Oprah’s facialist shares ALL…

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Robyn chatted with Jennifer Brodeur, mastermind behind MAX+ LED, skin strategist to the stars (that’s where Oprah comes in). Watch the interview recording above or read the interview below!

Robyn McAlpine: Thank you for joining us. I’m Robyn from SkintifiX and today I have with me the ever inspiring, amazing Jennifer Brodeur, who is the mastermind behind our amazing MAX+ LED device. We use this in SkintifiX in the clinic to create amazing, phenomenal results. So, if you have had LED, pop your hand up, get into the comments and tell us how much you love it, because it is just the most amazing treatment.

The amazing Jennifer is a cosmetic formulator. She’s an expert in skin analysis and oncology aesthetics. Thank you for joining us Jen. It’s so lovely to have you with us

Jennifer Brodeur: Thank you for having me.
Robyn McAlpine: Your experience is vast and great and your experience has led you to be one of the most trusted skin advisors and sought after experts in the Hollywood community as well. So, you are the skin strategist for Miss Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. That is just an amazing accolade for you and I just think that speaks so highly how wonderful and how amazing you are and your talents. So, thank you for joining us, I’m so excited to have this conversation with you about all things skin, LED and all of your wisdom on life.

Your work with LED is innovating and inspiring. So, I’m excited to share your knowledge with everybody that’s here with us today.

Jennifer Brodeur: This is going to be great. This is great. I’ve been looking forward to this all week!
Robyn McAlpine: Awesome, so have I. I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited.
Jennifer, we have two of your amazing, wonderful LED devices in our clinic. The results that we get from this machine is just phenomenal. The skin transformation is like no other device that I have seen. Can you tell us, what is MAX+ and why should every woman have this in her treatment plan?
Jennifer Brodeur: With pleasure. So, MAX+ is an interesting device, because when he was created back in 2003, there was nothing like it in the world. We were the first device to have what we call the polychromatic treatments. I remember back then lecturing and people thinking I was completely crazy, that this would never work. Fast forward, 15 years later, we’re talking about finding LED all over from the drugstores to online and this is where it gets confusing because there’s a side of that that’s exciting. Because you think, everyone’s talking LED. But, there’s a downside to that, because a lot of these devices are needing a lot of heat.

When MAX+ was created, the idea behind it was to have a device that was what we call a photo-biochemical effect. Right? So it’s the wavelength that’s absorbed, that creates excitement within a cell that gives off the heat and energy to the adjacent cells. But by doing so in a non-ablative way, in a non-thermal way, it makes that the skin stays healthy. It’s non-ionizing. It’s not dangerous.

The minute a device will emit a bit of heat, that’s where we’ve got to be a little bit more cautious. MAX+ was really designed to be safe for everyone and in any treatment, whether it be a stand alone or incorporated in a dermaviduals facial, so to speak.

Robyn McAlpine: Wonderful. So, when you talk about polychromatic wavelengths, what that means is that there’s different colours of light that you will see going over your skin. And the MAX+ device, which I love, has all of those incorporated in the treatment. So could you Jennifer explain what each of those wavelengths or colours is doing and having that therapeutic cellular impact or creating change in the skin?
Jennifer Brodeur: Each wavelength, or each colour so to speak, has a very different effect on each cell. So it would be great if we could say that one wavelength would do everything, but it’s physiologically impossible. So, for example if we were to take the key from my home, if Robyn was to fly to Montreal today and take her keys to come into my home, it wouldn’t work. Right? So, it’s really about having that right discussion with the right cells.

So, we start with a 415nm, plus or minus two, which means it goes 417 or 413, violet light, and we go all the way to near infrared. So, to be very quick about the wavelengths, our violet will kill acne causing bacteria and it stop proliferation which is wonderful. But, it ensures that the rest of your skin stays intact. Right? Which is lovely, so you’re not killing all of the skin tissue. So, you’re really focusing on the bacteria.

We have a 450nm wavelength as well that works with intercellular communication and it helps relax the muscles. So for example, if you were under red light, that’s more of a rejuvenating kind of agitating kind of wavelength. Whereas blue is very relaxing. We also have a 525nm which is green, that helps with redness within the skin. It helps the angiogenesis process as well. We also have a 590 in MAX+ which is our amber, yellow light. This is go-to. So any pre-red carpet, weddings, speaking engagements, any time ladies or men, you want to glow? That yellow light is my go-to for everyone, anything celebrity-wise.

And then we have a 633 nm red, which helps with the collagen production, works with the mitochondria as well. And then we’ve got a 830 nm, sorry an 830 nm which is near infrared. So, it’s not the far infrared that is creating more of that heat. It’s really a near infrared. So, just slightly in there and it really helps with the inflammatory. So it’s a great wavelength to use for people with rosacea and lots of inflammation as well.

Robyn McAlpine: I love it. And I’m with you, the yellow is my favourite. It just brings skin to life
Jennifer Brodeur: I know. Yeah, it’s very special.
Robyn McAlpine: So, if we’re talking about coloured light, why can’t I just lay under my Christmas tree lights that flash all different colours? What is it about the bulbs and wavelengths that make an LED treatment, a treatment for skin and not just lying under something with pretty lights? Because there are a lot of LED machines out there that just are colours lights, but they’re not going to have the result. Why do you need a specific bulb and wavelength?
Jennifer Brodeur: Each wavelength, we seem to think colour, right? So if you think the colours of the rainbow. But it’s actually that specific wavelength that will have an effect with the skin. So, once it’s absorbed by the cells, there’s a physiological change. But if the wavelength is not what we call “binned”, or very specific, for example, if I say acne bacteria, we’re talking about a 415nm. But my wavelength is too broad. Your wavelength oscillates, right? It doesn’t stay, the dominate wavelength is not always on. So it’s sort of like playing darts, but you’re never hitting the target. You’re everywhere else but, or you’re trying to pin the tail on the donkey but you’re putting it on the head all the time.

So that’s what your average LED are like. So, at the end of the day, what happens is it seems to be that the minute something becomes effective, or we see there’s a result, everyone wants to jump in on this waggon of let’s do LED. So, you, in your mind, you’re like, “Well, if it’s blue light, let’s just put blue light.” Or it looks like might be green.

So, no one is specifically really testing it out there, I would think and we’re seeing a lot of heat. So, we’ve been playing around right now with a thermal camera. This camera is wonderful, so we’re actually able to see how much heat is emitted off the skin. Because this is becoming an issue, because if you’re doing anything that will emit too much heat on the skin, you could have a photo-biochemical response, but also photosensitizing afterwards if the LED’s are not safe to be used. This is where it’s changed, because in 2003, I could say LED is safe for everyone. Now, it’ll be dependent on the device that you’re working with and the wavelengths they’re working with. So, some of the LEDs are also going in the UV wavelength spectrum, which could be touchy if you’re doing micro dermabrasion or peels, it could be a really bad thing to happen.

Robyn McAlpine: We always tell clients where if they’re having those invasive treatments to not have any sun exposure, but then if in clinic, they’re having those treatment and then they’re getting under an LED that could be in that UV wavelength. It’s just such a recipe for disaster.
Jennifer Brodeur: It is. And we’re seeing it in Canada. In Canada right now there’s a lot of very interesting things going on in regards to LED and Health Canada. And it really is because of that reason. It really is. So, it’ll be fun to see what we come up with over the next few months and my thermal cameras … We’re having fun.
Robyn McAlpine: I’ll bet you see some interesting things.
Jennifer Brodeur: Yeah, it’s all about the heat that skin gives off post LED treatment and you don’t want that.
Robyn McAlpine: What would you recommend or what can we as clients ask the therapist? If you’re not at SkintifiX and not having MAX+ LED, what is the question that you could ask the treating therapist that would help you to understand whether that particular LED device is going to be safe and also therapeutic and have the correct wavelengths and the correct wavelength variance? What should we be asking to get an indication?
Jennifer Brodeur: It’s really hard. The first question I would ask is why they’re doing LED and how it’ll help my skin type of thing. Sort of like, “Why are you using LED on me and what’s the programme, or what wavelength are you using?” Sadly enough, most people won’t really know the answer to that, but I try to shy away from, and I’m not saying that all of them are created equally, so just in case anybody gets upset with me. I’m not trying to say that one is … But, I find that a lot of the very big panels that are very, very close to the skin, are something to really ask questions about.
So, there are some on the market that are good and they’re well designed and well done. But other ones will have a tendency to create a lot of heat on the skin. So, yeah, ask the questions, like what wavelengths and why are we using this wavelength on me? So if someone says, “Well, we’re using …” And the wavelengths, you know, if they’re all combined into one, it’s not my personal go-to or favourite, because for example, if I want to kill acne causing bacteria, I’ll use my 415nm. Then, I would use let’s say my 633 nm for collagen and scarring and then I would my near infrared for anti-inflammatory.

But if one LED is what we call a RGB, which means it could do all the different wavelengths at the same time, or if everything’s on at the same time, it sort of like if we were all having this conversation at the same time. The results just aren’t as phenomenal, which is why you would want to try to do one thing at a time. So, specifically for me, the question would be, “Well, if you have multiple wavelengths, are they all on at the same time, or are they individually used.” That would be a good indicator.

Robyn McAlpine: It’s quite overwhelming I guess for the cells to have everything coming at them all at once.
Jennifer Brodeur: Exactly.
Robyn McAlpine: So they can’t communicate that information that’s required. Yeah.
Jennifer Brodeur: Exactly, exactly.
Robyn McAlpine One thing I want to have a chat about is that in our line of work, we see a lot of women that have the same skin concerns and the pressures to conform. I’m finding women are just starting younger and younger in this pursuit of beauty that’s almost unattainable.
Jennifer Brodeur: Yes.
Robyn McAlpine: You have the honour of caring for some of the most famous faces and you are so trusted because of your experience and knowledge. Oprah Winfrey is one of your clients, and the beautiful Michelle Obama. They trust you and are you biggest raving fans. can you share a little bit about these women, I am sure that they would have the same concerns as us. That they would wake up with a pimple or have puffy eyes right before some important event. Are they just like us and what priority do they place on their skin care?
Jennifer Brodeur: I would say that everyone is just like us, from any celebrity to us. We all want to age gracefully so to speak.

I would say that we still have that minor pimple that will pop up here and there, but I would say that they key is consistency. When I take on a new client, the first thing we do is we do a skin strategy. Then the skin strategy I will develop over the first six months. Then within six months I say, “Within six months, if you’re not happy with the results, then I’ll go with you and we’ll all get injections.” Which has not happened yet, might I add.

But at the end of the day, I think it’s okay to ask those questions. And I think that we really have to start with the basics, which is, what is your lifestyle life? Are you eating healthily? Are you drinking enough water? Are you taking your omegas? Are you taking your collagen supplements? And so on and so forth. So, we’ll start with the basics and then as we grow, we’ll add the dermal needling, and we’ll add different elements to their skin care.

But I think that when people begin to have very specific strategies on their skin from the home aspect of it and then coming in for treatment, when they see the results, I find women will be keener on using their products more regularly and they’ll come in more regularly into the treatment room as well, because they’re seeing results.

Robyn McAlpine: Somethings really happening.
Jennifer Brodeur: Yeah, and I think that’s the biggest thing is I think that we forget that sometimes it’ll take 21 to 40 some odd days to really start seeing the benefits to our efforts. So, sometimes we’ll be like, “Ugh.” I mean, listen I was at this huge gala over the weekend, and I mean, I’m proud to be ageing, but I will be 45 I October and I did see some young chickens out there that were like barely in their early 20s and you see them and you’re like, “Wow.” And it’s okay to have that moment of … And then you question, should I? No, I’m fine.
But, it’s okay that we … But as women, I think we need to lift each other up.
Robyn McAlpine: Absolutely.
Jennifer Brodeur: And as we lift each other up, we realise, “Oh, yeah, right that’s true. I had a moment of insanity. I’m okay now.” But I tell women if you really want to have something done to your skin, whether … No matter how invasive or non-invasive it is, I always say, “Start from square one. Healthy skin is in.” You know, if you’re eating healthily and you’re doing everything right, and then you’re still wanting to have something done, well, at least your skin is healthy. It’s going to respond better and your results will be better. But you can’t just do that and then not take care of the rest. So, I really, I’m very fortunate to say that I would say 98% of my clients, celebrities and others, are completely 100% natural.
Robyn McAlpine: That’s one of the things that we chatted about a few times back at the Dermaviduals Symposium in January. I loved your philosophy on ageing, it was more like the privilege of ageing. Can you share a little bit more about your ideas on that, because that’s something I’m all for. I’m all for a little something, something to help us, you know, where we need to.
Jennifer Brodeur: I feel that we are in a very weird time of life. It’s sort of like we’re living in this dysfunctional world, and we feel like we have to fit into this dysfunction when it’s not us, it’s the world. When I say the world, I’m talking social media, Instagram, photo shoots.

It’s become completely out of control. So what happens is, the day we have a bad hair day, we think it’s the end of the world because we’re comparing to something that’s completely unattainable. And we’re forgetting that we are ageing and how many women don’t get to age? How many women die from cancer, accidents, childbirth, so on. There are so many different things.

So, we tend to view the young population as so beautiful and vibrant, but you know what? We were them once. Now, these baby brains are fully developed and we’re strong, confident women and that’s what we should embrace and be like, “You know what? I’m 44 and I look good.”

And this is a good thing. Right? Then it’s all about, I’m going to eat properly. I’m going to keep myself moving, because that’s vital for women. We need to be lifting things, not just exercising, but muscle mass. There’s so many things we can be doing. So it’s a privilege, so I feel that if you wake up in the morning with the attitude of being like, “Look at me. I’m here today, it’s going to be a great day.” Even when it’s not a great day. It’s not about comparing ourselves to other women out there and I find that that’s the biggest challenge in today’s world. Because of social media, and there’s good and there’s bad to that, so let’s try to take the social media and change the conversation. Which is why I never use the … For me the AA word is like taboo, because you cannot AA, you can’t anti-age. We’re all going to age.

Robyn McAlpine: It’s so true, it’s such a hype, sales word and that’s one thing I love about your Instagram and your social media is that it’s not about the filtered faces and the same, like I don’t put any filters up there because this is real. We have created such a society where we’ve kind of blurred the lines of what is reality and what is real skin. Yeah, it makes it a bit difficult as a skin therapist to try and create skin that looks like something that’s been photo shopped.
Jennifer Brodeur: Right? And we all have pores. And we all have redness and so when people are making these and it’s sort of like, “But that’s not your real you.” Right?
Robyn McAlpine: That’s right!
Jennifer Brodeur: So, it’s what are you putting out there. When we did our photo shoot in Finland back in November, I did it 100% raw. So the photoshoot no makeup, no hair done, just like today, just kind of me and I was very proud about that. So when one of those pictures was put into Vanity Fair just recently I was so excited because I thought to myself, “Wow, who would have thought I would have done a photo shoot at 44, makeup free, hair not done and it ends up in Vanity Fair.” So, there is that … It’s possible, it’s attainable.
Robyn McAlpine: And that’s such a testament to LED and what it’s done for your skin. Jennifer, you are so passionate about sustainable living. Everything you buy is local, your clothing, your food and I even noticed on your Instagram, your daughter’s mattress is locally purchased. She’s moving out of home, so even that is sustainable and about the long term. So, I’ve got two of your LED devices like I said, one MAX+ I bought seven or eight years ago and it is still in pristine condition. So, the equipment you create is about lasting. But can you share your thoughts on creating sustainable skin care practises and skin care products that respect our environment as well because I know that that’s something you’re really passionate about.
Jennifer Brodeur: It’s so important. I feel that what happens is a lot of people lose sight of that. So we have a tendency to think about everything else in the world, but then we do other things to ourselves. Everything that you are using on your skin, if you’re cleansing and you’re using water, ends up in the sewage system, ends up in our oceans, in our lakes, in our rivers. Even when we created MAX+ back in 2003, I mean, think about it, this is way before being green was cool. And we wanted, we were against throw away and that was what we had said back there. So, we created MAX+ to live a lifetime.

Skin care wise, I think we have to be much more careful about what ingredients we’re using in our products. It’s not just about natural as well. I think there’s a big discussion we could have at another time in regards to natural ingredients, because sometimes there’s that fine line between natural and synthetic and sometimes the synthetic version could be cleaner for the environment and safer than something natural. I think that there’s a lot of grey zones there.

But I always thinks, like if I’m going to put this in the water, and I’m going to kill some fish, why would we do that? So, I think that we all need to take a step back and really start to understand what’s in our ingredients, what’s in our products and that’s from everything. Right? From makeup to perfume to everything.

Robyn McAlpine: Absolutely.
Jennifer Brodeur: At the end of the day, I mean, I’m not perfect. I mean, I really do try very, very hard as much as I can. If I’m in a specific country, I only buy if it’s clothing, clothes that’s made in that specific country. So I’ll look for young, cool designers that are in that country, that are paying people in your country making the clothes. It’s also about the whole footprint. Right? So even ingredients in products, so for example, when we create something in Montreal, we work with all local people. So, MAX+, everything is made in Montreal. Our boxes for our skin care line, everything’s made in Montreal as well. So, it excites me to think that I’m not only being cautious and thinking about the future, because one day my kids will have kids and those kids will have kids and … Right? So, we’ve got to think of the future.

I don’t think I have a right to pollute today’s world, on Earth day, because in Montreal we’re still Sunday, and not be thoughtful for the future. So, everything I do, I try to think about it and honestly, I’m going to be very honest with you, I work with only companies here in Montreal whether it’s my jewellery from Exand, or anything else that is also sustainable and what we call slow fashion and you know. But it’s a lot harder because even the boxes, everything costs more. But, I think in the long run, if we all made that

Robyn McAlpine: Absolutely and I feel like with skin care formulations and ingredients, our plug hole in the drain in the sink deserves better than some of the things that are getting washed down there. So …
Jennifer Brodeur: And it’s scary because even if we just look at all the endocrine disruptors. Right? All the hormonal imbalances that can be caused by products. When I first start with someone and I say to them, “All of the products that you’re using, stop for two weeks and do nothing.” And when that starts to solve the problem, it makes you think. Right?
Robyn McAlpine: That’s one of my biggest things in treating skin here at SkintifiX is that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and I often prefer if clients come to me and they’re almost sorry. “I’m sorry, I don’t use much skin care.” It’s almost better because at least you’re not doing the wrong thing for your skin and creating more problems.
Jennifer Brodeur: So, Brooke has a question and she was asking about MAX+ and hydration. So, when we talk about LED and hydration, what we say is that because if the LED is emitted on very dry skin that is just, and I’m going to exaggerate, really flaky? The light will have a tendency to bounce and reflect away and there’s less absorption. So, that’s why we always like to have the skin prepped before using any LED treatments.
Robyn McAlpine: So then the skin can then absorb and use those UV rays.
Jennifer Brodeur: Right, right.
Robyn McAlpine: So, when you’re here in August, you’re having to come to Australia in August, so I would love it and invite you into the clinic because I would love to give you a SkintifiX facial and you know, I might be able to show you a trick or two that you’ll be able to take back for Oprah.
Jennifer Brodeur: That would be amazing. And, the thing that would be great, would be to have a meet and greet, have some of your clients come in. We could do that.
Robyn McAlpine: I would love that and they would love that.
Jennifer Brodeur: Thank you. And I wanted to thank you because it’s women like you who really are making a different in this world in regards to how they view skin and that point of difference is what’s going to change the younger generation on who they view beauty and how they view skin. So, thank you for doing your part and it’s between us, you know, one skin at a time and we’re going to save the world. So, it’s great.
Robyn McAlpine: One face at a time, one face at a time.
Jennifer Brodeur: Exactly.
Robyn McAlpine: Thank you for joining and us and for everybody who’s joined us for this live video, thank you. It’s been a pleasure to share this with you. If you still have questions, pop them in the comments because we’ll be keeping an eye on what’s coming up and yeah, so, we wish you all a wonderful Monday and beautiful Sunday evening if you’re tuning in from Montreal.
Jennifer, thank you so much for your time.
Jennifer Brodeur: Thank you. Have a great start to the week everyone.