Category Archives: Skin Health

The Surprising Truth About Inflammation and Your Skin

Curious? We thought so! Here at SkinScience Clinic in downtown Calgary, it’s our aim to both educate and deliver above-and-beyond results. And what’s one of the most common misconceptions we hear from clients here in the clinic? That inflammation is an inherently bad thing.

As a Microbiology and Immunology major of the University of Montreal, SkinScience Clinic’s founder, Marie Bertrand, knows a thing or two about inflammation… and that, despite common belief, inflammation can actually be a good thing.

“Inflammation? A Good Thing?”

While inconvenient, inflammation can actually be beneficial: after all, inflammation is the body’s natural protective response to injury and pathogens (such as bacteria or viruses). Because our bodies are so intelligently wired, they automatically know what to do when there is a disruption of the natural balance within your body; we can also commonly feel when our body may be inflamed, such as after too much alcohol or unhealthy foods.

When an inflammation trigger is registered by our body, our body’s defense systems initiate a flood of molecular action— multitudes of cells rush to the offending area to see what needs to be protected against. Once the trigger is determined, inflammatory mediators—known as “bradykinins” and “histamines”— cause blood vessels to open in order for an increased flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area.

Puffy cheeks post-wisdom teeth removal or a swollen wrist after a fracture are just two examples of our body’s protective responses firing correctly. So when can inflammation turn sour? Well, when our body is incapable or slow at cleaning up the residue of this inflammatory response we enter the drawbacks of inflammation: negative inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation and its Impact On Your Skin (and Overall Well-Being!)

Chronic inflammation—also referred to as long-term inflammation—is classified as inflammation that lasts for a long period of time (months or, in extreme cases, years). Chronic inflammation’s impact is so severe, in fact, that it is ranked by the World Heath Organization as “the greatest threat to human health”.

Telltale signs of chronic inflammation include:

·        High blood pressure

·        Eczema or psoriasis

·        Acne

·        Food allergies

·        Diabetes

·        Heart disease

·        Arthritis

·        Fatigue

·        Digestive problems

·        Unexplained weight gain and/or stubborn visceral fat

These conditions are serious not just due to their potential severity, but also because they can remain undetected in the body for long periods of time before being successfully diagnosed.

“I Think That I Have Chronic Inflammation! How Can I Mitigate It?”

While it may be tempting to sit and despondently ponder how your chronic inflammation came to be (genetics? Environmental factors? Poor nutrition choices? Stress? A sedentary lifestyle? Plain bad luck?) we here at SkinScience Clinic believe in solutions—especially for something such as chronic inflammation, which can be reversed.

We here at SkinScience Clinic advocate for the following in order to reduce and control chronic inflammation:

·        Making nutritious food choices (especially limiting the intake of sugar and refined carbs)

·        Taking a daily probiotic to balance your gut flora

·        Staying hydrated

·        Eliminating or reducing dairy, which, due to the hormones it contains, can cause inflammation

·        Improving your sleep schedule

·        Limiting your alcohol consumption

·        Getting active

·        Managing stress

While these may seem like large lifestyle changes when facing them head-on, educating yourself on your chronic inflammation triggers and slowly making healthy lifestyle adjustments to reduce its effects can eliminate chronic inflammation over time without medical intervention.

Are you struggling with chronic inflammation and its impact on your body and skin? Reach out today to learn how one of our skin specialists can provide you with customized home care and in-clinic treatments to rid you of chronic inflammation for good.

SkinScience Clinic: Calgary’s Microneedling Experts

Hey Calgary, did you know that we here at SkinScience Clinic have 50+ years of combined experience of skin therapy? That’s right. Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor (and who could blame you?), did you know that eight of those years has been dedicated to microneedling? Even though microneedling is seen as a hot “new” treatment in skin therapy this year– and, as such, as only just hit mainstream consumers– we here at SkinScience have been performing them safely and effectively as part of our advanced skin therapy service for eight years. 

What does that mean? Well, those eight years entail thousands of microneedling treatments safely performed, thousands of clients who have had their skin transformed through our microneedling expertise, and thousands of innovative healing growth factors post-treatment utilized to maximize clients’ outcomes. 

While we could talk until we’re blue in the face about what we do to ensure that your treatment is as effective as humanly possible—which believe me, we can— what we’re here to chat about today is what those years of experience have taught us about microneedling… and, in turn, what we can teach you.

To Start: What Exactly IS Microneedling?

Whether you’ve been a part of the SkinScience family for seven days or seven years, you’ll know this about us: our two founding principles include science and education, and we wield both to help us see our clients achieve their dream skin. That means that, before recommending any product, supplement, or treatment, we dedicate ourselves to educate you on what they are and how they work to benefit you.

Microneedling (also known as “collagen induction therapy”) is a professional cosmetic treatment that optimizes multiple thin, sterile needles that puncture the surface layer of your skin in order to cause minor trauma. This trauma triggers the “dermis”—the deeper layer of skin— to rebuild collagen and elastin, which, in turn, plumps the skin and targets a variety of skin concerns (including, but not limited to, laxity, scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and rosacea).

Post-treatment, skin feels tightened, acne scars appear faded, discolouration has diminished, and the look of pores has shrunk. Alongside its many benefits, microneedling is also touted for its zero downtime, painlessness, and safety for all skin types.

“I Hear People Talking About Fractora Is That the Same as Microneedling?”

The short answer? Yes and no.

The long answer? Fractora is a radiofrequency microneedling device that combines the puncturing of microneedling with radiofrequency to enhance both methods. Opting to specifically utilize Fractora is perfect for candidates interested in microneedling that suffer from deep acne scars, enlarged pores, stretch marks, lines around the mouth, and/or fine-to-medium wrinkles on the neck.

“So Now That I Have a Better Understanding of What Microneedling Is, What Should I Expect During My Treatment?”

Don’t worry, Calgary: while we can hear the anxiety in this question, we promise that it really is as low-impact as it sounds. At a reputable clinic such as SkinScience, your microneedling experience will follow the lines of:

·        A total prep and treatment time of 60 – 70 min for a single area and 75 – 90 min for two areas

·        If your skincare specialist is using a DermaPen or Fractora, a numbing cream will be applied for improved comfort during the treatment

·        Aftercare that includes treatment-enhancing topicals

·       Education for your first 24 hours after your treatment, which includes avoiding sweating, taking hot showers, and the reminder to keep your skin hydrated, as well as avoid harsh products (including exfoliators and alcohol-based toners)

·        The potential for rough skin texture and redness within the first 48 hours

·        Mild discomfort that ebbs within seven days

How Safe is Microneedling?

The most common areas to treat with microneedling are the face, neck, chest, and abdomen, and, as such, many people hear of the treatment’s benefits and clamour to try it themselves. Can you guess why we can’t recommend that you follow suit?

While microneedling is safe for all skin types, scheduling an appointment with a skincare specialist is vital: only a professional will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for microneedling, as skin conditions such as rosacea and acne can experience flare-ups after microneedling treatments. Microneedling also differs from dermarolling, which is a tool that can be used at home by those who have the know-how—microneedling’s penetrative needles are longer than a dermaroller’s, meaning that microneedling’s superior length is what encourages the skin to rebuild collagen. However, dermarolling at home without proper education can also risk infection. 

Lastly, while microneedling isn’t painful, attempting to do it yourself (or have an untrained aesthetician perform microneedling on your skin) can injure your skin long-term: by not having a professional gauge how deeply they should be penetrating each area of your skin, you can find yourself not only gritting your teeth against discomfort, but also skin that is damaged without the reparative benefits of microneedling done properly.

When done right, however? You’ll be treated to an instantaneous glow, an improvement in overall skin texture, see a reduction in common skin complaints such as age spots, wrinkles, and discolouration, and even a boost in collagen of of up to 400%.

Looking to Book Your Next Microneedling Treatment?

Get in touch today to experience first-hand why we’re Calgary’s leaders on microneedling—and be sure to comment below which microneedling fact surprised you the most!

Marie’s Favourite Skin Supplements

Below, you will find links to some of Marie’s preferred supplements. SkinScience does not sell supplements, so this list is a free resource we have created in the hope it will make your life a little easier.

The needs for supplementation varies with every individual. Consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment or care, or starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.

VIMERGY

VIMERGY

Vimergy Organic Liquid Zinc (115ml) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Organic B12 (30ml) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Ester-C with RoseHip (180ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Lemon Balm 4:1 >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Spirulina >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Spirulina Capsules (180ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy L-Lysine (270ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Curcumin with Tumeric (90ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Wild Blueberry Powder >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Organic Barley Grass Capsules (240ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Vimergy Organic Chaga Mushroom Capsules (90ct) >>> Purchase HERE

METAGENICS

METAGENICS

Metagenics Adreset Capsules (180ct) >>> Purchase HERE

Metagenics D3 Liquid >>> Purchase HERE

GENESTRA

GENESTRA

Genestra A-mulsion >>> Purchase HERE

PURE ENCAPSULATIONS

PURE ENCAPSULATIONS

Pure Encapsulations Women’s Nutrients Hypoallergenic Multivitamin/Mineral Complex (180 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra (180 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations B Complex Plus (60 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations N-Acetyl Cystein 600mg (90 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations CoQ10 120mg (60 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Glutathione (60 soft gel caps) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations Alpha Lipoic Acid 400mg (60 vegetable capsules) >>> Purchase HERE

Pure Encapsulations Resveratrol EXTRA (60 vegetable caps) >>> Purchase HERE

VIMERGY CANADA

The Art of the Triple Cleanse ~ The New Way to Deep Clean Your Skin

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BOO!! Hello Calgary, now that we have your attention… have you ever heard of triple cleansing? With Halloween right around the corner, we need to think about the best possible costume and amazing makeup to win top prize at all the parties we will attend. An equally important detail to think about is our skincare routine for makeup removal! We don’t want to pay for one night of glory (Yay, first place!) with a month of clogging and/or breakouts (eeeeekkk, scary).

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Double cleansing is good but triple is better! High coverage makeup has more oils, silicones and waxes in it for better coverage. Better coverage means more clogged pores, especially if you are acne prone. A good removal regimen at the end of the day is always important but ESPECIALLY important when wearing high coverage or specialty (Halloween) makeup! Makeup removal is not the only reason we need a good evening cleanse; throughout the day, airborne bacteria, dirt, dust and pollution is attracted to your skin, and if they aren’t washed away properly, they could potentially contribute to aging, enlarged pores and breakouts (triple eeeeekkk).

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Here at SkinScience we like to do a triple cleanse. Your first cleanse is to remove makeup, the second to cleanse the skin and the third to exfoliate, unclog and refine your pores for better product absorption.

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If you’re still not sure what we’re talking about, triple cleansing involves using a cleanser that is oil-based, or a micellar water (for acne prone) first to break down makeup, primer, SPF and sebum on the surface of your skin. The first cleanse removes makeup primarily. Following it with a deeper water-based cleanser, a second round of cleansing will clean much deeper into the pores to remove any impurities such as sweat and bacteria. Then lastly for our third cleanse using an exfoliating scrub (make sure this is not a nutshell based!), to remove pollution, debris, and to promote skin renewal for brighter more refined skin and better product absorption.

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To make it easy we have broken it down into three skin type routines with some of our top selling products;

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Dry Skin

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  1. Dermaquest Facial Cleanser Stem Cell 3D – This creamy, rich foaming cleanser is the perfect start to your triple cleanse! Fortified with plant stem cells, amino acids and Neodermyl to gently remove makeup and impurities while, bathing your skin in an emollient lather for a renewed complexion. SHOP
  2. Dermaquest C Infusion Cleanser – Overflowing with antioxidants, this foaming cleanser purifies and preserves while slowing the effects of harmful free radicals. Feel refreshed and energized and primed for homecare products, without stripping essential moisture from your skin. SHOP
  3. Aliquote Skin Fresh Complexion Polisher – With diatomaceous minerals, vitamin c and essential oils, this gentle scrub peels away dead skin cells for a smoother, glowing texture. SHOP

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Oily/Combination Skin

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  1. Reversa Cleansing Micellar Water – Gently cleanses and effectively removes face and eye makeup and impurities while soothing ingredients such as lotus vegetal water and allantoin prevent irritation. SHOP
  2. Aliquote  Skin Fresh Complexion Cleanser – Micro-exfoliating cleanser with 2% salicylic acid at low PH enhances dead skin removal while unclogging pores and preventing acne . Antibacterial cold pressed coconut oil and aloe vera balances moisture levels for a clean hydrated finish. SHOP
  3. SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub – This smoothing polish with hydrated silica cleanses pores and softens skin while promoting skin cell renewal. SHOP

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Sensitive Skin

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  1. Aliquote Skin Cashmere Cream Cleanser – Hydrating milk cleanser with lavender essential oil, aloe, and vitamin E. Gently removes makeup and impurities. Soothes redness and dryness. Suitable for face, neck and eyes. SHOP
  2. Aliquote Skin Detox Micellar Gelee – Gentle sulfate-free cleanser with chamomile essential oil and peptides soothes and hydrates normal to sensitive skin. Algae extract clears away makeup, debris, and pollution. SHOP
  3. Dermaquest Algae Polishing Scrub – This cooling scrub uses jojoba beads to remove excess skin cells through gentle exfoliation, leaving the skin smooth and prepped for better product absorption. Deeply hydrating, this scrub primes the skin while relaxing algae extract soothes inflammation. SHOP

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The first cleansing step is important to make sure you wash until there isn’t a single trace of makeup left. If you wear a lot of makeup, this could take 2-3 times, but if you’ve spent time putting makeup on, it makes sense to spend time taking it off, right? After all, a smooth canvas is best for makeup application and we need to keep our skin healthy.

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Once you’ve removed the surface grime, it’s time for a deep water-based cleanse – and that doesn’t mean a quick splash. Whether you are triple cleansing or not, make sure to massage your cleanser in for a minute to thoroughly remove toxins, pollution and product buildup. This is especially important if it is an enzyme- or acid-based cleanser, so it has time to perform properly (eating away dead skin cells) – even two minutes would be better.

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Taking at least a minute to do a water-based cleanse will ensure you gain all the benefits from your cleanser and its ingredients. On average, most people only spend about twenty seconds on cleansing, which isn’t enough time to massage the cleanser in properly.

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The third step of the triple cleanse should be performed 2-3 times per week. Exfoliation is essential for healthy skin, but needs to be performed gently as to not create unwanted (and pro-aging) inflammation.

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The temperature of the water matters, too. Too hot and you could risk irritating the skin,  especially if you suffer from acne or skin conditions such as rosacea, so it’s best to rinse with water that is lukewarm.

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Triple cleansing each evening will also brighten any dullness, adding the exfoliating cleanse into any routine will slough away the dead skin cells that are sitting on the surface and will allow serums and moisturizers to better absorb.

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Is it possible to over-wash your skin?

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While your skin needs to be cleansed twice a day – morning and evening – a triple cleanse isn’t always necessary – especially when you wake up in the morning.

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A single water-based cleanse in the AM will cleanse away the skin’s naturally produced oils and everything the skin has detoxed overnight. It will also better prepare your skin to absorb daily routine products. Over-washing can lead to dryness, sensitivity and irritation. The ideal cleanser should be non-stripping of the skins natural oils, and it’s important not to rub the skin too harshly.

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If you are using retinol or other forms of smart exfoliation to be left on the skin at night, it would be better to skip the scrub in the triple cleanse and replace it with the smart exfoliation on those evenings.

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With a triple cleanse you are sure to remove all makeup, pollution and debris, as well as keep the skin renewal process at its best for a clear, smooth and glowing complexion. Leave the scary face for Halloween! 

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If you are unsure of what cleansers and routine would be ideal for you, book in for our 60-Minute Skin Consultation! We will go through all your current products to see what is working, what isn’t and if there is anything missing. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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10 Tips to Get your Skin Back in Shape after Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is over and we all feel stuffed (pun intended), bloated and uncomfortable. Looking in the mirror, it’s not only the larger waistline that is concerning but the dull, blemished & tired complexion staring back at us. Many people get back in the healthy swing of things by doing some form of cleanse, exercise or detox but let’s not forget about our skin’s health!

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Here are some great tips for some common skin aliments that follow holiday over-indulgence. Check out these SOS products to whip your skin back into shape for the ultimate skin detox!

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SKIN DETOX FOR OILY SKIN + BLEMISHES

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All the delicious greasy foods and sweets may have caused extra oiliness and some unwanted blemishes to pop up. Not to worry — we have our best seller spot treatment to come to the rescue!

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Aliquote Skin Nighty Night Spot Treatment

A SkinScience best seller! With the main detoxifying and soothing actives being sulfur, calamine and zinc oxide, it is sure to help clear up and soothe inflammation while aiding in the healing of your skin (and kill that nasty acne bacteria).  Cleanse and dab on to the affected area and go to sleep. This treatment will do all the work while you rest!

SHOP HERE

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Maybe all that decedent food caused more than just a few blemishes.  Here are some quick DIY fixes. First you will want to resurface and unclog your pores by using some form of smart exfoliation (meaning an AHA or BHA) here are some of our favorites for at-home exfolating treatments;

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Dermaquest Mini Pumpkin Mask

Multitasking pumpkin pulp, mandelic and lactic acids are sure to unclog, resurface and brighten your complexion. A quick pick-me-up in only 5-7 mins, making sure to rinse thoroughly with tepid water.

SHOP HERE

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Dermaquest DermaClear Pads

Using willow bark-derived salicylic acid, these pads will help remove impurities and excess oils to aid in unclogging your pores. With the cooling properties of tea tree, it will also help soothe inflammation. Just wipe on let absorb and follow with your daily products. Remember when using exfoliating acids it is very important to use your daily SPF!

SHOP HERE

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Now that you have resurfaced and unclogged your skin, this is the perfect time to use highly concentrated treatments, as they will absorb better into the skin. Masks are more concentrated than daily products to aid in an SOS type of situation, such as a skin detox. Some of our favorite detoxifying & clarifying masks are;

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SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque

Combines natural earth clays with alpha hydroxy acid blend to unclog pores, lift impurities and oils, and exfoliate skin. 

SHOP HERE

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Dermaquest DermaClear Mask

Specially formulated with salicylic acid, two botanicals extracts, and three cooling plant stem cell extracts, DermaClear Mask soothes and nourishes skin stressed from acne while brightening discoloration and acne scars. A lifeline for targeting multiple acne related concerns, this mask lessons congestion while addressing irritated skin.

SHOP HERE

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SKIN DETOX FOR DEHYDRATED SKIN

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Maybe blemishes aren’t a concern for you (lucky!). Maybe it was all the wine, beer and coffee that dehydrated your skin to look like a shrivelled raisin. The wine, combined with the cooler weather and indoor heating kicking in, may have left your skin feeling parched, tight and lackluster. This brings us to another major post-holiday concern – dehydration.

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Looking in the mirror seeing all the crepe like fine lines is a tell-tale sign of dehydration. This is when the SKIN IS LACKING WATER not oil. This is commonly mistaken for dryness (lacking oil or lipids) in the skin. Your best bet here is an SOS mask containing high concentration of hyaluronic acid or vitamin B5 (Panthenol).  Our favorite two hydrating masks are safe for all skin types (yes, including acne prone skin). 

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Dermaquest Hydrating Gel Mask

Formulated to hydrate and enhance elasticity, this mask features soothing lilac plant stem cell extract, water-binding hyaluronic acid, anti-aging MDI complex, evening primrose oil and nine botanicals and plant extracts to refresh, restore and protect dehydrated skin. This is a cooling and quenching treatment to replenish essential moisture in any skin type.

SkinScience Exclusive — CALL TO ORDER

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SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque

this deeply hydrating masque is enriched with vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to help restore your skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NFM) for a plumped healthy glow.

SHOP HERE

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2-STEP ILLUMINATING AT-HOME TREATMENT

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Still feeling a bit sluggish from the all the stuffing you ate? Does your skin look as dull and tired as you feel? Let’s wake it up with an at home mini treatment! First resurface all that skin buildup that is making you look like the powdery flour that went in the yummy pumpkin pie, by using a glycolic acid. Our favorite quick pick me up is;

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1) Aliquote Skin Illuminating Peel Pads

With glycolic acid at a low pH , hydrating peptides and botanical extracts, these pads smooth, firm and brighten. No more flour face!

SHOP HERE

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Follow up with an amazing brightening mask for the luminous glow we all desire!

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2) Dermaquest C Infusion TX Mask

This ultra-nourishing mask is brimming with vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, antioxidants and peptides, creating a silky smooth anti-aging treatment. This lavish mask fades fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with an instant glow and radiant complexion. A SkinScience favourite!

SHOP HERE

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FIGHT THE ULTIMATE SKIN AGER – INFLAMMATION

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As if blemishes, dehydration and lackluster skin wasn’t enough. Our bellies are bloated and we are puffy all over, including under our eyes. Our skin is inflamed and irritated, triggered by all the inflammatory foods we have treated ourselves to. Inflammation is a pro-aging in all tissues. Meaning, it is the main cause of some major aliments such as; joint pain, cardio vascular disease, gingivitis and acne to name a few. It is also known to accelerate skin aging. Well, time to treat ourselves again with some anti-inflammatory products! For an added boost perform a lymphatic drainage massage for the face and eyes to relieve puffiness. Don’t know how? We do! 

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SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask

Containing botanical extracts, dipeptide and hyaluronic acid this mask hydrates while calming inflamed compromised skin. Instant hydration and cools on contact for restoring comfort.

SHOP HERE

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Aliquote Skin SensiCalm Lotion

With highly anti-inflammatory ingredient green tea and soothing vitamin E this serum is bound to calm the red puffy appearance of your inflamed, warm skin and cheeks.

SHOP HERE

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With this knowledge, why only do SOS treatments post-holiday? Keep skin health going all year round. Following a healthy diet and regular intake of water is good for us internally and externally. However, our skin still needs topical products to prevent aggressors such as pollution and our indulgences in decadent foods every now and then. Maybe you suffered from more than one of these post-holiday aliments? Maybe you do year round?

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THE ULTIMATE ANTI-AGING INGREDIENTS = GROWTH FACTORS

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Our absolute favorite all-encompassing anti-aging, clarifying, hydrating, brightening and anti-inflammatory product comes as a duo!

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AnteAGE MD Growth Factors Serum & Accelerator

With the main ingredient being Bone Marrow Derived Growth Factors and Cytokines – the ultimate anti-aging, anti-inflammatory ingredients of the skin care world! Since not all growth factor products are created the same, we have researched and curated the best, purest, most active and safest source of growth factors, for you! Growth factors and cytokines are active on the deepest layers of the skin, while serving the following roles:

SHOP HERE

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1) The Conductor – Instructing other cells

2) The Worker – Tissue repair and reconstruction

3) The Firefighter – Very anti-inflammatory

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Would like to know more about Growth factors? Stayed tuned for our up-coming blog. 

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All these products are great for your DIY SOS Post-Holiday Detox. If you really over did, book in with us here at SkinScience for a Deep Pore Cleansing Facial & LED Red Light (great for inflammation).

Not sure what to book? Call for an Open Procedure so we can access the damage from over- indulging and bring your skin back to health! ☺