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Ask Sally

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Question 1 - I have taken my nail varnish off to find my nails have gone yellow. Why has this happened and what can I do?

Answer - There are a number of reasons for this reaction to nail polish. Formaldehyde (a common ingredient in nail varnish) reacts with the keratin protein in the nails making them both brittle and yellow. You can buy formaldehyde-free products (check packaging)

Some dark polishes may stain nails due to a chemical reaction between the colourant and the nail plate. The same colour does not cause this reaction for everyone so cannot be predicted.

Fungal or bacterial infections, diabetes, psoriasis and kidney disease are a few of the medical conditions leading to discolouration, but in this case it would appear to be related to the use of nail polish. To reduce the staining soak nails in a cup of water with the juice of one lemon (a natural bleaching agent) for 15 minutes once a week. If possible stop wearing polish to allow this to grow out, but bear in mind this may take 4-6 months. If you need to continue to wear polish always use a base coat to protect nails from future staining. Also try formaldehyde-free nail varnish and stay away from dark colours.

Question 2 - My eyes are puffy due to too many late nights. What should I do?

Answer - The puffiness may indeed be caused due to lack of sleep, but other factors may include fluid retention, stress, allergies, excess alcohol and too much sodium in the diet causing water retention.

Here are some common remedies-
1. Get more sleep.
2. Wash area with ice-cold water.
3. Limit sodium intake.
4. Place a cool slice of cucumber on the eyes for several minutes.
5. Moisten two tea bags in cold water, chill them in the refrigerator and place over the eyes for a few minutes.
6. Use eye gels (common soothing extracts include chamomile, aloe and vitamin E).

Apply approximately the size of a split pea around the affected area. Pat rather than rub and keep with you to apply whenever eyes feel sore. This can be applied on top of make-up.

Question 3 - Is there an essential oil to help me sleep?

Answer - Many oils have a calming sedative quality, the most commonly used being lavender. This is also the safest for home use. Put 8-10 drops in a warm, steamy bath and relax.

It is always wise to seek a consultation with an aromatherapist who would determine the cause of your insomnia and also be sure that the recommended oils would be compatible with any medical conditions you may have.

To ‘Ask Sally’ a beauty question, please contact:

Sally Corless
Eden Health & Beauty Spa
44 Suffolk Road
Cheltenham
GL50 2AQ

Tel: 01242 528282