Infection Control

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 20:52 | Bonnie

3 Steps to Choosing Gloves: When, What and How

Infection Control
Latest News
While much of our recent pandemic focus has been on masks, let’s take a moment to talk about another aspect of safety protocol - glove usage. 
In the Ontario spa and esthetics field, the guidance around when to wear gloves comes from both Regulation 136/18 and the Guide to Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Service Settings, published by Public Health Ontario, and most recently revised in July 2019.
These days it seems like revised safety guidance is being issued almost daily by regional health units, and we're finding that there is often a significant variance from region to region. Narrowing in on just one aspect of safety in personal service settings, let's talk about when you might wear gloves during services, and which gloves to choose.
Just like everything to do with infection control, we’ll take a risk-assessment approach in deciding when to wear gloves. Once that decision has been made, then we can talk about what glove to wear and how to wear them.
Even before an esthetician, hairstylist, nail tech or any other worker (in a personal service setting) gets to their client, they have to consider the likelihood of coming in contact with blood or body fluids; contaminated surfaces/equipment; mucous membranes and non-intact skin. If it’s likely, then workers must wear gloves to protect their hands. If a worker has broken skin on their hands (i.e. rash, cuts, or even just mosquito bites), gloves need to be worn then too.
For estheticians and others who work in the industry, here’s the good news: A great-fitting glove will not only offer you protection from pathogens, but it will completely change the way you work – by improving your grip, dexterity and performance, while reducing hand fatigue.

Choosing a glove

Generally speaking, the best approach to finding a glove that works for your intended purpose is to choose the highest quality disposable glove at the best value. It’s good to calculate the cost per glove, but it’s also important to understand the difference between “price” and “value.”
First, let’s consider the differences between gloves made from the two most common materials, vinyl and nitrile:
  • Vinyl gloves are soft and comfortable; a good multi-purpose glove for general use. Newer vinyl styles have excellent elasticity, and vinyl tends to be lower cost.
  • Nitrile gloves are flexible, strong and durable. They are less likely to cause hand irritation, and are resistant to breaking. They are ideal for using when performing longer services, although they do tend to run at a little higher cost.
All of the gloves we offer are powder-free and latex-free (because of the risk of allergies).
Here are a few glove options to consider:
Sensicare Silk Nitrile

Sensicare Silk Nitrile - available in S,M,L

Soft and comfortable with the protection you need. They have lightly textured fingertips to give you a better grip on your tools, and the beaded cuff makes sure the glove doesn’t roll up your wrist when you’re working.


Restore Oat Nitrile

Restore Oat Nitrile - Available in S,M,L

All the hand washing and sanitizing can leave your hands dry, but Restore gloves are coated on the inside with a layer of colloidal oatmeal to soothe and retain moisture. Lightly textured fingertips for enhanced grip.

Aloetouch Vinyl

Aloetouch Vinyl - Available in S,M,L

Aloetouch gloves are more workable, more flexible and more resilient than other vinyl synthetic gloves, with the added benefit of freeze-dried organic aloe to help moisturize and soothe your hands.

How to Wear Your Gloves:

  • Select gloves that are appropriate to the task, and are well-fitting. 
  • When performing a longer service, nitrile gloves are recommended. 
  • Always wash and dry your hands before putting on a pair of gloves. Gloves should never replace proper hand-washing.
  • While wearing disposable gloves, don’t touch anything other than your client and your tools, and if you need to step away to get products or supplies, you need to remove gloves and get new ones when you come back.
  • Gloves are single-use and disposable, and need to be changed:
  • Between clients or different services on clients
  • When they’re dirty, contaminated or torn
  • After sneezing, coughing, or touching your hair or face
We're always glad to help you choose the best products for your needs, and we can help you get the best gloves for you.  Contact us to order, or to ask questions. You can also call or text 888-666-7683.
Mon, 07/06/2020 - 15:43 | Bonnie

Making the Most of Your PREempt Stash

Latest News
Infection Control
In the 14 years we have been in business, we have probably never used the phrase “supply chain” (until recently!), and probably couldn’t have even explained the concept if asked. What on earth does supply chain have to do with spa, right?
As it turns out, a lot.
Before we go any further, let’s explain what a supply chain is, especially as it relates to the salon, spa and wellness world.
A supply chain is the network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and transportation companies that work together to transform raw materials into finished products, and get those products to you. In fact, it includes you too. You are part of the supply chain that gets products and services to your customers.
When everything is working well (and we’re not in the middle of a pandemic!) the supply chain just works without us even thinking about it.
In the case of Virox, the manufacturer of PREempt Disinfectants, this means that bottles and caps for the products need to be available when employees produce the liquid from the raw ingredients of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide and detergents. When that’s done, the wooden pallets, the plastic shrink wrap and the truck have to be there to package and deliver the products to distributors so that it is waiting in our warehouse when you need it.
This post would get REALLY long if we talked about all the possible complications that can occur, but let’s just say that the way they’re running 24 hours a day, and with all the extra steps for protecting employees, challenges arise. Machine malfunction, and running out of caps are two of the potential problems when your production has to exponentially increase to meet the needs of hospitals, veterinary clinics, dental offices AND spas.
All this to say, it’s going to get easier. Virox has received a grant from the Ontario government to improve their production line, and with COVID-19 cases in Canada continuing to decrease, production will start to keep up with demand.
If you’ve made it this far (you probably weren’t expecting THIS kind of education, were you?), let’s talk about what you can do in the meantime to protect your business and your clients until the supply evens out.
1. Use these tips and tricks to extend your stash of PREempt disinfectants:
  • use a risk management approach to reserve PREempt RTU (Ready to Use) to clean and disinfect your high-risk surfaces. All the places touched by you and your clients throughout the day are considered high risk and should be disinfected between each client. PREempt RTU disinfects to an intermediate level, with a 3 MINUTE wet contact time.
  • for low risk environmental surfaces, like floors and walls and shelves and cupboards, clean daily with a quality all-purpose cleaner/disinfectant. Look for one with a DIN or NPN, and follow directions.
  • in a pinch, you can use alcohol or bleach to disinfect, AFTER cleaning, but you must ensure that the surface stays wet for a FULL 10 MINUTES to reach the level of disinfection needed. Check Public Health Ontario's Guide for dilution requirements for bleach and alcohol.
2. Consider disinfectable covers for your high-investment equipment such as massage tables. They are more resistant to the damaging effects of alcohol and bleach.
3. Consider using more single-use supplies. It’s important to be cost-effective and environmentally responsible, but you don’t have to disinfect items that will be disposed of. Saving time and disinfectant will also save you money. (Bear in mind that when you use a basin liner for your pedicure basins, you still need to disinfect the basin)
4. Take our online infection control course to get clarity on Canadian requirements using a risk-assessment approach. This is much more than a product knowledge course, and it’s FREE.
If you have more questions, we’re always happy to help. Message us on our web chat, on Facebook, or on Instagram. You can even send us a text message at 888-666-7683.
Tue, 03/03/2020 - 18:35 | Bonnie

Coronavirus and the spa/esthetics industry: Looking at the issue with a common-sense approach

Infection Control
By now, we are all probably REALLY tired of hearing about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 
Let’s just talk about what you need to know about this virus in the salon, spa and wellness centre environment.  Estheticians and spa therapists perform personal services in close contact with their clients, and that’s the job. We’ll keep it simple, and relate things back to what you already know.
A few key points:
  • COVID-19 virus has a “basic reproduction” (R0) factor of between 2-3, which means, on average, each person who has the virus will infect 2-3 other people. This number will likely change as researchers learn more about the virus and the illness it causes. How long a person is contagious, and how quickly an illness spreads is kind of variable.  For context, the seasonal flu has an R0 factor of 2-3, and measles is somewhere around 12. Public health efforts will offer the best solution to dealing with the situation.
  • The pathogen, and the disease it causes, is transported by droplet, which needs to contact the eye, mouth or nose to be transferred. A droplet is relatively large, and will fall to a surface pretty quickly.
  • Coronavirus is an “enveloped virus”, which means it’s one of the easiest pathogens to kill on a surface
  • This virus lives on a surface for about 7 days (compare that to Norovirus that can live on a surface for up to 3 weeks)
What to do to protect yourself and your clients:
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to an intermediate level daily (use PREempt RTU following directions on the label)
    • Focus on manicure tables, client chairs, massage tables, telephones, doorknobs and washrooms
  • Wash hands using running water and liquid hand soap frequently, and ask your clients to do the same before any service. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you don’t have easy access to running water.
  • Avoid touching your face (which isn’t good for your skin anyway!)
  • Ensure an adequate supply of quality gloves for performing services
  • Have a steady supply of single use paper towel or hand towels that are laundered after a single use
  • Masks are not an effective preventative for the virus, but they’re still important when performing services that result in debris (such as filing nails) or in the potential presence of fungus (such as a pedicure)
  • Encourage guests to rebook their appointments (without penalty) if they start to feel ill
  • Encourage staff to stay home (without penalty) if they’re not feeling well
At the end of the day, the best advice is not to panic, but have a healthy respect for the care of your own health as well as the health of those around you.
This information is based on publicly available knowledge, as well as the experience gained from teaching infection control to the spa and wellness industry over the past several years. Of course, this can’t be construed as medical advice.
Wed, 08/10/2016 - 14:58 | Bonnie

On The Right Track With Classes

Infection Control
Spa Therapies

I first started to care about infection control when it affected my friends and family. First my mother-in-law acquired an infection when she visited the hospital for a simple test. Then, a good friend of mine acquired a highly contagious c. difficile infection when he went to the emergency department to get treatment for pneumonia.

While the risks for spa clients, estheticians, and spa therapists are fewer than for those who work in or go to hospital, it’s still a real risk. No matter the type of spa, whether it’s a high-end destination, a comfortable home-based location, or your busy and cheerful salon, the risk remains. Without vigilance, spa clients are susceptible to blood-, water-, and air-borne pathogens such as mycobacterium, staph, strep, and norovirus.

I think we all recognize the need for knowledge in infection prevention and control, but we know it’s not sexy. It is, however, one of the best pieces of education for workers in the spa industry – because it shows that we’re committed to helping our clients, even when it’s not all sparkly nail polish or blemish-free skin.

I’m so pleased to be fighting for clean and disinfected tools and surfaces, and to support estheticians and other spa therapists to become confident about their abilities to provide the safest space for their clients and staff. While I’ve felt pretty good about the work that I’ve been doing, recently I got a boost from two different areas of the infection control industry.

First was a visit from the manager of the Toronto BodySafe program, who attended a recent course. I was worried at first about why she wanted to be there, but when I met her I was reassured that her primary focus was to raise the bar in the industry, and to keep it safe for all of us.  On a break, I asked her how I was doing, and I believe her word was “fabulous”. How flattering and heartening that we seem to be on the right road with our education!

I was even more nervous when the Technical Specialist at Virox Technologies also registered for our course. What if the information I was presenting was incomplete? I was so pleased when she felt that I was knowledgeable, and she added some interesting scientific tidbits to the discussion.

Won’t you join us for one of our next series of classes? Register for a 4 hour class in Windsor, Kingston, Ottawa, Huntsville, Durham Region or Hamilton. It may not be as sexy as the latest nail art or as sophisticated as your trendy facial, but there will always be interesting stories, fascinating concepts to learn, and you can be confident that in everything you do, you’re bringing your best to your clients.

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