IN THE NEWS ~ Editorial Feature on Marie Bertrand in OptiMYz Magazine

Skincare for the long run

New approaches to looking after your skin combine science, technology and personalized treatment. Still, the ultimate responsibility is yours.

If you’re at the end of your rope with acne, or wondering what you can do about the effects of aging, Marie Bertrand might be the expert you’ve been looking for. A self-described skin care specialist, or “skin coach,” her practice blends her background in microbiology with five years of experience working in medical relations at L’Oreal Canada where she learned the ins and outs of how the skin functions and reacts to products and procedures. Bonus: Bertrand’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for helping people makes her easy to talk to.

SkinScience is Marie Bertrand’s flagship skincare clinic in Calgary, Alberta. She blends computer scans, genetic testing, hands-on expertise, procedures and potent topical products to address issues in the skin. Bertrand falls somewhere in between an aesthetician and a dermatologist, having deeper insight into the physiology of skin and the luxury of time to chat with clients. Aging and acne are the two most common reasons clients visit Bertrand’s clinic.

While the complaints may be common, treatment is anything but. “My goal is basically to find the best skincare program, product and procedures specifically adapted to the client,” says Bertrand. No two cases are alike and so a tailored skincare program is the cornerstone of her philosophy. That’s why she asks clients to bring in current skincare products and makeup as part of her initial one-hour consultation. For example, there are four causes of acne, Bertrand explains, and by the end of her consultation, she will know which ones affect you and how she will approach treatment.

In addition to the consultation process, Bertrand uses a special camera to look at and under the skin. She can see pore size, under- lying sun damage, inflammation, veins, skin texture and wrinkles. This information can be used to create a preventive skincare plan such as planning for the sunspot that result from underlying sun damage.

“Bertrand falls somewhere in between an aesthetician and a dermatologist, having deeper insight into the physiology of skin and the luxury of time to chat with clients.”

One of the unique features of SkinScience is the genetic test kit. Bertrand will take a swab from your inner cheek and send it off
to a lab for analysis. “[The lab] checks specific places on the DNA that we know are associated with aging,” she says. If it turns out you are at risk for a limited ability to fight free radicals in the environment, Bertrand says, “we need to be proactive and choose skincare that has antioxidants in it.” The information from the genetic test kit allows her to pinpoint specific needs and customize the best skin routine. “Customization is the future of skin care,” she says.

Furthermore, SkinScience stocks a range of specialized brands of skin products that are more potent than what is available at the drugstore. While not requiring a prescription, the lines Bertrand carries are loaded with higher strengths of active ingredients such as powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules, stem cell technology and peptides. Yes, skincare too has become technological.

Bertrand prides her practice’s “ethical skincare.” She tracks the client’s progress by taking pictures of the skin throughout the treatment plan. She also recommends only what is needed to achieve desired results and works within the individual’s budget, lifestyle and needs.

Still, the services and products provided at SkinScience have limits. As Bertrand says, “Taking care of your skin is like a marathon. It’s the little things that you do on a daily basis that will make a difference in the long run.”


5 Winter Skin Care Tips ~ Banish Dry Skin

Winter is coming!

Every time the weather changes, the SkinScience team notices an influx of people booking appointments to “fix” their skin.  It is so common for us to hear “my skin was doing so great, I don’t know what happened”! We all know the weather fluctuations affect our skin, but we forget exactly how much till it happens.  Hopefully with the following tips, you can survive the winter!


One: Reassess your face wash. During the spring and summer months, we tend to be drawn to (or need) deep cleaning facial cleansers.  In warmer weather our oil glands are more active.  This time of year, we need a cleanser that removes dirt, makeup and bacteria with out stripping the skin of what few oils it has produced.  Most commonly what we recommend is that you keep a cold weather face cleanser on hand.   This way on days the temperature drops, you can cleanse without turning into a prune!

Marie’s recommendations: DermaQuest Essential Daily CleanserDermaQuest C Infusion Cleanser, Reversa Micellar Cleansing Solution.


Two: Add a layer of hydration, with Hyaluronic Acid.  This delightful ingredient increases your skins capacity to retain water. Brilliant right?  It’s oil free and light weight.  When applied it disappears into your skin effortlessly.  On it’s own, it’s not enough.  Layered under your regular moisturizer, you increase the hydrating power of what you already are using!  Results are felt right away with the positive effects increase over the first two weeks you use it.

Marie’s recommendations: DermaQuest Hydrating B5 SerumDermaQuest Niacinamide Youth Serum, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 gel.


Three:  Consider a night cream.  If you truly struggle with dry winter skin, it’s a good time to switch to a heavier night cream.  At night, the heat in our homes kicks on more frequently, making sleeping a particularly dehydrating process.  Night creams are designed to strengthen the skins natural barrier that protects from the harsh dry heat of our modern day heating systems.

Marie’s recommendations: DermaQuest Nourishing Peptide Riche Moisturizer, IMAGE VitalC Hydrating Creme, Vivier Lexxel Moisturizer.


Four: Indulge in weekly facial masques. The right masque can replace much of what has been lost.  It is a great tool to keep on hand to use after time outside in harsh winter weather (skiing comes to mind!).  It also helps fight winter dullness.

Marie’s recommendations: DermaQuest C Infusion Masque, Vivier Ultra Replenishing Masque, Avene Soothing Hydrating Masque.





Five: Be consistent with your skin procedures. Remember the last time you had a dermaplaning and your skin felt like a baby’s bum? By removing dead skin cells, we enable products to better penetrate your skin, leading to a deeper rehydration.  Followed with a deeply hydrating masque, your skin will feel comfortable in no time!

Marie’s recommendations: dermaplaning, vitaminC/enzyme peel, Hydrating Rush Mini facial


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Most people can make one or two changes and survive winter without to many issues.  However, if you are dry to begin with you might find that implementing all four of the above suggestions are needed.  Maintaining your skin care treatments every 3 months with be the last step in survival!

Feel free to drop by the office so we can help you “tweak” your winter skin routine with the best products and procedures!


In healthy (winter) skin,

Your SkinScience team

Marie, Mikelle, Marina, Nivian and Mark




Skin Care on a Budget (and how you can maximize results while respecting your pocketbook)


I don’t know about you, but that money tree I planted in the back yard just is not working out for me.  Budgeting is a part of real life.  An important part of life.  So how do you continue to take care of your skin and not overdo your budget?

Remember, it’s always cheaper to maintain.  We recently had a client return that hadn’t been in for almost a year.  Previously we had spent approximately 9-10 months  getting “Jane’s” skin cleared up and looking amazing (and bump-free).  Unfortunately, once her skin was in fabulous shape, she mistakenly thought that this meant she could return to some of her old products and habits.  She returned to using her cheaper makeup and makeup primer, and her products that she purchased from various department stores.  Her acne returned full force.  Jane now wants to have the skin she had after working with us, and we are starting at square one, all over again. It’s very likely that had she just maintained, her acne wouldn’t have returned to the level it did.

Taking care of your skin is like a marathon. It’s the small things (and right skin choices) you do on a daily basis that make a difference. Procedures are like sprints. They will help you achieve to your skin goals faster, but they do not replace sprints. They complement them.

Knowing the right products for your skin is important; specifically which ones are giving you the greatest potential result.  As a general rule, don’t cheap out on serums.  SERUMS have the highest concentration of active ingredients and can get deep inside the skin.  This means more potential positive results.  If you can only afford a few products, it’s a good idea to have one of them be a serum.  When you purchase a serum, make sure it is a good quality serum that has the ingredients your skin needs (we can help you with that part!)

The next most important step is your MOISTURIZER.  Your moisturizer stays on your face 24 hours a day. If you use the wrong one, the potential for problems is significant. Too heavy and you will plug your pores and break out, to light and you’ll start flaking and crinkling.

Multipurpose products are a great way to save. If you are trying to be budget conscious, discuss with us the option of a MULTIPURPOSE MOISTURIZER: one that offers the right type of hydration, active ingredients, as well as an SPF 30 (that’s a minimum, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association).  This is a fabulous way to save. Other multipurpose products include exfoliating cleansers and or toners, as these often remove the need for a separate exfoliating step (and we’re not talking scrubs, but intelligent exfoliation – once again, we can help find the best one for you).

Lastly, book your mini treatment.  You will be amazed at how having a mini treatment now and again (or a combination of mini treatments) renews how well your skin care works and your over all results.  Here are some mini treatments available at the clinic:


  • Mini Exfol  (20 min) ~ 75.

  • Mini Peel (20 min) ~ 75.

  • Mini Facial  (45min) ~ 99.


The SkinScience team will always do our absolute best to honor your budget! There are so many ways to look and feel your best without breaking the bank.

Call us today to book your consultation, follow up, or mini treatment. You DESERVE it!


Your healthy skin specialists,

Marie, Mikelle, Marina, Nivian and Mark