Nail Salon Birmingham AL
Mind Your Manicures
By Lindsey Galloway
Natural nails have never been more in style. Many spas and salons across the country have scratched those artificial acrylic tips from their repertoire, and most dermatologists advise against cutting back cuticles or applying toxic polishes. As awareness increases about the dangerous chemicals in many cosmetics, even mainstream nail polish companies have reworked their formulas in favor of better health. But don’t let that lull you into a false sense of complacency: Questionable chemicals still abound in many products. To keep your nail knowledge from getting rusty, we’ve gathered the best solutions for playing your hands right.
Our nails need a daily dose of moisture, just like our skin. But since nails are made of a more compact, dense protein, they probably won’t absorb much of your delicate facial moisturizer, says Clayton, Missouri-based dermatologist Jerry Aronberg, MD. Look for a thicker emulsion, such as a cream made specifically for hands. These often contain humectants like glycerin and honey that attract a hefty dose of water from the air. The extra moisture will protect your nails from the dehydrating detergents and soaps they come in contact with throughout the day.
Soft, pliable cuticles indicate that your nails are producing and retaining enough natural oil, but avoid pushing them back too far; you’ll only expose the nail bed to bacteria and fungi. Totally removing the cuticle invites the same risk for infection, so be gentle.
If you get a pesky hangnail (usually a sign of dehydrated cuticles), soak your fingertip in olive oil for 10 minutes and then trim it with an alcohol-sterilized trimmer. Rub a little tea tree oil on the area afterward to prevent infection.
You never want to cut your nails short enough to disrupt the living tissue beneath, but leaving them too long will put them at an increased risk for daily traumas. “Anyone who has to use a fine touch in their profession should keep his or her nails trimmed to avoid injury,” says Aronberg. This includes carpenters, mechanics, and even those who do a lot of typing or piano playing. “The constant banging of the nails against the keys can cause small hemorrhages, which appear as purplish splinter-like streaks,” he explains. “Over time, it can even lift the nail from the nail bed.”
When using an emery board, file in one direction only from edge to center (as opposed to a sawing motion) so you don’t weaken the nail.
Thanks to worldwide consumer pressure, most well-known nail polish companies have removed the hormone-disrupting chemical dibutyl phthalate from their polishes, as well as serious allergens like toluene and formaldehyde, both of which can cause the nail plate to lift off the nail bed and become permanently disfigured.
This may sound like a huge step forward for the mainstream beauty market, but don’t be fooled: Most have simply swapped one toxic and flammable chemical for another, usua...
Author: Lindsey Galloway
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