Category Archives: Product Reviews

The Mineral Advantage ~ Why You Should Be Using Sun Protection Every Day

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Aaaahhh Calgary! One minute it’s summer, and the next it’s winter. There’s just no in-between, and it has a HUGE impact on our skin’s health and hydration. One minute you are a sweaty, oily mess, the next, dry and flaky. But did you know that no matter the season, it’s best to wear sunscreen all day, every day? You read that right! If you want to prevent wrinkles, loose skin, brown spots and blotchiness, it’s best to use sun protection on a daily basis.

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When you turn 70 and people think you’re 52, you’ll thank us for this valuable piece of skin care information! 😉

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Before we get into why at SkinScience we prefer mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreen, let’s address a very commonly asked question: What is an SPF and how does it work? 

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Many people are confused when it comes to SPF values and why a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean better protection for our skin (especially over an SPF50). In order to understand SPF, we need to talk about UVA and UVB rays.

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The Difference between UVA and UVB rays

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There are two types of rays that we need to protect our skin against. UVB – The Burning rays and UVA – the Aging rays. 

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UVB light is in the range of 290 nm-320 nm. There are 2 types of UVA rays, UVA1 and UVA2. UVA1 light is in the range 340-400 nm; UVA2 light is in the range 320-340nm.

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To give you a better understanding, all light has different wavelengths and are measured in nanometers or nm for short. To put this into perspective, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter. Some are visible and some are not. These differences in wavelengths are important because specific sunscreen actives are needed to protect against these rays. UVA rays don’t burn our skin but can cross glass (and therefore windows) and cause significant damage to the skin.

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What Exactly is SPF?

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SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.  This a measurement of how well a sunscreen will protect against UVB rays (based on the assumption that you apply enough ie. teaspoonful for the face), the kind of ray that causes sunburn, damages skin and can contribute to skin cancer. The number of an SPF is a measurement of protection from the amount of UVB exposure and this is where it gets a bit tricky.

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If your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 15 would (theoretically, if you apply enough sunscreen and in perfect lab conditions) allow you to stay in the sun for approximately 150 minutes (a factor of 15 times longer). Again, this is approximate and will depend on skin type, the intensity of sunlight, environmental conditions and the amount of product applied on the skin. That being said, an SPF value tells us about the amount of UVB rays screened/blocked, but doesn’t tell us anything about how well the product blocks UVA rays (the rays that cause skin aging).

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For daily use, most dermatologists recommend an SPF 30 as it offers enough protection for an average day. If you are spending a lot of time outside for hiking, gardening, running, walking, sports or a vacation, a higher SPF will be beneficial for added protection. Most people don’t apply enough to get the true SPF rating. For example if you apply only ½ the amount needed (this is very common) of a 30 SPF your likely only getting an 15 SPF, so less protection. This is why dermatologists (and the Canadian Dermatology Association) have upped the suggested daily minimum from SPF 15 to SPF 30. Again this is enough for the average day. You still need to re-apply every 90 minutes ensure the best protection against damaging UV rays.

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Higher SPF sunscreens often mean higher UVB protection but do not tell us anything about UVA (aging) protection. Remember that oh so silent but deadly ray we spoke about earlier? Most chemical sunscreens will claim Broad Spectrum Protection and can get away with it if it can screen one of the types of UVA rays. But remember, there are 2 different UVA rays with different wavelengths.  These rays are aging us and causing damage as we sit in our cars, offices and nap on that sunny spot on our couch! A true, well rounded Broad Spectrum Protection SPF will protect against all UVA (short and long) and UVB rays.

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The Mineral Advantage

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So, let’s get down to it. Why at SkinScience do we prefer mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreen? It is really quite simple.

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Chemical sunscreens have to absorb into the skin for 15 minutes before being active and then they absorb the rays to act like a screen. The actives found in most chemical sunscreens are a combination of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and/or octinoxate. Some are known to be more harmful than others, such as oxybenzone. These have been recently called for more research by the Food and Drug Administration for further research on safety, including, skin irritation, hormonal disruption and even skin cancer. That in combination with not always being a true broad spectrum protection (all UVA and UVB protection) is enough to see why mineral sunscreen is a better option. Now let’s get to the benefits of a mineral sunscreen and you can draw your own conclusion.

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Mineral sunscreen is safer and does not get absorbed into the skin. It blocks and reflects rays away from our skin immediately as opposed to being absorbed and then filtered like a chemical SPF. The actives in a mineral sun screen are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These are naturally found in our environment and are also safe for our oceans. Most protected reef tours will not allow tourists to use chemical sunscreens because it is harmful to marine life. Zinc is known to be a natural anti-inflammatory and can help regulate oil production (yay for acne prone skin!). Zinc oxide is a true broad spectrum protection and protects against all UVA and UVB rays. There are studies that show that visible light can age us. Think of our computer and television screens, our phones and even the office lighting. Minerals are blocking against these aging wavelengths as well. Can your chemical sunscreen do that? NO!

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The following table (courtesy of TiZO) gives a great visual explanation of why zinc oxide is the best mineral sunscreen for you, and why you should not use a sunscreen containing Titanium dioxide alone. Always use a Zinc oxide based sunscreen, or a [zinc oxide + titanium dioxide] based sunscreen.

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Our Clinic’s Favorites

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 Some of our favorite mineral sunscreens are:

SkinCeuticals – Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF50 & Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF50 

DermaQuest – SheerZinc SPF30

Image Prevention Plus – Daily Hydrating Moisturizer SPF30 & Daily Tinted Moisturizer SPF30 (oil free).

Colorescience – Sunforgettable Powder Sunscreen SPF50

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Good to Know (and Remember)

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  • The sun is wonderful for your overall health, but can be damaging to the skin (and eyes). Wear your SPF daily, and sunglasses too!
  • UVA and UVB rays are present even on a cloudy day, whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter.
  • While UVB rays are not as strong in the winter, UVA rays are constant throughout the year and can contribute to skin aging.
  • UVA can easily go through glass (and that includes windows) into your home, car or office.
  • Even if you are not feeling or seeing the burning effects of the sun, the rays are still there.
  • Think of your SPF as a daily moisturizer and not just sun protection because you now know a mineral SPF can protect against so much more!

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Wondering which mineral SPF would be best for YOU? Search no more, come and visit us today and let’s find a sun protection you will fall in love with! (yes, it is possible!)

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403.287.1477

Online Shopping: https://skinscience.md/shop/

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Changing The Face of Skin Care ~ The Story of the $800 Face Cream that Didn’t Work.

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DISCLAIMER: The “Clinical Study” that is described below involves products that are NOT available at SkinScience Clinic. The purpose of this study was to see if the client’s routine was working for her skin and still generating visible skin improvement. Names have been changed to respect privacy.

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From time to time, clients come in for their initial 1-hour consultation, wondering if the products they have been using are still working for them. This represents a legitimate concern, since many skin care products in the market come at a premium price, and 99% of the people who sell them to you do not track improvement (or lack thereof) through consistent and reproducible computer-based photo analysis. 

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Think about it:

❌ Drugstores don’t track. ❌ 

❌  Department stores don’t track. ❌

❌  Specialty stores like Sephora, Holt Renfrew, and Ulta don’t track.  ❌

❌  Spas and medical spas usually don’t track. ❌

(with a few exceptions that actually track before AND after results) 

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So how do you know if the products you spend your hard-earned money on actually work for you and give you visible improvement? 

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One of the best ways to do it is to do before and after pictures with a Visia Skin Analysis Platform, a system that qualitatively and quantitively tracks skin firmness, texture, pores, congestion, diffuse redness, inflammation, broken capillaries, luminosity, hydration, acne, acne scars, visible brown spots and underlying sun damage. At the same time, it is important to control as many of the variables as possible to ensure unbiased, positive treatment outcomes and visible results. 

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I’ve been using the VISIA Skin Analysis System for over 12 years, and have personally performed over 5,000 skin consultations and followups. When the products and procedures are carefully chosen, we can be confident that the after pictures will yield positive results 97% of the time.

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Claire’s Story

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Back in June 2018, Claire came in to SkinScience for her initial skin consultation. She had been using the same products from a very high end french brand for many years (a brand known for the cult following of its toner and NOT available at SkinScience) and while her skin seemed well hydrated, she wondered if the products were still working for her. Moreover, the products came at a premium price, so she wanted to make sure that her investment was worth it. 

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She was also getting bi-monthly facials (at the spa she bought her products from), and her therapist used products from the same line during the treatments. 

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For the record, Claire is in her 50s, menopausal, with no history of cosmetic injectables, no current prescription medications and overall in good health.

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Claire’s Skin Care Routine Before Her Consultation 

(products + brand not available at our clinic)

AM // PM

Milk Cleanser ($70) // Milk Cleanser ($70)

Cult-Following Toner ($84) // Cult-Following Toner ($84)

“Matrix” Serum ($150) // Anti-glycation Serum ($153)

“Hydrating” Serum ($178) // “First Milk” Serum ($125)

Yam + Soy Cream ($320) // Yam + Soy Cream ($320)

SPF25 // “Newborn Biofilm” Masque ($190)

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Total Investment in current (June 2018) skin care routine: $1,270

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Since the client had a LOT of each product left, we decided to keep her current routine as is, with the EXCEPTION of replacing the AM Moisturizer to yet another product she had recently purchased from that same brand, but had not started yet: a $800 moisturizer, that claimed to be the “ultimate anti-aging product and latest breakthrough in the skin care industry”

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Updated investment (June 2018): $1,270 + $800 = $2,070 

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Claire’s “New” Routine After Her Consultation 

(products + brand not available at our clinic)

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AM // PM

Milk Cleanser ($70) // Milk Cleanser ($70)

Cult-Following Toner ($84) // Cult-Following Toner ($84)

“Matrix” Serum ($150) // Anti-glycation Serum ($153)

“Hydrating” Serum ($178) // “First Milk” Serum ($125)

Ultimate Unbelievable Cream ($800) // Yam + Soy Cream ($320)

SPF25 // “Newborn Biofilm” Masque ($190)

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We took pictures at baseline of the left, centre and right side of her face and used the VISIA Skin Analysis System to track the following:

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  • skin firmness
  • texture
  • pore size
  • pore congestion
  • diffuse redness
  • inflammation
  • broken capillaries
  • luminosity
  • hydration
  • acne
  • acne scars
  • visible brown spots
  • underlying sun damage 

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We booked a 3-month follow up, and made sure that the client did not have any other treatment nor procedure during the 3-month “clinical trial” period, not to influence the outcome of the study and to be able to know if the current routine (including the new $800 product) was still generating an improvement in skin quality. The client was not planning on traveling to sunny destinations until her follow up. 

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Results

Claire came back to the office on October 10, 2018 for her followup consultation. After a skin cleansing using Reversa Micellar Water, we proceeded to do before and afters using the Visia Skin Analysis Platform. 

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Here are our findings:

  • No improvement in skin firmness 
  • No improvement in fine lines and wrinkles // worsening of crows’ feet area
  • No improvement in diffuse redness and inflammation
  • No improvement in telangiectasias (broken capillaries)
  • No improvement in visible brown spots
  • No improvement in underlying sun damage
  • No improvement in congestion and pore size
  • No improvement in skin luminosity

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Here are some of the before and after pictures of Claire’s “Clinical Trial”

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Needless to say, Claire was very disappointed that she had spent so much time, energy and money into a full skin care routine that cost her over $2,000 (every 4-6 months) and didn’t work.

Marie designed a new skin care plan for her, that included multitasking, science-based skin care products and a treatment plan that included IPL, Advanced Facials and Microneedling. For a fraction of the price.

We are happy to report that Claire (and Marie) are already seeing significant results in Claire’s skin (face, neck and chest) – more pictures to come!

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Moral of the Story

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Get professional help when choosing skin care products.

Make sure the active ingredients included in your routine will address the specific skin qualities you wish to improve. 

Get professional to help you choose the RIGHT FORM of active ingredients, as well as the OPTIMAL CONCENTRATION for your skin type and sensitivity. 

Get a VISIA skin analysis before starting your new routine to track improvement over time.

Choose a medical spa that will not only track at the initial consultation, but also at 3-month or 6-month intervals to ensure your prodcuts and procedures are working for you and keep on improving your skin.

Remember that sometimes less is more, and that multitasking products are the best way to create a synergy between ingredients to deliver optimal and predictable results.

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Need help to figure out if your products and procedures are working? Contact us at 403-287-1477 and let’s book your customized, 1-hour skin consultation!

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Tried, Tested + True >>>> Growth Factors – The New Skin Care Trend That Really Works!

 

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Growth factors (GFs) are proteins (picture a pearl necklace of amino acids) naturally made by our skin cells that promote our skin’s natural healing response. We’re all born with GFs in our skin but as we age, those GFs deplete. When we apply skin care with growth factors to the skin, it helps revitalize skin tissues, leading to thicker, bouncier, firmer, more resilient skin. 

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The best skin care products contain different kinds of growth factors (EGFs, FGFs, TGF-b, PDGFs, …) to work on multiple aspects of healthy skin. 

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After months of in-depth research to find the BEST source of Growth Factors, SkinScience and Marie have narrowed it down to the BEST SKIN CARE products containing GFs.

 

NeoCutis BioGel Hydrogel (normal to combinations skin)

NeoCutis BioSerum Intensive Treatment (normal to dry skin)

NeoCutis LUMIERE Eye Cream (dry, puffy, thinning skin around the eye area)

 

Growth Factors Calgary Skin Clinic

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

 

Peptides – the little molecules that could. 

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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.

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?-?-? #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.

BEST ANTI-AGING PEPTIDE SERUM

DermaQuest Peptide Line Corrector

 

BEST BRIGHTENING PEPTIDE SERUM

DermaQuest SkinBrite Serum

DermaQuest 3D HydraFirm Serum

 

BEST FIRMING PEPTIDE EYE CREAM

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