A patent-pending product that could have wide-ranging ramifications for the nail industry has recently been introduced by the Virginia-based Peau Corporation. This product, designed, developed, and manufactured by the firm, involves a medically prescribed ingredient, Tolnaftate, that for the first time presents a solution to the nagging problems of nail fungus, mold and/or mildew in the nail salon.
Developed by a company with extensive research and development capabilities and expertise in chemical analysis, this product introduction not only takes on the challenge of filling an immediate and pressing need, but also establishes this company in the forefront of emerging nail care chemistry and technology.
According to Paul DiMeglio, president of the firm, the decision to investigate this problem arose out of a need to cure a similar situation that existed within their own salons, and from the challenge and cries industry wide for a solution that would not only cure the problem but potentially prevent it as well.
“An often troubling aspect of nail care,” Paul explained, “regardless of the service, is the occasional and bewildering case of nail fungus, mold or mildew. When it occurs, it can take on a rainbow of colors, stain the nail and, if untreated, cause the loss of the nail. Even though the occurrence may be infrequent, the technician is often left holding the blame as her skill and technique are often called into question.”
In an effort to solve this dilemma, technicians have resorted to a number of home remediesthat have proven vastly ineffective in offering any kind of permanent solution.
Recognizing the situation face by technician, and the absence of any long term solution, this cosmetic manufacturer/assembler focused their considerable analytical methods of research on the basic causes of fungus and mold as they relate to nail care.
“One of the first things we discovered,” he added, “was that fungus, mold and mildew are all one in the same problem. Just as all BMWs are cars and not all cars are BMWs, all fungus is mold, but not all mod is fungus (and mildew is a layman’s term for mold).
“Furthermore, nail fungus and mold are exactly the same as other fungus and mold found on the human body, such as athlete’s foot and jock itch. The problem with nail fungus is getting to the site of the problem.”
During product research, the firm conferred with dermatologists and physicians … and was repeatedly given the same advice: There were effective products and chemicals available for the treatment and prevention of fungus, such as that caused by athlete’s foot, but nothing for nails. One particular ingredient, Tolnaftate, has proven to be the only effective and recommended treatment for prevention of fungus and mold on the human body, but had proved ineffective in its then present state tor use on nails.
“The problem with existing formulations is that they are all water soluble, which means that the primary ingredient, Tolnaftate, is ineffective in treating the problem because the water base will not carry the ingredient to the affected areas ... specifically through the nail to the nail bed,” Paul explained.
The trick for Peau Corporation was to take Tolnaftate and dissolve it in oil rather than water, which is why this product is patented.
“We came up with a very effective method to make this Tolnaftate oil soluble, and we have a patent pending on the product and the process,” said Paul. (The patent provides product and marketing protection for Peau as the only manufacturer of the product for 17 years.)
The result of this method and research ... a nail oil and cuticle treatment that uses jojoba oil in a non-fragrance base to penetrate the Tolnaftate into the affected areas. What to put in the nail oil with the Tolnaftate was the easiest decision faced by the firm. With Paul’s background in analytical chemistry, he knew that natural seed oils were ideal for their quality, and that jojoba oil presented the “finest penetrating oil for use on the human body.”
“What we found, while developing this product,” emphasized Paul, “was that a ‘catch 22’ existed ... too little moisture will dry out the nail and cause lifting ... too much moisture will create an environment that can support and grow fungus and mold.”
This “catch” was discovered after their research uncovered that a certain amount of moisture escapes through the natural nail, as a normal bodily function. But when an artificial nail is applied, it sets up a barrier that in effect traps moisture into the nail bed, thereby setting up ideal conditions for fungus and mold.
“And in any moist setting, a problem can develop,” Paul added, “as mold and fungus spores are ever present in the environment.”
Peau’s new nail oil deals with this “catch 22,” according to Paul, by providing the necessary moisture to prevent lifting while at the same time tracking Tolnaftate into the nail and nail bed, preventing mold and fungus from occurring.
“The key to success is prevention,” Paul added. “Anybody can cure a problem after it occurs; it’s the obligation of the technician to educate the consumer about the causes of nail fungus and mold and the availability of this new preventative medication and measure.”
The nail oil is designed by the firm as a preventative medication, and when used regularly by the client, “the technician can rest virtually assured that their client will be free from any fungus or mold problems occurring and fewer lifting problems too,” he added.
Currently the nail oil and cuticle treatment is available in two different solutions: One percent Tolnaftate in the half-ounce oil and a three percent solution in the firm’s Formula Three product.
Formula Three, with its higher concentration, is designed as a treatment and cure of existing or stubborn cases.
Both products are compatible with all sculptured nail and wrap products, and with regular use will keep the nail moist without the danger of mold or fungus, and will prevent lifting, according to the company’s research findings.
Both the oil and Formula Three have been in use in the trade for over six months, with pre-market evaluation accomplished through the firm’s centers. This approach, combined with the considerable medical information on Tolnaftate, encouraged the firm to establish the product with its two different concentrations.
“Formula Three cures fungus and/or mold problems,” said Paul, “but must be used as recommended. For example, Formula Three must be used three times a day for 10 days, applied directly to the affected area and massaged into the cuticle and nail.
“In the case of nail fungus, the sculptured material or wrap must be removed and Formula Three applied to the cuticle, nail surface and under the nail with the brush, and then massaged into the nail. This process must be handled three times a day for the full 10 days.
The fungus and/or mold may appear to be cured after about four days, but Paul warns against cutting the treatment short.
“This program must go the entire 10 days to have its desired effect. Then and only then can the sculptured nail be replaced.”
There is however, one very key point to Peau’s product use: that the technician realize she is not a doctor.
“Make sure you understand one thing: neither we nor the nail technician should pretend to be doctors, or offer medical advice. If there is any pain present,” he warned, “refer the client to a doctor. If the nail continues lifting off the nail bed, refer to a doctor. And if the area around the nail is inflammed, refer to a doctor.”
To help the technician in this area of nail health, Peau has established a toll-free 800 number dedicated to answering questions on nail health, fungus/mold, as well as product information.
We understand that what we are doing is quite new and different he said and as such recognize the need to not only educate the consumer but also to a certain extent the nail technician. That is why we have established a dedicated toll-free number so that our customers can call us with any questions they might have about the product or treatment.
The Peau Corporation will market these new products much the same way they do their line of nail polish, private label cosmetics and Peau de Peche brand name cosmetics: to trade only.
“We are dedicated to distributing these products through the salon and nail industry only,” Paul emphasized “There is no place for the outside sale of this product directly to the consumer.”
Instead, The Peau Corporation has developed a marketing program that enables the salon to retail the nail oil to their clientele, assisted through the use of displays and merchandising material.
For example, Paul said, “We package 12 nail oils with two Formula Threes and add a free counter display with 24 product booklet/consumer brochures to help sell the merchandise and educate the client.”
The nail oil, salon priced at $3.48, retails with a double mark-up for $6.95 to the salon client. Formula Three costs the salon $12 and is designed for professional use only.
In addition to the highly successful nail oil, Peau has also acquired distribution rights of a new liquid nail strengthener that independent testing by two leading dermatologists has shown to be very effective in the stimulation of nail growth.
The product, entitled Onymyrrh, is a natural derivative of the Myrrh plant, and has been proven effective in nail growth through its 10-year use in the veterinarian field. According to Paul, this product has been recently approved for use on human nails.
“This product is a natural plant derivative and was originally developed in France for use on horse hoofs,” Paul said. “In horse racing, horses run without horseshoes, and can only race so often because of the wear on their hoofs. Through the use of this product, their hoofs grow faster and stronger, enabling them to race more often.
“For human nails, this product enhances nail growth, prevents chipping and grows stronger nails ... and the nails it helps grow are less apt to split.”
Extensive testing on the product with hands and nails was conducted for Peau by dermatologists who tested 20 individuals, one hand with the product and one with a placebo.
“The results are very conclusive and impressive,” claimed Paul. “During the 16-week period of testing, positive results were reported in 18 out of the 20 cases.
“We know without a doubt that this product works.”
Onymyrrh is priced at $13 retail ($6.50 salon cost) and is available in half-ounce bottles, And as with the new nail oil, this product will be sold to the trade only.
The Peau Corporation began in 1979 as a cosmetics and ladies’ accessory retail operation. Within a short time, they grew to establish their own line of cosmetics, developed a private label cosmetics program for the salon industry, and currently manufacture and assemble a variety of cosmetics. Their nail polish line includes well over 190 shades of polish, with a variety of complimentary shades of cosmetics also available.
The company is organized and run by brothers Paul and Michael, and has pledged itself to continue the product research and development that brought Tolnaftate nail oil and Onymyrrh to the trade.
“Our company principles will not allow us to do other than the honest research of products and professional marketing of our line,” Paui explained, “Our goal is to be the fastest growing cosmetic and personal beauty care company both in sales and profits in the United States, and to serve our customers with a sense of competitive urgency.
“We’re unquestionably the fastest growing, and through the research and development of products such as these, we may also realize our profit potential.”
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