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July 26, 2016

// Skin Care

The Importance Of Avoiding Sun And Smoke To Fend Off Wrinkles

There are many different ways to battle the signs of aging naturally. Drinking water just happens to be one of them. By keeping yourself hydrated, you give your skin the opportunity to look smooth and radiant. Not only is moisture essential for maintaining healthy skin, but drinking water helps to rid your body of the toxins that have aging effects. In today’s blog, however, we’d like to focus on two of the biggest culprits in the world of wrinkle creation: sun and smoke.

How does the sun contribute to the creation of wrinkles? The sun’s UV rays have damaging effects on all of our exposed skin. This is why using sunscreen is of the utmost importance all year round – not just in the summertime. Unprotected, your skin is susceptible to burning, damaged cells and skin cancer. Needless to say, you should avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially when you haven’t applied any sunscreen. And, in case it wasn’t already obvious, stay away from tanning beds completely!

“Have you ever seen someone who has spent years out in the sun or in a tanning bed?” asks Heather Levin on MoneyCrashers.com, “Their skin is sagging, dark, dry, and full of wrinkles. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the reason is because when you get burned, either by the sun or in a tanning bed (which emits three to five times the UV rays of the sun), you’ve damaged your skin cells. Cumulative damage from UV rays is the primary cause of premature aging and skin cancer.”

What are the best ways to avoid the sun’s harmful effects? In addition to sunscreen, you should take measures to keep your face protected. After all, the signs of aging are most noticeable in the face. To protect it from developing crow’s feet around the eyes, it’s wise to always wear a pair of shades. “Other than staying indoors and away from windows, sunglasses are the best way to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV radiation,” says Linda Foster on HuffingtonPost.ca.

She also suggests that you “try to wear white or light colours, and wear a hat when you’re outdoors.” But, the truth is, it’s well known that people – especially young people – love to tan during the summertime. Avoiding the sun is the last thing on their minds. “It can be difficult to refrain from tanning, especially if you are young,” admits Levin, “And when you’re 18 or 20, the concept of all that sun exposure and tanning leading to wrinkles when you’re 35 or 40 seems too far in the distant future to worry about…However, 35 will come a lot faster than you think, and when it arrives, you’ll wish you had taken better care of your skin.”

How does smoking contribute to the creation of wrinkles? “Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients, and it also increases the number of free radicals in your body’s cells, a main cause of skin aging,” explains Foster. Cigarette consumption, in fact, is directly connected to the development of premature wrinkles. Levin adds that cigarette smoking is, in fact, the worst thing you can do for your skin, next to laying in a tanning bed.

“It makes you look years older, makes your skin dry and sallow looking, gives you age spots, and adds a ton of wrinkles to your face, especially around your eyes and lips,” she explains, “Smoking deprives your skin of oxygen and nutrients, which causes a great deal of damage. Furthermore, there are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and none of them do your skin any favours.”

What are the best ways to reduce the facial lines and wrinkles? The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre offers some of the most common non-surgical ways for North Americans to invest in their appearance. They include Botox, Juvederm and Thermage. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how these safe and effective cosmetic procedures can help to restore your youthful appearance. Call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

July 19, 2016

// Skin Care

The Importance Of Sun Safety For Canada’s Outdoor Workers

Because Canada is so well known as being the “Great White North”, it doesn’t get enough credit for the hot and sunny summers that most of the country enjoys. With summer now in full swing, we’re not only experiencing warm temperatures, but we’re also enduring many hours of bright sunshine. It all makes for beautiful days…but dangerous conditions. Don’t think for a second that Canadians don’t need to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

We can just as easily get skin cancer by not protecting ourselves as anyone else in the world. As the Save Your Skin Foundation makes clear, “skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, a nation not known for having a warm climate. It has become imperative that Canadians become aware of the potential dangers of sun exposure, and take precautions that will preserve an often undervalued part of our body, and potentially save lives.”

This is especially true for Canadians who work outdoors during the summer. We all have heard the advice that it’s best to stay out of direct sunlight during the hours of 11am and 4pm when the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is at its strongest. But for outdoor workers, that isn’t necessarily an option. As a result, those who work outdoors may get to enjoy the summer heat more than most of us, but they are at the highest risk of getting skin cancer.

So how can outdoor workers protect themselves from the sun? The Canadian Dermatology Association makes a number of suggestions. “Seek shade from buildings, trees, canopies, etc, as much as possible, especially during lunch and coffee breaks,” they advise, “Wear a wide-brimmed hat (more than 8 cm or 3 inches). Attach a back flap to a construction helmet to cover the back of the neck and a visor for the front of the face.”

The CDA also recommends that outdoor workers wear clothing that covers as much of their bodies as possible. Now, considering how hot certain days can get, you can imagine that wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants may be uncomfortable. The key is to choose light fabrics that are loose and comfortable. It’s important, however, that the fabrics chosen are the types that don’t let light through.

How important is the use of sunscreen for outdoor workers? Quite obviously, it couldn’t be more important! Firstly, the CDA advises that outdoor workers apply a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher that is broad spectrum, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. They insist that it be applied to all exposed areas of the skin before going outside. Secondly, it is recommended that the sunscreen be reapplied at midday or more often if there has been a lot of perspiration.

The Save Your Skin Foundation stresses the need to not take our skin for granted. “We can see and feel our skin, so we tend to be more familiar with the health of our skin than our other organs,” they note, “The downside with our familiarity with our skin is that we tend to take it for granted, and we do not get particularly concerned when it is under distress. However, the body is an integrated system, in which our skin plays an important role; our tendency to underestimate the importance of healthy skin can be detrimental to our health.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer such services as Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy, Profractional and Intense Pulse Light Photo Rejuvenation (IPL). Each is well known for its ability to treat sun damage among other skin conditions. Click HERE for more information, or better yet, call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

July 13, 2016

// Skin Care

6 Simple Ways To Heal Your Sunburn

More often than not, our blog highlights the fact that sunscreen is mandatory all throughout the year. But during the hot and sunny summer months, it should go without saying that sunscreen should be used. Still, there are many Canadians who forget to lather up…or just plain ignore the fact that their skin needs to be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. In many cases, this leads to inevitable sunburn.

So what to do when your skin has been damaged by the sun? Here are six simple ways to heal your sunburn:

1. Cool down your skin. When you’ve been out in the sun too long and your skin has gone without protection, you’ve practically been baking yourself. Literally! It’s important to cool your skin down. “If you’re near a cold pool, lake or ocean, take a quick dip to cool your skin, but only for a few seconds so you don’t prolong your exposure,” says the Skin Cancer Foundation, “You can use ice to make ice water for a cold compress, but don’t apply ice directly to the sunburn.”

2. Apply aloe. The juice from the aloe plant is well known for its ability to heal burns. As Livestrong.com points out, “aloe vera contains a gel or a juice portion used frequently for burns. The gel or juice in the plant has soothing qualities, especially for burns and is antibacterial. Even hospitals now use aloe vera for burn victims. Using aloe vera for sunburns is easy and is a popular home treatment.”

3. Moisturize your skin. By burning your skin, you’ve completely rid it of any moisture. It’s time to replenish it with moisturizing lotions. Not all moisturizers are created equal, however. “While skin is still damp, use a gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse),” warns the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Repeat to keep burned or peeling skin moist over the next few days.”

4. Rehydrate yourself. To reiterate that last point, getting sunburned is an indication of dehydration. To replenish your fluids, be sure to drink plenty of liquid. But what are the best things to drink? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “it’s important to rehydrate by drinking extra liquids, including water and sports drinks that help to replenish electrolytes, immediately and while your skin heals.”

5. Eat fruit. To continue along the theme of rehydrating your body, you’ll be doing it a big favour by including water-rich foods in your diet to combat the effects of your sunburn. According to Prevention.com, the water in fruit is very helpful. “One large wedge of watermelon provides 9 oz—more than 1 full cup—of water. (It’s also an excellent source of cancer-fighting lycopene.),” explains the website, which also recommends honeydew, beets and cantaloupe.

6. Seek the assistance of skin care professionals. Over time, sun damaged skin will not be able to be repaired by any of the above mentioned methods. In certain circumstances, professional help is needed. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer such services as Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy, Profractional and Intense Pulse Light Photo Rejuvenation (IPL). Each is well known for its ability to treat sun damage among other skin conditions.

Click HERE for more information, or better yet, call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

July 5, 2016

// Hair Removal

6 Mistakes We Continue To Make When Shaving Our Legs

With the summertime now in full swing, there is a grooming activity that far too many of us women participate in more often than ever: shaving our legs. We know that it is painful, can cause rashes, razor bumps, nicks and scratches, and yet we do it anyway. Not to mention, shaving takes up so much of our time and it only produces short-term results. As well, no matter how long we’ve been shaving our legs, we continue to make the same old mistakes.

Here are six of them:

1. We forget the lather. Although shaving cream is certainly recommended, we often think that it is okay to quickly shave off a few unwanted hairs with a dry razor when we are in a rush. This is a no-no. “One should never ever shave dry unless you’re using an electric razor,” Vanessa Luis reminds us on IndiaTimes.com, “Lather is a must while shaving in order to ensure a smooth shave. Dry shaving will hamper a smooth shave and will leave razor burns, which will later cause irritation.”

2. We use old razors. Yes, shaving is expensive. But that doesn’t mean it’s wise to continue to re-use the same razor over and over again. “Old razors have dull blades which make it more difficult to get a close shave, and can even cause razor burn,” explains Miki Hayes on Bustle.com, “What’s even worse is that old blades harbour bacteria…A good rule of thumb is if it ever starts to feel like it’s tugging at your skin rather than gliding across it, it’s probably time for retirement.”

3. We don’t exfoliate. Keep in mind that shaving doesn’t just remove unwanted hair. It usually scrapes off skin cells as well. This not only leads to skin irritation, but it makes your razor less effective. “Exfoliation is necessary to scrub away dry and flaky skin before shaving,” informs Luis, “Skipping exfoliation before you shave will cause those dead cells to build up on the razor blade and will make shaving less effective. You will have to keep re-shaving and washing your razor to rinse out the flaky skin.”

4. We use too much pressure. “Using a lot of pressure doesn’t actually make your shave any closer,” informs Hayes, “All it does is collect even more dead skin cells in your blades…and cause more friction and therefore irritation than normal.” She goes on to advise that we should all be allowing the razor blade to gently glide across our skin. If it feels like it is scraping, it is time to use a new razor.

5. We shave in the wrong direction. It’s important to remember that a proper shave takes time. Quick shaves generally produce poor results. To hurry things up, many of us shave in several different directions on the same location of the body. However, as Luis points out, “shaving haphazardly in every direction is another reason for razor burns and ingrown hair. Ideally you should shave in the direction of your hair growth (downwards) and then go for an upwards swipe for a closer shave.”

6. We don’t moisturize when we’re done. In case it hasn’t been made obvious by now, shaving can really wreak havoc on our skin. Be sure to moisturize once you’re done. “Shaving can really dry out your skin and cause irritation,” Hayes reminds us, “Prevent both of these things from happening by always moisturizing right after shaving, while your legs are still damp from the shower.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we simply didn’t have to shave our legs anymore? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer laser hair removal courtesy of the revolutionary LightSheer™ Hair Laser so that you can do away with tweezing, waxing and shaving for good! The laser is heralded for its patented chill tip which protects the skin and makes the treatment virtually painless.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.