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October 28, 2014

// Skin Care

5 Tips To Safely Removing Halloween Makeup

We’re just a few days away from the annual evening of ghosts, goblins and ghouls! And all throughout Canada, people are preparing to dress up in their most elaborate costumes in order to celebrate Halloween. It doesn’t matter if your plans are to party or to simply take the kids out for a night of trick or treating, Halloween provides a time when donning scary costumes is a fun part of the festivities.

For many people, this Friday will be a day when they apply a lot more make up to their faces than usual. There are countless costumes to choose from. Some will entail fake blood while others will require the pale look of a vampire. One thing is for sure. With a lot of extra make up being applied, extra care will need to be taken to keep our skin from suffering the consequences. What is the correct way to remove all of that elaborate face paint?

On WonderHowTo.com, Gabrielle Taylor writes that “every product has different ingredients, so the way you wash it off will differ from one to another. Some are as easy as washing your face, and others may require you to use something a little more potent than water.” So depending on the type of makeup you use on your face this Halloween, you may need to take special measures to wash it off without damaging your skin. Here are five tips.

1. Buy quality makeup. First things first, you don’t want to put any old gunk on your face. It’s important to not be tempted by buying the cheap stuff just to save a buck or two. On YourBeautyAdvisor.com, Lauren Stewart advises us to look at the ingredients of the makeup you buy. “Look for premium or organic face paints to allow your skin to breathe through the makeup and allow for easy removal,” she writes.

2. Read the label for instructions. Taylor agrees that it’s important to read the labels of the products that you are buying. Doing so will help you to find instructions on how to wash the makeup off of your face once your Halloween festivities have been completed. “If they tell you what to use on the bottle, that’s probably your best bet,” she advises, “But some of them don’t give you any hints as to what will remove that particular type of gunk from your skin.”

3. Moisturize before you apply. As with all regular skin care, keeping it fresh and hydrated is important. So before applying your Halloween makeup, be sure to moisturize your face really well. Stewart recommends that you also “apply a primer to protect your skin a little more from the heavy makeup. It will create a smooth surface as well to help you get the best look you can.” Don’t forget to reapply moisturizer once the makeup has been removed.

4. Try soap and water first. Using tried-and-true face washing methods should be your first approach to removing Halloween makeup. Taylor writes that you should always try soap and water first to see if they do the trick. If you have more stubborn parts of your face where soap and water don’t help from the removal of makeup, you may want to move on to using makeup remover or cleansing towelettes.

5. Use coconut, jojoba or baby oil. When all else fails, oil may be the way to go. “Oil adheres to oil,” declares Taylor, “so it’s one of the easiest and most natural ways to take off face paint. Most homemade makeup removers have an oil base. You can use any kind you happen to have lying around (even baby oil), but the best ones for your skin are coconut and jojoba oil.” She goes on to mention that lotions and even petroleum jelly can help with makeup removal as well.

Happy Halloween!

October 21, 2014

// Spider Veins

4 Steps Towards A Solid Spider Vein Solution

With Halloween fast approaching, many people are deciding upon what costumes they plan on wearing to parties and other spooky events that celebrate the season. Undoubtedly, many children will be looking to don the attire of their favourite superheroes while trick or treating. Spider-Man is undoubtedly on the top of many lists of choice costumes for kids. But, for many parents, any talk of spiders is the last thing they want to hear!

You see, spider veins are not popularly regarded as Halloween features. But they are pretty scary for many people, nonetheless. “Hideous”, “wretched” and “unsightly” are just a few of the words that those with spider and varicose veins in their legs use to describe them. And it’s hard to blame them. While spider and varicose veins don’t generally present any immediate health issues, they’re not so fun to look at.

Just look at the way that WomensHealth.gov describes them! “Varicose (VAR-i-kos) veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-coloured. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin…Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines.”

Those aren’t exactly glowing words of praise, are they? It stands to reason then, that when we see the appearance of spider and varicose veins – which are predominantly in our legs, thighs and calves – we would want them removed. Now, one doesn’t need Halloween in order to dress up and cover her legs. But is there something that can be done to diminish the appearance of these unsightly veins? Here are four steps you can take.

1. Flex your calf muscles. It may sound like a strange piece of advice, but Canoe.ca writes that “the best thing you can do to delay varicose veins is to keep the blood circulating in your legs. Think of your calf muscles as the ‘heart’ of your venous circulation. If you point and flex your foot enough to strongly contract the calf muscle, you will move one cup of blood out of the leg. You can also squeeze your feet together in your shoes, or go up and down on your toes.”

2. Avoid binding clothing, on a day to day basis. Remember that it’s important to keep the blood flowing up and down your legs. Canoe.ca reminds us that girdles and knee-high socks or nylons can block the movement of blood up our legs. By allowing vein walls the ability to expand by not constricting the area, valves can open up, preventing blood from pooling. The pooling of blood is what generally leads to varicose veins.

3. Control your weight. Eating right and exercising are bound to make any list of health tips. Not only is it ideal for your overall health, but controlling your weight will relieve the pressure you put on your legs, making them less susceptible to spider and varicose veins. As Canoe.ca points out, many “studies report obesity as a factor in the development of varicose and spider veins. Weight loss should be considered if overweight.”

4. Sclerotherapy. When all else fails, this treatment is known as the most common and effective solution to the spider and varicose vein problem. As WomensHealth.gov explains it, “the doctor uses a needle to inject a liquid chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood, and the vein turns into scar tissue. In a few weeks, the vein should fade.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly use Sclerotherapy as our “gold standard” solution to spider and varicose veins. For more information or to book a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818.

October 14, 2014

// Unwanted Fat

6 Solutions To Shedding Those Post-Thanksgiving Pounds

Happy after-Thanksgiving Canada! Now, for most people a happy “after-Thanksgiving” is one when they can happily reminisce about this past long weekend with fond memories of spending time with their loved ones. Of course, many of those memories will include the vast array of eats that donned dining tables all over the country. After all, what is Thanksgiving without turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and the plethora of other wonderful foodstuffs?

To put it in other terms, what is Thanksgiving without overly full bellies by the time it’s all said and done? Perhaps then, a truly happy “after-Thanksgiving” is one when we can all find ways to shed those extra pounds that we likely stacked on over the past couple of days. Celebrating the holidays doesn’t always have to come with an increased waist line. Here are six solutions to shedding those post-Thanksgiving pounds.

1. Drink water. A tip that you’re going to receive on nearly every “shed those pounds” list out there, drinking water is great for keeping you hydrated and flushing out your system. However, as Reader’s Digest points out, “people often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full…Continue drinking as you eat to add volume and weight to your meal.”

2. Limit binge eating to the holidays. Many of us have so much fun during our holiday meals that we tend to keep up the habit of overdoing it in the days and weeks to follow. However, as Fitday.com reminds us, “before you know it, you are having sweets for dessert every evening or you’re eating too many snacks between meals.” It’s important to resist the temptation to indulge in all of those holiday treats once the holidays are over.

3. Set realistic goals. Weight loss, in general, takes commitment. For many, it’s not just post-Thanksgiving pounds that need to be shed. It’s important to focus on long term goals. Reader’s Digest suggests that you seek to lose up to two pounds per week. “Top weight-loss programs advocate stopping after the first 10 pounds and maintaining that loss for about six months before trying to lose any more,” reads the magazine’s website.

4. Try to de-stress. While the holidays are often times that are filled with fun, they can also be quite stressful as well. Even the tasks of decorating th home, shopping for gifts and cooking those elaborate meals can take quite the toll on us. As Fitday.com reminds us, “to effectively prevent holiday weight gain, it’s important to look for other activities that can help you relax without gaining extra pounds.”

5. Count to 10. Reader’s Digest offers up this eyebrow-raising tip. But it’s certainly worth considering. “Studies suggest that the average craving lasts only about 10 minutes,” says the publication’s website, “So before caving in to your urge, set your mental timer for a 10-minute time-out. Use the time to tackle an item on your to-do list; choose one that will give you a sense of accomplishment — and get you out of the kitchen.”

6. Get regular exercise. Perhaps, we’ve saved the most obvious tip for last. It should go without saying that physical activity is bound to help you burn those additional calories and get you back to a normal weight. However, as Fitday.com encourages us, “your workout routine does not need to be strenuous. Instead, you just have to commit to do it regularly. If work keeps you busy, try to squeeze in some gym time during the morning or after work.”

October 7, 2014

// Hair Removal

5 Ways That Waxing Can Be Worrisome

Okay, so the summer’s over. And that means that we don’t have to worry about showing off our legs to anyone, right? Well, not necessarily. What about those events when a dress might be necessary? Or how about the fact that we like to wear shorts when we’re in the gym? Us ladies have it rough sometimes. And that can be taken literally! Keeping our legs hairless pretty much requires us to regularly find ways to either shave or wax them.

And it’s tiresome, isn’t it? Not to mention painful! This is especially true for waxing. Do you ever ask yourself why you put yourself through so much agony? Yes, the hair takes longer to grow back than when it is shaved. And who doesn’t love the smooth and silky feel and look? The truth is, however, waxing often causes more problems than it does solutions. Here are five ways that waxing can be worrisome.

1. Dryness! Sure, we want our legs to be smooth. But we don’t want them to become dry and tight in the process. Of course, that would defeat the purpose. According to Ygoy.com, one of the long term effects of waxing is the loss of elasticity and suppleness of the skin over the course of time. “This generally occurs because of the ripping off the applied wax used during waxing,” the website informs us.

2. Wrinkles! Waxing was meant to make our skin look smooth, right? So why is ot that we’re willing to wax when wrinkles are known as side effects? Ygoy.com reveals that another long term result of regular waxing is the formation of wrinkles. Perhaps, it should come as no surprise since they are obvious ramifications of elasticity and suppleness loss. Waxing, it appears, contributes greatly to the aging of our skin.

3. Pain! Did we mention that waxing is painful? Anyone who has tried it even one single time is very well aware of this fact. As Sarah Siddons points out on HowStuffWorks.com, “Compared to shaving and using depilatories, waxing can also be painful. Numbing creams and anti-inflammatories can help reduce some of the discomfort, but the first few times will be unpleasant since your skin is not used to the ripping sensation that occurs when you pull the wax off.”

4. Irritation! So what would you prefer – hairy legs or bumpy legs? There’s really no admirable choice here. But as Ygoy.com fills us in, irritation, redness, skin rashes, ingrown hairs, reddish bumps and even bleeding are common side effects of waxing. This is especially the case with people who have highly sensitive skin. Often, sufferers need to apply a combination of ice packs and ointments to affected areas to help for the irritations to subside.

5. Infections! When one decides to wax, she should be weary of the products being used for the process. Infections often appear when unclean waxing products are used, says Ygoy.com. As well, the site warns that “diabetic people should avoid waxing because their skin is more susceptible for skin infection especially to deadlier and resistant bacteria.” So is there a solution to all of these worrisome side effects?

There sure is! Laser hair removal is your best bet to avoiding all of the above mentioned side effects of waxing. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly use the LightSheer™ Hair Laser to remove unwanted hair. It uses a “chill tip” to protect the skin in order to make it a painless procedure. For more information or to book a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818.