Who hasn’t treated herself to a cheap mani-pedi? You pop in, pick a colour, sit in a pleather massage chair,soak your feet in some bubbling warm water and flip through a well-worn People magazine while a stranger treats your feet. Not the cleanest of experiences, but pedicures are a must-have for sandal season.
When I had the luxury of a receiving a mani-pedi at new (across from Eaton Centre) location of LUX-SPA earlier this year, I noticed that the ubiquitous footbath jets were nowhere to be found. It’s all about hygiene, says spa owner Cathy Crispo, who prides herself in going above and beyond the required standards for keeping her spa sanitary.
More from iVillage.ca:
- Can Flip-Flops Make You Sick? The Side Effects of Summer's Casual Footwear
- Foot Care Tips: How to Get Pretty - and Healthy - Feet
- Nail Designs: Let Your Inner Artist Shine! Plus: 'Nailed It' Photo Contest
- What Does Your Nail Polish Say About You?
- Nail Polish Colour Trends: The Hottest Hues for 2012
She was the perfect person for us to interview about the perils of the cheap mani-pedi. So what, exactly, are we risking when we get bargain treatments for our fingers and toes?
Here’s what she had to say:
What are the minimal steps a nail salon needs to undertake in order to abide by health standards?
1) Disposable files and buffers.
2) All implements and surfaces (manicure tables tops and pedicure basins) need to be sanitized and disinfected.
What should you scan for when you enter a spa or salon?
You want to see staff cleaning up after each client: cleaning their station, cleaning implements, implements should be packaged in sterilized pouches
Bleach and alcohol SHOULD NOT BE USED to clean!
Turn on your heel and walk right out if:
The place looks dirty, if implements/nail files that are being re-used, if you see clients popping in and out of stations without the stations being cleaned.
Health risks associated with unsanitary pedicures/manicures are:
FUNGAL INFECTIONS! Athletes foot, warts, gangrene, toe nails fall off and never grow back right, you could lose a digit, your nails can take on a woodsy appearance (type of fungal infection). And this gets worse because the disease/infection, spreads through your bloodstream and you could develop even more serious conditions: blood infections (affect your brain, liver, heart, spleen). Pedicures and manicures are fun, they're great, they're pretty but these places charging $30 for a mani and pedi....are really not worth it in the long run!
Does a more expensive mani-pedi necessarily mean more sanitary conditions?
Not always! you still have to be on your toes watching to make sure that the staff is clean, the premises are clean and that everything is being cleaned in between clients
Obviously, people aren’t going to stop going to the more affordable walk-in places. What instructions do you give them to cut down on potential risks?
At that point, I would suggest investing in your own implements (which YOU will sanitize and disinfect after each use and keep with you), nail files, block buffers and foot paddles.
Cathy Crispo is owner of LUX-SPA, with two locations in Toronto Toronto Public Health used LUX-SPA as a benchmark due to its outstanding practices of disinfection and sanitization and its level of hygiene. In 2009, it was recognized as Canada's Best Pedicure and Canada's Best Manicure 2010.
Connect with iVillage.ca: