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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Still confused about “dry” vs. dehydrated skin?

What’s the difference between dry and dehydrated? I’m confused.

A definite misunderstanding surrounds these two separate conditions that are thought to be the same. No wonder you are confused! In the title I put quotation marks around “dry because so many people I see come in saying they they have dry skin when really they are simply dehydrated.

Dehydrated skin is skin where the outer skin cells are not retaining enough water to keep the skin feeling hydrated. There is usually an excessive buildup of dead cells on the surface of dehydrated skin, therefore exfoliation is necessarily (manually removing the dead skin) in order to relieve the condition. No amount of moisturizing (piling on layers of face creams) will truly fix the problem, but through regular and thorough exfoliation, you can greatly reduce or eliminate dehydration. In short, dehydrated skin is lacking water retention and needs exfoliation.

Dry skin or what I call true-dry skin is oil dry. It simply does not emit much or enough oil. Therefore this skin usually does not have blackheads, whiteheads, and almost never has breakout. True-dry skin needs moisturizing to help add oil to its oil-deficient surface. Exfoliation can help, but what is really needed is proper moisturizing with creams to lubricate the oil-deficient outer skin. 

A common mistake people with dehydrated skin make is to over-moisturize. Because their skin feels dry, it seems logical to give the skin more moisture. With true-dry skin this is fine. But if your skin is emitting enough or in some cases too much oil, over-moisturizing is where the problems can really begin. You start off with dehydration and can end up with congestion or breakout on top of the dryness (dehydration).

Making the distinction between dry and dehydrated skin is imperative. Without knowing which skin condition you have, you could really cause problems down the road.

OK, so my skin is dehydrated, not dry. What should I do?

In a word—exfoliate! There are many methods you can use to get rid of the dead skin on your face. Gommage (soft gel peel) is my personal favorite. There are other exfoliators like papaya enzyme peels as well as AHA peels and so forth—all of which can irritate sensitive skin. If your exfoliation system is causing irritation or redness in your skin, you may want to switch to a more gentle one. However you choose to do it, the way to get rid of dead skin cells is to slough them off—or exfoliate. 

Your skin will let you know when it’s time to exfoliate: when it feels tight and dry. During the winter months, you may need to exfoliate more often, maybe 2 or 3 times per week. This depends on your environment (how dry the heat is in your home) and just how dry your skin feels. Remember, exfoliation will relieve that dry feeling. By exfoliating regularly, you can keep your skin soft and supple, even through a rough, cold winter.

Hopefully you are beginning to understand the difference between dry (true-dry) and dehydrated skin. If youve read similar articles on this blog, you know I have tried to clear up this most important issue. As an aesthetician I continue to talk about this with my clients who come in thinking they have true-dry (oil-dry) skin when they are really dehydrated with an oily or normal to oily skin type.

Please read the following to become more familiar with this subjectfor your skins sake!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Emergen-C—a little effervescence for your health

Whether or not you’re a vitamin taker, you may want to consider adding vitamin C to your daily diet and/or supplement regime. It is vital to proper cell function, yet it is the only vitamin that is neither manufactured nor stored in the body. This means you must get vitamin C in your diet on a daily basis either by supplements or in your food.

My favorite way to get extra vitamin C (other than through fruits and vegetables) is with a product called Emergen-C. It is a powder that comes in single-serving packets. They’re great for travel, you can put Emergen-C packets in your gym bag, or even in your camping backpack. Over the past 10 years, Emergen-C has become more commonplace and very easy to find. It is sold in health food stores, but now it’s even sold in grocery stores.

Simply mix one or two packets of Emergen-C in eight ounces of water once a day, several times a day, or whenever you feel you need an extra boost. If I’m fighting something off, I will take Emergen-C every hour for at least four to five hours. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by stress, alcohol, smoking, and pollution. Whatever vitamin C your body doesn’t absorb is filtered out through your urine, so there is no real threat of taking too much of this vitamin.

Sugar substitute. If you’re craving sweets but trying to stay away from sugar, mix two packets of Emergen-C in a glass of water and enjoy. It will help to quench your desire for sweets because this vitamin drink is very sweet on its own; by drinking this vitamin drink you don’t have to put any “bad” sugar into your system. Emergen-C is available in several flavors, and all of them taste sweet and can help to curb your sugar cravings.

For more information, see:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

MYTH: Oily skin wrinkles less

Lines and wrinkles are formed from a breakdown in collagen fibers over a long period of expressing, sun exposure, and just plain time. Oily skin does keep a lipid or oily film over the face, which does keep it moisturized and supple (usually to the detriment of the pores, however). The sebaceous or oil glands, however, have nothing to do with collagen fibers.

Oily skin tends to be thick skin; thick skin ages differently. It tends to form one or two deep wrinkles, whereas thin skin usually has many very fine lines. Think of a piece of heavy wool versus a thin piece of silk. When folded, the wool will only crease in one or two places, but the creases will be deep. The silk may form many creases, but they will be superficial.

Men tend to have thicker, oilier skin. Not everyone with an oilier skin type has a thicker skin, however. But, I’m sorry to say ladies, even you who have thin skin that is oily are still not escaping the aging process due to the excess lipids.

The oil content of your skin has very little to do with the aging process. Accumulated sun exposure, genetics, and how expressive you are determine how your lines will form.

For more information see:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Yonka’s LAIT CORPS—ginseng body lotion

Yonkas LAIT CORPS is a ginseng and comfrey hydrating body lotion. With its delicately scented botanical aromatics, this intensive moisturizing milk leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth and silky. It balances dry and rough skin with PCA* and sweet almond oil, although this cream is not oily-feeling. Don’t get out of the bath or shower without applying this repairing, hydrating milk to your whole body. *Sodium PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) is a natural component of our skin. This ingredient acts as a water-binding agent and helps to repair dry, dehydrated skin.

Essential ingredients:
  • Glycerin, sodium PCA 5%—hydrating, repairing
  • Ginseng, grape seed oils rich in essential fats—hydrating, regenerating
  • Comfreysoothing, healing
  • Sweet almond oil—repairing, softening, hydrating
  • Vitamin E—an antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage
Directions for use:
  • Use daily after shower or bath
  • For the full Yonka experience, fill your bath water with Phyto-Bain
  • Apply LAIT CORPS in the morning and/or evening to dry (vs. wet) skin
  • Combine with Huile Corps (body oil) for extra hydration
For some other information, see:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Axioms for Life

Here I go again writing about subjects other than pure skin care. But please understand, all of these unrelated subjects are related to health, and therefore, ultimately, the condition of your skin. I make no apologies for including what I consider to be useful information for you to take into your life that will hopefully help bring about change (if its needed), or at the very least give you a bit of peace in your day (if its needed).

I created the following axioms years ago to help me get through hard times or simply a bad day. If you havent already, I encourage you to develop your own words and phrases with ideas that mean something special to you. You can refer to them whenever and wherever you are having trouble in your life, or when you are having an off day. If you use axioms, they can help give you a lift anytime. Use some or all of my axioms, find sayings from books or movies, even use words taken from conversations you have with friends—or even strangers.

For much of my life I have been in the habit of writing down things that pop into my head or words of wisdom I hear; wherever and whenever something clicks inside of me, I jot it down. I write these things down because I know I will not remember—verbatim—the wise and heartfelt remarks that come out during conversations or inspiring words that I read somewhere. So, write down the creative and motivating words that cross your path, and refer to them often. 

Here are the axioms I rely on the most. They are presented here in the same way I originally wrote them (back in the 90s) and then put up on my refrigerator to see every day:
  • RELAX
  • Put it in God’s hands
  • Look at the Big Picture
  • Be strong
  • Don’t act on your weakness
  • Be kind to yourself
  • NUTRITION
RELAX. Simply breathe, get in touch with your body, and relax. Find things throughout the day that can help your body and mind relax. For me, sitting in a bubble bath is very relaxing. I can let the thoughts flow out of my head and into the hot, steamy water, giving my mind a rest for a little while. You may find reading a book brings you relaxation. I recommend uplifting, inspirational books, where you may find some pearls of wisdom that help you cope with the stress.

Walking outside in the park may help you to relax. Being in nature, for many people, automatically relieves stress and helps them to think through their problems in a relaxed manner. When my father died unexpectedly in 2008, just after I moved to Boulder, I would go walking in the foothillsmany times going off trailand sit on a boulder and just look at the beauty around me. It was very healing for me; this atmosphere gave me a place to unload a lot of the mixed up feelings I was experiencing. (See Moving Through Loss for what is hopefully a helpful article on grieving.)

Do whatever you need to do to relax your mind and body, then seek out these activities throughout the day (every day if possible). Usually when you’re relaxed, inspiration finds a way in.

Put it in God’s hands. I realize sometimes people get hung up on the word “God. It has so many connotations and meanings to different people and religions. I dont actually think of “God as what I am giving my issue(s) to; I think of giving it over to love instead. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, even if you dont have any, mentally allow that source, energy, person, place, or thing to accept the problem and take it off your shoulders for now. (You might even think of it as simply the stronger part of yourself vs. something outside of you.)

Once you sincerely release the conflict from your body, you will have better energy within to tackle the road ahead. Releasing things in this way helps me to clear my mind and my heart, giving me room to see things from a different (hopefully more objective) perspective. For a simple but (for me and others) effective mantra, read Prayer I. Warning: the word “God is used in this as well. Substitute as needed!

Look at the Big Picture. Can you take your awareness out of this moment and look at your life maybe five years from now? In the big picture of your entire life, how does the current problem rate—really? Most likely it looks smaller and less ominous if you can take yourself out of the now.
A new perspective can change how you view this or any problem. Of course, perspective is relative, but try this exercise to literally rise above your current issue at hand:
  • Close your eyes
  • Picture yourself lifting up off the ground, rising above yourself and looking down at you
  • Then keep rising, up above your house (or wherever you are), and seeing the city or rural surroundings as you lift off further and further away from where you are sitting
  • Keep rising above until you can see the earth from way above
If you try to locate yourself in your house or office, you are so small and inconsequential, you are hard to find. And in the big picture of your life, perhaps the stress you are going through is not as important as you are making it. I am certainly not trying to demean nor diminish the importance of events that may be occurring in your life that are of great or even severe consequence. But for the day-to-day stresses that we tend to make into more than they are, try rising above to decrease the impact the stresser has on you.

Want a little perspective? Read a book on physics. When you see things through the eyes of an entire universe, it can lighten the load you may be carrying in this minute, on this planet, at this particular time in the history of the world. If that doesnt work for you, an anatomy book usually helps me put things in perspective. How can all these systems in our bodies function so perfectly? Its magic!

Be strong. Know that you truly can handle anythingyou just may not want to have to. The adage that “we are not given more than we can handle” has probably been proven to you at some time in your life. Go to that place within yourself, that strong place, and look at your problem head on and know you can conquer anything.

Don’t act on your weakness. For me this means don’t recede into negative behaviors, whether it is drinking, eating bad foods, not exercising, or cutting off the world when a problem seems insurmountable. If I don’t act from this weakened place, in the long run I will be much better off. Acting on weakness and displaying what I consider to be negative behaviors only makes things worse. The problem will right itself, someday, somehow, but if I am not a clear and healthy vessel, having to fix my body is simply another challenge I will have to face and conquer. Why multiply the problem? Don’t allow those weak parts of you to win.

Be kind to yourself. This is so important. Being kind to myself means letting go of the rules sometimes. It means not blaming or berating myself for the position I find myself in. It means being my own best friend. When you go to a friend for comfort, do they rake you over the coals for getting yourself into a pickle? No, a best friend will love and support you through thick and thin, without judgment, just understanding. I’m not suggesting enabling inappropriate behavior, but when someone is in the midst of a crisis, it is not the appropriate time to offer a critical analysis of the hows and whys; it’s a time to lend a hand and offer a shoulder to cry on. Be this friend for yourself. Be kind to yourself, it will help keep you on track.

NUTRITION. Many times when were under stress, we tend to go toward comfort, and many times this includes food. I am all for bending the rules and allowing things into your life that you normally wouldn’t under normal circumstances. But with that said, your body is what is taking you through your day, every day. And if your machineyour bodyis unsound, all that is contained in it (including your mind) will suffer. So if you truly need to reach for “bad” foods along your path, balance it out with good food and perhaps even supplements too. And if you do indulge, limit your intake. Give yourself the permission, but don’t overdo it. A healthy body will help ensure a healthier mind as you go through a stressful time. Eat well, be well.

There are a few other thoughts and phrases I like to ponder from time to time, such asTo know and not to do is not to know.(The ancient Buddhist proverb says “To know and not do is not yet to know, but I use this version, which is fairly popular.) Although I don’t have this on my personal axiom list, it is one of my favorite sayings and one I use frequently in life. I think it fits in perfectly with many of my personal philosophies because it has so many implications. For instance, if you know sugar doesn’t agree with you and you say, “I know, I know, I shouldn’t eat it,” but you eat it anyway, it truly is as though you don’t know it is bad for you. If you are not doing anything with the information, then you don’t really know the information—deep down, in a convicted way.

The only way out is through. I love this thought, along with the addition of Time heals all wounds.These help me realize that I need to go through the experience to get to the other side and that I probably can’t bypass the path in order to alleviate feeling pain. Then, as is always true, time takes over and eases the pain and uncomfortableness of any situation.

Perhaps you already have (and use) your own axioms in your day to day life. If notor even if sotake from mine, come up with others. No matter where they come from, axioms can really help put life in perspective when stress or seemingly unmanageable situations arise.

Also see:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Acupuncture explained

What is acupuncture and how can it help skin problems? 

The following is an explanation of what acupuncture is, what it does, and how it can help you in many different ways, including helping your skin problems. This article was written by my dear friend and acupuncturist, Sharon Kraus, L.Ac.



When some people think of acupuncture, they cannot get past the word “needle.” For them it conjures the image of thick hypodermics and the pain of an injection or perhaps some comedic Hollywood image of a person with 400 needles stuck into every square inch of his or her body. Well, this could not be further from the truth!

Imagine instead walking into a serene setting, complete with soft music and gentle lighting. You are arriving at the end of a hectic day of meetings and frantic work deadlines. Your shoulders are so tense that they practically touch your ears. Your head aches and is heavy, and your stomach is slightly queasy from the greasy lunch you grabbed on the run. Imagine entering this tranquil space after your long and stressful day. You change into loose-fitting clothing and lie down on a soft massage table.

Your acupuncturist enters the room and begins a series of gentle diagnostic procedures such as feeling your pulse, looking at your tongue, and palpating certain areas of your body such as your arms and legs, belly or back. You will have a chance to tell your acupuncture practitioner what’s been on your mind and your concerns about your body. In addition to paying attention to what you say, he or she will be noticing the sound of your voice, the color and tone of your skin, and your general state of well-being. All of this goes into the diagnosis of your condition and the course of your treatment.

As the treatment begins, he or she may gently insert fine filaments (aka needles)—about the width and diameter of a hair—into specific points on your body. These points are chosen for their location on what is called an acupuncture meridian. Although sometimes there is a sensation of pressure, tingling, or the occasional pinch when the needles are inserted, it truly should be a comfortable process. As you lie on the table, you begin to feel your shoulders relax and the pressure begins to drain from your head. The queasiness in your stomach begins to subside as you float into a state of heavy relaxation. When the hour is up, you leave feeling renewed and perhaps a little sleepy. Or, if you lacked energy before, you might feel like going home and cleaning your house or tackling a project. You might just notice that you feel back in harmony with your world again.
 
Obviously the above is an idealized view of an acupuncture experience. Your acupuncturist may run a noisy, busy clinic with five tables, each separated by a cloth. But if you have a qualified acupuncturist, the setting is not the main issue. Once the treatment begins, it is likely that your body will relax and go into a slightly altered state of relaxation and healing. It is important, however, to find an acupuncturist who is licensed either statewide or nationally, and whom you can relate to. There are many styles of acupuncture, so I encourage you to try a few different people until you find the person who is right for you.

What is acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture is a system that balances the flow of bioelectrical energy in the body. We are conductive beings, composed largely of water, and the functioning of our very cells is regulated by the flow of positive and negative ions. Although modern science still cannot explain it, the ancient Chinese, probably about 3,000 years ago, began mapping the electrical flows of energy in our bodies through a series of channels called acupuncture meridians. These channels invigorate the organs and the tissue, the flow of the blood, as well as the free-flowing expression of emotions. In that culture there was an understanding that the health of an individual depended on the harmonious interrelationship between all of one’s parts.

Over the centuries, this body of information grew and has continued to be refined throughout China, Japan, and other Asian cultures until present times. Now we see the vast tradition of Oriental medicine, which is a primary system of health care for millions of people, interfacing with modern medicine and Western science. More and more we see Oriental medicine being looked to here in the West to address the “gray” areas for which Western medicine has no clear answer, such as hormonal imbalance, fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, chronic pain, arthritis, menstrual discomfort, and even infertility. The fact is, Oriental medicine can address any condition because it’s not treating the symptom, but the underlying imbalance. Regardless of the other therapies you might be receiving, acupuncture can be a very helpful addition.

In relation to skin care, most of us know that our skin is a major organ of elimination. In Oriental medicine, the skin is associated with the lungs and large intestine, otherwise known as the “metal” element. As you may also know, a buildup of toxicity in the body can lead to problem skin. If toxins can’t be properly eliminated through the bowel, they are likely to be expelled through the sinuses and the skin. Obviously the liver and the kidneys play an important role in the detoxification process as well. Keeping the metal element balanced with all of the other elements and their related organ systems through the use of acupuncture and herbs is one way to assist in the detoxification and maintenance of healthier skin.

Hormonal changes can cause breakouts and sometimes deep, scarring acne. Although hormones were an unknown entity 2,000 years ago in ancient China, there was an understanding that supporting a free flow in all the acupuncture meridians eased stress in the body, allowed for better assimilation of food and elimination of waste, normalized sleep, and improved the regulation of all the body’s cycles. In fact, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are known to be particularly helpful in regulating menstrual cycles and menstrual discomfort, as well as easing symptoms associated with menopause.

In the clinic, I have found that improving the flow of the lymph fluid in the upper part of the body with acupuncture, especially when there is a lot of upper body tension, helps to clear up acne. I have also discovered that many women with hormonal imbalances have either blood stagnation or weak “qi” (or diminished energy flow) in the lower abdomen, often accompanied by tight upper bodies—stiff neck and shoulders. We sometimes diagnose this as weak kidney or spleen qi, with liver qi or blood stagnation that can lead to “damp heat” conditions such as hormonal acne.

Let me translate! What this actually means is that a weakness in the body leads to stagnation of fluids, sometimes referred to as “dampness” in Oriental medicine. Many things can lead to this type of weakness or “qi deficiency,” but it’s important because in some cases the resulting accumulation of fluids can lead to a heat buildup in the body. Toxicity due to sluggish functioning of other organ systems such as the liver and large intestine can also lead to localized heat accumulations. In fact, heat buildup can be generated through repressed or expressed emotions like anger or overexcitement, as well as through elements of diet. Foods such as alcohol, coffee, greasy and spicy foods, excessive intake of “the whites” (i.e., refined sugar and flour), or foods to which one may be allergic can also lead to heat or damp conditions. Truly, the term damp heat can encompass all sorts of inflammatory, viral and bacterial conditions, including acne or herpes, as mentioned before.

Skin problems can have many different etiologies, but the beauty of Oriental medicine is that we examine the cause in each individual and balance the body accordingly. Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the West as our society begins to realize the importance not just of healing a single part but of considering the whole. This concept is inherent in Oriental medicine. We can no longer afford to focus on just one part at the expense of all others, whether it be in relationship to our bodies and our skin, to our planet, or to the whole of humanity.



Thank you, Sharon, for such a lovely piece on the importance of acupuncture and how it relates to (and helps) the skins balance and wellness. For anyone in the Ashland/Medford Oregon area, you can contact Sharon through her website: CLICK HERE.

Also see:


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why get a facial? The benefits of a professional facial treatment explained

Getting a facial means different things to different people. For some it is a conditioning treatment to maintain their already healthy skin. For others it is a necessary step for keeping their skin trouble-free. Truly, you can benefit from a facial no matter what condition your skin is in.

Similar to getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, a facial gets rid of embedded debris and deep cleans the pores. These treatments will also super hydrate your outer skin and can go a long way in helping your whole body relax, if only for that hour. Although styles of treatment vary from place to place, I have listed some of the many advantages of getting a professional facial.

Deep cleansing. Initially your face is washed with gentle surface cleansers before it is analyzed with the aid of a magnifying lamp to determine the course of treatment. A procedure known as extraction, where blackheads and whiteheads are carefully removed from the pores manually, is performed when necessary and is an integral part of the deep-cleansing process (for those who need this procedure). Toward the end of the facial, a clay mask is commonly used to further cleanse the pores by lifting out surface debris. No matter what kind of facial you receive, your skin should come out very clean and the pores free from debris.

Exfoliation. This is the sloughing off or removal of outer, dead cells, which leaves the texture of your skin smoother and more refined. It is dead skin and oil that clog the pores, so keeping the surface free from a buildup of dead cells helps fight congestion and enables your skin to retain moisture, making it feel smoother. Different salons incorporate different procedures, but nearly every facial will include some form of exfoliation.

Hydration. Throughout the facial, many nourishing and moisturizing creams are massaged into the skin. Sometimes ampoules (vials containing concentrated extracts or oils) are applied as well. All skin can utilize the benefits of deep hydration. Even oily and problem skin needs to be well hydrated, making the texture feel smoother and the skin look healthier in general. 


Relaxation. Listed last, but certainly not least, the relaxation benefits you receive from having a facial are undeniable. We all have a lot of stress in our busy lives, and it’s important to balance this out with what I call “anti-stress activities.” Whether you’re relaxing in a tub full of bubbles or finding quiet time to read a book, taking time to balance out the stress in your life is the key to health and well-being.

A facial offers you fantastic relaxation benefits. In fact, many people are surprised at how relaxing facials really are. Getting a facial truly is a great escape, a haven where no one can find you. When my clients walk through the door to my office, they instantly start to relax. I’m not pulling teeth here. They know they can let the stresses of the day go, even if it’s just for an hour. Relaxation is a hidden benefit that should not be overlooked when considering having a facial.

When you leave the treatment room, your skin should be very clean, well exfoliated, super-hydrated, and smooth to the touch and have a healthy, well-nourished glow. Allow yourself an escape once in a while with a wonderfully relaxing facial—for your health.


Here are a few more articles that will give you further information on facials:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Yonka-Paris skin care products defined

From Yonka headquarters:

Treat yourself to the forces of nature. Yonka unveils your true beauty with the living force of nature found in flowers, leaves, fruit, barks, roots, seeds, medicinal herbs from fields, woods and mountains and marine plant life.

YONKA DEFINED
The words YON and KA that comprise the mysterious name for this exceptional product come from the vision of two brothers early in the 20th century, Charles and Ernest Multaler. YON is the name for a river in China known to Charles and Ernest as a place of beauty and renewal. They chose this to represent the purity of their formulas. KA is of Egyptian origin and represents life force. Aromatherapy has long been recognized as utilizing the life force of the botanical. Charles and Ernest were able to capture these life forces and integrate them into every product they created, giving their products a quality rarely experienced in skin care.

YONKA ESSENTIAL OILS
Yonka has been the undisputed pioneer of professional aesthetic aromatherapy since the 1950s. Through its face, body and sun skin care collections, Yonka gives your skin the most precious that plants can provide: the enlivening essential oils charged with energy from the sun’s rays. In the heart of Yonka, a pure and natural aromatic composition of lavender, cypress, rosemary, thyme, and geranium essential oils: “The 5 Quintessence Essential Oils. This exclusive formula is then blended with a wealth of plant extracts from all over the world.

YONKA PLANT, FRUIT, AND MARINE EXTRACTS
With their subtle aromas, the essential oils combined with plant, fruit, and marine extracts act to balance, soothe, revive and rejuvenate. Each ingredient has a specific role for your skin: the fruit acids moisturize and enhance the complexion; the vitamins combat free radicals; the seaweed remineralize; and the plant oils nourish and soften.

THE YONKA COMMITMENT
Each product is created, manufactured and tested by the Laboratories Multaler, a French family-owned company. Each product you buy comes with the guarantee of a genuine, high-quality formulation that delivers instant and long-lasting results. Yonka products are sold by skin care professionals the world over, to offer the most effective personalized Yonka products and beauty treatments that combine pleasure and freshness, visible results, and a renewed sense of well-being.

MORE ABOUT YONKA PRODUCTS
The Yon-Ka collection provides advanced therapeutic facial care to cope with all skin imbalances and conditions—tightness and flakiness associated with dry skin; over-reactivity of sensitive types; dullness of combination skin; excess shine and blemishes of oily skin; acne lesions caused by problematic skin, as well as sudden loss of essential moisture, typical of dehydrated skin.

Yon-Ka also addresses the onset of premature aging—wrinkles, loss of firmness, tired features, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, loss of vitality and radiance. In addition to specialized facial care, the collection includes eye and lip care—lack of tone, resilience and nourishment, crow’s feet, expression lines, and puffiness. Body wellness is strongly represented with an arsenal of impressive products formulated to promote and restore—softness, moisture, skin tone and shape of the silhouette, bust contour, heavy leg relief and elasticity following pregnancy and weight fluctuations.
From France, Yon-Ka is termed an aromatheraputic product. Aromatherapy is the science and use of essential oils. Essential oils aren’t, however, oily oils. They are natural essences derived from plants and flowers, usually through a process called distillation. These aromatic essences are sometimes termed “oils because they are lighter than water, thus float on the surface of water like a true oil. Their viscosity, however, is thin—like water.

Essential oils stimulate circulation, balance out oil secretions, help to tone capillaries that cause redness in the skin, provide an anti-bacterial environment when infection is present, and have an overall beneficial effect on skin tone and coloring—to name just a few of their many benefits.

If you have problems with your skin, Yon-Ka can help. If you have normal, no problem skin, Yon-Ka can still help make a positive difference in your skin. We encourage you to try these aromatic, effective, and simple to use products, and you too can experience the pleasure of healthy, beautiful skin.



For any of you who have been to my salons or read articles on this blog, you know I have used Yonka products professionally for nearly 30 years. Obviously I like thema lot. I have seen their efficacy work for many skin types; from dry, Colorado skin to teenagers with acne. I encourage you to give Yonka-Paris a tryfor the long-term health of your skin.

For links to some of my favorite Yonka products, see:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Breakouts explained: What exactly is breakout?

Breakout is like a traffic jam inside your hair follicle or pore. The follicle is like a passageway or tunnel. Oil (sebum) comes up through the follicle and out onto the surface of your skin, picking up dead cells along the way. When too much oil tries to get through at any given time, and/or there are too many dead cells sticking to the follicle wall, it starts a chain reaction resulting in a backup. For instance, when traffic starts to slow down on the highway (follicle), it causes a traffic jam (congestion) with an eventual backup (breakout) that can go on for miles.

Once this backup has started, the amount of oil within the follicle starts to increase. This buildup causes the follicle wall to expand and eventually break. Bacteria rush in, which in turn increases the infection. Now you have a hard, red, and sometimes large bump under your skin, commonly referred to as a pimple, zit, or blemish. Technically it is a pustule (if it has a white or yellow pus-filled head), or a cyst or papule (a bump lurking under the skin that contains infection but has no visible head).

To understand what to do if you have breakouts along with what may be causing your skin problems, please read the following along with other articles contained throughout this blog:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ideas on when & where to do a clay mask

Step 1: Put a clay mask on your face. Step 2: Take that necklace off!!!
Where to use a clay mask:

If you are a bath-type person, this is a good place to do a clay mask. Put the clay on your clean, dry face, then grab your spray bottle** and hop into the tub. Relax, enjoy, and every so often spray your face. I don’t recommend splashing the bathwater on your face to keep the mask wet, especially if you have used any bath products in the water. This can really irritate your skin, and the water will probably be too hot for your face to tolerate.
**You never want a clay mask to dry on your skin. Using a spray bottle filled with clean, filtered water is an easy way to keep the clay moist the whole time it’s on your face.

Using a clay mask in a steam room is the perfect marriage of protection and cleansing. The steam is great for stimulating the body’s circulation, but remember the capillaries of the face are very fragile and cannot withstand the intense heat in a steam room. Putting a clay mask on your face creates an occlusive, protective barrier between your skin and the hot steam. And since the clay will stay perfectly moist in this environment, it is an ideal place to use your mask.

Also note that if you find yourself in a steam room without a clay mask handy, I highly recommend wetting a few paper towels and putting them over your face while steaming. The heat is just too intense for your face and can really cause a good deal of capillary damage if you frequent steam rooms “unprotected.” Usually the paper towels at a gym are stiff enough (even when wet) to make a good cover for your face.
This woman's face (and capillaries) would be so much better served by applying a clay mask before getting in the steam room.

When to use a clay mask:

Clay can be used as often as desired. If you have normal to oily skin, blackheads, or any congestion, you will want to use clay at least once a week to keep the pores cleaned out. If you have problem skin and especially if you have acne, you’ll want to mask several times per week. And finally, even true-dry skin can benefit from using a clay mask. Oil-deficient skin doesn’t require the same deep cleansing as does an oilier skin type, but you can still derive many benefits from using a clay mask once every week or two.

It’s best to mask after exfoliating if you’re using them together. Exfoliation will help get rid of excess dead skin as well as superficial debris in the pores. The clay mask further deep cleans the pores along with helping to soothe and calm the surface. Exfoliating and using a clay mask can be done in tandem, once a week (or more) as a mini, at-home facial. They do not need to be done together, but it’s nice to do both if you have the time. Exfoliate, run a bath, put the clay mask on, hop in, and relax. After removing the mask, use your toner and moisturizer along with eye cream.

For more detailed information, see:
No clay mask required