Our favourite suppliers have been very busy over the past few months developing new products and we’re very excited to have them at the spa this spring!
Yon-Ka Excellence Code Cream
Thalgo – Integrative Slimming
Thalgo – Biodepyl Innovation
Thalgo – Prodige des Oceans
Skeyndor – Power Hyaluronic
Eminence Organic – Balance Collection
How to keep your pedicure looking great until your next appointment
Pedicure season is officially here! While we recommend that our clients come in once every 4 weeks for a pedicure, around week 3 most people notice that their feet aren’t looking the greatest, but aren’t quite ready for their next appointment either. We often get asked for ways our clients can keep their pedicure looking great until their next appointment rolls around.
1) First and foremost, avoid wearing socks or closed-toes shoes for at least 8 hours after your pedicure. While polish usually feels completely dry 1 hour after your treatment, the bottom layers of polish aren’t completely set until 8 hours afterwards.
2) If you usually get the same color (or alternate between several colors), ask us to order you your own bottle so you can bring it with you to the spa. Doing this means that you have the exact color we’ve applied with you at home for touch-ups, and also ensures that no thinners are added to the polish, allowing it to apply more evenly and adhere to your nail even better. We carry a large selection of O.P.I polishes, from new collections and their classics and can easily get you your very own bottle of your favourite shade.
3) Touch- up your top coat. Your top coat is your first line of defense against chipping your polish and will slowly begin to wear down after leaving the spa. Applying new top coat every 3-4 days, sealing the free edge of your nail, will ensure that your polish remains neat and fresh. Our top coat of choice? Seche Vite– the world’s finest top coat.
4) Apply cuticle oil daily. Applying cuticle oil around the frame of your nail protects against dry skin and hangnails but also seals in your polish and prevents it from chipping. We’ve used and carried Duri nail treatment products for years, and absolutely love and recommend their quick dry oil as an inexpensive and easy way to keep your pedicures (and manicures) looking great.
5) After you’re done showering, use a simple, wooden foot paddle to remove access dry skin that’s built up around your heels. Summer means cute sandals and flats, which look great but often mean dry skin and callus build-up. After a shower, your skin is softer and removing dead skin is easier. Our foot paddles are double-sided, with one side being rougher than the other. We’ve carried a variety over the years and they usually range in price from $5-$10.
6) Once you’ve used a wooden foot paddle to remove excess dry skin, apply a moisturizing product. If you’re going to bed, apply Gehwol’s Salve for Cracked Skin to cracked/dry areas ONLY and then put on a pair of socks. Or, if you’re looking for something less greasey in texture, or this is part of your morning routine, Beata recommends one of the Footlogix mousses. They have an extensive line, filled with products to treat almost any foot condition.
7) Things to avoid, if possible: Chlorine (as it eats away at your polish) and synthetic fragrance (such as strong perfumes found in creams).
What pedicure-prolonging practises do you follow? What works well for you? What doesn’t? We’d love to hear from you.
Last week we wrote about what makes a product truly “green” and some common misconceptions surrounding “green” or organic products.
So, with all of the myths, information and product lines available, which green product line do we trust the most?
Beata and Tanya have both used Eminence Organic skin care products regularly since 2003, when the line was first introduced in Canada. Beata knows the founder, Boldijarre Koronczay personally and greatly admires his dedication to innovation, the strong marketing he employs, his commitment to being a truly green company and the corporate social responsibility initiative he has rolled out.
Their mission statement, “to deliver happiness and extraordinary service by providing the healthiest and most effective skin care products” and to protect “the future of our planet through our green practices” truly is the foundation behind all they do.
Eminence has been voted Favorite Skin Care Line for four years in a row by skin care professionals and #1 for skin care results in the natural and organic spa industry. Why?
- Their products are free of parabens, sodium sulfate, animal by-products, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, harmful colorants, fragrances, mineral oils and petroleum.
- Eminence is a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the association for the organic industry in North America. The OTA works to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.
- Eminence is the Best of Green Award winner for the best environmental practices in the industry.
- Their products are hand-made, cruelty-free without mass production for over 50 years.
We also love Eminence because they’re committed to being an industry leader in keeping our planet green and has always been concerned about the environment. Since its inception, they’ve been using sustainable farming and green practices to create organic products- before being green was cool.
How are they doing this?
- They’ve enlisted wind and solar power energy in the making of their products, which produces no carbon dioxide.
- Their products come in recyclable packaging, their inks are vegetable-based and they use FSC certified post-consumer recycled paper.
- In their warehouses, all packing boxes are reused and recycled and their new eco-friendly software system means they don’t need to print out invoices- saving 15-20 trees per year!
- Their green office space has been designed as an eco-alternative building made primarily with renewable resources. Even their staff uses “green” transportation- 92% of their office uses public transit, walks or bikes to and from work every day.
You’re going to love this…really, you are.
Eminence has an amazing Forests for the Future initiative. Basically, every time they sell an active organic, or Biodynamic product, Eminence will plant a tree.
The Power of 1 Tree:
- Produces 260 pounds of oxygen per year
- Absorbs as much carbon in 1 year as a car produces driving 26, 000 miles
- Helps lower air temperature and helps prevent climate change
- Stabilizes soil and prevents wind and soil erosion
- Contributes to the fertility of land through nitrogen fixation and increasing water penetration
Their website has a ton of helpful resources, be sure to check it out here. Have you used Eminence before? Which products of theirs do you love?
Over the past decade, “greenwashing” has become more prevalent in both the household products and beauty industries. With this positive trend has come a lot of confusion.
A quick search online will result in thousands of articles all arguing something different, revealing product ‘scams’ and a host of product lines claiming to be genuinely organic, natural or green.
The fact that there is no official regulatory body in Canada and United States monitoring these products and setting guidelines for what makes something “organic” makes things even more confusing to consumers faced with a wall of beauty products to choose from, all claiming to be free of preservatives, organic or natural.
So, you decide you’re going to be pro-active and research the various ingredients included in a product you’re interested in buying before making the purchase. Did you know that Canadian regulations state that not all ingredients need to be included on product labels? Where does this leave you as a consumer? Confused, overwhelmed, misinformed and disappointed.
The first thing you need to know about products that claim to be organic is that no product can be 100% organic. It’s impossible. Why? Because any product that contains water, especially, creams, gels and serums need preservatives. These wet products in air-tight containers are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Without a preservative mold, yeasts and fungi grow causing rashes and infections. While synthetic preservatives protect the product, parabens, a common ingredient in some synthetic preservatives, has been believed to cause cancer.
The solution seems simple, right? Find what is safe in both natural and synthetic preservatives and use that. Easier said than done. There are many complications with replacing synthetic preservatives with a natural alternative.
The issue with creating an organic or natural preservative is that there are many organic ingredients that can prevent the growth of mold, yeast or fungi however, they are not safe for consumer’s skin and will result in a strange smelling product. Using a smaller dosage means it’s not effective as a preservative and the product will have a very short shelf-life, something that is not ideal for suppliers, retailers and customers.
A universal organic preservative is also difficult to achieve because it needs to fit into a company’s pre-existing, specific working product formula. Determining how this works from company to company varies, and within the company itself, requires trial and error, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.
There is however, a light at the end of the tunnel.
The good news is that the big players in the beauty industry are willing to dedicate the time and money towards adequately testing products and working towards developing a more organic preservative.
This means two things. First, that with the emergence of more organic and natural products will hopefully come a regulatory body in Canada and United States. Secondly, this means that these organic products will eventually come to have lower price-points as they become less trendy and more mainstream.
In the meantime, here are some ingredients that are commonly confused as natural preservatives:
1) Vitamin E – While it is an antioxidant and does prolong product’s shelf-life it will not prevent the growth of mold, yeasts and fungi in any products that contain water
2) Grapefruit Seed Extract – This ingredient often has to be chemically-altered to the point of no longing being natural. While it does have some antimicrobial characteristics, it is not a good natural preservative.
3) CO2 Extract (AKA; Rosemary Oil) – This ingredient is an antioxidant and can be used to extend the life of oil-based products; however, it is not an effective preservative in water-based products.
Want to know which organic product line we trust and personally use? Stay tuned for next week’s blog entry!
In our earlier post, we outlined some of the dangers of not having your pedicure done at a sanitary spa, or a spa that does not follow sanitation procedures properly. This week, we’ll be answering a question asked by both our regular clients, and new clients looking for a new spa to call home; “What is the sanitation process you use in between pedicure or manicure treatments?”
All of our staff members have been trained to follow the strict disinfection procedures outlined by the Halton Health Board. After each service is completed all instruments that cannot be disinfected such as nail files or buffers are given to our clients, or thrown away. All metal instruments are first washed with soap and water and then placed in Accel CS 20 High Level Disinfectant; for 20 minutes. This high-quality disinfectant has been approved by Halton Health Board for disinfecting medical devices and instruments. All tools are then rinsed, dried and placed in a sterilization pouch, ready to be used on the next client.
When instruments begin to look worn, or aren’t functioning in the best way, new top-of-the-line instruments are purchased in replacement to ensure all our nail care services are done with precision and attention to detail. We also welcome our clients to bring their own tools or products with them if they prefer we use their materials during their services.
Our pipe-less chairs
In our spa we have four very comfortable pedicure chairs with whirlpool baths and pipe-less GeniJet Systems. This pipe-less technology eliminates any bio-film build-up and does not give breeding ground for bacteria growth. After each client, our pedicure whirlpool baths are washed, scrubbed, rinsed with clean water and sprayed with Accel Prevention Hydrotherapy. The spray is left to sit for 5 minutes and the tubs are rinsed again with clean water. At the end of each day all whirlpool baths are filled with water and bleach, re-circulated for 10-15 minutes, drained and then rinsed with clean water (see the full procedure here)
In keeping with European tradition and precision, we guarantee our services and assure that each of our aestheticians will exceed your expectations.
Each of our aestheticians are licensed, have undergone extensive training and have received additional certifications to provide special services, such as gel nails, for our clients. Check out our Facebook page to get to know our staff a little bit better.
Click here, for a full list of our nail care services and as always, feel free to contact us with any questions you have.
With Reading Week and March Break in sight, thoughts turn to vacations, lying on the beach and making time to the hit the gym to be sure you look your best in that bathing suit. In your trip preparation be sure to find time to learn about the consequences of sun damage and purchase a good sunscreen.
One of the most commonly used terms when discussing sun protection is SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is the universal measurement of protection against ultra-violet rays (UV rays). SPF measures how much UV radiation is required to produce a sunburn on skin that’s protected with sunscreen as opposed to how much UV radiation is required to produce a sunburn on unprotected skin. For example; a sunscreen with 30 SPF protects your skin against 30 terms the exposure of UV rays than if you were not wearing any sunscreen.
Did you know that 90% of skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to UV light from the sun? Or, how about that 1 in 6 people will develop a form of skin cancer?
While wearing a good sunscreen decreases your chances of developing skin cancer, SPF also:
a) Reduces your skin’s appearance of aging. Wearing a good sunscreen prevents wrinkle development.
b) Gives your skin a more even tone and reduces your chances of developing age spots or experiencing hyperpigmentation.
While anti-aging products are effective, your skin will continue to show the signs of aging unless these products are paired with SPF in some way.
Wearing SPF daily doesn’t necessarily have to mean wearing a separate sunscreen. Many make-up lines consist of products that include an SPF, like this one here and some creams and serums contain an SPF as well, like these ones here.
Most people don’t think twice about applying sunscreen to their bodies, however, when it comes to putting it on their face people hesitate. Most people assume that all sunscreens are greasy, oily, have a strong scent and will clog their pores. Right? Wrong.
If you are going to wear a separate sunscreen, be sure to keep these things in mind when purchasing a product for your face:
1) Choose the correct SPF level. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a product with an SPF of 15 or higher on your face.
2) Select a product with broad-spectrum protection. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
3) Select an oil-free or noncomedogenic product. These are products recommended by dermatologists because they are lightweight and are guaranteed to not clog your pores.
4) Think about purchasing a tinted moisturizer-sunscreen combination. Using a combination product is a good way to minimize the number of product layers you need to apply.
If you need help selecting a good sunscreen or product with an SPF let us know next time you’re in the spa. Our aestheticians are also highly educated and qualified in this area and can answer any questions you have regarding sun damage treatments.
With so much information being circulated on the internet, all kinds of myths get created and believed whether they are true or not. Two of the most common myths are listed below.
Statement: If I’m wearing sunscreen or using a product with SPF I will not get enough vitamin D.
While vitamin D is essential for your overall health research has shown that relying solely on the sun for your vitamin D intake is dangerous. Adequate amounts should be obtained through milk and fish consumption, vitamin supplementation and limited sun exposure from daily activities while wearing sunscreen. The recommended dose of vitamin D for an adult is 1,000-2,000 IU per day and the sun is unreliable; some days giving you too much exposure, and sometimes not enough.
Statement: Some sunscreens can actually cause cancer.
Confusion in this area arose after a study released by the University of California, Riverside concluded that sunscreens actually caused cancer. While some of the findings were correct, they were taken completely out of context.
The report stated that when exposed to UV rays for an extended period of time, sunscreen ingredients can actually break down and stimulate cellular oxidation. While this can be cause for concern, this can be avoided through proper reapplication. All sunscreens, regardless of their SPF number or ingredients should be re-applied every 2 hours. Sunscreens formulated with antioxidants in conjunction with SPF can also eliminate this concern. Look for ingredients such as caffeine, silymarin, L-ascorbic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), resveratrol and glutathione for superior protection against sun-induced free radical damage.
Which sun care or SPF myths have you heard before?
Click here to learn more about SPF and proper sun care practises.
Enjoy your vacations!
With pedicure season just around the corner, we wanted to take the time to let you know that when it comes to pedicures, not all spas are created equal. While you’re sitting back, relaxing in the massage chair as an aesthetician paints your toes one of the colors from the newest spring collection, what’s happening in the pedicure tub and on the instruments being used can be scary.
Not having your pedicure performed at a sanitary establishment that meets the standards set by the Region of Peel Health Department or the International Pedicure Association puts you at risk for developing bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Pedicure tubs present ideal conditions for the transmission of fungal infections.
In combination with warm, damp conditions, pedicure chair piping can trap hair, skin and other bits of debris encouraging the transmission of toenail fungus, warts and furunculosis; or recurring boils.
In order to prevent the spread of infection, foot baths should be cleaned and disinfected between each client, as well as at the end of each day. Although they are not found in many spas, pipe- less pedicure chairs are ideal and greatly work to eliminate this problem.
Contaminated spa instruments are also a culprit
If the instruments aren’t being cleaned properly, they can pass along serious blood-related diseases such as Hepatitis C. Thorough washing of all instruments with soap and water followed by immersing them in a disinfectant solution must be done after every client.
Common Error: While a spa may follow the correct sanitation process, they may not store their equipment properly. Sanitizing instruments is important, however, the sanitation process is not effective if the clean instruments are then stored in a dirty drawer or container.
Anything used in a pedicure service that is not metal, such as wooden sticks, nail buffers or gloves are categorized as “single use” items and should be disposed of after every client or given to the client for at-home use.
A spa manager’s responsibility.
Salon owners and managers are responsible for ensuring their staff members understand and properly follow the cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing procedures for the Country in which they operate.
Common Error: Some spas have unlicensed employees or, employees that haven’t been properly trained working as aestheticians or nail technicians. Before booking an appointment feel free to ask about employee licensing and training logs. Spa managers should have these records on-hand at the spa.
So, when it’s time for your next pedicure and you’re looking for a spa, keep this checklist top-of-mind:
- Do the pedicure areas, whirlpools and overall spa look clean?
- Do the nail technicians/pedicurists have their licenses?
- Have your feet been examined and health questions asked before the pedicure?
- Do the instruments look clean and have they been disinfected?
- Are single-use items disposed of or given to you after the pedicure?
- Are proper tools being used?
- Are drill bits disinfected?
- Does the spa have adequate ventilation?
- Is a laundered towel or new disposable towel used on each client?
Other than research, what can you do to prevent the spread of infection during your pedicure?
- Do not shave or wax your legs for 48 hours prior to your pedicure. Shaving or waxing may leave small nicks or open pores on the skin which allow bacteria to easily enter during the soaking process.
- Do not have a pedicure if you have any open wounds on your legs or feet.
- Ask that your pedicurist wear gloves during your treatment both for their protection, as well as your own.
Remember, the cost of your pedicure goes far beyond the service being performed. Your total at the register includes: covering the cost of the materials being used as well as labor. This involves; preparation of the work space, initial cleaning and disinfecting of materials, performing the pedicure service and tear down procedure which meets the strict Region of Peel Health Department requirements.
Stay tuned for next week’s post on our sanitation procedures and details! Feel free to come in for a tour of our pedicure area and ask any questions you might have.
With all the different nail gel options available, it’s difficult to understand what makes one brand different fromanother.There is also confusion surrounding imitation brands, health benefits or risks and pricing.
Let us clear up the confusion for you.
At Beauty Institute and Spa we ONLY carry Bio Sculpture Gel products and have recently introduced Gelish products as well, as the safest products on the market. If you’ve gone to other nail salons, you may have realized that our Bio Sculpture Gels are a little bit more expensive than other gel or Shellac options.
So, why do we choose to carry this product?
- Bio Sculpture Gel is the #1 selling color gel in Canada.
- Bio Sculpture Gel is the only nail gel to receive a 5-Star Safety Rating.
- Bio Sculpture Canada offers training to aestheticians so they can become certified technicians, guaranteeing their work quality.
- Bio Sculpture Gel not only looks natural, but is actually a nail hardening treatment that strengthens and promotes natural nail growth. This product can be applied directly onto your natural nail without damaging the nail plate and works to protect them while brittle, cracked nails grow and repair.
- Bio Sculpture Gel does not use primers, bonders, glues or resins.
- No excessive buffing before or after the gel is applied is necessary
- Bio Sculpture Gel can be removed using non-acetone polish remover and the permanent nail color will be restored to its original state.
- The line is made up of over 100 colors.
Imitation Nail Gel Products Have Flooded the Market
Upon going to a nail salon or spa you may be presented with other “bio gel” options that appear to be Bio Sculpture Gel products. One of the most common imitations is gels packaged in little black jars with “Bio Gel” written across the label in gold lettering.
How can you tell if the product being used in your manicure is an authentic Bio Sculpture Gel product?
1) The label should also include the Bio Sculpture Gel diamond symbol
2) It should read “Made in South Africa”
3) The product should be odorless
4) Bio Sculpture Gel nails can be removed using a non-acetone soak
If you have any other questions about Bio Sculpture Gel be sure to ask one of our certified nail technicians next time you’re in the spa.