Nail clinic: how to prevent contact allergies
If we become allergic to our products then it’s highly likely we would be unable to continue working.It’s important to remember that the products we use to create beautiful nails are all safe, but only when used correct and responsibly as manufacturers intended.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so here are my tips for working safely so you can prevent a contact allergy.
1. Use the correct nail lamp for your system
Under cured product is a leading cause of nail product allergy and any old lamp will not do. Lamps should be matched to the system you’re using to ensure a full cure. It may feeland looklike your gel is fully cured but unless you’re a chemist, testing it properly, then you simply cannot be sure. Product can appear to look and feel cured at just 50% cured.
Some people say, “I can’t get a lamp for every brand I use”, but my answer to this would be to use less brands. Find one or two that offer a good range and invest in those systems properly – lamp and all. If you can’t afford to invest in multiple brands properly then stick with one.
2. Don't touch uncured or under cured product
Product on your skin can lead to an allergy, so avoid shaping a brush with your fingers, wiping product off the skin with your finger, leaning on the pad you’ve wiped your brush on (a big bug bear for me) or touching the skin around your nail with your brush during application.
Also, don’t forget the tacky layer. The tacky film on cured gel products is uncured product, so don’t touch this with your fingers and wipe off with care so as not to smear the layer over the client’s skin too.
3. Use brands in full
Brands make their products compatible with their own line, so mixing brands can mean the products may not be compatible with each other and, as a result, can lead to under cured product.
While different brands may use the same ingredients, differing amounts of the individual components can make a big difference in compatibility with some not fully curing at all.
4. Perfect your mix ratio
Many techs work too wet but using beads that are not the correct ratio means the product won’t be able to fully cure.
5. Protect yourself
Good quality, thick gloves will protect you from accidentally touching your skin and invest in barrier creams that are like “gloves in a bottle” for additional protection.You should also consider salon ventilation so that dust and vapours in your working zone are extracted or pass through a three-stage filter system, called a source capture system.
Opening windows, using air purifiers or air conditioning units are not suitable for successful salon ventilation.
Kayley Cairns is owner of The Nail Boutique in Billericay and Professional Beauty’s Nail Professional of the Year 2019.