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Get Pampered: Safe Nail and Waxing Practices in Beijing

By Ashley Johnson , Comments (3)     Add your comment Newsletter

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What’s not to love about pampering yourself with manicures, pedicures and wax treatments? The Chinese are known around the world for their precise and meticulous manicure/pedicure and waxing abilities, so it goes without saying that Beijing is fantastic for these services. Having said this, there are also many words of caution before you choose your favorite manicure/pedicure and wax spa. Health and hygiene should be considered no matter where you are but especially in Beijing where there are literally thousands of spa locations to choose from. Many of the spas don’t take the necessary precautions to ensure safe and healthy treatments.

Get Pampered: Safe Nail and Waxing Practices in Beijing
Photo: pinksherbet

Some of us are temptingly lured toward flashing red signs that scream cheap prices for nail and waxing services, while others only visit top class spas. Irrespective of your preference, there are risks in both inexpensive and posh spas. Since nail and waxing spas are a dime a dozen in Beijing, it’s difficult to decide which one to use and much like restaurants, sometimes the dodgy looking places are actually the best; however, it’s near impossible to know this at first glance. And when it comes to pampering yourself, whom do you have in mind? You! So before you decide on a nail or waxing spa in Beijing, be it a hole in the wall or a top notch spa, consider these useful tips and suggestions that will guide you to a safe and healthy nail pampering or wax treatment.

Proper hygiene and sanitation    
Above and beyond anything else, hygiene is the most important thing to consider when receiving a manicure/pedicure or wax treatment. Don’t be fooled by fancy décor and high prices because poor sanitation can be lurking in the most reputable, high-class places. This isn’t to pass judgment on any place in particular, but it is to say that you must take precautions no matter where you go for your pampering. It’s easy to assume that most operating spas follow proper health regulations to protect their clients, but you should always observe the level of cleanliness and look out for the following things before deciding on your spa in Beijing.

Footbaths or tubs                                                                             
If not properly sanitised, footbaths can be incubators for bacteria. The worst are actually the fancy massage-chair, footbath combination; the water-jets in the foot tub that massage your feet while you relax in the heated chair are very difficult and time consuming to clean which means that if the spa employees don’t take the time to disinfect the tub properly, it could harbour skin, hair, bacteria or an accumulation of infectious diseases from previous clients. Luckily, most places in Beijing use the bowl footbaths, which are much easier to clean and have less potential for holding onto leftover residue. There is still a risk, however so it is important to know that they carefully sanitise the footbath with a proper disinfectant, not hot water and a dirty sponge.

Mani/Pedi Tools                                                                            
With manicures and pedicures, the tools used to clean, clip and file your nails and cuticles should be sanitised after each customer. Germs and bacteria such as ecoli can be living on these tools and can cause serious infection to your nails. Since many public toilets in Beijing do not have soap, previous clients could easily pass feces and other bacteria to the tools, thus it is imperative that they properly clean the tools after each client. It is best if the salon uses a UV Tool Steriliser, however a liquid steriliser is okay so long as it’s changed frequently. If your spa of choice uses a liquid disinfectant, make sure the liquid looks fresh and clear rather than dirty and cloudy. A much safer method is to carry your own tools if you have them. Manicurists’ workstations should also be disinfected after each treatment in case the area harvests any germs or bacteria from previous clients.

Wax Treatments
The best way to find someone to do your waxing is from word-of-mouth referrals. If your friends or colleagues don’t wax then you are probably in for trial and error. You should ensure that the technician is a certified esthetician. There are dozens of spas in Beijing that will wax you but are not certified or properly trained in any fashion. They may shape brows brilliantly but it’s about much more than that. There are serious risks involved in waxing that go deeper than most realize and since some spas in Beijing don’t operate under proper guidelines, you may be putting yourself in harm’s way when it comes to your internal and external health. Make sure the esthetician wears gloves; waxing can leave teeny tiny wounds on the skin, opening the follicles and exposing you to a host of infectious diseases and bacteria including the extreme, staff-infection and hepatitis.

Another important thing to watch out for is double dipping in the wax; this is a huge red flag and since all wax therapists in Beijing are not properly trained, they may not realize the dangers in doing so. The wax is kept at a warm temperature, which makes it perfect for housing bacteria. If the esthetician dips your wax stick, applies the way and then re-dips the same stick, this means there could be blood, dander and bacteria from previous customers in the wax, and you don’t want that in your exposed follicles.

General tips                                                                                       
Never shave your legs the morning you are going to get a pedicure. Razors leave small nicks that we don’t see or feel but give an opening for bacteria into your skin. If you have any type of skin irritation, rash or fungus, it is important not to visit the spa; this puts you at an even higher risk but it also puts the nail or waxing technician at risk of catching your skin complaint – save your pampering for another time.

Finding the right nail/waxing spas in Beijing                                                    
There are literally hundreds of good and safe places in Beijing to receive nail and wax treatments so again, word-of-mouth is always best but it’s also okay to just pop in and take a look around at the atmosphere, the clientele, the hygiene practices and general employee behavior to see if it might be a good fit for you. While it is impossible for us to give you a comprehensive list, here are a few spas that have good, clean reputations:

Kocoon Spa LoungeView In Map
Add: Room 301, 3/F, North Building, Nali Garden, No.81, Sanlitun North Street on the West side of the street, Chaoyang District Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区三里屯酒吧街81 号, 那里花园c301, 3.3大厦的南边
Tel: 010 5208 6068
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 10:30-20:30 (reservation recommended 1-2 days in advance.)

Dragonfly at Forbidden City and SanlitunView In Map
Add: 60 Donghuamen, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6527 9368
Opening hours: daily, 10:00-23:00 (for nail treatments)

Add: South Sanlitun road, Ground floor of Eastern Inn Chaoyang District,Beijing
Tel: 010 6593 6066
Opening hours: 10:00-23:00 (for nail treatments)

ZigZagView In Map

Add: 55B Wuaoying Hutong
Tel: 010 8404 0020
Opening hours: 11:00-23:00

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Keywords: where to get your nails done Beijing Beijing manicure pedicure waxing treatment Beijing nail spa Beijing

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3 Comments ( Add your comment )


Hello, just a note to say we have moved our location since 2011, we are no longer at Nali Patio but at Taiyue Heights on Sanlitun South street, just 600 meters South from Nali Patio. Feel free to visit our website !

Feb 10, 2017 21:43


Could you please tell me why it is important to use the correct tools and equipment for a waxing treatment?

Oct 26, 2010 14:10
Ashley Johnson

Hi Jemma!

Thanks for your question! Since waxing can leave tiny wounds on your skin (when the wax tape/paper is removed) this opens the follicles and exposes them to infectious diseases and/or bacteria. If your wax therapist uses a stick to dip into the wax, it's important that the therapist does not re-use the same stick... the reason? Imagine the client before you... if the therapist re-uses your stick, chances are they are re-using everyone else's stick too. So if the previous clients have any bacteria, disease, etc., it all gets put back into the wax if the therapist does not change sticks for each application (dip) and can be transferred to your open follicles.

I hope this answers your question!

Dec 27, 2010 00:47

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