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Things Arenít Always What They Seem in the Beauty Industry

Dr. Cary Gannon, a licensed Podiatrist and the founder of AILA Cosmetics spoke to us about how important it is to truly understand the composition of beauty products. If you’re already committed to healthier, natural or organic skincare, make sure you’re aware of the ‘myths’ associated with clean beauty, as well as those in ‘big’ beauty.

Navago: Should we all steer away from a product that has a scent? 

Dr. Cary: The SCENT of a product is not always bad. People ask us repeatedly why AILA nail polish still has a scent ‘if it is healthier’. A scent does not mean a product is not healthier for you. Scent is good actually. It keeps us safe. Imagine a deadly chemical that you CANNOT smell. Carbon Monoxide comes to mind immediately. It is deadly within a few minutes for humans and it is completely, utterly free of any scent. It binds to the hemoglobin molecule in our blood with 100 times the affinity of oxygen and it basically suffocates us AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW IT’S HAPPENING. This is why smoke detectors test for CO because humans cannot smell it. AILA nail polish scent is from butyl acetate. Butyl acetate is an organic compound found it many fruits. There is a myth in the ‘clean’ beauty industry that if something has a scent that it must be ‘bad’ for us. This is factually not true.

Navago: So, if something is made using water (and not something else), isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t water clean? 

Dr. Cary: I often hear that ‘water-based products are better’. WRONG. Water-based products are NOT always better. When it applies to nails and nail products water is the enemy! First, water weakens the nails making them more susceptible to fracture and breakage. That is why we advocate a dry manicure system. 

Water also weakens the nail product and makes your mani/pedi chip much more quickly. 

Water does something else too...it carries disease. Water provides the perfect environment for bacteria, fungus, yeast and mold to proliferate. Water-based polishes either grow bacteria OR they have to have a TON or preservatives to prevent these microbes from growing. And I thought the purpose of healthier products was to stay away from some of these preservatives... 

Lastly in order to function at all, water-based polishes add ACRYLIC to their formulas. Oftentimes listing acrylic under other names. The manicure will last for a long time but the acrylic literally strips layers of the nails off. (Obviously I am generalizing here. There are some formulas that don’t do this.)

Navago: I’ve checked an online site to make sure that the clean beauty products that I’ve purchased are in fact, ‘clean’. Isn’t that enough? 

Dr. Cary: There are several websites out there where you can ‘check’ the products you are using to see if they are healthier. The problem is that the people running these sites are oftentimes not educated in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, physical chemistry, etc. They frankly read a few things they find online and make a determination about a product that are simply not true. AILA has had this happen. In fact, AILA has been rated LOWER than other brands who have chemical compositions that are not as healthy as AILA. But we have no recourse. These sites won’t change the information they put out there. They report it all as fact and since it is available online people believe it to be true. This occurs with bloggers and self-proclaimed ‘green beauty experts’ as well. They read one obscure article about a chemical that they don’t know anything about and they don’t understand and deem the chemical deadly. Then they wrongly attack any product that contains that chemical. These individuals have an unregulated platform for destruction. False information is toxic too...

Navago: I’ve been warned away from any product with an ingredient that sounds scary and has been labelled as ‘toxic’. Should I worry? 

Dr. Cary: Yes, we hear that a lot: toxins are always bad. Bullcrap. Humans use so-called ‘toxins’ to our advantage all the time. Botox for example, is a 100% natural chemical. It is basically a byproduct of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. If we consume it RAW it paralyzes us. BUT if we modify it we can inject this naturally occurring chemical into our muscles and fight wrinkles, headaches, limb deformities, etc. 

There are many more examples of this in the beauty industry that we could expand upon; this is only one example.

Navago: The takeaway? Don’t believe everything you read, online or anywhere. Take a few extra minutes to do some research on ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ skincare. Your face, body and wellbeing will be grateful.