What is a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist?

CANS nurses are experts in their field, having shown the knowledge of Aesthetic Injectables/Laser, Light, and Energy-based Therapies/ and Clinical Skin Care with a focus on Assessing & Monitoring the physical & psycho-social needs of the patient , Planning & Administering Aesthetic Treatment(s), and Educating patients to promote optimal outcomes. 

In order to even be eligible to write the CANS exam, Kara must have met the qualifications below.

  • Have spent at least 1,000 practice hours within the core specialties (plastic surgery/ophthalmology/dermatology or facial plastic surgery) during the last two (2) years. ~ Dr. Trevor Brooks Plastic Surgery
  • Have spent a minimum of two (2) years of nursing experience as a registered nurse within the core specialties (plastic surgery/ophthalmology/dermatology or facial plastic surgery) in collaboration or in a practice with a physician that is Board Certified within a core specialty. ~ Dr. Trevor Brooks, Plastic Surgery
  • Be working in collaboration or in a practice with a physician that is Board Certified within one of the following specialties: Plastic/Aesthetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, or Facial Plastic Surgery (ENT). ~ Dr. Trevor Brooks, Plastic Surgery
  • Have the application completed and endorsed by her supervising core physician, who holds a current full and unrestricted license. ~ Dr. Trevor Brooks, Plastic Surgery
  • Be a nurse licensed as a Registered Nurse in the United States, its territories or Canada, holding a current full and unrestricted license.
  • Have the knowledge of the following topics within Aesthetic Injectables/Laser, Light, and Energy-based Therapies/ Clinical Skin Care : Assessing & Monitoring the physical & psycho-social needs of the patient , Planning & Administering Treatment(s), Teaching to promote optimal patient outcomes.  (the full exam syllabus may be found in detail here).
  • Have passed her CANS exam with a mark of 75% or greater at a Plastic Surgical Nursing Education Board sanctioned exam location.

Congrats Kara On Your New Designation: Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist

Book your appointment with Kara by calling us at 403-487-0460, use the MindBody App, or the scheduler on the contact us page.

Did you know Restylane® Lyft with Lidocaine is indicated for injection into the subcutaneous plane in the dorsal hand to correct volume deficit in adults?  Who is better suited to inject into the hands, than a hand specialist?

Dr. Brooks is able to inject the filler to the back side of your hand to rejuvenate the hand and add volume.  He will determine your level of volume loss with the Merz Hand Grading Scale (shown below).  From that point in your complimentary consultation you will be given an estimate of how many syringes of filler will be needed to achieve your aesthetic goal, and you may book an appointment for treatment at a later date.

Dr. Brooks has determined that Restylane Lyft is a great filler for hands in comparison to Radiesse (by Merz) because the reversal agent hyaluronidase works on hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane Lyft, and Radiesse does not have a reversal agent as effective as hyaluronidase. Your safety is our priority.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @drtrevorbrooksoffice or @essentialsmedispa to see the before and after photos of our hand filler patients.


Before Restylane Lyft


After Restylane Lyft

What is Botox?

Botulinumtoxin-A, more commonly shortened to Botox (a brand name), is a Health Canada, and FDA-approved drug used for both medical and cosmetic procedures.  Botox is one of the most widely tested and studied products in the world.  It is used for a multitude of medical purposes,  in many medical specialties, but it is most known within the plastic surgery specialty and is also well known as a simple, non-surgical treatment to smooth those persistent Angry Lines, Crow’s Feet or Forehead lines that develop from repeated muscle contractions.  Small amounts of Botox have the ability to target the exact muscles which control wrinkles and temporarily relax them.  It is not a one time only treatment, as it lasts approximately 3 months.  Many people choose to maintain their Botox treatment, by returning 3 or 4 times per year.

What Causes Wrinkles?

Wrinkles, medically referred to as rhytids, are the creases, folds, or deeper crevasses we all become familiar with as we age.  The first wrinkles we notice usually occur as a result of repetitive facial expressions over a period of time – think of how often we squint from the sun/poor eyesight, or scowl to produce angry lines.  Besides repetitive motions, there are other factors that contribute to wrinkles: sun exposure, smoking, and dehydration are a few.

Wrinkles are just a part of the aging process.  As we get older our skin starts to get thinner, is drier, loses its elasticity, and is more prone to sun damage.

Even if wrinkles bring with them a certain look of wisdom and experience, most people are not exactly ready to welcome their wrinkles with open arms.  Botox is used either as a preventative measure, or as a reaction to lines that are already appearing on the face to help restore a more youthful appearance.

How Does Botox Work?

Dr. Brooks, or one of our nurse injectors Kara or Amanda, will inject small amounts of Botox into the muscles that cause your wrinkles and the Botox will temporarily paralyze them.  The result is that the skin gradually becomes smoother and appears less wrinkled.  Botox is commonly used for the three cosmetic on label uses:  to improve the creases and lines many people develop between their eyebrows (the glabella), to smooth the horizontal lines across our foreheads, or to relax the Crow’s Feet lines around the eyes.  These lines overall make us appear older than we really are.  Have you been squinting lots lately? Has someone recently asked you why you look worried, concerned, or tired?  Botox can treat these areas effectively, and with very little discomfort.

What Are Dynamic Wrinkles?

Dynamic wrinkles are caused by the muscle contractions beneath your skin.  These contractions result in muscle memory, which forms lines. Dynamic wrinkles happen to areas of our faces that are animated or expressive, but it is not like any one of us is willing to give up laughing, smiling, grimacing or frowning to prevent wrinkles from forming.

Dynamic wrinkles are often found in:

  • Our Crow’s Feet Around the Eyes
  • Our Frown/Angry lines Between the Eyes
  • Our Forehead Creases
  • Our Upper lip Creases
  • Our Neck bands

Botox treatments can help in these areas.  We can tailor the dosing to allow you to maintain some expression, especially for some men who want to keep their stern look, but wish to lose their crow’s feet.

What are Static Wrinkles?

Static wrinkles are caused by the aging process when our collagen levels are less productive and our natural hyaluronic acid breaks down. This type of wrinkle does not respond to Botox, but could be treated in some cases with a dermal filler.

How Long Does Botox Last?

The usual length of time you can expect your Botulinumtoxin-A treatment to last is about 3 months.  The company that makes Botox will only allow us to enter your cosmetic treatment Brilliant Distinctions points after 3 months have passed, because they know it is meant to last that long in most people.  The majority of our patients choose to have it every 3 months to maintain the look they love.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

The exact cost of your Botox treatment depends on a few factors like your desired amount of movement for expression, the number of areas that you’d like to be treated and the amount of Botox required. We price our Botox per unit, for example, if you need 35 units it will be less than someone else who might require 55 units.  Our nurse injectors inject at at rate of $10.00 per unit, and Dr. Brooks injects at a rate of $13.00 per unit.  Our office is partnered with the various companies: Allergan for Botox, Galderma for Dysport, and Merz Pharmaceuticals for Xeomin and there are often coupons that may be applied to your treatments.  Obviously, we have to follow the parameters for those coupons, but in the past there have been 100.00 off coupons for new patients, or 50.00 off Visa Gift Cards as Rebates when spending over 300.00 before taxes on their products.

What is the difference between the Botulinumtoxin-A products: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Nuceiva?

To you the patient, there is not much of a difference.  Chemically, these products are almost identical, with only slight variances.  Each company will claim something spectacular about their product.  They’d be bad sales reps if they didn’t make theirs sound like it was the best.  So what are the claims?  Some patients have found one to kick in sooner than the others, some find one lasts slightly longer than the others, and some patients may be allergic to an ingredient and will choose one of the other options for medical reasons.  If you have insurance and are receiving the toxin for medical purposes like underarm hyperhydrosis, Bruxism from teeth clenching/grinding & TMJ tension, or chronic migraines, then your insurance company may only cover one over another.

The differences are more for your injector to be aware of.  There are differences in the way the products are prepared, as the ratios for preparing the products are different.  There are also differences in the way the products diffuse (spread) once injected, as some spread farther than others – that may mean less pokes for you!

Conclusion: These differences are nothing for you to worry about as long as your injector has experience and training for all of various products.  When it comes right down to it, if you’d like to try one brand over another, just to see which one you like the best, we will work with you to determine which product will be best for you.  We respect your wishes.  Have a coupon you’d like to use for one brand over another? Let us know before injections start so we can be sure you can redeem it for the right product.

What Are The Side Effects?

Please go to our drop down menu and click on each product to link to the various company websites for the latest product monograph and their list of potential side effects.

How do I know if I am a good candidate?

The easiest way to find out if you are a good candidate for Botox, is to come for a free consultation appointment.  We can state the reasons why someone would be a good candidate, but without having a review of your medical history, your medications, and a physical evaluation, we can’t say for sure whether you should have the Botox treatment or not.  Your safety is our priority and we are thorough with our consultations.

How do I book a free consultation?

  • If the treatment is medical in nature, you must call to book your appointment at 403-487-0460.  Which Botox treatments are Medical?
    • chronic migraine headache sufferers – covered by AHS (provincial)
    • hyperhydrosis – fancy word for overly sweaty armpits/hands (not through AHS, but sometimes your personal insurance will cover it -we’ll help you find out)
    • Bruxism teeth clenching/grinding, TMJ pain (not through AHS, but sometimes your personal insurance will cover it- we’ll help you find out)
  • For cosmetic treatments (frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead lines) you may book in multiple ways
    • through this website on the Botox page – scroll down to the scheduler calendar,
    • through our facebook page- look for the scheduler calendar, messenger messages may not get to us as fast as booking yourself so you might miss your desired time slot
    • through the  Mindbody app or website – search for our clinic under the title Dr. Trevor Brooks Plastic Surgery
    • through a call between 9-4 to 403-487-0460

Why Choose Essentials Medi-Spa for Laser Hair Removal?

Essentials Medi-Spa, under the supervision of Dr. Trevor Brooks, is a clinical setting offering state of the art treatments and a team that is committed to excellence in all types of cosmetic treatments including laser hair removal. When you are welcomed into our clinic, you’ll feel confident because:

  • Dalyce, our certified laser technician, and the rest of the team practices in a comfortable, clean and private facility to ensure your needs are always taken care of.
  • Checkout for your procedure conveniently in the treatment room, so no-one discovers the true reason you were visiting us. Brazillian? Botox? Your privacy is important, just mention you’d like the in-room checkout, celebrity style.
  • Each staff member does what they were specifically trained to do.  You won’t find nurses running the lasers because you don’t learn about lasers in your nursing degree.  Likewise, our Aestheticians are not trained to offer advice on injectables like Botox/Fillers.  We stick to what each of us does best.
  • Most of our new patients/clients come to us directly from referrals, which demonstrates the trust and level of service we provide to our existing patients/clients.
  • Dr. Brooks is a Canadian board certified plastic surgeon, and is a member of the Alberta Society of Plastic Surgeons.  He follows the guidelines of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.  He has selected lasers that are safe and effective, and you won’t find him doing Botox or Fillers outside of his medical clinic or the hospital.
  • We offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures beyond laser hair removal, like dermal fillers, acne treatments, mole removal, laser spider vein removal, laser tattoo removal and more.

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

During your initial consultation appointment, we’ll ask you to circle yes or no to a series of questions about your medical history.  A spot test is recommended to ensure that you will not have an adverse reaction.  Finally, you may be a good candidate for laser hair removal with the Gentle Max Pro laser if:

  • You have very light skin and very dark hair.  While these patients are ideal candidates for laser hair removal, others will have success as well, but these patients see results very quickly (this is because the laser  is attracted to the dark pigment that gives hair its color).
  • You have darker skin tones.  Laser technology has come a long way in recent years.  It is safe for you to have laser hair removal, BUT we will make sure you do not have an active tan or have had recent sun exposure.
  • Your hairs are dark.  Peach fuzz, vellus hair, does not respond to laser treatment.  Try our dermaplaning treatments to address that.
  • You are prepared for 4-6 treatment sessions spaced about 4-8 weeks apart (depending on the treated area).

What is my Recovery Like After Laser Hair Removal?

For a couple days immediately after the procedure your skin may feel hot or like it has been sunburned.  The redness will come down usually within the first day, but if it is a bit red in the following days, use cool compresses and aloe to help sooth your skin. If your face was treated, you should be able to wear makeup the next day, unless you are experiencing any blistering.

Laser Hair Removal FAQs

How does laser hair removal work?
Essentially, the laser damages the follicle to help inhibit growth. Results can vary, some lasers can remove hair for anywhere from several months to multiple years.  The Gentle Max Pro laser is an industry leader, and most people see results within their first few treatments.

Does laser hair removal hurt?
Our patients describe the pain as brief/momentary.  It is often referred to as similar to the snap of a rubber band.

Is the procedure permanent?
Laser hair removal is most effective if the hair is caught in the Anagen or “growth” stage, which can be difficult to determine since it grows in indeterminate cycles.  Dalyce regularly attends the ACE Aesthetic Clinical Experts Symposium where specialist doctors compare their findings for best practices and when to treat patients for hair removal on different body parts to hit that optimal Anagen hair growth phase.

Will my skin break out after the procedure?
Laser treatment will leave your hair follicles open for several days. A simple antibacterial soap/cream like Polysporin, or an over the counter hydrocortisone cream can help with these temporary blemishes.  For other treatments, such as the PicoWay Resolve, our Advanced Scar Gel works nicely to reduce redness and irritation.

What should I do before and after the procedure?
Discontinue using any Retinol products or Alpha Hydroxy Acid products (AHAs) that can make skin photosensitive to laser hair removal. After the procedure be sure to avoid saltwater, chlorine/bromine, hot tubs, and the sun for about a week to prevent irritation, and sunburn (which will age you or cause skin cancer). We’re really pretty serious about sun exposure since Dr. Brooks surgically removes skin cancers as part of his job.  He would rather tell everyone about sunscreen use & sun avoidance for prevention rather than see our patients back for skin cancer excisions.  Be safe!

Chemical Exfoliation or Manual Exfoliation – The choice is yours!

While Alumier MD Chemical Peels are a staff favourite for exfoliation, they require a bit of social downtime, or a confident “I don’t care who sees my peeling skin; it’s worth it” attitude.  If you just don’t want to deal with the peel-y look, we also love the scrubbed clean feeling of manual exfoliation and for that we turn to microdermabrasion.

HydraFacial has combined the microdermabrasion in step 1 of their Signature HydraFacial Treatment for NO ADDITIONAL COST.  Don’t worry, the same starting steps are also the basis for the Deluxe and Platinum HydraFacials too, but those have add ons that do cost more.

What to expect:  The usual blue tip, for exfoliation, is used for one pass along your face, neck, chest, back or other area being treated, then the tip is switched to the wet diamond microdermabration tip for one final pass.  The wet diamond tip allows for the HydraFacial treatment serums to pass through the tip.  They have combined the suction and hydration we crave from HydraFacials with the truly scrubbed clean feeling that comes from microdermabrasion. Once fully cleansed, the final steps to extract and hydrate leave your skin GLOWING!

How does microdermabrasion work anyway?  Using fine grit diamond granules, the abrasion essentially buffs the outer layer of your skin and aids in increasing circulation to the area. Over time, clinical studies show microdermabrasion can help eliminate fine lines, acne scars/blemishes, and sunspots.

We can further customize the exfoliation for differing skin sensitivity levels by using the tip with either a finer/coarser grit.  It’s a lot like sandpaper, the diamond tips with the larger number/grit size (ex 120) are fine and gentle, while smaller sizes (ex 100) are coarser and more abrasive. For first timers we recommend the 120 grit microdermabrasion tip, and then slowly moving on to the 100 grit tip (if necessary).

Want to learn EVEN MORE about Microdermabrasion? Read an article by Healthline here.

OM Organics is a certified toxin free product line that is made in Invermere, British Columbia.  Dr. Brooks decided to bring the OM Organics skin care and body care products to Essentials medi-spa because he loves supporting Canadian companies, and this one happens to be found right in his hometown.

You can read up about all of the products on the OM organics website or follow them on Instagram/Facebook.  We’d love to have you stop in and sample any product you are interested in.  We have testers in our treatment rooms and at our front desk.  Flower Child, Sunset Nectar and Sage + Cypress hand/body wash are found at all of our office sinks.  It smells amazing in here!  For obvious reasons, the only item that is hard to try before you buy is the bath soak.

The body scrub, body oil and body butter are sure to hydrate your skin in both our dry summers, winters, and every moment in between.

There are travel minis and full sized jars of each body product and mini kits of the skin care lines so you don’t have to break the bank determining if the products are a good fit for your skincare routine.

If you are a person with very sensitive skin, you may wish to bypass all the products scented with essential oils, and opt for the gentle oil and gentle cream which were formulated for babies.

This is just a brief overview, for more info follow the link, or stop by and ask away!

The entire line is on the OM Organics website: www.omorganicscanada.com