Skin products for the low-maintenance man

Let me tell you something about my husband’s skin.  He does absolutely nothing to maintain it. He might put on some aftershave to combat morning razor burn, but other than that, I can barely get him to wear sunscreen when it’s 30 degrees outside. No moisturizers, no lotions, no products at all. Sound like any of the men you know?

While men can be notorious for neglecting to care for their skin and face, they aren’t immune to the effects of sun damage and aging, or the dry Calgary air. They also aren’t necessarily as apathetic to their skin’s wear and tear and fine wrinkles as they may have you believe. They may say it builds character, but often they are making excuses because doing something about it feels like a hassle.

“I’ve seen you do your routine,” my husband says to me. “You’ve got a million lotions and creams and moisturizers and brushes and, I don’t even know what that is,” he says pointing to my brow shaper. “No way am I doing any of that.”

That’s about where any of our masculine oriented skin care conversations end. Or at least that used to be the case. Celazome has put together something very nicely suited to men such as my husband. The new Celazome Men’s Kit. It’s the simplest, yet most direct way to keep a man’s face looking young and smooth. It is very much not work.

What makes it simple? It is comprised of only two products, but they are so vital and effective that they are all a man needs to keep himself looking fresh. Behold, the fountain of masculine youth.

Celazome Men’s Kit secret ingredients:

  • Balancing Botanical Cleanser
  • Code 4 Spray Lotion

The Balancing Botanical Cleanser was actually very novel to my husband. A facial cleanser that you apply while your face is still dry? What kind of sorcery is this? His fears were assuaged when I made it clear that the simplest way to approach this cleanser is to apply it in the bathroom mirror and step directly into the shower afterwards to rinse it off. His face was left squeaky clean, yet wasn’t painfully dry the way Dove bar soap tends to leave it. I told him that it is the Malic Acid and Orange Oil making his skin feel so good. He made a non-committal sound and picked up the Code 4 Spray Lotion to have a look.

“So what is this?” he asked.

“It’s a spray lotion, you simply spray it on your face,” I replied.

“Then do I rinse it off?”

“No”

That got a snort and a headshake, “The world has gone mad.”

Unlike the dry applications of the facial cleanser, the Code 4 spray lotion is something my husband took to right way. It turned out to make a noticeable difference in his facial texture almost immediately. His face was smoother and softer and it did wonders for his razor burn. The great thing about Code 4 is that it is so versatile. There is almost nothing it can’t fix when it comes to bringing balance to facial skin issues, and considering all you do is spray it directly into your face, it couldn’t be simpler to use.

Keeping this simple routine up was pretty easy in the end and the results were pronounced. His skin is much clearer after only a few days and has a warm glow to it. He’s noticed the difference and has continued to use the products every day. Sometimes twice a day!

The new Celazome Men’s Kit is available now at Flawless Laser & Body Sculpting for $167.00. It’s designed for low maintenance men because it’s easy to use, and it works.

Celazome Men's Kit

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The Simple Way To Not Regret Getting Plastic Surgery

It sounds like a horror story conjured up from the imagination of Hollywood’s worst script writers. A woman stares into a mirror. She doesn’t like what she sees. Her eyebrows are too thick. Her nose is just slightly crooked. Her jawline is too soft. Her lips are too thin, and why does it seem like her eyelashes are falling out? Drastic measures need to be taken. She has a friend of a friend who got plastic surgery over the summer and it turned out great. This is the solution to remaking her countenance. She’ll be beautiful. She’ll be the envy of all of her friends. She’ll be happy.

She visits the plastic surgeon for a consultation. Everything is planned, her face will get a makeover and her surgeon is confident she will look wonderful. Her friends are jealous that she is going through with it and can’t wait to see her new look. It isn’t long before she’s under knife. The procedure isn’t pleasant, but it will be well worth it. The excitement builds as she can envision her new life unfolding before her. There is nothing she can’t do.

It’s now weeks later and the bandages come off. Something isn’t right.plastic surgery eye

Her newly straightened nose doesn’t quite match her cheek bones the way she thought it would. Her lips have a new way of parting when she smiles that doesn’t match her eyes and exposes her front teeth. Did her eyebrows always line up with her ears that way? Why does her smile seem lopsided now?

These details seem small at first, but they begin to gnaw at her. Can she wear that old shade of lip gloss without drawing attention to the small gap in her front teeth? Did she over tweeze her eyebrows this morning trying to align them better to the bridge of her nose? Yes, she must have. She feels like she looks worse today than she did yesterday. She’s wearing sunglasses because she doesn’t want anyone to notice that her eyes aren’t quite even. She’s feeling repugnant and uncomfortable in her own skin. People must be staring at her. She’s hideous. Why did she get the plastic surgery done? She looks worse than before. Maybe she needs another appointment for a quick touch-up in a few places? Yes, that could work. One little touch-up and she’ll be perfect.

Unfortunately this is no movie script, although it may be a common story played out in the real lives of Hollywood actors. It is also a far too common story played out in the lives of every-day people, men and women, from all walks of life.

The real villain in this story? Negative body image.

Here’s an account of one woman who went through just such an ordeal getting a nose job. To her, her nose was a hideous ski bump that needed immediate rectification. She quickly found, after getting the work done, that her new nose just did not suit her and has regretted the surgery ever since. In the article she describes how she felt about the results and why she would do things differently in retrospect. She includes a before and after shot in the write-up.

http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a16998/i-regret-my-plastic-surgery/

Then there’s the account of the woman who got ill-advised lip fillers. Her lips were already full but she was certain she would be better looking after an augmentation. She was wrong. She was quite put off by her new lips and so was her boyfriend. Thank goodness the change wasn’t permanent.

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/health/a2711/cosmetic-surgery-regrets/

What is body image and why do so many of us hate the way we look?

Body image is how you feel, and what you think, when you look at yourself. It’s also how you imagine other people see you. It’s how you feel about your body and all of its parts, your build, your complexion, the texture of your hair, your freckles, and your weight.

negative body imageOur body image is not created in a vacuum. It is largely given to us. In some cases, forced on us.

The people around us, our culture, and our media all influence us in many ways. Advertisements bombard us from every corner, flaunting the perfect body stereo-type that is often only physically achievable by a small percentage of the population. In general, women who are models have very different builds than the average woman. Women who are models weigh an average of 23% less than women who are not models. Attempts to live up to the standards set by one particular body type can have major negative impacts on our body image.

Body image can also be adversely affected by the natural aging process and physical changes. Natural body changes that occur during phases like puberty, post-natal, and menopause can drastically affect our body image. Let’s not forget the changes that can come from being hurt, disabled or sick.

A negative body image develops when we feel that our body does not measure up to social ideals, regardless of whether these ideals are contrived from advertising, media or otherwise.

Many people feel that they don’t measure up against the standards of beauty being constantly pushed on them from all sides. Often people with a negative body image may not even see themselves as they really are. It’s not uncommon to find someone who looks in the mirror and sees their body parts as being larger or smaller than they actually are. Many of us experience this phenomenon regularly when we are asked by our friends or spouses whether a specific outfit makes them look fat.

How does a negative body image contribute to plastic surgery regret?

This is simple. An overly negative body image is going to contribute to a distortion in perception of one’s own body parts. If you cannot fairly judge your body parts, then how can you fairly judge what kind of modification to your body will result in a look that will satisfy you? Better yet, how can you ensure that you won’t have the same negative image overlaid on the new parts when they are re-shaped?

Creating a positive body image is the fastest way to being happy with your body and yourself

Sounds easier said than done, right? It’s a rare person in our modern society who is 100% happy with their body. But that said, there are a number of things you can do to work on improving your own body image.

Remember that health and appearance are two different things.

Anorexia and eating disorders are rampant amongst those who make a living in the fashion industry. Just because a body looks good on a billboard, doesn’t mean it is healthy.

Accept and value your genes

You probably inherited a lot of traits from your family members, so love those traits as you love your family.

Keep a list of your positive qualities that have nothing to do with your appearance

By focusing on qualities other than your appearance, you will begin to give more value to these qualities. It’s a natural side effect of your attention being directed to a new subject. As your value on these personal qualities increases, your body image will follow suit.

positive body image

Surround yourself with people who are supportive and make you feel good about yourself

Your environment is intimately tied to your body image. You have control over who you share your environment with. Make sure the people around you are building you up, not tearing you down.

Treat your body with respect and kindness

It’s a common meme to see a woman eating ice cream out of the container when she’s feeling down. If you’re feeling down due to body image issues and binge eating is your escape, you are creating a vicious cycle. After you binge you are likely to feel worse than before as you imagine all of that ice cream going directly to the places on your body that you didn’t like to begin with. Respect your body by doing something healthy. Go for a run or join a spin class. Exercise is a great way to lift your spirits as it releases natural endorphins.

Avoid conversations about appearance

This one will take some practice. Notice when someone begins to talk about their appearance in a disparaging way. You can change the subject by asking them how they’re feeling. Have they been sleeping well? How are their energy levels? Getting caught up in conversation about the way someone else looks will inevitably lead to thoughts about your own appearance, which can be detrimental if you have a tendency to be too hard on yourself.

In the end, the issue is not about plastic surgery, or any other cosmetic changes we may make for ourselves. The issue is about the decisions we make regarding our bodies and whether those decisions are rooted in fear and loathing. When we approach self-improvement, whether it be cosmetic or otherwise, it’s best to have a healthy and objective view point to start with.  This leads to healthy decisions and we are far more likely to be happy with the results.

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Should I Try To Remove My Tattoo Myself?

Title-Should I try to remove my tattoo myself

Tattoo removal can be an expensive proposition if you’re going to get it done professionally. As a result, some people have resorted to attempting to remove tattoos at home using a few different techniques.

Is it safe to remove your tattoo at home? Is it even going to work?

Lucky for us, we live in the information age. People are nice enough to video themselves trying the most popular of home tattoo removal techniques and we get to see how well they work first hand.

Before we go any further, let’s quickly detail what happens when you get a tattoo.

Tattoo ink being injected into skin

Tattoo ink is injected deep into the skin, below the epidermis and into the dermis. It’s the depth of the injected ink which gives a tattoo its longevity.  During the initial healing process after getting a tattoo, your body’s white blood cells take away any ink particles that are small enough for your cells to remove, while the larger ink particles stay in your dermis permanently.  This is why your tattoo fades initially and then retains most of its color for the long term.
So, knowing that a tattoo’s ink is being stored at depth in the dermis, we know that any attempt to remove
that ink is going to have to penetrate pretty deeply into ink settled in dermis for tattooyour skin to have any kind of effect. There are a few different ways that professionals to do this, but what methods could a person do at home? Will they be safe and effective?

The first do-it-yourself technique we’ll examine is called Salabrasion.

 

 

Salabrasion is a technique that involves using a cloth to rub salt water on your skin for up to an hour.

The abrasiveness of the salt water rubs away the layers of your skin in order to get down to the level of the ink.  The recommendation is to use salt with the smallest granules in order to minimize the pain involved.  Afterwards your skin will scab up and take upwards of 6 months to heal.

Permanent pigment loss and scarring are not just risks with this approach, they are likely.

Don’t even get me started on the risk of infection if proper precautions aren’t taken.

But in the name of saving money, there are people who use this technique. Check out the video below to see the results of salabrasion. The author of the video considers this a success. You be the judge.

The next technique we’ll examine is using a TCA acid mixture to apply to your own skin.

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid and has long been used in chemical facial peels for anti-aging. A TCA based facial peel eats away the outer layers of your skin, resulting in red, swollen, and crusted skin which peels over the weeks following the procedure. Afterwards, your facial skin texture and tone will be smoother, as well as having a reduction in fine wrinkles and superficial discoloration.  Typically a TCA based facial peel will use a mixture that is anywhere between 20% – 35% acid based. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand how someone might use a higher concentrate TCA mixture to remove their own tattoo.

The video below shows the results from someone who used an 80% TCA solution to attempt to remove their tattoos.

His descriptions make it sound quite uncomfortable. His itchy – blotchy – angry red – scabby tattoos, look more horribly distorted than successfully removed.

Regardless of my low opinions on TCA tattoo removal, it does seem to be a somewhat popular home removal method. Most attempts, that look like they halfway succeeded, tend to result in a scar lacking in all natural skin pigment, much like the results in the salabrasion video above.

There may be even more methods out there for a person to use to remove their tattoos at home, but hopefully by now you’ve gathered that I don’t recommend any of them. The risks are simply too great. Permanent scarring and permanent pigment loss are the least of your worries. Trichloroacetic acid facial peels are typically only performed in a doctor’s office and are considered a medical procedure. That’s not the type of stuff the average Joe should consider splashing willy-nilly all over their body.

So what about laser tattoo removal? How does it work exactly?

I found a great video that shows the science behind laser tattoo removal. This video shows how a laser penetrates the skin, in order to break up the larger ink particles, which then allows your white blood cells to extricate the ink from your system.

While laser tattoo removal does include frosting and scabbing, you aren’t going to be scarred for life or have hideous pigment loss.

Note – If you are only interested in seeing how the laser breaks up the ink particles, skip forward to the 6 minute mark of the video. If you watch the whole thing you’ll get a good overview of how tattoo ink interacts with your skin and how your body processes it.

At Flawless Laser & Body Sculpting, we perform laser tattoo removal regularly and consider it one of our specialties. Our Calgary clients can attest to our treatments effectiveness, and with our special numbing cream, it doesn’t even have to hurt!

Here’s a video of one of our Calgary clients getting laser tattoo removal at Flawless Laser & Body Sculpting.

So in summary, laser tattoo removal is an invasive procedure that should only be performed in clinical conditions by trained professionals.

Under no circumstances do I recommend that anyone perform any home removal or DIY techniques. Home tattoo removal techniques are dangerous and the risk of infection, scarring, and personal injury are all incredibly high. Please do not try this at home.

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Did You Choose the Wrong Laser Skin Care Clinic?

Did you choose the wrong laser skin care clinic?

The laser skin care industry is growing incredibly fast. New clinics are opening on nearly every corner in Calgary, and around the country. How do you know which clinic to choose when you can walk down the street and potentially come across three different establishments on the same block, each offering similar services?

The answer lies in asking the right questions. As a client in this industry, it is always “buyer beware”. Training quality, levels of expertise and experience can vary dramatically, not only between clinics, but between technicians within the same clinic!

Unfortunately for consumers, the laser skin care industry does not have a government regulated training and certification program in place.

This means that the technician who is about to apply radio frequency to your delicate face could be highly skilled with years of experience, or they could have none! Thankfully, most clinics will offer a free consultation to help you understand what services they offer and what treatments are right for you. You must take advantage of this. In order to get the most out of your next consultation and to put your mind at ease with the technicians you are potentially going to entrust with your skin, let me give you some free advice regarding which questions will allow you to make an informed decision about the clinic and technician you choose.

  1. Ask the technician how long they’ve been in the industry and what training they have had.

    interested womanAs I mentioned before, training in the laser skin care industry, in Alberta, is unregulated.

    “Wait a minute,” I can hear you saying, “I’ve seen training institutes across the province, I know someone who went to one!”

    Yes, that’s true. But these Institutes are not offering certificates that have any kind of authority or regulatory body backing them. Training received by any institution is only as good as the trainers employed there and the certification simply reflects the institution itself. Courses can be days or weeks in duration, and in my own experience, the technicians graduating from these programs can vary widely in their skill level and understanding, when it comes to the wide variety of skin types and technologies they will be working with during their careers. Of course, I wouldn’t expect any new grad to be an expert in any industry, but I would expect certain fundamentals to be in place. Eg: What is the difference between a skin type 4 and a skin type 6? What is the difference between IPL and Radio Frequency? Why would someone prefer a diode machine when performing laser hair removal?

    That said, at least there are some institutions out there that are attempting to train technicians at all.

    The truth is, anyone can open a non-medical laser clinic in Alberta. You don’t need training. You don’t need experience. You don’t need a special license.

    derm checking a moleAll you need is a laser and a space to work. Typically the big laser companies will offer training on their machines when they sell them to you. One or two days of training. This does not an expert make. What makes an expert is a combination of good training, good mentorship and experience. When you are asking questions at your next appointment, you want to know what kind of training and experience your technician has.


    Oh, and don’t assume your dermatologist has more laser training than anyone else. Many derms have had the same two-day training that any other, non-PHD holding laser technician has had.

    However, a dermatologist will at least be highly trained to understand skin types, skin reactions, allergies and chronic skin conditions.

  2. What machines has your technician worked with?

    There are a wide range of machines and an even wider range of technologies available in the laser skin care industry. Has your technician only worked with the machines in their current establishment or have they worked with different technologies as well? Did other clinics they may have worked at have different machines, or were they the same? Having a breadth of experience with different technologies helps a technician understand the effects of various treatment types and the post treatment follow-ups required to ensure a healthy recovery.

    What’s important is that a laser technician, experienced with other frequencies and wavelengths, is going to understand which treatment is right for you.

    Even if they don’t currently offer it!

  3. If your technician is doing laser facial treatments, do they have a traditional facial treatment background?

    Traditionally, facials fall into a number of categories. You have relaxation facials, enzyme facials, chemical peels, acne facials, etc. If a technician hasn’t performed non-laser facials before, it can be difficult to anticipate the reactions your skin may have after exposure to various frequencies or chemicals. Without proper facial training and experience there can be numerous unpleasant surprises. Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a facial product? If you haven’t, you probably will at some point in your future, and when you do, you want a technician who can identify what is happening to you and how to treat it.

  4. Are they honest with you about the pre and post procedure rules?

    A good example of this would be getting laser hair removal treatments done with tanned skin. Some laser clinics are willing to do anything you ask, just to get you in and out the door. Not being honest about the necessary precautions for each individual skin type, or particular laser treatment after-effects, can result in injury or scarring.

    Burning, or permanent pigment loss, are the most common side effects of laser hair removal treatments on tanned skin.

    Unfortunately this is all too common. An untrained technician and an uncaring management team can result in clients being burned or scarred. These effects are often irreversible. Did I mention that lawsuits are also common in this industry?

  5. Does your laser technician ask you what your specific needs and concerns are, or do they just give you a list of treatments to pick from and pretend that one size fits all?

    This particular pitfall can often be propagated by the client as much as the laser clinic itself. Most clinics offer free consultations to get an understanding of your needs, but many clients shop around via the Internet and are simply looking for a list of treatments with prices attached to them. This is human nature, but it’s important to understand that treatments must be customized to skin types, area sizes, and other influencing factors. A basic understanding of your situation by a skilled technician could result in a price range in a matter of minutes, but it’s going to take a visual understanding of your desired treatment area for an accurate price estimate to be given and to know which laser will be best suited to perform your treatment.

  6. How many machines do they have in the clinic?

    laser treatment on legDoes your clinic have one machine, or machine type, that they use on everyone? That’s great, so long as everyone who walks through the door looks exactly the same and has exactly the same skin requirements! You’re going to want to know that there are multiple technologies available in your prospective clinic. As previously mentioned, good laser skin care means highly customized treatments for individual clients. This is only possible with different technologies available to cater to a wide variety of skin care needs.
  7. How many treatments will you need before you see results?

    Will you see results with just one treatment or will you need numerous treatments before you see any difference? Honesty from your technician is paramount here. Not every treatment is going to show immediate results, but there are many that do. Does that mean multiple treatments will not be required? Not necessarily. What it does mean, is that you don’t necessarily need 3-5 treatments before you know your technician is making a difference with your skin.

    Skin rejuvenation and laser anti-aging treatments are good bets for instant results.

    If your technician isn’t confident you can look in the mirror half-way through the treatment and see the difference in your skin, you may want to look elsewhere.

When done right, laser skin treatments can be the most effective, least invasive treatments on the market. The scope of treatments available, when performed correctly, can replace many different types of cosmetic surgery or fillers. But don’t get lured into a chop shop! I hope this article has given you the insight you need to understand whether the clinic you’ve been eyeing is right for you. Technicians, technology, expertise, and of course a relaxing atmosphere are all key points to investigate before making your decision.

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Is CoolSculpting Right For You?

Is CoolSculpting Right For You

There are so many fat removal or body slimming technologies and techniques on the market these days, how do you know which one to choose?

One technology that is gaining popularity at an alarming rate is fat freezing, a treatment that has been prominently marketed as CoolSculpting. You may have heard of it as the treatment that acts as an alternative to invasive liposuction. Fat freezing does just that, it freezes your fat cells, destroying them in the process so your body can metabolize and dispose of them. The key point here is that it is considered an alternative to invasive surgery. That point should be setting off alarm bells for you if you aren’t already considering yourself a candidate for something as invasive as liposuction.

Sadly, I have read accounts of women as young as 19 years old signing up to have their fat frozen and I find it disturbing.

Not because these women don’t have a right to look the way they want to, but because of the unnecessary risks that fat freezing brings with it.

You may have already guessed that I have plenty of opinions about this particular method of treatment, but don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a blog I found of one woman’s story outlining her journey with CoolSculpting and how it worked for her.

http://thewomanformerlyknownasbeautiful.com/2012/11/does-coolsculpting-work.html

I really like this blog because the author is very honest about her emotions and experiences. In this post she describes her problem area as being tummy fat. The first thing she describes is how painful the after-effects of the treatment are. This is very common. Fat freezing might not hurt at the time you are treated, but expect pain in the following days, sometimes great amounts of pain. This is your body healing from the destruction of your cells and it can be very unpleasant.

fat

19-year-olds don’t need fat freezing.

The main side effect that I want to address is around fat redistribution. When a person gains weight they are not gaining new fat cells. Their existing fat cells are getting larger as fat is stored within them. When fat cells are destroyed, they do not return. Unfortunately, this does not mean that our body stops producing fat. Your body will always produce fat, the amount of fat is dependent on your diet and exercise habits.

But where does this fat go if you destroyed the fat cells in your tummy? It goes to a new part of your body where you have fat cells that can hold it.

In this bloggers example, it went to her inner thighs. Everyone is different, and you can’t predict where your fat will be redistributed after destroying fat cells in a specific area. This same side effect is caused by liposuction. Here are some doctors comments on liposuction fat redistribution.

I don’t believe that everyone who gets a CoolSculpting procedure done is well aware of the ramifications of the treatment. A 19-year-old woman certainly should not need to be taking such drastic measures to affect problem areas, in my opinion. Treatments that destroy or remove fat cells should be relegated to the category of last resort, or more specifically for someone who wants to permanently change the shape of their body, not for simple fat reduction. My point is this should not be the first thing recommended by your technician during a consultation. Oh, and did I mention that these treatments typically range from $600 to $800 a pop? That’s a lot of money spent to permanently modify your body. It pays to be informed about the results.

So why does this bother me so much? Mostly because this extreme and painful method of targeted fat loss has a healthy, non-invasive, and effective alternative.

Radio Frequency (RF) treatments, in the hands of a skilled technician, can achieve exactly the same results without the worry of permanent fat redistribution.

RF treatments heat up fat cells and force them to evacuate their fatty contents, thus making them smaller. The contents of the cells are then expelled by your body as waste. In all cases, it is up to you to keep the fat off through a healthy lifestyle, but at least your body’s physiology will continue to respond in a manner you have become accustomed to when you don’t destroy the cells outright. RF treatments also have the added benefit of tightening the skin and improving skin texture.

There’s one other thing regarding the experience described in the linked blog post that I can’t let go.

belly fatThe writer was at a dermatologist appointment for an unrelated skin condition when the doctor commented on the writer’s belly fat. This is an unbelievable mistake.

I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had tell me they were offended and will not go back to a clinic because someone suggested a treatment to them. The writer of the blog post also felt embarrassed as the derm touched on a sensitive area of her body image. This makes a client feel insecure, and at Flawless Laser & Body Sculpting, we don’t work that way. I will tell you everything you want to know about how a treatment works and what treatments we offer, but I will never suggest to you that a certain body part looks in need of a treatment. You tell me what you want to work on and I tell you what is possible.

Nobody ever needs a treatment and no one is doing you a favor by making you feel that way.

That said, we all want to look and feel more healthy and attractive. It’s my mission to make sure you look and feel your best, without damaging your body or dragging your self-image through the mud.

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