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In our wellness-centric society, one of the most visible ways to show off a healthy lifestyle is with a glowing complexion. “Basically, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating, every patient who comes to my practice wants to have the healthiest-looking skin possible,” says Dr. Shannon Humphrey, a Vancouver-based cosmetic dermatologist, adding that erasing things like wrinkles, lines and folds have become a secondary or even tertiary concern. Flip through a magazine and you’ll see unretouched “signs of aging” everywhere, including in high-profile celebrity photoshoots such as Michelle Obama’s December cover for Elle.

Skin care in 2019 is no longer focused on turning back the clock, but rather adopting an informed, customized, 360-degree approach to caring for your skin. “It’s about having a holistic approach to a dermatology or an aesthetic plan that is not at a single moment in time,” Humphrey says.

One component of that plan is using evidence-based skin care to maintain and maximize any professional intervention. At XO Treatment Room in Calgary, owner Annie Graham credits Canadian skin-care brand the Ordinary with generating client interest in product ingredients. “People are so interested in the chemical names, ingredient names, and [the Ordinary] names their products after an ingredient rather than, like, ‘luminescent moon dust’ or something like that,” she says.

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It’s this consumer engagement Humphrey sees from patients in their 20s and 30s who are looking for “prejuvenation,” a strategy that’s a cross between prevention and rejuvenation. “Patients are coming in earlier, but not for Kylie Jenner lips. They’re coming in earlier because they’re informed, they’re savvy and they know that if they start early, prevention is something that they can really capitalize on,” she says, citing the application of Botox before lines and wrinkles set in as an example. “In our practice, we refer to it as baby Botox,” Humprey says. “What it means is using smaller doses in many areas, not to completely relax muscles, to allow there to be movement, just less movement so wrinkles can be prevented.”

One prejuvenating treatment new to Canada that Humphrey predicts will be popular in 2019 is Juvéderm’s Volite, an injection that enhances the smoothness, elasticity and internal hydration of the skin. “It’s kind of like an injectable smoothing moisturizer that last nine to 12 months,” Humphrey says. At XO Treatment Room, Graham sees radiofrequency microneedling treatments, in which small needles deliver heat energy to the dermis, as the next big thing. “It disperses that heat underneath, coagulating the collagen to give you that tightening effect.”

Although consumers may be more engaged with a time-consuming and pricey skin-upkeep schedule, the desired aesthetic is more about glow than show. “Something that we’ve been hearing again and again that continues to gain traction and build momentum is this demand from patients and consumers for natural-looking results and a backlash away from dramatic, aggressive invasive treatments,” Humphrey says. The best way to reach those goals? Start early, Graham says. “Prevention is key.”

XO Facecare Heavy C, $89 through xofacecare.com.

Vivier GrenzCine Eye, $191 through vivierskin.com.

AlumierMD EverActive C & E Serum, $179 through alumier.com.

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