergy?
4/ How can we protect ourselves from allergies forming?
5/ What are we here at Eva Grace doing to help fight the fight against allergies?
Who do allergies effect?
Everyone who wears or uses nail products have the potential to develop an allergy from nail products. Allergies can take a few months to a few years to develop. The chemicals used in nail products vary from brand to brand. Some brands have their own chemists who develop the formulas used in their nail products while other brands "buy off the shelf" from factories, repackage and sell on to their nail technician clients or even worse to the general public. The trick as a nail professional is to research the brand thoroughly to ensure you are happy that the product you are using is thoroughly tested to European standard.
Why are we in this epidemic of health issues caused by the use of nail products?
Well that's a simple one.... because of lack of knowledge!!! Lack of knowledge of how to use a product safely to the manufacturers instruction, lack of knowledge of where a product has come from and how has it been tested and lastly lack of knowledge of what the consequences are of miss use or home use.
If we don't know how to use a product correctly then how are we to expect the product to perform in the way it is supposed to? and how are we to expect the product to cure fully? The main culprits of allergy causing practices are quite simple, not using an LED lamp which has been scientifically tested to cure your chosen professional brands product sufficiently and allowing uncured product to touch the skin.... that's it ....in a nutshell. We technicians, as nail professionals need to educate ourselves and our clients with the consequences of not doing our job correctly and safely. We get so caught up in the latest fashions of glits and glitter do we check that the pigments used in the glits and glitter are to a cosmetic grade to European standard or do we save a few coppers and go for craft glitter???? Or even worse, buy all kinds of allergy inducing glitters, pigments and products from "online auction sites" from "overseas" believe me I have heard it all!!!
Why is it important to protect ourselves from allergies forming?
Again quite a simple one..not only the pain and discomfort that an allergy brings when you are effected by an allergy but also nail products were effectively developed from the medical and dentistry industries and a lot of the ingredients in nail products are also used to some degree in medical operations and dentistry. Can you imagine having an allergy to an ingredient used in an operation that you need but are unable to have due to your bodies reaction to it? It doesn't even bear thinking about!
How can we protect ourselves from allergies forming?
We can all play our part in protecting ourselves from developing an allergy both as client and technician. Firstly as nail professionals, your nail technician should do everything in their power to ensure the products they use are of cosmetic grade to European Standard, use a brand that they have researched to a fault ensuring firstly they are labelled correctly and are legal to purchase in the EU, have been scientifically tested to cure fully in their recommended LED lamp (technicians should ALWAYS use the branded lamp for the branded product), they have an accredited certification in the service that they are offering and have been trained to standard, have Public and Product Liability Insurance, are able to provide Material Safety Data Sheets for every product they use on clients and continually update their knowledge and training on an annual basis. Clients can protect themselves by choosing a technician who takes their health seriously and ensures they comply with the above, don't be afraid to ask questions, ask to see your nail technicians qualifications if they are not on display, ask to see MSD sheets for the products they are using on you and if you are not happy with their responses or lack of interest in helping you....walk away. Choose your nail professional wisely and never try to use or purchase "Home Kits" to do your own nails....after all once you have watched a nail technician do your nails its simple right? you could do it at home right?.... WRONG!!.... never risk your health for the sake of saving a few pennies.
What are we here at Eva Grace doing to help fight the fight against allergies?
Here at Eva Grace we take your's and our health very seriously continually researching and testing new products to potentially bring into the salon and we always do everything in our power to ensure the products we use are of cosmetic grade to European Standard,we only use brands that we have researched to a fault ensuring firstly they are labelled correctly and are legal to purchase in the EU, have been scientifically tested to cure fully in the recommended LED lamp, we have an accredited certification in the services that we offer and we have been trained to standard, we have Public and Product Liability Insurance, we are able to provide Material Safety Data Sheets for every product we use on our clients and continually update our knowledge and training on an annual basis.. As you know our main brand of choice at present is Gelish which is a world renowned brand, tested within EU regulations and supported by a competent education program. I have however of late been researching a new brand from Sweden which has just hit our shores over the past few months although they have been providing nail products to European countries for many years. IKON.IQ have a unique product in that the main allergy inducing ingredients have been removed from all of their gel based products which still maintaining durability and workability. I love the brands ethos of client and tech safety first and educate all of their clients on how to perform a safe services with their HYPOALLERGENIC products!!!!.... a brand who develop their own products with a chemist on staff to ensure each and every product is thoroughly tested before release. I have been wearing this innovative gel polish on myself for the past few weeks now and have to say I am very impressed not only with its performance and also with its ease of removal. We have decided to launch this new brand in our salon and have a small number of colours to choose from which will be increased over the coming months.
In short ladies and gents, its time we all took control of our nail health and protected ourselves from bad practices and products not fit for purpose...lets stand together and so NO to allergies.