Heading to a nail salon for your next mani-pedi appointment? This little luxury is a great way to relax and pamper yourself, but there are a few things you remember mind in terms of hygiene, safety, and etiquette. We’ve prepared a short list of do’s and don’t s that can help make your next nail spa appointment go smoothly.

Don’t shave your legs right before a pedicure.

Back in 2000, 113 women in California reportedly contracted Mycobacterium fortuitum, a type of bacteria that causes purple, pus-filled bumps on the skin, from pedicure tubs. The common denominator between all these women was that they all shaved right before their appointments. Shaving often results in small, shallow wounds in the skin. You may not even notice these tiny nicks, but they make you more prone to infection. Even if you’re 100% sure the salon you go to sanitizes their equipment properly, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do sanitize your own mani-pedi kit (if you’re bringing your own).

Many of women prefer to bring their own kits to the salon to avoid contact with possibly unsanitary tools, but do they bother sanitizing the items they bring? Unless you scrub your tools with soap and water and soak them in a disinfectant solution after every use, it’s usually not a good idea to bring your own tools. Local laws require all beauty establishments to sanitize their equipment before and after use, so if you’re going to a good, reputable nail salon, bringing your own kit might not even be necessary.

Don’t hesitate to inform the staff of any injuries or discomfort.

It’s your responsibility to inform the salon’s staff if you have any cuts, wounds, and other forms of injury that might be aggravated during your session. You might even want to consider rescheduling your appointment to let your injuries heal to avoid risking an infection. You should also inform your manicurist immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort at any time during your session.

Do tell your manicurist not to cut your cuticles.

Trimming the cuticles seems like a harmless step in beautifying your nails, but it can actually leave you prone to bacterial contamination. Your cuticles are meant to prevent germs from entering your skin through the area they cover, and cutting them away will rob you of their protection. Tell your manicurist not to cut the, but to push them back instead.

Before you even set your appointment at a local nails alone, always remember: A few hours or minutes of routine nail pampering each month is a good thing, but not if you end up leaving the salon in pain or with a bacterial infection!

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