Frequently Asked Questions
DISCUSSION AROUND ALLERGIES & INFECTIONS
Since TGB was born in 2015, the health & safety of our customers & their clients always has and will be our priority. We are a professional brand, selling only to those who are qualified to use our products to ensure products are applied correctly & safely.
All TGB Academy courses are fully accredited and approved by the Guild of Beauty Therapists. We have a dedicated chemistry and compliance team to ensure we go above & beyond the safety testing requirements.
All our suppliers have passed the ISO22716 audit meaning we only use the best & safest partners. All TGB products have under 20% HEMA concentration level (which falls below the 30-35% recommended limit). Original BIAB™ has 17% concentration, All in One BIAB™ has 8% and all other products fall under 20% concentration. We have an incredibly low reaction rate (in 2022-23, of the 11 million BIAB™ services we had a reaction rate of 0.004%). All our formulations are externally tested to ensure the correct concentrations are adhered to. We have additional due diligence checks on all raw material data sheets and certificate of analysis (COA, TDS, MSDS).
TGB have a strong working relationship with Trading standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and are members of the CTPA. We have joined the Cosmetovigilance Advisory Group and the working group with dermatologists from the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy (BSCA).
We continue to work tirelessly to constantly improve our own & the industries knowledge on best practices. Our customer care team are always here if you have any questions.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Our products are manufactured in the UK, EU and the Far East. This information can be found on the bottle as per legal requirements. All our suppliers have passed ISO 22716 audit. ISO 22716 is an international standard of good manufacturing practices (GMP) for the cosmetics manufacturing industry and describes the basic principles of applying GMP in a facility that produces finished cosmetic products.
There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding cosmetic products manufactured in the Far East. TGB ensures all our manufacturers (regardless of country of origin) under go an audit carried out by Intertek ensuring safety manufacturing process and ethical working environments. As all our products have CPSRs which assure transparency on raw materials.
Gel polish raw materials which are mainly polymers and pigments are mainly sourced from the US. 80% of all raw materials used by TGB are from the US/ EU.
When a product is sold within the EU it legally needs to comply with the strict UK/ EU Cosmetic 1223/2009 regulations - regardless of manufacturing country. This includes stability testing, user trials and ensures each product has a Safety assessment (CPSR) - an assessment of safety of human health for every finished Cosmetic Product before it is placed on the market.
When it comes to product quality and safety, the importance for safety is how the product is developed, tested and where raw materials are sourced from, it is irrelevant where a product is manufactured.
WHAT IS AN SDS?
A safety data sheet (SDS) is a document that provides safety information about a particular chemical product, whether a single chemical or a compound blend. Finished cosmetic products are exempt from the legislation requiring the provision of a 16-point Safety Data Sheet (SDS). However, cosmetic ingredients as raw materials or a bulk of a cosmetic product are not exempt.
This is not a formula sheet, and will not contain information on the cosmetic formula. The SDS provides information for safe storage and transportation, ensuring customers/ employees have the correct information required for safe working.
Where you read the concentration level of an ingredient such as HEMA, this is the amount of active ingredient per total weight of a substance. Which means the actual amount in a 20ml is much lower!
There is 17% of HEMA in all BIAB products and we also offer our All In One BIAB™ range which has half the amount of HEMA at 8% which is well below the recommended limit of 30%.
TGB PRODUCT APPLICATION GUIDE
We have put together this TGB Product Application Guide for you to use as guidance when applying our products. PRODUCT APPLICATION GUIDE
First things first: Cosmetic products are one of the safest products available to consumers. All cosmetics sold in the UK are regulated by very strict European laws (specifically the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation1223/2009).
This law requires ALL products sold in the EU to undergo an in-depth safety assessment by an unbiased, qualified cosmetic safety assessor (who specialises in this law) to ensure that the product is safe to use and contains no harmful ingredients. All of this has to happen before the product is ever sold.
However, it is true that almost any substance, natural or man-made can cause a reaction in somebody, somewhere. Some people are even allergic to water! Everybody is different and we may find that one person has a reaction to something that thousands of people use without any problems. For example, some people can eat Peanuts safely, whilst some can have severe allergies to them.
Unless a company gets feedback from its consumers about any undesirable effects, it will not know if reactions are occurring. Whilst these reactions can be very stressful and unfortunate for those who experience them, it rarely means the product is unsafe for the general population - just this individual. This is why it’s super important to always contact the cosmetics company directly via their customer helplines (i.e not social media or other informal means) if you’ve experienced an undesirable reaction. FYI: you can always reach us via [email protected].
The law requires companies to keep records of and review all undesirable effects (we absolutely do at the rare chance they occur) so that they can ensure safety assessments are always up to date.
Most of the time a reaction will clear up by itself after the product has been stopped being used. People may use a product several times, or even for years until a reaction occurs. Unless this reaction clears up quickly, it is important to always seek medical advice and to try and opt to see a dermatologist who will be able to assess the issue and often, what caused it.
The causes of these reactions (itchiness, rashes on the face, arms or nails, nail plate lifting or blistering) are almost always are linked to exposure of uncured acrylates. Acrylates are safe to use in cosmetics and they are a key ingredient in all artificial nail products but it is absolutely key to use them properly and safely to avoid a reaction.
When performing UV/LED Gel Nails or an acrylic nail treatment it is absolutely important to seek out reputable products and to use them correctly to avoid the above reactions occurring. Any nail products sold on the EU market MUST comply with the EU Cosmetics Products Regulation 1223/2009. This is considered to be the gold standard for cosmetic safety across the global nail industry and all products need to be assessed by an independent scientific professional to ensure all ingredients and levels of ingredients are absolutely safe for the general and intended use.
Often in the nail world, undesirable effects aren’t caused directly by the product, but by an incorrect or unsafe application. So how can you make sure you aren’t putting your clients at risk?
TIPS FOR SAFE APPLICATION
- Understand the product you’re ..
We might use it every day, but do you actually know what UV Gel is? UV Gel Nails require curing or hardening by ultraviolet (UV) or UV LED lamp. The gel is usually a mix of short urethane polymers and methacrylate polymers (such as 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and a photo initiator which is the ingredient required to begin something called the polymerisation process. The gel is then sculpted onto the natural nail to form the final shape and cured under a lamp which emits UV energy.
- Avoid Skin Contact
Safe use requires that any artificial nail system must not be allowed to contact any part of the skin and must only come into contact with the nail itself. This requires very careful, well educated, professional application.
“Allergies arising from the misuse of acrylates (gel and acrylic products) can be reduced with education and correct usage.” - CTPA Artificial Nail Guideline
- Only Apply to Healthy Nails
Nails must not be damaged before applying gel polish. Damaged nails could increase absorption of the ingredient and thus the risk of developing reactions. You should never remove nail ridges or apply gel polish to nails that are cracked, split or bruised. If the surrounding skin is looking sore, inflamed or broken then you should also not apply any gel.
- Wear Appropriate Gloves
Wear nitrile gloves of at least 0.8mm when applying the product and removing any uncured gel. Treat any tissues or wipes containing uncured gel as contaminated and do not handle them unless wearing gloves or allow them to touch the skin under any circumstances. You should never reuse gloves and washing them will not remove the material - it will only put you at risk of reaction. You should practice a technique that ensures you do not touch the contaminated fingers of the gloves when removing them.
- Using the correct lamp
As explained above, reactions are very rarely caused by the product, but by contact with the skin of uncured gel. Thus it is extremely important to use the correct lamp to make sure the gel is correctly and fully cured. This lamp should be tested for compatibility with the brand of gel which you are applying. It is not possible to tell if the product is fully cured just by looking at or touching the gel, so you must always follow the manufacturers' instructions and cure for the full amount of time in the correct lamp. The TGB UV/LED lamp (wavelength 365+405nm) is 48W and safe to use with all of our products.
- Don’t over-file
It’s easy to forget that nails are a delicate part of our body and they can be affected by trauma. Think - when a nail gets caught in a car door or your stub your toe, it can cause significant bruising or even for the nail to come off completely. The same can happen if you over file a nail or if you change gels too often. Opt for a product that has good lasting times (we provide an average of 4 weeks chip free) to ensure you are not over filing and causing any trauma to the nail plate.
- Follow facts, not speculation.
It’s important to remember that not everything you see on social media is true and that not everybody who claims to be an expert is. Always make sure you do your own independent research with your educator and check any queries with an unbiased science or health professional before following the advice offered on social media, particularly if the advice is not coming from a proven qualified nail or science professional or if you think the advice-giver may have an agenda to push. Trust your instinct, you are a qualified professional and you know your routine - what can you do to make that safer?
Always remember that we don’t just make these rules to be ‘strict’ or to get you to purchase products. It’s super important to follow manufacturer instructions so that you can be absolutely certain of safe, reaction-free use.
All our products are tested and are compliant with EU cosmetic standard and law (a.k.a the gold standard - yeah baby!) and are designed with both nail tech and customer safety as an absolute priority.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF TGB
We never created The GelBottle Inc. with the intention to create profit - that’s where we like to think we’re different. TGB was created to supply Daisy’s Nail Company and it was the results our customers experienced that practically forced us to share our goodies with the world. In the last 3 years, we’ve grown hugely and that’s all down to you guys and the amazing results you give your clients. That’s why we’re such a stickler for product safety, education and why we’re so glad this conversation is happening.
Being women in business, we think it’s super important not to use an opportunity for education and empowerment to point fingers and diminish other amazing people and products in our industry. Let’s celebrate everybody and all make an oath to constantly learn as much as we can about the products we use, who makes them, what goes into them and how we use them.
STILL GOT QUESTIONS?
If you’re ever unsure about any of the above, or if you’ve contracted an undesirable reaction please contact us via [email protected] or 0333 772 0965. We are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and are always available to help and answer your queries where we are qualified to do so. There’s no such thing as a silly question, so ask away!