The Federation of Nail Professionals is a not-for-profit organisation representing the UK nail industry. We support good practice, professional conduct and aim to provide consumers with accurate information on all things nail related.
Consumer Safety – Use of Home Care Equipment and Products
The Federation were extremely concerned by This Morning’s recent beauty piece aimed at consumers on how to service their gel polished nails at home for removal and application. This section of the popular morning programme caused a sharp intake of breath from the nail & beauty industry professionals watching at home. If you follow the social media of This Morning, you may have seen many a professional publicly questioning this piece, and the sensibility of the producers in allowing its airing, due to the unprofessional recommendations being given by the journalist.
As part of our industry standards, nail professionals receive education and training in the science behind the products, anatomy & physiology, health & safety including product storage, ingredients, reporting of incidents, local and national regulations relating to the services we provide. This level of education and training cannot be given over in a quick piece by a respected daily consumer programme. It undermines the many years of experience it takes nail professionals to build their careers and develop their skills.
The information that was provided in this piece, and in the wider media from time to time, that it is safe for the public to remove and apply products in their own homes is irresponsible and could be deemed negligent.
The products use by nail professionals, such as acetone and gel polish, are potentially hazardous and, in untrained hands, the risks of damage or injury are highly elevated.
Two of our industry leaders, Suzanne Clayton & Sue Davies, have collaborated to write this article to help consumers understand the risks behind home use products and the use of tools that are safer in professional hands. Many consumers regularly utilise the services of nail professionals and may have an idea of how they believe professional services are carried out. However, this does not mean that there is always a clear enough understanding of what a professional does at their manicure desk and guessing can lead to short and/or long term damage.
The last year has been a challenge for both nail professionals and their clients due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, and whilst as professionals we understand the need for clients to remove product when they have had no choice, there are safer ways to do this than those promoted by some parts of the media.
As an industry we cannot wait to be able to provide our services again, and rebuild our businesses doing what we love, and while we can’t do that let us help guide you towards safer methods of homecare. If you are left with gel product on your nails, approach your nail professional and ask for help.
NAIL KNOWLEDGE POINTS
Professionals spend a large part of their foundation training learning about, and understanding, the structure of the nail, how it is formed, what supports it and how we can not only improve, benefit, but also damage it. We learn this so we can ensure that our clients’ nails are maintained in a healthy way under any nail product or enhancement that is placed over it.
UV & UV LED Gel Lamps
UV/UV LED Lights used to cure (harden) gel products should be used with a system for which it has been tested for compatibility. Failure to use a “matched” lamp and inappropriate use of product can lead to uncured gel products being on the nail which can lead to allergy and skin conditions.
It is an important point to note for checking your nail professional too. They should also be using a “matched” lamp with their professional products and adhering to manufacturers’ instructions.
Use of Metal Tools
Metal tools used inappropriately may cause damage to your natural nail if used in an aggressive way. Due to the structure of the nail plate, it does not take much for layers to be separated, shredded, lifted or damaged by a metal tool being scraped over the surface. You can peel layers of your natural nail away by scraping the nail. Even though it may not hurt, it may be cause damage (even long term) to your natural nail.
Metal tools may also damage the surrounding soft tissues and this could lead to infection if a wound is caused.
In untrained hands metal tools would NOT be advised by The Federation of Nail Professionals. The tool best used at home for safe practice practice to aid gel removal would be an orangewood stick.
These products will contain acetone which is a hazardous chemical. In a professional environment these products are stored and used in accordance with Health & Safety regulations. Removal products are highly flammable, and the vapours of these products need to be safely controlled. Spillage of these products can lead to extensive damage to surfaces and if ingested would require medical assistance.
The nail and beauty retail suppliers still provide the most amazing long wear regular nail polish which is easily available, and The Federation of Nail Professionals strongly suggest that this should be the product of choice for all consumers whilst they cannot attend their regular nail appointments.
The Federation of Nail Professionals aims to provide help and advice to all those interested in the nail industry; consumer, student, creative, professionals and educators.
Thank you for reading and we hope that you have found this article informative and useful. To hear more from The Federation on all things nails please sign up as a Supporter here.
Sue Davies – Deputy Chair, Federation of Nail Professionals
Suzanne Clayton – Founder, Nail Tech Awareness