Treating yourself sometimes is super important, whether it’s a new book, a beer, a night out, a mani/pedi, or whatever it is you love to do! For those boss babes who love a good set of nails or some fabulous brows, this one’s for you. Chantel Porter from Prim and Propr Beauty Bar shares some insider scoop on the cleanliness of your nail salons!


Have you ever wondered what your local nail salon does to prevent the spread of diseases and infection? Maybe now is the time to start asking questions.

Is your nail tech or esthetician certified? Are the employees able to properly explain to you how they clean and disinfect reusable tools and implements?  FYI – Using bleach and swishing it around the pedicure bowl does not count.

Have you ever wondered if someone is double dipping into a wax pot, or using the same sanding band on your nails as someone else?

I’ve seen it done many times but it wasn’t until I went to school to become a certified Esthetician that it dawned on me, what I had been seeing for years and never thought twice about – I quickly became mortified by what I had allowed to be done many times. I thought about the pedicure implements I saw reused on people right in front of my eyes. I thought about the pedicure chairs with the whirlpools and wondered how they could possibly clean ALL the way through the pipes of the whirlpool. Or the swimming pool floor, showers, yoga studios, gym showers…the possibilities of places I could catch an infection, fungus or warts became endless. Almost to the point that I would carry slippers and sandals with me to put on everywhere I went. I know I got a little obsessive about it for a while.

Now as much as I would like to scare you so I know you would be safe, I know it’s not healthy haha. All I want for all you ladies is for you to start being more aware and to never be afraid to ask questions before you have a service done or to leave an establishment if you are not comfortable with how they are doing things!

I have all of my cleaning and disinfecting products on display, readily available for clients to see! I actually get excited when my clients ask me how we do things – I get giddy showing them how everything that can be disposable is. I also make a point to throw things away in front of my clients, and pull things out of packages in front of them before I use them as well so they can feel safe.

Okay – I’m going to get a little technical for a minute so that I know that I’ve given you all the tools to protect yourself.

Did you know that there are different levels of infection control?  Clean, disinfect and sterilize. Each is very different from the other.

The first step in infection control is to clean. Cleaning is a mechanical process using soap and water or detergent to remove visible dirt, oil, debris and many disease causing germs from tools. Cleaning is required before disinfecting any tools, implements or equipment. Using an antiseptic will lower the number of pathogens but cleaning is the most important way to prevent the spread of infection.

Disinfection is the second step of infection control. It is a chemical process to remove “most”micro-organisms from hard non-porous surfaces. An EPA-registered disinfectant must be used to destroy most bacteria and some viruses. Disinfectants must NEVER be used on human skin, hair or nails!  Disinfectant may come in the form of a spray or wipe, but do not mistake them for “lysol” wipes or “Mr. Clean” spray, they are not and should not be!!

Sterilization if the highest level of infection control. Sterilization completely destroys ALL micro-organisms including spores. The most effective form of sterilization is an autoclave. It is not possible to sterilize all things in a nail salon or spa, such as pedicure bowls, table tops etc. Disinfection can never be replaced by sterilization because of this.

I spent 6 months in school for esthetics and 7 months for nail technician and nothing upsets me more than clients not being taken care of properly. The extra money and time is necessary and worth it for you and for me! So the next time you are about to go to a discount nail salon (or any nail salon for that matter), ask the questions you’ve never asked before. Do some research on the shop you are going to. Make an appointment with a certified esthetician or nail tech – you will not regret your decision.

Find a place that is proud to display their certifications and accomplishments for the world to see. I wish this guaranteed that you were going to receive the best service of your life but sadly it doesn’t. It is just the first step in the right direction to finding yourself your dream Nail Tech or Esthetician!

If you want to know more, I am always available to educate more clients! In fact, I love to educate people on the things I know; I am passionate about my industry and craft and would love to help educate (and take over!) the world! (Kidding!)


Chantel Porter

Nail Technician, Esthetician and Owner of Prim & Propr Beauty Bar

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Prim & Propr Beauty Bar is owned and operated by Chantel Porter. We offer nail enhancements, waxing, lash extensions & brows. Chantel is a Certified Nail Technician and Esthetician specializing in nail enhancements and waxing. She bought Prim & Propr in August 2015 and continues to try and make the shop the best it can be. With a love of shabby chic she is always adding something new, or changing things around and loving every minute of it!