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July 28, 2015

// Unwanted Fat

3 Ways That Drinking Water Helps Weight Loss

Many parts of Canada are experiencing quite the hot and humid summer. This time of year definitely helps to kill the stereotype that Canadians live in year-round wintery conditions. If you’ve chosen this summer to exercise outdoors, you’ve chosen a good one. However, it’s incredibly important to keep something in mind when you’re out in the heat. You have to stay hydrated! In other words, drink that water!

It may sound like a no-brainer. It’s hot outside, so you’re bound to get thirsty, right? Drinking water, however, does a lot more than simply quench your thirst. Hydration plays a big role in weight loss. So if you’ve been hitting the sidewalk for your daily jogs and walks, it’s imperative that you bring a water bottle along with you. Again, it’s not just to keep you from being thirsty. Staying hydrated will help you shed those pounds.

Here are three ways that drinking water helps weight loss:

1. Drinking water burns calories. Have you ever considered the fact that your body has to use energy to either heat up or cool down what enters it? This is certainly true for water, as explained by Vicky Weiler on FitnessBlender.com. She writes that the way our bodies absorb water entails the burning of calories. In fact, she notes that this is the most direct way that drinking water helps with weight loss goals.

“The body must first warm (or cool) fluids that enter the body to 98.6°F (body temperature) before they can be utilized,” she explains, “This process requires energy (calories) to either create heat (if drinking something below body temperature) or remove heat (when drinking something above body temperature). The calories required to do this are not a lot, but over time it can make a big difference.”

2. Drinking water helps to avoid overeating. A good weight loss regimen involves the eating of nutritious foods. Significantly cutting back on carbs and sugars while getting healthy helpings of proteins and vegetables is a great way to start shedding some pounds. However, you’ll also want to ensure that you are eating proper portions. The more water you drink, the better you’ll be at preventing overeating.

Alison Goldman of Women’s Health Magazine quotes Dr. Keri Peterson on the subject: “’A lot of people confuse thirst for hunger,’ says Peterson. ‘So they’ll tend to eat rather than drink water.’ If you’re craving a midday snack and want to make sure your pangs are caused by hunger, not hydration, have a glass of water first. Then see if you’re still hungry 30 minutes later, says Peterson.”

3. Drinking water helps you to exercise better. According to Weiler, “lean muscle in the human body is made up of around 80% water and it needs that water to function properly. When you start to become dehydrated your muscle tissue starts to lose water and it makes it harder for that muscle to contract effectively, reducing your strength and endurance.” Therefore, staying hydrated is actually a necessity when it comes to getting the best exercise possible.

“It has been stated that as little as a 1% drop from optimal hydration can reduce your physical ability by up to 5%,” reveals Weiler, “You could actually see your caloric burn from your workouts drop by 5%, not to mention that you will feel weaker and less capable, which can slow your exercise progress in many ways.” As you can see, working out without a water bottle is simply bad for business. So if you’re in the business of losing weight this summer, drink up!

July 21, 2015

// Hair Removal

3 Of Waxing’s Worst Side Effects

Smooth, silky and sexy: this is the look we all want our skin to have all summer long. Red, “rashy” and rough: this is the look that we all want to avoid! Isn’t it odd that the exact same hair removal practice can cause both outcomes? We’ve all probably tried waxing our unwanted hair at some point in our lives. And we all know that it comes with a great deal of pain that doesn’t often feel worth it.

Here are three of waxing’s worst side effects:

1. Redness. When we wax our unwanted hair, we envision our skin being smooth to the touch. What we don’t anticipate is it being red to the “look”! Unfortunately, this is a common outcome of waxing. As Naomi Torres points out on About.com, redness is an especially common waxing side effect for those who are removing thick hair or have sensitive skin. Many measures should be taken to soothe the skin during the waxing process to avoid redness.

People are especially prone to redness when they wax their faces, adds Patrice De La Ossa of LiveStrong.com. “Redness of the face is almost always an issue after waxing and may last up to one week, depending on the integrity and health of your skin,” she writes, “For those with heavier, darker hair, laser hair removal may be more effective and less traumatic to the face. Fairer skin is always prone to redness.”

2. Breakouts. This is also especially true for those who choose to wax their faces. De La Ossa writes that “breaking out after face waxing is normal. A skin test patch should always be done to see if your skin is more sensitive or prone to breaking out before waxing the facial area. Ingredients in the wax can trigger a reaction. Not all wax is the same, and with lower-quality wax, breaking out is more likely.”

Torres reaffirms this by adding that pimples and ingrown hairs have often been known to replace wax-removed hair. And, it should go without saying that breakouts aren’t exactly a favourable alternative to unwanted hair. “You’re so happy the hair is gone, but now you’re greeted with a pimple or two and maybe even a breakout. Go figure!” she writes, “This can happen even if you’re not prone to acne or have oily skin.”

3. Burns. Wax is hot. Sometimes, it’s too hot. And when you go to a spa for a waxing, your beautician may not be able to properly estimate just how much heat your skin can take. Torres writes that burns, scrapes and scabs can result when the wax being applied to your skin is overheated. “This often happens with a wax pot that has an on and off switch rather than an adjustable temperature,” she informs us.

“You can get burned during face waxing if the wax is too hot, which is why having an experienced certified esthetician working on your face is essential,” adds De La Ossa, “Scarring of the face can happen when the skin is burned from wax and the skin is lifted with the wax during the waxing procedure. If a burn does occur, it is important to keep the area clean to prevent infection.”

Thankfully, there is an alternative to all of waxing’s worst side effects. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we call it the LightSheer™ Hair Laser. It provides a revolutionary treatment in the management of unwanted hair as it uses a patented chill tip to protect the skin from pain. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

July 14, 2015

// Unwanted Moles

5 Ways To Avoid Skin Damage This Summer

With the summer now in full swing, it’s probably of no use to tell you to stay out of the sun. Or is it? Yes, it’s understandable that many will want to take advantage of the summer’s warm and sunny days in order to work on getting those golden brown tans. But as CollegeFashion.net reminds us, “ANY visible tan on your skin that differs from your natural skin color is sun damage; the deeper the color, the worse the damage.”

What is with our fascination to tan our skin? Admittedly, tans often “look” nice, but they don’t do anything to improve the health of your skin. As mentioned, tanning does quite the opposite of improving skin health. “A tan may make you look nice now, but it can be life-threatening in the future,” insists the website. So, if we’re not going to avoid the sun all summer long, what can we do to protect our skin from damage?

Here are five ways to avoid skin damage this summer:

1. Apply sunscreen every day. Yes, this is a tip that has been listed on many of our past blogs, but it certainly deserves to be repeated. Chances are that we will be repeating it in the future, as well. It cannot be stressed enough that we should be doing our parts to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. “When choosing a sunblock, make sure to choose one that has UVA or Broad Spectrum protection, because if it doesn’t, then it may only protect you from UVB rays,” advises CollegeFashion.net.

2. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Just because you’re wearing sunscreen, it doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to bake in the sun all day long. As Katie points out on WellnessMama.com, “sunscreens protect against sunburn, but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Problems lie in the behaviour of individuals who use sunscreens to stay out longer in the sun than they otherwise would.”

3. Wear hats and sunglasses. Even when we’re regularly applying sunscreen, we sometimes forget the little “nooks and crannies” of our bodies. The tops of our ears, for example, often get overlooked. You’ll also want to ensure that you are giving your “scalp, face, and eyes extra protection by wearing a hat and sunglasses,” advises CollegeFashion.net, “Not only do these accessories provide protection, but they can be quite fashionable as well.”

4. Consume healthy fats. Katie writes that nutrition can play a big role in protecting our skin against sun damage. “The body needs healthy fats, including saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and Omega-3 fats, to regenerate skin tissue, and these fats are the preferred building blocks in the body,” she writes. Avocados, olives, nuts and tofu all fall into this category, as do such fish as salmon, sardines, tuna and trout.

5. Moisturize your face. CollegeFashion.net reminds us that the skin on our faces is more sensitive to sun damage than the rest of our bodies. “Buy a daily moisturizer for your face that contains an SPF of at least 15,” the site recommends, noting that most drugstore brands have such daily moisturizers available. It certainly can’t hurt to stock up on products that work to protect your skin throughout the summer.

Your most important task, all summer long, is to protect yourself from skin cancer. If you notice the appearance of moles on your skin in places where they weren’t before, it would be wise to speak to a dermatologist to confirm that they aren’t signs of melanoma. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the VariLite laser to help our patients safely and effectively remove their moles.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

July 7, 2015

// Skin Care

3 Ways To Step Up Your Summertime Skin Care Practices

Now that July is here, there’s no denying that our summer skin care routines should be in full effect. It’s a lot more likely that we’ll all be getting a lot more exposure to the sun in the coming months. And that means that we have to be extra careful about protecting our skin. While wearing sunscreen is the obvious must-do for the summer – although it should be considered a year round requirement – what else can we all do to switch up our summer skin care routines?

Here are three ways to step up your summertime skin care practices:

1. Add Vitamin C to the menu. Most of us think of orange juice and other citrus products when we hear of vitamin C. And while consuming it is well-known to be good for your health, you’ll also want to locate skin care products that contain it. On BeautyBanter.com, Sarah Howard reveals that facialist, Cecilia Wong highly recommends the inclusion of vitamin C in the skin care products you use.

“Vitamin C contains loads of antioxidants that helps repair sun damage, reduce sunburn caused by exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and prevent the consequences of long-term sun exposure that leads to wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone, and loss of collagen,” writes Howard of Wong’s view, “Vitamin C is also great in preventing and reducing acne. I’d recommend using Vitamin C from plants or fruit oil which is less invasive and won’t irritate skin.”

2. Don’t forget to moisturize. When it’s warmer outside, we often tend to sweat. As a result, most of us assume that keeping our skin dry will help us to beat the heat. However, it’s still important to moisturize our skin. On Refinery29.com, Renee Rouleau writes that moisturizers that include sunscreen are the best to use during the summertime. It especially helps if you use oil-free products on the hottest days of the year.

“With the increase in heat and humidity, some may think they can skip using moisturizer, but it’s important to continue using one daily,” she writes, “If your skin is getting oilier with the warmer temps, consider switching to a lighter formula like an oil-free lotion. But, be sure your day lotion has SPF if you’re not already layering it under your moisturizer. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, look for products containing zinc oxide, which won’t clog pores.”

3. Be sure to exfoliate. With all of that extra sweating you’ll be doing, there’s no question that your pores will be more susceptible to getting clogged. Exfoliating your skin during the summertime helps to get rid of the dead cells that lay on your skin’s surface. Not doing so may lead to look dull and dry. Howard points out that exfoliating also helps to even out skin discolouration by drawing out the excess oil from pores.

She goes on to note that certain exfoliators can work extra wonders for our skin’s appearance, recommending those that are enzyme-based for best results. “Enzyme based exfoliators contain minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, so not only do they get rid of dull skin, they are also anti-aging,” she writes, “Enzyme exfoliators are less harsh and drying than ones that contain glycolic or salicylic acid.”

Remember that prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection and maintenance can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a number of services to combat those signs of aging. For more information about our microdermabrasion and facial peels, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818. You can also email us at info@auroralaser.net.