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The Hand Connection

By: Annet King
Posted: May 28, 2013, from the June 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Offering therapeutic hand treatments for kids may be doubly beneficial to your business. Offering this service may allow more mothers to book their own appointments when they don’t have a babysitter lined up. They can bring their youngsters with them to the spa. And, introducing young clients to the benefits of massage builds the basis for future clients.

What is the carpal tunnel? The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel formed by the bones and other tissues of the wrist that protect the median nerve. The median nerve provides feeling in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. But when other tissues in the carpal tunnel, such as ligaments and tendons, get swollen or inflamed, they press against the median nerve. Compression of the nerve can result from the repetitive use of the hands and wrists, diabetes, and/or hormonal changes, such as those pregnancy brings. That pressure can make part of the hand hurt or feel numb. Symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in the fingers, pain radiating up the arm and night pain are common. They can be evident when driving, holding newspapers and dropping objects. Data-entry workers were the first to report this phenomenon en masse, and today it is a common repetitive injury.

Nourishment and treatment

Customize—or literally hand-pick—a combination of your professional body and face products to address multiple issues on the hands, such as dryness, brittle nails, aging, hyperpigmentation, irritation and even more serious disorders, such as eczema. For example, begin with body washes, exfoliating body scrubs, massage oils and hydrating body lotions for your core protocol. Then kick it up a notch when it comes to addressing dryness, hyperpigmentation, inflammation and aging. Incorporate condition-specific concentrated serums, boosters or masks into your hand treatment to power up results while also using the opportunity to introduce problem-solving products for home use. Utilize electrical modalities when possible to help intensify the treatment: electric brushes and ultrasonic for the cleanse, and microcurrent or galvanic iontophoresis (positive polarity) to “push” active ingredients into skin to correct pigmentation issues.

Seek out some of these key ingredients in your treatment products.

  • For overall aging. Sunflower seed oil; retinyl palmitate; retinol; hydroxypinacolone retinoate (vitamin A derivatives); linoleic acid (vitamin F);
    ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin C); palmitoyl hexapeptide-14; arginine/lysine polypeptide; palmitoyl oligopeptide; grape seed extract; hyaluronic acid; and grapefruit, orange peel and lemon essential oils.
  • For hyperpigmentation. Oligopeptide-34, zinc glycinate, phytic acid, licorice root, lactic acid, niacinamide, white tea and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP-vitamin C).
  • For extreme dryness. Almond oil, evening primrose oil, apricot kernel oil, borage seed, jojoba seed, cocoa seed butter, shea butter, argan oil, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), panthenol, and allantoin.
  • For inflammation and eczema. Colloidal oatmeal, zinc oxide, Avena sativa (oat), kernel and kernel oil, silicones, ginger, red hogweed, bisabolol and Portulaca oleracea extract.

More than a mani

Few high volume/low ticket nail salons offer skilled hand massage, nor do they use products that truly promote skin or even, for that matter, nail health. On the contrary, sorry to say, most bulk-type products are artificially fragranced and colored, and loaded with filler ingredients that could potentially be irritating. That’s because the focus is more cosmetic like unifying nail length, taming cuticles, creating the latest fashion color combo or the longest-lasting gel. This “perfect storm” of difference represents a key opportunity for your skin care facility or spa. Although your menu may not include nail services per se—especially if you don’t want the chemicals, fumes and dust of enhancement in your treatment space—professional healthy hand care is a viable addition.