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So far Kamloops Skin Solutions has created 7 blog entries.

The Best Ways to Treat Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Since the beginning of time, people have been selling ‘beauty’ in a bottle. From skincare products to various treatment technologies, there are now so many options promising guaranteed results that it is difficult to sort out which options are best for you.

Think about what you are trying to achieve. Are you looking for a nice moisturizer or are you wanting some skin tightening and correction of fine lines and wrinkles?

Before going any further, it is important to understand the layers of your skin.

Layers of Skin Demonstrating Depth of Specific Treatments

Layers of the Skin with Treatment Depths

The top layer of skin that you see is called the Epidermis. It is made up of multiple layers of flattened cells and provides your body with a protective barrier. The outermost layer of the epidermis continually sheds or is exfoliated. It is this layer that skin products, facials, and home therapies target. At the base of the epidermis are cells called melanocytes that make melanin or pigment, and give skin its colour.

The Dermis is the middle layer of skin and it has two parts, the Superficial or Papillary Layer and the Reticular Layer. The papillary layer is just under the epidermis. It supplies nutrients to the epidermal layer and regulates body temperature. The deeper, reticular layer, is tougher. It strengthens the skin and provides it with elasticity. The reticular layer contains hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, lymphatics, and nerve endings. It is the layer that has collagen bundles and elastin. This gives the skin strength and flexibility. The cells that make collagen and elastin are called fibroblasts.

Beneath the dermis is the Hypodermis or Subcutaneous Layer. It consists of a network of collagen and fat cells. It helps to conserve the body’s heat and acts as a “shock absorber” to protect the body from injury.

So, if you are just looking for a “freshen up” — targeting the epidermis with home therapies or spa facials can do that. However, if you want structural change, increased collagen, increased elastin, skin tightening, and the improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, you must target the dermis or hypodermis.

Now let us unpack your best treatment options based on how deep they go!

Home Therapies

There are many things that you can do from the comfort of your home to improve the look and quality of your sin. They will provide resurfacing of the superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. Examples include dermarolling, facials, and over-the-counter chemical peels which can be done on a weekly basis.

One of the most effective home therapies is Retinol (Vitamin A). It is a well-researched healthy skin essential. Retinol upregulates the cell turnover cycle in the epidermis which then promotes the growth of collagen and elastin. It also regulates melanin production reducing pigmentation of the skin. If you experience hormonal acne, it reduces pore size and pore-clogging. Retinol penetrates the epidermis and slightly into the dermis. Over time, there will be an improvement of overall skin texture and tone, as well as minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Consistent use is important. Real change is noticeable at 6 months.

Professional Therapies

To Significantly Improve the Structure of Skin, You Need to Go Deeper

There are a number of professional treatments using a variety of technologies that penetrate into the dermis. They essentially create a controlled wound in the skin which then triggers a wound healing response. This ultimately stimulates the fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin.

Professional Chemical Peels: Professional chemical peels use concentrated acid solutions to resurface the skin. Depending on the strength and formulation of the peel, skin resurfacing will affect the epidermis or penetrate the dermis. They can target fine lines, discoloration, congested pores, uneven skin tone, and texture. They accelerate the natural cell turnover by breaking down the bonds that bind dead skin cells together, revealing the healthier skin cells underneath.

Microneedling: Microneedling is a treatment that creates millions of microscopic punctures at precise depths in the epidermal and dermal layers. Not only does the treatment trigger the wound healing response but it allows transdermal passage of molecules that would otherwise be too large to be absorbed. Topical serums such as Hyaluronic Acid, used during treatment, penetrate deeper into the skin through microchannels created by the needles. Skin may look a bit red for a day or two but is otherwise easy to tolerate and appropriate for any time of year.

Microneedling with Fractional Radiofrequency (RF) — i.e. Secret RF: This is a new, innovative technology combining microrneedling with fractional radiofrequency (RF). As the needles penetrate the skin, the radiofrequency current is released from the needle tips. This creates thermal (heat) zones in the dermis without damaging the epidermis or upper layer of skin. The treatment can be customized to penetrate various depths of the skin. By adding the radiofrequency, it amplifies collagen and elastin production, making it a great treatment option for fine lines, deeper wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks. There is minimal downtime, and it is a safe treatment for people of all skin types. It can also be done closer around the eyes. Sun protection is not necessary.

Laser Resurfacing — i.e. Fraxel Dual: This type of technology uses microscopic laser columns to penetrate the epidermis and dermis. lasers can be set to target pigment, scars, and vascular abnormalities, in addition to ramping up collagen production. It is the best treatment for pigmentation or significant acne scarring. With lasers, expect a few days of downtime with redness, swelling, bronzing, and/or peeling.

Radiofrequency — i.e. Thermage: This non-invasive technology uses monopolar radiofrequency energy to safely heat the deeper layers of the dermis and hypodermis, triggering a controlled wound healing response. There is progressive tightening over a six-month period with improvements lasting up to two years, depending on age and severity of skin laxity. The result is a deeper tightening, and contouring of the skin. It is a single treatment with no downtime.

Thermage Eyes: With all the benefits of Thermage, this is the best non-invasive treatment for hooding and tightening of the skin around the eye. Small shields are used to protect the eye which allows for treatment of the upper and lower eyelid.

Radiesse Hyper Dilute: Radiesse is a dermal filler that when diluted, acts as a biostimulator. When it is injected beneath the dermis, it creates a scaffold or framework, and then it stimulates collagen and elastin production. Following treatment, you can expect general skin tightening, natural dermal thickening, and the improvement of fine lines and crepiness over the next six months. There is no downtime and the effects are still noticeable at 18 months post-treatment.

In summary, it’s the collagen and elastin in the dermal layer that gives the skin structure, tone, and elasticity. AS we age, we lost 1% collagen per year starting at age 25. To correct that progressive breakdown, a treatment targeting that deeper layer must be performed. And like any self care, it should be maintained.

The Best Ways to Treat Fine Lines and Wrinkles2021-04-23T14:25:36-07:00

Navigating Toward Health After Breast Cancer Treatment

At Beyond Breast Cancer, Dr. Maureen Leia-Stephen guides women through the survivorship experience. Because monitoring for recurrence is no longer enough. Breast cancer survivors deserve support focused on wellness, recovery, and coordination of care.

The breast cancer experience irrevocably changes a woman’s perspective about herself and her life. The impact of breast cancer extends beyond the physical, ad affects an individual’s emotional, psychosocial, financial, and sexual wellbeing. It may significantly impact career, quality of life, and daily living. Most women don’t just pick up where they left off once their initial treatment is completed. Survivorship is the next phase, and it’s entirely different for everyone.

With early diagnosis and current treatment protocols, the reported survival rate at 5 years is 89%. Although this is reassuring, the statistic underplays the individual cost of the disease. Studies have shown:

  • 100% experience sadness, grief, and 70% go on to have significant depression
  • 61% have insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • 43% experience a reduction in income and 30% attribute a lack of advancement in their career as a result of breast cancer
  • Fear of recurrence can be paralyzing for some. Enough, that many request to have their other “normal” breast removed, even though, for the most part, there is no survival benefit
  • All experience immediate, significant menopausal symptoms without the recourse of hormonal therapy
  • Many describe cognitive/memory issues which affect their ability to work
  • Many experience a low body image especially after mastectomy – some dress/undress in the dark and will not let their partner see them
  • 2 years after treatment, 70% of women report difficulties with sexuality
    • 82% decreased frequency of sex
    • 47% decreased ability to orgasm

This is NOT a comprehensive list.

In the past, follow up simply involved monitoring for cancer recurrence. Now, there’s been a paradigm shift, and follow up has broadened to a concern for wellness, recovery, and coordination of care.

Beyond Breast Cancer Society is a survivorship program offered to anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has completed active treatment.

It addresses the 5 key areas of survivorship.

1. Education/Information

All patients within our program fill out an extensive questionnaire which is then reviewed with Dr. Leia-Stephen during their initial consultation. A treatment summary and list of survivorship issues is then created. Communication and assessment are ongoing. This provides the opportunity for women to have their questions answered and acquire a better understanding of the disease.

2. Surveillance for Breast Cancer Recurrence or New Primary Cancers

Regular physical examinations and appropriate imaging (including mammograms, MRI, ultrasound) are part of long-term follow up. Patients will also be monitored for new symptoms. Depending on personal and family history, the risk of recurrence may be increased.

3. Assessment/Management of Physical/Psychosocial Long-Term/Late Effects

There are many physical and psychological symptoms that women deal with post-treatment. The survivorship program offers patients with support and resources to best manage those symptoms.

4. Health Promotion – Modifiable Risk Facts

We are strong advocates for cancer risk reduction strategies like lifestyle changes and exercise. Obesity increases the risk of recurrence, therefore diet and exercise, especially resistance training, are important ways to reduce that risk, in addition to supporting general health.

5. Care Coordination/Navigation

As part of the survivorship program, Dr. Leia-Stephen coordinates referrals to specialists depending on need. This may include: plastic surgeons, physiotherapists, nutritionists, genetic counselors etc.

If you’re interested in participating in the Beyond Breast Cancer Survivorship Program, you can ask your doctor to send us a referral. In addition to your referral, please complete the registration form below and submit it to our office.

Navigating Toward Health After Breast Cancer Treatment2023-07-17T20:29:42-07:00

Fun Holiday Gift Pairings

Looking for some fun holiday gift ideas? We’ve created some ‘pairings’ that nourish the skin and the mind! See how we have paired books from this year’s Giller Prize shortlist with an advanced skincare product from SkinCeuticals.

How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa + Clarifying Clay Masque (under $100)

Told with compassion and wry humour, Souvankham Thammavongsa’s short story collection How to Pronounce Knife honours characters struggling to find their bearings far from home. This book is a great gift for the tentative reader who isn’t sure where to start.

Clarifying Clay Masque pairs perfectly with the 2020 Giller Prize Winning novel. It uses the highest-quality earth clay to lift stubborn impurities and is enriched with botanicals and minerals to promote a healthier complexion. A thin layer can be applied and left on while the reader dives into one of the short stories.

Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson + Hydrating B5 Masque (under $100)

Set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and rapidly changing the landscape in the West, Gil Adamson’s Ridgerunner is a vivid historical novel that blends a Western novel with Gothic fiction. This novel is perfect for your loved one who enjoys historical fiction or who just wants to escape to a different time and place.

While getting lost in the pages of this novel, applying Hydrating B5 Masque will help to instantly restore radiance and maintain water balance in the skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid to replenish lost moisture, it will leave the skin feeling supple and smooth by the time they’re ready to put Ridgerunner down for the night.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel + Phyto Corrective Masque (under $100)

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, comes The Glass Hotel, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts and, moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York. This novel will appeal to the mystery reader in your family and those who just enjoy an engrossing, contemporary literary novel.

After all the excitement of The Glass Hotel, an intensive calming botanical masque is exactly what’s needed. Phyto Corrective Masque cools and comforts on contact while restoring the skin’s softness, smoothness, and radiance.

Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo + Glycolic Brightening Renew Overnight (under $150)

Seductive and tension-filled, Shani Mootoo’s novel Polar Vortex is a story of secrets, deceptions, and revenge, when a couple’s marriage becomes unstable after someone from their past shows up at their home. This book is the perfect read for the loved one who enjoys fast-paced immersive novels.

Applying Glycolic Brightening Renew Overnight before cozying up in bed with this novel will promote cellular turnover to improve skin texture, reduce fine lines, and improve overall radiance for brighter and more youthful-looking skin.

Here the Dark by David Bergen + Tripeptide-R Neck Repair (under $200)

From award-winning writer David Bergen comes Here the Dark, a short story collection that explores faith, both in the way it unites us and isolates us. From the streets of Danang, Vietnam, where a boy falls in with a young American missionary, to a young woman in the Canadian prairies deciding whether or not to leave her Mennonite community, the short stories in Here the Dark chronicle the geographies of both place and heart. This book is a great gift for the busy reader in your life who just wants to read a bit at a time.

SkinCeuticals’ newest product, Tripeptide-R Neck Repair, is a corrective treatment specifically formulated for the neck’s fragile skin. It’s designed with 0.2% retinol to address signs of visible neck aging and helps to reduce horizontal neck lines and crepiness. This product is great for any reader who enjoys spending time with their head down in a good book.

You can create these ‘pairings’ for yourself or as a gift without leaving home! Purchase the books online through Chapters or Coles and get SkinCeuticals’ products through our online store

Fun Holiday Gift Pairings2020-12-10T14:08:54-08:00

Eight Reasons to Add Vitamin B to Your Skin Care Routine

There are a number of types of vitamin B, but one of them is a powerhouse for healthy skin. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient that has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits. Adding it to your skincare routine offers a number of benefits;

  1. Helps the skin create a lipid barrier that locks in hydration, which is important for mature skin or anyone with eczema.
  2. Regulates and prevents overproduction of oil/sebum.
  3. Minimizes pore appearance.
  4. Decreases melanin production thereby lightening pigmented spots and areas.
  5. Reduces inflammation, resulting in decreased redness and blotchiness.
  6. Increased cell turnover (exfoliation) thereby improving texture.
  7. Enhances immunity to help build keratin which is a protein that keeps skin firm and healthy.
  8. Prevents oxidative stress from UV light and environmental pollutants.

Niacinimide is a key ingredient in these SkinCeuticals products;

Both available in our clinic or from our online store.

Eight Reasons to Add Vitamin B to Your Skin Care Routine2020-10-21T14:36:26-07:00

5 Corrective Serums to Tackle Your Biggest Skin Problems

Why Serums?

Serums are powerhouses in your skin care routine. Typically, lightweight with a high percentage of active ingredients, they target the effects of aging and specific problems. Unlike cream formulations, serums allow concentrated amounts of active ingredients to effectively penetrate the deeper layers of your skin. The percentage of potent ingredients found in high quality serums means a little goes a long way and just a few drops is all you need. This targeted approach leads to impressive results within a few weeks of consistent use.

Skincare Buzzwords

You have likely come across terms like glycolic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients are often featured in skincare products, but do you know how they benefit your skin?

Glycolic Acid – helps to facilitate the skin’s natural exfoliation process to improve skin texture and tone while reducing the buildup of dead skin cells. It’s great for those with blemish prone and dull skin.

Niacinamide – also known as Vitamin B3, is ideal for those with unwanted pigmentation. It strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier and improves the appearance of discoloration.

Hyaluronic Acid – is a natural component of your dermis and soft tissues. It’s capable of holding 1000 times its weight in water. When applied topically, or transdermally through microneedling, it delivers long-lasting hydration. It is suitable for all skin types particularly those with dry or aging skin.

How to Use Corrective Serums

It’s best to apply serums before other products to allow them to penetrate the deeper layers of skin. After a minute or two apply cream or gel moisturizer.

AM/PM Skincare Routines

SkinCeuticals Corrective Serums for Common Skin Concerns

Blemish + Age Defense



Blemish + Age Defense – for acne prone skin

This oil-free serum contains a potent combination of acids to reduce excess oil, minimize blemishes and prevent acne formation. It contains 3.5% glycolic acid to facilitate exfoliation, 2% dioic acid which diminishes acne forming bacteria and evens skin tone, and 1.5% salicylic acid to refine pores.

H.A. Intensifier



H.A. Intensifier – for aging skin

A multi-functional serum used to amplify the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by 30%. The magic formula is 10% proxylane which restores water to skin, and 2.2% purple rice/licorice root extract which prevents the natural breakdown of hyaluronic acid. H.A. Intensifier also contains 1.3% hyaluronic acid. This corrective serum is essential for anyone who has had a lip augmentation or filler to help maintain their results. It improves the appearance of crow’s feet, eyelids, and fine lines around the mouth.

Discoloration Defense



Discoloration Defense – for melasma, stubborn brown patches, and post acne marks

Discoloration Defense is formulated with 5% niacinamide to reduce discoloration and blotchiness, 5% HEPES to exfoliate and even skin tone, and 3% tranexamic acid to minimize the reoccurrence of skin discoloration. A good option to Hydroquinone, which is a bleaching serum.

Retexturing Activator



Retexturing Activator – for uneven skin tone and texture

Dual-action serum that hydrates and gently exfoliates the skin. Ideal for individuals sensitive to acids and retinol, including patients with rosacea. Retexturing Activator can also be layered on top of retinol to reduce the flakiness that retinol causes. It contains 25% hydroxyethyl urea/aminosulfonic acid compound which breaks the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the skin’s surface and help promote the skin’s natural exfoliation process.

Redness Neutralizer



Redness Neutralizer – for rosacea and flushing

A lightweight gel-cream formulated with NeuroMed complex, a combination of palmitoyl tripeptide-8 and eperua falcata bark extract which combat environmental triggers. It also contains bisabolol which calms skin and soothes the feeling of irritation, stinging, and burning. It reduces redness, flushing and blotchiness and reinforces the skin’s protective barrier to improve texture and radiance.

You can purchase any of these corrective serums along with other SkinCeuticals products at our office.

Not sure which serums are best for you? Call our office at 250-372-9995 to schedule a consultation.

5 Corrective Serums to Tackle Your Biggest Skin Problems2020-08-21T13:57:11-07:00

Visible Light Protection

Spending hours in front of your computer or mobile phone screen? That blue light isn’t just damaging your eyes, it may be damaging your skin as well.

Protecting your skin from solar radiation, specifically UVA and UVB, is no longer enough. We need to protect our skin from visible light as well. As many of us spend extra hours in front of computer screens, which emit blue (HEV) light, we need to be more aware of the risks from this visible light. Blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light enters the skin the same way UV radiation does. The energy from this HEV light is absorbed by light absorbing molecules in your skin. These molecules, such as water, melanin, hemoglobin, bilirubin, B carotene and riboflavin, each absorb different wavelengths of light.

While visible light may seem innocuous, it can cause “free radicals” which (1) damage DNA, (2) breakdown collagen and elastin, (3) stimulate hyperpigmentation. Excessive blue light exposure can lead to cell abnormality and cell death.

How frequent is your exposure to blue light? One study estimated that visible light accounted for 33% of free radicals in skin (UV 67%).

So how can you protect your skin from the dangers of visible light? Industry research suggests two ways to reduce free radicals produced by visible light;

  1. Antioxidants – Vitamin C serum – neutralizes free radicals from all causes/sources
  2. Iron Oxide

Conventional board-spectrum sunscreen alone does not protect from visible light. Sunscreen containing Zinc and Titanium provide some protection however the addition of Iron Oxide and/or Antioxidants to our skin care routine can protect from visible light.

Iron Oxide itself is not an approved sunscreen, but it is often added to sunscreens to reduce the white cast from zinc, and to provide a tint or more natural look. It is especially good when combined with zinc oxide, as the combination dramatically reduces the amount of UVA able to penetrate the skin. Notable, is that iron oxide is often found in mineral makeup.

To optimize your photoprotection from UVA, UVB and that blue HEV light, we recommend a two-step process.

  1. Topical Vitamin C serum followed by
  2. Sunscreen that contains Zinc, Titanium and Iron Oxide

This will give the most robust protection. Unfortunately, Vitamin C mixed into some sunscreens is not formulated to maximize its effectiveness. Sunscreens need to be reapplied if there is sweating. Vitamin C does not.

The easiest solution? SkinCeuticals’ Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (with Zinc, Titanium, and Iron Oxide) layed over SkinCeuticals’ Vitamin C serum.

Visible Light Protection2020-06-24T10:24:51-07:00

Choosing the right Vitamin C Serum

Protecting your skin from sun damage is the absolute starting point in medical aesthetics. It’s about skin health. Everything else is secondary.

Incorporating a vitamin C antioxidant serum into your morning skincare routine is the best way to protect your skin against environmental pollutants and free radical damage which cause visible signs of aging. All of SkinCeuticals’ antioxidant products provide equally powerful protection from the sun to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, restore radiance and uniform skin tone, and improve skin laxity. They also increase wound healing.

Vitamin C serums should be used in the morning only and applied to clean, dry skin. Layering your antioxidant under your sunscreen will give you a more robust UVA/UVB protection and unlike sunscreens, it doesn’t need to be reapplied throughout the day. It won’t come off with sweating.

However, how do you know which serum is right for you?

C E Ferulic Serum

C E Ferulic is the best choice for those with dry, combination and normal skin.

Key Indications:

Fine lines


Loss of firmness


15% Pure Vitamin C

1% Vitamin E

0.5% Ferulic Acid

Optimal for replenishing lipids, stimulating collagen synthesis and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Phloretin CF Serum

Phloretin CF is for oily, problematic and normal skin.

Key Indications:

Fine lines


Uneven skin tone


10% Pure Vitamin C

2% Phloretin

0.5% Ferulic Acid

Optimal for diminishing age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation, accelerating cell renewal and retexturizing skin. 

Serum 10

Serum 10 is the antioxidant of choice for those with sensitive skin.

Key Indications:

Fine lines



10% Pure Vitamin C

0.2% Ferulic Acid

Optimal for patients on Accutane.

AOX+ Eye Gel

AOX+ Eye Gel is an antioxidant gel specifically formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes. It protects against atmospheric aging, helps to reduce the appearance of puffiness, and contains caffeine to combat under-eye bags and other visible signs of fatigue.

Antioxidant Lip Repair

Antioxidant Lip Repair restores lost moisture and helps to protect against environmental damage. This emollient lip treatment contains an antioxidant complex and hyaluronic acid, to smooth, soften and refine the appearance of lip tissue. This product is great for relieving dryness associated with prescription therapies such as Accutane.

Choosing the right Vitamin C Serum2020-05-08T12:57:43-07:00
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