Written by Monica Kalra, STRONG Beauty Editor
Photo by Josep Suria/shutterstock.com

As a Professional Make-Up Artist, I often hear about the misconceptions people have surrounding certain skin treatments, as well as their curiosity about these things. Which is why I wanted to address them in more depth. When people find out I do certain skin treatments it’s often met with shock, and commentary such as, “But you look so natural?!” I do. Because I do my research, get educated, and go to the right people for assistance. 

My aesthetics background has provided me with a lot of knowledge with regards to skin care, but my experience working at a Plastic Surgeon’s office, led me to understand a lot about the non-surgical side of skin treatments, injections, and laser treatments. I was lucky enough to also work alongside two incredible professionals: Christine Bui, Master Nurse Injector (RNAO, CNO, CAN, CANS), and Valerie Wilson, Advanced Medical Aesthetician, of enduringbeauty.ca and there is no one else I would trust my face with. I have seen these ladies work miracles and instil confidence for so many people. 

I advise my clients to do what works for them and their skin (certainly, don’t fix what isn’t broken). I also recommend that if you have any health condition(s)/issue(s) you discuss with your doctor before proceeding with any treatment. If you go to a respectable practice, you are usually required to fill out a health questionnaire for review by a doctor, nurse, or medical professional first. They will then assess what is best for you based on your health history. And with any follow up appointments, practitioners should always be asking if there are any changes in your health/medications. It is important to let your practitioner know this information. Many professionals will take note and mention any contraindications if it is filled out in your health history intake form. 

When approaching skin treatments, it is all about loving the skin you're in, and for me, healthy skin is the most important thing. In the September/October 2022 issue of STRONG, we took a look at Laser Genesis, Neuromodulators, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Here, we dive into a few more options. All of these treatments are optimal when working together. Some treatments will specify what can be used in conjunction with it. Take a look and see if anything feels like a match for you. Ultimately, only you can decide what you’re comfortable with.

Chemical Peels

What Is It?: Peels are a safe and effective procedure. A peeling agent is applied to skin, chemically injuring the skin in a controlled manner which then stimulates the healing process that will improve the texture, tone, and clarity of skin. There are some precautions to be taken following each treatment. 

Who Benefits?: People with acne, hyper keratinized skin, photo damage (pigmentation), and dull or uneven complexions.

Advantages: Leaves skin glowing, healthy and rejuvenated.

Disadvantages: Some social down time, mild redness, peeling or inflammation dependent on skin and strength of peel. 

Misconceptions: Some may assume a stronger peel is the best option for their skin when in reality, it doesn’t equate to better treatment. I personally like doing mild peels every visit or alongside Laser Genesis.

Treatment Areas: Face, chest, neck, hands, feet, back.

Price: $125+; pcaskin.com

Medical Grade Skincare 

(Val’s favorite brand pick is Biophora and it is mine as well!)

What Is It?: A pharmaceutical skincare line that contains active ingredients. A few products can be tailored to skin condition by your technician or health care provider to address your skin’s concerns.

Who Benefits?: Suitable for all skin types addressing all skin concerns, from acne to aging, rosacea, and more. 

Advantages: They contain higher levels of active ingredients as they are pharmaceutical grade. 

Disadvantages: Initially, some skin has to be conditioned. For instance, acne might flare, dry skin may get drier, there is a period of adjustment before you start seeing optimal results. Always be in communication with your provider. There is no cookie-cutter way for everyone, our skin types are all so different.

Misconceptions: It’s pricey, but with medical grade, less is more, it lasts longer, it is more effective, and also sometimes cheaper than less effective products sold over the counter or in drugstores and department stores. 

Treatment Areas: Mainly face, neck and décolleté, but can be used in other areas such as hands and back, but discuss with your health professional.Treatments that work best together: Optimal with other treatments. Great to maintain after in-office procedures.

Additional Information: It is always recommended to start slow, keep it simple, build, and don’t overdo it. For example, Valerie often recommends to start every other day with particular products.

Price: $40+; biophora.com

Microneedling

What Is It?: A controlled injury that stimulates collagen with small, sterilized needles that deliver tiny injuries to the skin.

Who Benefits?: Everyone. 

Who Should Avoid It?: People with compromised (injury or really inflamed) skin and pregnant women.

Advantages: It helps to generate more collagen for new, smoother, tighter skin while diminishing scars and improving pores’ texture.

Disadvantages: There is some discomfort and social downtime. A topical agent is applied to help. Dryness and sunburn appearance generally follows for 24-48 hours after the treatment. 

Misconceptions: In-office microneedling is much safer than at-home derma rollers that are generally not safe and sterilized properly. 

Treatment Areas: Face, neck, chest, hands, and feet.

Treatments That Work Best Together: PRP works amazing as it is done at the same time. Other in-office treatments are always optimal as well.

Price: $250+

Intense Pulse Light (IPL)

What Is It?: Intense pulse light that delivers broad-spectrum with light. 

Who Benefits?: Anyone with photodamage. 

Who Should Avoid It?: Skin types 5 and up on the Fitzpatrick scale.

Advantages: There are long term studies showing that regular IPL treatments change gene expression by up to 10 years. It improves texture, tone, and pigmentation. It is a color corrector that targets red and the browns in the skin and stimulates collagen production.

Disadvantages: There is some downtime with swelling, redness, and there may be a coffee grins appearance. It takes about 7-10 days before they slough off. It gets worse before it gets better.

Additional Information: IPL remains one of the top 5 non-surgical treatments because of its effectiveness and anti-aging effects.

Treatment Areas: Mainly face, neck, chest, hands.

Price: $300+; cutera.com

Filler

What Is It?: Fillers are Hyaluronic Acid (our bodies naturally produce it) that are semi-permanent. It lasts anywhere from 3 months to 2 years depending on the product used. Some common fillers are Juvéderm, Restylene, and Boletero but there are many on the market. These products have been on the market the longest and have the highest safety efficacy behind them.

Who Benefits?: Fillers can augment (change the look) or fill empty space (replacing volume lost with age or weight loss). Can be used in full face, neck, and hands. The younger generation are using fillers to augment (define) jawlines, enhance lips and noses, while 40 years and up are using it to "turn back the clock" putting fillers in areas they have lost fat with the natural aging process. If done correctly, a person should look refreshed, not "filled."

Advantages: They produce immediate results, no downtime, semi-permanent that can be dissolved if a client does not like it but more importantly for the safety aspect. If the filler goes into a vessel, it can be dissolved right away. Can last up to 2 years, if the proper product and amount are chosen.

Disadvantages: Poor placement by injector giving an unsatisfactory look. Possible bruising, swelling, tenderness when freezing wears off for a day or two.

Misconceptions: That you will look fake is the biggest, again if done correctly most people will never notice anything, only that you look great and refreshed. You should get comments like: your skin looks amazing; did you do your hair? They can't figure it out. 

Treatment Areas: Most common are cheeks and lips, but some advanced injectors like Christine do temples, cheeks, chin, marionettes, jawline, tear trough, around eyes, lips and around the mouth area. Necklace lines are becoming more common to treat with fillers as well. Hands are filled to make look more youthful as the fat diminishes over the years and the vessels begin to protrude.

Other Treatments That Work Well With It: Fillers are used best in combination with many treatments but mainly neurotoxin. Neurotoxin stops the muscles from overworking and breaking down the fillers in the area we place them. When muscles are relaxed, the fillers stay in place and don't break down as quickly. 

Additional Information: Other things to be aware of, injection experience, and who is injecting you. Needs to be a Doctor, Nurse practitioner, RN or RPN. Christine has been injecting for 17 years, products and techniques have changed over the years. She uses a needle, and cannula in her clinic and she assesses the client’s full face in consultation to see all their movements. Assessing 3 dimensional always so the person continues to look the same after injection.

Prices: Vary from $550-$1000 per syringe; allergan.ca, galderma.com, merzaesthetics.com
Correction: STRONG Fitness, September/October 2022, Fresh Face

With Neuromodulators, ptosis very rarely occurs.

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