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Service providers do not need any type of training, certification or licensing to give esthetic services like manicures and pedicures.
The Health Unit can only inspect the salons they know about.
Even if the tools and the works areas look "clean", infections can be spread if they are not cleaned according to proper infection control practice.
It is the responsibility of each owner and operator to follow Ontario's new best practices that are designed to reduce the spread of infections during the delivery of personal services like pedicures, manicures and waxing
Review our shopping tips before each visit to the salon so you know what to look for.
Most salons work hard to make sure their clients are enjoying a safe service. But it's important for you to know what to look for so you do not put yourself at risk for an infection.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You are paying for a service and so you have the right to make sure the service is provided with clean hands and clean tools in a clean environment!
Did the service provider wash their hands before starting?
Has the work area been cleaned?
Manicures and pedicures:
- Is the service provider reusing tools tha are meant only to be used once? These include: emery boards, nail buffers, credo blades, pumice stones, wooden cuticle pushers and foam toe separators.
- Is the service provider cleaning and disinfecting reusable instruments between clients? These include nail clippers, nippers, food paddles, pedi and credo blade holders?
- Are all tools in good repair? No chips, cracks, rust or other damage you can see.
- Are both the hand bath and foot bath cleaned and disinfected between clients?
- Are all supplies (e.g. wax strips, wooden applicators, tweezers) stored in a way that prevents contamination (i.e. clean, covered containers)?
- Is the service provider using a new, single-use disposable wooden applicator each time they pick up wax? See below for information on "Double Dipping".
- Is the service provider cleaning and disinfecting tweezers between clients?
- Is the service provider throwing away used wax into the garbage?
Double dipping is when an applicator is dipped back into the wax AFTER it has come into contact with the skin. Bacteria and loose hair from the skin will contaminate the wax, which is then used on the next client. Despite popular belief, the temperature of the heated wax is not hot enough to kill bacteria. In fact, the wax provides the ideal environment for bacteria to grow. For this reason, applicators that are used to apply wax must never be dipped back into the wax pot and reapplied. Each dip into the wax pot requires the service provider to use a new applicator. All applicators must then be thrown out; the are single use only!
The Health Unit's public health inspectors:
- Inspect all salons at least once per year to make sure the salons are following provincial infection control practices.
- Address complaints from consumers
- Provide education to the owners and operators of salons as well as the general public.
To speak with one of the Health Unit's public health inspectors, please call 625-8318 or 1-888-294-6630, ext. 8318.