The beauty game is big business in this region, with mani-pedis and blow-dries all part of most women’s weekly routines. Whether you’re a regular or someone who likes to treat themselves once in a while, no one wants to leave the spa feeling worse than when they arrived, but you can if you’re not careful.

A new campaign is highlighting the risk of beauty salons reusing dirty tools and towels, which can leave you with a painful infection rather than a pretty manicure or super-smooth legs.

Dubai Municipality’s ‘Be Aware’ initiative will teach customers to expect sterilised or disposable tools and fresh towels at salon appointments as a basic right and if they don’t, they should report it.

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Things to look out for include waxing strips or spreaders being reused, manicure tools or hairdressing scissors not being sterilised (so keep your eyes peeled for that telltale vat of blue disinfectant), and linen and tissue coverings not being changed between customers.

“Prevention is better than the cure. If customers are educated about disposable tools, they will protect themselves,” Marwan Al Mohammed, Director of the Health and Safety Department, told the Khaleej Times. “While we carry out intensive inspection drives on salons, wrong practices can still occur.”

The Be Aware campaign, which runs from June 26 to July 2, will see an increase in beauty salon inspections, and customers will also be educated about their basic rights during visits.

Read: How To Take Care Of Your Skin During Ramadan

From January to May of this year, 1,241 salons have been fined for breaching hygiene rules, with fines topping Dhs1 million, Khaleej Times reports.

So if you see disposable items being reused, a lack of sterilisation or general dirtiness, pick up the phone, dial 800900 and make a formal complain.

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Image: Getty