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science meets skincare at dermis

This time of year life gets a bit crazy and so does my skin. Between late nights, lots of events, and plenty of, uh, Christmas cheer, (egg nog I'm looking at you) my skin has been feeling tired, dry, and congested.

But the team at Dermis Advance Skincare read my mind: they invited me for a facial and needless to say, you don't have to ask me twice! I popped by to check them out.

Dermis Advanced Skincare is a medi-spa located in the heart of downtown Ottawa at 116 Albert Street. They're just a hop, skip, and a jump from my office, which made it all too easy to stop by.

They've been serving Ottawa for 11 years, and with over 70,000 treatments under their belt it's safe to say this team is hella experienced. And bonus: this year they're a drop-off point for The Shoebox Project!

I looked through their looooong list of facials for everything from acne to rosacea, and decided on the Collagen 90-II Face Treatment. Essentially it's a facial that includes deep cleansing, extraction (YAS!), and a professional grade dual-layered collagen sheet mask to deeply penetrate the skin and boost hydration.

Since it was my first time at Dermis, when I arrived had a lengthy questionnaire to complete. It touched on past and current conditions, products I'm using, and skin concerns. It was one of the most thorough client surveys I've ever encountered, so definitely give yourself extra time to complete it before your first service.

I met my esthetician, Jenny, and she brought me to the treatment room. The room was very organized and spotlessly clean, exactly what you'd expect (and demand!) from a medi-spa. Bonus points for attention to detail: along with my robe, they set out organic chocolate for me!

I snuggled under the blankets and Jenny got down to business. After a thorough cleanse she took a close look at my skin under a bright light -- she even thoroughly checked the eye area which most spas skip.

Despite my current skin frustrations, she said my complexion was healthy with no sun damage or hyper pigmentation. Thank you sunscreen! Speaking of which, I learned Dermis carries one of my ride or die sunscreens, Elta MD:

But I digress.

Next Jenny applied a peel to exfoliate the skin, brighten the complexion, and get rid of any dead cells. I get a bit freaked out when people suggest peels (some formulas are incredibly strong), but this one was gentle yet thorough. No burning sensation and zero redness during or after. Thumbs up!

Okay, now the really cool part. We've all done sheet masks at home, and I can't figure out how any of those Instagram girls look cute in them. I mean, this is me in a sheet mask:

But the Dermis version was NEXT LEVEL. First Jenny custom cut a collagen-infused sheet to exactly fit the contours of my face. Even my eyes, lips, and chest were covered -- that's optional but I wanted to go all in. The only opening was a hole for my nose, cuz you know, breathing.

Next Jenny applied a concentrate to help it adhere to the skin, then topped it with an aluminum sheet (think marathon blanket for your face) that helps the active ingredients penetrate. After that, she slipped out of the room and I had the world's best power nap while the mask did its thing.

20 or 30 minutes later Jenny slipped back in, removed the mask, applied moisturizer, eye cream, and a lip treatment and I was done! Start to finish the treatment was about 75 minutes or so, perhaps a little longer.

My derpy post-facial selfie (definitely spa drunk) complete with messy hair:

3 reasons to get a facial right now

As a former skincare trainer, I completely geek out over new products and techniques, and I was hugely impressed with the science behind my treatment at Dermis. Targeted, effective, no fluff.

Never had a facial? Or haven't had one in ages? Top 3 reasons you should treat yo'self:

1. Seasons change, so does your skin. The pros will help you address any skin irks or seasonal fluctuations.

2. We unknowingly use the wrong products for our skin, creating more issues. The pros will educate you!

3. You only get one skin. Take care of it and you'll get carded for years to come. I promise.

So pop by Dermis Advanced Skincare and treat your skin to TLC that's rooted in science. Then to complete your experiment, head to the LCBO and have your ID ready. ;)

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