Blog Entry

Laser hair removal has become a relatively mainstream procedure in the last couple of years. We have heard celebrities talk about it, we have seen at-home laser hair removal devices evolve, and we have even witnessed countless spas offering Groupons for the treatment. Due to its wide offering, what people often overlooked is that lasers are highly powerful machines and you ALWAYS need to make sure that the salon, spa, medical office, etc. has certified technicians, and preferably a physician on staff. A lot of people don’t know that in Alberta (and majority of Canada for that matter), we have NO REGULATIONS on who can operate a laser… that being said, if you have the money to buy one, you can use one. These machines, and there are many types out there, are not a wax pot and they’re not a piece of thread… they are machines that emit large amounts of energy that can potentially leave you with burns. When looking for a place to get your laser hair removal done go in for a consultation first, ask lots of questions, and check out the facility. If you feel that your questions have not been answered competently or if something feels “off” about the place, go elsewhere. All technicians at Divine Interventions are certified; if for whatever reason any complications may arise we have Dr. Haubrich on staff who is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At Divine Interventions we require a mandatory consultation prior to treatment. During this consultation we will go through all the ins and outs of your treatment as well as perform a test patch. The reason for the test patch is to provide the safest and most effective treatment possible. If any complications were to arise they would appear 24-48 hours post test patch.

Let me start off with some of the basics. All lasers/IPLs work by targeting pigment, which is why we cannot laser white/blonde hair and skin types 5 and 6 (mainly African American skin types). White/blonde hair has no pigment for the laser to target and darker skin types have too much pigment, which will result in a burn. Now that you know a little about the basics, let’s get to the questions.

1) Can I tan?
No, no, and no. As I just mentioned, the laser seeks pigment and it cannot differentiate between the pigmentation of your tan and the pigment in your hair. This will result in a burn. A lot of times outdoor tanning or tanning beds will also result in heat being trapped under the skin, adding extra heat with the laser can cause blistering. Self tanners are also a no-no – they can cause superficial burns as well. If you are going on a vacation or somewhere warm, you should not do a treatment for at least 4-6 weeks after your “last day in the sun”.

2) Can you laser over tattoos?
NO! Again, tattoos are highly pigmented and lasering over a tattoo will give you a severe burn. It will also destroy your tattoo and potentially leave you with scarring.

3) Are there any restrictions when it comes to medication?
Yes. If you are on photosensitive medications (it should say it on the bottle, or do a quick Google search), you MUST let your technician know. Since your skin is more sensitive to light, settings will have to be adjusted to avoid burns. Antibiotics are generally photosensitive so we always advise clients to come back 2 weeks after their last dose.

4) Can I be on Accutane while doing laser hair removal?
NO NO NO!! Accutane (an acne medication) makes you HIGHLY photosensitive (among other side effects). If you are on Accutane no laser treatment should be performed for at least 6 months after your last dose.

5) How do I prepare for my treatment?
Before you come in for a treatment you need to make sure that you shave the area as close to the skin as possible. The laser targets the follicle of the hair and we would rather not waste energy on burning dead surface hair, but rather focus it all on where it will be most effective.

6) Wait, you mean I have to shave my face before lasering it?
Yes… yes you do. I know it’s taboo for women to shave their face, but it just has to be done. No, it does NOT grow back like a “man-beard”.

7) What should I do post-treatment?
For 24 hours post treatment avoid heat, friction, and chlorine. That means no excessive exercise that day, no saunas/hot tubs, no swimming, and no excessive rubbing.

8) How many treatments do I need?
Everyone is different, but on average (if you come in consistently) 8-10 sessions.

9) How often do I come in for a treatment?
As a rule of thumb, anything below the neck is 6-8 weeks between sessions and anything above the neck is 4-6 weeks apart.

10) How much is laser hair removal? 
At Divine Interventions we offer yearly packages or single sessions – give us a call or check out our services tab for area pricing.

11) Are burns normal?
NO! You should not have burns post laser.

12) Will my hair be gone forever?
No. Lasers will reduce the amount of hair that you have, they will not remove it 100%. Sometimes the hair follicle is not completely killed and will grow back. In women especially, hormones play a large part in hair growth. If hormones go out of whack (i.e. pregnancy, menopause, or simply just being alive) then hair growth might reoccur.

13) Can I do laser hair removal while pregnant or breastfeeding?
NO! We do not test on pregnant women for ethical reasons and we do not know the effects that such a procedure might have on the unborn child. Your hormones are all out of whack anyway, just wait until you’re done, that includes until you are done BREASTFEEDING as well.

If you have any further questions we encourage you to give our office a call at 780 439-1208 or come talk to one of our fabulous technicians!

Have a beautiful day!

This year at Divine Interventions we have chose Edmonton’s Youth Empowerment Support Services (formerly known the Youth Emergency Shelter) to be the organization we support this Christmas season.

 

YESS was established in 1981, offering much needed support for the youth in our city.  YESS offers food/shelter and various programs for some of the most vulnerable young adults in Edmonton.

 

The YESS program offers a chance to the youth who need it most.  The goal is to give these young men and women some respite from the situations they are facing and once ready, to move forward in a positive direction learning life skills that will help them survive and thrive.

 

Suffering is part of the human condition and it will touch us all in our own time.

That is why we have been given the gift of compassion and the ability to comfort others. I dream of the day when we all reach the awareness that the most rewarding thing in life is helping others, there is no greater joy.

 

Life is a journey for each of us full of joys, hopes, successes and failures. We are amazingly resilient beings capable of overcoming, even when all seems lost, if only given a chance.

 

At Divine Interventions, we are hopeful that our efforts will allow YESS to offer a few more of those chances.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

 

Dr Jay Haubrich (Owner) & Jillian Haubrich (Owner)

 

Often I am asked if skin care products “actually work” or if they are a waste of money.  I will be honest with you, there are some fantastic products out there that can provide fantastic results that are great for your skin but alongside them is a lot of overpriced products that do absolutely nothing for you.

I view skin care programs like a pyramid in the sense that you must establish the base or the rest is pointless. And here the secret is  that for most people the base is all you need.
 (Note: if you have adolescent or adult cystic acne or rosacea that is another topic which I will delve into at a later date….it is completely treatable and no one should suffer with cystic acne in the 21st century so if you are come see me ASAP and get rid of it)
Here are the 3 things everyone must have:
#1) Sunblock-  If you have no choice, sunscreen is better than nothing but a proper mineral sunblock is essential. Sunblock on the face, neck and hands is crucial. This could save your life from melanoma. From a cosmetic point of view, the sun even though it is essential for healthy skin it does cause the skin to age and the more sun the more aged the skin looks.
UV light breaks down collagen which causes thin skin, deeper lines and loss of skin elasticity. Excessive sun also produces brown spots and very uneven skin tone. It can also exacerbate melasma which is another topic I will cover in more detail at a later date. Please be aware that melasma (a hormonal pigmentation) is often heat sensitive as well and sunscreens change UV light to heat, whereas a sunblock simply reflects UV light saving the skin from excessive heat.
Bottom line: Sunblock can save your skin (and your life). Use it everyday, even in winter.
A great SPF that we carry at Divine Interventions is : https://www.colorescience.com/products/sunforgettable-mineral-sunscreen-brush-spf-30
#2) Retinoids –  A close second to sunscreen but using retinoids religiously without suncreen is like working out like a manic and eating only fast food. Its pointless.
Retinoids are chemicals that can transform your skin. They will shrink your pores, reduce brown spots, increase collagen production, and brighten your skin.
Look at a 5 year olds’ face and then look at your face, the differences are sun-damage, collagen loss, subcutaneous fatloss and the thickness layer of dead skin cells.
Retinods start by sloughing dead skin cells which improves pore size, removes excessive oil and smooths the surface. Under the surface retinoids reduce the activity of collagenase. This enzyme is activated by sunlight and breaks down collagen. Even better, retinoids promote new collagen formation.
Retinoids are very powerful and therefore need to be viewed as a powerful medication. If overused the skin gets bright red and inflamed like a sunburn. If underused little to no results are seen. This medication requires a bit of adjustment on the part of the physician and the user. The goal is to find the sweet spot where the skin has gone through some flaking and peeling at a slow gentle pace and once achieved the skin glows beautifully.
My advice is start low, go slow and gradually increase the frequency of use and the the potency of product.
#3)Moisturizer- We are located in Edmonton and it is cold and dry, which are two things the skin hates the most. Most of what I see in Edmonton is skin that is dehydrated and producing excessive oil (the shiny forehead in your office florescent lights).
The wrong type of moisturizer results in clogged pores and acne so it really is a matter of trial and error, but some help from a qualified medical skin care expert makes this much easier.
Hydrated skin looks plump, smooth,”glowing” (not shiny) and healthy. On a off note ensuring you are getting 8-10 glasses of water per day is also essential.
Some great moisturizers we have on our shelves are :
In closing, the base we all need for great skin includes keeping the skin properly hydrated, protected from the sun with sunblock, and renewing/refreshing the surface with a retinoid.
All topical skin care products take some time to really show their worth but I promise you if apply these these principles the results in 6 weeks are dramatic.
Come and see us for a free, no pressure skin consultation and we can help you look you best!!
JH