This is what my sassy nail technician at LUX SF renamed the matte manicure as he carefully begun to remove the polish from my nails. As he removed the old toxic nail layer of chemicals, he explained just what 'Toxic Suede' meant to him. He called it the 'toxic trio' and defined traditional toxic nail polishes that contain toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and formaldehyde. All of these dangerous chemicals, fumes, and toxins are proven and known to cause health issues, ranging from headaches to cancer, to even birth defects (if the pregnant mother is exposed to the fumes). Luckily, LUX SF’s products contain none of these chemicals.
LUX SF is a nail salon based in Hayes Valley, San Francisco that is based entirely around a "toxic free" premise. All of the nail polish lines carried are 100% cruelty free, 100% vegan, and are "Five-Free" which means they are created without the combination of the five most toxic chemicals found in the majority of other nail lacquer brands. You can expect to be able to breathe clearly when getting a nail service at LUX SF, as they do NOT conduct acrylic nail services or use harsh chemicals while attending to clientele. For those of you who can not imagine giving up your 'gel nails,' LUX SF does offer a natural alternative called the Bio Seaweed Gel service that does not require a UV light and again, is "five-free". LUX SF not only offers a safe and healthy space for both the clients and nail technicians, but its eco-friendly as well, as no toxins are used in LUX SF nail processes.
San Francisco was the first city to adopt a legislation to create a plan of action that is designed to educate, and highlight nail salons that create a healthy experience for their customers. San Francisco’s Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program also offers free training to businesses, this training encourages them to use safer nail polish removers, ban the use of thinners, encourages Nail technicians to wear gloves, and educates how to adequately ventilate the salon. LUX SF does not offer artificial nail services, however if a nail salon that is a part of the San Francisco Healthy Nail Salon offers artificial nail services they are also given their own space in order to keep the rest of the salon as a 'toxic free' premises.
With so many rules to being a 'Green' nail salon, and what seemed like such a focus on non toxic nail services, I was a bit nervous that my first 'Green' nail service would not compare to the 'Toxic Traditional' Gel nail services I have been so used too. To my surprise, my manicure and pedicure at LUX SF were utter bliss with just the right amount of pampering, with a huge added bonus that the salon didn't smell like noxious fumes that normally surround nail salons. The service and quality of polishes, including Deborah Lippmann, Uslu Airlines and Smith & Cult, were top notch. The best part of LUX SF's 'Toxic Free Campus' was knowing that as I relaxed and pampered myself, I knew I was being protected from dangerous chemicals that are harmful to breathe and normally present in every nail salon.
If you live in San Francisco and are interest in exploring other 'Ethical & Non Toxic' Nail salons, please see the complete list below: