Victoria’s Cosmedica Laser Centre doesn’t look or feel like a medical clinic. Opaque glass sliding doors give way to white decor accented with calming blues and sunny yellows. The staff—all with impossibly gorgeous skin—seem to know everyone by name, as many have been here for over 10 years. And behind the doors of each patient room is some of the country’s most innovative technology and treatments.
“I call this happy medicine,” says Cosmedica’s Dr. Mark Lupin. Specializing in non-surgical skin treatments, Lupin is one of Canada’s most celebrated doctors in dermatology and neurology; he is also a former NASA mathematician and a concert violinist. Alone, each of these professions is more than enough for a lifetime of work, but Lupin finds a happy co-existence for all of these skills in his practice at Cosmedica. “I think what’s intriguing to me is that there is an artistry to the aesthetics. So, music doesn’t have a direct parallel, but there’s something there that maybe translates into having beautiful proportions,” Lupin explains. “And then there’s also mathematics of beauty, proportions, things like that.”
Lupin founded Cosmedica over 15 years ago, entering the field of non-surgical treatments when it was at a wildly different place than it is now. He was one of the first dermatologists to offer Botox in Canada, and established his practise at the very beginning of laser technology. “In 1998 is when we started the office, and it just happened to coincide with the first laser for hair removal,” he says. “It sounds archaic now, but at the time there was no one on the island doing laser hair removal.” Recently, Cosmedica added CoolSculpting: a treatment growing rapidly in popularity thanks to celebrity endorsements from the Kardashians. Using cryolipolysis technology, the procedure freezes fat cells, achieving results similar to liposuction—but without surgery, and with essentially zero recovery time. It’s a powerful tool, and for non-invasive specialists such as Lupin, it opens a new door to treatments focused on fat reduction.
The range and scope of Cosmedica’s treatments is impressive—acne treatments, hair and tattoo removal, Fraxel laser treatments, dermal fillers—and this unique setup makes it British Columbia’s only accredited non-hospital medical surgical facility. Even after all these years in the field, the poly-talented Lupin continues to be stimulated by his rapidly progressing work. “I like the fact that even now I’m still doing some medical dermatology, and I found that I had more tools. I can see a patient with acne and I can treat just not the acne, but I can treat the scars as well,” he says. “So for me it’s not like a clear black and white between medical and cosmetic. I don’t call it cosmetic. To me, it’s just improving someone’s life.”
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