By Marisa Iacobucci
On a recent girls’ night out, the realization that my friends and I are no longer 20-somethings hit me. Hard.
The conversation had turned to cosmetic surgery. Three of my closest friends are contemplating getting “work” done. I listened to them describe the treatments they just knew would half their skin from its natural downhill progression. I sank further into my chair, fearful that they would zone in on me.
Truth be told, I’m terrified that even the slightest nip, tuck, or even non-surgical treatment could take me down a road of no return, where Joan Rivers and, worse, Michael Jackson live. It was, ironically, an assignment to profile dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue, a clinic specializing in non-surgical treatments, that quelled my fears about – pardon the euphemism – age maintenance treatments.
The doctor practices what she preaches. Dr. Kellett had her first cosmetic treatment at the age of 25. Since then, she’s had moles and skin tags removed; skin tightened; stretch marks, brown spots, spider veins, acne, Rosacea scars treated; Botox; and fat reduction (non-surgical). She has had Restylane treatments under her eyes, cheeks, scars, folds, and to lift her eyes. Dr. Kellett is 40 years old and has four children, all under the age of 10. If I saw her on the street, I would have never guessed her age. Joan Rivers? Hardly. I would also have never guessed that she’s had anything done.
“I try to explain to clients that my goal is to enhance their beauty and to give them a fresher version of themselves. Clients will look the same, but more rested,” she explains. In fact, Dr. Kellett counts convincing some clients that her goal is not to make them look like different people, but rather, to look like a more rested version of themselves, as one of her greatest challenges.
Dr. Kellett was always interested in medicine. As she puts it: “I liked to cut things open from an early age to see what was inside.” Originally from London, Ont., Dr. Kellett completed medical school at the University of Toronto, trained in internal medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and returned to Toronto to specialize.
“As a physician, the skills you learn during your years of training—all 11 years of them – are used every day, and the great thing is that my education continues every day,” says the doctor of her profession. “I decided to specialize in dermatology because I like the instant satisfaction of seeing results.”
Dr. Kellett believes the best thing about her profession is the knowledge that at the end of every day, she has improved the quality of life for her patients, everyone from a woman in on her lunch hour for a quick Restylane treatment, to a child with burn scars. DLK’s youngest client ever was two days old and its oldest was 98.
But trends seem to be continuing toward treatments for professional women that require zero downtime. It’s no surprise that the most popular treatments at the clinic include Restylane, injectable fillers, Thermage to tighten skin, UltraShape for body contouring, acne treatment, Intraceuticals Oxygen Facials, and tattoo and brown spot removals.
It would also be ignorant for me to assume that the procedures labeled “cosmetic” are somehow superficial. Says Dr. Kellett: “We treat needy children for free as we have the best technology in Canada. … We share it with others who cannot afford to pay.” It was Dr. Kellett’s idea to start the DLK Cares Program at her clinic, to recognize that these treatments can go a long way to improving the healing process for an abused or injured child, or even helping a woman who can’t afford treatment with her confidence.
The most interesting requirement patients in the DLK Cares Program must meet? Says Dr. Kellett: “We ask both children and parents who have benefited from our programs to go out and do something nice for someone else.”
Boasting she has “the world’s most amazing husband who is better looking than Brad Pitt” and “the best kids too,” Dr. Kellett admits that she still has her faults. “I do two things well: medicine and family [but] I let a lot of things go…I’m the world’s worst cook.”