Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Brittle nails causes, prevention and treatment

Brittle fingernails can be painful and it is also not a pretty sight. In order to prevent and treat brittle nails, let's first learn the causes of brittle nails.

Causes of brittle nails:
  1. repeated wetting and drying of fingernails
  2. repeated or excessive exposure to harsh solvents (detergent, soap and even nail polish remover)
  3. Harsh treatment of hands and nails due to work (e.g construction, gardening and other manual labor)
  4. underlying medical condition, such as Raynaud's disease, low thyroid function, skin diseases (psoriasis, lichen planus, alopecia areata) , endocrine disorders, tuberculosis, Sjogren's syndrome, malnutrition and even Selenium poisoning.
Here I'll only discuss the remedy for brittle nails caused by the first three causes above and not due to underlying medical conditions.
Tips to prevent brittle nails:
  1. Wear rubber gloves when doing any work that exposes your fingernails to water, detergent or other solvents such as washing dishes, washing cloths, gardening, etc.
    Playtex HandSaver Gloves: XL
  2. If you are doing the work mentioned above for a longer duration, consider wearing a thin cotton glove under the rubber gloves to absorb the perspiration from the hand to avoid moisture on the nails.Dermatological cotton gloves - ladies regular, cara 82 - 1 pair
  3. Do manicure often and always keep your nails nicely trimmed to prevent crack or tear.
  4. Consider to trim nails right after shower or bath to achieve a more even and neat cut. Also use good quality ones to get a nice clean cut everytime. I recommand using Seki Edge Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper as it one of the best to do the job.

    Seki Edge Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper
  5. Avoid habits of nail biting or using your nails to pick on things such as removing staplers, twisting screws etc.
  6. Ensure you are getting enough nutrients so that the body can produce strong and healthy nails. Also message your fingers and nails several times a day to promote blood circulation in that area. This will help in absorption of nutrients.
  7. If your nails are dry, apply moisturizer or olive oil on it and message them in.

Treatment for brittle nails:
Taking biotin supplements helps in promoting thicker nail, faster growing nail and reduce nails tendency to split or break. You can read more about Biotin for hair skin and nail in my previous post here. Non the less, do consult your doctor before taking it as a safety measure.
Appearex Biotin Tablets, 2.5 mg, 84-Count Box Example of biotin supplement

Pore minimizing in 3 steps

Put your hands up if you have those pesky enlarge looking pores especially around the nose and cheek area. If you don't have, great. But really? Anyway, here are some of home remedy to minimize pores you can try:)

First step:
Always ensure that you keep your skin clean. If you wear makeup, clean your make up before going to sleep. One of the reason for enlarge pore is due to the pores clogged up by dirt, oil and even cosmetic products for extended period, making it even harder to minimize. Also, if you don't keep your skin clean, acne and blackheads might appear causing these enlarge pores. One cost effective product for deep cleansing your skin effectively is Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser. You can see the Amazon customer review from the link below.

Second step:
Use toners after washing your skin with a cleanser. Choose alcohol free toners or another solution is to use natural homemade toner using Apple Cider Vinegar. For more information on how to make Apple Cider Vinegar toner and benefits from it, please refer to my previous post.
Third step:
Exfoliate skin once a week and also use mask. Clay mask helps in reducing oiliness from skin and also helps in minimizing pores. You also can opt for a more cost effective solution which to use homemade mask using egg white to tighten pores. You can refer to the egg white mask recipe and steps in my previous post also.
Do try these basic pore refining tips and I hope these tips works for you. I'll add more tips on how to minize pore in my future post. Stay tuned :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Likas papaya soap for whitening skin and cure acne

Have you tried papaya soap before? You'll be surprise how good it is. I came to know about this product while searching for skin whitening solutions. The best brand that was recommended is Likas Papaya Soap. It is the first pure organic herbal soap of Philippines and has even won 2 awards:
  • 2003 National Consumers Quality Award for Hall of Fame Best Papaya Herbal Soap
  • 2003 Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards for Outstanding Papaya Herbal Soap

Original Likas Papaya Skin Whitening Herbal Soap

Upon seeing how much good reviews it got from the users (read from forums) I've decided to give it a try. If you see the user ratings in Amazon, all of them rate it with 5 stars. Wow, rite? You can click on the link or image to see it in Amazon. Anyway, here are the pros and cons I've discovered:

Pros (Benefits of using papaya soap):

  1. Even out skin tone(most important to me) and also whitens the skin a little bit. It might have been the exfoliating effect of papaya enzymes
  2. Skin feels smoother and gives natural glow to it. If you have dull complexion, do give it a try. The gentle exfoliating effect will help to remove the dull skin and replace it with a radiant glow instead.
  3. Lightens pimple scar, freckles and dark spots (dark underarm, joints, etc). I used to have dark tan on some parts of my back due to sun burn from swimming in the afternoon a year ago(never do this, it burns) . After using it for around 2 weeks, the skin tone on my back seems to even out. Two thumbs up for this :D.
  4. Helps in treating acne problem and to reduce redness. If used on face, remember to apply moisturiser as it is drying. If not, it might cause more breakouts. There are a few user with bad acne problem mentioned that after using papaya soap on their skin (face), they have lesser breakouts. You can read about it here: Likas Papaya Soap review.

Cons (Disadvantages or side effect of papaya soap):

  1. Drying. Remember to apply moisturizer if you have dry skin and avoid using it on the face if you have sensitive skin.

Original Likas Papaya Skin Whitening Herbal Soap

Do be careful when buying the soap as there are some fake ones in the market. Here are few of the guidelines for authentic Likas Papaya soap:

  • Each Likas Papaya soap is orange-schemed and carries the Mystica Logo throughout its packaging. The Mystica Logo is reflected which emanates rainbow rays and shines in the light.

  • Likas Papaya soap comes in a clean orange bar. There is no visible bits or bubbles inside it.

  • Likas Papaya soap is sold in bar form and packed in a box. The soap is not sold in as scraps, or as overruns.

  • Likas Papaya soap weighs exactly 135 grams.

  • Likas Papaya soap has no strong odor & has no harsh ingredients

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dry skin causes Oily skin?

Weird as it may sound. But it's true. Previously i was not convinced. I thought "how is it possible that dry skin causes oily skin?" Dry means no moisture and oily means just a lot of oil or sebum on the skin. They even have skin care products that differentiate between oily and dry skin. Confusing rite? But, look again at the statement "Dry skin causes oily skin".

The keyword is 'causes'. The other day I went to a cosmetics counter(Christian Dior) and the promoter was very friendly. We chit chat for awhile and finding the right product for my skin. She explains that skin requires a lot of moisture to remain elastic, plump and also to prevent oiliness.

Ok, back to the basic. Oil or sebum is actually good. It is part of the natural skin protection system to protect your skin from being dry and wrinkly. Only when it is over produced, that's when it is a problem. But why? What causes it to over produced? One of the reason is that the skin is too dry.

When the skin is too dry, it some sort of triggers the brain to produce more oil or sebum to protect the skin. Reasonable rite. Therefore, to overcome this, use product that helps to instill and retain moisture on your skin. Try brands like Christian Dior or Biotherm. It seems works better as compared to over the counter products according to a few of my friends comments and my own experience. It's time to pamper ourselves :)

If you are interested in taking care for your skin, learn the basic of skin care from my previous post.