O.K. I am about to confess a guilty pleasure of mine, a mani-pedi. I am not fussy about where it is done or who does it. I am happy at a professional nail salon or at home having a spa day with my teenage daughters. I feel more put together, large and in charge, when my fingers and toes are looking good.
Chemotherapy and radiation can wreck havoc with skin and nails. Nails can become dry, flaky, brittle, and even peel. It is important to take care of your nails by keeping them clean and short. Protect them by wearing gloves for housework or gardening.
During my chemotherapy for breast cancer, I wanted to continue to polish my nails.
I checked with my oncology nurse first to make sure it was OK and then did some homework before I set up my home salon. Here is what I learned:
- Avoid nail salons & never share tools or products (risk of infection)
- Clips nails with a clipper and then file. Do not cut cuticles or skin.
- Use clean clippers and file. Soak clipper in rubbing alcohol.
- Opt for water-based nail polish or Five-free polish brands, which have removed five of the most toxic chemicals.
- Do not use artificial nails (trap bacteria)
Today there are brands of polish that are water based. Water based polishes are non-toxic, non-flammable (great for travel), and practically odorless. They take a little longer to dry but the health trade-off is worth it. One of my favorite brands is Spa Rituals.
Nail polishes that are called 5-free means that these brands have removed five of the most toxic polish chemicals including formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. Two brands with great colors are SpaRituals which can be found online and at Sephora, and Mineral Nail Fusion. Mineral Nail Fusion comes with a wide brush that makes it easy to apply. Purchase it online or at Whole Foods.
My daughters and even my husband can now do beautiful mani-pedis with lots of laughs in-between. The CBG nail salon is open. Who needs an appointment?
Want more lifestyle tips? Check out our section on Beauty and Wellness.