Frequently Asked Questions
The Gel Bottle creates and owns the much-loved BIAB™ polishes - a professional-only gel nail treatment. At The Gel Bottle, we take compliance and safety incredibly seriously to ensure the best results for techs and clients.
The below FAQ has been developed to answer common questions around allergies and BIAB™ polishes, in the extremely rare case a reaction may occur.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is the response of the body's immune system to normally harmless substances. You can become allergic to almost anything and people can develop allergies to commonly used products.
Can allergies happen with BIAB™ polishes?
BIAB™ polishes are safe to be used by professionals who are qualified to use our products. Most BIAB™ treatments are completely safe and result in no problems. In extremely rare cases, people can experience an allergic reaction.
At The Gel Bottle, we have an incredibly low reaction rate. In 2022/23, of the 11 million BIAB™ treatments in the UK, we had a reaction rate of 0.004% which equates to under 500 reactions. This is well below the industry average.
What causes allergies with BIAB™ polishes?
An allergic reaction can be caused by many triggers, such as the incorrect use of the BIAB™ product, and so it is very important to seek immediate medical attention if a reaction occurs.
What do I do if an allergic reaction does happen with BIAB™ polishes?
You should contact a medical professional immediately.
The safety of nail technicians and clients is our number one priority. While allergies are extremely rare, we have a strict allergies protocol in place and take any incident extremely seriously.
We would ask anyone who has experienced an allergy with a BIAB™ polish to get in touch with us so that we can launch a full investigation.
How do you ensure the safety of your BIAB™ polishes?
The safety of techs and clients is our number one priority. All the ingredients in The Gel Bottle BIAB™ polishes are safe to use, and we adhere to the most stringent, industry-leading safety and testing standards in the UK, which are independently audited.
Here are just some of the ways we ensure the safety and compliance of our BIAB™ products:
- We have a dedicated scientific and compliance team to ensure we go over and above with our safety and testing requirements
- All of our suppliers have passed the ISO 22716 audit, meaning we only use the best and safest partners
- We have a strong working relationship with Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)
- We comply with the UK/EU Cosmetic 1223/2009 regulations which includes stability testing, user trials and ensures each product has a safety assessment (CPSR) before it is placed on the market
- All of our manufacturers undergo an independent audit conducted by Intertek to ensure a safe manufacturing process and an ethical working environment
- All of our Academy courses are accredited and approved by the Guild of Beauty Therapists
- We are accredited by ABT
How do you ensure the audits of your BIAB™ polishes are independent?
We work with our partner Intertek on independent, third-party inspections to ensure a safe manufacturing process and an ethical working environment.
Intertek is a market-leading total quality assurance provider to industries worldwide. The company has been operating for more than 130 years and has more than 44,000 employees in over 100 countries. More information about Intertek's compliance and governance can be found here.
What about HEMA in your BIAB™ polishes, should I be worried about that?
No. We follow the EU Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009, which includes cosmetovigilance. We also ensure we are in line with Annex restrictions and SCCS guidance. All The Gel Bottle BIAB™ polishes have under 20% HEMA concentration level, which falls below the 30% recommended limit.
Where you read the concentration level of an ingredient such as HEMA for BIAB™ polishes, this is the amount of active ingredient per total weight of a substance. This means the actual amount in a 20ml is much lower!
What lamp should I be using for TGB polishes?
You should check the wattage of the lamps, wavelength, correct heat mode and the time it takes to cure the nail. This is essential, as under curing the nail can cause issues such as allergies.
The Gel Bottle UV/LED lamp is 48W and has a wavelength of 365+405nm. The curing time and heat mode will depend on the BIAB™ polish you are using, so always check the instructions to ensure that this is being applied correctly.
This lamp should cover 9,000 hours of use which, for a regular nail tech, should last approximately one year. It is safe to use with all our TGB polishes and each lamp comes with a one-year warranty.
Can I use TGB products at home?
No. All The Gel Bottle polishes, essentials and BIAB™ are professional-only products. Only professional techs with the right training and qualifications can use our products.
How do the professional techs use the products?
Professional nail techs need to go through a rigorous training programme to ensure they have the skills and qualifications to use The Gel Bottle Products, including our BIAB™ polishes.
Why can BIAB™ polishes only be used by professionals?
Gel nail polishes like BIAB™ need to be applied correctly to ensure the safety of both the tech and clients. Incorrect use can lead to issues such as allergies and so it is important that only qualified techs use professional products.
Should products made in certain countries be avoided?
No. There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation regarding cosmetic products produced in parts of the world like China.
Our TBG polishes are manufactured in the UK, EU and China. We ensure that all of our manufacturers, regardless of country of origin, abide by the strictest health and safety standards.
All of our suppliers have passed the ISO 22716 audit and we comply with the UK/EU Cosmetic 1223/2009 regulations which include stability testing, user trials and ensures each product has a safety assessment (CPSR) before it is placed on the market. All of our manufacturers also undergo an independent audit conducted by Intertek to ensure a safe manufacturing process and an ethical working environment.
What is an SDS?
A safety data sheet (SDS) is a document that provides safety information about a particular chemical product. 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.
Why do you not allow people to post about TGB polish allergies on your social channels?
The safety of techs and clients is our number one priority. Companies are required to regulate posts about medical issues, such as allergies, to protect the health and wellbeing of customers.
With open forums like social media, there is a risk that unsolicited advice from users who do not have the correct medical qualifications could cause more harm.
Our advice to anyone experiencing an allergy is to seek immediate medical attention.
Am I insured to use gel nail polishes like BIAB™ that contain safe levels of acrylates?
Yes. The Guild of Beauty Therapists has advised that insured members would be covered to continue using gel polish providing that the products meet UK requirements and are safe to use.
If a client did experience an allergic reaction to a product, the insured member must stop using this on the client and ask them to seek immediate medical advice. The insured member must then report the incident to The Guild of Beauty Therapists who would notify the insurers.
We are also accredited by ABT.
If you have any questions that have not been answered by the above, please contact: [email protected].