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Holiday Favourites by the CyberDERM Team

The CyberDERM Crew Share their Holiday Favourites

It’s that time of year again, where the CyberDERM crew gathers fireside to chat about a few of our favourite things.  Share with us some of yours in the comments below:

Carrie-Social Media Guru


Carrie without Her Ugly Sweater

Go to Holiday Gift to Give: A hand written card. I think they are the most heart warming gifts!

Favourite Holiday Tradition: Ugly Sweater Party Holiday Edition. Because I have a huge family, it’s always extremely festive when we get together for the Holiday Season where we would divide into teams and play a series of competitive games and the winning team would always win a great prize…and bragging rights.

 Holiday Party Beauty Look/Uniform: Something comfortable and typically loose so I can eat a lot of food while letting my food baby free. Yet fashionable, so I can look cute in pictures as well!!

 Stocking Stuffer Recommendation: When in doubt just go with the three C’s…Candles, Chocolate, Candy Canes! Another great idea for the ladies are the cute sample sized goodies Sephora always carries in front of their cash with affordable small gifts that any girl would love receiving.

On a cold winter day, I love to… Have a cup of warm tea or coffee in the morning and snuggle up with a lot of blankets and binge watch romantic comedy movies.

Winter skin essential: A good lip balm, hand cream, and facial cream. My skin gets extremely dry in the winter so I need to ensure everything I’m using in my skincare routine is extra moisturizing! What I’ve been loving is the Henne Organics Lip Balm, the Egyptian Magic Cream for my hands, and the H2O Hydration as my daily moisturizer. Those are my current go to’s.

If I could cozy up to anything, it would be...My sister!!! but she hates cuddling…

Arooj-Skin Care Expert and Make Up Artist


Arooj in Front of Her Tools of the Trade

Go to Holiday Gift to Give: A unisex snow shovel……after all we live in Canada!

Favourite Holiday Tradition: Baking with the kids,cookies,cup cakes and hot chocolate.

 Holiday Party Beauty Look/Uniform: Strobing and contouring.

 Stocking Stuffer Recommendation: LuMee selfie phone case

On a cold winter day, I love to…Watch terrible TV and stay in my fav pjs.

Winter skin essential: Coconut oil,hair, face,body…everywhere!

If I could cozy up to anything, it would be...Snuggie plaid blanket:)

Sara -Executive Director

cyberderm team

Sara with Her Favourite Cuddle Partner

Go to Holiday Gift to Give: Every year, I have my go to gift that I keep a closet full to use as little add-ons, stocking stuffers or for Secret Santas.  Two years ago it was my favourite Votivo travel candle, last year it was the Hot Chocolate Sampler Box from Soma Chocolatiers.  This year I’m like the Oprah of toques- you get a toque, you get a toque!

Favourite Holiday Tradition:  I love Christmas so we have a lot but a new one is going to the Santa Clause Parade with our daughter and then getting scones and cinnamon buns from my friends Cobbs bakery in the Annex in Toronto.

 Holiday Party Beauty Look/Uniform: I should have been born wearing a dress.  I live in them and I live for holiday dresses especially.  This year, beauty-wise, I’m all about applying a matte lipstick in a magenta hue but I use my finger to apply it so it’s more of a just-kissed, a little mussed look.  I pair that with a highlighter around the eyes.

 Stocking Stuffer Recommendation: This year we are only getting stocking stuffers for our family as our family as just gotten too big for anything else.  I think if you know the person well then lipsticks or nail lacquers are the best.  Every woman in my life is getting a Butter London lacquer because their holiday sets are adorable.

On a cold winter day, I love to…don coordinating onesie pyjamas with my daughter.  She can only Netflix and chill for 10 mins maximum during a given day so we are otherwise out and about for parks and circle times.

Winter skin essential: I’ve been using a Vitamin C powder with our PM Anti-Age every night and it’s been great at fighting overall skin dullness.  I also think you have to use a serum during winter in addition to layering a moisturizer like our H20 Hydration for barrier protection.

If I could cozy up to anything, it would be…my baby and my other big baby (husband).  We have these perfect little three person hugs and it’s 10 seconds of heaven.

Mary Kay McClelland-Director of Operations 

holidays favourites, cyberderm

Mary Kay Getting the Office Holiday Ready

Go to Holiday Gift to Give: I always like giving the ladies in my life jewelry. Obviously not diamonds but a nice piece of costume jewelry. My new faves are the Alex and Ani bracelets.

Favourite Holiday Tradition: We started going skiing on Christmas Eve when the kids were little and the tradition continues today. The kids love that we have the hill to ourselves and we head home after lunch to get ready for Christmas mass.

 Holiday Party Beauty Look/Uniform:  Always like a little sparkle but now comfort is a must. Gone are the days that I wear shoes that hurt or clothes that are too tight!

 Stocking Stuffer Recommendation: Always like to give and receive magazines

On a cold winter day, I love to… I love to go skiing.

Winter skin essential:  I use the Retin+Erase at night and find it super hydrating.

If I could cozy up to anything, it would would be my kids and/or hubby by the fireplace., with a nice glass of wine – perfection!!


The Next Generation of Anti-Aging: Retinoid Esters

All about our Retin+Erase: the Next Generation of Retinoid Esters. Click here to Shop It Now.

Editor’s Note, September 2017: This product is now launched and ready in its permanent packaging- a beautiful glass yet airless bottle.  It will look pristine on your shelf but most importantly will help your skin look pristine.  There has been some confusion in the industry as to the difference between using a concentration of the raw material versus what that translates into an active ingredient.  We use 10% of the raw material GranActive Retinoid, which translates into a 1% active retinoid ester.  In Canada, the legal limit for retinoid and retinol esters is 1% active in the final formulation.  If a company states they use 2-5% of GranActive Retinoid in their formulas, they legally cannot be using 2-5% of the active retinoid. Instead, they are using 2-5% of the material and are getting .2-.5% of the active, which is within the limits of what Health Canada allows.  At a 1% active concentration, we are using the highest concentration possible and yet we’ve had no reported adverse reactions in terms of irritation.  As you’ll read below, our unique dispersion allows us to use 1% active retinoid safely with excellent stability. People who have never tried retinol or a prescription retinoid have been able to use our Retin+Erase with no to minimal irritation.  We also only have 4 simple ingredients in our product so no undesirables.  Read about how this product was developed below and send us any questions to! All the best, Sara.

If you had asked me two years ago would I ever consider including a retinol product in our line, I might have brushed it off.  “Retinol? Yawn.  If retinol worked well, there would be no more wrinkles in the world because it’s in everything!”

It’s true, retinol is ubiquitous in high end lines through to mass ones.  It’s always been plagued with causing irritation, stability issues and efficacy.  Retinol needs to be converted in the skin into an active form in order to function so high doses are necessary to really function but then irritation and side effects become an issue.  At the end of the day, retinol was the sad sibling of prescription retinoids. Sure they were part of the same family but one was an underperformer and if you could work with the gold star of anti-aging, as prescription retinoids are often called, then why tango with the lacklustre understudy.

Unfortunately, as starlets go, prescription retinoids have their own bits of drama as well. They have had availability issues in the past couple of years with one brand or another being on back order.  On closer examination, the formulas available in Canada also have parabens included in their non-medicinals.  It can be odd how we can scrutinize cosmetics for their ingredients but then never take a second look at pharmaceutical products.  Certainly, if a drug is life saving or critical to ones health, you tend to focus on the active ingredient.  However, for pharmaceuticals for cosmetic use, it makes sense that we apply the same level of stringency as we would our other personal care products.  This put our sister clinic in a tough position between maintaining their precepts about avoiding endocrine disruptors while delivering the best results possible.

When we drilled down a bit more though, a lot of our hesitancy disappeared and our resolve to create something better strengthened.  It turns out that while our sister clinic had been prescribing a significant amount of retinoids when we gently questioned our patients, many of them admitted to neglecting to actually use them.  They just could not stand the irritation and the dryness on a daily basis.

This brings us to Retin+Erase.  On a trip to the lovely Barcelona, my father and I were attending the annual and amazing In-Cosmetics show.  Raw material suppliers from all over the world fill a space triple the size of an arena and showcase the best and the brightest of their wares.  To be honest, I was pregnant, jet lagged, and mostly hungry so not in the best frame of mind.  My father, however, had attended a presentation on a new generation of retinoid esters.  I’d heard of different retinol esters and again was not very interested but my father insisted that he thought the science had merit and so we stopped to discuss with the scientist who did the original discovery of this unique molecule.  Their clinical photos were promising so we arranged for a sample to be sent to our genius chemist and would wait to see what he thought.

Our chemist agreed the material was intriguing and had known the supplier and their excellent products for a while.  Our challenge to him was to use a high percentage.  Health Canada limits cosmetic products to 1% active so that was our threshold.  Our chemist returned a prototype that admittedly looked like nuclear yellow pudding but on application was light, hydrating and transparent.

However, the product’s real innovation lies at its simplicity.  Our Retin+Erase has four ingredients on its list.  Just four, simple and non-controversial ingredients.  It turns out that we are currently the only manufacturer to use the material at a 1% concentration.  Others had elected to use lower concentrations, perhaps due to cost since it is a premium ingredient but also due to formulation considerations.

Loosely borrowing from the idea of micelles found in micellar cleansers, we found a way to render the retinoid ester into very small and evenly dispersed molecules.  Their uniform entry into the skin minimizes irritation, allowing the 1% active to work in its full glory.  The formula contains no added water so no preservatives were needed but also means that water does not contribute to the degradation of the retinoid ester.

Our results to date have shown that even those who had abandoned their prescriptions due to irritation can use our Retin+Erase.  Although we recommend to start by using a couple of times a week and then increase frequency of use as toleration builds, most have been able to use it nightly from the beginning with no issues.

So there you have a glimpse of how our R&D process can take shape- find a problem that we as industry insiders experience every day and then find the right material with the right science to address it.  Pair that with deceptively simple formulations based on decades of experience and a willingness to try new things and presto- you have a new product that will hopefully change people’s skin for the better.

Look out for its public launch in 2017 and stay tuned with us for updates.

Simply Zinc, Every Morning, CyberDERM Sun Whips

Skincare Tips from Maddy

Maddy Showing Off Her Sun Whip.

Maddy Showing Off Her Sun Whip.

If you haven’t heard, Maddy Mackenzie is our Sun Whip ambassador, uber athlete and sprint kayaking star.  This month we hear from her on her skincare tips and more.

About Madison Mackenzie:

Age: 20

From Chelsea Quebec with the passion, ambition, and determination to one day become the fastest female sprint kayaker in the world. As a member of the Senior National Team of Canada and a Elite athlete of the Quebec Provincial Team her eyes are set on gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Q & A with CyberDERM

Q: Take us through your day to day skincare routine as an athletic on the waters.

A: In the morning I use CyberDERM’s Every Morning Sun Whip before I head out to train. After my morning training I head to the gym in the afternoon which I then go back out to the waters for a second time. Since I train twice a day outside, I would reapply a SPF with the Simply Zinc Sun Whip to ensure I’m always fully protected throughout the duration of my day.

Q: Sunscreen seems to be a huge part of your skincare regimen, why so?

A: Absolutely! I take my skin protection very seriously. Lucy, a dear friend and a previous coach for my training was diagnosed with Melanoma. After her passing away, I won the Panera Games under Lucy’s name, she is someone incredibly inspiring and will always be close to my heart. Sunscreen is something that is crucial to apply and its part of leading a healthy lifestyle which is why it is a key product in my skincare routine.

Q: If you could tell your younger self or anyone out there in your generation one thing about skincare, what would it be?

 A: That a tan isn’t that important.

Q: Your skincare Faves:

A: Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25 and Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30

Q: Your skincare Ethos:

A:  Taking care of your body and skin is part of self love and self care.



Me with Ava on a Holiday in the UK

Top Cosmetic Picks, Beauty Rituals and More

I’ve recently become obsessed with a blog out of New York (in addition to my routine addiction to all things Beauty Editor) called Cup of Jo.  It’s rare that you come across a body of writing that seems aspirational and yet attainable.  This blog is so good at encapsulating a feeling of coziness that I’ve taken to drinking a cup of tea while reading it before bed.

I only mention it now since one of my favourite sections is called Beauty Uniform where these impossibly amazing women share tidbits from their beauty regimens, design ethos and other little gems. Since I answer our customer service email (one of my favourite parts of the job is hearing directly from you all), I often share bits of my own beauty regimen.  Clearly from our company name, we advocate for the use of sunscreen but we get loads of questions about skincare beyond sun care.  With that in mind, I had the rather gauche idea of sharing my unsolicited beauty uniform.  Gauche because no one asked- and it is a straight rip of of the Cup of Jo format so I encourage you to click through and read some of the real deals.

First some details about me…

If we’ve never met or this is your first time reading, I’m the Executive Director of CyberDERM and have been for the past 8 years.  I currently live in Toronto with my amazing and loving husband and we just had our first child, our daughter Ava Isabella, almost a year ago.  She is the absolute light of our life.

Current skin status

I’m still currently breastfeeding our daughter, which I only mention because it means that I’m still in a quasi peri-menauposal state. I’ve found that my skin is affected hormonally in that it’s more dry than usual.  It’s quite reactive so I have to be gentle in terms of products that I use (and forgo Vitamin A based products while breastfeeding).  I’m also still trying to clear left over pigmentation from pregnancy and post-pregnancy hormonal breakouts.  It’s quite the mix of conditions but the upside is that I’ve really had to challenge my skincare to perform.  It’s made me the best guinea pig for our current line of products and the ones in R&D.

Skincare Routine

You can take it for granted that I’m pretty religious about sunscreen application.  I do test some formulas that are in R&D (we have some fabulous all mineral and hybrid ones in the works and maybe even some tinted ones to boot) but I otherwise use our Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30 for every day use.  Our H20 Hydration is one of my go-to favourites- I think it has some of the best ingredients that I’ve seen in any product.  I love the ingredient Ectoins and think they are so beneficial for the skin that I made sure we included it in other future formulas.  I also rotate in our PM Anti-Age since I love turmeric and its skin brightening capabilities.  If you had told me when we created the formula 8 years ago that you would be able to go to your local cafe and order a shot of turmeric, I would have laughed!  We definitely had some worries when we launched it that people would not like its characteristic smell.  Fortunately, most people actually like its herbal notes or at least find it fades almost immediately after you apply it so aren’t bothered.

I also use two products that are not from our line and love them as a weekly ritual.  Every Sunday, I have face mask Sunday (it’s a very original title) where I sit for 15 quiet minutes with my Innisfree fermented soy face mask.  It’s a Korean brand that I gently cajoled my very sweet father in law to bring back for me from Hong Kong, although you can order them online.  I also use Glam Glow  Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser once a week to help exfoliate.  It’s a more heavy duty product than I originally gave it credit for with its blend of glycol and lactic acid.  I can use our Exfoliant Reveal with its 8% glycolic acid without issue but the blend in the Glam Glow makes it that I can’t use more than once a week (but I still like it!).

Future obsessions

We get a lot of love for our current line of cosmeceuticals but one piece of consistent feedback has been to create a product/s that are more intensively hydrating, especially for mature skin.  We’ve been labouring over a natural line of products for the past two years and they are just now getting to the point of being perfected.  They are designed to be intensely hydrating.  Our focus word for the line was ‘nourishment’, which can be overplayed to the point of losing meaning in a lot of cosmetic marketing.  Essentially though if you could picture your perfect breakfast smoothie,what would it have in it?  Certainly a handful of high quality ingredients would be better than a long list.  They should be nutrient dense.  They should be colourful since ‘eating the rainbow’ is the best way to guarantee you are getting a broad range of anti-oxidant protection.  The end product should be appetizing or better yet delightful.  With those criteria in mind, we’ve put together some products that I’ve been using for the past couple of months and loving. I was reminded of the story of when Coco Chanel created Chanel 5 and gave small bottles as little gifts to her clients in her atelier.  I love the notion that these products are going to be sweet little ‘gifts’ to our customers and can’t wait for them to launch (but you will have to stay tuned to find out when).

Make-up picks

I’ve been using jane iredale as my foundation of choice for what feels like forever.  I still love it for its natural looking finish and its ease of application.  I am a bit more adventurous though when it comes to anything else.  I do love Butter London colours- Abbey Rose is my natural looking pink nude for everyday and Macbeth is a beautiful coral.  I’m also a little bit obsessed with Bite Beauty’s lipsticks as well.  They are an amazing Canadian success story and I love all of their products, currently I have colours in Chai, Dragonfruit, Sweet Cream, and Verbena.  I love any lipstick that is a bright magenta- it’s my version of a classic red.  Otherwise, I also use Ilia’s highlighter, Benefit’s brow gel and Urban Decay’s black eyeliner in Zero.

I think when you have a great routine you stick with it- I wore the same products for my wedding make-up that I wear for every day.

Mom Hair

I’ve had to forgo blowdrying my hair since my daughter was born.  I just don’t have time and the noise of the blowdryer currently scares her.  I therefore wear my hair curly and have been trying to get my natural wave into some form of consistent submission.  I’ll use Kevin Murphy’s purple shampoo Blond Angel for my caramel highlights to prevent brassiness.  I use a little Bumble and Bumble Invisible hair oil

Me with Ava on a Holiday in the UK

Me with Ava on a Holiday in the UK

after showering and Kevin Murphy’s mousse for volume.  I’ll also use the John Masters apple cider vinegar rinse every two weeks or so just to help with build up. I wear my hair every day while drying in either a french braid or two pig tails to help my curls dry uniformly.  Ava is a huge help as well as she loves to finger comb them afterwards, which leaves them a lovely frizzy mess but I wouldn’t give up the hair pulling or baby styling for anything.

Work Uniform

I work from home most days so as you can imagine it’s Casual Friday every day.  I swear that I do change out of my pyjamas every day, except maybe on the worst, most sleep challenged ones.  I mostly refuse to look like the cartoon doodle of a tired mom though so I do my best.  For work out of the home or meetings, I’m all about the well tailored dress and a blazer if I have to.  I say have to because when I was doing my MBA, I got the comment that you should always wear a blazer to be work appropriate.  I’m a bit ambivalent about that but since I tend to look considerably younger than I am it can sometimes be helpful.  Diane Von Furstenburg and Judith and Charles are my two favourites for simple, well fitting dresses.  My husband also thinks it worthwhile to have a couple of pairs of beautiful shoes and some classic purses.  He thinks they are like watches for men, although I think watches should be like watches for women too.  Who doesn’t need a power watch! Although it’s a rookie mistake to not have it set to the right time.

So that’s it for me, I’d love to hear from you about what your ‘beauty uniform’ is and you should definitely click through to Cup of Jo and subscribe to her posts.

sunscreen, dangers, oxybenzone,

Sunscreen sprays, burns, dead coral and more: what we’ve heard in the news about sunscreens

blog image July 2016Things We’ve Heard About Sunscreen This Month:

Why is Sunscreen Bad for Coral Reefs?

 It turns out the UV filter Oxybenzone is hard on more than just our bodies, it can be absolutely devastating to the coral reefs that span our oceans. While deeply saddening , it’s not necessarily news. If you recall from our blog post from The Sunscreen Doc, click here to read, there have been signs up in Hawaii telling people to wash off their sunscreen from a long time ago. This photo was taken back in 2006.

Sunscreens Why is Oxybenzone so detrimental to the reefs? Oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant, meaning it’s detrimental effects are triggered by sunlight (making it an odd choice for a sunscreen ingredient). In very small concentrations, Oxybenzone was shown to disrupt the living larval forms of coral by reducing their motility, ossifying their exo-skeleton and causing its DNA to mutate. The overall effect was to exacerbate bleaching of the reef, something that is linked to rising sea temperatures, which is the ultimate death knell for the living organism.

Swimmers (but also all sunscreen users) should look for Oxybenzone free products but can also use sun protective clothing to reduce the amount of sunscreen they have to wear overall.

2nd degree burns on boy after using SPF 50 sunscreen

A mom in the UK posted pics of her son’s 2nd degree burns after spending 5 hours at the beach but after having religiously used sunscreens all day. The family had been using a popular sunscreen spray marketed especially for kids by Banana Boat. While there are multiple versions of the kids spray formula, we have found some versions that make it very clear as to what could have happened.

Banana boat ingredientsThis version shown here, has numerous potential issues with it (including the use of parabens in the non-medicinals). The most obvious issue is that it combines Avobenzone with Octinoxate, which is somewhat of a rookies mistake. It’s a well established fact that octinoxate degrades Avobenzone when exposed to sunlight. The end result is a sunscreen that loses the ability to protect against UVA as the Avobenzone degrades but then also against UVB as the octinoxate begins to deteriorate as well. Click here to read more about this well documented phenomenon. Fortunately, it’s not one that we see very often now so it’s astonishing to find it in a sunscreen for babies.

The fact that this sunscreen was an aerosol spray I believe compounds the problem and you can read more about that in the next section. This sunscreen also is just generally a poor choice due to the potential issue of endocrine disrupting chemicals with Avobenzone, un-encapsulated octinoxate, the varios salates and the parabens included in the non-medicinals. It’s all around a poor sunscreen but it’s all made worse by the fact that it’s marketed towards kids.

Aerosol Sunscreen Might Not be as Safe as you think

Finally, spray sunscreens currently exist in a nether-region in US regulation. The FDA has mandated as of 2011 that they would impose a ban on all spray sunscreens unless manufacturers could prove their safety. Spray sunscreens are still available until such ban is actually enforced but the concerns against their safety center around inhalation risk but also as to efficacy when it comes to applying them sufficiently and uniformly. Anecdotally, before my days of working at CyberDERM, I purchased a can of spray sunscreen and threw it in my purse to have on hand throughout the summer days. Unfortunately, the can leaked and pooled in the bottom off my silver coloured leather bag. After, quasi-melting my phone and I-pod (was back in 2010 and my beloved I-Pod Shuffle was toast!), the sunscreen also had stripped the silver paint of my bag. Most spray sunscreens use alcohol as the main solvent to solubilize their filters, which is how it was able to dissolve paint. It’s unsavoury to imagine that sitting on your skin all day.

sunscreens, fertility, male sperm

UV Filters Interfere with Human Sperm and More Health Implications of EDC’s

New Study Shows the Health Implications of UV Filters on Human Sperm

Our company founder and my father Dr. Denis Dudley has been voicing his concerns about the role of some UV filters and other potential endocrine disrupting chemicals since we first started making sunscreens back in 2008. Anyone who has ever met him (in the hallways of our sister dermatology clinic, in airports, drug store aisles or when sitting by the beach) can vouch for how passionate he is about the role of sunscreens and their impact on our health and environment. I think this passion partially stems from a little bit of frustration and a whole lot of being perplexed. The argument against using certain filters seems so practical, reasonable, and intuitive and yet it’s not very well received by many medical professionals, regulatory agencies and academics. These critics point to a dearth in rigorous science but as my father has pointed out- a rigorous experiment would involve applying these products every day across generations to see their full potential effect and how ethical is that? Continue reading

UVB sunscreen

Can Using a Sunscreen Be Worse than Using a Tanning Bed? The Health Implications of a UVB Sunscreen.

For the month of April, we are featuring a guest blog written by our company founder, Dr. Denis Dudley on the health implications of using a UVB sunscreen.

Many of us are well aware of the dangers of using a tanning bed and certainly a dermatologist would never recommend using one.  However, Dr. Dudley investigates a recent study that shows using an unbalanced sunscreen might do even more damage.  So how do you protect yourself and your loved ones?

Click here to find out more.

regenerative medicine, Laserderm, PRP, anti-aging

A New Form of Rejuvenation and What It Means For Your Love Life

A New Form of Rejuvenation and What It Means For Your Love Life: Regenerative Medicine and the New You

Guest Post: Sunny Kim, Rn.

It is with great pleasure and privilege that I am guest-blogging for March! I asked Sara if I could borrow her soapbox this month, because every once in a while, here at Laserderm (the dermatology clinic that CyberDERM was first sold in and created for) we get to introduce game-changing treatments that make us so enthused we just can’t contain ourselves. I am the Director of Clinical Affairs at Laserderm, and also the dedicated Nurse Injector. I started nursing in oncology and dabbled on the orthopaedic surgery floor in my early days, but I feel my career really started when I started working at Laserderm. Laser and cosmetic dermatology has been my passion for the past 18 years, and other than a 6-year hiatus in Toronto working for Industry (Clinical Education and Research for laser companies), I have had the pleasure of being Dr. Laughlin’s side-kick.

As some of you know from recent visits to the clinic, Regenerative Medicine is something that is on our minds… What is it, you ask? To quote our Executive Director, Dr. Dudley: “Regenerative Medicine is arguably the most exciting new frontier in medicine today.” This is not an exaggeration, and we’re not the only ones excited about it. Recently the Federal government awarded 20 million dollars to advance stem cell research and the commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Canada.

Regenerative Medicine includes therapies which harvest and concentrate components of blood or cells, so that they can be re-injected or applied to injured, diseased or ageing tissue requiring repair or restoration. To date, clinical applications of autologous (you only get treated by YOUR OWN plasma or cells) platelet rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow derived stem cells, or adipose derived stem cells have offered new solutions in many branches of medicine: neurology, cardiology, opthalmology, urology, dermatology and plastic surgery, and orthopaedics, to name a few. Professional athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods received PRP treatment a few years ago, and brought media attention to the potential for PRP to accelerate and amplify the healing process; slow down or possibly even reverse degenerative processes like osteoporosis. The orthopaedic surgeons who have adopted this new approach have been able to defer or even replace joint surgery for some of their patients!

Closer to my heart, in the Dermatology and anti-aging world, PRP and Stem Cell therapies are novel approaches in reversing signs of photodamage, replacing old skin or scars with smoother and healthier skin, faster wound healing times when combined with laser surgery, hair restoration, tissue augmentation with micro-fatgrafting, and the sexiest use of PRP… the O-Shot. But we’ll come back to that later.

We are all trying to stay young longer, reclaim that healthier version of ourselves, and ward off signs of premature ageing. Most of us want to do this gracefully, still maintain our unique qualities in the pursuit of beauty, and what better way than to harness our OWN healing powers? PRP contains a ton of growth factors which are essential signalers to the body to activate the healing or repair process. Stem cells (harvested in adults from bone marrow or adipose/fat tissue) have the ability to become ANY type of cell needed in the area of injury or disease. That is huge- treatment options that are non-surgical, drug-free, and non-immunogenic (since you are only receiving your own tissue there can be no allergic reactions or rejection of tissue). There is a reason why Dr. Laughlin might never retire… she is just having too much fun and is exceedingly passionate about this new frontier in anti-aging.

I could go on, but let’s just leave it at that for now and get on with the juicy stuff. We recently launched our Women’s Health Program, and one of the treatments being offered is called the O-Shot. O is for Orgasm. And who doesn’t want one, a better one, a faster one, a bigger one, and more of them? Many of you have sat in a treatment chair in front of me, and trusted me with the fine details of your facial features. I pride myself in my workmanship, and I care deeply about the subtle curve of your cheeks and the symmetry of your lips. I care that you hate your one brow that is slightly higher than the other, I can fix that! Your trust is like a fiercely guarded prize to me, and I try my best to speak from first-hand experience whenever possible. So…. a couple of weeks ago I gave myself the gift of the O-Shot (Happy Valentines Day to my husband of 19 years!). Dr. Laughlin performed the procedure in about 15 minutes. I wanted to have the O-Shot so that I can tell you personally that it doesn’t hurt, I went skiing with my family immediately after the treatment, and it didn’t involve surgery, a costly drug or any implantation of a device. No medical procedure is 100% guaranteed effective, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that once the PRP starts working its magic, this story will have many… happy endings!

Trust me, you are worth it too.
To read more about our Regenerative Medicine Program or the O-Shot click here.

body after baby

Body After Baby: Treatments From Moms’ Perspectives

body after baby

My Little One-Couldn’t Help But Share!

I just had our beautiful baby girl 4 months ago- I can’t even remember what our life was like before her.  It seems like she has always been part of our family! Having said that, I definitely had some aspects of pregnancy take their toll.  One famous plastic surgeon once described pregnancy as napalm for the body but I would consider that to be a bit harsh.  I do remember being upset and anxious though during pregnancy, wondering what things would be like after having our baby.  From 7 weeks of pregnancy on, I broke out in red acne sparingly on my face but considerably on my back and chest.  I felt like a teenager all over again.  As much as you feel blessed to be pregnant and have a healthy baby, you still get down about body issues. The knowledge that I would be able to resolve some them perked me up considerably.  It’s also made recovery after birth feel hopeful if not exactly seamless.

In this month’s blog, we are going to hear first hand from medical professionals who are also moms.  They have had the odd issue relating back to having their kids and have had them treated.  Some of these moms have teenagers but have now gotten a chance to tackle some of those stubborn ‘bits’.  You certainly don’t have to have had kids to have some of these issues, either- so hopefully you can relate to some of the concerns listed below and find out how they were tackled! I’ve included links to our sister dermatology practices’ website ( for more information.

Mom #1 (Me!) Age: 32

# of Kids and their Ages: 1 Baby Girl (4 months)

Concern Post-Baby: broken blood vessels and stretch marks on breasts and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and residual acne on face and back

Treatment/s: Pulsed dye for broken blood vessels and stretch marks on breasts after engorgement, Venus Viva  TM for improving brown/acne marks, mild acne and refining pore size with some additional pulses of the Matrix IR for active cystic acne type pimples. Lactic Acid Glow ‘Peel’ for back resolving the PIH left behind after acne flare-up during pregnancy.

What Does/Do the Treatment/s Feels Like: The pulsed dye laser feels like a mild snap with a rubber band, followed by a warm sensation. Even on sensitive areas, the treatment was tolerable enough to do without numbing cream and was incredibly quick. The Venus Viva TM on the other hand feels like tiny pricking sensations while using a topical numbing cream. Some have described the sensation as irritating and unpleasant but overall the procedure again was pretty quick and only sensitive in certain areas like the upper lip. The Lactic Acid peel felt ‘hot’ and stingy for a couple of minutes but was otherwise completely tolerable.

First Impressions Afterwards and Recovery: The pulsed dye laser immediately leaves a dark purplish mark where the broken blood vessels were treated- my husband described it as looking like you were attacked by an animal (charming). The colour gets darker over the next couple of days before gradually fading. Some residual brown marks were left in some of the treated areas and were cleared up with a little help of Emblica Light and Bright. The Venus Viva TM left my face feeling warm and looking ‘splotchy’ for lack of a better word. However by the next day, it returned to normal looking except for perhaps being a little on the dry and rough side. The spots treated with the Matrix IR were slightly red but not noticeably. The Lactic Acid did not produce any actual peeling but just some gradual exfoliation.

Any Follow-Up Treatment? The broken blood vessels were completely cleared. The pink stretch marks were slight to begin with but are barely visible now. I might potentially have them treated one more time while there remains some pink colour in them (before they turn completely white) since it can only help them to drive more heat into the scar tissue for healing purposes. The Venus Viva TM did help to fade some of the left over acne marks but also just help to improve some minor wrinkles on my forehead, which was a nice little bonus! The Venus Viva TM is intended to include 3 treatments so I will return for those later. The active cystic pimples finally went away completely, which was nice after been resistant to any other types of treatment before the Matrix IR TM. I wish I could bring the Matrix IR TM home with me to treat any new ones that might crop up with hormonal flare-ups. Finally, the Lactic Acid Peel left my back feeling very smooth but I would get another follow-up treatment to help get rid of some of the stubborn remaining marks.

Mom # 2, Age: 36

# of Kids and their Ages: 2 kids, ages 4 (girl) and 4 months (boy)

Concern post-baby: melasma with pregnancies, brown pigmentation patches appeared on upper lip and upper cheeks.

Treatment: Fraxel TM after 1st pregnancy, and Q-switched Nd-YAG laser treatment after 2nd pregnancy

Tell us what the Treatment felt like: Fraxel TM laser 1550 feels “hot and intensely scratchy” so the skin is numbed with anaesthetic cream before the procedure. This takes the “edge off” and there is slight sunburned sensation after the treatment.  The Q-switched NdYAG laser treatment for melasma is done at very low energy settings so there is no discomfort or burning sensation, therefore no need for topical anaesthetic cream.

First Impressions Afterwards/What was Recovery Like: The Fraxel TM laser creates thousands of tiny “dots” of heat channels in the skin so it is red and swollen for a couple days, followed by some “bronzing” or browning of the skin which also feels like fine sandpaper. After several days this all exfoliates off and the skin feels smooth again. Makeup can be worn in the recovery period to help camouflage the temporary redness/browning.  The Q-Switched NdYAG laser treatment does not create any lasting inflammation or heat in the skin so there is no lingering redness, swelling or heat.

Any follow-up Tx: Melasma is a condition which is triggered by a combination of hormone fluctuation and UV exposure.  Although the laser treatments have virtually cleared the melasma so it is very difficult to see any pigmentation irregularity, vigilant skincare and DAILY UV protection (zinc is best) are the most important keys to maintaining even skintone. Occasionally if the melasma patch seems to darken (with hormone or season changes), some maintenance Q-Switch NdYAG laser treatments can be done to suppress the pigment again.

Mom # 3, Age: 45

# of Kids and their Ages: 2 kids ages 14 and 16

Concern post-baby:  my stomach and flanks

Treatment: Cool Core  TM and Cool Curve TM  Zeltiq TM treatments  for body contouring

Tell Us What the Treatment Feels Like: Both treatments attach to the area and then can only be described as sucking the bulge in question with a vacuum attachment.  The area is then frozen, which feels incredibly cold but not painful.  The area is then continually kept cold for the rest of the treatment, which lasts for a total of one hour.  The CoolSmooth TM is another type of attachment that lies flat on the area (so no vacuuming the bulge) but takes 2 hours total for the treatment. The treatment is a good time to read some magazines, catch up on some TV or just take a nap.

First Impressions Afterwards/What was Recovery Like: Recovery was pretty easy. Slight tenderness for about a week post tx. Over the following 3 months I noticed a nice sculpting of my waist and diminishing of my love handles.

Any follow-up Tx: I’d like to follow up treatment Zeltiq Cool Core TM treatment to upper abs for better contouring.  But so far, quite happy- I feel great in my clothing and especially my jeans!

Mom #4, Age: 37 

# of Kids and their Ages: 2 children, 9 and 5

Concern post-baby: urinary incontinence, mostly during sneezing or exercise

Treatment: Femilift TM- 2 treatments so far, one month apart

Tell Us What the Treatment Feels Like: The treatment itself is very comfortable, didn’t really feel any pain just a slight heat like sensation by the end of the treatment.

First Impressions Afterwards/What was Recovery Like: I had some mild cramping post treatment for about 2 hours.

Any follow-up Tx: I still need to do my 3rd treatment as that is what the protocol includes. I’m planning on doing one treatment a year for maintenance as well. Fortunately, I noticed results about a week after the first treatment.  I don’t need to sneeze with my legs crossed and no more leaking during jumping jacks!