Definition of a cosmetic (EU Law): A “cosmetic product” shall mean any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition.
I just want to quote this to demonstrate that ALL nail products are a cosmetic and therefore fall under ‘cosmetic’ legislation all over the world.
We work in a fabulous industry with so much going for it!! But there are also quite a few issues that need some attention so that they stop having a strong negative force on our industry!
Clearly, education is probably top of the list as there is no common ground in any country as to the minimum requirements! There is not even any common ground on terminology and facts!! This is not a new topic and there doesn’t appear to be a clear path to improving the situation that has been going on all during my career of 30+ years!
However, there is one issue that has always been around but has changed its character and escalated in recent years! That is the ‘marketing spin’!
Now, I’m not going to target any brand nor am I going to ‘name and shame’. What I am going to do is to encourage nail professionals to increase their education, knowledge and skills and be a true pro! Neither am I going to recommend not using brands that make the most of ‘spinning’ as many love them! BUT, what you do need to do is manage expectations and educate your clients with the true facts!
So, what are the ‘spins’ and the ‘myths’? Basically, they are brands that don’t actually have much new to offer as there are so many nail brands out there! There is very little new in the world of nails (although there are one or two new ideas that are hitting the professional market so we’ll see how they do). It’s essential for nail brand to make its mark and have a USP (unique selling point/proposition). Otherwise why would you buy it, especially if it is more expensive than many others?
There are 100’s of gel polishes and 1000’s of nail polishes on the market. The brands need you to want theirs above all others! The vast majority are very similar (and many come from the same factory with little, if any, formulation differences) So this is where marketing needs to spring into action! Buy me, buy me!!
If you, as nail professionals, truly understand your science you will be able to differentiate the real facts from the spin! Don’t get taken in by the ‘stories’! Just reading Facebook threads leave me dismayed by how many are brain washed by sheer rubbish!! It sounds fantastic so it must be true!! NOOOOO!
There are many specifics that I could address. I recently wrote about ‘breathable nails’. With this article I’d like to focus on the generalities.
Lets talk ‘general’: the 5 free, 7 free, 10 free, 20 free, chemical free, non toxic, vegan, islam, muslim and any other label you’d like to add, is, basically a spin!!!
There is NO ingredient in nail products in any level that comes close to ‘toxic’! I don’t really need to add to that but few will believe me!
All this ‘x free’ malarkey applies to every nail polish. There are a few ingredients that have been targeted by fear based activists so have been removed. They were not dangerous in the first place but have gone anyway.
There is NO ‘chemical free’ anything!! We are chemicals, water is a chemical! Air is a chemical!! Energy is the only ‘chemical free’ thing!
As an addition: nothing added to the nail plate can change the way in which it grows. That is a pre destined genetic situation that can be modified by the systems of the body over a persons lifetime and by illness and extended drug use. A topical application will not change this. Many products can protect and support the nail plate condition and growth. This is where the big difference in cosmetics and drugs occur. A lot of products claim an effect that should be in the ‘drug’ category but they are clearly in the ‘cosmetic’ category and should NOT be making these claims!
For those nail pros who truly want the correct and factual information I cannot recommend Doug Schoon highly enough! His scientific and supported facts are available on his website:
http://www.schoonscientific.com/resource_type/technical-articles/ plus his http://facetofacewithdougschoon.com and his new book ‘Face To Face with Doug Schoon. He is independent of any brand and every single piece of info can be supported by research and fact.
If you love a brand but are not sure about their claims just keep asking why, how or prove it! Why should you have your professionalism undermined by marketing spin?