Universkin takes a revolutionary approach to skincare by allowing us to create formulas that fit each individuals’ unique needs. We are able to carefully select adapted active ingredients to treat specific skin concerns, some of which include:

  1. Oxidative Stress: The harmful effects of UV exposure include premature skin aging and cellular damage which can potentially lead to skin cancer.
  2. Skin Appearance: Wrinkles are a factor of natural aging and facial muscle contractions such as frowning, squinting, and smiling. They can be worsened by sun exposure and smoking. With age and rapid weight loss, elastin and collagen fibers in the skin break down, causing it to slacken. Proper targeted ingredients can help restore skin elasticity and prevent sagging skin. Swollen or puffy bags under the eyes can be caused by lack of sleep, fluid retention, heredity, or allergies. Though fatigue is the predominant cause of dark circles under the eyes, they can also result from allergies, thinning skin, sun exposure, and loss of fat or collagen.
  3. Skin Redness: A common problem experienced by many people at some point in their life, potentially causing psychological and self-confidence issues. Broken capillaries, or spider veins, are tiny veins seen on the skin surface. They are caused by irritation, inflammation, and repeat sun exposure.
  4. Skin Dryness and Dehydration: May result from environmental factors such as excessively cold or hot weather, lack of humidity, heating systems, and harsh soaps.
  5. Skin Texture: Tightness and intense itching due to rough skin can be the result of harsh weather conditions, UV exposure, frequent washing, hormones, age, and diet. Blackheads are a mild type of acne that form due to clogged hair follicles on the skin, while whiteheads form when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells block pores.
  6. Skin Oiliness: Oily skin occurs as a result of physical and emotional stress; warmer, more humid climates; hormones; and cosmetics that are comedogenic, which can trap oils within the skin.
  7. Skin Pigmentation: Skin pigmentation results primarily from excess sun exposure, though it is also caused by hormonal influences, genetic factors, and trauma to the skin.
  8. Pimples: Result from excess sebum production, hormones, and bacteria that forms when pores are clogged, leading to inflammation.

Come to either Papillon location today for a complimentary skin assessment and see which active ingredients are best for your skin type!

Calgary : (403) 263-0661

Okotoks : (403) 982-7771

Dealing with the Aesthetic side of Sun Damage: Part 2 ~ Treatments

Sun damage can begin to appear as uneven skin tone or texture, increased fine lines, deep wrinkles, skin laxity, dark spots, broken capillaries, and more. The tans of today are not worth it tomorrow. However, there are many things we can do to begin correcting and protecting our largest organ so it can flourish and glow well into our golden years. It’s a little-known fact that 80% of how you age is individual lifestyle and environment – not genetics. Skin awareness, high quality products, and medical aesthetic procedures were not around for the generations before us. Now, more than ever, we can choose how we age!

Papillon Medical addresses this in a holistic manner, believing that happiness and well-being are the most important things in life. Healthy skin is beautiful skin, and it will do wonders for how you feel about yourself. My job is to help you achieve and exceed your skin goals, to help you move confidently through every stage of life!

Treatment plans must be carefully considered for each patient based on time of year, medical condition, concerns being addressed, and the willingness to go through some “down time”. Many of the most effective treatments require some time for the skin to heal (long weekends are ideal for these), but it’s important to understand what to expect from treatment before jumping in.

One of the best introductory services we offer is the hydrafacial. Hydrafacials use chemical and mechanical exfoliation via abrasive wand tip and gentle vacuum suction. With this action, we get even exfoliation, lymphatic drainage, circulation stimulation, and excellent serum penetration. I recommend purchasing a package upfront (this means a discount, of course!), and scheduling regular hydrafacials to compliment other treatments, or just for the transition of seasons. We can also add powerful boosters to enhance and tailor results to your individual needs. Everyone can benefit from a hydrafacial, and I encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have.

Microneedling is one of my favorite treatments for solar damage and other concerns. We see incredible results in the way of skin firming, evening tone, treating many different forms of scars, and giving the skin a youthful, supple feeling. Microneedling is safe for all skin types and has minimal downtime.

IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments are famous for their effectiveness in treating dark spots. The powerful light emissions bring pigment to the skin’s surface, so people can expect to see their sun damage darken before it gently sloughs off. For best results, we like to do a series of six treatments at four-week intervals. IPL is not safe to do during summer months and has a list of contraindications we must consider before treating safely.

Laser rejuvenation/prejuvenation is an excellent way to target the laxity issues associated with photodamage (I have even written a separate blog on this subject here). At Papillon Medical, we have Fotona SP Dynamis and Cutera Laser Genesis which are both wonderful at stimulating collagen production, tightening elastin, shrinking pores, and more. I love customizing laser treatments for my clients with this multi-faceted equipment. For example, we can do a series of intra-oral laser treatments to tighten up the lower face and address lines around the mouth, as well as a full-face laser rejuvenation using different wavelengths to target different layers of the skin. This treatment strengthens and stimulates the facial skin to address existing concerns and slow the aging process. Both of these lasers can be used to treat broken capillaries as well, as long as the treatment is properly distanced from other laser sessions.

Laser peels have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and for good reason! By performing controlled laser ablation to the skin, we can remove visible damage and stimulate collagen. Each treatment is customized to target the individual client and their individual concerns at every stage of life. Oftentimes, it is hugely beneficial to do a fractional laser ablation around the mouth for greater collagen stimulation, or on areas of scarring and dark spots at the same time. Results of laser rejuvenation are cumulative, so it is usually best to build upon a series and add a resurfacing treatment at the end. I love to see people commit to a package of gentle rejuvenating treatments (which firm up the skin and stimulate faster cell turnover) then finish with a laser peel. Talk about a transformative glow!

The season for laser peels is winter. I do not recommend pursuing these treatments during the warm and sunny months at all, and certainly not before a vacation! But we can always work toward better results from your peel(s) with other treatments throughout the year, and with the daily use of high-potency skin care products.

Whatever your areas of concern may be, there are always steps we can take to see real improvement. Be kind to yourselves, take care, and please reach out with any questions. This skin nerd loves a challenge!

By Nicole Whiteside, Medical Aesthetician / Laser Technician
Papillon Medical & Dermatology

Dealing with the Aesthetic side of Sun Damage: Part 1 ~ Skincare products

The first thing we need to understand when dealing with sun damage is that there should be a lifestyle shift.  While treatments can do a magnificent job at treating signs of sun damage, it is never one and done.  Just as we continue our exposure to UV and environmental damages every day, we need to take daily action for our skin as well.  A proper skin care routine cannot be overrated.  I, myself, used to justify less potent products from the drugstore because they listed the right active ingredients on the label; it’s easy to assume they are the same thing.  Now it’s time to bust that myth!  The efficacy of an active ingredient is all in the correct dosage, correct carrier, and correct application.  Vitamin C, for example, loses potency quite easily and is not effective in a cream base unless it is properly encapsulated.

Skin care is not one size fits all – unless we’re talking sunscreen (and there are NO exceptions to that requirement).  Everybody has different levels of sensitivity, barrier function, genetic conditions, medication, and history written in their skin.  So please, take advantage of a complimentary consultation and let us set you up with an effective skincare routine.  I am offering email consultations at this time, or you can call the clinic and speak to our knowledgeable staff.  (FYI: Starting on a good skin care routine six weeks before any treatment will also enhance the results of your treatment and set you up for significantly greater results.  It truly is a beautiful thing!)

Skin care routines should change with the seasons, and summertime is when we can focus on topical antioxidants, moisturizers, and sunscreens.  In Calgary’s climate, our skin can feel such a relief from the harsh winter months that we forget to moisturize at all.  I advise against this.  Even if you apply a very light moisturizer in the daytime and a heavier moisturizer at night, barrier function is important for skin health.  Moisturizers work on the integrity of that barrier while softening skin cells so active ingredients can work deeper into the skin and the cells can smoothly perpetuate their natural cycle.  Calgary is always dry and the environment literally pulls moisture from our skin; if you think about how oil and water don’t mix, it makes sense that a healthy level of oil on the skin’s surface can help to preserve moisture where we need it most in our skin.

As mentioned in the sun awareness article, antioxidants are a vital aspect of everyday skin care to prevent aesthetic sun damage and to keep cells healthy.  At Papillon Medical, we carry two dermatology-grade skin care lines which have customizable active ingredients.  This is a dream come true for me, as we can choose which of the two brands works best for a client and continue tailoring the specific active ingredients each time the product runs out.  The first of the two is Universe Skin.  This line focuses on anti-inflammation and high-potency actives.  The line comes complete with only the “P” serum used for active application.

Our other customizable line is Dermaviduals.  This line is based on the concept of corneotherapy, a remedial skin treatment methodology with its core principle being the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defense systems.  The skin cells are softened so the actives can penetrate deeper into the skin.  Each line is appropriate for different skin types, and they each come with a wide range of powerful active ingredients.

Papillon also carries the well-known brands ZO, Alyria, and Skin Medica.  While these products are already mixed with their actives, they allow us to work with a wider range of options for clients with different budgets and needs.

While the prices of active and effective products may initially seem daunting, studies show that it’s almost equivalent to what you might spend on products at the drug store.  This is because it takes much less effective product to make a greater impact on the skin.  You should never have to use more than a pea-sized amount of each product.

By Nicole Whiteside, Medical Aesthetician / Laser Technician
Papillon Medical & Dermatology

The Sun’s Relationship With Your Skin

What you need to know about the sun’s relationship to skin, a message from your Medical Aesthetician.

We are all celebrating the break in the cold weather as spring is waking up in our city. The warmth and light of the sun is a truly wonderful and healing part of life.

It is important to understand how the sun affects your skin so that you can enjoy it safely. As you read this, please don’t stress about the past! I’m here to help you to deal with the results of those experiences, but we’ll get to that in another article. The amazing star that warms our planet and gives it light and life should not be scorned for its scorch; it’s our responsibility to learn and take care.

Sunlight is composed of visible light, infrared light, and UV (ultraviolet) light. UV light is a form of light energy – a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, or solar spectrum – which is harmful to us. UV radiation is a proven carcinogen and has three wavelengths: A, B, and C. UVC has the shortest wavelength and is mostly absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.

UVA rays have the longest and most damaging wavelength and are not blocked by clouds, windows, or most clothing. 80% of UVA light still comes through on a cloudy day, which means you should wear sunscreen every day, no matter the weather. These wavelengths also travel the deepest into the skin, into the dermis and the hypodermis causing damage to the collagen and elastin fibers. The dermis is comprised of 70% collagen and is commonly referred to as the “scaffolding” of the skin, holding it up and giving it structure. The effect of UVA light becomes obvious over time as it accelerates the signs of aging – even if it never amounts to a sunburn. The damage is invisible and gradual, and the cumulative effects of this damage show up later as thickened, aged skin.

UVB is a shorter wavelength which cannot pass through window glass. It primarily affects the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, then gradually travels to the dermis. The radiation intensity of UVB is about a thousand times stronger than UVA, and it’s the major cause of skin cancer as it is highly cytotoxic (toxic to living cells) and mutates DNA. UVB is responsible for sun burns and tanning, both of which are forms of skin cell damage. Most commonly over time, this damage presents (visually) as dark spots, thinned skin which shows veins, enlarged pores, textural issues, and more. The saving grace of UVB is that it does contribute to the body’s synthesis of Vitamin D. While sunlight itself does not contain Vitamin D (a common misconception), it does aid in its synthesis.

What we experience with radiation on the skin is “free radical damage”. Free radicals attack and steal the electrons of our cells causing cellular confusion. They cause inflammation, oxidation, and photoaging. This is why antioxidants, which have extra electrons to support cellular function while correcting and protecting, should be a core aspect of everybody’s skin care routine.

L-Ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, is a common antioxidant used in skincare. L-Ascorbic acid is an unstable molecule; it doesn’t hold potency when exposed to open air or light and needs to be properly processed in a lab. Look for medical grade serums with 10% (or higher) Vitamin C or ask your Medical Aesthetician for recommendations.

Other antioxidants for your skin include Vitamin E and A. For some people who struggle with acne, Vitamin E can be too heavy and cause breakouts. In others, it helps oxidative stress and softens the outer layers of the skin, thus aiding in a clear complexion. As we are all so unique, it is important to have discussions about your skin and skincare routine with an educated professional. Skincare consultations at Papillon Medical are always complimentary, and we invite you to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.

One last point about sun protection is that not all sunscreens are good for you. Many drug store, chemical-based sunscreens actually contain free radicals themselves! There are two types of sun protection products: physical blocks and chemical screens. Physical sun blocks (look for products that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) do not penetrate the skin. Chemical sunscreens need to be reapplied often, as they are absorbed into the skin and are processed through the body. Many people find physical sun blocks too heavy and white appearing to want to use them on their face; this is why medical grade skin care lines have created a variety of blended physical/chemical sunscreens. My favorite way to protect my skin without looking like I’m wearing a mountain of sunblock is to use any ZO sunscreen after my moisturizer, and then dust Jane Iredale Pressed Powder (which has a mineral SPF of 25, made to match all skin tones) overtop. Finish with a spritz of rose petal water for a dewy set.

I hope this message inspires you all to reach for your sunscreen and add antioxidants A, C, and E into your daily face and body routine – especially during this warmer weather.

By Nicole Whiteside, Medical Aesthetician / Laser Technician
Papillon Medical & Dermatology