Health and safety – the harmful chemicals to look out for in nail products
Q: As a nail tech, what harmful chemicals should I look out for in products?
Clients are more aware than ever of which ingredients will keep their nails in top condition and which to avoid, so it’s vital you know your products inside out.
Not being able to tell a client about what’s inside the polish or hand cream you stock could damage the trust you have with them, so research is important. Understanding your products means you’re able to use what’s right for the client, giving them the best results.
For example, if your client is pregnant then there are certain ingredients they will have been advised to avoid, such as some aromatherapy oils, so check that your products don’t contain traces of these.
You should also avoid stocking nail lacquers that contain formaldehyde (a colourless, flammable gas), DBP (the chemical dibuty phthalate) or toluene (water-insoluble liquid), as these chemicals can be harmful when inhaled.
In consultation, find out if your client has any allergies or has experienced reactions to certain products before to make sure you use products free from what they’re allergic too – for example, nuts.
Elisha Micallef is an educator for OPI and has worked with the professional nail brand for 10 years. Micallef also represents OPI on shopping channel QVC, demoing new products.