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Sunscreen Day: How to Choose the Best Skin Protection

Today is Sunscreen Day, and it’s time to spread awareness about the importance of sunscreen to your skin and overall health.

In Canada, sunlight is strong enough to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Sunscreen absorbs UV rays and prevents them from penetrating the skin. Make sure your sunscreen offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays (usually labelled “broad spectrum”). ~ Canadian Cancer Society

It’s important to wear sunscreen during the sunny months, but also to pick one that is meant for your skin type.

Here’s some tips:

 

  • SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB rays.
  • SPF 30 and higher sunscreen blocks 97% of UVB rays.
  • For children’s skin: PABA and oxybenzone are examples of chemicals that have been known to irritate children’s skin. Sunscreens for those with sensitive skin and children usually contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are safer for them.
  • For those with acne or rosacea: again, chemicals like PABA and oxybenzone can be harmful to your skin, as well as sunscreens with fragrances. Those with rosacea will also want to avoid sunscreens with alcohol, and those with acne will want to avoid oily sunscreens.
  • For those with dry skin: these skin types will benefit from sunscreens with moisturizers such as lanolin, oils and silicones.

Enjoy the spring and summer sun, and be safe!

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The daily habits that could be ruining your skin

If your skin isn’t looking or feeling it’s best right now, there could be some everyday things you’re doing that are causing your skin to age faster than you want it to. Being aware of these five common culprits can add years back to your skin and give you that glow back.

  • Stress: many experts believe this is the number one cause of pre-aging to the skin. The fine lines around your face, are caused by stress, which is why they are called worry lines. You can deal with stress in many ways, but try things like: massage therapy, essential oils, epsom salt baths, reading, etc. Whatever you need to do to decompress.
  • Lack of sleep: in order for your skin cells to fully rejuvenate overnight, you need to be getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If that doesn’t sound like you, try putting yourself on a sleep schedule, after a few nights you should be on a proper regime.
  • Bad diet: fatty foods aren’t just bad for your waistline, they damage your skin too. Healthy skin starts from the inside, so make sure you’re not shorting yourself on vitamins and nutrients and be sure to drink lots of water every day. Your skin is 80 per cent water, so keep yourself hydrated.
  • Lacking sun protection: UV rays are highly damaging to your skin and will cause it to age faster. No matter what season it is, be sure to have SPF protection, especially on your face, which is exposed all year-round.
  • Using damaging products: skincare products with harsh chemicals will damage your skin over time and actually strip it of valuable particles. Try to use skincare products that are organic, and wash your face with mild soap rather than harsh cleansers.

If you want to learn how to reverse the signs of aging skin that have already appeared, find out about the treatments and services we offer, and as always we can answer any questions you may have.

 

 

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It’s time to be proactive against sun damage

With Spring weather finally here, the days get longer and we all try to spend as much time in the sun as we can. Sunshine is a fantastic source of Vitamin D, which helps promote overall health and ward off mental and physical illness, but too much exposure to the sun (or unprotected exposure), can cause damage to our skin.

Most of the skin changes our body goes through over time, aren’t just a ‘normal part of aging’, but actually the result of sun exposure. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays cause damage to the elastin in our skin, which results in changes such as sagging, stretching, discolouration and wrinkles.

There are many different types of lasers and procedures that can be used to fight the signs of sun damage, and at Westside Laser and Light, we use only state-of-the-art equipment and treatments. Some of our most popular anti-aging treatment options include Laser Genesis Skin Rejuvenation, Titan Skin Tightening and our two newest treatments, Fraxel® Restore Dual and Pearl Fractional®

The laser treatment that is best-suited for you is something that should be discussed between yourself and a licensed medical practitioner, and that’s why we employ staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of medical aesthetics. Our staff is recognized as not only being personable, but able to keep you informed and at ease with any questions you have.

Please feel free to contact us to book a consult or to ask any questions regarding our treatments and services.

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Five reasons to love coconut oil

The hype is all about coconut oil lately, and you don’t have to go far online to find countless articles on the various benefits of coconut oil, but it has us raving about its power for your skin.

Here’s five amazing reasons your skin will love coconut oil:

  • Hydrating dry skin: the properties of coconut oil have amazing moisturizing qualities and just a little on your skin will make all the difference. You can use coconut oil from head-to-toe.
  • Alternative shaving cream: instead of buying shaving creams, use coconut oil for your legs while shaving. Coconut oil is naturally anti-microbial and will also soothe as you shave.
  • Makeup remover: the oily properties of this secret ingredient will wipe away makeup with ease, while still soothing and moisturizing your skin. Say good-bye to those drying chemical removers.
  • Face cleaner: before using your favourite cleanser, massage some coconut oil into your face. Coconut oil is naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal and moisturizing.
  • Massage oil: what better oil to use for a massage than coconut oil, with its amazing hydrating properties, your whole body will love it.

Coconut oil also has many great uses for your hair and in addition to your makeup routine, read this article in Prevention Magazine for some more ideas. Be sure to check our blog for more skin-saving tips and treatments.

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Touring our green-inspired clinic

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In celebration of Earth Day today, we thought we’d give a virtual tour of green-inspired and award-winning clinic: Westside Laser & Light.

The use of natural materials and colours were key in creating the spa-like environment our clinic has, and the design earned it the title of ARE Design Award Winner in 2011.

The clinic feels little like a typical medical space and has a warm and inviting look and feel. As per the clinic name, light, as well as translucency became important considerations in the design. — World Architecture News

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Some of the design features of our 1,750 square-foot medical laser and aesthetics clinic include:

  • Two-sided millwork spine dividing reception from the payment area.
  • Green gloss plastic laminate display boxes
  • Wood panelling
  • Generously-sized corridors for ease of circulation
  • Custom interchangeable acrylic artwork
  • Sliding doors throughout

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  • South-facing windows in the main lounge
  • Resin panels suspended in window frames remove need for window coverings.

Our clinic creates a calming and comfortable environment for our clients, and we’re proud to come to work every day because of that. You can read the full skinny on our design process in World Architecture News. Want to come visit our clinic? Information on where to find us can be found here.

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Varicose and Spider Veins: FAQs

You may or may not be familiar with varicose or spider veins, so we’re going to give you a quick lesson so you can differentiate them, prevent them and learn how to treat them.

What’s the difference between varicose and spider veins?

  • Varicose veins are stretched-out veins, where blood has pooled. These veins are thick and protrude from the leg. These type of veins only occur when valves are not working properly.
  • Spider veins are small, blue blood vessels visible underneath the skin. These can be a sign of poor circulation.

What are some myths about varicose veins?

  • You won’t develop varicose veins from crossing your legs
  • Wearing heels will not cause varicose veins
  • Varicose veins can definitely be genetic
  • Men get spider and varicose veins too

Is getting varicose and spider veins fixed just a cosmetic thing?
No. While in many cases they can not be a major health concern, there are exceptions:

 “Varicose veins cause fatigue of the legs, swelling and general discomfort. They can also be a warning of long-term health risks including: deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, poor circulation, and leg swelling.” [Good Housekeeping Magazine]

How can you prevent varicose veins?
Number one prevention method is exercise: it helps control weight and keep muscles fit. Besides fitness, try elevating your legs above your heart for 10-15 minutes at the end of the day, it helps remove pooled blood.

How are varicose and spider veins treated?
Westside Laser & Light uses the Cutera Coolglide Excel vascular laser for varicose and spider veins. This award-winning laser specializes in vein treatments and is unparalleled in safety and efficacy for treat both facial and leg veins. Using our technologically advanced procedures we can diminish both spider and varicose veins by using a highly concentrated beam of light. This treatment is much to be preferred over other vein treatments because it is minimally invasive, practically pain free and requires no general anesthesia.

Find out more about our treatment options for varicose and spider veins on our website here.

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What can you actually do about wrinkles?

Aging is inevitable, but wrinkles and other signs of aging that show up on our skin do not have to be a reality for you. There are a lot of things we can do to fight the signs of aging and reduce or eliminate wrinkles and other lines on your skin. Here’s six things you can actually do about wrinkles:

Botox and Dermal Fillers: the lines in your forehead can be easily softened with fillers, and we carry the best product lines at Westside Laser & Light.

  • BOTOX® Cosmetic and DYSPORT®
  • Restylane® and Perlane®
  • Juvederm® and Juvederm® VOLUMA®
  • NEW Revanesse®

Fractional Laser: the skin around your mouth is very delicate, and years of sun damage or pursing your lips can cause lines around your mouth. Specific areas like this can be easily corrected with fractional lasers, and at Westside Laser and Light, we use Fraxel Restore Dual.

Sunscreen: SPF is your first line of defense in protecting your skin against sun damage. You should be sporting some SPF protection all year-round.

The 3D Approach: this is a popular option at Westside Laser & Light, and it uses 3 distinct laser and light-based treatments to target a specific depth of the skin. Learn more about the three specialized lasers used in this treatment.

Retinoids: retinoid creams do wonders for preventing further wrinkles from occurring on your face.

Cut sugar: did you know that sugar binds to collagen and elastin in the skin and causes it to degrade faster? Cutting sugar from your diet will do wonders for your skin.

Do you have questions about any of these methods or the product lines we offer? Feel free to contact us!

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Habits That Will Earn You Flawless Skin

You know those people who just naturally have amazing skin? We can’t all be blessed with that naturally, but we can all achieve beautiful skin with some extra measures. Here’s some habits to incorporate into your routine that will make your skin the envy of others:

  • Get some sleep: recent studies show that lack of sleep can lead to hyperpigmentation, which is the bags under your eyes when you’re tired. Experts say 7 hours is an ideal amount of time.
  • Wear sunscreen: exposure to the sunlight is one of the biggest culprits of skin aging. The best way to protect your skin is actually wear sun protection all year-round.
  • Take some time for you: stress is obviously a big contributor to aging of the skin and worry lines, so ensure you take some time to relax at the end of the day.
  • Moisturize daily: get a quality moisturizer that you can apply daily, especially in dry climates like we tend to deal with here in Calgary.
  • Wash your face: this may seem like common sense, but even neglecting to wash your face one day of the week can allow dirt and grime to build up on your skin.
  • Eat a balanced diet: nutrition and your body’s health are just as important for your skin health as what you put on it. Proper skincare starts from the inside out so ensure you’re eating foods high in nutrients and low in fats and calories.
  • No smoking: this should seem obvious, but by smoking you’e open your body up to a lot of trouble and speeding up the signs of aging big time on your skin.

Looking for a way to refresh and rejuvenate your skin? Try our WOWW Treatment:

Following a personal skin consultation with one of our experienced and talented skin care specialists, your treatment begins: a gentle massage and sonic-cleansing of the face and neck to remove all impurities, followed by the award-winning Laser Genesis. This laser treatment is excellent for skin rejuvenation yet gentle enough if you have never had laser before.

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