Summer fun: Avoid dehydration
Oh my dear June! How much I have missed you! You know you're a Michigander when the first day of 60 degree weather you break out your shorts and flip flops and run to the nearest ice cream place. It seemed like the cold and gloom was never going away. But that is why I love the month of June the most. It seems to always hold a mixture of closures and new beginnings. Goodbye cold, rainy days. See ya later school and schedules. And hello beautiful weather and fun filled evenings and weekends. I have already updated our family calendar with adventures and activities. How easy to do when you are surrounded by beautiful lakes, wonderful museums and amazing zoos and festivals. In fact, my to do list is so long, I don't actually have enough free time to complete it all!
I will admit, I am usually the type to always be preoccupied. There's work during the day, cooking and cleaning to do at night. Weekends are great for tackling that ever growing to do list. Our "spring cleaning" we started three years ago. So what's different about this year? Oh what seems to always be the reason, my kids.You see, for mother's day my boys created a lovely picture for me. They were right, my favorite food is tacos. I was stumped why they thought my favorite color was brown until I realized they were thinking of the color of my favorite drink (if they make a Coke ICEE support group, I need an invite. I'm a regular at Speedway). I was so proud my boys knew their mama so well but when I got to my favorite thing to do......work. Don't get me wrong, I actually do love working. I love what I do. But my little babies should not think that is my favorite thing to do. Being with them is my favorite! So out came the pen and paper and I didn't stop with the ideas of family activities until my husband came home from work and I was able to show him our summer plans. Train rides, zoos, Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights, Chelsea fair and parade, going fishing, riding our bikes, whatever we can afford to do. I am determined to show my boys what my favorite thing to do truly is, building memories with them.
Life gets busy. Work can be overwhelming. Projects can be exhausting. But don't let any of that consume you. June- it's a mixture of closures and new beginnings. I plan on having new adventures with my family. I plan on creating moments with my boys. And I plan on putting an end to the idea that my favorite thing to do is work.
Let me first say, I think all women are beautiful (and every man is handsome), especially those with a kind heart. But in this field, you often find yourself trying to defend what we do. So I want to be clear. What we do isn't about vanity or "fixing" imperfections. It's about building confidence, caring for ourselves and our bodies and most importantly, doing what makes us happy.
I am not ashamed or embarrassed about the procedures I get done here. I am blessed with two beautiful boys. But having them certainly caused my body to change. I had two CO2s to tackle those stubborn stretchmarks. SleekShapes to tighten my wrinkled stomach. If it's a rough week… or month, then I believe I deserve a relaxing seasonal facial or rejuvenating H2O Quad Facial. These procedures help me build my confidence. They help remind me I am still the woman my husband fell in love with several years ago. They relax me so I have energy to entertain two toddlers. I am not ashamed or embarrassed for doing what I want to do.
As for imperfections, those are what makes us unique. This is currently quite the topic in our household as we battle a few things with our five year old that definitely makes him unique and special. So when it's my turn to point something out, I point to this beautiful scar on the left side of my nose. How easy it would be to erase this scar with all the procedures we offer. But I don't want to. This imperfection, I love. I was born with it. My parents know me by it. And when my boys were little ones, they often asked to kiss my "boo boo".
So embrace your imperfections. Love them and everything about yourself. We aren't here to fix you. We are here to build you. To support you. To showcase you. We will never tell you about your imperfections. Because you are already perfect. Just tell us what will make you happy. That's our goal. We want you happy.
Dr. Howlin was the first to offer the MonaLisa Touch in Michigan and introduced it in 2015 as her 13th laser to the Chelsea Medicine and Laser practice. Since then, Dr. Howlin has done over 900 treatments, restoring women's vaginal health by addressing dryness, burning, painful intercourse and urinary incontinence.
The MonaLisa Touch is a gentle laser that delivers energy to the vaginal wall to stimulate a healing response, generating new collagen in the tissue and enhancing moisture levels in the vaginal canal. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 12 weeks.
No anesthesia, virtually painless
No side effects
Each treatment is < 5 minutes
Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2008
In both European and U.S. clinical trials, women reported symptom relief after the very first treatment and even greater improvement after treatments 2 and 3.
Physical sunscreens are safer and are more effective than chemical sunscreens. Be aware of what type you are using!
UPDATE 5/8/2019: Chemical sunscreens are being absorbed into our bloodstream. Blood levels are detectable a day after using a chemical sunscreen. Be sure to use zinc or titanium sunscreen as they are not absorbed and are a non chemical way of preventing sunburn and skin cancer without putting toxins into the body. This information was published by the AMA this week. It doesn't show that the ingredients are unsafe at this point, but just that they are absorbed into our bodies.
Chemical sunscreens: oxybenzone and octinoxate are looking like they are harming sea coral and alter the sex hormones of ocean wildlife. Hawaii is banning them in 2021. The FDA finds them safe for people. But we know that the chemical sunscreens denature sunlight to not damage our skin. Preferable is a physical sunscreen to block it without putting chemicals in our body. Remember that the skin is our largest organ and what we put on it can travel into our bodies.
People have always found the chemical sunscreens thinner and easier to apply and less expensive. Their names are avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, oxybenzone. Note: they are not to be applied to infants < 6 months of age.
Physical sunscreens contain minerals like zinc or titanium. They are not linked to environmental or hormonal problems. Some good brands that can be used for body coverage are Neutrogena Sheer Zinc, Coppertone Sport Lotion. I've found an inexpensive zinc sunscreen by Meijer. Our office sells a cosmetic grade physical sunscreen that is good for facial use.
Choose broad spectrum sunscreen so that uva and uvb are covered. Uva causes aging and cancer and uvb causes sunburn. Use anything over spf 30 as it blocks 97% of rays. A common mistake is not reapplying after two hours.
Some companies sell oral sunscreens. Don't rely on them for sole protection. Wear a topical sunscreen too.
And enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer!
- Dr. Howlin