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Navigating the often confusing world of facial treatment options. Part 1

Lets unpack the hype and jargon behind the most common cosmetic facials.

Microdermabrasion Facial

A pressurized jet scours the skin with micronized crystals (usually aluminum oxide) and then vacuums the dead cells away. Be sure the spa uses an adjustable device for your skin type.

Benefits: Microdermabrasion can improve oily or dull skin, reduce enlarged pores and open clogged pores. It has some effect on fine lines and mild acne as it improves circulation. It increases collagen production and rejuvenation as well as enhancing circulation and lymph flow which promotes the internal health of the skin.

Risks: There are minimal risks if performed by a certified skin care professional. Most risks are associated with unsterile conditions or improper application of the treatment and are the same for all facials. Infections can occur if the microdermabrasion applicator and vacuum are not properly sanitized. If the machine is improperly used at too high a strength there is risk that the patients skin may be perforated by the fine crystals or the crystals can potentially enter the patients eye and cause irritation.

SilkPeel Facial

It works by exfoliating the upper layers of the skin through a treatment device that vacuums the old and dead skin away while simultaneously delivering a topical dermaceutical solution to the skin.

Benefits: Silkpeels diminishes acne by exfoliating clogged pores, as well as increasing blood flow to the top skin layers promoting regeneration of new skin cells. With the delivery of dermaceutical serum it also helps to restore lost hydration.

Risks: Similarly to microdermabrasion most risks are associated with infection, or in the case of a SilkPeel facial with a reaction to the dermaceutical solution applied to the skin.

Hydrating Facial

Up the intensity of your home hydration routine with a professional facial that focuses on both hydration and moisturization. This usually includes humectant-rich products and masks that are designed to soften and plump the skin. A Hydrating facial works via a sequence of steps beginning with a cleanser to remove dirt and impurities from the surface of the skin. Followed by a toner to remove any excel dirt and prep the skin for absorption. Next the skin is exfoliated to remove dead skin cells. Then a hydrating serum is massaged into the skin, with a layer mask applied over the entire face and letting it set for approximately 10 minutes to allow maximum absorbs ion. Finally a hydrating moisturizer is added to lock in all in.

Risks: Most common side effects are redness or blotchy skin from the pressure of exfoliation or extractions. Post-facial breakouts can result from bacteria that makes it way onto your skin during your facial. Improperly sterilized tools can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Scarring is a risk if an aesthetician uses fingers or tools to extract impurities from your pores and over vigorous extractions can cause cuts or bleeding.


Next level, super-charged Hydrafacial use a device to blast the skin with specialized solutions and then vacuums out pores while simultaneously infuses your skin with peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid serum mixture.

Benefits: Used to address fine lines, dark spots, clogged and enlarge pores, mild acne and oily skin. It is comfortable on all skin types (except rosacea) and is less irritating than microdermabrasion with no downtime.

Risks: Infections, redness or blotchy skin are uncommon and the treatment smoothness and hydration should last approximately five to seven days.

Chemical Facial Peels

Chemical peels come in varying levels, ranging from superficial peels to deep peels, all of which are design to cause the skin to exfoliate and peel away.

Benefits: These treatments employ acids - salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid and others – to correct fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, freckles and shallow scars.

Risks: Those with sensitive skin, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis and other skin disorders should not undergo chemical peels.

Ionic Facial (Galvanic Facial)

Using mild electric currents consisting of positive and negative ions to penetrate the upper epidermis and remove congestion and is often used in combination with a nutrient solution.

Benefits: Increased circulation increases collagen production and increased lymph flow which removes toxins and waste from the skin. Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and discolouration. The nutrient solution adds moisture and hydration.

Risks: Galvanic treatments are not recommended for clients with the following; metal implants (including body-piercings), pacemakers, heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes or who are pregnant

LED (red light) Facial

Harnessing the specific wavelengths in LED light calms breakouts and inflammation of acne-prone skin and redness. For severe acne and acne scars an IPL or Laser treatment may be more appropriate and your aesthetician can identify the best treatment for your condition.

Benefits: Most benefits revolve around the treatment of acne, rosacea and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

Risks: Be sure to disclose all prescription and over-the-counter medication you are taking as many anti-aging creams and medications are known to cause photosensitivity, which can significantly damage your skin. LED therapy is unsafe and not recommended for people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Epilepsy and who are pregnant.

Photo Facial

Photo facials or ‘foto’ are non ablative procedures - meaning no skin is removed during the treatment - performed with an IPL device using intense pulses of light to penetrate deep into the skin.

Benefits: IPL treatments can repair broken capillaries, eradicate sun spots, age spots or other pigmentation irregularities. It is also effective in combating acne problems and eliminating large pores as well as treating Rosacea and epidermal Melasma. Additional benefits include collagen remodelling as well as both fine line and scar reduction

Risks: There are relatively few long-term risks associated with IPL treatments. Short term side effects may include minor swelling or redness and these symptoms usually begin to disappear within a few hours of treatment. Be sure to inform your specialist of any medications you are taken that may increase chances of complications. IPL is not suitable for those who are pregnant, have open lesions, skin cancer or keloid formation.

Below are before and after images from clients who have received IPL treatments for various conditions.


If you want to learn more about the Dermalase IPL - the lowest priced, Health Canada approved Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation device manufactured and serviced right here in Canada, including training and certification - just give us a call at 604-788-3413 to book your FREE demonstration.

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