Don’t Forget to Pack the Sunscreen for your Winter Get-Away

Airplane wing

Every year around this time, Canadian Snowbirds are packing their bags to escape the cold Canadian winter. With over half a million Canadians looking to get out of the cold and into the sun, it is important to remember to protect your skin with proper sunscreen. Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer.

The Ultra Violet (UV) radiation levels vary depending on the time and location. The World Health Organization posts a UV Index on their website with a list of the UV measurements according to the area. The Weather Network also has a UV Report that you allows you to type in the destination of where you are headed, and it will advise the latest reading for that area.


Most of us understand the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the damaging UV rays but with so many options of sunscreen products and different levels of protection, how is one supposed to choose? In order to select the right sunscreen for you, it is important to understand a few sunscreen basics.

Picking the proper sunscreen starts with deciding the type of exposure you are expecting. If you will only be outdoors for a few minutes at a time, a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, which filters out about 93 percent of UV radiation, is usually sufficient. If you plan on enjoying the sun longer than just a few minutes, you will want to look at a sunscreen option with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.


Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers high quality, affordable skincare, and sunscreen products for normal and problem skin types. Issues such as acne or rosacea require particular attention, and we take the time to discuss your options with you and gain an understanding of your skin type before recommending a product.

Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer. According to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, these are the types of skin cancer that are common:

Actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis, is a skin condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (i.e. sunlight). Some experts believe that AK is the earliest form of SCC.

Basal cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form and accounts for 90% of all skin cancers. It starts in the basal cells at the bottom of the epidermis (outer skin layer) and is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. It is the most easily treated.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type. It starts in the epidermis, eventually penetrating the underlying tissue if not treated. It is easily treated when found early, but in a small percentage of cases, this cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and is responsible for the most deaths. However, it can be cured if it is diagnosed and removed early. Melanoma can develop from a pre-existing mole that appeared normal but changes, or as an irregular appearing new spot.

(the above information was taken from the website

Sunscreen is an integral part of a sun protective regime. You should also include time out of the sun in a shady area, wearing protective clothing such as a full brim hat and sunglasses, and avoid the UV tanning beds. If you would like assistance picking out the best sunscreen for your skin type, the professional staff at Laser and Skin Care Medspa are available to answer all your questions and make a recommendation for you.



Don’t You Deserve a Little Festive Pampering?


When the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Year starts taking its toll, treating yourself to a little festive pampering can really help you re-energize! Everyone wants to look their best at the office Christmas party, in the obligatory family photos, and perhaps even on that beach vacation scheduled for January, but the winter air, dehydrating central heating, and those late nights, rich food and glasses of champagne can quickly leave your skin looking less than vibrant. Continue reading “Don’t You Deserve a Little Festive Pampering?”

Exercise Can Be Making You Fat

Physical activity is crucial for a healthy body and mind but it doesn’t equal weight loss. Those that exercise deliberately or have an active job or lifestyle than sedentary, have lower risks for many diseases – less heart/cancer/diabetes – and experience less mental decline (especially the dementias).

However exercise as a method to lose weight is virtually useless. The irony is in the process of burning calories, hunger is stimulated. Think of the frequent habitual behavior of going to the gym and then stopping for that favorite high calorie snack or beverage or both. One blueberry muffin (approx. 360 calories) requires 1 hour plus of medium exertion mowing grass, biking, vacuuming, or jogging for 30 minutes. Even weight lifting can take approximately 2 hours to lose a muffin! Image the 1000 calorie Starbucks or Timmie drink?

Losing weight is complex and is at odds with the “exercise reward” psychology and the physical hunger that sets in.

Genetically humans didn’t evolve to get rid of calories beyond what was needed for sustaining life; excess is stored in fat cells.

Depressing research shows the energy gap – that being the calorie difference between calories used and calories eaten lessens with exercise. In other words, exercise leads to eating more calories than burned!

Obesity researchers suggest frequent low level exercise, such as just basic fast walking through a day, is kinder to muscles and increases that energy gap far better than exercise binges which are stressful to the body structure.

Obese people are often burning more calories hauling excess weight around. The bottom line? Is what you eat not how hard you try to work it off. Metabolism can be tweaked by diet/exercise and sleep habits. This gives one some control over what genetics and aging effects influence. Especially after 40, it is possible to negate the normal slow-down that happens.

The basal metabolic rate is the number of calories a body burns at rest and if effected by age/body/type/height. Skipping intake on rising creates a metabolic freeze and energy is stored in fat cells instead of burning. So eat! One half of that intake needs to be protein to jump start critical body functions.

Eating small intakes 4-5 times a day with protein (beans/dairy/meat) keeps the calorie burning turned on. Food high in fat and carbs effects the sugar processing causing the body to store calories in the fat department.
Exercise does stimulate metabolism and has an after effect up to 24 hours post exercise. Activation of fat burning genes happens but be aware appetite stimulation is the spin off. Again, regular low intensity movement such as walking, swimming, yoga frequently helps when the best weight loss is the goal.


Lack of sleep is a huge player in managing weight. Those that sleep 5 or less hours eat 25% more calories or approximately 550. What you eat becomes really important in weight management with sleep deprivation. It’s still recommended to aim for 7-8 hours. This lack of sleep effects the balance of appetite controlling hormones and negatively impacts general health along with dysfunctional burning of calories.

Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers a safe, natural hormone based weight loss program that works! Exercise is optional but helps tweak those with slower metabolisms. Your call and questions are welcome. Your consultation is free for those with Alberta Health Care.