Skincare for the long run
New approaches to looking after your skin combine science, technology and personalized treatment. Still, the ultimate responsibility is yours.
BY GRACE SZUCS
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.”