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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin and health’

Vita-Gel Manicure vs. The Other Gels

October 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Since gel manicures have been popular I have been an avid fan! I love the polished look of acrylic nails, but have never wanted to sacrifice the health of my nails. My nails are already thin, so gel manicures have been my saving grace. There are many different types of gel manicures which I learned are commonly mistaken for Shellac. Shellac is a brand of a gel manicure, among other popular brands I have tried like: OPI™ gelshine and Gelish. When I heard that Cooper Spa was introducing a new gel manicure that was not harmful to your hands or damaging to nails, it only made sense and I knew I had to try it!

Cooper Spa is one of the first in Dallas to offer this gel manicure system, Orly FX Gel Manicure. The manicure is incredibly durable and is guaranteed to remain chip-free for at least one week. Plus, it’s power-packed with an infusion of Vitamins A, E and Pro-Vitamin B5 to nourish nails. So what is the difference between Vita-Gel and the other popular gel brands? It utilizes LED light technology (rather than UV) and provides full protection and incredible shine in just 30 seconds.

I made my appointment with Marcia. The Vita-Gel Manicure process is simple, starting with nail shaping and cuticle treatment.  Marcia then treated my hands with Vanilla Tangerine Hand & Body Lotion, from the Beautiful Fit™ product line. It smells divine! For all signature services at Cooper Spa, we use Beautiful Fit™ products—Cooper Spa’s own private label which are free of parabens, mineral oils and artificial fragrance. All of the products are biodegradable, made from natural and renewable raw materials.

Once the polish was applied, Marcia put my hands under a LED dryer for 30 seconds to harden the polish and give it a beautiful shine. She repeated  the same process after a second coat. The polish dried in seconds leaving me with a long-lasting manicure. While I was getting my manicure she gave me great tips that I haven’t heard at any other salon. She recommended applying oil to my cuticles every night. Applying lotion to your hands and cuticles will prevent your cuticles from cracking, but the oil adds extra protection. Any type of oil you might have at home can work, or Cooper Spa has specific cuticle oils available for purchase in the boutique.

Typically I don’t stray from my comfort zone for nail color. I stick with my two favorites: OPI Cajun Shrimp (which is a fun orangey-red) or OPI Bubble Bath (which is nude). Marcia suggested a color that I would have never picked on my own—Mirror Mirror. It is a light grey, which she said is a great color for fall. I have gotten so many compliments and will definitely take her recommendations for a fun color on my next manicure! Cooper Spa offers 24 colors for the Vita-Gel Manicure.

After my manicure, I was greeted by the friendly staff who offered me a delicious, hot white orange tea. I decided to peruse around in the shop to look for the cuticle oil. Not only can you purchase Beautiful Fit products in the Cooper Spa boutique, but they also sell a few of my other favorites like SkinCeuticals®, Moroccanoil® and OPI polish. While looking around I also found Jack Black® products conveniently enough for brother’s upcoming birthday!

Experience the results for yourself. Book your appointment today at cooperspa.com/Dallas or call 972.392.7729. Click here to view our current Spa specials.

Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D?

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

By Todd Whitthorne,  Vitamin Expert

Today’s Healthy Living Section of the Dallas Morning News featured a story on healthy ways to make your face more beautiful, which included protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. As a guy that works at Cooper and oversees our vitamin and nutritional supplement line, I spend a great deal of time following the literature on this topic.

I obviously agree that the sun can do tremendous damage (aging and increased risk of skin cancer). But I also I think it’s always important to remind folks that when it comes to sun screen you should be careful “not to throw the baby out with the bath water.” That same UVB light that accelerates aging and increases cancer risk is also the same light that generates vitamin D.

We have a vitamin D deficiency epidemic in this country. An article published in the 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine found that 77 percent of U.S. adults and adolescents were insufficient in vitamin D (90 percent of Mexican-Americans and 97 percent of all non-Hispanic blacks). At Cooper Clinic we have been measuring vitamin D levels in our patients since 2006, and we find approximately 80 percent of our first time patients have levels lower than we like to see (<40 ng/ml).

Dr. Ed Giovannucci, a highly respected researcher from Harvard, wrote in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2006 that “sunlight might prevent 30 deaths for each one caused by skin cancer. I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D. The data are really quite remarkable.”

Of course, then the question comes up of whether physicians prefer that their patients get vitamin D through supplementation, as opposed to directly from the sun. That really depends on whom, and what type of doctor, you ask. Most of the research indicates that there is really very little difference between the two.

Most physicians feel supplements are the most logical choice because of ease, cost, accuracy of dosing, etc. Dermatologists clearly like to steer folks away from the sun. However a few, including Dr. John Cannell, Founder of the Vitamin D Council, feel that the sun is the preferred method since that’s the way we were “designed” to get vitamin D (listen to a podcast with Dr. Cannell).

Obviously no one, including Dr. Cannell, recommends getting a sun burn, but for most folks 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure seems to be a logical, and safe, dose. The problem is how often do most people go out in a bathing suit, or shorts and a tank top, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the UVB light is most available? Clearly if the weather is gloomy and overcast that wouldn’t be practical.

Something else to keep in mind is that there is a huge variability in how much vitamin D we synthesize from the sun, or absorb from supplements. There clearly is no such thing as “one size fits all.” Cooper Clinic physicians recommend starting with 2000 international units (IU) of vitamin D-3 per day and go up in dose as needed. The ideal method to determine how much vitamin D you need is to get a blood test. But from a practical standpoint, most people aren’t going to take the time or spend the money to do that. 2000 IU per day may not get them to an “optimal” blood level, but for most individuals it will at least help them avoid “deficiency” (less than 20 ng/ml).

Even though I run and ride my bike outside quite a bit, I have found that I need to take 5000 IU of Vitamin D-3 per day for me to maintain a blood level of 60 ng/ml (my ideal target). But remember, everyone is different. The main takeaway is to make sure to get your vitamin D. Whether it’s from the sun or supplements….just get it.