What Works for Your Friend Might Not Work for You (The Truth About Skin Care Products)


Every day, patients come in and tell us: “Well, I purchased this $250 product at a department store because it worked for my friend. I’ve been using it faithfully for 2 month now, and I’m not sure that I see results.”


Patients need to understand that everybody’s DNA is unique, and so their skin care should be. Nobody will age the same way, at the same rate, with the same symptoms. Aging skin looks differently on different people. Could be fine lines and wrinkles, lack of firmness, lack of elasticity, lack of radiance, brown spots and sun damage, redness, sensitivity, large pores, dark circles…. one person might be presenting one of visible signs of aging (ex: only wrinkles), another person might show 3 signs (ex: wrinkles, large pores and lack of firmness), another person 3 different ones (ex: brown spots, large pores, lack of radiance) and another all of them at once.

Since aging has a strong genetic component (also referred as intrinsic aging), people say that can look at your mom to have a good idea of how you are going to look later in life. It’s partially true, but that’s not enough to explain one’s aging – as the environment and lifestyle also has a strong influence on the long term aging of the skin (also referred as extrinsic aging). And even then, different people will be affected differently by different extrinsic causes.





So why is it that a product would work well for one person, and not at all for the other?

For one, it depends on what the product does, and that comes down to which active ingredient (or blend of ingredients) that is/are included in the cream/lotion/serum. Let’s say that an anti-aging product contains an ingredient like hydroquinone to work on pigmentation and brown spots. One person with brown spots and freckles will be a happy with the results, but if another person is using it as an anti-aging product (as it is labelled) but doesn’t have brown spots to begin with, and wants to work on her wrinkles, hydroquinone is not going to work for her wrinkles because it’s a lightening agent. For that second person to be happy about the results from the cream, it would need to contain ingredients that boost collagen, elastin, glycans, hyaluronic acid to work optimally on improving the appearance of wrinkles.

Making sure to have anti-glycation and anti-MMPs ingredients would surely be an added bonus, as they work indirectly on the skin’s fiber content. If a third person, showing signs of aging like wrinkles AND brown spots, was using that anti-aging hydroquinone-based product, she would be PARTIALLY happy with the results because that cream would work on evenness of the skin, but she wouldn’t be happy when it comes to wrinkle improvement.


I personally have found that a lot of people use anti-aging products that are not targeted towards their particular symptoms of aging.


A product can be labeled “anti-aging” because it contain Matrixyl 3000 (a well-known anti-aging peptide that boosts collagen) but if your wrinkles are caused by glycation, free radicals, inflammation and lack of elasticity, you will not see results from using a Matrixyl-based cream.

Since it is difficult to define the intrinsic causes of aging without a DNA-based test, and that the skin care industry is starting to understand that not all wrinkles are created equal, we see more and more multitasking products. In my experience, these so called “multitasking” products usually address 1-2 maybe 3 aspects of skin aging, but never all.

Another aspect to consider in a product’s activity on the skin is how it is formulated. An important aspect of skin care formulation is the pH (or hydrogen potential) – an indicator of the acidity or alkalinity of a product. It is based on a scale from 1-14, 1 being very acid, 7 being neutral pH and 14 being very alkaline. The pH of a product is important for the activity on the skin of certain active ingredients, such as glycolic acid for example.

Thirdly, it is common knowledge that different people can get very different results with the same product. Experts usually explain this fact by variations in individual body chemistry. Sometimes it is indeed true. However, quite often the truth is far simpler. Different people often get different results because they apply skin care products differently.


Generally, the following optimal conditions apply:

1. CLEANSE: Before applying skin care products, make sure your skin is properly cleansed. The best time to apply skin care products is after you are fresh out of a warm shower or bath because not only is your skin clean but it is also thoroughly moist and should better absorb whatever you apply to it.


2. EXFOLIATE: The uppermost layer of the skin, called stratum corneum, is composed mostly of dry, dead cells. If this layer becomes too thick, as in aged or poorly maintained skin, active ingredients of a skin care product have trouble penetrating deeply enough to have an effect. The skin needs to be well exfoliated to be able to absorb active ingredients better.


3. DAMPEN SKIN: Moist, hydrated skin absorbs active ingredients better because active ingredients can penetrate better when they are dissolved.


4. SHORT FIRM STROKES: Use short, firm strokes to apply skin care products (it is best to use the middle finger). Do not stretch the skin. Do not rub. After applying, gently tap the area with your fingers for half a minute.


Finally, your lifestyle (or how well you control the aspects of potential extrinsic aging). You can use the best products for wrinkles and brown spots, if you continue smoking, lounging in the sun, not using sun protection, not staying hydrated and eating high glycemic foods, you will not see optimal results from your skin care cream and procedures.




Got questions on how to best address the specific symptoms YOU see in the mirror? Looking for the best products and procedures for YOU, and stop wasting money on products that don’t work?

Your 1-hour personalized consultation awaits. We look forward to seeing you soon.  403-287-1477



Golden Tan Turned Dull and Drab? We Can Fix It!

You know it’s not healthy, but you secretly love being a little sun kissed. Having that hint of color to your cheeks reminds you of your summer vacation and fun you had with your friends and family.


Now that fall has set in though, you just look somewhat dull and drab. What was a lovely summer sun-kissed complexion, now looks a bit dirty and you sure are noticing those little wrinkles around your eyes a bit more than you usually notice them……. Not to mention zero “glow” or luminosity to your skin.


What the heck is going on you wonder???? We have an answer:


Sun exposure, or specifically exposure to UVA and UVB rays, dehydrates your skin. Being in warmer weather means you don’t notice the dehydration initially, because in warmer weather sweat and sebaceous glands are more active.


However, now that you are home and the weather has cooled down – all that dehydration is causing dead skin to build up, and up and up.  Your skin that is now dehydrated does not slough off at the rate it should, so it builds up faster and thicker than it usually would. All that tanned dead skin build up starts to look pretty gross – and make you look much older than you are.


The Solution?


Get the dead skin off!  We can do this a number of ways, our favorite fall skin treatment kick starter is a dermaplaning, which you can read about by clicking here.


Next on our list of solutions is Vitamin C.  Specifically our amazing C-Infusion Peel.  This high dose vitamin c chemical peel is like an anti-oxidant shooter for your face.  It brightens, it neutralizes free radicals, preserves collagen, and reverses some of the pesky signs of aging.  We love to do this immediately AFTER a dermaplaing so we get maximum absorption of the Vitamin C which means you get maximum results.


If you can’t get into the clinic for a good dose of Vitamin C, we have a great at home protocol that you can use to start your recovery at home, it’s not a potent as the in-clinic treatment, but it is a good starting point:


  1. Cleanse with C-Infusion Cleanser ,or gentle cleanser of your choice.
  2. Massage in a quarter sized amount of the Algae Polishing Scrub into skin dampened with warm water – continue massaging for 2 minutes, then rinse
  3. Apply an even layer of C-Infusion Treatment Masque for up to 20 minutes.Remove with warm water, blot dry
  4. Apply one-two pumps of the Stem Cell Rebuilding Complex and finish with your favorite moisturizer


To boost results, consider adding in the C-Infusion Eye Cream (one of our staff’s personal favorite for dark circles, under eye brightening and fine lines).



To book your summer recovery treatment, call the clinic now! We can’t wait to coach your skin back to its natural loveliness!


(403) 287-1477


Can’t Kick the Dryness? We Can Fix That!

Autumn is rolling in here in Calgary. The air is fresher in the mornings, fall wardrobes are sneaking into view and your skin feels so incredibly drab!


Shifting weather can wreak havoc on your skin, even more so when the shifts happen quickly – and we live in Alberta where the weather forecast is only accurate for about 5 minutes. Last week you were basking in the glorious B.C. sunshine, enjoying summer vacation, and yesterday you were dealing with a frosty walk in to work!


The results of these **delightful** weather changes is skin that now feels like it just can’t absorb moisture. You apply your moisturizer, but it just can’t get in. It feels like it sitting on top of your face, you apply over and over but nothing. At this point you are starting to feel a bit dull and prune-ish – wrinkles are looking worse, dark spots are more noticeable, and you are really frustrated by constantly feeling dry and tight. Blah!


First – this is normal.  You should know this is a VERY common concern.


Second – you don’t have to struggle! The solution is easy! It takes about 45 min and is an investment of $189


Third – Once you’ve had your treatment, you will wonder why you waited so long!


Our Advanced Dermaplaning is probably our most popular September treatment. Its popular because:


  • No Downtime! You leave looking gloriously bright and fresh,  like your skin can finally breathe
  • Its comfortable, actually it can be downright relaxing. We’d tell you about all the clients that almost have fallen asleep, but we don’t break confidences 😉
  • It gets better after you leave, for the week following you can see a continued improvement in your skin as your products are no longer inhibited by dry, dead skin build up and can therefore work better.
  • Like everything we do, it is customized to what your skin needs. We finish each Advanced Dermaplaning with a customized treatment masque to further eliminate problems associated with dehydrated skin (if you are acne prone, clogged pore extractions are usually performed in place of masque).


Don’t wait! Release the glowing goddess hidden behind all those layers, book your Advanced Dermaplaning today!  Call us at :





Labor Day Acne Got Ya Down? We Can Fix It!

The last huzzah of summer – Labor Day. It was a blast, you loved the lake or the camping or the BBQ or all of the above. But now that you are back to the grind of ‘real life’ you are noticing that your face looks a little lack lustre.


Your pores feel huge, your face overall is bumpier than in was in its pre-summer days and those breakouts on your chin just will not completely clear up.


You my friend have what we have affectionately coined as “Vacation Face”. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.  The combination of heat, sunscreen, and let’s be honest here; more than one night where after an extra drink or two you just **might** have crashed/fallen into bed with a less than ideal nighttime skin care routine (AKA, fell into bed without a properly washing your face).


It’s OK! We got your back (or your face in this instance).  We have cleared up more than one incidence of vacation face in our time. Being that is such a common occurrence, we are experts at dealing with it.


We know how to clear out those pores, take that dead skin build up back to a “good” level and let your most fantastic face shine through.


With the right combination of treatments, you can be back to your glowing self in no-time!


All clients are unique and individual in their needs, but an example of what we did today for one gorgeous gal is:


  1. Dermaplaning – literally planes off dead skin cells, allowing healthy glowing skin to be seen. Your skin will feel like silk, smooth and soft. Bonus: products work better after a dermaplaning.
  2. Extractions– remove clogged pores and blackheads, allowing pores to tighten up instead of looking gaping and cavernous, further smoothing the texture of your skin and preventing new breakouts from occurring.
  3. Custom Chemical Peel– clears out left over cellular debris after clogged pore extractions, helps pores tighten further, boosts radiance and more!


Not every incidence of vacation face needs this series of treatments, but this one sure did the trick today!


If you are tired of feeling like vacations make you look a little dull, call us!  We would love to help coach your skin back to its glowing self!


(403) 287-1477