One of the primary missions of the Nail Manufacturers Council is “to establish guidelines that maintain high ethics in the ad­vertising and promotion of products.” But besides applying peer pressure on companies that mislead consumers or misrepresent their products, there isn't much the council can do to ensure that the messages you're getting are honest and accu­rate. There are far too many companies with misleading information in their advertisements, their educational seminars, and their publicity statements. Besides what the NMC is doing, it is up to nail technicians - the users of these products - to force these companies to be more forthright in telling what a product can and cannot be expected to do.

Don't let a manufacturer get away with saying that its extension product is “all-natural” and will allow a client's own nails to grow out. We all know what nails look like when you remove product, no matter how well it's been applied and no matter how “gentle” the product.

Watch out for any product that says it “cures” a nail condition. A product that claims to cure is a medicine and is under an entirely different set of regulations than cosmetics.

I went to a manufacturer's seminar recently and heard him tell his audience that there is no danger in inhaling acrylic fumes. Although the long-term ef­fects of working with acrylic monomer are not known, most experts agree that you should limit your exposure by using proper ventilation and wearing a mask Another common myth perpetuated by product makers is that prod­ucts without odor are safer than products with odor, which is completely false.

Manufacturers may not intend to deceive the users of their products, but they have to describe their products in a way that will make you want to buy them. I urge you not to be afraid to challenge a manufacturer's product claim or to ask a company to prove that a product does what it says it does. And I urge both NMC member and non-member manufacturers to make ethical advertising a higher priority in the coming year.

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