Category: Uncategorized

Understanding Skin Care Ingredients – Advice straight from the derms on how to get the best products for your skin

Posted on May 13th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Skincare science is evolving at a break-neck pace – so much so that it feels like you need a science degree to figure out which products are worth purchasing. We appealed to some skincare professionals for advice on which ingredients deliver the best results and which ones may leave you red in the face.

For busting fine lines Instead of tretinoinAlso known as retin-A, tretinoin is a prescription-only product that’s used to treat acne and deep wrinkles. Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue says this ingredient can cause redness and flaking if you have sensitive skin.

Look for one percent retinol

Dr. Kellett recommends using one percent retinol to fight the signs of aging. “Retinol is a type of vitamin A and it tends not to be very irritating,” she explains. “It also comes in a liquid. I often get patients to mix this with their moisturizer so that it’s not as drying.”

FLARE pick: Clear Clinical Vitamin A Booster, $230. Available at DLK on Avenue

For moisturizing Instead of petrolatum or lanolin Dr. Francine Gerstein of True MediSpa in Toronto advises against using products containing petrolatum, a … Read More »

Viral video turns spotlight on melanoma

Posted on May 11th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 22 comments

The video, which can be viewed at, was created by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, a group founded in memory of a local accountant who died from melanoma in 2005 at the age of 32. It was uploaded to YouTube May 2, because May is Melanoma Awareness Month in North America.

Treating rosacea

Posted on May 9th, by staff in Uncategorized. No Comments

(2011) Canadian dermatologists have had one more therapeutic option available for use in their Rosacea patients, following approval last summer of azelaic acid 15%.

“It seems to be working well,” says Dr. Lyn Guenther, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Western Ontario and a dermatologist in private practice in London, Ont. “There is not one therapy that works in 100 per cent of patients 100 per cent of the time. For some people, a treatment like metronidazole may not be sufficient. It is nice to have another option.” Dr. Guenther notes some patients are very loath to taking oral antibiotics and want to try all possible topical agents before resorting to oral antibiotics.

Azelaic acid gel (15%), is a topical therapy designed to address the inflammatory papules, pustules and flushing or redness that characterizes papulopustular rosacea. Two randomized, placebo-controlled trails of the azelaic acid gel conducted in the U.S. demonstrated a reduction in redness and swelling in rosacea patients and demonstrated that the topical therapy was well-tolerated.

Finacea can be used as monotherapy to treat the papulaes, pustules, and redness associated with rosacea or it can be used in combination with therapies such as metronidazole, which is available … Read More »

Spring Clean Your Skin

Posted on May 6th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 5 comments

Winter is harsh on aging skin, making it flaky, rough, dull and inelastic. Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett suggests spring as a good time to refresh our complexions by ridding them of dead skin. “I tell all my patients to exfoliate twice a day, as one of the cheapest and fastest ways to better looking skin,” she says. And who doesn’t want their skin to glow like model Beverly Jackson?

Kellett advises using an exfoliator with small beads in a non-foaming gel base but to avoid exfoliators with rough grains if you have sensitive skin.

If you’re looking for a medically directed approach, Kellett advises a SilkPeel Infusion, which exfoliates, delivers nutrients and replenishes moisture by using a patented hand piece whose treatment head exfoliates and infuses condition-specific serums deep into the epidermis. These serums can also address fine lines, wrinkles and overall skin texture.

“Especially after the winter has stripped the skin of its shine, there’s no better way to stimulate cellular turnover than to use both of these methods for a fresher, healthier looking complexion,” says Kellett.

From Zoomer Magazine, April 2011 – Written by Kim … Read More »

Ulthera vs Thermage

Posted on April 27th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 4 comments

Neck and Neck – When a friend contemplates two options for getting rid of her waddle, Laura Keogh guides her through the stressful decision-making process.

If the beauty industry were Vegas, a friend of mine would be considered a whale at its casinos; she’s always willing to gamble large, especially when the stakes are high. From peels to injectables, she bests me in terms of the number of procedures and treatments she has under her belt. Therefore, it wasn’t shocking when she pulled me aside after a business meeting to get my opinion on the state of her mid-40s neck. “I want to get something done to tighten it. What do you think?” she asked. I gave her my take and offered a few suggestions. I figure she’d have one of them done in the next five minutes and then be in her yoga class the next morning. It wasn’t the case. When it comes to our image, are there really any simple solutions – or easy decisions – out there?

My friend – let’s call her Abbie (name has been changed) – is one of the most salt-of-the-earth kinds of people: warm, thoughtful and kind. She’s also a really successful chick. … Read More »

Truth about Anti-Aging Creams

Posted on April 25th, by staff in Uncategorized. 9 comments

You’re not getting older, you’re getting better. Well, maybe. But your skin’s also getting more wrinkly, thinner and dried out, and dermatologists say that even a truckload of over-the-counter anti-aging creams and lotions won’t do much to halt the Mother Theresa look.

“There’s some cursory evidence that (the ingredients of anti-aging creams) used in a test tube and animal model may have an effect,” says Dr. Jason Rivers, a Vancouver dermatologist and professor in the University of British Columbia’s department of medicine. “You can show molecular changes or production of collagen (a key component of skin, collagen changes with age, causing the skin to wrinkle). But whether that translates into an actual clinical result is another issue altogether.”

Products with retinol or vitamin C may stimulate collagen or improve skin appearance, says Rivers. But the effect is “mild and takes a long time.”

In fact, a 2007 Consumer Reports study found that even the top-rated anti-aging potions applied for 12 weeks reduced the average depth of wrinkles by less than 10 per cent. That amount is barely visible to the naked eye, according to the magazine.

And just to deepen those furrows of consternation between your eyebrows, the study also concluded that there was … Read More »

Bootylicious! – The bottom line on the latest cellulite products and treatments.

Posted on April 1st, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Cellulite doesn’t discriminate. Tall or petite, curvy or thin, almost all women have lumpy, dimpled skin on their thighs and backsides. But, while you can’t eliminate it completely, there are ways to minimize its appearance.

Dream machines

Lipomassage by Endermologie ( does it work? Massage helps flush fat cells out of your body. How long does it take? Twenty twiceweekly 45-minute sessions, followed by a monthly treatment. Plus/minus It’s painless for most, but the appearance of cellulite can actually worsen before it starts to work. Cost Approximately $100 a session.

Ultrashape ( does it work? Ultrasound helps destroy fat cells. How long does it take? Three 45- to 60-minute monthly sessions. Plus/minus Rapid, painless and permanent, but not recommended for those with a lot of weight to lose. Cost $400 to $1,000.

Thermage ( How does it work? Radio frequencies tighten skin by heating it. How long does it take? One or two sessions. Plus/minus Lasts up to six months, but it’s expensive and can be painful. Side effects include redness, swelling, depigmentation, hyperpigmentation and scarring. Cost Approximately $1,500.

Smooth … Read More »

Adult Acne

Posted on March 22nd, by staff in Uncategorized. 7 comments

You’re an adult. You shouldn’t be getting acne, right? But the reality is that acne can occur at any time in life. Here’s what you need to know to understand and conquer this common but frustrating skin problem.

Pilosebaceous follicles (pores) contain a hair root, a hair shaft and a sebaceous gland that produces sebum, an oily substance. The sebum flows into the hair shaft, travels up to the skin’s surface and works to protect the skin from infection and prevent water loss.

Acne is a visible result of disruptions of the biological process in the follicle. This disruption can be caused by many variables, (see “The Causes”), but there are four contributing factors that can produce acne, whether on their own or in combination.

1. LACK OF HAIR.  “Like the wick of a candle, the hair wicks sebum out,” explains Holly Sherrard, education director of the International Dermal Institute in Toronto. “When there’s a lack of hair there, the sebum tends to stay in the follicle.”

2. DEAD SKIN CELL BUILDUP.  This buildup can block pores and trap the sebum inside. “People with a predisposition to acne can have four to five times as many dead skin cells building … Read More »

The new liposuction

Posted on March 6th, by staff in Uncategorized. 5 comments

Aside from absolute dedication to working out and a smarter diet, a head-to-toe weight-loss strategy can be tough to master. These high-tech, non-invasive treatments can help jump-start a new attitude to health and weight control. Yes, you can use these methods to get on the path to a stay-in-shape routine but if you don’t make a lifelong commitment to eating smarter and exercising regularly, the results will be short-lived.


“What am I – about a B or C cup now?” Robert Craig (not real name), a 51 year old marketing executive, used to joke with his trainer about his “man boobs” Despite his best efforts working out at the gym and dieting, he just couldn’t get rid of the excess fat on his chest. Breast (gynecomastia) development in males aged 18-65 is fairly common occurrence that can be embarrassing and can prevent men from enjoying life to the fullest, says cosmetic surgeon Dr. Sean Brian Rice, who treats a lot of men with this condition. He explains that the causes are often linked to a hormonal imbalance in males who produce less estrogen or whose testosterone is converted into estrogen if they are on the chunky side. He … Read More »

Top 10 Acne Misconceptions

Posted on March 1st, by staff in Uncategorized. No Comments

Dr. Lisa Kellett is one of Canada’s foremost authorities on acne. Her clinic in downtown Toronto specializes in treating all forms of the skin condition and she’s often asked to lecture on the latest acne treatment technology. Still, her patients come to her with many of the same misconceptions about the causes of and solutions for blemished skin. Here, we ask her to clear up acne myths.

Cosmetics Magazine: Let’s start with the most common acne question: Does eating junk food cause acne break outs?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Your skin is reflective of your overall health. Because it is the largest [and as a dermatologist believe] most important organ of the body, it is very visible. Therefore, internal signs of disease can often be seen in the skin. If a patient’s diet is poor with nutrition, their skin will reflect this by not looking as healthy as it should. However, if a patient is generally healthy and looks after their diet then the odd candy will not cause acne (acne vulgaris).

Cosmetics: Does squeezing pimples make them heal faster?
Dr. L.K.: Squeezing or any method of traumatizing pimples can lead to increased inflammation, infection, scarring and cyst formation so do NOT squeeze, pick or … Read More »


Posted on February 11th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 5 comments

The popular lash growth serum promises big results but reports of potential side effects are beginning to surface. We look at both sides of the story.

Late last year rumours began swirling that Claire Danes, the latest spokesperson for the eyelash enhancing serum Latisse, was experiencing unpleasant – and unflattering – side effects. The SAG award-winning actress has since denied that Latisse caused purple and yellow discolouration on her eyelids, but she has admitted that she experienced redness around her eyes during the first week of use.

Latisse is a drug approved by Health Canada to treat sparse, fair or inadequate lashes. It promises fuller, darker, and longer lashes in 16 weeks. You need a prescription from a doctor or dermatologist to buy it and it costs about $150 per month. To use it, you apply the clear serum to the skin just above the lashes on your top lid every night before bed. Typically, people notice an improvement after a few weeks.

So does it actually work? Lisa Wilcott is a fair-haired, light skinned 30-year-old woman living in Toronto who used Latisse for months. “I wanted to … Read More »

Ingenious Top-Secret Tips for Looking Younger Instantly

Posted on February 1st, by Helen in Uncategorized. 9 comments

We polled dozens of celebrity makeup artists, colourists, stylists and dermatologists for their all-time best tricks for looking more than a few years fresher in a flash – sans knives or needles.

“Use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher around your eyes during the winter. It will give you sun protection without having product run into your eyes.” Dr. Lisa Kellett, Toronto-based Dermatologist

From Glow Magazine Beauty Glow Guide, February-March 2011, Written by Megan Kirkwood and Tania Kwong

Winter Skin Care

Posted on January 13th, by staff in Uncategorized. 5 comments

It’s that time of year again! Cozy fireplaces, hot chocolate, watching the white flakes fall — and I don’t mean snow. “In the winter, my skin gets so rough and dry that it flakes off,” complains Calgary-based lawyer Sara Lefebre, 31. “I end up slathering on moisturizer like crazy!”

Many of us experience the same patchy eczema and dry skin as Sara in the wintry months, thanks to the ubiquitous forced-air furnaces in our homes and workplaces combined with the arid outdoor climate and cold blustery winds. “We also tend to take longer, hotter showers or baths, which strip skin of its natural lipid layer,” says Dr. Michelle Withers, a community dermatologist in Burnaby, B.C. Lipids are natural oils produced by your body and are an essential part of your skin’s defence against environmental onslaughts.

Since hot water is excellent at stripping away your skin’s natural oils, Withers advises that, while not quite as relaxing as a long, hot shower, “a short, tepid shower is much less harmful.” Since most soap is quite harsh on your skin, Withers advocates using “very gentle cleansers, such as Cetaphil Cleanser or Dove for Sensitive Skin.” She also recommends “using soaps only on certain areas such … Read More »

Her skincare routine

Posted on January 11th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 7 comments

Elevate magazine included Dr. Lisa Kellett in their round up of “the most gorgeous cosmetic professionals we know.”

ASK A DERMATOLOGIST – Is Dry Skin Making you Look Older?

Posted on January 6th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 5 comments

Dry Skin is a condition that is most commonly associated with the skin on our face. We often notice flaking skin, rough texture and tightness during winter months when humidity levels plummet and Arctic winds draw away any moisture in the stratum corneum. These same symptoms can also pop up throughout our body from hands and feet to legs and arms. We ask acclaimed dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett to explain the condition and how best to treat it.

Cosmetics: How do you describe dry skin and what are the symptoms? Dr. Lisa Kellett: Dry skin is a term used to describe flaking and irritation of the skin.

C: What percentage of Canadians suffer from dry skin in winter? DLK: There is no actual percentage to accurately depict the amount of Canadians who have dry skin in the winter as it is not a medical term however, suffice it to say that “dry skin” is very common in the winter on the body and especially the hands.

C: I’ve heard that the lips are the only part of the body that don’t have oil glands. Is that … Read More »

DLK Cares

Posted on December 17th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 9 comments

Women’s Post names Dr. Lisa Kellett among the list of Top 20 Women of 2010.

How to get younger looking eyes

Posted on December 11th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 7 comments

For millennia, women have searched for ways to give their eyes — especially those all-important eyelashes — drama, depth and show-stopping power. From mascara to eyelash tinting to lash extensions and, recently, more over-the-counter eyelash conditioners, women throughout the ages have gone to great lengths for great lashes.

The result of this centuries-old search for more beautiful and compelling eyes has made the eye makeup category number one in the Canadian cosmetic market, accounting for 20% of all cosmetic sales, according to the 2009 Coty Trends Report.

“Beginning with the ancient Egyptians who used kohl, a powdery mixture of soot and metal, to define their eyes and eyebrows, women have always wanted long and full lashes,” says Karen Malcolm, a Calgary-based professional makeup artist with shows such as the Junos, the Geminis and the Country Music Awards to her credit.

Research has also shown that 54% of Canadian women want to be able to grow their own eyelashes longer, thicker and darker. As well, according to research, having luscious lashes makes women feel more beautiful, glamorous and confident.

So it’s no surprise that many women’s beauty kits are stocked with tools and products that help them achieve eye-catching illusions.

For example, eyelash curlers are effective at … Read More »

How to beat blemishes

Posted on December 2nd, by staff in Uncategorized. No Comments

The ability to ace “no makeup makeup” is beauty’s Holy Grail. After all, who doesn’t covet the naturally perfect skin required to pull off a look with nary a speck of cover-up in sight? But even if you’re beset by chronic breakouts, congested pores and oil overload, clearing up your complexion–once and for all–need not be a mythical quest. Just follow our experts’ sure-bet ways to get your skin in spotless shape.


Fact of life: the more noteworthy the special occasion, the more likely you are to wake up resembling Rudolph. Treat it like the pros: “I’m a big fan of benzoyl peroxide. Put a bit on a Q-tip and apply to the pimple,” advises Dr. Lisa Kellett, Dermatologist at DLK on Avenue in Toronto. The ingredient is one of the most reliable blemish busters around, and acne-causing bacteria don’t build up resistance to it (whereas the power of antibiotics-based products can wane over time). “It helps dry things up,” explains Dr. Kellett, noting that superficial spots should shrink within 24 hours. If your skin is too sensitive for benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acids another perennial favourite and is … Read More »

Lust for lashes

Posted on November 29th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

For most of her life, Winnipegger Lorrie Sudoski has been on a quest for long, sweeping eyelashes — the kind of “big, bold, look-at-me lashes” she’s seen Hollywood starlet Drew Barrymore coo about in her Cover Girl ads.

But despite trying countless tubes of mascara from Cover Girl and other major brands, Sudoski never got the look she wanted.

So now it’s go-big or go-home time for the St. James resident who has pinned all her hopes on Latisse. The drug has been available at doctors’ offices in Canada for just over a week. Latisse is manufactured by California-based Allergan, the same company that makes Botox.

Latisse is really a rebranding of Lumigan, a drug used in Canada since 2002 to treat glaucoma, a serious eye disease that causes elevated pressure in the eye. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Lumigan works by lowering eye pressure.

Before the development of Latisse, glaucoma patients using Lumigan noticed their eyelashes growing longer and thicker. Many would ask their ophthalmologists if they could apply Lumigan, a drop, in their non-diseased eye to even out lash growth.

Allergan decided to turn a not-completely-understood side effect into the profit-making Latisse. It’s been available in the United States since 2008. … Read More »

Botox vs Snake Venom

Posted on November 17th, by staff in Uncategorized. 6 comments

The venomous strike from a Southeast Asian temple viper can kill a mouse in seconds. Now, the seriously lethal poison with the power to paralyze on contact has inspired a new needle-free way to fight wrinkles. Does this mean bye-bye to Botox?

Four years ago, the scientists at Swiss-based pharmaceutical brand Pentapharm—the keepers of a Brazilian snake farm used for medical testing—discovered a link between anti-aging and the paralysis-inducing properties of temple-viper venom. If the viper could send its victims into a permanent stupor with its venom, they reasoned, perhaps the same science could be used to tame crow’s feet and forehead furrows. So they developed SYN-AKE, a topical synthetic tripeptide that mimics the protein in venom responsible for inhibiting neuromuscular activity. When applied to the skin, SYN-AKE relaxes the “frowning and grimacing” muscles that lead to deep wrinkles.

Clinical tests with 45 women over 28 days showed the SYN-AKE reduced the depth of crow’s feet by at least eight percent and forehead lines by as much as 52 percent, reports Eric Lippay, senior skin-care marketing manager for DSM, which owns the Pentapharm brand. “Still, its synthetic”, he says. “Snake venom was only the inspiration.” Nonetheless, this faux poison is a hit … Read More »