Do I need a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are one of the most frequently performed treatments in the anti-aging industry.  Even considering this fact, they are still a very misunderstood treatment.  So many individuals have a complete misconception of what a chemical peel is and does.  So here is a little more information, enjoy!

The name ‘Chemical Peel’ is derived from how the solution interacts with the skin.  Most chemical peels utilize ingredients that are naturally derived (more on this later).  It is a common misconception that chemical peels are processed, synthetic or artificially created.  When you think of the name, think back to chemistry class when talking about something being acid or alkaline. Chemical peel solutions tend to be acidic. When applied topically, they break down the bonds in between the cells, enhancing epidermal renewal and leading to a more refreshed look.

When a chemical peel solution is applied to the skin, it removes dead skin.  It will refine the superficial layers of the skin.  Some peels can actually fuse the layers of dead skin, enabling the body to remove more dead skin cells at once.  When we remove dead skin cells, this stimulates your skin in to turning over cells at a faster rate (think new skin cells surfacing faster).

Most people can benefit from a good quality facial peel.  Remember, once you hit 28 years old, your skins ability to remove dead skin cells on its own, starts to reduce.  This dead skin starts to look tired and old.  It prevents our anti-aging products from working and makes any brown spots look worse and can cause acne.  So in short, yes, we all need a peel!

The most commonly known ingredient is Glycolic Acid[1].  This would be considered a basic or entry-level peel.  Other popular peels include Salicylic[2], Lactic[3] and L-Ascorbic[4], to name just a few.  Some peel solutions utilize a single ingredient; others combine 2-3 active ingredients.

Different peels create different results.  At SkinScience we have over 52 peel combinations that allow us to find the perfect mix of solution for your skin.  We treat everything from acne to wrinkles and almost everything in between.

Wondering what you will look like after? Most people are just a little pink.  In some cases you might have a bit of flaking that starts 2-3 days after your peel.  This flaking can very from very slight to very noticeable, depending on your skin and the type of peel solution used.  Your Skin Care Therapist can help you decided which peel solution is right for your skin and your life.

Results are often noticed immediately, with full results 7-10 days after the treatment.  To find out what peel will bring back your glow, give us a call!

The 6 Clinics for the Best Chemical Peel in Calgary

[1] Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar cane that has been fermented.

[2] Commonly derived from Wintergreen or Willow Bark

[3] Derived from Milk

[4] L-Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C

IN THE NEWS: Skin care a passion for Calgary’s Marie Bertrand

by Daniela Coderanu

President and owner of SkinScience, Marie Bertrand prides herself on educating her clients about their skin type while providing tried and true solutions for their concerns.

“I wanted to create a place that women and men could turn to for unbiased, ethical and science-based skin care recommendation,” says Bertrand. There are so many product options out there causing lots of confusion, she says. What works for one person may not work for another. She was asked frequently, “What’s best for me?”

Bertrand graduated in microbiology from the University of Montreal and not long after, received a research internship in Washington, DC at the National Cancer Institute. She was studying on a molecular and cellular level different types of cancer such as skin cancer and breast cancer.

“I was really fascinated by the theory of it, but I was not enjoying the work that I was doing in the laboratory. For me, living a life that I loved and living a life that was fully self-expressed didn’t include talking to my petri dishes all day long,” she laughs.

Eventually, it was time for a change, so she went on to work with the brand powerhouse L’Oréal at its head office in Montréal developing training programs around skin care lines like Vichy and La Roche-Posay. Over the next two years, she learned enough to motivate her to start her own business, SkinScience, in 2007 in Calgary.

Bertrand uses a computer-based program, Visia, which provides an analysis of the individual’s current skin state on the face by taking several photos; this is used as a baseline for the first consultation. A follow up is done after six months and again after 12 months. She documents the results with pictures taken at the different timelines.

Because after all, Bertrand says,  “not all wrinkles are created equal.” One of her tests is called the Genetic Test Kit; a swab is taken from the inside of an individual’s inner cheek and sent to the lab to determine how they are aging.

Here’ some more thoughts on aging from  Bertrand:

Q: You began your career in cancer research and made the switch to educating others about skin care. What motivated the switch?

I’ve always loved learning about microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, but never enjoyed the lab work. So when I ended up doing cancer research, spending hours at the bench, I was tapping into my Type-A personality traits and doing what needed to be done. But deep down, I was feeling completely unfulfilled.

I was working in Washington, D.C., three months after the attacks of Sept. 11. Living in a city that had recently experienced such an unfathomable tragedy radically changed my outlook on life. I had to make a difference in this world by doing something that I truly loved — educating men and women about the latest scientific advancements in skin care while improving their skin and self-esteem along the way

Q:  What does it mean to be a Skin Coach?

A: Everybody has a different DNA, so their skin-care plan should be adapted accordingly. In eight years of doing consultations, I’ve rarely done the same routine/skin care plan twice. Everybody ages differently, has different skin types, skin goals, budget, lifestyle . . . the possibilities are truly endless. By having a Skin Coach, you are ensured that your skin plan will be adapted to you.

Q: There are endless amounts of anti-aging products to choose from. Which one do you recommend and why?

A: It is difficult for people to figure out on their own what the perfect products and active ingredients should be. People are usually missing one or many pieces of the “puzzle.” They can spend thousands of dollars along the way before finally finding a routine that works.

A current trend in the skin care industry is to have multitasking, anti-aging products that will work on multiple aspects of aging: fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, inflammation, glycation, oxidative stress and lack of firmness.

One of my favourite multitasking, anti-aging product lines is Optimera Formula by U.S.-based company Nerium International. Their night cream and day cream both work on improving the signs of aging by working on all major causes of skin aging in a single step. And if you combine the day cream with the daily use of a sunscreen with an SPF higher than 30, you’ve got an amazing anti-aging powerhouse at your fingertips.

Originally published on Sunday June 4, 2015 in the Calgary Herald.


What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning  is one of the most popular treatments at SkinScience.  It immediately creates skin that is glowing and smooth.  It gently and comfortably removes dead skin buildup, stimulates superficial collagen removes the vellus or “peach fuzz” hairs from the face.

Dermaplaning is a manual exfoliation of the skin.  (For a complete explanation of the different types of exfoliation, check out this info graphic:  Types of Exfoliation .)  A typical dermaplaning appointment is about 30 minutes.  When you arrive your skin is cleansed, and then prepped by removing any superficial oils with an astringent solution.  Your skin care therapist then uses an implement to gently plane the dead skin cells from your face.  This is very comfortable; most clients report it feeling like a mild scratching, lots of clients report that it feels relaxing!  Because the skin cells are removed immediately, results are seen immediately!  When you leave the clinic your skin will be brighter and fresher looking right away, with the positive results building day by day till full results are achieved at 7 days post treatment.  You might be slightly pink immediately after, but it generally is very minimal. Dermaplaning is a great treatment to have done before parties or events!

We love Dermaplaning because it significantly increases the effectiveness of products you are using at home.  Removing all that dead skin build up results in deeper penetration of the active ingredients you are using to combat your skin issues.  We also use dermaplaning to increase the effectiveness of other skin care treatments.  Sometimes we recommend doing it before a peel to help with acne scarring (the brown or red stains that are left behind after an acne lesion is gone), or before an anti-oxidant treatment to better fight brown spots and wrinkles.

At SkinScience, we prefer dermaplaning to microdermabrasion for a few reasons: with dermaplaning we are able to get off up to 5 times more dead skin!  With dermaplaning the skin care therapist is able to have more control over the customization of your treatment, and it is much more sanitary as there are no reusable hoses etc.

After a dermaplaning treatment, we ask that you avoid any overly active products (your skin care therapist will guide you through the do’s and don’ts specific to you) and that you make sure to wear a sunscreen.

Book yours today and find out why this treatment is so popular!

What is an expert?

An expert is many different things to many different people.  The most regularly heard answer is that in expert is someone who has actively practiced for ten thousand hours.  This answer became the mainstream definition after famous author Malcom Gladwell discussed it in one of his best selling books.  In his book he references the lives and careers of individuals and groups like Bill Gates and The Beatles to support this idea.  Showing how by the time they achieved their breakthrough successes, they had accumulated their ten thousand hours of active practice.  But is it really this simple?  This concept has permeated all levels of our culture. Outspoken musician Macklemore even had a number one song dedicated to the concept in 2012.  Still I query, is ten thousand hours enough?

There are several new studies out that support that time invested is one part of making someone an expert, but that it’s not the only component.  There are a few other requirements. Things like passion, natural talent, age and the economic environment you are raised in potentially all play a part.  After much thought and research, I have compiled a list of few other characteristics that I believe experts have.

 Time Invested.  I’ve pointed out that maybe ten thousand hours on its own is not enough, but it is a very important first step.  It is a good indication of knowledge and experience gained.

 Continuing Education.  It is not possible to know everything about any particular subject.  New advances in science and technology are regularly coming to the surface.  Some one that constantly seeks out these discoveries and is constantly learning and making them self-better, and can therefore help the people around them more effectively.

 Communication.  Knowledge without the ability to share and teach those around them is not useful.  An expert can educate you about their field.

 Openness.  A true expert will never claim trade secrets.  A true expert will always share with you what they are doing and why they are doing it.

At SkinScience we strive daily to be experts in our field. We strive to share our expertise with and educate our clients as well.  We are in a continual learning phase, always seeking the information that will help us help our clients.  Collectively we have over 25 years of experience.  Working 40 hours a week that results in about forty five thousand hours!

Come in and put our expertise to work for you!

Yours in the quest for all things beautiful,