After my Botox treatment in March, I was ready for a bolder step with treatments designed to brighten and smooth the look of my skin. I’m super lucky to have clear healthy skin to start – and I want to keep it that way as I age. In addition to religiously following a smart skincare routine with a daily sunscreen, I wanted to explore cosmetic moisturizing and refinishing procedures recommended by Dr. Shannon Humphrey in Vancouver. Nothing extreme and no major changes in my appearance – my goal is always to look natural and well rested.

At the start of my visit, we reviewed the three suggested treatments – Volite, IPL and Micro-Needling. Before starting, a thick layer of “numbing cream” (shown above) was applied to my face to help reduce any discomfort. The cream takes about 20 minutes for impact, and then Volite was injected throughout my complexion. This deep hydration treatment is made with a synthetic hyaluronic acid that acts like a super moisturizer to help plump and brighten skin. Does it hurt? I felt a bit like a pincushion after approximately 50 pricks of the needle around the perimeter of my face and cheeks. The formula also includes lidocaine, an anesthetic to help reduce the stinging effect. Ok! But does it hurt? Not really. It’s a bit uncomfortable but not painful. I remind myself that I go to a spa for relaxation. I go to a cosmetic dermatologist for results.

My skin looked flushed and a little prickly immediately after the Volite procedure (shown above). Next up – IPL (Intense Pulsed Laser). I’ve had this energy-based treatment many times in the past and always like how it evens out my skin tone by targeting red and brown sun spots. Through a series of hot “zaps” over my face, IPL works to smooth fine lines and stimulate collagen to plump up skin. The effect is a lot like a subtle Instagram filter. Nothing crazy – just a soft glow light over my face.

The IPL is on the left. I wore goggles during the procedure. After the IPL, I had a session of Micro-Needling that uses an automated medical grade pen-like tool that feels a bit like an aggressive exfoliator swiping across my face. It sounds a lot worse than it feels. The procedure covered my whole face with a focus on the dry crepey skin under my eyes. (Try Micro-Needling if you want to minimize the appearance of acne scars or enlarged pores.)

At the end of the two and a half hour appointment (above), my skin felt prickly, warm and tight, and looked flushed – like I had spent that time outside baking under a hot sun. I was cautioned to treat my skin with care over the next 24 hours (no sweaty exercise, alcohol, sun exposure or exfoliation) and apply icy face packs during my afternoon nap. The overall results – a glowy more supple complexion – will take a couple of weeks to shine through.

For me, the overall redness had faded by the next morning. I had a light bruise on one cheek and a light pinkish flush with a few darker age spots that will eventually slough off. All I needed was a tinted moisturizer with an SPF (my daily essential for years now) and I was ready for work. Dr. Humphrey recommends 2 to 3 more treatments of IPL and Micro-Needling over the next 6 to 8 weeks and then twice a year afterwards. Volite is an annual treatment. It’s an investment in my skin that always puts my best face forward.

For more information about these treatments, check out and @humphreyderm on Instagram.