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The Beauty Brains bottom line For some products, application technique does make a difference. That’s not the case for facial cleansers. Whether it be Avotone or StriVectin, there’s no technical reason that applying the product this way should help your skin.
On the other hand, it won’t hurt it either.
102 - Marvelous Makeup What Does Borax Do In Lush Lip Balms?
Debby, from the Lush Forum, asks this question:
There has been a discussion about the use of Sodium Borate in some of the lip balms from Lush. Could you tell us something more about this ingredient?
The Right Brain Replies:
Thanks for the question Debby. A lot of people ask us if Lush formulas are really different than mass market products. In this case, they are.
What is Borax?
Sodium Borate, also called Borax, is used in products that contain high levels of beeswax. The Borax reacts with the beeswax to form an emulsion, a stable mixture of oil and water.
How is Lush different than regular products?
Most emulsions, like your typical skin lotion, are “oil in water” emulsions which means that the oil drops are dispersed in the water. Borax-beeswax emulsions are unusual - they’re “water in oil” emulsions so the water drops are dispersed in the oil. That type of emulsion tends to be more water proof which is good for a lip balm. Also, because the borax - beeswax combination forms a stable emulsion without the help of additional emulsifiers, this type of formula supports Lush’s position of not using excessive chemicals.
Is Borax safe?
And a final note: if you do any kind of web search on Borax you’ll find that it can also be used as an insecticide, but don’t worry about that. It’s only toxic to humans at very high levels - in fact it has the same toxicity profile as common table salt. (Hey, even water can be toxic if you drown in the stuff!) So a little bit in your lip balm is perfectly fine.
My nail salon uses a UV nail polish dryer. Should I be worried about age spots on the top of my hands and feet from the UV light?
The Right Brain enlightens her:
We looked into UV dryers and found that the wavelength of the light they produce IS the same type that causes photo-aging and skin cancer.
(That’s the UVA range from about 320 nm to 400 nm for those of you keeping score at home.) 104 - Nail Knowledge You Need Nail dryers won’t cause sunburn Fortunately, the danger seems pretty slight because drying lamps have a very low power output, only around 10 watts. Compare that to the power of a full sized tanning bed that can put out up to 2400 watts! So your fingers probably aren’t in much danger. Still, if you’re concerned you could apply some sunblock before using the lamp.
(Are any of you nail salon owners out there listening? That would be a great way to plus up your service for your customers. Offer them a little sunscreen to moisturize and protect the skin of their fingers while the nail lamp is doing its drying duty.) But they can still be dangerous So is there ANY danger associated with using UV drying lamps? Yes, in fact, you might be in danger of getting ripped off!
That’s because UV light only works on special, more expensive, topcoats that contain a certain type of acrylic polymer that is cross linked by the light.
Some salons try to save money by using a regular top coat before using the drying lamp. The UV light won’t do anything to make that kind of polish dry faster. So whether you use OPI, Sally Hansen, or any other brand, it makes sense to ask what top coat the nail technician is using so you can make sure you’re getting what you pay for!
Nail Knowledge You Need - 105 Four Easy Tips For Longer, Stonger Nails
Webmaster Wants To Know:
I’ve stopped biting my nails and now I’m trying to grow them out. However, after they reach a certain length they would start to break. I’ve been using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, but to no avail! Therefore, my question are: Are the ingredients in Sally Hansen more harmful than helpful to growing my nails and possible health? Are there any nail products that you could recommend that could promote stronger nails?
The Right Brain responds:
The idea that nail hardeners can help your nails grow longer is a myth; but
here are four things you CAN do to help your nails:
1. Avoid nail polishes containing formaldehyde.
This chemical can cross link the keratin protein in your nails. While it does make the nails harder, it also makes them so stiff that they become brittle so they actually break MORE easily.
2. Don’t bother with gelatin.
Many products claim that gelatin strengthens nails because it is made from protein, but there is no scientific evidence that gelatin has any benefit to nails.
3. Limit your use of polish removers.
These products contain alcohol and other solvents that dry nails out, making them more prone to breakage.
4. Use a good hand cream or cuticle cream.
Daily exposure to detergents and harsh chemicals dries out your nails and makes them break more easily. By moisturizing them often you can prevent loss of moisture and reduce the chance of breakage. Lotions with petrolatum or mineral oil are the best. You might try the Terra Naturals Nail Strengthener.
Source: American Academy of Dermatologists, 10/06
The Right Brain Hammers Out A Reply For Her Nails:
It’s hard to say for sure what the seasonal changes are that you’re experiencing, but many things can affect the condition of your nails. Here’s our top 5 finger factors to avoid when your nails look hammered.
1. Excessive environmental dryness Are your nails worse in the winter? If your nail condition is literally changing with the seasons, it may be due to humidity. Nails, like skin, are subject to the drying effects of the environment. Solution: If your nails are dry and raggedy in the winter use more lotion.
2. Hyper hand washing Does your job (or hobby or home life) cause you to wash your hands on some occasions more than others? Washing your hands with soap and water can
dry out nails. That could be causing an apparent seasonal change. Solution:
Use a mild hand wash instead of bar soap and don’t skimp on the lotion.
3. Damage from drying solvents Are you engaged in any activities that would expose your nails to solvents?
For example, home repair projects (like painting a room or varnishing wood trim) could be seasonal activites that negatively impact the condition of your nails. Solution: make your husband do it. (That’s a suggestion from Sarah.) Nail Knowledge You Need - 107
4. Negative nail product usage Do you occasionally use nail hardening products? Since you asked about several Sally Hansen products, I’m guessing you do. Those products do make nails harder but they can also make them brittle and more prone to breaking.
That`s because they use a chemical called formaldehyde to cross link the keratin protein in nails. Solution: Skip the hardeners and see if it helps.
(And to answer your question about why they have so many products that seem to do the same thing, we have one word: Capitalism.)
5. The horrible heartbreak of psoriasis Psoriasis is a disease that causes your skin to become red and scaly. About half the people who suffer from this condition also have nail problems, particularly pitting, rippling, and/or splitting of the nail. Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, so you’ll have to amputate the affected fingers. (Just kidding;
I wanted to see if you were still reading.) Solution: If you think psoriasis might be responsible for your nail problems, check with a dermatologist for treatment options.
Is Nail Polish Bad To Breathe?
Laura breathes this question:
Is inhaling nail polish fumes harmful if you’re exposed to them for about 30 minutes or so per week?
The Left Brain exhales this response:
Nearly all the popular brands of nail polishes including Revlon and OPI contain organic solvents and methacrylates. The March 2002 issue of Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, & Behavioral Neurology summarizes a study by Gina LaoSasso, Ph.D et.al, that shows prolonged exposure to nail polish fumes can affect the way your brain works.
108 - Nail Knowledge You Need The researchers tested 33 nail-salon technicians compared to the same number of demographically similar control subjects (in other words, women who had no exposure to nail polish or other toxic chemicals.) Both groups were given a series of psychologic, neuropsychologic, and neurosensory tests.
Nail Polish Fumes Affect Brain Functions
Their study showed three main results:
1. The nail technicians performed statistically worse than the control group on tests that measured attention and brain processing speed.
2. The nail technicians and the control group showed no statistical differences in learning and memory, fine motor coordination, or on measures of depression and anxiety.
3. The nail technicians’ sense of smell was statistically worse than the control group’s.
Fresh air, not fumes What does all this mean? Apparently, exposure to enough nail polish fumes can make your brain a little slow and fuzzy. Kinda scary, huh? Unfortunately, the study didn’t provide details on how long this effect lasts so we don’t know if your brain returns to normal once you’ve gotten away from the nail fumes.
And while the study did measure the size of the salon, the amount of ventilation, and the number of hours that the technicians worked, the data can’t be used to predict what would happen at a lower exposure. In other words, if you’re in a nail salon long enough, you may experience these problems. But is 30 minutes a week enough to cause an effect? It doesn’t look like it but clearly more studies are needed. In the meantime, make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh air when you’re getting your nails done!
Color, not die!
Note if you happened to be talking about inhaling the fumes on purpose
“Death from inhalant abuse can occur after a single use or after prolonged use. Sudden sniffing death (SSD) may result within minutes of inhalant abuse from irregular heart rhythm leading to heart failure.” Now, it’s not very likely that you will die but it’s certainly not worth the risk.
Why Does Wearing Polish Turn My Nails Yellow?
I was wondering why does wearing nail polish turn your nails yellow? Also, is there anything we can do to prevent that?
The Right Brain Polishes Off This Response:
Nail polish can turn your nails yellow. Why? There are a couple of reasons:
Color reaction Some of the darker colored polishes can stain nails due to a chemical reaction between the colorant and the nail plate. This reaction is hard to predict because it doesn’t happen for everybody for every dark color. It can also take a few days to a few weeks to occur.
Formaldehyde It’s also possible that formaldehyde (one of the ingredients in many nail polishes) is causing the problem. This chemical can react with the keratin protein in your nails and make it brittle and yellow.
110 - Nail Knowledge You Need Medical issues Finally, if your nails are really yellowed and disfigured, you may have a nail infection or a more serious medical condition known as Yellow Nail Syndrome. So what can you do about it? Read on!
Tips for non-yellowing nails
1. Don’t try to scrape off the stained area because it will damage and weaken the nail.
2. Stay away from dark colors (which will greatly reduce your fashion options)
3. Wear a base coat to protect your nails from staining (this makes sense to us)
4. Look for nail polishes that don’t have formaldehyde on the ingredient list. (There’s no guartentee that this will work but hey, it beats this next tip we found from one of the nail polish companies from which is…
5. Wear gloves (now there’s a practical idea!)
6. Stop wearing polish and wait for your nails to grow out.
(Also not too practical, this could take 4 to 6 months.)
7. Soak your nails in 1/2 cup of water and juice of one lemon for up to 15 minutes, once a week, according to Sally Hanson.
(We’re skeptical if this works but you can always add some sugar and just drink it as lemonade.)
8. Buy only yellow shades of polish so you can’t tell if your nails are stained or not. (Sorry, just kidding on that one.) The Beauty Brains bottom line Nail polish can stain your nails yellow but by choosing the right shades, using a protective base coat, and drinking a lot of lemonade while wearing gloves, you should be able to control the problem.
Island Girl Wants to Know:
What happened to my polish remover? I use Cutex and now it takes forever to get the polish off.
The Right Beauty Brain Replies:
Our guess is that you might have accidentally bought the wrong Cutex!
Basically, there are two different kinds of nail polish removers: Acetone and Non-Acetone. They work by dissolving the hard film that’s left on your nails by the ingredients in the polish.
Acetone Acetone is a very powerful solvent and it’s hands down the best at removing polish. But, it’s also very harsh because it removes a lot of natural oils from your skin. In fact, sometimes your skin will look really white if you’ve used too much acetone on it. That means you’ve dried it out.
Non-acetone Non-acetone removers use less aggressive solvents, like ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol. They also add moisturizing agents to over come the drying effect. However, these formulations don’t dissolve the polish coating as efficiently so you’ll have to work harder to take off all the old color.