Category Archives: Hydration

Pregnancy & Skin Care ~ 8 Ingredients You Should Avoid (and Healthy Alternative Options)

Being pregnant means your skincare has to be as clean and safe as possible.

So you just found out you’re pregnant. Congratulations!! But right after the excitement come the questions: What now? Can I do this? Can I eat/drink that? Can I put this skin care product on my skin? Pregnancy is very confusing and I am sure you’ve heard all the do’s and don’ts there are… yet you still feel unsure about everything. And that’s perfectly normal! We all want the best for our little babies!



There is not one “best” product for everyone, but there are a lot of pregnancy-safe products, individually selected to work best for your skin and situation. Pregnancy is one of those times you are in need of an individual approach. Hormonal changes can lead to hyperpigmentation and acne, and you are limited in your skin care ingredients choices.

Here’s a quick review of what you SHOULDN’T use during pregnancy:







Salicylic Acid

Thioglycolic Acid


Benzoyl peroxide



Vitamin A and its derivatives are used for a variety of reasons – from acne to wrinkles. The problem is that excess vitamin A could be harmful to the fetus.  Stay away from Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinal, Retinaldehyde, Adapalene (Differin), Retinoic acid  (RetinA) and Tretinoin (Tazorac, Biacna) during pregnancy. They are highly toxic for your baby. You should not get pregnant if they’re using these medications. But if you do get pregnant, stop taking retinoids immediately and contact your doctor.



Hydroquinone is restricted or forbidden in many countries because of its potential toxicity to skin cells. Women (and men) use this powerful skin lightener to treat brown spots (hyperpigmentation) from sun exposure and hormonal changes. Pigmentation problems (such as melasma) are one of the main skincare issues during pregnancy, and it’s extremely important to avoid using hydroquinone during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are no clinical trials proving the safety of hydroquinone on pregnant women, so it’s simply safer to avoid it altogether.

A great alternative can be found in plant-based lightening ingredients, like arbutin, vitamin C, licorice and lightening peptides. Here are a few examples of brightening products that are safe for you and your baby:


DermaQuest C Infusion Cleanser

Aliquote Skin HydraGlow Mist

DermaQuest SkinBrite Serum

DermaQuest SkinBrite Cream

DermaQuest EyeBrite 



Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are (unfortunately) still used in many personal care products, such as skin care, nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash and color cosmetics. As the unhealthiest preservatives on the market, they have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions, irritations, and respiratory problems. 

Check your labels and avoid the following formadehyde-releasing ingredients: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.

None of the products that are available at SkinScience contain formaldehyde nor formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.  We want what’s best for you and your baby! 



We’ve all gone to the drugstore, tried a tester and…OMG, that smell!! We can all agree that clean and safe doesn’t smell like exotic foods and flowers, at least not most of the time! Parfum, perfume, linalool, limonene, eugenol, citronellol, geraniol, or cinnamal are all found in products that smell great, but…that are also linked to skin allergies, nervous system problems and even cancer. Say no to these ingredients! 

“Fragrances are usually made up of other harmful chemicals, like parabens, benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and more that are linked to cancer and nervous system issues,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, board-certified dermatologic surgeon.



Parabens are included almost everywhere these days as chemical preservatives.

“These chemicals (parabens) have been linked to breast cancer as well as affecting the reproductive system,” Dr. Engelman explains. “They are mainly used to preserve products, found in everything from foundations to styling gel. However, so many wonderful products exist and do not need to include this harmful ingredient.”

Don’t get us wrong, any water-based product needs to have a preservative system to keep bacteria at bay and preserve the stability of the skin care formula. But when it comes to preservatives in skin care, phenoxyethanol is our favourite, whether you are pregnant or not.



We are not fans of this acne-busting ingredient DURING pregnancy and breastfeeding (not pregnant? no problem), and while some may say that you can use it topically and in small concentrations, we prefer to be safe and stay away! If you are pregnant and experiencing acne breakouts, stick with AHAs (like glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids) for exfoliation and a combination of [sulfur + zinc oxide] for their safe anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Here are a few of our favorite products for acne during pregnancy:

DermaQuest Peptide Glyco Cleanser (10% GA)

Aliquote Skin MicroResurfacing Serum (10% GA + Probiotics)

Aliquote Skin Illuminating Peel Pads (10% GA)

DermaQuest DermaClear Mandelic Cleanser (5% MA, call to order)

Aliquote Skin Nighty Night Spot Tx (10% sulfur + Zinc Oxide)



*** Not to be confused with glycolic acid, this ingredient is used in depilatory creams (like Neet, Veet, Nad’s, etc.) ***

While there are no studies about the effects that this chemical has on a growing fetus, it’s important to note that in Europe they limit the amount of thioglycolic acid that can be used in products to 5%, whereas products sold in the U.S. are allowed to contain as much as 15.2%. That’s a big difference, and when combined with the lack of solid data on the health risks, it’s best to leave these products on the shelf.

We recommend you shave manually during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding and consider laser hair removal afterwards. This light-based technology is simply healthier for the skin than waxing or toxic hair-removal creams.



Sunscreen is a nonnegotiable year-round, but especially during pregnancy, it’s important to pay closer attention to which type of formula you choose. Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate, and oxtocrylene—ingredients in chemical sunscreens are not all classified under the FDA categories, but only applying physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is the safest. 

There has been some suggestive evidence of chemical sunscreen risks, but they haven’t been fully substantiated yet. With the options we have like Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide it is really a no-brainer to choose them over harmful chemicals in sunscreens as Avobenzone or oxybenzone.

Safe, Mineral-Based Sunscreen During Pregnancy:

DermaQuest SheerZinc SPF30

IMAGE Prevention + Tinted Oil-free Moisturizer SF30 (call to order)

IMAGE Prevention + Hydrating SPF30 (call to order)



Benzoyl peroxide can be a powerful and efficacious acne-buster, but it’s a bit too powerful for baby. 

“Though pregnancy can often cause hormonal acne, unfortunately, the typical acne products found over the counter, like benzoyl peroxide, fall in category C,” says Jenna Queller, MD, FAAD, of MFC Dermatology. “That means there’s some possible risk to the fetus, and a majority of dermatologists and ob-gyns I work with would say to avoid these products.” 

Better safe than sorry, we say!

Acne Spot Treatments Safe During Pregnancy

Aliquote Skin Nighty Night Spot Tx (sulfur, zinc oxide, calamine)

SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask (as a spot treatment, white clay, glycolic acid)


Pregnancy can be scary or confusing, but it’s also one of the greatest moments of our lives! Hyperpigmentation, hormonal acne and excess hair are changes that are common in pregnancy, but chances are everything will be going back to normal in the first 6 months after you give birth. (OK, maybe not everything ~ you’re not gonna sleep soon, but you knew that already) 😉

Want to know more about what would be your perfect skin care routine while you are expecting? Contact us today and let’s book you in for your 1-hour personalized consultation! There are also different types of treatments we offer that are 100% baby-friendly, and will still give you great results while keeping your skin under control. 

Book your consultation with Marie by calling our front desk at 403-287-1477. 

We look forward to meeting you soon!

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 :





Tried, Tested + True >>> Peptides 101 (The Little Molecules That Could)


Peptides – the little molecules that could. 


At SkinScience, we are BIG fans of peptides and we think they are the most important breakthrough in skin care in recent years. Peptides are small chains of amino acids that pack a HUGE punch when it comes to skin health. Depending on their amino acid (?) composition, peptides perform different functions in the skin.

?-? #dipeptide 

?-?-? #tripeptide

?-?-?-? #tetrapeptide

?-?-?-?-? #pentapeptide 

(with 20 different amino acids to choose from, the combinations are almost endless!!) 


1. ANTI-AGING PEPTIDES // Matrixyl, Argireline help boost skin fibers to smooth fine lines and wrinkles 


2. EXFOLIATING PEPTIDES // Move over St.Ives scrub, there’s a new kid in town – dipeptide 3 norleucine boosts cell exfoliation by competing with the proteins that holds cells together. Sneaky but awesome! 


3. BRIGHTENING PEPTIDES // Bye bye hydroquinone, hello oligopeptide-68! This sophisticated peptides inhibits am important enzyme needed for the production of extra brown pigment – TRP-1 and TRP-2. It’s better at lightening than arbutin and vitaminC combined!!!! 


4. FIRMING PEPTIDES // Hexapeptide-11 is a multitasking peptides that never takes a break! (and works on 5 keys aspects of skin tightening) 


5. HYDRATING PEPTIDES // Acetyl hexapeptide-37 boosts the performance of aquaporin 3 (AQP3) which helps water move through the layers of the epidermis to restore hydration and skin flexibility. 


6. ANTIGLYCATION PEPTIDES // Tetrapeptide-23 reduces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and is an antioxidant that prevent free radical damage. 


7. STRESS REDUCING PEPTIDES // Acetyl tetrapeptide-22 increases Heat Shock Protein HSP70 levels in the skin, which enhances stress tolerance and prevents cell damage. 


Wow, who knew that such small molecules could do so much!

Here are our most recommended peptide-containing products.


DermaQuest Peptide Line Corrector



DermaQuest SkinBrite Serum

DermaQuest 3D HydraFirm Serum



DermaQuest Peptide Eye Firming Serum


SkinScience’s Favourite Eye Creams

Eyes, the windows to the soul.  Also, the first place to give away that you slept poorly last night, or that you’ve been stressed or sick.  The eye area is so expressive, it shows when you are happy, when you are tearful, or frightened or angry.  All of this means that it often doesn’t hold up as well as you wish it did.  As always, we love to find solutions, solutions with scientific data to back them up.  Here are some of our staff favorite Eye Creams.



Who: Leanne

What: Dermaquest 3D Stem Cell Eye Lift

“I love the light and creamy texture, and the way my eyes feel a little more firm after application.  I find it also seems to lighten the darkness under my eyes”

Why: This product contains plant stem cells that brighten skin while strengthening collagen.  The multi-peptide complex tightens and firms skin while the anti-oxidants repair previous damage and prevent further cell degredation.


Who: Misean

What: Neocutis Lumière Eye Cream

“I LOVE the Neocutis eye cream.  I like the texture, it absorbs well and leaves my skin looking and feeling healthy and hydrated. I can wear it under makeup and it’s the only eye cream I’ve used where I can see a noticeable difference in fine lines”

Why: Neocutis has the purest form of PSP on the market, they also have the most in-depth clinic data to support their product (compared to other growth factor containing brands), and we’ve seen it work.  PSP (Processed Skincell Proteins) contain growth factors. When growth factors are applied to skin, the cells there are able to multiply.  More cells result in thicker skin, which means fewer wrinkles, more collagen, and more firmness etc.


Who: Mikelle

What: Dermaquest C-Infusion Eye Cream

“The C-Infusion Eye Cream is perfect for me because it hydrates my sensitive skin without causing the white under eye bumps (milia) I sometimes get from heavier products.  It has helped brighten a freckle under my eye that was bugging me for the longest time.”

Why: The C-Infusion Eye Cream contains Hyaluronic Acid, which helps train your skin to retain water.  The vitamin c helps prevent free radical damage and brighten skin.


Who: Marie

What: Neocutis Bio-Gel

“This is not technically an eye cream, but I love it around the eye area.  I tend to get milia around my eyes with heavy products, so this serum is awesome for me because it gives all the benefits of the PSP, in a lightweight hydrating base.”

Why: Neocutis studies showing thickening of the skin and an increase in collagen with use of their proprietary PSP (containing growth factors) are awesome.  Thicker skin under the eyes means brighter, tighter, firmer eyes.


Who: Nivian

What: Dermaquest C-Infusion Eye Cream

“It works wonders for those nights I’m not able to get a full night’s sleep.  It helps with the puffiness in the morning and reduces the dullness under my eyes”

Why: Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and skin brightener! The peptide blend improves the luster of skin under the eye which helps dark circles look better.



To find your perfect eye product, give us a call to book your consultation (or follow up consultation!).  We’d love to help perk up your eyes!


(403) 287-1477



Post Party Skin Fix

The party last night was a blast! The food was delicious, the music was amazing and the cocktails were delightfully tasty. But now the night is over, it’s the next day and looking back at you in the mirror is a person with skin that looks like it partied last night like it was 1999.  You’ve got work to get to, life to get on with….. how do you fix this? Like always, we have got ya’ covered!  Here is our 5 step post party skin fix – you might be feeling the night before, but there is no need to look like you are!



Step One:  Just Add Water

Mix 1 part Gatorade and 2 parts water, and drink it. Hydration drinks are chock full of sugar and sodium, diluting them gives you water you need, with a hydration boost so you absorb it better, without the extra calories, and puffing up side effects that sometimes happen when you drink hydration drinks straight.


Step two: Retrain to Retain (aka retrain your skin to retain water)

After cleansing your face in the shower (using a gentle microfiber cloth to buff away the leftovers from the night before) once out, while your skin is still damp liberally apply (and we mean liberally, don’t skimp!) a dose of Hydrating B5 Gel. This will help your skin hold onto water, water that was whisked away the night before by the last two (or three) cocktails consumed 😉


Step three: Spritz and Spray Away

Avene Thermal Spring Water. Repeat. Over and over as often as you want.  This product will not only feel amazing on puffy, tired skin, it will help reduce post party redness and inflammation.  The best part? You literally cannot overdo it, so keep up the spritzing all day long.


Step four: Hydrate

Moisturize. Your temptation will be to find your heaviest moisturizer, but stick with a light weight moisturizer like the Dermaquest Essential Moisturizer so that you can re-apply steps 2-4 a few times throughout the day if needed.


Step five: Apply a Bit of Faux Glow

Go easy on the makeup. All you need is touch of highlighter, a sheer warm pink lipstick, and a swipe of water proof mascara. This simple application will brighten your complexion and withstand re-application of your B5 Gel and your Avene Thermal Spring Water throughout the day.  Heavy makeup applications on skin that has not recovered yet will only highlight the lack of luster in your skin and make you look worse.



Once you have survived the first 12 hours post party, your skin is ready to return to its regular daily routine. Returning to your routine will help get your skin back on track.  If you’re still feeling a little dull post-holiday season, give us a call to book a dermaplaning to reset your skin and return yourself to your glowing glory!

(403) 287-1477