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COSAM alumna develops healthy nail care line

Published: 08/19/2014

Dr. Cary Gannon, a 1999 biomedical sciences graduate and board certified podiatrist, has developed a line of healthy, carcinogen-free nail care products that allows women to enjoy manicures and pedicures while nourishing their skin and nails.

“I was selling a competitive product in my office that claimed to have healthy properties, but after much investigation, I realized it was just regular nail polish,” said Gannon. “I was really upset with their marketing and thought it was dishonest.”

Gannon decided then that she would make her own product that promotes natural therapies and lacks the harmful chemicals. Soon, the Nashville-based company, AILA Cosmetics was developed.

“Our products are physician-developed and are classified as 5-free,” Gannon said. “Nail products are classified by what is not in them, so our products are free of toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.”

According to Gannon, products that contain these carcinogens can cause yellowing of the nails and harboring of fungus.

AILA’s products contain beneficial oils and vitamins to nourish nails and kill surfactant nail fungus.

“As women, we sacrifice health for beauty all the time,” said Gannon. “We’re offering products that allow women to have the best of both worlds.”

Gannon collaborated with a chemical-free cosmetics developer to create the AILA formulas. Her best friend and roommate while at Auburn, Sonny Han, a product development professional, worked with Gannon to market and brand the AILA line.

The two Auburn grads hold the university dear to their hearts and have affectionately named several products after Auburn people and places. AILA will even be launching an Auburn-inspired orange and blue this fall.
Gannon hopes to see AILA continue to grow while giving back through the AILA Gives program and bringing recognition to Sensory Processing Disorder, of which Gannon’s daughter, Aila, the company namesake, suffers.
SPD is a condition where the brain cannot properly receive or respond to information coming from the senses. Some children may experience hypersensitivity while others are unresponsive to things in their environment. 

“Making people aware of SPD is very important to me because there are so many children suffering from this disorder that aren’t properly diagnosed,” said Gannon. “We hope to fund additional research for children like Aila by giving a percentage of our proceeds from our color ‘Five Senses’ to the SPD Foundation.”

The AILA Gives program recently established an annual scholarship for pre-health majors through the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics that will be funded this year.

“Being able to give back to Auburn, which gave so much to us, is very important to Sonny and me,” Gannon said.

Gannon’s initial interest in the pathology of the foot and ankle began when she was a competitive member of Auburn’s track and cross country teams.

While at Auburn, she shadowed world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and after earning her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. 

Gannon is a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and currently practices at the University Foot and Ankle Center located in Brentwood, Tenn., and their new office in Spring Hill, Tenn.

For more on Gannon and AILA products, visit the website.

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