Four Important Health Resolutions for 2017

 

Four Health Resolutions That Are Important for 2017

At the beginning of each new year, we take advantage of a fresh start. Often we aim to better ourselves by setting a new exercise regime, booking a gym membership and vowing to quit any bad habits (smoking, alcohol, junk food, etc.).

Whilst many resolutions are, unfortunately, short lived and often peter out by the end of the first month, today we are looking at four health intentions to set which are crucial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Booking regular health check-ups:

Not only is it important to make regular visits to your GP to stay on top of your general wellbeing, this year make a commitment to book the appointments which are put off all too often.

A yearly skin check will ensure you are on top of any newly developed moles or skin growths. In Australia, 2 in 3 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. It’s important to remain vigilant and identify any concerns early to treat effectively.

Consider whether you are due for a mammogram or pap smear. Whilst these appointments may be slightly uncomfortable, and are commonly put off by women, they are an important health check which can provide peace of mind once completed.

Lastly, don’t forget about regular dental and eye checks. Whilst they are easy to put to the back of your mind, they play a much bigger part in your day-to-day life than you might assume. If you suffer from tension headaches, for example, it may be time to have your eyes assessed.

Increase your water intake:

Whilst it’s a common yearly resolution, the fact remains that the majority of people do not drink enough water each day. Dehydration can lead to all manner of health issues and weighs heavily on the healthy functioning of our skin.

Aim to drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of water per day. If you find it difficult to remember, try setting a reminder on your phone or keeping a check list by your desk and cross off each glass you drink. Perhaps an app will help you stay on track and ensure you are drinking an adequate amount of water.

Restful sleep:

Unfortunately, the ever-evolving society in which we live on means it’s difficult to completely shut off. The world, it seems, never sleeps and this has taken its toll on our individual sleeping patterns. On average, we need 8 hours of restful sleep each night.

This year, ensure you are allowing your body the time it needs to rest and recharge.

You can read more about the damaging effects of fatigue on our skin here.

Count nutrients, not calories:

In a society which places heavy emphasis on weight-loss, the importance of nutrition can, at times, be overshadowed by calorie counting. This year, try to place more importance on the nutritional factor of the foods you are eating. Nourish your body with wholesome, colourful foods and it will flourish.

Make 2017 the year in which you take your health seriously. Book in for check-ups, nourish your body and treat it with care.

Enjoy a happy, safe and healthy new year.

 

Image Credit: Beauticate

The Healthiest Foods on Your Christmas Table

 

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During the Christmas period it becomes easy to give in to temptation and consume any number of foods that would not constitute our recommended daily diet.

It is possible, however, to indulge in traditional Christmas foods and eat in a healthy and controlled manner.

This year, whilst sitting down to the table for Christmas lunch or dinner, look for options with a higher nutritional value. Not all dishes will have been cooked and prepared equally, so it’s important to plate up those which will benefit you and your body.

Below are some foods which you will find on almost any Christmas table, which prove to be better options when it comes to what you eat on Christmas Day.

Roast Vegetables:

Whilst it’s true that vegetables subjected to an intense heat can alter their nutritional profile and compromise some nutrients, it’s also true that it can boost others. Roasting tomatoes, for example, increases levels of lycopene (a cancer fighting antioxidant) and roasted carrots have a higher level of carotenoids which is rich in antioxidants.

Essentially, vegetables are vegetables, whichever way they have been cooked. They offer fibre and are filling without too many calories. Avoid adding excess oil or salt or anything with an added sauce (such as cheese or white sauce).

Turkey:

Turkey remains one of the most traditional meats to serve at Christmas, yet is also one of the healthiest options. Turkey is a lean, low-GI meat which can also aid in maintaining steady insulin levels. It also contains the amino acid ‘tryptophan’ which in turn produces serotonin (a chemical which is believed to affect our mood and cyclic body processes). Turkey has also been shown to offer a good source of selenium which is essential for our thyroid hormone metabolism.

Lobster:

Whilst it’s not the most traditional of Christmas foods, lobster and other seafood options are becoming commonplace within Australia as they are a fitting accompaniment to a warm Summer’s day.

Lobster, though considered a luxury, is surprisingly low in calories and contains a significant amount of protein which we need for healthy growth and development.

Lobster also contains a negligible amount of fat or carbohydrates. It does promise large amounts of B vitamins for a healthy metabolism and skin, as well as phosphorous, potassium, zinc and magnesium which contribute to bone health, energy, glucose regulation and healthy cell function.

As always, lobster should be eaten in moderation as it does also contain high amounts of cholesterol and sodium. However, as a treat during the holiday period, it promises to be an option rich in vitamin and minerals.

Christmas Pudding:

Whilst the best dessert you could opt for would be a fresh fruit salad with a dollop of natural yoghurt, Christmas is a time to indulge just a little. If you wish to celebrate with a more traditional dessert, we recommend a modest portion of Christmas pudding.

Being wary of the sugars and syrups contained within the dessert, there are also ingredients which are beneficial to your body.

Common dried fruits such as sultanas and raisins provides potassium, which aids in minimising high blood pressure, and iron, whilst currants are believed to contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin C than oranges.

Nuts within the pudding also nourish the body with healthy fats and the likes of vitamin E.

And finally, the all-important mixed spice which is responsible for the overall flavour contains cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger. These spices can work to prevent the attacks of food-poisoning bugs such as salmonella and E-coli. Ginger is also effective in reducing nausea and cinnamon aids in the lowering of blood pressure and improving insulin production.

As always, moderation is key. Remain wary of your portion size during the festive season, yet allow yourself to enjoy what you are eating.

 

Main Image Credit: Foodiful

Three Things to Consider Before a Skin Consultation

 

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When it comes to skincare, simply using expensive products may not yield the desired results. The truth of the matter is that the only way to reach your ultimate skin health and complexion is to truly understand your skin and its needs.

Booking a skin consultation is the first step toward a long term plan, as you will be guided by an expert who truly understands skin.

Whilst booking your first consultation can be daunting, there is nothing to be fearful of. It’s unlikely you will undergo treatments the same day as your initial consultation, as a thorough skin analysis should be completed prior to any procedure or treatment. This will ensure that both you and your aesthetician understand what your skin concerns and complexion goals.

When booking a skin consultation, there are some things of which you should be aware, to get the most out of your meeting.

Identify your main concerns

As a rule, a good consultation with a skin specialist should begin with the line “What would you like to achieve?” or “What are you most concerned about in regards to your skin?”

Open ended questions such as these help to establish effective dialogue between you and your specialist. Alternatively, a specialist may examine your skin and identify areas which may benefit from treatment; a good skin specialist should be able to do this without creating unnecessary stress or concern on your behalf, and still ask questions regarding your eventual skin objectives.

Before the appointment, consider what conditions or concerns you are most eager to address. Fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, sun damage or pigmentation, skin lacking volume, blemish-prone or scarred skin are all common skin concerns which your specialist should be confident in addressing.

Know your skin and health history

Take the time to prepare a list of all the skincare products you are currently using, and in which order. Not only will this assist in determining whether you are using your skincare correctly, it will also inform the specialist as to whether your routine includes ingredients which may react negatively with any treatment they might prescribe. Use of some ingredients (such as AHAs, vitamin A derivative and cortisone) ought to be discontinued before undergoing certain treatments and procedures.

Your specialist will likely ask you about your general lifestyle, as health can heavily impact the function and appearance of the skin. Be prepared to discuss not only your diet, including Vitamin or mineral supplements, but your fitness level, hygiene and any habits which may affect your overall health.

Furthermore, your specialist should ask you about any known medical conditions and medications you may be taking. Honesty is crucial here, as some health conditions can not only affect the appearance of your skin, but also alter the effects of some skin treatments the specialist may suggest. Make a point to let them know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be confident in asking your own questions

Whilst is it can be a lot of information to absorb, it’s important to be confident in discussing your concerns or addressing any questions you may have with your specialist. A successful skin consultation should result in a better understanding of your skin and overall skin objectives, therefore ask for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. Ask them to explain again how their suggestions will work best for your skin type. Be confident in asking about post-treatment aftercare, common side effects, and whether you will require multiple appointments.

It’s also important to communicate if you have an upcoming event; this allows your specialist to factor in potential downtime and which treatment will be most appropriate.

A skin consultation is one of the best steps you can take in improving the health and appearance of your skin. It will not only allow you to develop a tailored skincare plan with a skincare expert, but it will also help you gain a better insight into your skin. Once you understand what your skin wants and needs to function well, you will discover it will begin to thrive.

 

Image Credit: Flint Plus Flint

Anti-Ageing – What’s in a Clinic Today?

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Anti-ageing has become a medical specialty in its own right. It refers to the prevention, treatment and even reversal of the signs of ageing. An extension of preventative and holistic wellness, it is one of the fastest growing areas of medicine in the world. It is also a contributing factor to the increasing age expectation of a human life.

With current technologies such as anti-ageing and age reversing devices, along with a healthy diet, appropriate exercise and awareness and eradication of diseases before they have a chance to occur, we are effectively prolonging and improving our quality of life. It’s no wonder that anti-ageing conferences are now becoming some of the most popular conferences on the world circuit.

Keeping up with Consumer Expectations

Beauty clinics, doctor’s surgeries, even dermatologists or specialist surgeons and plastic surgeons around the world are realising that in order to keep up with consumer expectation and demand, they need to be offering the latest anti-ageing treatments alongside more traditional medicine.

There has been a real shift in the way we approach our health and beauty, due to a combination of scientific and technological advancements. Things that we used to dream of when it came to turning back the clock are now becoming reality. With stem cell rejuvenation we can now tighten skin without surgery. Being able to determine exactly where we position fat in our bodies is now a possibility, with fat transfer becoming a commonly performed procedure all over the world. The interesting thing is that these treatments and procedures are now often being offered side by side in the same clinics who now cater for a person’s whole approach to health.

It’s not unusual for a dermatologist to offer laser or light treatments, or a plastic surgeon to offer fat transfer as well as synthetic breast implants. It’s commonplace that your local GP clinic will also offer what looks like a Medispa menu of blood analysis or a nutritionist to counsel you on your diet; the local skincare or cancer clinic to offer laser hair removal or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for removal of pigmentation or skin imperfections; or a plastic surgeon to offer Coolsculpting and Vampire Facials for after you’ve had your rhinoplasty.

Catering for the Individual

The beauty of all this new technology, devices, treatments and procedures is that we can specifically tailor an anti-ageing approach for each of us. There is a solution for almost every skin issue or imperfection. Acne is almost a thing of the past. Anti-wrinkle and dermal filler injections are becoming so mainstream there are entire Instagram accounts dedicated to the practice.

Societal Acceptance

In the last five years there has been a huge turnaround in society’s acceptance of these measures to stop the ageing process. Botox used to be only for the rich, or Hollywood’s celebrities. It’s now more commonplace than you might think. Australians spend in excess of $1billion on cosmetic treatments each year – more per capita than Americans! No longer are consumers settling for brow waxing or shaping; feathering and tattooing is more popular than ever. The standard facial is being replaced by more long-term effective treatments such as chemical peels or laser, with the cost of these new procedures being drastically reduced.

Anti-ageing clinics are here to stay, with the science and technology behind the concept only increasing in momentum.

Image Credit: Beauticate

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

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Keratosis Pilaris is a common chronic skin condition that affects between 50-80% of adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. It manifests itself through small light or red coloured bumps on the skin, most characteristically on the upper arm and thighs.

Keratosis Pilaris is not contagious; it does not tend to come with any health issues, save for some occasional itchiness and has been known to appear alongside other skin conditions such as eczema.

Whist professionals are not certain of the triggering causal factor, it’s understood the condition may stem from an overproduction of keratin (hyperkeratinisation) in the opening of the follicle. Keratin is the protein responsible for protecting the skin from infections and the like. This build up develops a plug within the follicle which creates the characteristic bump on the surface of the skin.

While there is no cure, there are measures one can take to minimise its effect.

Dehydration has been found to acerbate the condition so it’s recommend to apply a heavy moisturiser daily. It can worsen during the winter months with the drop in humidity in the air. Keeping skin hydrating levels up is key to controlling the symptoms during the colder season.

Avoiding too much time in the shower and keeping the water from getting too hot will also have a positive effect on the condition as heat and water can actually dry skin further.

While it’s not considered a medical concern, it can cause people embarrassment or body-confidence issues. To further ‘treat’ the symptoms, a topical exfoliant or topical retinoid may aid in cell turnover. For more stubborn incarnations of the condition, a laser treatment may minimise the effects.

What’s Next in the Aesthetics Industry

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Even if you already work in the industry or are considering a career in it, the Aesthetics industry is a hard one to keep up with. There are new developments, discoveries and products on the market every day. Here are just a few that you might not have heard of yet, but are sure to become more mainstream in the months/years to come.

Aesthetic Apps

These days, there’s an App for everything and with technology playing such a huge role in this industry, it was only a matter of time before an App was developed for the aesthetics industry. These Apps will allow you to see what you will look like after a particular treatment. So, if you are not sure if you want, for example, lip fillers, you can simply download the App, upload a photo, choose which treatment you are considering, and see what you think of the results. Whether this will take off on your personal phone or just be used by beauty spas and clinics is yet to be seen. While this is not commonplace in the market yet, watch this space.

Augmented Reality

Following on with the App theme, there is also an App where a woman wearing a uniquely designed “bra” is videoed, and the App superimposes augmented breasts over the top of the bra so the woman can see what she’d look like with a particular shape or size of breasts. It’s said to be like a virtual mirror where you can shop for the exact breasts you want so when you have the surgery you are clearer on what the results are going to look like. There are already similar, less advanced versions of this being used in surgeon’s offices around the world but this takes it to the next step.

Regrowing Hair

Hair loss and its treatment has certainly gone from strength to strength in the last decade or two. There have been special creams and formulas, hair transplants etc and they all work to a certain extent, but with all the research and discoveries on cell growth and stimulation to make us more beautiful, the golden ticket to solve the problem once and for all is hair follicles to regenerate and start growing hair again. There are science labs who have managed to do this in a laboratory, but as of yet it’s still not at a stage where it has worked on a human. With so many men (and women!) dealing with loss of hair, whether it be partial or complete baldness in their lifetime, this is one area where research is definitely getting quality time.

Will We Finally Get Rid of Cellulite?

There are already some newer devices on the market claiming they can help reduce cellulite but for some reason this stubborn condition is one of the hardest to treat. There’s been reasonable success with creams, liposuction, massage and mesotherapy, yet none have so far managed to produce results so outstanding as to warrant a breakthrough in the treatment of cellulite. LED’s, laser and most recently Coolsculpting have been said to help, but even these new treatments have been unable to produce perfect results. However, as non-surgical body contouring and aesthetic product development continues to move forward at a bold pace, it may only be a matter of time before cellulite can be treated with brilliant results in just a trip to the beauty salon.

 

Main Image Source: Face Plus Medispa

The Truth About Extractions

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There is a lot of debate in the aesthetic and beauty industry about the necessity of extractions.

While some believe it is a great way to maintain a clear complexion, others argue that it only damages the skin.

Are extractions a safe component in a facial and how much difference can they make?

We look at situations where a client should consider extractions and best practice for the safest and most successful outcome.

What are extractions?

Extractions are essentially the physical removal of oil, dirt and debris from the skin’s pores, most often in the form of blackheads or whiteheads (clogging and congestion).

How are they performed?

Extractions should only be performed by a professional. The skin is first prepared with a thorough cleanse and often a light peel which loosens the stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin.

Steam is applied to warm the skin and soften the built up oil and debris in the pores.

Once steamed, the aesthetician will perform the extraction, often with gloved hands and tissues to provide pressure to the pore. Some aestheticians use a metal extraction tool, however most prefer their hands as they are better able to judge the pressure they are applying to minimise potential damage the skin.

Extractions are followed by a light toner (if preferred) and the appropriate moisturiser.

How to find the right aesthetician:

Not everyone will perform extractions and some have more experience than others. It’s important to do your research to find someone who will suit you. Looking at reviews will be your first point of call in finding someone who will do the job well, and ideally the aesthetician will have at least two years’ experience in extractions.

Things to consider:

After an extraction, it’s best to leave skin make-up-free until the next day. This gives skin a chance to breathe and settle after the procedure.

An aesthetician can usually only extract a blackhead or whitehead. A cyst is an infection deep within the pore and cannot be extracted in a salon-setting without further dermal training. Milia (a white lump that looks like a whitehead but cannot be extracted via squeezing) can be extracted with a lancet by a trained aesthetician or medical practitioner.

A blemish can take 5-7 days to heal after an extraction therefore it’s best to book in at least  a week before a big event.

Main Image Source: Starlight Med Spa