From the Editors

Seven Ways to "Green" Your Nail Spa for Earth Day

by Peter Friis | April 2, 2014 | Bookmark +

April 22 is Earth Day — so celebrate the “greening” of our planet with these earth-friendly tips that are good for your clients, too.

1. Create an instant impression with a signature scent, using an aromatherapy diffuser. Many scientific studies link our sense of smell with the parts of the brain that record memory and store deep emotion. Using an essential oil aromatherapy diffuser near the front door creates an instant sensory bond between your customers and your business. We suggest a sharp, clean fragrance using essential oils like lime, bergamot, ginger, and lemongrass.

2. Welcome your guests with a heated aromatherapy towel. Prepare towels in advance with a drop of the same essential oils used in your aromatherapy diffuser. Keep them heated in your hot towel warmer. Essential oils not only smell wonderful — they also reduce stress, improve mood, and improve mental concentration. Present guests with these hot towels while they wait for their service. This option reduces your water-use, eliminating the need for clients to wash their hands before a manicure. And, the essential oil reinforces the brand experience.

3. Toss out your “silk” flower arrangements. Not only are these decor items hopelessly dated, they collect dust and odors, especially in a nail spa where electric files are used constantly, and the collected residue can irritate eyes, nose, and throat. Open up that counter space and hang a few spider-plants and trailing philodendron from ceiling hooks instead — real plants refresh the air.

4. Create an instant aromatherapy foot massage with essential oils. Begin with a high-quality unscented lotion, ideally one made with organic ingredients. Then add a few drops of essential oil to create a genuine aromatherapy experience for your client. Many spa products are perfumed with artificial fragrances; you may like the perfume, but these are not in fact aromatherapy.

5. Explore education for your team. Check out newer technologies, like gels, as the modern alternative to traditional liquid-and-powder acrylics. These UV-cured enhancements do not require roughing the nail for prep, or soaking the nail for removal, meaning less fumes and particles in the air, and they allow for a cleaner, fresher atmosphere in your nail spa.

6. Create a stash of genuine essential oils for yourself and your spa team to use. Purchase high-grade essential oils from a reputable brand, and use them to balance your energy throughout the day. Just a drop warmed between the palms of your hands, then breathed in, is enough! Or, place a few drops on a clean white handkerchief and keep it nearby — breathe in the essential oil between appointments. A third alternative is to add several drops to a small spray bottle of purified water, and mist around your space.

7. Read up on some of the effects of essential oils. For instance, orange is recommended to cheer people up, peppermint is good when you have a headache or nausea, and sage is recommended to literally “clear the air” if there has been tension in the room.

— Peter Friis, CEO and founder, Essio Aromatherapy for the Shower,

Editor's Note: Looking for more information on using essential oils in your salon? Click here for more information on


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