Nurtured Nails are the best looking ones.

There's little doubt that we have a problem in the beauty industry with sub-standard manicures and nail treatments, as well as products.

Time and again I am witnessing women with severely damaged nails from buffing, unhygienic use of tools and equipment in salons to perform manicures on their nails. Be aware of counterfeit or bad chemical products.

It seems that the messages pertaining to being cautious about choosing your salon and nail technician are not getting through. It's strange because awareness about dodgy nails salons is fairly wide, but it seems we're still putting price and beauty before health and safety. That is until the consequences manifest themselves in damaged and infected nails. Then the panic sets it - and so it should.

If you are regularly going to a salon, you need to be vigilant about the environment, particularly its cleanliness. Work stations should be immaculate (not a spot of dust anywhere) and the tools and files should really be coming out of surgical bags post sterilisation. That's if best practices are being followed, which are often not and especially in New Zealand where this industry is very unregulated.

You also need to question the products that are being used. If they contain any of the following, they are poisonous: the chemicals Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. Also make sure your nail products are free of “TPO” (Trimethylbenzoyl Diphenylphosphine Oxide), which is a toxic curing agent that has been now banned by recent European regulations.

What you need to remember is that your nail is porous and whatever goes on to it can leach into your system. You don't therefore want any nasties in your products.

Buffing and how much your nail technician is filing your nail bed each time you go there for gel polish or nail enhancements is a consideration that must be taken seriously. Any kind of filing or buffing of the nail before product is applied is damaging to the nail-bed and nail and its long-term health. It's simple as that. If you think about it, if you go to a salon every two to three weeks, the top of your nail is buffed, by the time it has grown out, the tip of your nail could have been filed 6-8 times. No wonder it's damaged, weak and flaky and easily splits.

We have now developed a technique that requires no buffing of the nail bed or nail at all to apply gel polish. No buffing is undoubtedly best and the industry really needs to look at its techniques and best practices so that there's more emphasis on nail health.

Beauty and nature can go together. Beautiful nails should not forgo your health. The best looking nails are ones that are loved, nurtured and treated well. It's obvious, really. But there are so many women who put up with having sore, filed and weak nails with enhancements so that they appear beautiful. Everyone - even nail biters - can be helped to grow their own natural nails to beautiful proportions. Don't give in to bad practices that could also cost you your health.
 
Article written by Suzanne Edmonds for Spa Beauty 2016