How Imbalanced Hormones are Affecting Your Skin, and What You Can Do About it

Here in Calgary, we at SkinScience Clinic make it our life’s mission to not only treat your skin, but educate you on it: after all, what is the point in treatment if it’s not conveyable, science-backed, and aiding you in your quest for long-term beautiful skin?

That’s why our treatments aren’t simply skin-deep—external treatments must work in conjunction with your efforts to balance your complexion from the inside-out, and internally combating imbalanced hormones is key to healthy, glowing skin.

How and Why Do Hormones Impact Your Skin?

Hormones are molecules produced in the endocrine glands and are transferred to the bloodstream in order to bind to cell sites called “receptors”. They are in charge of metabolizing food, managing inflammation, deciding your sleep cycle, controlling your reproductive functions, and your general body development. So what does this mean, and how do imbalanced hormones affect your skin?

Well, because balanced hormones are the deciding factor in our body’s performing their best, when they are imbalanced those functions begin to slow. Visceral fat, scarring even after minor injuries, high blood pressure, and chronic illness can all be signals that your hormones are not balanced. Know what else can signal that? When your post-treatment results from SkinScience Clinic weren’t as visible as you’d hoped for.

Excessive sebum, stubborn scarring, premature signs of aging, and inflammation are all telltale signs of imbalanced hormones affecting your skin, even after medical spa treatments. Acne is another common red flag: attributed to both teenage and adult breakouts, the term “hormonal acne” was coined to describe chronic acne linked to imbalanced hormones.

“Marie, That Sounds Like Me! How Can I Confirm if My Hormones are Imbalanced?”

Being aware of the state of your hormones is beneficial long-term, so being mindful of warning symptoms will help to alert you if your hormones are becoming imbalanced.

We recommend visiting your primary healthcare provider, naturopath doctor, or medicine doctor in order to undergo a physical and/or blood test in order to determine if your hormone levels are normal. Proactive testing can help to diagnose conditions that impact hormone levels, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

How SkinScience Recommends Keeping Your Hormones Balanced (and Minimizing Already-Imbalanced Hormones)

While we feature many services and products (both in our clinic and on our online store) that aim to reduce how deeply imbalanced hormones affect your skin, as we stated above, ensuring that you are treating your body right is half the battle. Science suggests that engaging in the following (in coordination with medical spa treatments and prescribed oral supplements) can combat the effects of imbalanced hormones:

·        Hydrate: Consuming the recommended intake of water (3.7 litres for men, 2.7 for women) works to lubricate your joints, circulate oxygen throughout the body, fight premature aging, flush bodily weight, and aid in overall body function.

·        Switch to a plant-based diet: If done correctly (as in, limiting processed foods and dairy—foods many scientists link to imbalanced hormones) a plant-based diet is suggested to balance hormones. However, regardless of your diet an emphasis on fibre, cruciferous vegetables, healthy fats, and a consistent eating schedule is ideal for managing imbalanced hormones.

·        A consistent sleep schedule: Because of stress and a lack of sleep being proven contributors to imbalanced hormones, a consistent sleep schedule can help train your body to mitigate stress, better retain information we have gathered throughout the day, and synthesize hormones.

·        Limit the intake of sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol: Linked closely to imbalanced hormones, both sugar and refined carbs cause insulin to spike, resulting in breakouts and inflammation. When our hormones are compromised, our ability to manage insulin decreases. The result? Consistent acne and inflammation if our hormones are imbalanced.

·        Exercise: Exercising increases our metabolism, decreases stress, and aids in a better sleep—all key components to balancing hormones!

·        Mitigate stress: Due to stress causing hormonal flare-ups, engaging in breathing exercise, meditation, or yoga can help to keep hormone-linked weight gain, breakouts, and fitful sleep at bay.

 The Bottom Line

At SkinScience, we pride ourselves on our customized skin care treatments that lead people to the skin of their dreams regardless of their pre-existing conditions. Each initial consultation includes an in-depth physical and computer image analysis of your skin, meaning that our experts can diagnose the underlying causes and remedies for your skin’s needs. We review your images for sun damage, pore size, pore visibility, elasticity, inflammation, sensitivity, and more.

Part of that customized skin care treatment includes home care routine, supplement, and treatment recommendations. Now that you know the bottom line of how and why hormones affect your skin, contact us today in order to get personalized recommendations that will work in tandem to help you achieve the beautiful skin you’ve been longing for. 

COVID-19 Update from SkinScience Clinic

🛑  COVID-19 Update – The health of our community is our priority and we’re sharing our SkinScience Health Policy to ensure our clients and team are comfortable and safe while visiting our clinic. ⁠

🤒  If you’re unwell – We invite clients that have cold/flu-like symptoms to stay home and we will gladly waive late-fees for sick clients. ⁠

✈️ Travel – Any clients who have recently travelled outside of Canada to rebook their appointment until 14 days after return. This is recommended even if you are feeling well. ⁠

🧤 Rest assured – if you are well and have an appointment we are taking this situation seriously and escalating our impeccable cleaning and sanitation protocols in the Clinic to keep everyone healthy. ⁠

We are now…⁠

👉 Increasing cleaning & sanitation frequency to multiple times per hour for all surfaces, including doors, handles, bathroom, treatment rooms and reception areas⁠.

👉   We use hospital-grade disinfectant & follow the Alberta Health Services (AHS) disinfection and sterilization protocol guidelines  to a T.

👉  Hand sanitizer will be available for all clients to use, especially before and after touching the debit/credit card terminal⁠.

👉 Bleach cleaning the entire clinic multiple times / week⁠.

👉   If any of our team members (or their family) become unwell, they are fully supported to stay home and recover.

We acknowledge this is a stressful time for everyone. But we know that by working together to minimize the risks of COVID-19, our communities can recover more quickly.

Stay healthy,

Marie and the SkinScience Team 
Questions? Need to rebook your appointment?
We are happy to help!

The SkinScience Overview: Your Lifestyle’s Impact on Your Complexion

The SkinScience Overview: Your Lifestyle’s Impact on Your Complexion

We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”, but how aware were you that your lifestyle directly impacts your skin?

Marie Bertrand, founder of SkinScience Clinic, ensures that each and every one of our clients is aware not only of what our treatments can do for their skin, but also what they can change in their own day-to-day lives to benefit their skin long-term. We pride ourselves on being one of the few clinics in Calgary that base our operations around ethical, science-based, and personalized skin care procedures and recommendations, and as such focus on educating our clients above all else.

Today’s educational spotlight? Lifestyle, and how yours is directly impacting your skin!

What Classifies as “Lifestyle”?

“Lifestyle” collectively refers to opinions, behaviours, and interests—which is why positive changes to yours can, in turn, yield beneficial changes to your skin! In fact, some scientific studies have claimed that following the four healthy lifestyle habits below can lengthen your lifespan by more than a decade (as well as ensure that your skin is combating premature aging, inflammation, and acne):

·        Being consistent in your exercise routine: A consistent exercising routine can aid in mitigating your risk of a heart attack, lowering cholesterol, strengthen your bones, bolster your energy levels—as well as keeping your skin healthier due to the myokines that consistent exercise produces. Exercise also works to regulate the second bullet on this list, which is…

·        Maintaining a healthy weight: Going hand-in-hand with exercise, adjusting your lifestyle to include maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial not just for a healthy complexion, but better health long-term. A healthy weight drastically lowers the risk of non-insulin related diabetes, back and joint tension, a compromised immune system, heart disease, and stroke.

·        Focusing on a nutritious diet: Sensing a pattern yet? Proven to reduce the duration and severity of acne and inflammation, limiting your red meat, sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and dairy intake (especially chocolate milk!) is a lifestyle change that will be beneficial not only for your waistline, but your skin as well. Plus, while reaching for that tub of ice cream after a long day at work may release endorphins in the short-term, focusing a nutritious lifestyle is what ups your happiness long-term.

·        Stress less: Premature aging, irritation, excess sebum, thinning skin… leading a stressful lifestyle directly impacts your complexion, which is why we here at SkinScience urge you to take up yoga, meditation, reading, or any other stress-relieving practices that work within your day-to-day timeframe.  

Tips for Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Sure, we all know that leading a healthy lifestyle is vital for beautiful skin regardless of the season—however, making those changes can be daunting even for the most eager. Luckily, the definition of a healthy lifestyle will vary depending on the person: teenagers may indulge in sports for their daily dose of exercise; new parents might frequent the playground with their children; retirees could enjoy cooking, yoga, or gardening.

Making healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that make you happy and fit in with your day-to-day are essential not only for your complexion, but for your overall well-being. Research has proven that leading a healthy lifestyle that focuses on de-stressing positively impacts both your complexion and the stability of your hormones.

SkinScience’s recommendations for how to start making these changes? One word: prioritizing. Starting out with something small, such as meeting your recommended daily water intake, can be the first step towards a healthy lifestyle without immediately overwhelming you. Adjusting your perspective from “I don’t have to” to “I choose to prioritize this” is key to turning your life (and complexion!) around for the better.

Why SkinScience Clinic Cannot Recommend a Healthy Lifestyle Enough—Especially in Regards for your Skin

Here at SkinScience, we consider the treatment of your skin to be a treatment of your overall health and well-being: our science-backed services work hand-in-hand with our personalized nutrition, supplement, and home care recommendations to ensure that  your radiant skin is the result of your entire body functioning at its best.

Whether you are grappling with acne, inflammation, melasma, premature aging, hirsutism, or other common skin conditions, treatment of your body from the inside-out is vital—and that starts with a healthy lifestyle. If you live here in Calgary, book a consultation at our downtown location to receive a thorough analysis of your skin that our experts will build their recommendations around. And if you don’t? Our online store features science-backed products tailored to all skin conditions categorized by brand and product type for your ease of shopping.

Be sure to comment below and let us know what lifestyle changes you have implemented—or are planning to implement!

SkinScience Clinic’s Guide to Electrolysis ~ What You Need to Know About This Permanent Hair Removal Method


Electrolysis has been and still is the ONLY FDA approved form of permanent hair removal since the late 1800’s.  It is tried, tested and true and the ONLY method that is able to treat grey, white, blond or red hair.

Pluck one, four grow, pluck two, now there’s ten!  Before you know it, eeek you have a beard, mustache or both!  Sound familiar?  Wether you are 16, 18, 25, 38, 46, 54, 60 etc…. let’s face it, facial hair on women can happen at any age! That’s a fact.   Do we embrace it?  In some culture’s facial hair on women is accepted.  However, typically in North America many women struggle with social stigmas when it comes to facial hair.   

Before you pick-up those tweezers stop!  Did you know that plucking can actually stimulate hair growth?  Yes, you read right, plucking stimulates the hair to grow back and grow back stronger and often wakes up more hair in the surrounding area.  This can be quite overwhelming emotionally.  What can you do?


We always recommend an initial consultation when considering electrolysis.  Your electrologist will be able to answer questions specific to your situation and help guide you to decide if this treatment is ideal for you.   Consultations typically take about 20mins and you are encouraged to call and book ahead as our clinic has limited spaces for new electrolysis clients. 

Why does hair grow in these places? 

We know that the male hormone (androgens from the adrenal cortex) is responsible for hair growth.  Male and females have these hormones, it’s normal and it performs many necessary functions and works alongside other hormones.  When androgens are produced in excess, we can see hair growth in hormonal areas, like… chin, upper lip, areola, even along the umbilicus (belly button line to pubic bone).  However, it is possible show up in other areas as well.

Preparing for your first appointment?

Please make sure you have hair!  We will need to examine the treatment area and the density and pilosity of the hair.  No waxing, plucking, tweezing, threading, depilatories, or laser for 6wks, you can shave and trim hair with scissors as this will not affect the growth.  It is also best to avoid peels, and strong retinols in treatment area as this increases skin sensitivity.  Best to arrive hydrated, calm and rested, if you are dehydrated, stressed and fatigued, this can add to the discomfort of the treatment.  You may still be treated but we want you to be comfortable and these are helpful tips to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.

How does Electrolysis work? 

Electrolysis is performed by a highly skilled electrologist who matches the hair size to a special needle and inserts this needle from the underneath of the direction in which the hair is growing into the offending follicle and sends a combination of heat and electrical current which creates a lye or caustic soda mix that kills the bulb or papillae of the hair follicle thus releasing it from its home without resistance and if the hair is in active hair growth (anagen) that hair will cease to grow.  Electrolysis is performed on one individual hair at a time.  It is time consuming and a labor of love, it is not intended for large areas like legs or backs.  Electrolysis is perfect for faces, shaping eyebrows, uni-brow for men and women, and areas where perhaps laser has been performed but some clean-up is still required.  Electrolysis treats all hair of any color and skin of any color.  

Is all Electrolysis the same?

There are three types, or modalities, of electrolysis used today – galvanic (current produces a chemical reaction), thermolysis (short-wave which produces heat) and a modality that blends the two. They all result in effective permanent hair removal.  The efficacy of the treatment is also highly dependent on your electrologist.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions.  Remember, you should NOT feel any resistance when the hair is removed.  Should you experience any resistance the treatment is NOT being done correctly!

Does it Hurt?

When it comes to electrolysis, the answer is usually “NO”.   The level of discomfort clients may experience depends largely on the area being treated and the client’s overall sensitivity to pain.  Electrolysis treatments are described by some as feeling like a tiny shock every other second.  Others report a feeling of heat or tingling across the affected area.  To combat any procedure-specific discomfort, some electrologists give patients the option of having a topical numbing agent applied. This can take care of the sting and discomfort some patients experience during the treatment. 


How many treatments are required?

This will vary per individual. Based on how much hair and where it is located.  To clear the treatment area, can be done once or twice weekly, 15min, 30min or 60min treatments, depending on the individual and their skin sensitivity.   Once the treatment area has been cleared of all offending hairs.  Treatments are then based on whenever hair begins to re-appear.  This may take days, weeks, months or never.  Typically, one year from start to finish is common.  With duration in between treatments getting longer each time.


What happens post procedure?

After the procedure, most patients experience minor redness and swelling in the treatment area. This can last for a couple of days. Pin-point scabbing is normal and clients are encouraged not to pick to avoid pigmentation issues.  We also encourage no creams or makeup for the 24hrs post treatment to avoid pimples and extended irritation. Your electrologist can recommend post treatment products to speed healing and minimize redness and swelling.  Each individual will experience different post treatment effects depending on their own skin sensitivity.  Your electrologist may modify the treatment parameters based on your sensitivity and also use special needles that are specific for sensitive skins.


Can Electrolysis be performed on moles?

Your dermatologist will need to verify that your mole is benign and safe to treat.  We will ask you to bring in a signed note from your dermatologist stating “ok to treat”.  We will add this to your file.  This is for our liability and your safety.  No exceptions.

Is there anyone who can’t have Electrolysis?

Yes, we do not recommend people;

  • Undergoing cancer treatments,
  • People with a compromised immune system. 
  • Uncontrolled diabetes,
  • Epilepsy
  • Pacemaker
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women (it’s not unsafe, it’s a hormonal time and simply worth waiting)
  • Active skin infections (Herpes Simplex, cold sores in treatment area)
  • Sick with fever (not a common cold)
  • Sunburned skin in treatment area
  • Prone to keloid scarring
  • Accutane
  • Hemophilia (blood disorder)
  • On antibiotics

If you are unsure about your medical situation, always consult your primary healthcare provider.

We take the guesswork out of your Electrolysis!  Please feel free to contact our clinic and book your free electrolysis consultation today and have confidence in knowing your treatment is done right, by skin care experts!

Book your complimentary electrolysis consultation today! 403-287-1477

SkinScience Clinic’s Guide to Detoxification—and What it Means (and Doesn’t Mean!) for You and Your Skin

Detoxification: it’s the word on everyone’s lips lately. Regardless of which corner of the Internet you frequent, the conflicting opinions of celebrities, health-oriented bloggers, and doctors of various practices about “detox” juices, supplements, diets, teas, and fasts have been inescapable. Even offline we have clients here in Calgary coming in asking for our opinions on what detoxing can do for their skin!

But what is detoxification, and why do people say that it aids in weight loss, skin clearing, and the maintenance of overall good health? Today, we here at SkinScience Clinic will be discussing the most popular current detoxification modalities, what the research has to say about detoxing, and, if you do want to detox your body, how to do it safely and properly—the science-backed way.

First Things First: What is Detoxification?

Classified as either a single process or a multifaceted method, detox is, simply put, the progression of removing toxic qualities or substances from the body. This is done primarily via the liver, with aid from the lymphatic system.

If you have been part of the SkinScience Clinic family for a while, then you know how integral science is to the way we operate; in fact, our founder, Marie Bertrand, both graduated from the University of Montreal with a degree in Microbiology and Immunology and completed a research internship at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C… so you could say that being science-backed is our bread and butter!

Due to this, we wanted to weigh in on detoxification for those of you here in Calgary seeking detox-related for skin, weight, or general health reasons. We urge you to keep in mind that the majority of detoxification methods on the market may be considered unsafe depending on your current weight, medication, and existing health conditions, and to always verify your detox methods with your primary healthcare provider.

Detoxification: Fad, or Science-Backed Cure?

As of the time of publication, there have been only a minor number of human-trialed detoxification studies. As such, while they have trialed as positively impacting weight loss, blood pressure, chronic diseases, and insulin resistance, the studies themselves—as well as being few— have had their credibility questioned due to their lack of participants and peer review.

While detox methods are agreed-upon to have potential initial benefits (specifically, weight loss due to low caloric intake), there is currently no research surrounding the long-term effects of detoxification—and short-term research suggests that detoxification commonly leads to weight gain once people resume the intake of their regular calorie average.

“Marie,” you may be wondering, “does all fasting and juicing count as detoxing?” For those adhering to the ever-popular intermittent fasting, the above research will surely be ringing alarm bells; however, more research needs to be conducted to weigh in on the disease prevention, anti-aging, and weight management intermittent fasting claims. The bottom line? When done properly, fasting can be an effective fat loss method—but, when done improperly, commonly causes fainting, malnutrition, chronic headaches, and dehydration. Ensure that you consult your doctor before drastically changing your caloric intake.

Does that Mean that Detoxification is a Write-Off?

Yes and no! As with every methodology, some methods are more effective and sustainable than others; the nutrients you consume are vital for the maintenance of both your skin and long-term health, and so natural detoxes that bolster the body’s vitamin intake are not being ruled out by researchers at this point in time.

 This is especially true regarding the study of persistent toxins in the human body. In a study by the NCBI, researchers discuss the long half-lives of certain toxic compounds within the human body—such as the ones in processed foods, treated water, and cosmetic products. The study argues that these toxic compounds are transferred to fetuses in the utero when women become pregnant, and that science should conduct more research into how best eliminate these compounds so that they do not stack up multi-generationally.

“I’m Interested in Detoxification! How Do I Ensure that I’m Doing it Correctly?”

After consulting with your primary healthcare provider to ensure that you are a good candidate for detoxing, we here at SkinScience Clinic recommend remembering that detoxification entails many different methods: from fad diets, to laxative teas, to juices, to supplements, we prompt you to keep in mind that your body naturally detoxes itself via the liver. Therefore, detoxing should encompass aiding in what your liver already accomplishes for your body.

Our list of safe detoxification methods are as follows:

·        Remember you “are what you eat”: Staying hydrated, limiting your salt intake, partaking in antioxidant-rich foods, cutting down on processed foods and dairy, and limiting alcohol (as 90% of alcohol is metabolized in the liver!) are essential steps towards aiding your body’s natural detoxification and reaping anti-aging benefits.

·   Rest up: Improving your sleep duration and consistency is key to your body operating at its best.

·       Take a probiotic: Also beneficial in treating acne from the inside-out, taking a probiotic daily to stabilize your gut microflora will assist in both digestion and inflammation of the skin.

·       Get active!: If you’re seeking a metabolic boost, upping your exercise works both instead and in conjunction with standard detoxification methods; by starting to exercise and/or exercising regularly, your metabolic rate will stay higher even hours after your workout has ended. The result? More fat burned for longer!

·        Breathe: Last but not least, engaging in breathwork, meditation, and gratefulness can help reduce stress levels and, in turn, help your bodily processes function at their best.  

Want to Learn how Detoxification Can Work With YOUR Skin Care Routine?

Contact SkinScience Clinic today to hear what we recommend in terms of detoxing your skin. We look forward to hearing from you!