IN THE NEWS: Top 10 Science-Based Skin Care Tips by Marie Bertrand

This article was originally published on July 14, 2015 in “Living Better 50” magazine. 

By Marie Bertrand

As a microbiologist and skin expert having performed thousands of skin analyses over the years, I can say with confidence that everybody ages differently and that not all wrinkles are created equal. Using a science-based, multi-faceted approach to skin aging will maximize success in our search for healthy, vibrant skin. Here are my top 10 science based skincare tips to ensure you have optimal skin at any age.

1. Practice intelligent exfoliation – Exfoliation is essential to achieve and maintain healthy skin, as it teaches the skin to renew itself faster, much like younger skin. It also boosts skin’s radiance and ensures that anti-aging active ingredients penetrate into the skin and work optimally to improve skin health. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest Glyco Peptide Cleanser, Dermaquest Algae Polishing Scrub

2. Seek balanced hydration – People often think that keeping their skin well hydrated topically will reduce wrinkles. It might be true for 20 year olds with fine lines, but as we get into our thirties, our wrinkles have a much deeper cause. Still, hydration is essential to healthy skin as we age as it plumps the skin and facilitates the penetration of active ingredients, leading to better anti-aging results. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest Essential Moisturizer

3. Boost fiber production – As we age, fibers like collagen and elastin become less abundant in the deeper layer of the skin, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and lack of firmness. It is important to choose a multi-faceted approach to boost fiber production and replenish essential skin fibers for tighter, firmer skin. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest Peptide Line Corrector, Dermaquest Stem Cell 3D HydraFirm

4. Slow down fiber destruction – Boosting fiber production is important, but so is reducing fiber destruction. As we age, destructing enzymes called MMPs become more active in the skin and destroy our skin fibers at a fast pace. By neutralizing these enzymes, we are able to preserve our skin fibers longer.

5. Neutralize free radicals – Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack skin cells. In order to neutralize their action, we need to ensure we have antioxidants in our diet and daily skin care routine. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest C Infusion Serum

6. Prevent glycation – Glycation is a complex phenomenon that can be simply described by the binding of a sugar molecule (ex: glucose) to a protein (ex: collagen in the skin), thereby forming a bond that prevents the structural protein (in this case, collagen) from properly doing its job. Staying away from sugars in our diet and using anti-glycation ingredients in our skin care will help minimize the negative effects of glycation.

7. Fight inflammation – We know that inflammation from our diet, the sun and internal biological processes can cause skin aging. By having a topical anti-inflammatory (soothing, calming) effect on the skin, we can minimize skin aging caused by inflammation, a process also called “inflammaging”.

8. Even out skin pigmentation – As we age, the cumulative sun exposure we experienced over the years starts to show: freckles, brown spots & age spots become visible as a direct result of sun exposure. By lightening, brightening and protecting the skin, we can achieve a more even complexion. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest SkinBrite Serum

9. Maintain healthy stem cells – Stem cells are essential to healthy skin and must be taken care of to ensure their longevity and wellbeing. After all, they are at the root of all cells in our bodies, including the skin. By feeding the skin with plant stem cells, growth factors and vitamins, we ensure that our own skin stem cells will remain healthy and vibrant. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest Stem Cell 3D Complex

10. Use smart sun protection – The daily use of a sunscreen is mandatory for healthy skin. Sun protection is much more than “not getting a tan”. It helps protect skin fibers, reduce DNA mutations, prevents inflammation, reduces the formation of free radicals & excessive pigment while offering protection to our own skin stem cells. It is literally the perfect anti-aging complement to a solid anti-aging routine. Marie’s favorite: Dermaquest SPF30 with Zinc Oxide

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Marie BertandMarie Bertrand, a microbiologist and skin scientist, has worked for many years in the cosmetic industry to develop and teach training sessions on skincare and dermatology. In 2007, Marie founded SkinScience Clinic to bring a new vision to skincare in Canada. Marie develops integrated skincare routines customized to meet the unique needs of her patients. SkinScience offers ethical and unbiased recommendations; develops skincare regimes based on scientific facts, sound clinical studies, and measurable results; and provides on-going support and education for all customers.




So You Got a Sunburn…. Now What?

Unfortunately, sunburns can happen to the best of us,  even if we are avid SPF users (and of course, we all are, right?). 😉

For example, you slather sunscreen  on like there’s no tomorrow, but yesterday before heading out to the Mountains,  you accidentally missed covering your entire forearm. And the back of your neck. And your ears. It was about 35 degrees, there was not a cloud in the sky, and you didn’t reapply in the four hours that you were outdoors. Life happens, I know.

Here are 7 tips you can follow to minimize the damage that’s been done to your skin. (Hey, you live, you learn)


 1. Take an over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil). It acts as a pain reliever and inhibits prostaglandins, the mediators of sunburn, and help alleviate redness and burning.

2. Take a cool bath and add a few tablespoons of oatmeal to the water. It will help calm the skin.

3. Apply cool compresses to the skin. My favorite ones use Avene Thermal Spa Water sprayed on soft cotton compresses and applied on the sunburnt areas. This water is anti-inflammatory and will help bring down the heat and burning sensations. It can also be directly sprayed on the skin as often as you want. You can never have too much Avene Thermal Spa Water.

4. Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water to support the healing process of the skin.

5. Make aloe vera gel ice cubes. You can use an over-the-counter organic aloe vera gel or use the sap straight from the plant. Put in ice cube trays and when solid, gently slide on the skin – it’ll help heal the sunburn quicker.

6. Use a soothing emollient cream to nourish parched skin. Sunburns draw moisture to the skin’s surface away from the rest of the body. Our favorite is LaRoche-Posay Post-Helios Melt-In Gel. (keep it in the fridge for that extra cooling sensation)

7. Stay out of the sun.  Please. And don’t forget to apply (and reapply) sunscreen on a regular basis.


If the aftermath of your burn proceeds to worsen, or if you suspect infection, contact your doctor immediately. Otherwise, these tips above should do the trick!