This week, SHOP TALK welcomes guest blogger Ashleigh VanHouten. Ashleigh is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the force behind lifestyle magazine, milieu.
I recently attended a press event at Holtz Spa in the ByWard Market for a new skincare line and facial treatment (lucky me!). Holtz spa is wonderful: if you go for a facial, do yourself a favour and ask for Klara. She’s been in the business for decades and her sense of humour is just as awesome as her treatments. Under her knowing hands, I experienced my first facial treatment — complete with the always-uncomfortable extraction process — that didn’t make me think the aesthetician secretly hated me.
Holtz Spa is now only one of two places in Canada to offer a new facial treatment using products from California-based Lifeline Skin Care (part of the International Stem Cell Corporation, a leader in stem cell research). The product uses proteins extracted from stem cells — and while that may set off some alarm bells in your head, it’s actually not in the least controversial.
The creams use proteins extracted from embryonic-like stem cells made from unused, unfertilized donated eggs (not from human embryos; no life is created or destroyed). This is possible based on a process pioneered by Dr. Elena Revazova, who figured out how to create stem cells without fertilizing the human egg through a process called parthenogenesis. I’ll try to explain this without getting too technical: they chemically stimulate the egg into thinking it’s fertilized so nourishing proteins can be extracted, but since no male components are ever introduced to the female egg, life is never possible. This new technology advances the field of regenerative medicine — and the parent company is hoping to use it to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease; revenue from Lifeline Skin Care go towards this research.
The high-end creams (including a daily defense complex, recover night moisture serum, eye firming complex, brightening cleanser, and more) help to reduce lines and wrinkles both fine and deep — and while the results are often more obvious on mature skin, the experts say it’s never too soon to start preventative, proactive care. The line also claims to increase cell turnover for a better skin tone, stimulate natural collagen and elastin production, and neutralize free radicals that can damage the skin.
The products aren’t cheap, but they seem to be effective. My own hour-long facial, which utilized all of the Lifeline products, definitely left my skin feeling moisturized, clean, and luminous. I went a full two days afterwards without putting on even minimal makeup, which made me feel pretty great. If you’re looking for a serious skin-care regimen that’s backed by science, I’d say Lifeline is a great option. And if you’re looking for a wonderful, relaxing spa treatment, go say hi to Klara at Holtz Spa. Tell her I sent you.
Lifeline products range from $40 – $200. Lifeline facials at Holtz Spa are $255.
Holtz Spa, 45 Rideau St., 613-241-7770