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 (https://www.spectrumchemical.com/MSDS/E0190.PDF)

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 way....at https://agbeautysalon.blogspot.com/2015/10/beautiful-nails-natural-way.html

Monday, July 30, 2018

Nutrition and Skin Health-supplements for all skin problems

Good nutrition is vital for skin health

Nutrition is such a fundamental part of our health and well-being. Without proper nutrition our bodies cannot function properly and we will get ill.

I cannot stress it enough; we need to eat well to be well. With that I mean fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds in their raw states where possible. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol and fizzy drinks. Eat much less meat, sugar, saturated fats and dairy. 

Nutrition is very important at every stage of our skin development. For healthy skin we need collagen which our bodies make from Vitamin C. To maintain healthy collagen and elastin we need anti-oxidants which our bodies get from Vitamin A, C and E and others. We need fatty acids to keep our skin’s sebum in good health which we get from nuts and seeds. I can go on and on….

As we all know by now, we don’t always get enough vitamins and minerals from our diet and therefore it is a good idea to supplement as well with at least:
  • A good multivitamin and mineral from a natural source
  • 1000mg Vitamin C
  • Cal/Mag in the correct ratio 1:2 ie 400g magnesium to 800g calcium
  • Omega 3 and 6
  • PLUS any other vitamins as discussed under each skin type/condition/problem

Eat healthy

Ageing skin
According to Dr Nicolas Perricone “ageing is just an inflammatory process”
So, we need to slow down inflammation in our bodies. With this mind, we need to look at nutrients that are anti-inflammatory and that will give our bodies the best change to fight oxidative stress.
The ideal anti-ageing diet will therefore be rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 and anti-oxidants.

For optimal skin care we need to supplement with the following:
  • Vitamin C buffered with Calcium -1000mg
  • Omega 3 –loading dose followed by maintenance load*
  • Good multivitamin of natural origin
  • Vitamin A-2000 to 2500 iu

Remember to take your supplements
Dry Skin
Contributing factors for dry skin (lacking in oil) include a lack of essential fatty acids, Vitamin A as well as water.  Diets should be high in essential fatty acids from seeds and their oils, but low in saturated fat.  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables that contain large amount of water. Limit alcohol and coffee intake.

For optimal skin care we need to supplement with the following:
  •  Essential fatty acids such as flax (omega3) and evening primrose oil or borage oil (omega6)
  • Vitamin A 5000iu                  
  • Vitamin E 200 to 400 iu
  • Vitamin B6
  •  Zinc
  • Vitamin C buffered with Calcium -500mg

    Fresh food is best!
Oily Skin
In treating oily skin we should respect the oil/water balance of the skin in order to reduce the oiliness, but keep the skin healthy and comfortable. By removing too much oil topically, the skin will try and re-adjust the lipid levels and produce more oil. It is much more effective to also help from within.

For optimal skin care we need to supplement with the following:
  • Lecithin capsules- 400mg
  •  Vitamin C buffered with Calcium -1000mg

Acne skin
Acne-prone skin should ideally be treated both topically and systemic. Vitamin A plays a major role in treating acne. Vitamin A has been used for many years and is a tried and tested regime. It, however, important to note the following:
Vitamin A is an oil-soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver.  Therefore it is possible to take too much and poison your body (hypervitaminosis). 

All Vitamin A therapies are prohibited for the following individuals:
  • Anyone who has been on Roaccutane or similar treatments within the last 3 months
  • Anyone who is trying to fall pregnant within a few months’ time.

Fruits are needed for good health and well-being

For optimal skin care we need to supplement with the following:
  • Vitamin A therapy
  •   Lecithin capsules

After the Vitamin A therapy to control breakouts:
  • Vitamin B3
  • Zinc

Please contact me for an appointment so that I can discuss the therapy with you and monitor your progress

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

What’s in a massage?

Love yourself, get a massage.

Wikipedia defines “massage” as follows; “Massage is to work and act on the body with pressure. Massage techniques are commonly applied with hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a device. The purpose of massage is generally for the treatment of body stress or pain”

There are many massage techniques and practitioners are always looking at ways to improve the basics and make it more effective.

When most people think of massages, they will think of “Swedish Massage”. Swedish Massage takes its name from a 19th-century Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling, whose system of medical gymnastics included massage.  Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) later re-organised it into the modern system that we know today as the “Swedish massage” system. Swedish massage is defined by five techniques, which have French names: effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic choppings), and friction (rubbing).

Aromatic oils and creams enhance the massage treatment

Deep Tissue Massage differs from Swedish Massage in the sense that Deep Tissue Massage is used to break down scar tissue and muscle knots that affect the normal function of the tissue and muscles. It usually focuses on a specific problem and are not a general relaxing massage as Swedish.

Lomi lomi is the word used today to mean "massage therapist" or "Hawaiian massage." In the Hawaiian language, the word used traditionally, called lomi, means "to knead, to rub, or soothe; to work in and out, as the paws of a contented cat.” (Wikipedia)

This definition only touch on the true meaning of what a Hawaiian lomi lomi massage is. Traditionally it is much more than just a massage technique and although the western massage therapists are trained in this unique form of massage, we will probably never reach the heights in our treatments that the traditional Polynesians have in theirs.

"A Lomi Lomi usually commences with a stillness between the practitioner and client, often with the practitioners hands gently resting on the clients back," says Tracey Lakainapali. "In this stillness the practitioner will quietly say a blessing or prayer asking for whatever healing is needed to take place during the massage. Alternatively or as well, the client may be asked to set their intention for any healing they would like to receive. The masseuse then works very intuitively with the client. In this respect there is no set format or sequence for the massage and no two massages will ever be identical"

Thai Massage moves away from the stroking, relaxing and kneading techniques of the other massages and uses stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques to relieve tension and enhance flexibility and range of motion. It is sometimes painful and uncomfortable, but the massage therapist should then adjust her technique and movements to ease up on the pressure.

No matter which massage technique you prefer, massage has a wide range of benefits and can help with the following:
Relieve tension headaches
Reduce types of back pain
Relieve joint stiffness and pain
Increase flexibility and range of motion
Stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage
Boost energy
Calm the nervous system
Relax and calm down muscle tension and spasms
Release blocked energy

Come and experience our massage therapy. We do not cut corners.

Contact Gerda at gerda@agbeautysalon.co.za or Cell 0823989817

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Belated New Year’s Resolutions? No, this is a New You Resolution!

I do not really believe in New Year’s resolutions. I tried it so many times when I was younger and it never lasted longer than about mid-February. It was only when I revisited the whole concept during last December that I realized what I did wrong all those years. I was too ambitious and wanted to either change the world, or myself, in one huge blow!

Slowly can also get you there…

I have written down some of my personal thoughts about this here, but this is a more beauty and health-specific list that I hope you will strive to get right too:

Always, always wear sun block:
I am talking huge numbers: SPF 50, at least. Yes, I know that most beauticians will gasp and clutch their hearts in shock! The norm is that the higher the number, the higher quantities of chemicals it contains. Rest easy, those jumping hearts! Read more here about taking care in the sun. I have the Perfect Sun Block SPF 50+ for you:
Essel DNA Epinew SPF 50+ Spray-on Face and Body Sun Screen
Essel DNA-Epinew Sunscreen Protection Spray SPF50+ : R 380/150ml SPF 50+ Spray-on face and body sunscreen with added Vitamin A,C and E. UVA and UVB protection with Anti-Oxidants, Water resistant.

Clean your skin every night.
Please do not skip this, no matter how tired and sleepy you are. It only takes about 5 minutes, but you will see the benefits of this quickly.  Store everything you need in a pretty container in your bathroom, so that it is easy to get hold of when you clean your skin at night. Follow the steps here to get a beautiful clean and well-cared-for skin before you go to bed.

Vitaderm Pre-Cleanse R255/150ml
Vitaderm Pre-Cleanse
Vitaderm Pre-Cleanse is a completely water-soluble oil-gel suitable for all skin types.  It can be used as a make-up remover prior to normal cleansing or it can take the place of one’s cleanser. For oily and acne skin, it is best to use a gel cleanser afterwards to cleanse the skin. Vitaderm Pre-Cleanse is popular with men as a shaving product.

Every woman needs an eye cream
Every women 25 years of age and older must use an eye cream every morning and night.  The younger ladies can look at a cream that hydrates and moisturize to keep the skin around your eyes supple and comfortable. You can start looking at an anti-ageing cream in your thirties or younger, if you have very dry skin.

The popular Vitaderm Eye Lift Gel with roll-on ball. R395/20ml

Vitaderm Eye Lift Gel

This eye gel helps boost hydration and brightens the delicate area around the eyes. The Eyeseryl®  protein peptide content assists in reducing dark  circles and puffiness,  whereas the AcquaCell® 
extract softens the appearance of fine lines and  wrinkles.  The Pullulan starch content helps firm  the skin, whist the hyaluronic acid content further boosts hydration. Witch hazel and aloe vera extract helps to soothe and decongests the area

Do not over-exfoliate
Yes, one should exfoliates regularly, but please no more than once a week for oily skins and once every 2-3 weeks for all other skin types ( more gasping and clutching!)

The more you exfoliate and stress your skin, the more oil it will excrete-it is a simple as that!  The more oil you see on your skin, the more you exfoliate, the more oil you will see- a vicious circle…

I have experienced this first hand in my teens, as I always struggled with oily and acne skin.  Stop that scrubbing and I promise you your skin will start to behave and settle. Your exfoliator is NOT the product to use to get you oiliness and acne under control.

Be gentle with your skin.

Drink that water.
Water consumption is so important, please drink at least 1.5.to 2 liters every day.  We need water to: Regulate our body temperature
Cushioning and lubricating our joints
Protect tissues and organs
Moisturise our nose, eyes, mouth
Carry oxygen and nutrients to cells
Aid in digestion
Protect central nervous system, brain and spinal cord
Help to dissolve nutrients, minerals and to make them accessible to the body
Clear out waste via perspiration, urination and bowel movements
Reduce the burden on liver and kidneys by eliminating waste

Drink-up! Your body needs it.

Get enough sleep
In years gone past, our many-times-over-great-grannies got at least 10 hours sleep per night. They got up with the dawn and went to sleep when the first stars showed. That is how we should treat our bodies today as well. Get at least 7-8 hours sleep. Your body needs to heal and to rest. Too little sleep leads to depression, anxiety, hyperactivity and other mood disorders. 

Sleep, what a wonderful thing!

Have a wonderful time taking care of yourselves!

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