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10 Years in the Making

10 Years in the Making

Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre celebrates a huge milestone this year. Its 10th anniversary Q & A with Dr. Marianna Switchuk, BSc, MD, CCFP

Q: Why did you start Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre?

A: After my children were in school, I wanted to begin my own full time “practice” that encompassed the procedures, treatments, and services that my own age demographic would want or need. Over the years, I have added different services and products that my clients desire. Ultimately, I want Monarch to be synonymous with Looking Better & Feeling Better.

Q: What is your training?

A: I am a licensed medical doctor. I was trained as a general practitioner and I have taken extra training to learn medical aesthetics like Botox, enhancement fillers, laser treatments, sclerotherapy and the art of using bio-identical hormones. I often attend conferences and continuing medical education courses to stay current and learn new ideas. I recently obtained my Certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP).

Q: Why don’t you practice Family Medicine?

A: I have chosen to practice the areas of medicine that I truly enjoy. While I don’t have a traditional practice, I feel that we offer unique and sought after services that are making a difference.

Q: Where did you learn about operating a business?

A: I have not had any formal training in business other than my paper route at age 11. Perhaps, I learned about business by 1) being a great consumer and 2) being a good observer. I like to run my business and treat my staff/clients/customers, as I would want to be treated.

Q: What have been some of the highlights over the last 10 years?

A: I have to say I have had many highlights. Most of all, meeting so many great, kind and wonderful people along the way. I even got to meet Oprah as a VIP sponsor of her show in 2013 in Hamilton. Almost daily, I learn something new. Each challenge has been an education. There has never been a dull moment. Coming to work each day has been a lot of fun, to the point I can barely call it work. I have surrounded myself with a great team of colleagues who work hard, but know how to make it enjoyable.

Q: Where do you see Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre over the next 10 years?

A: I see this business growing by adding new services and treatments. For example, this fall we are adding osteopathic treatments for those who want to ‘Feel Better’ and micro blading eyebrows for those who want to ‘Look Better’.

We will continue to offer the latest in bio-identical hormone replacement for thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone deficiencies for men and women of all ages. Most of all, my priority is and will always be to offer excellent care in an easy going and fun atmosphere.

I want Monarch to be the place, people enjoy coming to, so they will bring their family and friends. May we all “grow old gracefully” together.

Sunscreen. The Good. The Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve been conditioned to believe that sun exposure has a negative impact on our health. However, as with most things in life, moderation is key. You needn’t barricade yourself in a dark room to protect your skin. In fact, sunlight is essential in helping our bodies produce the crucial nutrient, Vitamin D. Without Vitamin D, a whole myriad of conditions can rear their ugly heads. Obviously, too much of a good thing is, well… too much.

This is Why It’s Important to Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure.
Our hands and face are particularly vulnerable to sun damage since they receive most of the exposure to the sun’s rays. On this end of the spectrum, overexposure can lead to accelerated aging, manifesting in visible signs such as fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Additionally, on a much more serious scale, excessive, prolonged sun exposure can raise the risk for skin cancers, such as carcinomas and melanomas.

Naturally Protected
The advances made in sun protection have evolved in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Achieving a healthy, sunkissed glow while still shielding your skin from sun damage is easier than ever. The best part is, all of this can be attained with the use of natural earth-based ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These mineral-based ingredients have been used for decades to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays, but now their unsurpassed sun protection benefits are available without the white pastiness.

Be aware of the fact that many commercial sunblocks on the market contain chemicals that can have a negative impact on your health.

Common ones to avoid include hormone disrupters like Oxybenzone and Oxtinoxate. The chemical Octocrylene is particularly irritating to sensitive skin, causing reactions, so should also be avoided. Other ingredients such as Avobenzone and Homosalate break down easily, making your sunscreen less stable.

Remember, it’s all about finding the safest and the perfect sunscreen that will suit your skin. So you can be sun ready and healthy at the same time!

Finding the Good. What to Look for in a Sunscreen
How do you choose the right sunscreen for your needs? Here are some general guidelines that can help you decide on the best options for your requirements and lifestyle:

Consider how long you’ll be out in the sun. SPF (sun protection factor) helps determine how long you can safely remain in the sun before overexposure becomes an issue. For instance, if you spend the majority of your time indoors, with short periods of time outside, a sunscreen offering an SPF of 15 may be adequate. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time outside, you’ll want to kick it up a few notches to ensure that you don’t outstay the effectiveness of your sunscreen. You should always re-apply every 2 hours.

Use a product tailored to your lifestyle. If you’re active and sweat a lot, finding a sweat/waterproof sunscreen is going to be essential to ensuring full protection. Perhaps you just need a light sunscreen to wear under your makeup. Many are formulated for sensitive skin and to be non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Natural is usually better. A sunscreen that contains “supportive” ingredients in addition to a natural SPF can actually help improve your skin’s health. Look for products that contain botanicals and natural ingredients.

Choosing a sunscreen that’s just right for you should be easy. Follow these tips and guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to healthier, protected skin!

Our Healthy Sunscreens


Vivier Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 is optimal for all skin types including oily or acne-prone skin. This pharmaceutical grade water-based facial sunscreen provides true broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and SPF 30 protection in a light, sheer formulation that absorbs quickly into the skin. This elegant formulation is ideal for daily use and may be used alone, under makeup, on compromised skin post-procedure or with photosensitive medications.

– Provides daily UV protection for environmentally challenged skin
– Provides true broad-spectrum UVA, UVB and SPF 30 protection
– Elegant formulation optimal for use either alone or under makeup
– Great for all skin types including oily or acne-prone skin
– Ideal for use post-procedure or with photosensitive medications
– Light, sheer, water-based formula absorbs quickly into the skin
– Fragrance-freeVivier Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 45 is a silky, soft and weightless pharmaceutical-grade sunscreen. It contains a unique combination of UV filters that provide a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, powerful antioxidants and silica which gives it a sheer, soft-touch texture. It spreads evenly onto the skin and dries quickly, leaving no residue. Ideal for all skin types, even post-procedure.

– Pharmaceutical-grade broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
– Matte, soft touch texture with a weightless, no-residue finish
– Essential part of daily skin care
– Ideal for use alone or with makeup
– Can be used following a Vivier Peel™ or non-ablative in-office procedures
– Ideal for all skin types, even post-procedure
– Oil-free, fragrance-free, PABA-free and recommended by physicians




Wrinkles and Blotchiness

Wrinkles and Blotchiness

Willie-600You don’t have to compromise your rugged good looks to the effects of time. Aging is a natural process, but sometimes the word “graceful” doesn’t enter into the equation.

Men’s skin may be thicker, but it can still show the ravages of the environment. Sun exposure, pollution and other factors can contribute to premature aging through deep lines, wrinkles and blotchiness, making it difficult for you to show the real you.

Luckily, there is a variety of solutions available to correct these issues without surgery or other highly invasive procedures.


Not just for women, Botox® is an excellent choice if you’re looking to lessen your laugh lines or relieve tired skin around the eyes. It’s also great for the jawline, forehead and around the mouth. By targeting the nerves in the injection areas, Botox® interrupts the signals that pull your skin into the creases and lines that can tack on the years.

Botox® is an outpatient procedure, using injections of Botox® solution in focalized areas. The best part is it lasts for several months, allowing you to go about your daily life without worrying about keeping a rigid treatment schedule.


For sagging skin, deep lines or other areas that can benefit from “plumping”, fillers may become your new best friend.

Using substances that are compatible with your tissue, but not quickly absorbed by the body, your specialist will carefully inject these fillers into problem spots, instantly restoring fullness and youthfulness.

Fillers are also incredibly useful for restoring the appearance of thinning hands and fingers. Fillers need to be repeated to maintain optimum results; your specialist can recommend the best option for your desired outcome, budget and lifestyle.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)/Photorejuvenation

If you’d like to even out your skin tone, whether it be due to sun spots and exposure, freckling, spider veins, birthmarks or general aging changes, fine lines or even dark hair, you can rest assured that safe, effective treatment is yours. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) uses non-ablative, non-invasive high intensity pulses of light to target and eliminate a wide range of visible aging signs.

Photorejuvenation requires a series of treatments to obtain maximum results.

Regardless of which products and procedures you choose to use, our specialists can help guide you toward the perfect choices for your budget and lifestyle. You deserve to look and feel your best and we’re here to help you achieve that goal!

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