Nail Salons May Spread Fungal Infections

Getting a manicure or a pedicure is like playing Russian roulette. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a nasty fungal nail infection that could ruin your nails!

This warning comes from Dr. Marta J. VanBeek, assistant professor, Department of Dermatology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, who said that while most nail salons conscientiously keep their places clean, some are perfect breeding grounds of stubborn fungi that can compromise your health.

“Look at the salon with cleanliness in mind and ask yourself these questions: Are the stations clean? Does the nail technician wash her hands between clients? Are there dirty implements lying around? If the salon does not appear clean, then move on,” VanBeek said.

Her advice is timely considering the growth of the salon industry that serves millions of people worldwide. In 1995 alone, Americans spent an estimated $5.2 billion on nail services, half a billion more than in 1994, according to the Nails 1995 Fact Book. During that time, there were over 34,000 nails salons across the country – an increase of 2,000 over the previous year.

Today, there are more than 50,000 nail salons in the United States with women (and some men) spending more than $6 billion a year on nail care and cosmetics. That figure doesn’t include the number of beauty salons that offer nail services.

People often go to these salons for artificial nails which are the most requested service, the Fact Book said. At the No. 2 slot are manicures followed by nail jewelry and nail art. Unfortunately, these beauty services harbor an ugly secret: they can give you a bad case of fungal nail infections that are common in the elderly and can spread rapidly from one family member to another.

Removing the cuticle is usually the first step in getting a manicure or a pedicure. New York dermatologists Drs. Herbert P. Goodheart of Mount Sinai Hospital and Hendrik Uyttendaele of Columbia University Medical Center said this is not a good idea since it can lead to inflammation and infections of the surrounding tissue and nail root, and cause permanent nail deformities.

“The cuticle is a barrier that protects the skin and the delicate nail matrix, or ‘root’ of the nail. Pushing back on the cuticle can injure it and expose the paronychium or skin fold around the nail, to bacteria and result in infection,” VanBeek said.

Unclean instruments are another cause for concern. While the states regulate their respective salons and their technicians, they can’t always monitor what’s happening in your area unless something goes wrong. And often it does. In 2000, over 100 infections were traced to footbaths used in nail salons.

“Unclean implements are especially dangerous if the skin around the nail is broken. This can occur with overzealous manicuring – if, for example, too much of the cuticle is cut or pushed back too far. If the cuticle is cut or separated from the fingernail, infectious agents can get into the exposed area,” explained Paula Kurtzweil of the US Food and Drug Administration.

To avoid trouble, see your doctor at the first sign of infection. Many antifungal medications are available but they are generally expensive, contain harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good, and may affect your heart and your liver. One notable exception is Somasin AFS, an all-natural fungus fighter made from a powerful herbal blend that destroys persistent fungal infections in just seven days.

Types Of Cosmetics

Make-up and cosmetics are used all over the world by all kinds of different people. Cosmetic products are defined as, “a substance or preparation intended for placement in contact with any external part of the human body”. This definition can include a variety of products.

Shampoos and soaps are products that usually contain some kind of fragrance and clean the skin by the use of surface-active agents, or surfactants. These surfactants are molecules that have both lipophilic and hydrophilic, or fat soluble and water soluble parts. The fat soluble part of the product clings to the oil and dirt as the water soluble part allows the lipophilic part to be washed away. Detergents for dishes and clothes work in pretty much the same way but will have different ingredients that make them more harsh for use on hard, solid surfaces. It is usually not a good idea to try and use these detergents on the body and hair, for it can lead to irritation.

Lipstick is another cosmetic product that contains hydrophilic properties. They are manufactured by combining wax, a non-volatile oil such as beeswax with castor oil, and water. The combination produces a thick substance that is water-insoluble and spreads easily on the lips. Because of its lipophilic properties, lipstick won’t dissolve on the lips when exposed to saliva or liquid from drinks. Other lipsticks will have a dye in them that react to amino acids on the top layer of the skin. This makes the the product appear blue or green in the container and change to red when applied to the lips.

When water is lost on the top layer of dead skin cells faster than the living cells under them can absorb the moisture our skin becomes dry. This is when we need the help of a moisturizer. When the skin becomes dry and scaly, moisturizers can assist by preventing further water loss, known as occlusion, and by adding humectants, substances that increase the hydrophilic properties of the skin. Humectant moisturizers contain substances such as alpha hydroxy acids or glycerine and add moisture to the top layer of skin while occlusive moisturizers form a waterproof layer over the skin that reduces moisture and allows the body’s natural rehydration process to return the layer to a normal level.

Herbalife And Safe Beauty Products

While the majority of the population may not be aware of this fact, many people are poisoning themselves daily, not through their digestive tract but through the largest organ of their body, the skin.

The skin absorbs, to some degree, whatever is rubbed on it or comes in contact with it. Therefore any chemicals contained in your skin care products, your shampoo and conditioner, your cosmetics, your hair dye and even your soap, can be absorbed into the body and have an effect on your health.

Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to foam up. Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.

Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. The main cause of these problems is sodium lauryl sulfate.

So why is a dangerous chemical like sodium lauryl sulfate used in our soaps and shampoos?

The answer is simple – it is cheap. The sodium lauryl sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.

In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.

Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.

Herbalife’s shampoo and conditioners do not contain these harmful chemicals and are absolutely safe for regular usage.

And what about the safety of skin care products?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are commonly used in products advertised to remove wrinkles, blemishes, blotches and acne scars. With consumer complaints of burning, swelling and pain associated with AHA and BHA flooding into the FDA, the regulatory body began conducting its own research about 15 years ago. The findings linked the use of AHA and BHA with a doubling of UV-induced skin damage and a potential increased risk of skin cancer.

Phthalates are industrial plasticizers widely used in personal care products to moisturize and soften skin, impart flexibility to nail polish after it dries and enhance the fragrances used in most products. Studies indicate that phthalates cause a wide range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments, targeting every organ in the male reproductive system and causing problems ranging from low sperm count to serious genital deformities that can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

Herbalife’s complete range of skin care products such as the NouriFusion range and the Radiant C products contain absolutely no harmful ingredients and are totally safe to use.

Have You Looked Lately At The Toxic Ingredients That Are In Your Cosmetics And Skin Care Products?

Have you ever examined the ingredients listed on the labels of your cosmetics or other skin care products? Do you know what those ingredients are?

What you may not realize is that many of the skin care products and cosmetics you are buying contain ingredients that are not only harmful to your skin, but also to your long term health. Many of these ingredients are known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and are used by the cosmetic industry simply because they are cheap!

Harmful Ingredients Commonly Found in Skin Care Products and Cosmetics
The following are just some of the synthetic chemicals that have been identified by scientific studies to be harmful to our health.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
Often described as being “derived from coconut” to disguise their toxic nature, these chemicals are commonly used in shampoos, toothpaste, foaming facial and body cleansers and bubble bath. SLS and ALS can cause severe skin irritation, and are easily absorbed into the body, building up in the brain, heart, lungs and liver, leading to potential long term health problems. SLS and ALS may also cause cataracts, and prevent children’s eyes from developing properly.

Paraben Preservatives
Parabens are widely used in cosmetics, deodorants, skin care and baby products to prolong their shelf life. They are known to be highly toxic and have caused rashes and allergic reactions. Recent scientific studies in the UK found a strong link between the use of parabens and the increasing rate of breast cancer in women. Researchers found a high concentration of parabens in 90% of breast tumors tested.

Propylene Glycol
Found in many beauty creams, cosmetics and cleansers, Propylene Glycol can cause skin rashes and contact dermatitis, and has been shown to cause damage to the kidneys and liver.

Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohol is used as a solvent in many skin care products. It causes skin irritation and strips the skin of its natural acid mantle, promoting the growth of bacteria, moulds and viruses. It may also cause premature ageing of skin.

DEA (Diethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) and MEA (Monoethanolamine)
These substances are harsh solvents and detergents that are used in cosmetics and face and body creams as an emollient. They can cause allergic reactions, and long term use of DEA-based products (such as Cocamide DEA) have been linked to an increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer.

A common ingredient in antiperspirants, aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mineral Oil
Derived from petroleum (crude oil), mineral oil is commonly found as a main ingredient of face and body creams and cosmetics. Baby oil is 100% mineral oil! It coats the skin like a plastic film, clogging pores and stopping the skin from eliminating toxins, which can lead to acne and other skin disorders. Other petroleum based ingredients include paraffin wax, paraffin oil and petrolatum.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Used as a thickener in skin care products and cosmetics, PEGs interfere with the skin’s natural moisture balance, causing an increase in ageing and leaving the skin vulnerable to bacteria.

Talc is a soft mineral used in talcum powders and cosmetic powders. Scientific studies have shown that routine application of talcum powder to the genital area is linked with a three-to-fourfold increase in the development of ovarian cancer. Inhaling cosmetic powders containing talc may also be harmful to long term health.

How To Avoid These Toxins
Examine the labels of your cosmetics and skin care products carefully, and learn to recognize ingredients that are harmful to your skin and to your health. Many web sites have lists of potentially harmful ingredients in addition to those shown above (e.g. Environmental Working Group).

Don’t be fooled by the words ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the front of the label. Many products contain at least one or two natural or organic ingredients, but they may also contain harmful synthetic chemicals as well.

Whenever possible, choose products with 100% natural ingredients such as essential oils and herbs. Your skin will love you for it!

Are Beauty Products Going Unisex?

There was a time when the idea of men wearing makeup was an absurd idea that was restricted to weirdoes and musicians (often also weirdoes). Makeup and cosmetic products were the domain of women and that was that. However, it’s a new age and the idea for many is that in many places it’s not unacceptable for men to have a bit here or there.

And why should it be so absurd? A couple of hundred years ago monarchs and noblemen often used vast quantities of makeup. Although this was often to hide the marks caused by syphilis. Closer to modern times and you can see that musicians have been wearing makeup for years. Bowie might have been at the forefront of make up for men, but it was the glam rock era of the 80’s where musicians really went mad for over the top makeup. Think about Motley Crue and especially KISS. Of course you can argue that much of this was just a gimmick and is not the same as a bit of blush here or there, but it certainly played a part in paving the way for modern musicians.

It doesn’t end there either. What about movies? If the film industry is anything to go by then pirates wore copious amounts of eye shadow. It’s pretty standard practice now for actors to wear a bit of make up here and there. And this isn’t just for photo shoots but out in the streets. TV presenters get in on the act too and some have made the make-up part of their look. Russell Brand has definitely taken the use of make-up for men out into the open and many others are following suit.

More and more you see men out in the street, a little bit done up and cosmetic companies have certainly begun to take notice. Cosmetic companies have started to develop ranges of make-up from eye-liner to eye shadow targeted at men. Of course there is still make-up available for women with Rimmel cosmetics offering an extensive range. Other companies also offer great deals on eye liner and shadow such as Elizabeth Arden cosmetics.

It seems like times certainly are changing and it is becoming more socially acceptable for men to turn out in a bit of make-up. But then again, it might just be another fad.

Beauty Problems That Makeup Cosmetics Can’T Solve

Does your skin have blackheads or enlarged pores? Perhaps your problem is whiteheads. You may have tried all sorts of makeup cosmetics to cover up these skin blemishes, and spent plenty of money in the process. They do deliver what they promise, which is to cover up your problem. The trouble is that you will have to keep buying these make up cosmetics to hide the faults in your skin since they will never make the problem go away. You should be addressing the problem from its root cause so you can eliminate it. This will decrease your dependence on makeup cosmetics.

In case you have blackheads, you will have to remove them physically. They get formed when dead skin cells and sweat block a hair follicle on your face and cause the pores to swell. Dirt and impurities get stuck in these enlarged pores and your face will have black dots on it, particularly on or around the nose and chin. They are very unattractive to look at and give your skin a rough appearance and texture. You can get to buy blackhead removers from any beauty shop.

These are long thin metal objects with a wire circle at one end. Hold your face over a gently steaming pan of water in order to open up the pores. Use the remover to push the blackheads out. You could also remove them using blackhead removal strips. Use a medicated face wash after you are done and finish off with a very light moisturizer. Do this gently and as infrequently as possible. You could damage your skin when you force the blackheads out.

Enlarged pores happen when the sweat glands on your face are over active. The large open pores on your face are very unappealing to look at as well. Buy a special face wash that will reduce the oil on your skin. It would be better if you could ask your dermatologist to prescribe you one. Whiteheads are another common problem, though not as bad as blackheads. These too are caused by the accumulation of oil in your facial pores. Use a gentle facial scrub regularly to get rid of them.

Never use a harsh scrub as that could cause fine lines and wrinkles to form on your face. The common factor to all these problems is the extreme oiliness of your skin. It is best to focus on preventing them from forming on your face. Use a gentle face scrub everyday and buy a good quality toner. Reduce the amount oil in your food and try to improve your diet.

No amount of beauty treatments will improve your looks if you do not eat healthy. Increasing the amount of water you drink and wash your face with plain water many times a day. Do not waste your hard earned money on makeup cosmetics to address these problems. There is no easy way around them and you will have to remove them physically if you want your skin to look smooth and flawless

Exclusive beauty tips from Mac Cosmetics

Exclusive beauty tips from Mac Cosmetics
By Elizabeth Parker
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In many cases when you see advertisements of the cheap cosmetics or make up products, they are hardly bothered about the quality of those discount cosmetics. It is important while buying discount cosmetics not only beacose arrenged terrible can ruin the real skin. Try to remember, it will eventually keep for several hours on your facial area. In case of cheap cosmetics, we think the quality of those discount cosmetics may not suits your skin. But it is not true that all the time for cheap cosmetics. In many cases its been found that few branded discount cosmetics are in the market and those – cheap cosmetics – are providing there best quality of elements.

Before we go for make up you need to make your eyes relax. Proper rest or a healthy sound sleep would help you to get the relax eyes. Then for make up have a look over the Mac cosmetics that you have. Before taking the eye mac make up, use a eye creame on your crease. Then use a blending brush, for this give lessen pressure on the brush while applying on the inner crease of your that give you a light mac make up. To create depth use mac make up which is matte or non-reflective. Among the all cheap cosmetics try to use mac shimmery shades to look flat.
The best part of the eye make up should be the bronzer. While buying bronzers from cheap cosmetics company make sure where it is working or not and if you don’t want to take the risk of – discount cosmetics – you can go for MAC cosmetics with your eyes closed as mac make up products maintain the best quality although you can found it in cheap cosmetics shops’.

Foundations from mac cosmetics contains silicons that makes the product water resistant. Besides that it resist perspiration a nd moisture your skin. Apart from other cheap cosmetics, it is a long-wearing foundation that won’t melt under stage lights.

While applying the foundation, its better to start with less and build it up to the coverage you want. It’s easier to slowly add Mac make up than it is to take it away. You can’t do the same process with other cheap cosmetics.
For medium coverage Mac offers you studio foundation. Other cheap cosmetics hardly manage the quality but in Mac make up products its not seen. MAC studio tech is a cream foundation in a compact tends to be lighter than MAC’s fluid foundation. While applying the foundation use downwards strokes on your skin from top of the bottom.

There are people who are objected by oilly skin. While searching for cheap cosmetics for those people Mac cosmetics is the best for them. Mac has two kind of premier that reduces the neeed for touch up.

In case of lips use a simple gloss before you leave your room. But remember lashes are very much important. You should not buy any maskara from the cheap cosmetics shops as discount cosmetics does not usually contain good quality but it Mac cosmetics offer the best quality.

Beauty Tips On Product Ingredients You Don’t Want To Find In Your Cosmetics

Ever wonder why organic products are on the rise? And why more and more beauty products are coming out as ‘natural & or organic’? Reasoning is because we are finding as women there are a lot of ingredients in our beauty products we don’t want to be using on our bodies.

Chemical-free skincare products are increasing as women are discovering just what they want and don’t want to put onto our bodies. We are discovering more each day that there are natural alternatives to using man-made chemicals.

These chemicals such as parabens, petrochemicals, silicone and foaming agents such as sodium laurylsulphate. You will find these ingredients can be found in a lot of everyday products such as shampoos, body washes and liquid hand soaps. More reasoning to move to using more natural and organic products because its estimated that our skin may absorb over half of what we put onto it.

Did you know its possible that we might be using up to 200 different chemicals a day in just our daily skincare regime? Ways to cut this down is to start looking into more organic beauty products with less ingredients.

Did you know that there are now more natural ingredients being tested that can give you the instant results once only done by chemicals? Start checking out looking for ingredients in your beauty products such as essential oils, oak extracts, green and or white teas, chamomile and rose waters just for starters.

For makeup such as eye shadows, blushes, and foundations start looking into mineral lines. But be aware that some foundations have ingredients that are not natural. Again look for mineral products with the least number of ingredients. Not all organic makeup is truly organic but most mineral makeup is. Using only mineral pigments, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide they are also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores. There are multiple number of companies online and off that offer mineral makeup now.
Mineral makeup is free of parabens, artificial colors, silicones and are fragrance-free. By using mineral makeup that comes in less packaging also helps reduce your carbon footprint overall.

As we as consumers start making demands for more choices about our cosmetics being more organic, beauty companies are starting to take notice. From sulfate free shampoo’s to organic body care and food, as we speak up against chemicals in our daily beauty needs things are slowly being to change.

Going green in a whole is not as hard as one thinks, just start thinking about ways that you yourself can help use more organic beauty products in your everyday beauty needs.