Category: Uncategorized

Truth Serum – Skin Serums explained…

Posted on September 19th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Do you really need a skin serum? Top derms weigh in.

Layering is a big transformation for fall, and not just on the catwalks. Once considered a luxury skin treatment, serums – which you apply before your moisturizer – have hit the mainstream.

A serum is a concentrated formula created for a specific concern, and its benefits are purported to be cumulative. “Serums are clear liquids that contain active ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins,” explains Dr. Peter Vignjevic, a Dermatologist based in Hamilton, Ont. They’re also multi-taskers: Besides fighting wrinkles, serums can improve your skin’s texture, hydration and tone.

The secret to getting the most out of the skin-care product is its delivery system – the method by which active agents like retinol, ceramides, and vitamins get into your skin. And that depends on whether a product is formulated as a cream, lotion, or serum. “Serums offer a more stable environment for unstable compounds,” says Dr. David Zloty, a Vancouver based Dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of Dermatology at the University of British Columbia. “They generally contain a higher concentration of silicone or glycols, and the active agents can be fat-loving. They tend to mix together more easily, and the ingredients … Read More »

Get your game face on – Some A-lister celebs turning to Intraceuticals facials

Posted on August 28th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 6 comments

“I love, love, love them,” gushes Gemini-nominated actor Kristin Booth (Flashpoint).

Booth is referring to Intraceuticals Oxygen treatments, skin-rejuvenating facials that more and more A-listers depend on to get ready for close-ups. (Booth did a series of them in the weeks leading up to TIFF).

Unlike other facials, Intraceuticals aren’t about exfoliation, extractions or goopy layers of cream. And although they make use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy – using oxygen at a higher level of pressure than normal – they’re not exactly about oxygen, either.

“The Intraceuticals facial uses a cooling, forced stream of oxygen via a treatment wand to push a hyaluronic-acid serum from the epidermis (the skin’s surface) to the dermis underneath,” explains Dr. Sandy Skotnicki-Grant, medical director of the Bay Dermatology Centre where Booth goes for her appointments ( Hyaluronic acid, a molecule the skin also makes, can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. “It hydrates the skin, immediately firms and plumps it up to smooth out fine lines, and gives the complexion a nice glow.”

Eva Longoria, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Davis have enjoyed treatments. Justin Timberlake is quoted on the Intraceuticals website ( as saying they make his skin “look dope,” and Madonna is reportedly … Read More »

GROOM IT | High-Tech Shaving Prep

Posted on August 20th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 7 comments

Scientists have developed an odd fascination with hair removal.

The daily shadow that casts itself over the male face has particularly become the subject of bold, technological advancements.

Take, for example, the latest in shave-cream application technology: a newly minted Clarisonic skin care device encased in grey and targeted specifically with guys in mind ($217 at Sephora).

The hand-held oscillating brush outdoes human intervention, hands-down, the company says, with closer shaves and less razor irritation.

The device, a technological offspring of the Sonicare toothbrush, has been around for a while. But, with its charcoal grey exterior and claims of "ultimate" shaving joy, this latest incarnation offers an intensive skin care regimen in your home.

Consider this a brilliant maximizing of that R&D investment.

The brush has received generally positive reviews as a skin-cleansing device able to dig deeper and flush out twice as much from your porous outer coating than manual washing.

"Because of the combination of mechanical exfoliation (vibration and bristles) and the cleansers, the skin can be cleansed on a more thorough level versus regular cleansing," says Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett.

"The downside is that it is used at home and thus there is a risk of redness, increased sensitivity and irritation if not used … Read More »

Sun protection for summer

Posted on August 19th, by Helen in Uncategorized. No Comments

Starlets like Madonna and Kate Winslet shun the sun to maintain their youthful-looking skin. But when summer roles around for us sun-starved Canadians, chances are we’re going to soak in a few rays at the cottage, on a patio or at the beach. So now is a great time to brush up on your sun smarts.

Face Time

Our faces get the most direct exposure to damaging UVA rays (which cause damage on the cellular level) and UVB rays (those responsible for sunburn). In fact, almost 90 per cent of the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles and brown spots, can be attributed to sun exposure, so it’s essential to wear the right broad-spectrum sun protection to ward off damage.

Thanks to improved formulas and updated textures, sunscreen is easier to apply than ever. “Clear spray sunblocks with an SPF of 30 are effective, light, invisible and have great staying power,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based cosmetic dermatologist. “They work for all skin types, from normal to oily and prone to breakouts.”

The best way to apply a spray is to douse a cotton pad in the formula and evenly smooth it over your face so that don’t accidentally spray it in your eyes. “Most people are not applying enough,” says … Read More »

DARK VICTORY – Under eye circles explained

Posted on August 18th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 2 comments

All you need is a battle plan to beat under eye circles.

Looked in the mirror lately? If you’ve noticed an ever-darker bluish tinge around your eyes that has you looking like a football linebacker, you’re not alone. According to a recent Estée Lauder survey of 13,000 women, under-eye shadows (and puffiness) are our number one beauty worry. And, experts say, because of their varied causes, any plan of attack needs to be multifaceted.

SKIN DEEP “Dark circles are usually attributable to a vascular (blood vessel) bed beneath the skin, which make the area appear darker,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based dermatologist. It doesn’t help that the skin under the eyes is among the thinnest on the body, but genetics plays a major role too, since shadows are more noticeable on those with fair skin. “Another factor is age,” says Kellett. “Dark circles usually become a problem around age 35. As we (get older), we lose fat in the under-eye area, making dark circles look more prominent.” A third factor to add to the mix is pigmentation. Certain ethnicities have an olive-based skin tone, which imparts a yellowish or brownish hue to the area and can get worse with sun exposure. … Read More »

SWITCHED-ON BEAUTY – Forget rushing to appointments. New at-home devices remove hair, treat acne, and more.

Posted on August 16th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 7 comments

Until recent innovations in home spa tools, if I wanted body hair removed, it could cost me thousands. It would take up to 45 minutes to get to a cosmetic dermatologist or medspa for laser treatment, another 15 minutes or so for the procedure, then a trek home. I’d have to do it about five times over six months for almost permanent results.

Now, I can stay home and take 30 seconds to “flash” a small area, like my underarm, with a light-based hair removal device. I would still have to do this repeatedly to get results, but the convenience had heated up demand for at-home high-tech tools, say Stacy Baker, the New York-based editorial director for the beauty chain store Sephora.

How do home machines for hair removal, wrinkles, deep cleansing and acne reduction stack up to in-office procedures? “They both get you from A to B,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist in Toronto, but the in-office procedure “is significantly superior and will get you there faster and more effectively.”

That’s because the intensity of home devices is toned down for safety reasons. Even so, Kellett cautions you should check with a physician and read the literature that comes with the … Read More »

Do Overnight Serums Help You Sleep and Wake Refreshed?

Posted on August 15th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 4 comments

Serums and creams applied at bedtime help you waken with supple skin and silky tresses

Sleep is a precious commodity. And in our ever-quickening lifestyle it’s no wonder we’ve started to put those twilight hours to use:  Getting your beauty sleep is now a more literal phrase than ever, from youth-restoring serums to hair repair creams, our beds are the new beauty salons.

The concept of nighttime-specific creams is not new. It’s common knowledge that, when free of makeup and sweat, our skin can absorb and benefit from a richer cream, especially if it’s packed with antioxidants, peptides and all the hi-tech and natural ingredients that promise to do their duty in maintaining youth. But the technology behind the latest batch of overnight beautifiers does cover new ground, offering formulas that address more than one concern at a time and
venture beyond the face and into the hairline.

Not only are these products meant for multi-tasking when it comes to a beauty routine, but some of these same formulas work to induce a natural fountain of youth: a solid night’s sleep. In fact, recent findings in Medical News Today show that sleep deprivation actually speeds up the physical decline of old age. The state … Read More »

Ask a Dermatologist – Decoding Wrinkles

Posted on July 8th, by staff in Uncategorized. 4 comments

Tackling wrinkles is a priority for many Canadian consumers. Our resident dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett offers a crash course in understanding wrinkles.

Cosmetics: To start, what are embryonic wrinkles and how do they form?

Dr. Lisa Kellett: Fetal wrinkles commonly known as embryonic wrinkles occur during development in the uterus. They are seen in areas of natural folds such as the neck and palms.

Cosmetics: What are permanent wrinkles and when do they usually form on the face?

DLK: Permanent wrinkles can be fetal or they can occur as a result of skin laxity (eg. Nasolabial folds) or frequent movement (crow’s feet). They are usually seen more often in patients over the age of 30 and become more pronounced with age.

Cosmetics: What are reversible wrinkles?

DLK: They are expressive wrinkles that can be treated with Botox to cause a decrease in expressive muscle movement resulting in softening of wrinkles.

Cosmetics: We know that Retinol is a great anti-aging ingredient. But can you tell us about the variations on the molecule?

DLK: There are many forms of Vitamin A including tretinoin, isotretinion, and Retinol. Retinol is better tolerated as it is not as irritating as its cousins above.

Cosmetics: … Read More »

10 Bridal Beauty Musts

Posted on July 7th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Get gorgeous for your day in the spotlight by signing on for one (or all) of these high-tech beauty treatments.

1. Microdermabrasion
What is it? At Toronto’s DLK on Avenue (, microdermabrasion is one of the most popular treatments for brides-to-be because it produces immediate and dramatic results. The 30-minute procedure is a superficial type of treatment using very fine laser-cut diamond crystals to remove the dead outer layer of the skin resulting in a smoother skin surface.
Recovery time: None.

2. Restylane
What is it? This dermal filler is largely comprised of hyaluronic acid—a substance found naturally in your skin—that is used to plump and volumize areas of the face which are showing fine lines and signs of aging. Prime treatment areas: forehead lines, eyebrows, lips, marionette lines and cheeks. Over time, hyaluronic acid will be reabsorbed by your body so follow-up Restylane treatments are required every few months.
Recovery time: Next to none. There may be a little redness and skin swelling at the injection site, which typically lasts less than a week.

3. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy
What is it? If you suffer with hyperpigmentation, rosacea, facial spider veins or have fine lines you want to wave goodbye to, IPL will literally blast them … Read More »

Body Care: Fight Acne All Over – Pimples don't just pop up on your face, back and chest acne is a big problem, too. Toronto Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett has the solutions you need.

Posted on July 5th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 4 comments

What are the main causes of body acne?
According to Dr. Lisa Kellett, Principal Dermatologist at DLK on Avenue in Toronto, the main culprit when it comes to body acne is – no surprise here – hormones. Contributing factors are occlusions – like helmets, leotards, and anything that rubs on the skin gathering oil and sweat and hair products such as hairspray and gel exacerbate the problem, too.

How can you decrease the likelihood of body acne?
Dr. Lisa recommends the following: 1) Shower after physical activity 2) Wear clothing that “breathes”, such as natural fabrics including cotton and silk (wool is the exception) 3) And avoid skin and hair products containing minerals

How should teens care for chest and back acne differently than facial acne?
“The skin is thicker in these areas, therefore there are many great topical preparations such as medicated soaps,” says Dr. Lisa. Talk to your dermatologist about what they recommend.

Should teens develop a skin care regimen for their back and chest, similar to using a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer on their face?
Dr. Lisa says yes. Cleansers, toners and acne treatment gels, which contain moisturizer can and should all be used when treating body acne. Avoid any creams or lotions, on … Read More »

Six Inches: A Good Size for a Sun-Hat Brim

Posted on June 11th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 4 comments

You think your little hat actually protects your face from the sun? If it looks like either of the two hats on the right side of the above Gap image, you might want to be careful about going into the UVA/UVB light.

You need convincing? Have someone take a bunch of digi photos of you in your hat in the sun. Is your face fully shaded when you stroll the city sidewalks? Is your décolleté protected, and, if you have short hair, is the back of your neck?

Size matters when it comes to the brim of a good sun hat. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett told me years ago that six inches is the size to go for; a girl doesn’t forget that kind of information. When I spotted the second-from-the-left number in the above photo, I knew I’d found a keeper: the Albertus Swanepoel khaki wide brim hat ($44.50 CAN/$39.50 US). It’s part of the grouping the designer (that’s him) did for Gap’s limited-edition CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund collection, which launched early last week.

Don’t fret if you can’t get your hands on exactly that hat — Gap also has a gathered sun hat with a brim about as wide if … Read More »

Reveal trim, toned abs just in time for summer

Posted on June 10th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 5 comments

Leading experts discuss treatments for toned abs.

You’ve got your eye on a chic little bikini to wear on the beach this summer—but like many women, you’ve got a little extra padding in the stomach region. Blame it on Mom and Dad. “Women often genetically have a pot-belly in the lower abdomen,” says Dr. Robert Thompson, a Vancouver-based plastic surgeon. It’s also hard to maintain your midriff post-pregnancy. “After a baby, women may lose fat, but they can be left with lax skin, especially around the belly button,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist at DLK on Avenue in Toronto. But there are solutions, including tried-and true tummy tuck and liposuction procedures, as well as less invasive treatments like Thermage and UltraShape. Here’s how to show off your flat abs—fast!

If you’ve had a baby or lost weight and have loose skin, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck. Also known as abdominoplasty, the procedure is typically done under general anesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision at the bikini line to remove the extra fat and skin and tightens the muscles in the abdominal wall via sutures. Partial tummy tucks involve the removal of fat deposits below the navel; in … Read More »

Thighs, Butt and Stomach – UltraShape Innovation

Posted on May 31st, by Helen in Uncategorized. No Comments

 INNOVATION: The UltraShape

Call it what you will: orange-peel skin, dimples, cottage cheese… the fact is, most women of a certain age develop areas of cellulite and fat that no diet or amount of exercise seems to diminish. With descriptors like “non-invasive,” painless,” “safe” and “effective,” UltraShape’s ultrasound technology can help eradicate those unwanted fat cells (a.k.a. cellulite).

How does it work? While you lie down, a therapist holds an ultrasound paddle against your chosen body part. The machine liquefies the fat from the cells, sending it to the liver to be absorbed and/or excreted. Typically, three one-to-three hour sessions over about two months are recommended, resulting in a loss of up to nine centimeters of body mass and with it, reduced cellulite.

“Take the stomach or love handles. You know, the muffin top,” says dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue in Toronto. “That would cost about $600 and up per treatment, and three treatments are standard. “We’ve had some patients who’ve had one treatment and have lost one pant size.” Granted, the UltraShape doesn’t guarantee you’ll never pinch an inch again, since the body’s accumulation of fat is a never-ending cycle, and the system doesn’t work on smaller areas like … Read More »


Posted on May 19th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments


In April 1968, Vogue made what’s documented as the earliest editorial reference to the dreaded dimple, pointing to a growing awareness of the genetic affliction. Today, it’s no new phenomenon. And the truth is that most women – and a handful of men – will develop cellulite at some point in their lives.

In addition to genes, your skin’s thickness, diet smoking and lifestyle are factors. With age, adipocytes (cells designed to store fats) can enlarge, pushing against tissues beneath the skin. The result is a dimpled, puckered appearance commonly noticed in the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and sometimes even the arms. Unfortunately, admits Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, it’s a plague to which no mere mortal is immune.

While existing skin depressions are typically there to stay, evading new lumps and bumps is always an option, so Kellett advises, “Exercise, maintain a healthy body weight and consume a well-balanced diet.” Also, laser treatments, which use lymphatic drainage to improve the appearance of cellulite, and injectables such as lipodissolve, are on the menu at medical spas through the country. They are, however, pricey and can be limited in their effectiveness.

Fortunately, topical … Read More »

Ask A Derm – Is mineral makeup good for my skin?

Posted on May 18th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Question: Is mineral makeup good for my skin?

Answer: “There is no evidence to support the claim that mineral make up is any better for your skin or that it allows your skin to ‘breathe’ more than conventional makeup,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue “The term ‘mineral makeup’ is not regulated, thus it’s a case of ‘Buyer beware.’ However, mineral products that contain titanium dioxide can double as an effective sunblock. Look for one that offers SPF 30.”

From ELLE Canada – May 2009

VEINS, VEINS GO AWAY – What are Varicose Veins?

Posted on May 17th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

What are Varicose Veins?
Arteries carry blood to the body and veins carry blood back to the heart; capillaries connect arteries and veins. When capillaries weaken, blood can pool in the veins, making them bulge.

Although varicose veins are hereditary, increased pressure in the legs from standing for long periods of time, obesity and heat can make them look and feel worse.

They can be treated with sclerotherapy, in which a salt-dextrose solution is injected into the veins, causing them to shrink. Support tights inverted Yoga postures and a healthy weight can help prevent or mitigate varicose veins.

Text by Dr. Lisa Kellett

From Homemakers Magazine, June 2009

Non surgical treatments for skin

Posted on May 16th, by staff in Uncategorized. 2 comments

With the obvious exception of certain Hollywood stars—Nicole Kidman, we’re looking at you—in most cases, today’s name in the cosmetic-enhancement game is “undertreat.”

Top cosmetic dermatologists and surgeons are taking a judicious approach to injectibles such as Botox and Juvederm (a filler) and incorporating chemical peels and laser treatments such as IPL (intense pulsed light) and fraxel to help patients look naturally youthful rather than plastic.

“In L.A. the objective tends to be to erase all expression,” confirms cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jean Carruthers, clinical professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia and one of the pioneers of Botox use in facial rejuvenation.

“Stars know their faces are on display at least 10 times the size of reality and in high definition.

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But in other cities, we’re seeing more sensitivity to needing movement and character in faces.”

A proponent of combining Botox treatments with fillers to lessen time’s boot-print on the face, Carruthers says facelift numbers are actually down from previous years.

“We lose volume in certain areas as we age,” she points out. “Fillers were about filling in a line or wrinkle, but they’ve become more important when it comes to replacing volume. They give a softer … Read More »

Sun Wise: Ask a Dermatologist – The latest information on sun protection.

Posted on May 15th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 8 comments

Cosmetics Magazine: To start, can you tell us if there has been any new research on sun protection in the last 12 months?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: There is more interest in sun products that not only protect but also help to reverse skin damage done by the sun. You’ll see new multi-benefit sun products on shelves this summer. More evidence-based medicine is needed to further investigate this, but it is definitely an industry trend.

Cosmetics: The chief reason Canadians don’t wear sunscreen is that they say they don’t like the thick lotions. Ho do you respond to that? Are there any ways to wear sunscreen that me it more comfortable?
Dr. Kellett: Transparent spray SPF 30 sunblocks are the best, most innovative formulations that have come to the market now. They are easier to apply, have a great finish on the skin (ie dry, not greasy), and are great for people who want invisible protection. They are good for men, good for hair areas and good for all skin types including those prone to breakouts. I highly recommend them to my patients.

Cosmetics: There are some beauty brands claiming their sun products can reverse sun damage. Is that true?
Dr. Kellett: We are definitely starting … Read More »

Baby Q & A’s – My infant has baby acne – what should I do?

Posted on May 14th, by Helen in Uncategorized. 3 comments

Question: My infant has baby acne – what should I do?

Answer: Baby acne is very common and is most likely due to hormones, says Dr. Lisa Kellett. It usually shows up as small whiteheads on an infant's cheeks, forehead or chin.

"The best treatment for baby acne is to do absolutely nothing," says Dr. Kellett. "It will usually go away by itself in a couple of weeks, although it can take up to a month or two." She recommends using plain water or a mild cleanser at bath time and gently patting baby's skin dry. "Don't scrub, pick at the spots or apply acne medications as this will only irritate the skin further," she says. If your baby's acne hasn't cleared up within about three months, check with your doctor to rule out an infection or other health issue.

Expert: Dr. Lisa Kellett, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), D.A.B.D.

From – May 2009

To Cleanse?

Posted on April 2nd, by staff in Uncategorized. 6 comments

Busy mom and writer, Marissa Stapley-Ponikowski, asks Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett.