Tag Archive for: Hands

Beautifully manicured hands are all the rage right now and the options are limitless but make sure you aren’t damaging the health of your nails. Over manicuring is quite common and something to try and avoid. Filing everyday or too often removes essential nail growth tissue which can cause nail thinning and cracking. Nails are attached to the finger by tiny tissue structures. Over manicuring, filing or cutting can be damaging to these structures and cause nails to either grow too fast, too slow or in odd uneven shapes. Filing nails into unnatural shapes(very pointy or very square) can also cause damage. So, what should you ask the nail technician to do? Ask her not to over file the nail and no extreme shapes and then ask her to push back the cuticles instead of cutting them. Over cutting the cuticle can be damaging as well. The cuticle is there to protect your nail bed so removing it too often can allow germs to get in, inviting infection. Over tending to the cuticles is also extremely drying. If you are having your cuticles cut during every manicure, consider cutting that in half. Using a cuticle oil or Vitamin E oil on the cuticle daily will ward off excessive dryness as well.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.16.00 PMPhoto via This Silly Girls Life

How dangerous is shellac or the ‘gel mani’?

There is a lot of controversy around these polishes that are adhered by drying under a ultraviolet light and then removed with acetone. There are two major concerns when it comes to this type of nail service. The first is the potential risk for skin cancer on the tops of the hands. Although their has been a study that concluded one would probably have to have 250 years worth of drying under a UV light to see actual cancer, the UV damage is a real threat. Even if it is only once a month that your hands are being exposed they can still become damaged and show signs of sun damage quickly.  Not only will they feel and look dry, they may develop sun spots/dark spots as well. Rule of thumb, wear and SPF on the tops of the hands when you know you’re going to get a manicure. Opt for a 50 SPF or higher. After the manicure make sure to apply lots of hand cream to replenish oil and hydration back into the hands. Hands to Heart is the perfect way to fight off dark spots and dryness from the UV light.
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 2.17.21 PMThe second concern is the removal process of shellac. At some salons you soak your nails in a little bowl of acetone(yuck!) and at others they apply a tiny piece of acetone soaked cotton to the tips and wrap them with foil for a few minutes.  Either route seems pretty damaging. Acetone is a chemical and can be very damaging to soft tissue. After the polish is loosened by the acetone the technician will remove the polish. This should be a very easy process that includes use of a metal scraper.  If there is actual scrapping that you can feel she is doing it incorrectly. the issue with this removal precess is that while scrapping the polish off, she is also removing healthy nail cells and thinning out the surface. A few shellac manicures will not ruin your nails but over time they can damage the integrity of the nail causing thinning and breakage. As with anything-moderation is key.

Regular manicures can also be damaging to nails and overall health due to some nasty ingredients found in certain polish. Here are a few ingredients to stay clear of. Formaldehyde which is used to embalm bodies Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) which has been liked to reproductive issues and banned in Europe and Toulene: part of the makeup of gasoline. However there are a number of ‘clean’ or 3-free and 5-free nail polishes that can take the place of toxic polish.  Some of our favorites are Zoya, RGB, Ten Over and Sparitual(vegan).

Nails are also an indicator of overall health. Below are signs to watch out for, if you are experiencing any of these see a dermatologist.

Very pale nails: anemia, liver disease, malnutrition

White nails: hepatitis or liver issues

Yellow nails: fungal infection

Bluish nails: lack of oxygen, lunch issues

Ripped nails: early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis

Cracking/splitting nails: fungal infection

Dark lines or spots under the nail bed: could be melanoma but don’t mistake this for a bruise if there was trauma to the nail.

Regardless of what type of polish or manicure you choose to have it is always a good idea to rest nails in between services. Take off all the polish and let them breathe!



Dr. Goldfaden breaks down how skin ages and what we need to look for in protecting our hands, yes HANDS, from premature aging.

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As we age, our skin cells become less and less capable of producing the energy needed for DNA repair and cell renewal. Our bodies’ natural supply of internal antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase also diminishes. This allows free radicals generated by ultraviolet light, smog, cigarette smoke, X-rays, drugs, and other factors to inflict cumulative damage to the lipid bilayer that covers our skin cells. This constant oxidative assault also causes the fatty membranes of cells to become more permeable, with the result that our skin gradually loses moisture and becomes dehydrated.

Aging likewise involves a progressive decline in the body’s ability to synthesize essential fatty acids required by the skin to maintain adequate moisture. Collagen, the primary protein in the skin’s connective tissue, is especially susceptible to free-radical damage, and this accounts for the sagginess and wrinkles so often seen in aged skin.

Age spots, another common skin feature associated with aging, are caused by specialized skin cells known as melanocytes, which make up about 8-10% of the epidermal skin cells. Melanocytes continually release small amounts of brown-black pigment called melanin, which determines normal skin color and also helps protect the skin by limiting the penetration of ultraviolet light into the epidermis and by scavenging DNA-damaging free radicals. As skin ages, these melanocytes grow fewer in number and often cluster together, appearing as brown, or even black, patches on your skin.


Although the aging process and its adverse effects on your skin may seem both relentless and inevitable, a number of natural compounds have been scientifically shown to support the repair mechanisms of skin cells and boost their healing capabilities.

One group of compounds that effectively counteract the damaging effects of free radicals are antioxidants. Topically applied antioxidants confer significant protection against free-radical assault and even partially reverse some aspects of skin aging. Several noted animal and human studies have demonstrated that antioxidants of low molecular weight, such as vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid, exert strong protective effects against free-radical damage.

Due to its ability to induce superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, red tea extract exerts antioxidant effects that are approximately 50 times greater than those of green tea. Red tea extract contains potent, protective natural antioxidants and enzymes, such as vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which facilitate skin cell renewal, giving skin a smoother, brighter, and healthier appearance.



Another critical group of nutrients required for healthy skin are natural moisturizing agents that protect against dehydration. One of the most important of these is hyaluronic acid, a large sugar-like molecule found in every tissue of the body, particularly in collagen-rich connective tissues.

The network of collagen fibers below the skin is filled with a jelly-like mixture of water, protein complexes, and hyaluronic acid, which facilitates the transport of essential nutrients from the bloodstream to the living cells of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is critical to this mixture because of its ability to attract and bind with water. Unfortunately, due to damaging free radicals, up to half of our hyaluronic acid reserves are depleted by the time we turn 50. Replenishing the skin with hyaluronic acid promotes healing, repair, and antioxidant activity. Hyaluronic acid also provides volume and fullness, and is crucial in maintaining smoothness and moisture in the skin.


The fat-soluble antioxidant CoQ10 is highly effective in countering the normal decline in mitochondrial energy production that accompanies aging.8 Coenzyme Q10 is especially important for aging skin due to its essential role in assisting fibroblast cells.

Another nutrient that fights sagging caused by the destruction of the skin’s underlying collagen structure is DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). In one study, DMAE was shown to produce a firming effect on the skin, perhaps because DMAE helps to stabilize cell membranes. Based on clinical reports, DMAE may be the first topical agent that can help firm sagging skin directly. DMAE also greatly increases the skin’s radiance, tone, and firmness, while decreasing micro-inflammation.

Retinol, a pure and active form of vitamin A, is one of the few substances with a molecular structure small enough to penetrate to the skin’s lower layers, where collagen and elastin reside. By stimulating collagen and elastin, vitamin A derivatives create firmer, smoother skin and also work to increase cell turnover by stimulating the production of new cells underneath the skin’s surface. This accelerated cell turnover promotes the exfoliation of dead skin cells and allows healthier cells to appear. As a result, the skin appears softer and smoother, and signs of aging start to diminish.

Open Hands


The final group of compounds that can improve the health and appearance of aged skin are skin-lightening agents. These compounds help reduce unsightly, mottled areas of hyperpigmentation where melanin has pooled underneath the skin. Two ingredients that appear to work synergistically to address this condition are N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide.

Glucosamine’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in promoting joint health are well established. When combined with niacinamide, a vitamin B derivative, N-acetyl glucosamine is more effective in reducing hyperpigmentation than niacinamide or N-acetyl glucosamine alone. Treatment with N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide reduced both the size of hyperpigmented spots and improved the consistency of melanin distribution in the skin. In-vitro studies of human skin cultures also found that N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide stimulated the production of hyaluronic acid and increased healthy collagen expression. This improved hydration of the skin helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Being among the top concern of patients in Dr. Goldfaden’s office and around the world, Dr. Goldfaden has specially developed Hands To Heart “Anti-Aging + Brightening” hand treatment to address the unique needs of the hands, this rich, yet fast-absorbing cream helps fade dark spots and reduces the appearance of fine lines while instantly smoothing and plumping skin. Breakthrough anti-aging ingredients CoQ10, niacinimide, glucosamine and retinol along with potent hyaluronic acid work to provide skin with a more youthful appearance leaving hands nourished, protected and supple.