Is Your Sunscreen Destroying Coral Reefs?

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I just finished reading an article in Time Magazine’s Scientific Discoveries on how the chemicals in sunscreens are part of a long list of threats destroying Coral Reefs. Skin Therapists are consistent with reminding clients to apply sunscreen for protection against the damaging effects of ultra violet radiation and the prevention of skin cancers. I’ve certainly talked about harmful ingredients — particularly oxybenoze — with clients, but haven’t always emphasized the importance of avoiding oxybenzone at all costs! A great reminder for me!

Many Canadians head south for a short reprieve away from the cold. A few days ago, I returned from holiday in the Dominican Republic. Each morning after breakfast I would settle into my shaded lounger, apply a generous amount of sunscreen  and chill on the beach reading, people watching and swimming in the beautiful ocean.

Twice daily the Dive Center at the resort would prepare to take a group of scuba divers out to explore the various coral reefs in the area. Admittedly, I was a little envious I wasn’t joining them but I have had the pleasure of experiencing the delicate and fascinating ecosystem of many coral reefs in my life. For non-divers, many resorts will have small reefs close by that guests can venture to for snorkeling.

People feel good knowing that they are protecting themselves and their children by applying sunscreen. The issue is what’s IN the sunscreen that may be causing harm to our health and the environment.

The Time article states that researchers found the chemical oxybenzone has toxic effects on young coral that cause endocrine disruption, DNA damage and death of coral, among other problems. Oxybenzone also exacerbates coral bleaching, a process by which coral reject symbiotic organisms and lose their color. Bleaching has been particularly prevalent in recent years due to rising sea temperatures.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter coral reef areas around the world each year. That’s a lot of sunscreen, considering how little it takes to cause toxic effects. According to the new research, toxicity occurs at a concentration of 62 parts per trillion. That’s the equivalent of a drop of water in an Olympic swimming pool.

Luckily, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) makes it easier for us to find those useful products. When choosing a sunscreen, look for the following active ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (safe mineral sunscreens). Avoid products with oxybenzone and vitamin A (or retinyl palmitate), which paradoxically may increase your skin cancer risk. And choose one without fragrance, as some fragrances can also act as hormone disruptors.

In conclusion, be mindful of your product choices. It will have a greater impact not just on your personal health but the life and vitality of our oceans. 

http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/


Gift Certificate & Retail Sale

Save the date! One Day Only!

Tax Free Gift Certificate and Retail Sale is Sunday December 4th from 11am to 4pm. 

Free I Beauty Flawless Rejuvenation Eye Pads ($72) when you purchase 4 Image products on sale day.

Get $20 service dollars for every $100 cash value gift certificates. 

Other products include:

  • Gehwol Foot Care
  • Envy Anti-Aging Pillows
  • Hempz Body Care
  • Hydropeptide Skin Care

 

gift-certificate-sale


I’M Moving!

Hi Everyone

I hope you all had an amazing summer! Wasn’t the weather fantastic? My favourite season always goes by way too fast. Bye to sandals, hello socks, boots and hockey rinks.

I wanted to let you all know that at the end of this month- only a few weeks away..eek, I will be moving my practice to AdvanceMD Anti-Aging Clinic (www.advancemd.ca) in Bedford. When the opportunity became available and my lease on Agricola St. was coming to an end, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with like minded people, and well, just to work with people again. I missed it more that I thought I would but it worked for me and my family over the past 2 years.

I love the North End Halifax community and it has given me much support over the past 14 years but change is always good. My new space is beautiful and I even have a water view! I will be offering the same services plus more and keeping my flexible hours, so evenings and selected Saturdays are still available to you. I invite you to come and check it out. Please visit the AdvanceMD website and check out all they have to offer. Aesthetic Medicine, Nutrition, Personal Training and so much more. I’m not on their website just yet, but will be soon.

I will be sending a little thank you note in the mail soon to my valued clients with a special offer, so keep an eye out for that. If you don’t receive anything within the next few weeks, please email me.

Thank you once again for your support, I am so filled with gratitude. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Dawn


15 Ideas for Better Sleep

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If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re certainly not alone.

If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes.  It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust.

People who regularly stay awake for too long are at a higher risk of developing illnesses like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and also mental issues like depression and memory loss.   First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed.  For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00.  This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30.

Note: If these simple solutions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your doctor to see if they can find the root cause.  A functional medical practitioner or naturopathic doctor may be able to find a good natural solution for you.

Here is a list of 15 things you can try to help improve your sleep:

  1. Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)
  1. Don’t have chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
  1. Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
  1. Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
  1. Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
  1. Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers
  1. Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
  1. Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
  1. Take a soothing hot bath at night
  1. Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
  1. Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation
  1. White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan
  1. Relax and read before bed
  1. Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress

Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details, so you can relax).


What else is your skin telling you?

Chinese-Medicine-Face-Map-for-Health

Traditional Chinese Medicine aka TCM has always fascinated me. I’ve been reading about it almost as long as I’ve been an aesthetician and certified reflexologist (21 years) . Recently, I’ve rekindled my deep curiosity of face mapping and its relationship to nutrition, lifestyle, stress levels and hormonal changes. All topics that I have much experience with both personally and professionally.

TCM believes that what is happening in the inner body can be determined by examining the face. Energy flows through the body via a series of channels called meridians. If these meridians are in balance, you remain in good health; if they become unbalanced or blocked, health symptoms can emerge and can show in outward signs on the face. As you can see in the above photo, each part of the face is related to a specific organ system and any disharmony on the inside of the body will show up on the outside. This can show up as puffiness, color changes, flaky patches, acne, excess lines etc. If you continuously get a spot show up in the same area, it’s likely that your body is trying to tell you that a part of your system needs attention.

Do any of these areas have lines that don’t reflect the level of ageing elsewhere on your face?

Are there patches of skin that differ in color and texture from the rest of your face?

What is your skin saying?

Contact me to learn more.

Join the Last Minute Club

 

 


Post holiday skin sabotage….is your skin is behaving like a “party pooper”?

As a skin therapist and holistic nutritionist, there’s a bit of disconnect with maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle over the holidays. It starts with overindulgence. It’s hard to resist and I know from personal experience that when I consume too much of the bad stuff, whether it be pastries, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, foods high in salt and bad fats…my skin tells me! As we all know, too much of anything isn’t a good idea. As a result, the skin can become imbalanced very quickly. Inflammation, acne, dehydration and lack luster can set in.

Let’s take a look and some of the most usual suspects:

Party Pooper #1

Not Pooping!

Too much dairy, refined food, alcohol, sugar, NOT enough water intake and good fibre can lead to some serious constipation issues. Poor elimination leads to a build up of toxins and hormones. It can also make you feel bloated, gassy, tired and cranky. Dairy is mucous forming, a total party pooper for those with inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and acne.

Party Pooper # 2

An abundance of sugar and alcohol:

A process called ‘glycation’ takes place with the introduction of sugars into the body, and this chemical reaction renders bodily tissues inflexible or damaged. Which cells are most vulnerable?  Collagen and elastin, this is what keeps our skin firm and youthful. Once damaged, their depletion leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. No thank you!

Party Pooper #3

Unbalanced Cortisol levels

We have a tendency to overtax ourselves during the holidays which can really mess with your hormones and adrenal function. When cortisol levels are too high or too low, we increase oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

Party Pooper #4

Insomnia

Late nights, rich food, too much caffeine and drinks late into the night. Financial stress is BIG because I know I can’t wait to get that post Christmas Visa bill!  When we lose sleep, our skin loses its chance to rejuvenate, detoxify and rebuild.

If you are having issues with your skin or getting back to healthy eating patterns, give me a call and book a consultation. I’d love to help you!

To a healthier and more radiant you!

Dawn


Transitioning into Winter- 5 steps to help you maintain healthy, glowing skin!

How do you prepare for the changes your skin will experience with the shift into winter with the loss of humidity we so graciously welcome during the summer months? Here’s how:

  1. Tweak your home-care– Your skins needs can change dramatically during the winter especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast or spend lots of hours at the skating rink. This might mean switching up your existing day and/or night cream to products more emollient or hydrating than what you were using in the summer. If you love your daily moisturizers and don’t want to change, then consider adding a serum or mask to enhance additional moisture support.
  2. Exfoliate regularly– For the body prior to the shower or bath begin with gentle dry brushing with a body brush, mitt or sea sponge. Start at the ankles and move upwards pushing blood towards the heart, then clockwise around the tummy, followed by arms and chest.This fast and simple technique is amazing for the Lymphatic system! Be mindful of the water temperature in the shower or bath. Warm water is best because hot showers will only dry out the skin further. Within the first few minutes of jumping out of the shower or bath, apply a natural body cream or oil. For face and neck uses an appropriate exfoliate for your skin type or condition and use as directed. Gentler hydrating exfoliates such as enzymes for sensitive or dry skin are ideal. Removing cellular build up will enhance penetration of active ingredients and you will receive more benefits from your products.
  1. Diet & Nutrition– You are what you eat! Paying closer attention to diet and the foods that pass through your lips plays a huge factor in maintaining healthy skin through winter. I will explain further in another blog coming soon but in a nutshell, consuming foods that contain natural lipids are highly beneficial and protective to prevent loss of water through the skin. Foods rich in good healthy fats like salmon, avocado, nuts and seeds, flax, olive, coconut, hemp oil to name a few. If the skin is dehydrated, it is less able to produce the hydrating compounds that inhibit water loss from the skin. Eating foods with higher water content and drinking more water are key considerations. If you don’t like water on its own, make yourself some spa water by adding a few flavor enhancing ingredients such as lime, lemon, mint or basil leaves, cucumber, and berries.
  2. Depending on your heating systems at home or work, these factors can create havoc on your skins hydration. Wood stoves and forced air can deplete your indoor climate of ambient humidity. Even if you have built in humidifier in your furnace, try running an additional humidifier in your bedroom overnight. Not only will this help your skin look and feel better, but it’s also great for treating colds!
  3. If you are feeling confused about what to use or whether you’re using the best combination of home care, have a consultation with a professional skin therapist to have a look at your current skin care regime. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your everyday routine and perhaps some things you’re using at home just aren’t working anymore. Change can be good!

Thanks for reading, love to hear your feedback!


Jungle Juicing

In less than 2 weeks I will be heading off to Costa Rica for 9 glorious days with my best friend Andrea. This is our second trip to Costa Rica and after our experience in 2012 on a yoga retreat, I just knew I would be back. I even tried to convince my husband to move there. Hmm, maybe he might reconsider after this long crazy winter?

Many years ago, I met a woman who resided in the place we are heading to for the retreat. All I kept thinking as I was treating her skin was how beautiful, healthy and youthful she was. She talked about her life in Costa Rica and all the different programs offered at this special gathering place for people to rejuvenate, heal, or just get away from always being constantly “connected” to the world. A place for healing guru’s or just ordinary people like me that need to recharge an almost 45 year old battery.

Typically when I wanted to get a blast of tropical the option would be “All Inclusive” to the Caribbean. I just wasn’t feeling it, been there done that so many times. Besides, the thoughts of overindulgence actually made me feel sick. I knew I needed to completely cleanse from an intensive and life changing 2 years of school, stress and starting up a new business. Special thanks to Andrea for getting on-board to do this with me, I know it wasn’t your first choice. You’re the best!!

I’ll be transparent for a moment, I’m scared but in a really good way. I’ve never been able to successfully complete any cleansing/detox program started at home so it will be an interesting journey.

I look forward to the experience and sharing it with you. Love to hear from you.


Introduction

Welcome to my new blog.

I look forward to sharing tips about caring for your skin and body.

Regular posts will be about managing difficult skin conditions, holistic nutrition and other topics I think you’ll be interested in.

I’d love to hear from you so please like, comment, share or follow for new exciting ideas.

In health,

Dawn