Hygiene – Ultimate Guide to Lash & Brow Artistry | Ruthie Belle
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Hygiene

by Martin Pork

Hygiene should be prioritized in the beauty industry and the prevention of bacterial transmission must also be visible for the customers. It’s not only required for hygiene purposes, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing to be in a clean salon. 

Since the appearance of Covid-19, hygiene has become even more important and quite a few companies nowadays offer specialty Covid training. We recommend taking the free Barbicide Covid-19 Certification course: https://barbicide.com/certification/  

What’s the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing?

  • Cleaning physically removes germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces but doesn’t necessarily kill them. 
  • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects by 99.9% either by removing (through cleaning) or killing (through disinfecting ) them. Sanitizing means that you are lowering the number of germs to a safe level. 
  • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects by 99.99%. 
  • Sterilizing kills ALL forms of life and other biological agents. 

Disinfection is defined as the destruction of all pathogenic organisms or organisms capable of giving rise to infection. It is less effective than sterilization as all types of disinfectants do not destroy spores. 

Sterilization refers to any process that eliminates, removes, kills, or deactivates ALL forms of life and other biological agents such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, prions, unicellular eukaryotic organisms present in a specified region.  

Although sterility cannot be achieved in a salon (except temporarily for tools), the working environment should be kept as clean as possible. Microorganisms grow in an unhygienic environment; to prevent this, the technicians must be aware of the precautions and do their utmost to prevent bacterial transmission. 

The following recommendations are general guidelines; make sure also to follow your country/state specific requirements.

How to prevent bacterial transmission?

Disposables

Using disposable products is the easiest way to keep everything clean.

  • Make sure to keep disposables in a covered box/drawer to keep them clean.
  • Never double dip a cotton swab, brush or microfiber brush into a product again after it has come into contact with lashes. For instance, drip lash remover onto a dish and wet the brush there instead of taking it directly from the bottle.

Personal hygiene

Be extremely scrupulous with personal hygiene:

  • Disinfect your hands before each customer and every time after using your phone during treatments.
  • Clean under your nails daily, as impurities and bacteria tend to accumulate there.
  • If you have a cough or feel that you might be getting a cold, do not receive customers and get tested for Covid. Return to work only after you have received a negative testing result.
  • When detacking tape used for treatments, use a clean (paper) towel for the purpose, NOT your own or the customer’s skin. Detacking against skin peels off a layer of dead skin cells, so it’s hardly hygienic to place the tape near the customer’s eyes afterward.
  • Wear a mask during treatments.

Tools

You can disinfect only hard surface tools enough for multiple uses. Brushes and mascara wands have soft, dense bristles that can not be disinfected sufficiently, so they may NOT be shared between different customers to prevent transmission of bacteria!

NB! Tools may be disinfected in a special disinfecting bath. Using disinfectant wipes or sprays DOES NOT offer a disinfection level that’s high enough for professional use, so only use them on top of soaking, not instead of soaking.

Fill the disinfecting bath with a mixture of water and concentrate according to the instructions. We recommend using Barbicide.

  • Wash tools with soap and water first to get rid of anything that could layer up and prevent proper sanitation.
  • You should disinfect the tools (tweezers, lash lift tool, silicone shields, etc.) with suitable products after each customer. If something is dropped during work, disinfect it before using it again.
  • Rinse tools after disinfection.
  • Keep disinfected equipment ideally in a UV disinfection box or covered on a clean paper towel. Change the paper towel while disinfecting your tools.
  • Change the disinfecting fluid with regular intervals, as bacteria can even begin growing there in time. Change the solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions, either daily or once a week.

How to sanitize Lash Lift silicones/rods

  1. Put silicone shields into soapy water immediately after removing them to loosen the tint.
  2. Let them soak for as long as it takes to remove all product residue with ease.
  3. Then rinse everything off.
  4. Disinfect the shields in the disinfection box NB! Do not put them into autoclave as the heat will damage the shields.
  5. Rinse again with clean water to remove any residual disinfectant before using them again.
  6. Store in a closed box.

NB! Silicone shields may be used up to 4-5 times, as the disinfectant solution makes their surface more porous. After 4-5 uses, the shields are so porous that they may retain bacteria, so they are no longer hygienic enough for customers! 

Salon hygiene

  • Wash the floors of your workspace with regular intervals
  • Towels and blankets kept on the work table and used during treatments should be changed and washed on a regular basis. Depending on the current Covid situation, a lot of countries have prohibited the use of blankets altogether as they can not be disinfected properly between customers.
  • Never let your hands rest against the customer’s bare forehead. Besides the discomfort that the movements cause for the customer, it is also unhygienic. Place a clean towel or a special headband on the customer’s forehead. You can also replace the headband or towel with a single-use surgical face mask. Place the mask as shown on the figure:
  • Fasten the bands behind the customer’s ears to prevent the mask from slipping off.
  • It’s useful to have a UV sanitizer box available to keep sterilized tools in it (they are sometimes called sterilizer boxes for marketing reasons, but they only offer sanitizing properties). There are also UV sanitizer boxes available for phones, and some of them even charge phones while sanitizing them!
  • If a customer with something contagious has been in your salon, make sure to take ANY precaution necessary to prevent it from spreading. When the customer has left, clean (disinfect) ALL surfaces that the customer may have touched (pillow, bed, fleece blanket, tools, etc.) with extreme care. Wash the towels at the highest temperature to kill bacteria