Caring for your nails

Caring for your nails

Welcome to Menopause Minute | Issue No 8 | Girl, take care of those nails!

In the last few weeks we’ve talked about the many ways low estrogen can wreak havoc on the body.

Low estrogen can cause irregular heartbeat, bladder changes, hot flashes, insomnia and headaches.

Sadly, the buck doesn’t stop there. Low estrogen can also lead to brittle and unhealthy nails making them vulnerable to discoloration, dents and ridges.

(Both hands raised here).

I’ve only recently begun to feel self-conscious about my nails—some days more than others.

And as trivial as fingernails may seem, when you couple that with all of the other undesirable changes brought about my menopause, and you’ve got one hot mess on your hands!

So, as I’m working through the phases of the menopause process, I’ve come to realize that I need to spend more time on self-care acts.

So I’m now doing things like slathering on lotion right after I shower (something I used to be able to skip), and paying more attention to those tips and toes.

With that said, today you’ll find some expert tips to caring for your nails during the menopause phase of life.

1. Soften your nails before trimming

I have to come clean: I had no idea there was a good reason behind soaking your nails. I thought it was just an additional way to make you feel pampered. But the rationale for soaking your nails before trimming them is that it softens the nails making them easier to cut.

Embarrassingly I admit, it was my dad who set me straight on that one.

2. Keep your nails clean and dry

According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping your nails clean and dry prevents bacteria from growing underneath your fingernails.

Prolonged contact with water can also contribute to split fingernails. So whenever possible be sure to wear cotton-lined rubber gloves, especially when using harsh chemicals and dry your hands and nails fully after washing.

I’ve experimented with this idea and it makes a noticeable difference.

3. Cut nails straight across 

I feel like this is what everyone REALLY wants to know: should I cut my nails straight across, or with a rounded edge?

This was harder to narrow down that you might think.

When I asked around it seemed this one had the experts divided. Half said straight across, half said rounded.

So I decided it was best to my cues from the American Academy of Dermatology.

They said “Cutting your nails straight across helps keep them strong, and prevents them from snagging on things.”

So there you have it.

4. Don’t cut or peel your cuticles

The experts say the cuticle is there to protect the nail. So cutting or pulling on those cuticles can lead to big problems like bleeding or infection. So don’t do it!

5. Do not use your nails as a tool

I know it’s tempting but don’t do it. Don’t pop open cans or scrape food off of dishes (been there, done that). That’s how nails chip and break.

The following are a few of my favorite cuticle tamers.

Root Pretty Beauty Sleep Oil

This oil can be used on anything. I use it on my nails, hair, breakouts and dry skin. It’s chemical-free and chock-full of natural goodness that makes this multitasker one of my beauty, skin and nail care faves.

 

Butter London

This is another fave of mine when it comes to my nails. They have a cuticle balm, nail scrubbers and the nail polishes are exceptional. Check them out. Also, keep an eye on viewyourdeal.com because they often partner with butter London and I don’t know about you but I love a good deal.

 

Olive oil. Avocado oil. Coconut oil

The odds are you have some of these healthy oils in your kitchen right now. I use them, too. It’s all about what I have on hand and sometimes what’s closest to me.

Well that’s a wrap for now, friends. If you like the tips you’ve read here, please, tweet, post share and subscribe.

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What do I say to someone diagnosed with cancer?

What do I say to someone diagnosed with cancer?

It’s breast cancer awareness month and this means you can buy anything pink. In fact, I challenge you to find something not pink during this month.

Unfortunately, though, what you can’t buy with those pink items is an education about breast cancer (or any cancer) including, prevention.

And while I’m so happy we can talk about breast cancer considering there was a time when women suffered in silence, I do think we need to do more than “pinkwash.” I think education should be the focus.

So today, let’s start with three things you can say to the newly diagnosed should you find yourself at a loss for words.

3 Simple Phrases

 

“I’m sorry”

The reality is this; there are no words of wisdom at a time like cancer. The word “cancer” alone can clear a room or a social calendar. It can render you speechless.

Saying these these seemingly little words can convey you’re concern and care without saying things that could offend. You can always go back later and say more heartwarming words once you’ve collected your thoughts.

“What can I do?”

I think these words speak volumes especially for the newly diagnosed. I remember walking out of the breast clinic the day I got my diagnosis and thinking, what comes next?

Chemotherapy is big, ugly and scary and each person has their own reaction to it. So just knowing you can count on someone to do anything for you is comforting.

“I’m gonna love you through it”

These are words plucked right out of Martina McBride’s song entitled “I’m gonna love you through it.” But they are perfect! However you say it, the best thing you can say is that you are going to be right there with them. There’s no greater gift.

 

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The pit in my Stomach?

The pit in my Stomach?

Diary. June 5, 2018—-I have that pit in your stomach anxiety.

That feeling is related to a photo I posted on Instagram earlier this morning.

She was brave and strong and broken all at once. —Anna Funder

I took the above photo back in 2013 while going through chemotherapy.

Objectively speaking and from a photography perspective, I think it’s a good image.

In fact, It was the artist and documentarian in me that posted it.

But now, the woman and survivor in me is feeling vulnerable. I’m even somewhat embarrassed by it.

Why? I’m at my worst in this picture. Why in the world would I want to post it for all to see?

And what about my family? I wonder if it makes them feel bad to have to remedy it all. Will it change how others see me? My feelings about it is confusing to me.

I’m all about truth telling. I’m also the person who prides herself in gladly taking these kind of photos for other people. I do so with a sense of pride and honor.

I think what I’m feeling has to more to do with vulnerability than embarrassment. I keep reminding myself that so many other survivors do this. So it’s not like I’ve done anything that’s never been done before.

But still, my stomach is telling me otherwise.

The key note on this is that there are no rules, expectations or standards on how to proceed after an illness like cancer.

It’s up to each individual. So I think the best thing to do is to just wait and see how I feel tomorrow.

I’m feeling tired now so I’ll leave it at that for now.

ps. my toe keeps twitching.

Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin Cancer Awareness

Hello everyone. It’s Saturday June 2, 2018—I hope this finds you somewhere breathing in peace and happiness.

If you’ve been following me then you know I’m working on consistent writing, and posting. This week, my post is coming to you a day later than I planned. But as they say, better late than never. And I’m okay with that.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of June. Before June slips into July, I wanna take a little time to talk with you about skin cancer.

In case you didn’t know, May was skin cancer awareness month. But since cancer doesn’t need an occasion to strike I think anytime is a good time to talk prevention.

As a breast cancer survivor I know how scary and painful cancer is. So the way I see it, the only option we have is prevention.

Prevention is your best defense!

I know there are some of you who may be thinking “Sunscreen is an extra step I don’t need” OR “A tan makes me look and feel healthy and sexy.”

I get it! It’s bathing suit season. We all want to look and feel our best. I also know that a tan can improve our appearance in the same way that foundation does. A tan is a cover up that goes a long way.

But, a tan does not equal healthy.  Let’s say that again, together; A tan does not equal healthy. Here’s what the FDA had to say about tanning:

There is no such thing as a safe tan. The increase in skin pigment, called melanin, which causes the tan color change in your skin is a sign of damage.

Evidence suggests that tanning greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. And, contrary to popular belief, getting a tan will not protect your skin from sunburn or other skin damage.

Additionally, premature aging is a long-term side effect of UV exposure, meaning early signs of aging may not show up on your skin until many years after you’ve had a sunburn or suntan. Avoiding UV exposure is essential to maintaining healthy skin.

Did you know?

Cataracts are one form of eye damage that research has shown may increase with UV exposure. Cataracts can cause clouding of the natural lens of the eye meaning decreased vision and possible blindness..

Other types of eye damage include cancer around the eyes, Macular Degeneration and irregular tissue growth that can block vision (Pterygium).

So what’s a girl supposed to do?

Fake it. Use self tanner. There are so many on the market now that it doesn’t make sense to lay out and wait for the color to come. You can even find organic and all natural tanners. Or, you could go to a professional sprayer if you’d prefer.

Consider UV clothing and hats. I predict UV clothing will be the next big thing. I’m waiting for Target to partner with some cool brand. If it happens I’ll let you know.

SPF and shade. Use SPF everywhere! Slather this baby on from head-to-toe. Even under your clothes and don’t forget the back of your neck. I recommend using a separate one daily for your face, as well. Here’s a few of my favorite options. One is chemical free, one is not.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjXYdrZn9kw/?taken-by=eltamdskincare

For over the counter options Good Housekeeping compiled a great list here. 

Do you have a favorite SPF product?