Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Surprising Things Your Fingernails Can Reveal About Your Health

Your fingernails are good for more than scratching the occasional itch and untangling a tight knot. They can also provide hints to the status of your overall health, through their color, shape and texture.

That’s one reason Jeffrey Linder, M.D., chief of general internal medicine and geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, always begins an exam by looking at a patient’s hands. “It gives you a sense of a person’s general health and might give you a hint about what kind of work they do,” he says. “And then looking at the nails, occasionally there are clues to conditions or diseases.”

Before you whip out a magnifying glass and start studying your fingers, know that not all changes to the nail are bad. Some are completely harmless, and others are a normal part of aging or may be a side effect of a medication. “It’s important not to get alarmed if you see something abnormal,” Linder says.

But if you do notice a change and are concerned, it’s worth bringing to the attention of your health care provider, he says, especially if you are experiencing any other symptoms, like fatigue, shortness of breath or belly pain.

Here’s what you should check for the next time you look at your nails.

1. Changes in the lunula

Most nails have a white half-moon shape at the base, just above the cuticle, called a lunula. It’s biggest on the thumbnail and decreases in size as you make your way to the pinkie. And a change in color or size of this feature may indicate an underlying disease, Linder explains.

For example, if the lunula extends almost to the end of the nail, making the majority of the nail white except for a narrow band at the top, it could signal cirrhosis, chronic renal failure or congestive heart failure. This condition, called Terry’s nails, can also be attributed to aging, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Lunulae that have a blueish tint could suggest Wilson’s disease, a rare inherited genetic disorder in which copper accumulates in the liver, brain and other organs. Red lunulae may indicate heart failure, research shows. And in patients with severe kidney disease, it’s not uncommon to see half-and-half nails, where the white from the lunula extends halfway up the nail bed, and the other half of the nail is darker in color, says Richard H. Flowers, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of Virginia.

2. Changes in nail shape and texture

Pitted nails

An abnormal nail shape and nail surface can also signal a health issue. For example, nails that are dimpled or pitted — “like somebody took a pen and just pressed it in and it made an imprint,” Flowers says — can can point to psoriasis, a chronic skin disease. Psoriasis can also cause the nails to loosen and separate from the nail bed, as can thyroid disease.

Spoon nails

Soft nails that look almost as if the center of the nail bed has been scooped out (dubbed spoon nails) can be a sign of an iron issue — either your body isn’t getting enough (iron-deficiency anemia) or it’s storing too much, a condition known as hemochromatosis, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Clubbed nails

A nail that curves around an enlarged fingertip, known as clubbing, may suggest cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. It can also occur alongside gastrointestinal problems.

3. Lines on the nails


If you notice a dark streak that runs the length of the nail, contact your doctor. It could be melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. While rare, melanomas can appear on or around the fingernail (so be sure to check the skin around your nail, too). And unlike heart disease, kidney disorders and other conditions, melanoma doesn’t usually cause other noticeable symptoms, Flowers says — the color of your nail could be your only clue. “So if you get a solitary new band on a nail, you should definitely see a dermatologist about that,” he adds.

Beau’s lines

If your nails are decorated with an indented horizontal line, that could be a sign that you experienced a serious illness or sustained an injury or shock to your system that caused the nails to temporarily stop growing. These lines, called Beau’s lines, may also be a marker of uncontrolled diabetes or the result of cancer treatment or exposure to cold temperatures in people with Raynaud’s disease, a rare blood vessel disorder.

4. Changes in color

Nails that have a blue hue can signal low levels of oxygen in the blood, Linder says. This condition, called cyanosis, can be caused by many different health issues, including lung problems like pneumonia or asthma, or heart problems, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Less dire is a yellow discoloration of the nails. This syndrome can appear in patients with chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases. Fungus, as well, can turn the nails yellow, though this is more common in toenails than fingernails, the Mayo Clinic says. And though a nail fungal infection can happen at any age, older adults are more at risk.

If your nails appear white, it could be Terry’s nails (see above) and reflect an issue with the liver, kidney or heart. It could also be an inherited genetic trait.

Thin and brittle nails may just need some TLC

If your nails are thin and brittle, a thyroid disorder may be to blame, or it may be that they just need more moisture.

“We always tell our patients that just like your skin tends to dry and thin and lose its ability to retain moisture, the nails do the same thing,” Flowers says. And, as with the skin, nails can absorb moisture, which is why he recommends rubbing them with Vaseline when they feel dry. “And that can kind of help prevent some of the cracking and splitting” from normal wear and tear, he says.

Wearing gloves when you do the dishes or clean with chemicals can also prevent nails from becoming brittle. Another way to keep them in top shape is by eating a well-balanced diet.

One thing Flowers doesn’t recommend is the nutritional supplement biotin, which is often touted for its ability to strengthen frail nails. Flowers argues that there’s not much evidence to indicate it helps. And taking it in supplement form can “significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect results that may go undetected,” the Food and Drug Administration notes in an advisory to the public — including tests that diagnose heart attacks. It’s always best to consult a doctor before adding any new over-the-counter drug or supplement into the mix. Source

Monday, May 27, 2024

Happy Memorial Day


“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one Nation, evermore!” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, May 24, 2024

OPI Stars N Stripes Nail Look


Get ready to feel the patriotic spirit with this iconic red, white and blue look from OPI.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How To Trim Your Nails


Nail grooming is a simple yet important self-care routine. Not only do short, well-manicured nails look great, they are also less likely to harbor dirt and bacteria, which can lead to an infection.

Nail grooming is a simple yet important self-care routine. Not only do short, well-manicured nails look great, they are also less likely to harbor dirt and bacteria, which can lead to an infection. In addition, the right nail clipping technique can help prevent common issues like hangnails and ingrown toenails.

Although nail clipping seems pretty straightforward, there are some important steps you should follow to ensure a healthy cut. To properly trim your nails, dermatologists recommend the following tips:

1.) Soften the nails. The best time to trim your nails is immediately after taking a bath or shower. However, if that isn’t possible, soak your nails in lukewarm water for a few minutes to soften them.

2.) Gather the proper tools. Use a nail clipper or nail scissors for your fingernails and a toenail clipper for your toenails. Remember to disinfect your tools monthly. To disinfect them, soak a small scrub brush in a bowl of 70 to 90 percent isopropyl alcohol and then use the brush to scrub your nail clippers or nail scissors. Afterwards, rinse the tools in hot water and dry them completely before putting them away.

3.) To trim your fingernails, cut almost straight across the nail. Use a nail file or emery board to slightly round the nails at the corners, as this will help keep them strong and prevent them from catching on things like clothing or furniture.

4.) To reduce your chances of getting an ingrown toenail, cut straight across when trimming your toenails. Toenails grow more slowly than fingernails, so you may find that you do not need to trim these nails as often.

5.) Smooth uneven or rough edges using a nail file or emery board. Always file the nail in the same direction, as filing back and forth can weaken your nails.

6.) Leave your cuticles alone. Cuticles protect the nail root, so it’s important to avoid cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. When you trim or cut your cuticles, it’s easier for bacteria and other germs to get inside your body and cause an infection. If you get a nail infection, it can sometimes take a long time to clear.

7.) Moisturize after trimming to help keep your nails flexible. This is especially important when the air is dry, as dry nails split more easily.

8.) Nails are a reflection of your overall health. If you notice a change in the color, texture, or shape of your nail, see a board-certified dermatologist. While some changes are harmless, others could be a sign of a disease, such as melanoma, or an infection, such as a nail fungal infection. Source

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Picking Your Skin? Learn Four Tips To Break The Habit

If you can’t stop picking your skin, you may have a very common condition called skin picking disorder (SPD). We all pick at a scab or a bump from time to time, but for those with SPD, it can be nearly impossible to control those urges. Apart from the cosmetic impact of recurrent skin lesions and scarring, SPD can lead to serious infections, shame, depression, and anxiety.

You may be feeling alone or embarrassed, but you should know that this condition affects at least five million Americans. A diagnosis of SPD, also known as excoriation disorder, is made when there are repeated attempts to stop picking, and the skin picking is either distressing or interfering with social or work functioning. SPD is one of a group of disorders that is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

You already know that it is not a matter of will — trying to stop is the equivalent of telling one not to have high blood pressure. The good news is that therapy, medication, and dermatologic treatments can help. For most, though, no one treatment will be curative, and you will experience remission and recurrence.

Having realistic expectations and arming yourself with a variety of skills for skin picking flares will make this condition much more manageable. Here are four tips that can help you tackle your picking.

1. Know your triggers

You may be tempted to pick for a variety of reasons, from boredom, itch, or negative emotions, to blemishes or simply looking at or feeling your skin. You may even find the experience of picking itself pleasurable. Understanding your triggers can be a first step in deciding which treatments to pursue. For example, if your picking is triggered by a skin condition such as acne or itch, you might be best served by first seeing a dermatologist. If, however, your picking is triggered by depression, anxiety, or more of an urge, you should consult with a mental health professional with expertise in skin picking.

2. Make it harder to pick

One simple strategy to reduce picking, called stimulus control, involves changing your environment to make it harder to pick. Examples of this technique include keeping your nails short, wearing gloves at times when you are most likely to pick, and making the skin more difficult to access by wearing tight-fitting clothing or long-sleeve shirts. You can also try distracting your hands with any number of items including silly putty, stress balls, fidgets, and tangle toys. Once you have found an item that works for you, make sure to have one everywhere you spend time such as work, home, and your bag, so you are fully covered.

3. Get therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured type of psychotherapy that aims to produce healthier behaviors and beliefs by identifying unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. A specialized type of CBT has been developed for SPD. This type of CBT includes more of the stimulus control techniques described above, as well as habit reversal training, in which individuals are taught to engage in a harmless motor behavior (like clenching one’s fists) for one minute when triggered to pick. Clinical trials have demonstrated that skin-picking for CBT can be extremely effective. But because it is different than other types of CBT, it will be important to work with a therapist who is trained in treating SPD. You can find skin-picking experts at the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

4. Consider medication with your providers

While no medication has been formally approved by the FDA to treat excoriation disorder, there is evidence to suggest that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant supplement, can be helpful.

Please be aware that even over-the-counter, well-tolerated supplements like NAC should always be taken under the supervision of a medical professional for guidance on dosing, duration of treatment, drug interactions, and side effects.


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

What Are Bunions?

A bunion refers to a bony bump at the base of the big toe. The most common form of bunion, “hallux valgus,” is formed by a change in the alignment of the bones and not from bony growth.

A small bump is common and may be part of the normal foot shape. With a bunion deformity, the bones around the great toe have shifted and the metatarsal bone is now pushing out against the skin, creating a more prominent and sometime painful bony bump.

What are the signs and symptoms of bunions?

The signs and symptoms of a bunion include:

  • A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
  • Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint
  • Corns or calluses that often develop where the first and second toes rub against each other
  • Ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes
  • Limited movement of your big toe

In general, these conditions are differentiated based on your symptoms, an examination, and X-rays.

What causes a bunion?

There are several reasons you might develop a bunion.

In general, a bunion develops slowly over years. The bones in the foot shift slowly over time. Certain ligaments stretch out while others tighten. This causes the deformity to occur.

Shoes that are tight around the toes such as women’s heels are a risk factor as they push the great toe into the bunion position. This may be one reason that bunions are more common in women. About 10 percent of cases are in men, however, and there is a hereditary component possibly linked to having looser ligaments.

Less commonly, children or teenagers may develop bunions from the bones growing primarily into the turned position.

Even less commonly, they can occur after a traumatic injury to the ligaments around the great toe.

Are there ways to prevent bunions?

While not all bunions can be prevented, there are ways to reduce your risk for developing bunions:

  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well.
  • Avoid high heels and shoes that push the toes together.
  • See a specialist if you have a severe sprain of the great toe that does not improve in a couple days.
  • Keep track of your feet and monitor any changes over time, especially if foot or ligament conditions are hereditary.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

How to Cope With Dry Skin and Cracks on Your Feet

Dry, cracked skin on your feet is a common problem that typically develops over time. It occurs in stages, starting with a lack of moisture in the skin.

Then the skin on the soles of your feet develops calluses—dry, thickened areas of dead skin caused by repeated friction and/or pressure. If left untreated, the skin continues to dry out, leading to cracks or fissures on the heels, soles, or sides of your feet.

Fortunately, dry feet and cracked heels can often be prevented with regular pedicures. You can treat calluses at home with foot soaks, a pumice stone, and moisturizer. If self-care strategies aren't enough, see a podiatrist for more advanced treatments.

What Causes Dry, Cracked Feet?

Dry feet occur when there is a lack of moisture in the skin.

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, can be due to environmental factors or an underlying health condition. Dry skin can also cause other symptoms such as itchiness, rash, and pain.

Dry skin can also set the stage for fissures (cracks in the skin), particularly on the heel. This happens when repeated friction or pressure causes the skin on the bottoms of your feet to thicken into calluses. 

In addition, the protective fat pads in the soles of your feet become thinner as you age. As you lose this cushioning, the skin on the already dry and hardened callouses becomes stressed.

As you walk and put more pressure on the area, the fat pads in the heel and ball expand, causing the skin to split. Over time, these small cracks become deeper, more painful, and may begin to bleed.

Risk Factors for Dry, Cracked Feet

While anyone can develop dry feet and cracked heels, common risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Being on your feet for long periods of time 
  • Going barefoot
  • Obesity
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Taking long, hot showers 
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes, hard or unsupportive footwear, or shoes without socks

Structural abnormalities of the foot can contribute to the development of calluses. These include: 

  • Bone spurs: Bony projections along the edges of bones
  • Bunions: Bony bumps at the base of the big toe
  • Hammertoes: An abnormal bend or buckling at the middle joint of a toe

Environmental Factors

Things your body comes into contact with may sap the moisture from your skin and contribute to your feet's dryness. Environmental factors may include:

  • Heat and humidity: The inside of your shoe can get very hot—sometimes well over 120 F. This heat and humidity can cause your skin to lose moisture and thicken.
  • Skin cleansers: Certain soaps can strip protective oils from the skin. They can also leave irritating residues that contribute to dry skin.
  • Cold weather: Dry skin often worsens in the winter months. That's because cooler outdoor air is less humid. In addition, indoor heating further dries out the indoor air.

How to Prevent Dry, Cracked Feet
Caring for your feet properly can help prevent dry, cracked skin on your feet. Wear supportive, properly fitting shoes with socks and avoid going barefoot.

You also can prevent dry feet by avoiding hot baths or showers and only using gentle soap on your feet. Moisturizing your feet daily, getting pedicures, or using a pumice stone to gently remove calluses at home can help.

If you are overweight, losing weight can relieve pressure on your heels to prevent or reduce cracking.

Moisturize Your Feet
Apply foot cream to your feet twice a day, including after bathing and before bed. Moisturizers provide a seal over your skin to keep water from escaping and drying out your skin.

While any lotion will do, some ingredients work better for tackling callused feet. Look for products that contain the following:
  • Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA): AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid helps slough off dead skin cells and help the epidermis (the skin's outermost layer) retain moisture. 5
  • Lanolin: Lanolin acts as an effective moisture barrier. You can buy lanolin over the counter (OTC) at any pharmacy. It is usually labeled as a product for breastfeeding parents, although you can use it for any form of dry, chapped skin.
  • Urea cream: Urea is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient and is very hydrating.
If you are prone to allergies or skin sensitivities, make sure to use hypoallergenic products formulated for sensitive skin.

Get a Pedicure
Getting regular professional or at-home pedicures can help you stay on top of calluses before they become problematic.

Pedicures are very effective at keeping calluses from building up. It’s safe to remove some of the dead, callused skin—as long as you do so gently. 

Here are some tips on how to give yourself an at-home pedicure:
  • Soak your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes. 
  • For dry skin on the tops of the feet, ankles, and legs, use a loofah sponge or exfoliating foot scrub to remove dead skin cells.
  • Next, use a foot file or pumice stone to slough off dead skin on rough areas on the soles of your feet.
  • Callused skin is tougher and less sensitive than other skin. To prevent overdoing it, stop when you start to feel it.
  • Finish off by applying moisturizer to your feet.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

How to Exfoliate Your Feet at Home

Skincare doesn't just stop at your face 一 and if you're dealing with extremely dry feet, then you may want to consider adding some extra steps (no pun intended) to your routine. While foot care certainly isn't glamorous, taking a few additional moments each week to care for the skin on your feet will go a long way in improving how they look and, more importantly, how they feel. And while getting regular pedicures is a great way to keep your feet in great shape, it’s not always realistic. You may not have the time to frequent the salon, and biweekly or even monthly pedicures can get expensive fast. 

Causes of Dry Skin on Your Feet

Before you embark on your foot care journey, you may want to understand why the skin on your feet can look and feel dry. While you can get dry skin anywhere, it’s important to note that the skin on the soles of your feet (and the palms of your hands) is a bit different from the rest of your body. 

For one thing, the top layer of the skin is much thicker in these areas. Another big difference, according to board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Stryke Club Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness, is that the skin on the bottoms of your feet does not have any hair follicles or sebaceous glands, though it does have sweat glands. 

“The thickness of the stratum corneum [the top layer of your skin on your feet] and the lack of oil producing sebaceous glands can lead to drier skin in this location,” says Dr. Maguiness. “In addition, the high concentration of sweat glands produces a moist, sweaty, high friction environment for your feet that paradoxically can lead to irritation. Over time, chronic irritation can lead to inflammation and further thickening of the skin on the soles of your feet.”

Other causes “include allergic contact dermatitis, caused by someone having an allergy to their shoes, tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), a fungal infection of feet (this is probably the most common cause) and eczema,” adds Dr. Jodi LoGerfo, a family nurse practitioner certified in family medicine and dermatology.

How Can You Prevent Dry Skin on Your Feet?

“Preventing dryness on your feet is similar to how you prevent it on the rest of your body,” explains Dr. Maguiness. “Gentle cleansing and immediate application of a moisturizer immediately after bathing is an extremely helpful way to keep the skin on your soles well hydrated and, in turn, improve the skin barrier on the soles of your feet.” 

Dr. LoGerfo also has some additional tips for keeping the skin on the bottoms of your feet as soft and supple as possible, such as keeping your showers under ten minutes, since bathing for too long can dehydrate your skin. She also suggests using lukewarm water; water that’s too hot is another dry skin culprit.

Another preventative measure you can take is moisturizing your skin while still slightly wet and immediately putting socks on afterwards to lock in that hydration. 

Finally, Dr. LoGerfo advises to avoid walking around barefoot. “This can expose already dry and cracked feet to bacterial or fungal organisms.” 

Benefits of Exfoliating Your Feet

Still, dry skin on the soles of your feet is something of an inevitability. That’s where exfoliating comes into play. 

“If you have thickened, dry skin on your feet, it might be an indication that the skin barrier on your soles is impaired,” says Dr. Maguiness. “Paying attention to that and making sure you soften/exfoliate the skin and regularly moisturize might help prevent painful cracks, fissures and ultimately infections that can occur on the feet — both fungal and bacterial.”

Basically, exfoliating will help slough your soles of dead skin cells, smoothing any roughness and making your skin feel much softer.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Feet?

The frequency with which you should exfoliate your feet depends on your skincare habits, namely how often you are moisturizing them. If you moisturize your feet regularly, you may only have to exfoliate a few times a month. You may also find yourself needing the refresh more often in the dryer winter months.  

How to Exfoliate Your Feet in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Soak

Like a pedicure, there’s no reason why the exfoliation process shouldn’t feel relaxing and indulgent. Plan to do this at night time so that you can let your feet exfoliate overnight for the best results. 

Start off by taking a nice bath or, if baths aren’t your thing, soaking your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes. You’ll want to keep them submerged until they get that familiar wrinkled appearance so you know the water has penetrated the top layer of your skin.

Step 2: Apply a Keratolytic Cream 

According to Dr. Maguiness, using a cream with keratolytic properties is essential to properly exfoliating your feet. A keratolytic is “a compound that helps to break down keratin in the outer layer of your skin, making it softer, more supple and easier to hydrate,” she explains. “Common keratolytic agents include Urea 40% cream, lactic acid or other AHA/BHAs, such as salicylic or glycolic acid.” 

Once you’re out of the bath, pat your feet dry and apply the cream of your choice, taking care that it contains one of the keratolytic ingredients mentioned above. 

Step 3: Seal It in With Petroleum Jelly and a Sock

Let your cream absorb into your skin for a few minutes, then apply a basic petroleum jelly ointment all over your soles to lock in the exfoliating properties. Finish by putting a dampened cotton sock on each foot. 

Step 4: Bedtime!

Slip dry socks over your damp ones, so you don’t get your sheets all wet and messy, and you’re ready to hop into bed. After enjoying a hopefully restful night of sleep, you’ll wake up with unbelievably soft, hydrated feet! 

Other Foot Exfoliation Methods 

Don’t have time or the necessary supplies on hand to try Dr. Maguiness’ foot exfoliation tutorial? Here are some other methods. 

  • Use a Scrub

Just like you might use a scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells on areas like your scalp, arms, legs and more, this method can also be effective on the feet. It’s best to apply your scrub to your feet in the shower or when they’re damp as skin is easiest to exfoliate when it’s soft. 

  • Use a Pumice Stone 

If a scrub isn’t effective enough for you, give a pumice stone a go. Pumice stones are made from lava and water; together, they make a hard stone with an abrasive texture. They may be too harsh for areas like the tops of your feet, but they’re great for buffing away hard, dead skin on the heels and sides of the big toes. All you’ll need to do is gently massage the pumice stone in circular motions on your skin to exfoliate. 

  • Use a Foot File 

Another great at-home option is using a foot file, such as the Tweezerman Sole Smoother Antibacterial Callus Stone, to buff away calluses and dead skin. You can get an affordable one at most drugstores, and they’re often made with a pumice-like material or a surface which resembles that of a cheese grater. Foot files can be intense, so be sure to buff it gently onto the skin and work up the intensity as needed. 

  • Try Paraffin Wax

If you’ve ever gotten a pedicure 一 often called a “spa pedicure” 一 where wax was applied to your heels and wrapped in plastic seal, it was probably paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a malleable wax that when melted, applied to the feet and left to sit, will take off the dead skin cells when removed. If a trip to the nail salon isn’t in the cards at the moment, you can purchase an at-home paraffin wax kit. 

  • Apply a Foot Peel Mask

Unlike gentle peeling products for the face, a foot peel is a type of mask specifically formulated to remove dead skin from your feet, leaving you with baby soft, good-as-new skin. It’s a chemical peel that usually comes in the form of what looks like plastic socks. You’ll leave them on for the directed amount of time and, over the next few days, your feet will shed the dead skin. 


Monday, May 6, 2024

How To Make Nails Dry Faster

When there are emails to write, kids to retrieve, and the need to get up and go, you can’t afford to be hands-free for long. This is why we’ve rounded up our experts to share how to make nails dry faster, no chips allowed.

Choose the right shade

Did you know that some shades dry faster than others? If you’re in the market for a super quick manicure, Glitter Shades have the shortest drying time, whereas yellow nail polish will take the longest as the pigment particle size is larger than it is for other shades.

Try OPI Drip Dry Nail Lacquer Drying Drops

Give your nails a few minutes post mani, then apply one to two drops of OPI Drip Dry Nail Lacquer Drying Drops to each nail. Within five minutes, you'll have a perfect mani that won't smudge with nourished cuticles to match.

Head to the kitchen

Did you know that you can use cooking spray to dry your nails? This kitchen essential provides a protective layer of silicone to your manicure and moisturizes your skin and cuticles at the same time. Simply apply a layer of cooking spray on top of your nails and leave for a minute or two.

This essentially works by soaking into the nail and thinning out the polish. Once you see it starting to bead at the top of your nail, you can gently wipe it off with a tissue and find strong, dry polish underneath.

Try hairspray or a hair dryer

Not just made for blow drying your hair, you can grab a hairdryer, pop it on the cool setting, and quickly blow dry your nails. Just wait 30 seconds before doing this to prevent any smudges.

Invest in a quick dry top coat

Try OPI RapiDry Top Coat to speed up the drying process of your nails as well as strengthen them and offer them protection. Expect your nails to develop a long-lasting, non-yellowing, high-gloss shine.

Time to freeze

It’s been proven that cold air can harden polish, so why not employ the same cool principle with water? Leave your nails to dry for a minute before dunking them into a bowl of freezing ice water. You may get cold hands, but a two-minute dip should dry your nails enough for you to carry on with your day.

Get the right coat

To get your nails to dry faster it’s all about painting them the right way. We recommend painting 3 thin coats of nail polish rather than 2 thick and to allow plenty of time between applications. Waiting between coats also helps prevent any air bubbles for a smoother bubble-free finish.


Friday, May 3, 2024

How Your Feet Affect Your Health

It is often stated that the eyes are the windows into the soul and, while this may be the case, a truth that is often ignored can be found in a soul that is much more concrete: a soul with the durability to carry us more than 70,000 miles over the course of a lifetime and the versatility to endure not only walking, but running and jumping as well.

This soul can be found on the bottom of our feet though, much like the eyes, they are the gateway to something greater. In many ways, the feet are like the contents of a sought after treasure chest that, if discovered and opened, can offer riches beyond belief. This treasure chest can be personally found and, with care, unlocked. Look down; discover your feet and the hidden treasure of alignment that waits.

The feet are an access pathway to the spinal cord which bridges to the central nervous system. This allows for training through the feet to change the dynamics with which we move and function. If the feet are able to learn new things as simple as lifting or spreading the toes, the body changes its movement pattern and increases its functional capacity. This adjustment improves the quality of daily activities as well as any sport or fitness training.

Put Your Feet to the Test

When you step up to your Kettlebell or to the front of your yoga mat, shift your awareness to your feet as you spread and lift all ten toes. This brings an awareness into the legs. Press down into each of the four corners and root the feet in to the floor. You will notice the resting power of your lower legs increase.

The art of grounding down through the feet and pulling the strength up through the legs (root to rise) is important for every technique, pose or movement. The four quadrants of the foot should be imprinted in your memory bank and recognition brought to each point. The ball of the big toe, the joint of the fifth digit, and the outer edge of each side of the heel serve as the grounding points for rooting the feet.

Problems with your feet translate to the rest of your body.

Things that constrict the muscles of the foot are ill-fitting footwear, hard surfaces, and even overzealous sporting activities. If the feet are not treated with care and regard to their function, the support structures break down and the arches collapse or weaken. This weakness is transferred up through the rest of the body.

Neck pain, for example, may be a result of the collapse of the foot arch. Practicing barefoot training (flat soled rubber shoes) with the arts of kettlebells and yoga allows the feet to regain their original flexibility and strength, returning to their organic blueprint that predated the ability to walk. As you train with consistent awareness of your feet, notice how their outer appearance and structure changes over time.

Regardless of your activity, awareness of the foot’s importance in all your movements is critical. The foot’s complex anatomy propels you forward with each step you take. If the functional foundations of the feet are solid, other areas of chronic injury or pain may be affected in a positive way.

What does all this mean? Begin to pay attention to your feet for the first time in your life. This minor shift in perception could open a treasure chest of previously unimaginable personal improvement.