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Sanitizers, masks, gloves

How can a nail stylist survive in the condition of short supply?

STALEKS Journalist.
I write about the beauty industry, collect information, and share trends. I manage an interview column on the STALEKS YouTube channel.

The news of the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world and all spheres of life. It touched on those who can’t imagine their life without traveling, and those who work in the service sector or conduct their own small business, freelancers and officially employed, schoolchildren and pensioners. Absolutely everyone!

Beauty stylists and beauty industry workers also did not stand aside. In addition to canceling strategically essential events and exhibitions, where pros can exchange experiences and make useful contacts, the workplace itself also closed: beauty salons, nail bars, local offices, and hairdressers.

Someone listened to the advice of WHO and self-isolated, while someone can not cancel all clients and make the procedures at home.

Maybe quarantine and forced isolation is a temporary measure, but in such circumstances, the security issue is even more acute;  moreover, mutual security: both the nail stylist and the client.

Clients` Safety

We have repeatedly talked about security for the client.  Let’s recall the main points:

  • Disinfect the instrument in a specially prepared solution or an ultrasonic cleaner (15 minutes);
  • Rinse thoroughly with water and dry, inspect for remaining of dirt or skin; 
  • Be sure to sterilize the instrument in a dry heat oven. To do this, place the tool in a sealed kraft bag, sterilize at a temperature of 180 degrees for an hour. DO NOT RECOMMEND to exceed time or temperature – this may adversely affect the instrument. 
  • Before the procedure, it is necessary to open the kraft bag with a sterile instrument in the presence of the client and put it in the also disinfected tray.

Well, these are the classic client’s safety rules. What about the nail stylist? After all, the specialist must keep the precautions rules.

Security for the nail technician himself

For a safe procedure, the nail stylist has protective equipment: gloves, masks, an apron, glasses, a hat. With some disinfectant nail stylists are used to processing everything – spray on the tool immediately before the procedure, spray on the work surface, apply on the client’s hands, and their gloves.

Well, when all this was in abundance, and the same sanitizer could be bought at any pharmacy. Today, due to the mass panic, prices have increased tenfold: and now the good-old mask is not a common attribute but a luxury item.

What to do? We suggest putting off the panic and thinking about everything you need separately.  Do homemade protective equipment work? How to make a mask or sanitizer? Which gloves are best? Answers to all these questions below.


And let’s start with the most valuable lot at the auction of mass panic – masks. They are being sold out at lightning speed, and prices are rising at the same speed with lightning speed.  But even here online stores are not lost: they offer to buy masks in wholesale, produce masks with prints, memes and funny inscriptions, masks made of fabric or foam rubber … It turns out that not only demand but also deficit creates supply!

What mask should be chosen for nail stylists or other specialists who are forced to work in direct contact with people?

We asked about this in an interview with Victoria Tereshchenko, a family doctor and therapist. You can see the full conversation on our Instagram.  In the meantime, let us remind you which masks exist and which is better to choose for beauty procedure:

  1. Procedural masks are ordinary disposable medical masks. They consist of three layers of non-woven material: a filter (in the middle) and two outer layers.

Such masks are not suitable for beauty stylists, because they do not fit tightly to the face and do not protect against respiratory diseases.

Already sick people should wear such masks in order to reduce the likelihood of the disease getting into the environment. But, in this case, it is worth paying attention to how to throw away the mask after use. Due to non-compliance with the rules, the risk of spreading the infection will only increase; during this time, more viruses will accumulate on the mask than in a normal exhalation.


  1. Specialized masks are four-layer surgical masks that, in addition to the filter and two outer layers, have an anti-liquid layer. This layer protects the skin from biological fluids (saliva, sputum, small drops).

Such masks are used in surgery and are suitable for any other body-related procedures (including beauty).


IMPORTANT! The World Health Organization (WHO) insists on the rational use of masks. “If you do not have symptoms of the disease or you do not care for a sick person, using a mask will be irrational. Currently, there is a mask deficit in the world, so WHO calls on everyone to use it thrifty”.
Please, do not panic and do not provoke an artificial deficit.


  1. Respirators – “light” or disposable (can be called differently). They can be of various shapes, with or without exhalation valves, of varying degrees of protection. Still, they are united by one thing – in their production; special electrified filter cloth is used that can pick up the smallest particles.

An anti-virus respirator with FFP3 marking and without a valve is ideal. It is the maximum (third) degree of protection. The valve, of course, facilitates breathing, but in the case of microscopic elements such as bacteria and viruses, it increases the likelihood of them falling into the mask space. Respirators with a second degree of protection FFP2 are also useful.

As a rule, only professionals, such as medical personnel or beauty industry workers, use such protective equipment.  Using such masks in everyday life is not very convenient.

So, about the variety of masks, we found out. To summarize: beauty stylists should use surgical (specialized) masks with an anti-liquid layer OR high-protection respirators (FFP2, FFP3). Regular cotton-gauze or woven dressings for protection against the virus are powerless and work only for people who are already sick.

Is it possible to make a mask by yourself in the conditions of a deficit? Why not, especially if free time in quarantine allows.  But it is worthwhile to understand that such masks do not have the same protective properties as those mentioned earlier surgical or respirators. A homemade mask helps only in self-soothing. It, in any case, is better than nothing, especially if you have not given up work duties during the quarantine.

Sanitizers and disinfectants

Another scarce product on the market.  Nail stylists know firsthand about the antiseptics of hands and work surfaces. It is an essential stage of the procedure, and it depends on how safe a manicure or pedicure will be.

Here you should not succumb to the artificial deficit and buy a sanitizer at a fabled price. You can make an antiseptic by yourself because the ingredients for the sanitizer are quite affordable and not yet in short supply.

The main component of the antiseptic is ethyl alcohol, the content of which should be in the range from 60 to 80%. As for vodka, it does not fit; it can not be used as the basis of the sanitizer since the strength of vodka is 40 degrees.

The World Health Organization offers a formula of sanitizer. You need to buy at any pharmacy:

  • ethyl alcohol solution;
  • glycerin;
  • hydrogen peroxide.

You will also need:

  • syringe;
  • funnel;
  • atomizer or any container with a dispenser;
  • boiled water.

In a clean dry container with a syringe without a needle, pour 5 ml of glycerin.  Then add 15 ml of hydrogen peroxide with a syringe. Pour 300 ml of alcohol and 40 ml of boiled or distilled water through a funnel.

If you use an alcohol solution with an alcohol content of 70-80%, then you need to take 340 ml. In this case, you do not need to add water.

Screw the container with a nozzle with a dispenser or spray bottle, shake it thoroughly and leave for half an hour so that all components of the antibacterial gel mix properly.

We are sure that even after quarantine, such a sanitizer recipe will be popular among beauty stylists, because the cost is quite low, and the efficiency is high. The liquid provides reliable hand disinfection and reduces the risk of contracting viral infections (including COVID-19).


It is another product that is in short supply. And if gloves are MANDATORY during the beauty procedure, then wearing them in everyday life raises some questions from virologists.

Gloves began to be bought up because of fake news that ordinary people needed them to go to the supermarket so as not to touch allegedly “infected” packages of products — the WHO has denied this.

“You are more protected from COVID-19 when you do not use rubber gloves, but wash your hands more often than when you wear gloves. The pathogen of coronavirus infection COVID-19 may contaminate rubber gloves. Touching the face after that will transfer the virus from the surface of the gloves to the face and put yourself at the risk of infection, ”the World Health Organization wrote in a statement.

What should nail stylists do?

  1. If you still carry out the procedure and work with clients, be sure to wear gloves as you always do;
  2. If you don’t keep in touch with the person, you can put off the purchased pack of disposable gloves until better times. Washing hands in everyday life is cheaper and more efficient.

In conclusion, we want to once again turn to beauty stylists, to our sensible pros and cool technicians  Пожалуйста, поделитесь этой информацией в своих социальных сетях, не поддерживайте панику и не становитесь ее заложниками. Buying protective equipment in such a difficult situation is not the best solution.

We have a difficult task: to take care of our security, but at the same time not to forget about the possible economic collapse and the threat of shortages.

Follow the WHO recommendations. When working with clients, use only specialized masks or respirators, do the sanitizer by yourself from the available ingredients, wear gloves only if you touch the body of another person. And even better, follow to quarantine rules and give up work for a while, devoting this time to training or advanced training.

Be responsible and healthy!

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