Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis: irritant or allergic. Some are quick to disappear and some can become quite serious if not treated correctly.
This is the definition of a condition that can sometimes be found from visiting nail salons.
A professional nail technician will have all the proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place. And use them. That is the first step in preventing the spread of disease and infections.
Proper use of the chemicals that are used during manicure/pedicure and enhancement services is essential as well.
It is the nail technicians duty to make sure that your service experience is pleasant and that you are not exposed to things that may harm you. And to understand the chemistry of the products they use.
Paracelsus, a sixteenth century physician was the first to talk about toxins in scientific terms. His communications about poisons and toxins make it easy to understand that even things that we may think are safe aren’t always. And that things we feel are dangerous may not be at all.
He stated “All substances are poisons; there is none that is not a poison. Only the dose differentiates a poison and a remedy”
He was the first person to recognize that everything on earth is toxic to some degree. It only depends on how we use them.
The Overexposure Principle is that overexposure determines toxicity.
As a example of this, consider salt water. Salt water is highly toxic if we drink enough of it. Yet, we swim in it without fear of poisoning!
Picture courtesy of: www.picstopin.com
Toxicity doesn’t make a substance automatically unsafe, it is the improper use of substances that does that.
Knowledge of the chemicals used in salons is imperative. As I have said in earlier posts, if your nail technician can’t tell you what products they are using, it may be better to move on!
Contact dermatitis occurs when substances touching your skin cause irritation or an allergic reaction. The resulting red, itchy rash isn’t contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable.
If your skin is sensitive to anything, please do yourself and your technician a favor and let them know. This way they can take steps to ensure that they are extra careful and use the proper products.
Also, nail technicians (hairdresser and others who experience prolonged use of certain products) need to take care not to overexpose themselves to products.
Always make sure you are visiting a salon where professionally licensed nail technicians are working.
And contact your health professional if you have concerns.
I have always believed that the most natural looking nail enhancement has to do in part with how you maintain your natural nail beneath the artificial one. No matter what type of enhancement you have. Whether it is acrylic, gel, wraps or the newest in nail enhancement phenomena’s, gel color.
Eons ago, when I attended nail technology school, I was lucky enough to have a instructor who instilled this belief in us. She had most everything “artificial” that a person could have on her body. Eyelashes, hair, nails and some other other parts! She supported doing everything that you could do to make yourself feel and look good. But she also firmly believed that it needed to be done properly. And that the maintenance was also properly done.
Sanitization and proper nail preparation are of the utmost importance in maintaining the good health of a natural nail, and thus making the enhancement look realistic. I have seen at times, where nail technicians will rip off a enhancement that has started to lift. The worst one that I have seen is when they use a nail tip and slide it between the natural nail and the lifted artificial nail and pry it off. This is the worst thing to do with a enhancement.
Whatever product you use for artificial nail enhancements, there is a bond formed between the natural nail and the enhancement.
Ideally, your enhancements should not pop off, but realistically, sometimes they will start to lift. There are different reasons for this to happen. Constant hand washing, a change in medication, stress, hormonal changes, or a illness. Or if you have super sensitive nail beds that don’t blend with your current product.
If your enhancement is being pried off, or as some folks will do, tear or peel them off, it is actually pulling off more of your natural nail with it. Its like shingles being ripped off of a roof! The roof is weakened! And so is your nail. This is a two fold problem caused by that one thing.
First, it opens up the nail plate to the possibilities of bacteria getting into your nail plate and causing nail diseases. Secondly, it weakens your nail to the point that it will have a hard time making that bond with the enhancement. And it can hurt, plus it doesn’t look good.
If you can find a technician that holds these values, then I believe you can continue to wear these little jewels for years to come.
The first sign of a lift is slight discoloration at the point where your nail meets with the enhancement.
So, of course you want to remove the artificial nail where it has come loose from your natural nail. I start by removing the shine from the enhancement and by blending the seam where the natural nail and the enhancement meets.
After that, I gently remove the enhancement until I get to the natural nail. This is a gentle procedure and I make sure that it doesn’t remove any of the natural nail.
I have a bit of the acrylic nail that can be blended out of this nail. Then I even off the end of the natural nail to give it a nice clean look.
The next step, as I have said before, is of utmost importance. Make sure that you prep and sanitize the nail plate before you apply any product.
Prep, Cleanse, Apply Bond Aide, and a “bonding agent’ such as Bondex.
Prepare your supplies for fixing your acrylic nail. Monomer and Polomyer for Acrylic Nails.
The secret to keeping a artificial nail adhering to a natural nail and to keep it from snapping off, is to make sure that when you apply the nail form, that it ends up extending completely flat from the curve of the natural nail. I begin by putting the nail form under the natural nail at a angle to make sure that the form completely “butts” up to the nail plate.
Then I roll the form back towards the cuticle adhering the tabs to the top side of the finger. Also notice that I have “unzipped” the form at the back so that it will stay straight.
Go ahead and drop a bead of acrylic to the tip of the nail, on the nail form to extend the length of the nail to the desired length. Blend and sculpt the nail to mirror the natural nail shape.
Next apply a bead of acrylic close to the cuticle and blend it to reflect the curve of the natural nail.
Once the nail has “cured” be sure to use a pointed drill bit to clean up the lines between the acrylic and your natural nail on the bottom side of the nail. It is important to do this before you detail the enhancement on the top side, to be sure that you don’t over file the enhancement on the top side and loose your strength.
Gently buff the nail to the point of your desired finishing technique. IE: Polish, Gel Polish or buffed to a high gloss shine!
A little extra tip for those who have issues with acrylic clumping on their brushes. I found this little trick to erase the problem. Just add a little under a inch of brush cleaner to a vessel that will hold up your working brush. Place your brush in the vessel and soak for approximately 5 mins MAX. Make sure not to immerse the brush past the bristles. This will keep the cleaner from getting into the crimped part of the brush where the glue is. The problem when that happens is that the cleaner and glue react to each other and it will give your acrylics a ugly yellow color. Next, gently wipe the brush on a clean towel before placing with the bristles pointing down. This will allow the brush to dry with special emollients that will make your brush last for years.
For any of those professionals who are reading this, you know that the evolution of gel polish has COMPLETELY changed the face of nails, nail salons, nail services and at home DIYers!
There are many companies that have gel polish. From companies that have been around forever like OPI and Creative Nail Design to entrepreneurs that have ventured into the realm of retail nail cosmetic companies as well.
One of my favorite is a fellow Canadian and former co-worker Nanci Spencer from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Her pride and joy is a At Home Gel Polish Company called Lacqit.
Nanci has made at home gel polish easy, accessible and affordable to the general public.
Don’t be fooled, just because this is a at home gel polish, there are steps that need to be taken in order to maintain the good health of your natural nails. This is a vital part of Lacqit, and Nanci has included written instructions in each kit as well as videos available online or at her web site.
She also has a very nice selection of colors to suit all age and skin types as well.
One of the perks to Lacqit One Step At Home Gel Polish that it is a one step system. Meaning that the base coat and top coat are built into to the colors.
Therefore, curing time is minimal as well. The first coat is 30 seconds and the second is 60 seconds.
Also, there is no moist surface residue that you have to wipe off at the end of the curing time.
Since the curing time is so minimal and there is no moist surface residue, achieving amazing nail color and/or nail art is super easy and super fast. Check out NailStampfanatic.com for some really pretty nail art designs. This is a nice website to look through for you “nail art junkies”.
Because of all these great qualities. Great color selection, minimal cure time and no wiping of residue, with Lacqit , you can literally “Lacqit and Leave!”
A simple nouveau nail art trick for beginners (and a little reminder for the professionals reading this)
A very dramatic, very simple and effective form of nail art is the use of one of the newest, fun and interesting medias to date.
Matte Top Coat and Matte Polish (also available in GelColor by OPI) are making the world of nail art incredibly unlimited. Just when you thought that a color was only one dimensional, along comes matte top coat and polishes that allow you to leave your masterpiece in a rugged state.
It is as simple as applying any other polish (whether you are using regular lacquer or GelColor of any kind, please be sure to follow manufacture’s instructions) …also be sure to check out Lacqit for a amazing One Step At Home Gel Polish! www.thenailscene.com
To start, apply two coat of black polish.
Then to give Jessie’s nail the Nouveau trendy matte finish she was looking for, I applied China Glaze Matte Magic to her nails! Make sure that you get the Matte Top Coat all the way to the top of the regular polish. If you miss any up there you may have to go back and touch it up. Unfortunately, this may leave streaks in the matte finish you are trying you achieve.
Secondly, Jessie was looking for just a hint of gloss on the tip of her nails so I simply applied a top coat like I would have to do a “French tip”
When it was all said and done, Jessie was happy with her Nouveau Black Nails…and so was I!!! Nothing like finding creativity with new things.