Chemical Peels: Myths Debunked!

imgresA flawless complexion has become somewhat of a life goal. Okay, so it’s not exactly world peace or feeding the hungry but I figure I should start out with baby steps.

Turns out that world peace might be easier to come by than a flawless complexion. I know that some of you, dear readers, think that I am being frivolous or hyperbolic and that’s because you were genetically blessed with a good complexion free from acne breakouts, discolouration, Melasma . . .I could go on.  And some of you, dear readers, know exactly the quest that I am on. Keep reading.

I first discovered Canadian made Miracle 10 when I was invited to an event they hosted for beauty bloggers.   Miracle 10 was developed by Ann Marie MacDonald and acclaimed plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Lista in 2005 after spending years learning about cutting- edge skincare advancements from the best medical doctors and researchers in the world. Together they identified a void in a crowded marketplace where many times promises fail to actualize. After extensive research and development they founded Miracle 10. MacDonald, with her background in dance and psychology, is passionate about providing women with products that allow them to articulate their beauty and develop confidence. Miracle 10 does that by offering just below clinical grade skincare that delivers noticeable results on both a superficial and cellular level at a competitive price.

The Lista-MacDonald team’s life goal doesn’t seem so far removed from my own.

A Chemical Peel Play-by-Play

Elevate_landingpage_v1Miracle 10 Spa offers a variety of medispa treatments including chemical peels – a procedure that had been on my skincare bucket list for some time. I arrived for my scheduled peel 15 minutes early to fill out a comprehensive skin history. After a lengthy discussion with the medical aesthetician, where I fired question upon question at her about side effects, redness, recovery and the epidermis and she patiently and thoroughly answered each one, I lay on the treatment table.

To start, my skin was cleansed to remove make-up using Miracle 10 cleanser. The next step involved dermaplaning, the process of using a surgical blade to gently scrape away two weeks worth of dead skin covering the upper epidermis. There is no blood, it doesn’t hurt and the immediate result is illuminated skin!

When it comes time to apply the peel, the medical aesthetician assured me that the best way for novices like me to begin is with the gentle lactic acid peel.   There are three different peels and each offer their own benefits.

  • Lactic Acid Peels are derived from sugar and are gentle. They are best for hydrating, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and can help improve acne.
  • Glycolic Peels feature glycolic acid and when applied remove the top layer of skin revealing brighter, healthier skin reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne.
  • Salicylic Acid Peels are made up of salicylic acid, commonly found in over-the-counter acne medication but in a higher concentration and generally help improve the overall tone and look of the skin by targeting pores.

The peel was applied for two minutes, and a fan was made available to cool the skin, but I found that didn’t need this. The treatment felt no more intense than my nightly Alpha Hydroxy cream.

To conclude, the mask was washed off with a fruit enzyme scrub followed by a moisture-rich soothing mask.

It’s important to note that you should always wear sunscreen but it’s especially important following a peel. Also, even though peels are non-invasive and seem as simple as a manicure, it is important to remember that it is a procedure and it is best to have these applied by a trained professional in a doctor/plastic surgeon’s office because there can be side effects.

Admittedly, all I (thought I) knew about chemical peels I learned from Sex in the City. For those unfamiliar, sexy siren Samantha had a peel done and her skin was left a deep shade of crimson. I now know that this is a possibility but a thorough pre-analysis, a well-trained medical aesthetician and low-dosage peel will likely not garner that unfavourable result!

Initially following the treatment, my skin glowed and using the recommended follow-up products has improved the over-all look of my skin. At Miracle 10 they believe skin needs to be healthy, not just pretty but to achieve this standard educated, passionate technicians are a must. And at Miracle 10 you’re in good hands.

Intrigued? Still not sure a peel is for you? Take a look at this video or visit the Miracle 10 Spa in Toronto, or visit their website to order their products to your home!

Finally Get Healthy Beautiful Skin With Consonant + Giveaway!

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“What goes on your body goes in your body” is Consonant Skincare’s motto and never have words from a company permeated my psyche quite like these.

I first met Bill, CEO and creator of Consonant Skincare, this past summer at a holiday preview party. It might be unoriginal to say that it was his skin that I first noticed, but it’s true. His skin glows! His skin does what every clichéd beauty infomercial promises to do and I, someone who is always chasing after a perfect complexion, had to introduce myself.

Bill Baker didn’t always have aspirations to be Canada’s next skincare trailblazer, but we have a handicrafting co-worker to thank for his passionate foray into the beauty industry, arguably one of the most challenging fields to eke out a foothold.

For years Bill tried to remedy his skin issues with pricey products that promised relief only to find that said products exacerbated his skin issues and left him in search of new, pricey products. Bill continued to run on this hamster wheel until one day when he reached for a bar of his luxe soap and found his supply gone with the exception of a single bar of organic soap made by a co-worker, bought by Bill to be courteous. Little did he know that transaction would improve his skin and change the trajectory of his life.  8003776491_48b12c6e0b_z

Marrying his newfound interest in organic skincare with his years of experience in advertising, Bill knew that for him to make it in the competitive beauty market his product had to standout.

“It can’t just be natural and organic. It has to work.” Bill didn’t want to put out another ho-hum moisturizer that promised the world but became bathroom counter clutter within a few months.

First off, Bill educated himself about skincare and was appalled at what passes for acceptable beauty standards in our country. Furthermore, he was disheartened that some big-name, flashy brands were not being completely transparent about their company’s practices and organic/natural/healthy claims. Bill knew that he needed to do whatever he could to change the marketplace, through education and affordable, high-quality products that are natural and deliver results.

Bill’s commitment to finding just the right formulation resulted in success.

6289156202_c883f0b1f7_oThe Natural Foaming Face Wash ($9-$18) and Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream ($54) have usurped my previous go-to brand, free from parabens, phthalates, sulphates and more*. The Perfect Sunscreen ($45) really is just that. I have searched for years for a natural sunscreen that blends well without leaving a chalky residue. I have tried department store brands, drug store brands, and independents and nothing comes close to this. But perhaps my favourite product, that has a cult-like following, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Canadian Beauty Innovation Awards, HydrExtreme® ($72). It provides hydration and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – Amen!

Bill generously gave me some samples of Consonant products but I returned with a re-fill list and I crossed several names off my holiday gift list by purchasing their skin care kits including one for my mother and expectant sister-in-law.

Consonant recently launched their Healthy Baby line touting 100% natural and free from all harsh, irritating and toxic ingredients. In an effort to be as gentle as possible the products contain no artificial scent or essentials oils.

Consonant is the real deal and I want you know what I am raving about. Bill and his team have generously donated Healthy Baby Hair and Body Wash and Healthy Baby Body Lotion, a combine value of $45 to giveaway to a lucky reader. The contest opens today and ends Friday at 6 pm. Sorry friends, but only Canadian readers for this one.

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Enter to win by liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or Instagram and if you already do, simply leave a comment. A random winner will be contacted Saturday to arrange delivery.

To find out where you can buy Canadian-made Consonant products or to order on-line visit their website by clicking here. *Parabens, phthalates, sulphates, petroleum,/PEG, BHT, artificial colours, TEA, DEA, propylene glycol and diazolidinyl UREA. For more information visit: www.icareaboutcosmetics.com

To be clear:  I was not paid to review Consonant Skincare.  Bill gave me some samples to try, I enjoy them and want to spread the word.  All of the opinions expressed are my own.