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Hate the Toxic Nail Salon Smell? Try MAK Nail Bar and Organic Spa and Breathe Easy

By Marina Jokic

Opening its doors to the public in 2014 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, the relatively young salon MAK Nail Bar and Organic Spa has pioneered the use of natural ingredients in its treatments. One of the few spas to follow the organic route, MAK delivers an indulgent experience through scrubs, massages, manicures, and waxing without the unhealthy side effects. Owner Angel Nguyen, a veteran in the industry since 2001, was intent on founding her salon, a place free of toxic chemical fumes.

"After a few years [of working in a nail salon], I had developed adult onset allergies to the [common chemicals of the] industry I am in love with," Nguyen said. "I didn't have many options: [either, I had to] switch careers or found a salon that offered fume-free and chemical-free services which was impossible to find [at the time]."

A pioneer at heart, Nguyen went forward with the idea to found her own ecologically conscious business. She was well aware of the health hazards posed by exposure to the countless chemicals found in nail polishes, acetones, massage lotions, and others. In 2011, her newborn son developed severe eczema and tried numerous prescription medications to no avail. Alongside her son's health issues, Nguyen herself was suffering from dermatological issues caused by her job.

"I decided to do some research on natural remedies and found many amazing benefits of using organic coconut and calendula oil," Nguyen said. "I started making homemade lotion and body wash with coconut and calendula oils for my son and [me, which healed us quickly]."

At MAK, you can expect the classic roster of spa treatments such as manicures and pedicures, massages, and scrubs. MAK's basic manicure actually includes a few little embellishments such as a vanilla lemon soak and lower arms and hands massage with lavender mint julep Shea butter cream. The Glam Manicure takes the experience to the next level by incorporating a lavender sea salt soak, fresh lime sugar exfoliation, and arms and hands massage with a luscious licorice blossom Shea butter cream.

Even the gel manicure uses a hybrid gel and polish material that lasts up to two weeks or more without using harmful chemicals. All cosmetic products used at MAK are proprietary blends of organic and natural ingredients sans the usual culprits like parabens, formaldehyde, and sulfates.

While enjoying a treatment at MAK, you might be inclined to try a complimentary mini-bar organic citrus and ginger tea, water, or a glass of their fresh mimosas. Enjoying these refreshments in a healthy, clean, and relaxing atmosphere is the ideal way to pamper yourself.

"It's been well documented that what you put on your skin ends up in your body," Nguyen said. "I believe it's really important to be fully aware of what's in the products you use."

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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