The FNP (The Federation of Nail Professionals) would like to address the article in last week’s Sunday Times which talked about the epidemic of nail allergies.
As many in the industry are aware, The FNP is working on various strategies to raise the standards of the nail industry. Plans are afoot to bring in more stringent regulation to the nail industry, to highlight the many salons and solopreneurs who work to the required high standards of skill, knowledge, and hygiene protocols; and to raise consumer awareness as to how to choose wisely and knowledgeably when it comes to booking their nail appointments.
There is an alarming epidemic of allergies occurring due to bad practice nail products which is currently being investigated. However, it is essential that consumers are put at ease that not all gel products will cause these allergies.
Many of the facts stated in the Sunday Times article were not fully correct. A large portion of these developing allergies are caused by the DIY gel kits. These kits that were readily available from the likes of Amazon and some major supermarkets during lockdown have been made illegal. Products containing HEMA (Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate) have been banned from general retail since September 2021.
The key point for consumers to note is that the use of gel products has always been and will continue to be for Professional use only. A professional nail technician – one that has been trained to a high standard and uses only reputable brands that have been scientifically approved for use in the UK and Europe will be using gel products with safe levels of HEMA and acrylates and will know how to use those products safely on their clients.
Nail Technicians should ensure that their training is of a high standard with regulated qualifications by OFQUAL which have external quantity checks and of which must cover hygiene and Health & Safety. They should be using full brand systems with the correct UV/LED lamp that has been tested for use with that specific gel product.
Hypoallergenic or HEMA free is preferable and it is a good rule of thumb to avoid products imported from China. Whilst not all products may be bad, the key is to check percentage of ingredients such as HEMA, HPMA, IBOA etc to ensure they don’t accumulate to a percentage above a recommended 10% and certainly not above the legal 35%. Some brands imported from China unfortunately do not have accurate info.
The FNP stands by its patrons OPI, Bio Sculpture and Glitterbels as exemplary leaders in our industry with good levels of education, hygiene standards, product chemistry and ongoing commitment to all who train with them and use their products as they are intended to be used.