Thursday, July 11, 2024

How to Use a Pumice Stone

A pumice stone can exfoliate skin and soften calluses. A pumice stone is formed when lava and water mix together. It’s a light-yet-abrasive stone used to remove dry, dead skin. A pumice stone can also soften your calluses and corns to reduce pain from friction.

You can use this stone daily, but it’s important to know how to properly use it. If you’re not careful, you can remove too much skin, cause bleeding, or increase your risk of infection.

You can purchase a pumice stone at local beauty supply stores or grocery stores. Some stores offer a double-sided pumice stone. These stones have an abrasive side for rougher skin and a softer side for more sensitive areas or buffing.

To safely exfoliate your skin, you’ll also need a large bowl or basin of warm, soapy water. This is especially important for exfoliating your feet or hands. If you want to use a pumice stone on your elbows, face, or neck, consider using this stone while taking a shower.

Using the pumice stone

While you’re soaking your skin, also soak your pumice stone in warm water. Never use a dry pumice stone on your skin. A wet pumice stone will glide across your skin easily and will reduce your risk of injury.

Remove the target area from the soap bath and pat dry with a towel. If your skin is still rough, soak for a few more minutes before patting your skin dry.

Remove the pumice stone from the warm water and apply it to your skin.

Rub the abrasive side of the pumice stone over your skin in a circular motion with light pressure. Massage your skin for two or three minutes. If your skin begins to feel sensitive or sore, stop immediately because you’re most likely using too much pressure.

For your feet, focus your attention on your heels, the sides of your toes, and other dry areas you recognize.

Continue rubbing the pumice stone on your skin until you’ve removed the dead skin and revealed softer skin underneath.

After two to three minutes of light rubbing, rinse your skin. If you still see patches of dead skin, repeat this process. Also, rinse your pumice stone for every session to keep the surface clean.

You can repeat this process daily or a few times a week to maintain soft, supple skin.

Finishing up

When you’re done, apply a moisturizer or oil to your skin to maintain moisture and keep your skin soft. For a boost, put on moisturizing socks after moisturizing your skin.

Clean your pumice stone after every use. Under running water, use a bristle brush to scrub dead skin off of the stone. Apply a small amount of soap to make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt. Bacteria can grow on the surface.

Do not share your pumice with other people. Each family member should have their own.

Allow the stone to dry on its own. Set it in a dry area away from moisture to prevent bacteria growth.

For deep cleaning, boil your pumice stone in hot water for five minutes. Allow it to air dry away from damp areas.

Your stone will wear down over time, becoming too smooth to remain effective. If your stone becomes too small, smooth, or soft, replace it. Source

Monday, July 8, 2024

Tips To Get The Most out of Your Manicure This Summer

Summer, summer, summertime. Vacation season is here with sun, sand, and rising temperatures. Even better, we’ve got summer nail colors to match! Plus, if you want your manicure to stay put during your fun in the sun (who doesn’t?!), we’ve recruited our OPI mani maestro’s to share must-have summer nail tips for gorgeous manis all season long...

Keep Your Cuticles Happy

When applied nightly, OPI ProSpa Nail & Cuticle Oil prevents hangnails and keeps cuticles moisturized. Just add it to your bedside table and apply it before you go to sleep for healthy nails and cuticles all summer long.

Hitting the Pool All Day?

Before you head to the pool, it’s worth taking extra precautions as chlorine can dry out your nails and cuticles. The night before, apply OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener onto bare nails. Or, If you’re already wearing polish, you can add an extra layer of OPI Top Coat for additional mani protection.

Don't Forget to Hydrate!
Prolonged soaking in water (like pools) can cause nails to expand and become more vulnerable to premature chipping and peeling, so try to take some breaks from the ocean and make sure to hydrate by drinking plenty of water.

Say No To Yellow Nails
No, not yellow nail polish—we love classic bright yellow shades, like Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet. We’re talking yellow nails. Try not to spend too much time in the sun as UV rays can cause fading and yellowing of many nail polish colors. To prevent your manicure from taking a turn for the worse, prep your nails with not one, but two layers of OPI Natural Nail Base Coat before your favorite nail polish shades. Plus, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hands and feet!

Opt for a Gel Nail Polish Manicure
Just like our hair, our nails also absorb water. So after a fun day at the beach or in the pool, a manicure is likely to lift and chip. If you want a nail color that lasts for your whole vacation, consider visiting your favorite nail salon and asking for an OPI GelColor manicure. With 3 weeks of wear and shine, you know that once it’s on, a gel mani isn’t going anywhere.

Keep Your Nails Fresh
Summer is filled with beach trips, vacations, and lots of fun activities, so if you don’t have the time to perfect your nails as often as you’d like, use a quick-dry top coat like RapiDry Top Coat nail polish dryer, to quickly dry nail polish shades to perfection. Or, go from wet, to set, in just 60 seconds with OPI Drip Dry nail polish drying drops.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Happy Independence Day


Happy Independence Day! Sending you warm wishes for a happy and safe Independence Day. Enjoy the festivities!

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

3 Massages for Pressure Points on Feet

Ancient Chinese practices and a growing body of medical research suggest that massaging specific pressure points on your feet can heal conditions affecting entirely different parts of your body.

The belief that putting pressure on certain areas of your feet can heal ailments elsewhere is called reflexology. It stems from traditional Chinese medicine.

“The idea is that energy, called ‘chi,’ flows through the body along particular pathways, or meridians,” says Denis Merkas, an acupuncturist and massage therapist who co-founded Melt: Massage for Couples with his wife, Emma. “When there’s a problem in the body, we’re usually talking about blockages of chi.”

Does science back it up?

The science behind reflexology remains unclear, but a great deal of research shows that it is effective at soothing and managing pain. In 2014, an auditTrusted Source of British physiotherapists found that reflexology was effective at reducing pain and inducing relaxation in people with chronic pain. StudiesTrusted Source also show that foot massage can help reduce pain after breast surgery.

Further studies show that reflexology can reduce anxiety in people about to undergo medical testing or hospitalization.

Foot massage for anxiety

Here are Merkas’s instructions for a foot massage that can lower anxiety.

  • Curl your toes. You should see a small depression just below the ball of your foot.
  • Place the pad of your thumb on this depression.
  • Hold on to the top of your foot with your other hand.
  • Massage the area in small circles.
  • Alternate this with holding the area firmly and pressing down.

Foot massage for low back pain
One study showed that people with low back pain saw better results with reflexology than with massage of the lower back itself.

If you want to treat your back to some reflexology, focus the massage on the arches of your feet and follow these steps:
  • Concentrate on the pressure points in your arches. Merkas suggests using a few drops of oil or lotion for lubrication.
  • Moving from the heel to the toes, alternate moving your thumbs in a series of short strokes.
“You can also use your thumbs to press in and ‘cat walk’ along the arch, like a cat making its bed,” says Merkas.

Foot massage for general pain
Myofascial release therapy targets the thin tissue that covers your muscles, bones, and organs. The pain in these tissues originates at trigger points that are hard to localize, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Self-treatment is something I encourage all my clients to do,” says Rachel Gottesman, OTR/L, owner of Body Ease Therapy. “I use myofascial release therapy and it works by gentle, sustained pressure on areas of restrictions.” Gottesman suggests thinking of the myofascial tissues as a three-dimensional, interconnected web. Tightness in one place, like your feet, can pull the web out of place in other spots.

To perform myofascial release, follow these steps:
  • Sit in a comfortable chair or on a sofa.
  • Place a golf or tennis ball on the floor, just under your foot.
  • Roll the ball around with your foot until you find a sensitive spot, or pressure point.
  • Press down with your foot just enough to feel the point soften.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
Don’t continue to roll the ball — that doesn’t allow the pressure to go deep enough. Source

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Why It's Important to Wear the Right Shoe Size

According to a 2018 study, only about 28 to 37% of people are actually wearing shoes of the right length and width.

Several studies have now demonstrated how ill-fitting shoes can have a negative effect on health and why well-fitting shoes are so important.

Peripheral neuropathy is a painful and usually irreversible condition with symptoms of pins and needles in the feet and a decreased ability to feel where the feet are in space.

A 2017 study found that, among older adults with a history of foot lesions, such as corns and calluses, only 14% were wearing the right size shoes. Thirty seven percent of the population reported evidence of neuropathy; tight-fitting shoes can worsen the symptoms of neuropathy by putting pressure on the nerves and potentially causing wounds and ulcers due to a lack of sensation from friction and pressure.

Foot Pain and Deformities

A 2018 scientific review of 18 studies looking at shoes and foot problems found that poorly-fitting shoes were associated with foot pain and foot conditions, such as lesser toe deformity (hammer toe), corns, and calluses. Notably, people with diabetes tended to wear shoes that were too narrow.

It's not just shoes that are too tight that can lead to pain and deformity. In some cases, the shape of the shoe may not be a good fit to contour to the shape of your foot. If you already have a foot deformity of some kind, for example, shoes with a smooth shape that causes pressure on the irregularly-shaped bony areas of your foot can make it worse.

Ingrown Toenails

If your shoes are too narrow or short, the extra pressure placed on your toe can lead to the edge of a toenail growing into your skin. Ingrown toenails can cause pain and the skin around your nail to become red or infected.

Ingrown toenails are most common on the big toe, but can also occur on other toes. To avoid this issue, ensure that you have properly fitting shoes and are not cutting your nails too short or rounded at the edges.

Decreased Quality of Life

If your shoes are constantly hurting your feet, the rest of your life is bound to suffer for it. According to one study, women in particular noted that foot symptoms negatively affected their quality of life.4 This is likely because women's shoes are often not designed to be as functional or comfortable as men's shoes.

In addition, foot pain and foot conditions related to poor-fitting shoes can lead to falls, reduced mobility, and related loss of independence in older adults.

Shoe Size Changes

Many often think of foot size as being static; once you reach age 18, or at least when you stop growing, your feet no longer change in size. But your feet change in many ways over the course of a lifetime:

  • As you age, tendons relax and your feet can naturally widen.
  • Certain medical conditions and medications cause water retention, which can cause foot swelling (and, therefore, size difference).
  • During pregnancy, feet are affected by hormones that often result in an increase in shoe size.
  • Even in younger people, feet swell slightly by the end of the day. They also swell when engaging in an upright activity such as walking, running, or playing sports.

While your shoes may fit right in the morning or before your workout, they may be too tight later in the day. Even people who wear "sensible" shoes can experience problems with fit. For this reason, it's best to try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen.

Signs Your Shoes Are the Wrong Size

Pain and discomfort are some obvious signs that your shoes are the wrong size, but sometimes that is less clear. If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to check your shoe size:

  • Bruising on your toenail:
  • Toenail loss or damage
  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Skin irritation around your toenails

You can visit a shoe store to be properly measured. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the ideal frequency of foot measurements. Some experts recommend that you measure your feet at least once or twice a year, or at least any time you buy new shoes.

In general, buying shoes with a toe box made of soft, expansive material is always a better choice than those made of a hard material.

It is also worth noting that not every brand of shoes has the same fit, regardless of size. For example, a size 8 in one brand may feel more like a size 7.5 in another. If possible, try on before you buy.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Fingernails: Do's and Don'ts For Healthy Nails

Your fingernails — composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin — grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They're uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.

Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail.

Not all nail conditions are normal, however. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you notice:

  • Changes in nail color, such as discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under the nail
  • Changes in nail shape, such as curled nails
  • Thinning or thickening of the nails
  • Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Swelling or pain around the nails
  • Failure of nails to grow out

Fingernail care: Do's

  • To keep your fingernails looking their best:
  • Keep fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals.
  • Practice good nail hygiene. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.
  • Use moisturizer. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.
  • Apply a protective layer. Applying a nail hardener might help strengthen nails.
  • Ask your doctor about biotin. Some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.

Fingernail care: Don'ts

To prevent nail damage, don't:

  • Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.
  • Pull off hangnails. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails.
  • Use harsh nail care products. Limit your use of nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-free formula.
  • Ignore problems. If you have a nail problem that doesn't seem to go away on its own or is associated with other signs and symptoms, consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation. 

If you rely on manicures or pedicures for healthy-looking nails, keep a few things in mind. Stick to salons that display a current state license, and work only with technicians also licensed by the state board. Don't have your cuticles removed — they act to seal the skin to the nail plate, so removal can lead to nail infection. Also, make sure your nail technician properly sterilizes all tools used during your procedure to prevent the spread of infection.

You might also ask how the foot baths are cleaned. Ideally, a bleach solution is used between clients and the filters are cleaned regularly.

It's easy to neglect your nails — but taking some basic steps can keep your fingernails healthy and strong.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Health Benefits of a Foot Soak

Why Is a Foot Soak Beneficial?

A foot soak is more than just relaxing with your feet in warm or hot water. It’s what you add to the water that makes a foot soak beneficial. The two main ingredients used in a foot soak are Epsom salt and vinegar.

What is Epsom salt? Epsom salt is a natural mix of magnesium and sulfate. Don’t be confused by its name, because Epsom salt is nothing like table salt.

How do I use Epsom salt in a foot soak? Dissolve a half-cup of Epsom salt into a tub or bowl of warm water. Soak your feet for 10 to 20 minutes once a week.

What are the health benefits of Epsom salt? Epsom salt can help soften your skin and leave it less prone to bacteria overgrowth. Other health benefits include:

  • Relieves stress and helps you feel relaxed
  • Eases pain and muscle cramps
  • Boosts nerve and muscle function
  • Helps prevent blood clots

It also has more specific uses like:
  • Reduces and prevents athlete’s foot
  • Loosens skin to remove splinters
  • Treats toenail fungus
  • Soothes pain from sprains and bruises‌
  • Eases gout pain and discomfort
What is vinegar? Vinegar is made from fermented things like grapes and apples. It’s high in acetic acid.

The process used to create apple cider vinegar, for example, involves using yeast to break down the sugar in apples. First, it turns into alcohol, and then bacteria turns the alcohol into acetic acid. The end liquid has a lot of B-vitamins and polyphenols, also known as antioxidants.

How do I use vinegar in a foot soak? To soak your feet using vinegar, mix two parts warm or hot water with one part vinegar in a tub or bowl. Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes once a week.

What are the health benefits of vinegar? Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties, so bacteria have a hard time growing on your skin. If you have fungi on your feet, including athlete’s foot, vinegar may be less effective. But it does fight bacteria that cause odor.