One of Canada’s largest beauty retailers is taking a dip into the world of injections and fillers.
Shoppers Drug Mart opened their first Beauty Clinic in Oakville, Ont. on Dec. 22, 2018, a cosmetic services clinic that offers non-surgical skincare treatments. They plan on opening a second location in Toronto this year.
Customers have one-on-one consultations with nurse practitioners, and can try everything from Botox to cosmetic injections and dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, peels and laser treatments.
Credit: Shoppers Drug Mart
“We believe there is an opportunity to provide a truly holistic beauty offering to Canadians that expands our current product offering to include select non-surgical cosmetic and dermatological services and treatments,” said Sarah Draper, senior director of healthcare partnerships and innovation at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Prices at the clinic are in line with market pricing — Botox is $10 per unit, lip enhancement fillers are $550, laser skin renewal is $675 and vein removal is $125 per treatment. On top of this, customers can also earn and redeem PC Optimum points on selected services.
Dr. Julia Carroll of Compass Dermatology in Toronto isn’t surprised a retailer as big as this one now offers these types of treatments.
“I think it’s exciting that these treatments are becoming more accessible to patients,” she told Global News. “There is obviously a growing appetite for non-surgical rejuvenation.”
Credit: Shoppers Drug Mart
But Carroll said anyone who wants a non-surgical skin treatment should talk to a doctor first.
“It is vital that any Canadian interested in aesthetic treatments consult a qualified physician first and work with the physician to design a treatment plan, discuss risk and provide informed consent,” she said. “A qualified physician, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, is certified by the Royal College of Physicians & and Surgeons of Canada.”
With injections, she added it’s not enough the person administrating the injection is “experienced.” While the Beauty Clinic consults physicians, there is no physician on site.
“It has to be in the area that they are practicing so experience in emergency or cardiac care is not relevant to aesthetics, just as the reverse is also true.”
Concerns around safety
Fillers and chemical peels are nothing new; in major Canadian cities, people easily have access to these types of services. In fact, some experts claim Botox in particular is more popular than ever, especially among millennials. And with the on (and off) use of lip fillers by celebrities like Kylie Jenner, experts said it’s no surprise people are flocking to these clinics.
Draper said for the Beauty Clinic, each nurse practitioner has more than a decade of experience. “In Ontario, nurse practitioners have the training and legal authority to prescribe and administer these procedures. These are regulated services with strict protocols and procedures.”
While she sees the popularity of getting injections or fillers, she added the clinic stresses having these treatments is a personal choice.
“Our aim is not to encourage women to change the way they look but offer them the products and services they are interested in, administered by highly skilled and trained nurse practitioners.”
But if an unforeseeable medical situation occurs during an aesthetic treatment, Carroll added, patients can feel at ease if they receive care from a physician.
“Additionally, physicians such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons have the expertise needed to evaluate the suitability and tolerance of the treatment, especially for persons with skin of colour or who are taking medications or supplements that may cause complications.”
For anyone concerned around side effects or safety, the Beauty Clinic also thoroughly breaks down what each treatment is like. The site lists how long the treatment can take, how long the results will last and even if it hurts. Here is a description of having a chemical peel.
Your skin may appear a little red or shiny and may feel a little tight or “puffy” immediately after treatment. Your skin may also feel a little dry and experience some flaking, depending on the type and depth of your peel. A complete list of side effects and possible adverse reactions for this service will be discussed during your consultation.
Confusion around non-surgical treatments
While people use lasers, fillers and Botox on different parts of their bodies, Carroll said there is still a lot of confusion around non-surgical skincare treatments.
“I see confused patients everyday,” she told Global News. “I recommend people start with a thorough consultation with an experienced physician so they can be made aware of all the options as well as the risks and benefits of each treatment option.”
Draper said confusion is the reason the clinic offers a thorough consultation.