How Products Work: Self-Tanners

by NAILS Staff | May 17, 2019 Toth Toth

Thankfully, self-tanners have come a long way since the turn-you-orange products of the 1970s, providing a natural-looking tan to those who might otherwise be tempted to turn to the tanning bed.

According to the experts at, self-tanning agents work by tinting the uppermost skin layer with the active ingredient DHA (dihydroxyacetone/glycerone), a sugar molecule that reacts with the amino acids in the upper skin layer. During this superficial chemical reaction, the cells form dark pigments, which — depending on DHA concentration — cause a more or less intense tan. The process takes about four to five hours and lasts about three to four days, as the skin cells of our uppermost layer of skin regularly dissolve.

The experts remind us: Self-tanners give the uppermost skin layer a great summer tone, but most do not contain any sunscreen. So remind clients to use UV protection or run the risk of sunburn.

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Nail tech Melba Mosley demonstrates reflexology techniques on colleague Apryl Moore, while...


Foot Forward Summit 2019

by Staff

NAILS' second Foot Forward Summit was held in Atlanta August 11-13. Nail techs gathered for speaker presentations, advanced education, and networking.

Nails by Tracey Lee


Up Your Acrylic Skills: Mix Ratio

by Tracey Lee

Even though mix ratio is fundamental to learning about liquid-and-powder acrylic application, it’s still one of the biggest challenges for nail professionals in the salon. The performance and longevity of our product is hugely affected by an incorrect mix ratio.

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What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms


What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms

by Holly Schippers

You probably know the essential differences between the products and nails terms you use in the salon every day — like soft gel versus hard or LED light versus UV. But could you provide a clear explanation to a curious client? And what about those fuzzy terms that can mean different things to different people? Here's a terminology "cheat sheet" we hope will help keep us all on the same page.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

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