Am I too young for botox?

Am I too young for botox?

It’s no secret, more and more men and women are seeking injections for wrinkles at younger ages. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, there has been a 28% increase in patients receiving botox treatments among the 20-29 age group. This phenomenon seems to be due to millennials and genXers more aware of the damaging effects of sun than previous generations and thus, wanting to prevent rather than undo years of sun damage. Also, selfies and one’s image on social media has made outward appearance more of a priority than in previous generations.

But, what is the right age to start botox injections?

AGEREASON TO POSSIBLY START NEUROMODULATOR TREATMENTS
20sYou want to prevent wrinkles from occurring in your early 30s
30sYou’ve started to notice a few wrinkles—particularly crow’s feet and brow lines—and you want to stop them from becoming deep-set
40sYou start to notice deeper lines—particularly crow’s feet, forehead and frown lines. Your upper eyelids may also start to appear heavier
50sDeeper lines are appearing more etched in. Lines between your eyes particularly become more pronounced as hormonal changes cause skin dryness and collagen and elastin loss accelerates
60s &
beyond
You want to look fresher and rejuvenated but still look like you

While there’s no hard and fast rule on what exact age to start, as a physician, I base my decision to recommend starting neuromodulator treatments on a few factors:

1.  Expression lines.     Once expression lines start to stick around at rest, one should consider preventative measures so these lines don't become permanently etched in.
2.  Genetics.    How are parents/grandparents aging?  The way our parents/grandparents aged is a strong indicator of what to expect for how we will age.  If your family member started showing wrinkles at a young age, more than likely you will do the same.
3.  Skin care.   Having a good skin care routine is paramount.  In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
4.  Lifestyle.  Lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, sun bathing or using tanning beds cause premature aging and would put one at increased risk of developing wrinkles much earlier.

How ‘preventative botox’ works?

Since lines are formed by the repetitive movements of facial muscles (expression lines), preventative botox works by decreasing muscle movement and thereby preventing these fine lines from forming. Following a good skin care regime, avoiding sun tanning and getting botox injections on a regular basis can therefore, delay the formation of deeper lines. As an added benefit, ‘preventative botox’ generally uses less units so you are saving money while looking your best. It’s a win-win, if you ask me!

Preventative botox injections can help prevent premature wrinkling.

BOTTOM LINE

While neuromodulator treatment for cosmetic concerns is approved for ages 18 through 65 due to the original clinical studies being in this age range, there are certainly healthcare practitioners who have injected persons older than 65 years. While I have never injected any person younger than 18 years of age for cosmetic botox, I have certainly injected persons older than 65 with. In general, I recommend considering treatment when you start to notice your expression lines leaving fine lines. In some people this can be in their mid to late 20’s and in others can be in their 30’s or even early 40’s depending on lifestyle, genetics and prevention methods. Trending today, I would say I have seen more individuals in their early 30’s seeking ‘preventative botox’ than ever before.

Getting rid of stubborn cellulite

Getting rid of stubborn cellulite

Nine out of ten women report being bothered by cellulite at some point in their life. And many find ridding themself of cellulite a challenge.

When it comes to treating cellulite, there is no single therapy but rather a combination of therapies targeted at the different components that make up cellulite.

But before we get to the treatment, we need to understand what causes cellulite. The common misconception is that if I eat a healthy diet and workout, I can get rid of cellulite or prevent it from forming. The truth is that cellulite does not discriminate based on body habitus or lifestyle. It can affect young or old, thin or heavy.

When it comes to the formation of cellulite, there are 3 main players: (1) the skin; (2) the fibrous septae; (3) the fat cell. I will discuss each one of these individually since our treatment options focus on targeting these components.

SKIN

Thinning of the skin either due to genetics or from loss of elasticity and collagen due to aging. The skin is not strong enough to withstand the downward force exerted by the septae. Also, those with chronic inflammation can have a loss of thickness to their skin.

  • In fact, there is an average of 0.3% thinning per year in a healthy individual
  • Women can lose 30% of dermal collagen in the 5 years after menopause

Treatments focused on the skin

  • Laser therapy
  • Acoustic wave therapy
  • RF microneedling
  • Dermal fillers and collagen stimulators

FIBROUS SEPTAE

The fibrous septae shorten and thicken over time causing a downward pull on the skin. The pulling from these tight bands results in the dimpling appearance. There is a large genetic component to the development of thickened bands. Typically if your mother had cellulite, you will likely develop it too. Also, in women, the septae are arranged straight up and down, whereas in men, they are at an angle, therefore, there is less pull on the skin resulting in men having less cellulite than women.

Treatments focused on the septae

  • Subcision
  • Laser therapy
  • Injectable collagenase clostridium histolyticum (QwoTM)

FAT CELL

Women have larger and wider fat cells which result in a tighter compartment between septae. This increased volume between bands causes an upward pressure on the skin. Combined with the downward pressure from the tight septae, a outpouching is created. This results in the dimpling caused by the septae and the bumps caused by the pressure from the enlarged fat cells. Hormones such as insulin, estrogen and prolactin also exert an effect on these cells. There can also be an increase in new fat cell production.

Treatments focused on the fat cells

  • Liposuction
  • Cold-assisted lipolysis (i.e. CoolsculptingTM)
  • Radiofrequency therapy
  • Focused ultrasound energy(i.e. UltraShapeTM)

There are also hybrid devices such as VelaShape®  which combine several of these modalities to treat all three of the components of cellulite.

Moderate to severe cellulite can be quite challenging and from experience, I have found a hybrid approach to be the most successful. In my practice, VelaShape®  has been thus far, the most effective at treating a wide range of cellulite. Adding Qwo™ takes cellulite treatment to the next level, giving us a highly effective tool at smoothing this very difficult form of cellulite.

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal

Electrolysis vs Laser Hair Removal

Unwanted hair can be a source of social angst. But now we have great options for permanent hair removal. Both electrolysis and laser hair removal are excellent options to achieve long term hair reduction. Although electrolysis has been available for many years, laser hair removal has really gained popularity in the last 5 years.

There are two methods available for permanent hair removal: Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal. But which one to choose?

ELECTROLYSIS

Electrolysis is performed by a licensed electrologist. In this method, a small filament is inserted into the hair follicle alongside the hair shaft. A current of energy is then sent to the hair’s growth center and the hair is destroyed. The individual hair is then removed from the follicle at the time of treatment but will grow back in about 1-2 weeks. Depending on what temporary methods have been used in the past, multiple treatments over months to even years may be needed to fully destroy the hair follicle. Electrolysis can be performed on any hair color including gray, blonde and red, on any hair type and any skin type. We generally recommend electrolysis for those who are not good candidates for laser hair removal or for small areas where there are only a few hairs. Electrolysis is also a great way to rid yourself of ingrown hairs.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Laser hair removal also uses energy but in the form of a laser beam. There are no filaments involved like in electrolysis. The laser beam passes through the skin and targets the melanin (color) in the hair follicle. The heat energy destroys the hair at its growth center. Laser treatments have an advantage because it can destroy many hairs at once. Unlike electrolysis which is one hair at a time. Treatments with laser are thus quicker, covering larger areas with ease. Depending upon the laser, treatments can be performed on all skin types (we use the GentleMax® Pro which is not only safe but comfortable). However, laser hair removal is not effective at destroying red, blonde, or gray hair. In general, plan on receiving 6-8 treatments about 4-6 weeks apart depending on the area being treated. During the treatment process, you will notice the hair becomes finer and growth slows. However, unlike electrolysis, some of the treated hairs will remain in the follicle and will fall out over the next several days to about a week after treatment. Laser hair removal is also great at treating ingrown hairs.

So which one is right for you? It mostly depends on 3 things:

  1. Color of your hair
  2. Size of the area
  3. Budget

Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on temporary methods of hair removal. You spend all this time and money to get rid of the hair only to have it re-grow. Whether you choose electrolysis or laser hair removal, both are great options and at least you will be investing your money in a permanent solution.

When seeking electrolysis or laser hair removal, I strongly advise you to do your research. Don’t choose a place based on the best deal. Both methods are safe and effective only when performed by licensed, experienced individuals which due to their expertise, are not necessarily the cheapest. Finally, when considering laser hair removal, make sure a physician is providing oversight.

Nefertiti Lift: The Mini Neck Lift

Nefertiti Lift: The Mini Neck Lift

The Nefertiti Lift is a non-surgical treatment option to make the neck, chin and jawline smoother and more defined.

Named after the famous Egyptian queen, Nefertiti who was known for her long, elegant neck and sleek jawline, this treatment is a non-surgical technique used to make the smooth the neck, reduce jowls and define the jawline.

As we age and the skin begins to lose elasticity, the muscles of the neck and jaw can pull down on the face.

By using small amounts of botox to relax the muscles, we are able to achieve an upward pull from the facial muscles, lifting the jowls, smoothing the neck and defining the jawline.

The treatment takes less than 30 minutes. You will start to notice results as early as 4 days after the treatment and full results 14 days after the treatment.

How to prepare for laser hair removal treatment

How to prepare for laser hair removal treatment

Laser hair removal (LHR) is one of the most sought after treatments. Women and men alike seek to remove unwanted hair and LHR is a highly efficient and effective method. Plus, the technology today has made LHR safe and effective for all skin and hair types (except blonde, red or gray hairs). To get the most out of your treatments, we recommend following this simple tips:

Arrive with clean skin

Do not apply any lotions, perfumes, or deodorant. The area will be properly cleansed with a specialized solution. In our office, we use sterile isopropyl alcohol.

Shave the area to be treated

Ideally the hairs should be at the skin’s surface or just above. Hair that is any longer can heat up quicker and you run the risk of burning the skin. We recommend shaving 24 to 48 hours prior to your appointment. We discourage shaving the day of your appointment as this may cause unwanted irritation. Some places may have a separate charge for trimming the area if the hairs are too long. Be sure to check with your provider before hand so you don’t incur additional fees.

Do NOT have a tan

This point cannot be overstated. Laser hair removal should not be performed on tanned skin. The laser can confuse the melanin in your skin’s melanocytes with melanin in the hair follicle. This can lead to a burn or worse. Permanent pigment changes have been reported.

Self-tanners can have similar side effects so we do not treat skin that has self-tanner. It is okay to apply self tanner after the appointment but would probably wait 1-2 days to avoid unwanted irritation.

No plucking, waxing, tweezing, threading

We recommend no plucking, waxing, tweezing or threading of hair in the treatment zone 4 to 6 weeks prior to your appointment in order to allow for most of the hairs to be in the follicle and hopefully, in the growth phase. In order to effectively destroy the hair and keep it from growing back, hair must be in the growth phase (anagen) of the hair cycle. It is not possible by looking at the hairs to know which ones are in the anagen phase. Therefore, we estimate treatment frequency based on the cycle length of hairs. The growth phase varies depending on which part of the body is being treated. For example, facial hair tends to grow in 4 week cycles, whereas, hair on the torso is usually 6-8 weeks.

During treatment some hair will fall out but most of the time, hair remains in the follicle after treatment. This is because the treated hair is still attached to the hair root and will fall out on its own over the course of 3-7 days depending on the area being treated. It’s important not to pull these hairs out. Doing so will prevent the hair from being effectively eliminated. You can shave the area if it is bothersome to you.

Keep all follow up appointments

Appointment frequency is determined by the growth cycle. Therefore, it is important to maintain consistency in order to optimize results and minimize the number of treatments.

Wear sunscreen and protect the area

Be sure to avoid direct sun exposure while undergoing laser hair removal. Tanning in the treatment area within the first 2 weeks after receiving treatment, can result in permanent pigment changes.

Have realistic goals

Laser hair removal requires multiple treatments to achieve hair reduction. The industry standard regardless of the type of laser is to expect 80% reduction in hairs by the end of your 8th treatment. In other words, if you start with 10 hairs in the treatment area, you will have 2 at the end of your 8th treatment.

The demand for laser hair removal has skyrocketed since technological advances have permitted its use on all skin types. The market has been flooded with all different “laser” devices including “at home” devices promising excellent results. I can tell you from my over 20 years of experience with lasers, not all lasers are equal and not all practitioners performing LHR are equal. When seeking out laser hair removal, be sure a physician is overseeing your treatment. Also, remember, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

15 Skincare Tips for the Best Skin of Your Life

15 Skincare Tips for the Best Skin of Your Life

Achieving flawless skin is possible with a few simple rules.

We all dream of flawless, glowing skin, but with new products constantly hitting the shelves and the seemingly endless skincare advice out there on the Internet, it’s not always easy to figure out the skincare routine that’s going to work best for you. You know the basics — drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and wash your face, but what about everything in between? Luckily, there’s no need to shell out tons of cash on any magical procedures or expensive creams to achieve flawless skin.

I have put together a list of some of the best skincare tips. From choosing the right cleanser for your skin type to the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes, these easy tricks — plus some product picks from our own medical grade skin care line along with some easy maintenance treatments — will help guide you to glowing skin ASAP.

1. Use the correct cleanser for your skin type.

Typically, for oily or acne-prone skin, a salicylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great whereas, for dry mature skin, a moisturizing glycolic or milky cleanse is better. For skin with brown spots or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser. We have made is super easy, our Vitality Skin Cleanser can be used on all skin types, even sensitive skin and rosacea. For more mature skin or for those with photodamage, we have developed a moisturizing glycolic acid cleanser, Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser.

2. Don’t use too many products.

Layering on multiple skincare products all at once can be harsh on the skin, resulting in more breakouts and clogged pores. You can also risk stimulating the skin’s natural moisture response and increase the amount of oil on the skin. One of the common mistakes I find people doing is combining products from different product lines. As we my line, the products were specifically designed for synergy. Using products from different lines can potentiate each products ingredients, resulting in adverse side effects.

3. Moisturize both day and night.

Moisturizing is the key! I prefer moisturizers that are fragrance-free, lightweight and free of glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, etc. It is best to pat your face dry, leaving some moisture on your skin while applying your daily moisturizer. For a great daily moisturizer, check out Replenish Daily Moisturizer.

4. Don’t touch your face.

Avoid touching your face is very important. It doesn’t just spread bacteria and cause breakouts — it can lead to scarring, an increase in wrinkles, and even the flu or other viruses.

5. Hydrate inside and out.

Hydration cannot be underemphasized. Every skin expert will tell you, a lack of water means less radiance and more sag. When choosing products — cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging, they should have hydrating formulations. This is why all of our products were creating with some form of hyaluronic acid. For added hydration, check out our lightweight, ultra hydrating serum, HA Hydrating Serum. And, of course, drink around eight glasses (64 ounces) of water a day.

6. Avoid direct heat exposure.

Don’t just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. It causes inflammation and collagen breakdown and can also lead to rosacea flares. So next time you’re roasting chestnuts or s’mores over an open fire, take a step back.

7. Exfoliate a couple times per week.

We lose 50 million skin cells a day, and without a little extra nudge, they may hang around leaving the skin looking dull and feeling rough. To fight this, you should choose an exfoliating product that doesn’t dry as it exfoliates. Our MicroDerm Exfoliating Scrub happens to be one of our most popular products. And don’t just stop with your face — the skin on your body needs exfoliation, too.

8. Vitamins should go on your skin, too.

A balanced diet is important, but there’s more than one way to give your skin vitamins. There are also topical antioxidants, which are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin (think vitamin C serum!).

Vitamin C should be in every person’s daily routine. This can really help to repair the skin from sun damage as well as protect against further photodamage. Not sure how to use it? The best time to apply vitamin C is right after cleansing so that your skin can soak it in, or it can be layered under your sunscreen for added protection. For those who are troubled by brown spots or melasma, we recommend using our Vita-C Cream in the morning and our PhytoFade Skin Lightener in the evening for a synergistic effect.

9. Get your greens.

Though it’s tempting to grab a coffee the minute you wake up, drinking green juices can transform your skin in a matter of days. Chlorophyll helps to brighten, oxygenate and hydrate your skin. It can also stimulate the lymphatic system, decreasing puffiness — and helping with cellulite too!

If you’re not keen on downing a shot of the stuff, chlorophyll supplements can be found at many drugstores and health food stores.

10. Maintain a healthy diet.

Omega-3-fatty acids are essential for maintaining your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your omega-3, thus increasing your skin’s ability to hold onto moisture. And be sure to eat a diet low in foods with a high glycemic index (simple and complex carbohydrates).

11. Clean your makeup brushes regularly.

To fight infection and clogged pores, it is recommended to wash concealer and foundation brushes once a week and for brushes you use around your eyes, twice per month. For any other brushes, once a month is fine.

Here’s how: Put a drop of a mild shampoo into the palm of your hand. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Then, massage the bristles into your palm to distribute the shampoo into the brush. Avoid getting the metal part of the brush wet/or the base of the brush hairs because the glue could soften and the bristles could fall out. Rinse the shampoo out and squeeze out the water with a towel. Lay the brushes on their side with the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter to dry.

12. Wear sunscreen 365 days a year — rain or shine, indoors or out.

Many people feel they only need to protect themselves on sunny days or when visiting the beach. But the truth is that we need to protect our skin even when we’re driving a car, flying in an airplane, or running errands. It’s the daily UV exposure that contributes to the visible signs of aging.” What kind of sunscreen is best? Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater — and remember that it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours. We recommend HydroDefense SPF 40. It’s a powerful broad-spectrum sunblock but remains lightweight and moisturizing because it also contains hyaluronic acid. Using this you can skip adding a separate moisturizer in the morning.

13. Sun protection doesn’t stop at sunscreen.

We’re talking SPF, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. Preventing sun damage is much easier than treating photodamge.

Don’t rely just on sunscreen in make-up. We always recommend applying a sunscreen that is separate from your make-up to ensure adequate protection. Some people are hesitant to add an extra step in their morning routine or they’re worried an extra layer of sunscreen under their make-up may feel thick and heavy. Our sunscreen is lightweight and moisturizing so you would actually be saving a step.

14. Simplify your skincare routine.

Don’t get caught up in a difficult to follow routine with many different products. This can not only be confusing and expensive but can be over stimulating to your skin. The core of your skincare should be a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and vitamin C.

15. Sleep smarter.

It’s not just about getting eight hours a night. Skin will also benefit from regularly using clean silk pillowcases. The material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles. It is also easier on hair — avoiding tangles and breakage. Better hair and skin while you sleep? Yes, please.

DiamondGlow™

More than a Glow. A Skin Transformation.

Experience skin that feels and looks luminous, nourished, and renewed. A next-level skin resurfacing technology that does more than just skim the surface.

How to Re-Create Spa Water

How to Re-Create Spa Water

There’s just something about spa water that makes it taste much cleaner, fresher and healthier than any other type of flavored water. But don’t despair. You can recreate spa water at home easily and inexpensively.

Basic Spa Water

This easy recipe uses ingredients that you can find year round at your local grocery store. It’s a light, refreshing water good any time of day. Ginger is commonly used to treat digestive problems. Cucumbers are full of B vitamins, which help combat the damaging effects of stress. Lemons have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Spearmint also has antioxidant properties and can aid in digestion.

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups filtered water; do not use distilled or tap water
  • 1 teaspoon thinly grated ginger
  • 1 large, thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 large, thinly sliced lemon
  • 13 spearmint leaves

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients into a large glass container, and let it sit overnight.

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Lime Spa Water

The combination of cucumber and watermelon gives the water a light, fresh taste, while the lime gives it a zesty twist. Watermelons are rich in lycopene, which is shown to improve cardiovascular health. Cucumbers are full of B vitamins, which help combat the damaging effects of stress. Limes have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. You might want to save this one for summertime, however, when watermelons are fresh, plentiful and inexpensive.

Ingredients:

  • 2 liters of filtered water; do not use distilled or tap water
  • 1 cup of watermelon, peeled, and cut into cubes, including the seeds
  • 1 large, thinly sliced cucumber.
  • 1 thinly sliced lime

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients into a large glass container, and let it sit overnight. Before drinking, remove the watermelon cubes but leave the other fruit in the water. Serve each glass with a slice of lime.

Grapefruit and Basil Spa Water

Believe it or not, basil and grapefruit make a refreshing combination. Basil is famed for detoxifying your blood while grapefruit has a lot of antioxidants that can help to repair skin damage. This recipe gives you a nice, citrus-based water.

Ingredients:

  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 gallon of filtered water; do not use distilled or tap water
  • 1 grapefruit cut into thick slices

Directions:

Use a large wooden spoon to bruise four sprigs of fresh basil. To do this, press down on the basil to create a wet crease. This process releases the basil’s aromatic oils. Put the filtered water in a glass container. Add the basil and let the mixture sit for 2 hours. Next, add the grapefruit slices and some ice to the glass container and chill for another two hours before serving.

Sweet Pepper Spa Water

Sweet peppers, which are full of water-soluble Vitamin C, add a surprising taste to your water. Sweet peppers are rich in antioxidants that help repair damage to your body’s tissues.

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 red, green or yellow bell peppers—enough to make 2 cups of sliced peppers
  • 1 gallon of filtered water; do not use distilled or tap water

Directions:

Wash, slice and de-seed your bell peppers until you have a total of 2 cups. Place the sweet peppers at the bottom of a glass container, the water and some ice. Chill for four hours before serving

Taking care of our toes in the era of COVID

Taking care of our toes in the era of COVID

There has been an increasing incidence of ingrown toenails which I am attributing to the fact that many of us are having to perform nail maintenance ourselves while nail salons remain closed. Thus, I thought it worth addressing since prevention is the best treatment.

Ingrown toenails occur when the skin on either side of the nail overgrows on top of the nail or the nail grows into the skin

The toe may become hard, swollen and tender. Most commonly this occurs because the nail is cut too short. When we trim our nails, we have a tendency to follow the natural curvature which is incorrect.

Nails should be cut straight across with a clean, sharp nail trimmer without tapering or rounding the corners. Trim the nails no shorter than the edge of the toe. Keep the feet clean and dry at all times.

Other causes of ingrown nails can be from trauma – wearing shoes that are too tight, performing activities that cause the foot to constantly hit the front of the shoe, stumping the toe or having the toe stepped on. There are also congenital causes such as the toenail is simply too large for the toe.

You can help treat an ingrown nail by soaking the toe in warm water with epsom salts three to four times per day for 15 to 30 minutes. After soaking, gently push the skin away from the nail. You can also take a piece of floss and slide back and forth between the nail and the skin. Keep the nail dry and avoid wearing tight shoes or socks. Also, taking anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can also help with the swelling and discomfort. The goal of therapy is to decrease the swelling and keep the skin away from the nail so the nail can grow out.

A condition known as paronychia can complicate ingrown nails. Paronychia is an infection in the soft tissue where the nail and skin meet. This can occur on fingers or toes. The toe or finger may become red, swollen, warm, very tender and pus may be seen draining from the area. If this occurs, you need to consult your physician. You may need antibiotics and is some cases, all or part of the nail may need to be removed.

Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss

Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss

Even if you follow a fitness routine and you often choose healthier foods, you may not be seeing the weight come off the way you hope. While there are plenty of other healthy accomplishments to celebrate on this journey, it can be frustrating to not see results when you step on the scale. Sound familiar? Try these tips to help your achieve your weight loss goals.

Weight Loss Tip #1: Maximize Your Muscle — Muscles are fat-burning furnaces, so be sure to do enough resistance training to build and maintain them and follow your workout with a healthy meal or snack that contains protein, carbohydrates and fat. Building new muscle raises your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) so you’ll burn more calories every day.

Weight Loss Tip #2: Don’t Forget Cardio — Cardio improves definition and burns the fat that covers your muscles, especially belly fat. Combining regular aerobic exercise with strength training will give you the slimming effect you’ve been going for. After all, toning without cardio is like building a house on a weak foundation.

Weight Loss Tip #3: Never Skip Meals — Eat six small meals a day to avoid blood-sugar spikes and minimize urges to binge. Try to schedule meals at the same time each day. If you feed yourself well throughout the day, you’ll learn to understand when your body truly needs food. You can’t starve yourself and expect to make good choices at the next meal.

Weight Loss Tip #4: Get Real — Fuel your body with wholesome, nutritious foods, and limit your intake of refined carbs (anything sugary or white-flour based). To maximize the calories burned through digestion and stave off hunger, get plenty of complex carbs (fruits, vegetables and beans) and eat a little protein with every meal. It doesn’t need to be meat; nuts, lowfat dairy, tofu, and beans are all good vegetarian protein sources. 

Weight Loss Tip #5: Sleep Tight — Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. A recent study from Case Western Reserve University found that, on average, women who sleep for 5 hours or less per night are 32 percent more likely to gain weight and 15 percent more likely to be obese than those who get at least 7 hours.

Weight Loss Tip #6: Drink More Water — In a small German study, subjects who drank 16 ounces of water at a time experienced a 30 percent increase in metabolic rate during the following hour, burning an extra 24 calories. The researchers recommend cool water because the body expends extra calories warming it up to your body temperature. Water’s not the only healthy drink.

Weight Loss Tip #7: Focus On Your Assets — Playing up your favorite body parts can boost your confidence and draw attention away from spots you want to minimize. Sculpting your shoulders, arms, chest, and back, for example, can help balance heavier hips so you look more proportionate. Plus, you’ll be firmer all over.

Weight Loss Tip #8: Eat Until You’re Full — Undereating causes your metabolic rate to drop and your body to hold onto fat. Most nutrition experts recommend that the average, active woman consumes at least 1,800 calories daily. But watch out for underestimating the calorie count of “healthy” foods. Even some salads are packed with extra calories.

Weight Loss Tip #9: Control What You Can — Keep stress levels in check by managing your time, focusing on the present and not over-committing. Many studies have found a link between high levels of stress and weight gain. You don’t have to commit to regular yoga classes or meditation sessions.

Weight Loss Tip #10: Step on the Gas — Alternate the speed and intensity of any cardio workout routines to stoke your fat burners. For instance, if you’re walking, do a few minutes at a moderate pace, then speed-walk or jog for a few minutes; repeat. If you’re running, go for a few minutes, then sprint for a minute and repeat.

10 Common Sun Protection Mistakes

10 Common Sun Protection Mistakes

While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much can be dangerous. Most people are not aware that skin cancer, while largely preventable, is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. Avoid these common mistakes and enjoy your time in the sun while protecting yourself from overexposure. 

1. Judging UV severity by the temperature

It is easy to assume the hotter the temperature, the higher the UV. Unfortunately, this is not true. Ultraviolet radiation is not directly related to temperature. UV radiation can be just as dangerous at 70 degrees Fahrenheit as it can at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Wearing sleeveless tops when the UV is high

Exposure of skin in high UV is what leads to sun damage. Mechanical protection by clothing is the most effective protection against UV.

3. Not wearing enough sunscreen

First off, we tend to miss areas without realizing it. It is very difficult to ensure we are covering every inch of exposed skin. Second, we tend not to apply sunscreen thick enough. Lastly, we fail to reapply. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours and should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure. Putting on sunscreen and then walking out to the beach or pool immediately after is a common practice that many mistakenly do.

4. Relying solely on sunscreen

Even if applied correctly, no sunscreen blocks 100% of UV rays.

5. Thinking sunscreen will protect you all day long

This goes back to #3. Sunscreen must be reapplied every 2 hours during continued exposure.

6. Wearing a cap or a visor

Using a cap or visor only protects a portion of your face. You still fail to protect your ears, sides of face and back of neck. And a visor leaves the head unprotected. A wide-brimmed hat is recommended for its broader protection.

7. Not protecting yourself on cloudy days

Clouds do not protect against UV rays. They can diminish the rays but this depends on the thickness of the clouds which you cannot tell just by looking up. Plus, clouds are in constant motion and therefore, unreliable protection

8. Relying on shade alone

UV reflects like a mirror. For example, if you are sitting on the beach under an umbrella, the UV rays reflect off the sand like a mirror, amplifying their effect.

9. Not wearing close fitting sunglasses

Most people probably understand the link between UV radiation and skin cancer. But many are less aware of the connection between UV radiation and eye damage. Prolonged or repeated exposure can cause macular degeneration, cataracts, temporary blindness, eye melanoma, and development of non-cancerous growths also called pterygium or “surfer’s eye”. It is important that sunglasses are not only warn when the index is above 3, but are close fitting to avoid UV rays from passing around the glasses and into the eye. Look for sunglasses specifically designed for UV eye protection that are rated UV400 or higher; that means they’ll block 99.9% of UV rays.

10. I don’t need protection while driving my car

While UVB cannot penetrate through glass, UVA can and does! And UVA makes up the bulk of radiation reaching the earth’s surface. UVA although less potent, it is responsible for damaging the dermis and causing thinning of the skin, premature aging and photodamage.

Learn about the UV index. The Ultraviolet (UV) Index predicts the ultraviolet radiation levels on a 1-11+ scale. The UV Index provides a daily forecast of the expected intensity of UV radiation from the sun. World Health Organization recommends defending ourselves when the UV index is above 3. You can check the daily index by downloading the app. UV index can help plan your day. In general, UV index is lowest before 10am and after 4pm.