GREENSBORO, N.C. — Dipping powder, also known in the beauty industry as SNS, is a popular technique to paint nails advertised as being better for the nail and longer-lasting.

But you might not get those benefits - if the technician doesn't apply it properly.
Many nail salons just reuse the same powder - and dip other customers' nails into it.

According to Lynda Elliot, Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners, "any product that has been in coming into contact with with a client, has to be thrown away after that contact," under Title 21 of the NC Administrative Code section 14H.0403(j).

She explains that when used properly, dipping powder needs to be transferred from the clean original container into smaller portions for the customer to dip their nails. The remainder of the product in the used container has to be thrown. No questions asked, otherwise there's risk of infection.

"Any time multiple people touch or use the same thing, there is the potential of transmission of bacteria and viruses among multiple people," said Dr. Robert Cannon, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at UNCG.

Elliot shared that since January 1, 2019, the Board has received 24 complaints that contain reference to SNS/Dipping Powder.

She says that if you ever notice improper use of a product at your salon, you have the right to request clean utensils or product to continue your service.

Unfortunately, a Board inspector must witness the improper use in order for the salon or esthetician to be penalized, but you can file a complaint in writing to the NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners here.