Thursday, January 17, 2019

Your Skin and the Silent Saboteur Stalking it

We have known for quite a while that the sun is Enemy No1 for skin cancer and skin ageing. 

However, there is another silent saboteur stalking our skin every day. What is less know is that air/ozone pollution is also a huge danger to our skin and can also cause pre-maturing ageing and all kind of other health problems.

Take care, it is coming!

We all know about ozone. That is the layer that occurs naturally in the earth’s upper atmosphere and protects us from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. 

There is another ozone layer: tropospheric ozone/ground level ozone/smog.  It is formed by the interaction of sunlight with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which are usually emitted by motor vehicles, coal fired power stations, factories and veld fires.

Recently it was published that Mpumalanga is the most polluted area in the world, so it is not just something that happens elsewhere, it is here and we need to take note of it. 
Greenpeace says an analysis of satellite data shows Mpumalanga as the “worst” nitrogen dioxide air pollution hot spot across six continents.

Ground level ozone causes damage to the skin via a process called oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralisation by antioxidants. In other words, ground ozone can cause depletion of natural antioxidants in the skin such as Vitamin A, C and E., therefore damaging the proteins and lipids in the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis).

The role of antioxidants is to protect the skin against free radical damage caused by environmental aggressors. Ozone pollution causes inflammation which causes of  line lines and wrinkles, excessive oiliness, rough texture and increased sensitivity.

Sunscreen will not protect your skin against ozone pollution. So it stands to reason that we should start looking at ingredients that can help with this problem.

I now routinely recommend using a topical antioxidant such as Vitamin A, C and E.

Vitamin A capsules for and instant skin boost

Vitamin A (retinol)

It has a proven successful record in treating the following:
Fine expression lines
Acne break outs
Free radical damaged caused by recent UV and Ground Ozone is minimised

Recommended At Home Product:

Vitaderm Skin-Perfection Capsules

Vitaderm Skin Perfection Capsules
Vitaderm Multi Vitamin Treatment Cream
Vitaderm Vitality Booster Mask

Vitamin C for cell protection and collagen formation
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

When natural, biologically-active vitamin C enters skin cells, it results in the following significant well-documented effects:
Formation of sun-spots are reduced and prevented
Free radical damaged caused by recent UV and Ground Ozone is minimized
It causes an Anti-ageing effect by stimulating collagen formation
Skin smoothness is enhanced

Recommended At Home Products:

Vitaderm Radian C Serum 

Vitaderm Multi Vitamin Treatment Cream
Vitaderm Vitality Booster Mask

Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E

Vitamin E (tocopheryl)

Protects against effect of free radicals.
Long term use can even reduce sunburns from exposure to UVB radiation.
Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Reduce the appearance of stretch marks
vitamin e can help prevent the appearance of age spots
Helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process
Reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function

Recommended At Home Products:

Vitaderm Hydrating Treatment Cream                  
Vitaderm Brightening Treament Cream
Vitaderm MultiVitamin Treatment Cream.
Vitaderm Firming Treatment Cream
Vitaderm  Anti-Oxidant Cream
Vitaderm Aromatic Complex
Vitaderm Lipid Complex

Please contact Gerda at 082 398 9817 for enquiries

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Your beautiful gel and acrylic manicure: Beauty or Beast?

Beauty or Beast?

Nail extension and overlays have been with us for more than 40 years and although the industry has grown and safer products are being used, there are still ingredients in use that are not-so-beautiful....

Before talking about these enhancements, one should have a look at the function of the normal nail.  No, I am not going to give you a nail anatomy class, just the basics.

Basic nail anatomy
The nail (nail plate) that we can see on the outside is formed form layers of keratin (not living tissue).  The nail plates lay on the nail bed (the living part) and protect the finger tips form damage and wear-and tear during our daily use of our hands.

The eponychium is the living tissue at the base of your nail that creates a protective seal with the nail plate and the nail bed.  This seal helps to keep bacteria out and the nail matrix (where the new cells are formed) healthy.  One should never, ever cut the eponychium. Not ever your manicurist/nail technician should do this. Please stop them immediately should the want to do that.  It is outside of their field of training to cut living tissue! If we damage any area of the nail plate that is attached to the nail bed, it can lead to inflammation and infections

The nail plate hardens when it comes into contact with oxygen (please note; nails do not breath!) So, it then stands to reason, that if you cover the nail plates with any artificial product, you stop the oxygen from reaching them and they will soften, weaken and break/tear/split.

During the nail enhancement treatment, the nails will be buffed to create a rough surface for the nail enhancements to adhere properly. If the nails are buffed too much the nail bed will become damaged and the nail plate may form ridges or dents and nail plates may lift (a happy place for bacteria to live in) or the nails may be permanently disfigured.

If nail extensions are glued on, the glue penetrates some of layer of the nail plate and further helps to soften and weaken the nail.
Natural nails-beautiful and healthy

Here is a list of the ingredients most commonly used in nail enhancements:

Ethyl and Methyl Methacrylate in Monomer Liquid and Polymer powder as well as gel and gel polish

MMA in its liquid form has been banned for use in the nail industry due to the severity of allergic reaction and damage to the natural nail plate. It adheres so tightly to the nail plate that it can literally rip the nail plate from the nail bed due to heavy pressure from a blow or trauma to the nail. MMA is so hard that it cannot be safely removed from the nail plate by soaking in any form of remover - it must be filed from the nail plate with a heavy abrasive.

It has been associated with:
Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract.
Repeated exposure resulted in drowsiness, dizzy spells, and trembling of the hands.
Prolonged usage may contribute to nail damage and deformities in nail growth.
Permanent loss of the nail plate
Loss of sensation in the fingertips
Potential miscarriages,
Kidney lesions,
Liver problems
Permanent respiratory issues—including cancer.

 Although both Europe and America has banned its use, it is still legal to use in most other countries.

Primers are used before any nail enhancements are applied the the nail to help the gel or acrylic to adhere better. It normally contains a fast-drying solvent like acetone or ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, throat and can cause narcosis and dermatitis.

Resin modifiers
Resin modifiers are added to the acrylic liquid and  powder to control the properties of the resin.  The most common is ethylene glycol dimethacrylate: According to Spectrum Chemical Company it is
hazardous in case of skin or eye contact and inhalation (

Everyone wants beautiful nails!

Although acetone has been safely used for many years, long term exposure of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system to acetone may produce mild symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, and disorientation and irritation of the eyes and skin

Be scared, be very scared........
In a survey conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists they research concluded that out of 742 people, 19% of those had "experienced adverse effects from acrylic nails applied in salons, and 16% from gel polish nails applied in salon”. The reactions included "nail damage and allergic dermatitis — itching and swelling on hands, eyelids, cheeks, and neck." Although very rare, the study pinpointed breathing problems as an issue, too. 

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology's following articles makes for interesting reading: 

Sorry to put a damper on your beautiful nails, but are you willing to take the risk?

Please also read: Beautiful nails, the natural

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