Is that much deserved pedicure really worth the risks while pregnant?
We’ve been getting A LOT of questions lately about whether or not it is safe for pregnant ladies to come in and get their nails done. As Mother’s Day is right around the corner -- May 12th for those who didn’t know -- I thought now would be the perfect time to address this topic and put it to bed once and for all!
Let me start by saying that most experts believe it is totally safe to get your nails done when pregnant, but nonetheless, here are the biggest concerns plus ideas on how to mitigate your risks:
Infections: I know… so gross. But, as we’ve talked about in further detail here, making sure you choose a salon that practices good hygiene is important (whether or not you’re pregnant.) Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections can all enter the body through cuts, bug bites, scratches, or other abrasions to the feet and hands so it is best to skip a pedicure/manicure until healed. That being said, the likelihood of incurring any type of infection is severely diminished if you go to a salon -- like Charme -- that takes the safety of their clients extremely seriously. Nail salons that use an autoclave to sterilize tools (therefore eliminating microbiological organisms), never reuse nail files and buffers, and ideally offer waterless manicures and pedicures are the safest options. If waterless isn’t an option, observe and ask questions about their cleaning steps in-between customers. I promise, any salon that cares about safety and sanitation will be happy to go over the details with you… if you sense any hesitation or annoyance over your questions, best to go somewhere else.
Exposure to Chemicals: Obviously this concern is equally frightening. Most nail products including polishes, primers, and polish removers contain varying levels of VOCs (otherwise known as volatile organic compounds and/or “the chemicals” referred to when discussing nail safety.) No one wants to be exposed to Formaldehyde (a known carcinogen used to preserve dead people), Toluene (found in gasoline and linked to dizziness and reproductive issues), nor Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (a chemical banned in Europe known to cause reproductive issues, organ issues, and disrupt the endocrine system). But yet, those are the big hitters when you walk into many nail salons. Hint: if the workers are wearing masks… they’re worried about their chemical exposure, and you should be too. Luckily, VOCs evaporate in air so as long as you’re in a well ventilated space -- maybe even ask for a seat by a door or window -- you’re fairly safe from inhalation. Because these chemicals can enter the body by way of absorption through the skin or nails, picking a salon that offers non-toxic nail polishes and uses organic ingredients when possible is a great way to minimize your risks. Taking it one step further, going for a cleaned up but natural look sans polish may be your best option if you’re still on the fence.
Now I know this all still sounds a bit terrifying (the carcinogen used to preserve dead people?!), but hey, open and honest is my policy. That being said, there truly are positives to getting manicures and pedicures while pregnant:
Swollen/sore feet can get some real relief with a pedicure which helps to increase circulation (but be careful about getting massaged in the place between your ankle bone and heel as it is said to trigger contractions)
Nails tend to be their absolute strongest while pregnant so enjoy them while you can and get a little pampering in whichever way you feel safest… they may even grow so long you look like you have fake nails!
If you pick a natural nail salon -- like Charme -- that is dedicated to the safety of their clients 365 days a year (and therefore doesn’t offer fake nails minimizing any chemicals in their location), there’s no question about the cleanliness and products used during treatments
At Charme Studio, we also perform pedicures in our zero gravity chairs which are the perfect way to truly relax and take pressure off the back and rest of the body
Lastly, in our salon we offer one of the safest polishes on the market by Londontown that does not contain Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, TPHP, Acetone, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, DBP, Toluene, Camphor; and is completely vegan and cruelty free… you can still enjoy color without any worry!
Dang. Not to toot my own horn but “toot toot!” Charme is totally the place to get your nails done if you’re pregnant!
I have to end this post on a more serious note, of course acknowledging that I am not a doctor (duh!) but that there are salons who make it possible for pregnant women to enjoy a little pampering as their bellies grow. There are certainly “things” to look out for when picking your salon so that you are safe and you aren’t putting your unborn child nor you at risk, but if you do a little research you can find a spot that makes your safety a priority! Still uncertain? Check with your doctor so you feel completely comfortable with whatever decision is made.
If you’re reading this as a (future) mama, please don’t hesitate to book with us soon as a Mother’s Day treat to yourself. Or if you know some moms out there who could use a little pampering, click here for gift certificates!