Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rosacea, aging, and appreciation: a client’s comments

The following was written by a client of mine who has used Yonka skin care products for several years:

I never thought I would be a cheerleader for a skin care brand, but I am. I swear I get compliments on my skin all the time from younger women, and they always ask me how I do it.

I’ve learned so much from you about how to take care of my skin as well as tips on how to psychologically deal with the fact that no matter what, we do get older. I’m trying to do it gracefully without fillers, Botox, and the like. I would rather look like a real person who is aging than a cartoon character with a frozen face.

I’ve been noticing older women who I find attractive even though they have sagging skin and wrinkles. I see that beauty and attractiveness is so much more than outward appearanceit comes from the inside, and I love being around people like that.

I love your mission for healthy skin, healthy body, and realistic goals for our lives. Prevention is always the easier path. I know that if I don’t eat well and drink enough water, my skin care products will only get me so far.

Sugar, alcohol, wheat, too many carbs, too many late nights can all wreak havoc on my rosacea. So rosacea is just a little messenger that says, “You aren’t taking care of yourself, and inflammation is running rampant in your system not just your face. Keep up the good work Carolyn!

Its always nice to hear from my clients, and this long-time Yonka user touches on something very important that I have been talking about for years. Your skin will usually be at least one of the messengers signaling you about the health of your insides. Breakout, for instance, is not just happening;it is a sign of imbalance. Similarly, rosacea, once it has appeared, will usually give you more than a slight nudgemore like a punch in the stomach!to let you know that something you are doing, eating, or exposing your skin to is simply too much.

Pay attention and proceed from there. And also relax and dont worry about every little thing that is going on with your skin and/or body. Life is meant to be lived. Step away from the mirror and go take a nice walk outside in nature.

For more information, see:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why does skin break out? More contributing factors

After reading the first two installments of this Why does skin break out? series (links below), I hope you have come up with some of the reasons why you may be breaking out. Here is another piece about why your skin may be breaking outmore contributing factors.
Anything in excess can have a physical effect like breakout. This can mean too much of something in your diet, but it can also mean too much exercise, too much stress, and of course too much soda, caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes. Just look at your day-to-day routines and see where you hit the excess meter. This way you may discover something that is contributing to your breakout in your everyday life.

As you have learned (I hope), sugar and sugary foods are huge contributors to problem skin. So if you are eating excessive amounts of sugar (I consider excessive to be eating some form of sugar every day), you probably have breakout. And if you don’t, you may have regular headaches. And if you don’t have either, believe me, something is going on in your body to counteract all the toxic, sugary foods, and it’s not a positive effect. Although I have several articles on sugar and skin issues on this blog, see a few links at the bottom of this article to get started reading about his important subject.

Exercise as we all know is an important part of daily (or at least three times weekly) life. But like any other good thing, too much of it can turn against you. Wanting to be in shape and keeping your body fit and healthy is obviously a good thing. But I’m sure you know someone (is it you?) who just cannot get off the exercise treadmill. I mean that metaphorically, but I suppose it could be taken literally too. For some, exercise has turned into an unhealthy addiction, and unfortunately your skin may be paying the price for those extreme efforts.

You may be wondering how this affects your skin. First, if you exercise, you have to get more water than the daily recommended eight glasses a day we all grew up hearing about. Your body is throwing off sweat in order to keep your core body temperature down, since you are heating it up by increasing circulation and raising your body’s heat index. Without drinking water all throughout the day and even while exercising, your smart and creative body will simply take the water it needs from wherever it can get it—namely your organs. Your skin is an organ—the largest one—so why not take water from it?

Not drinking enough water and dehydration go hand in hand. Dehydration can take the form of dehydrated skin on the outside as well as dehydration inside your body. And you don’t want your insides to become dehydrated. That is why the eight 8-oz. glasses theory is drilled into us from such an early age. It is absolutely necessary. If you exercise regularly, think about adjusting your water intake accordingly.

By the way, I don't see dehydrated skin from a lack of ingesting water as much as many imagine. Dehydration on the outside that manifests as dry-feeling skin, is more a matter of an accumulation of dead skin buildup than a matter of not drinking enough water.

Too much coffee, sodas, iced tea, candy, sugar in your coffee, and artificial sweeteners. All of these and more can contribute to your skin problems. Do I need to go over why drinking too many sodas may be contributing to your skin care woes? (If so, then read Sugar in sodas; breakouts on skin, link below.) If you drink regular, sugary, caffeinated sodas you are shoveling 10-15 teaspoons of sugar into your body with each and every soda pop, to say nothing of the caffeine your poor adrenal glands have to contend with. Sugar is lethal for many reasons and is a common denominator I have found to cause breakouts in a high percentage of my clients.

Even drinking fruit juice can cause some people to break out. Store-bought juice is a concentrate of sugar with some vitamins added. And although the sugar is fructose (fruit sugar), this kind of juice will have added sugar if it’s from concentrate. People down glass upon glass of juice thinking it is a healthy drink. I have many clients who come in for facials with breakout and after finding out about their diets, I discover they are drinking juice every day or on some kind of regular basis—even just a small amount. Remember, when you drink juice, you are getting a lot of carbohydrates from sugar and also a lot of calories. I heard someone say they don’t like to drink their meals—meaning they want to eat foods with high nutrient contents rather than a glass of sugary juice.

Stress plays a huge role in skin care problems. Stress breaks down your immune system, leaving your body ill-equipped to function optimally. This includes its ability to excrete toxic waste and eliminate properly. Many times when the body is under a lot of stress, one of the unfortunate symptoms is breakout. Try HEADSPACE: Get your meditation on and other articles under the stress/anti-stress category on this blog and see if they help you understand this crucial balance of stress along with anti-stress activities. If you’re having trouble sleeping, read De-stressing Quick Tip: Music IS the doctor! for some tips for resting and sleeping well. (Links below.)

If you have a genetic predisposition for oily, problem, or acne skin, there is little you can do to stop this driving force fueled by your ancestry. However, keeping all other areas in check (diet, stress, lifestyle habits, skin care routine) can and will contribute to keeping your skin clear and breakout-free. 

Sleeping with your makeup on is another no-no in the skin care realm. I have said this many times: If you brush your teeth at night, you certainly can wash your face. Just put cleanser on prior to brushing your teeth, brush, and simply rinse the cleanser off. This only takes a few seconds and goes a long way to help keep your skin clean. If you don’t want to “wash” your face, try a waterless cleanser. Something is better than nothing!
Birth control pills can, in many cases, cause breakouts. Some women find help with their problem skin while on the Pill; others find their skin becomes worse or starts breaking out when they didn’t have any problems prior to taking these hormones. Going off the Pill can cause problems too. While on the pill you were supplying hormones; going off, your body needs time to adjust. Hormones are what cause breakouts. Since the Pill contains hormones, it makes sense that this seemingly “harmless” form of birth control can and in many cases does cause problems with some people’s their skin.

There are many articles on this blog about how to figure out why you are breaking out along with ways to help treat the breakout. I hope you will continue to use this information to help keep your breakouts to a minimum and possible stop the breakout from appearing in the first place. For the first two articles in this series, see:
For more articles about sugar and its affect on your skin, see:
For a few more articles related to problem skin and your health, see:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Permanent Makeup

An analogous term for permanent makeup would be tattooing because this is essentially what you are doing if you partake in permanent makeup. (The above photo doesnt really exemplify what I mean by permanent makeup, but its pretty!)

As the name suggests, this process is permanent, meaning once you have it done you are stuck with it. Yes, tattoos can be reversed, but due to the location of this “makeup,” your skin (your face) will never look the same. And the removal of the tattoo can be extremely dangerous (as well as painful), especially around the eye area as in the case of permanent eye liner.

There are many dangers inherent in receiving permanent makeup. The first and most important is that the training for performing this procedure is minimal at best. The technicians simply don’t have a lot of requirements to be able to apply permanent makeup (tattoo your face). So you basically have the potential to have an unskilled person who may not know what he or she is doing tattooing your eyelids or lipline or elsewhere. I don’t mean to say that all people who are providing this service are unskilled or unqualified. But this is definitely a time where you’ll want to do a lot of research before agreeing to this procedure with a particular individual.

A second concern is what if you don’t like the tattoo? Guess whatyou’re stuck with it. Sure, the color or design can be altered, but the price you’ll have to pay is wearing this artwork on your face for the rest of your life.

Tattoo ink changes over time. And no matter how skilled the professional nor how exact the artwork, your body’s chemistry along with the aging process and gravity can change the appearance of even the most successful permanent makeup application.

If you don’t have hair (eyebrows, for instance) and you want to tattoo your skin, that is one thing. If you are utilizing permanent makeup just so you won’t have to apply lipstick and eyeliner, my advice is be careful.

At the beginning of my career, I worked at a spa which was frequented by many older ladies. There I saw several examples of what permanent makeup can do. Granted, this was back in the ’80s and early ’90s, and no doubt there has been a lot of progress made in the field of permanent makeup since then. But a tattoo is a tattoo, and some of the results I saw from this procedure were nothing short of horrible.

Remember, permanent makeup stays on even when your other makeup comes off at night (I hope!). So you have to be comfortable with this “lookhalf on half off. It might not be an issue for you, but it is something to consider going forward.

If you cannot be swayed from getting this service, you are doing yourself a huge injustice if you don’t first research what the risks are with this procedure along with questioning technicians at several reputable establishments who offer permanent makeup. Without asking questions and knowing what to look for in a talented professional, you could really be setting yourself up for permanent disaster. Do your research!

For more information, see:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What does waterproof (sunscreen) really mean?

Waterproof means the product will not come off in water. In other words, it’s not water-soluble. It will continue to remain on the skin even after sweating, taking a dip in the pool, or jumping in the ocean. I believe anyone participating in any outdoor activities should wear waterproof sunscreen. Anything else will quickly and easily come off at the first sign of sweating or immersion in water.

What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant? The difference between the two is basically this: a waterproof product must maintain its SPF rating (SPF 15, for instance) for 80 minutes in water in order to be called waterproof. A water-resistant product must maintain its rating for at least 40 minutes in water. Whichever you choose to use, if you are sweating profusely or are in and out of the water frequently, you really need to reapply your sunscreen.

For more information, see:

Monday, August 15, 2016

An effective treatment for puffy eyes using Yonka’s Phyto Contour

Originally the bulk of this article was contained in the Yonka eye treatment post (listed below). I decided to separate the information to make it easier to accesshopefully!

How to go about treating puffy eyes is a question I am frequently asked by my clients. Following is an effective way to help reduce puffiness from the eye area using a Yonka eye treatment cream. Yonkas rosemary eye cream is certainly not the only product on the market that can help with edema around the eyes, but it sure is a good one.

For severe or even mild puffiness:

On a morning when you wake up with puffy eyes, I recommend using Phyto-Contour in the following way:
  • First, grab your Phyto-Contour and sit up in bed. Sitting up allows gravity to help give the fluids an opportunity to drain. If you just get up and go the puffiness is more likely to stay put
  • Apply Phyto-Contour in a thick layer under the eyes where the puffiness (or dark circles) is most prevalent
  • Relax and remain sitting up in bed for at least 5 minutes, 15 if possible
  • Now do your morning skin care Basics routine (cleanse, tone, hydrate). Because youre cleansing, you will be removing the eye treatment under your eyes, which is fine. If you gave it 5-15 minutes to work, you should see a reduction in puffines
  • After the Basics, apply whatever eye cream you choose, whether Phyto-Contour (in a thin layer now) or any other
If you are using this thicker application method other than first thing in the morning, still sit up somewhere and get comfortable. Apply a thick layer of Phyto-Contour and relax. Afterwards (assuming youre not going to clean your face), simply smooth in the cream and wipe off any excess product. If it were me, Id massage any remaining Phyto-Contour onto my neck. Why not? Rosemary is wonderful for all skin tissue!

By giving the rosemary a chance to absorb into the skin, it can help reduce the fluid retention you were experiencing under your eyes. This will make your puffiness and/or dark circles look much improved. Here is a comment about Phyto Contour from one of my clients: 

Thank you for the reference to your blog post instructions. I tried the morning method and noticed an immediate difference. Im looking forward to using this product more often!

For more information, see

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Extras work!

As their name implies, The Extras (done once or twice a week) are additions to your daily Basics 1-2-3 program that can help to keep your skin clear and healthy. These two extra steps are exfoliation and using a facial mask, preferably a clay mask. You can do The Extras individually on different days (exfoliate one day, clay mask a different day), for instance; or both together in one day; or incorporate them into an at-home facial, which to me is the best option. However you decide to integrate these steps into your skin care program, using them is important and will give you benefits whenever and however you choose to do The Extras.

I bought a clay mask because, just like you state in your book, I have seen an improvement in glow and cleanness from exfoliating and masking weekly.

The Extras (exfoliating and masking) plus relaxation combine to create an at-home facial, essentially. Relaxing—if you have time—is a nice extra Extra to add to your program and is an essential component, especially if you are under stress.

Facials, as many of you know, have a relaxing component to them, so including relaxation to your at-home facial elevates the benefits to your skin as well as your whole being. Although a professional facial involves a lot more than this, the point of an at-home facial is to get some of the results of a professional treatment in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

Relaxing could be as simple as lying on the couch while your clay mask is doing its job. You can get a little more elaborate if you want to by drawing a bubble bath and lighting scented candles, and even playing relaxing music. However you choose to incorporate these (two or) three steps, The Extras can make a big difference in your skin.

Here are the steps you’ll want to take for your at-home facial:
  • Clean your face
  • Use your exfoliator of choice
  • Then apply the facial mask 

If you have problem skin, a clay mask is a must. Even if you don’t have problems, clay is beneficial for all skin types. I continue to prefer clay over hydrating masks; they simply have more benefits than a mere creamy mask.
  • If you use clay, you need to keep it moist, so 
    • Take your spray toner or water in a spray bottle with you into the tub or wherever you plan to relax
    • Spray your face intermittently during the 15 or so minutes you have the mask on to keep it from drying on your skin
  • Once your time is up, rinse the mask off
  • Apply toner
  • Use your favorite moisturizer and eye cream

Take as much time to relax as you can. After all, this is part of the at-home facial experience. Whether you elaborate on The Extras and create an at-home facial or just exfoliate and mask, doing The Extras once a week (or 2-3x a week if you have problem skin) will give you good results and help to maintain clear and healthy skin.

For more information, see:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Yonka’s ALPHA PEEL—AHA renewing gel (formerly Alpha-Complex)

UPDATE: 5/2017
Very soon Alpha-Complex will have a new name: ALPHA PEEL. I have been told the formulation has not changed, just the name. Therefore I will keep this article from 8/2016 in tact. When  you read Alpha-Complex” just think Alpha Peel.

From Yonka headquarters:
ALPHA-COMPLEX is an AHA resurfacing, regenerating, anti-wrinkles concentrate. With an 8% concentration of AHA-rich fruit extracts, this renewing gel gently eliminates dead cell buildup that accumulates and can cause clogged pores and dehydration. It reveals a new fresh radiant skin, with smoothed wrinkles and lines, with refined texture.

As you may already know, if you have redness, irritation, rosacea, couperose, or sensitive skin, I would use this or any other AHA product with caution. Due to the acid compounds in this or products like it, AHAs can exacerbate any red, irritated skin condition, especially couperose and rosacea. Don’t trade one thing (smoother skin) for another (skin irritation). There is another way to exfoliate that is actually preferablefor everyone (in my opinion), which is Yonkas Gommage. See link below.

Essential ingredients:
  • Botanical AHA’s 8% (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids)—exfoliating, refining, hydrating, stimulates cell renewal
  • Mimosa bark extract—regenerating, speeds healing, remineralizes, antioxidant
  • Aloe vera—regenerating, soothing
  • Hyaluronic acid—hydrating
  • Beech tree extract—enzymatic action on cell renewal
  • Vitamin B-5 (panthenol)—stimulates the metabolism
Directions for use:
In the morning and/or evening:
  • After cleansing and spraying on Yonka Lotion toner
  • Apply ALPHA COMPLEX to the face and neck
  • Avoid the lips and eyelids
  • Use day or night treatment cream over the gel
  • Apply eye cream

Note: You may experience a slight tingling sensation the first few times the product is applied. If you ever, with this or any product, feel a burning sensation, quickly remove the product (probably best to use your facial cleanser) and apply a soothing, cool compress.

For more information, see:

Saturday, August 6, 2016

More questions about using a clay mask

I have a lot of blackheads that are very stubborn around my nose and chin. I’ve used a scrub to help the problem, but I don’t want to cause any damage to my skin yet I do want the blackheads to go away. Any suggestions?

The best product to super-clean your skin and the least likely to cause any damage would be a clay mask. If you have stubborn blackheads, I recommend using a mask more often at first and seeing how effective it is. With clay, and especially when using it frequently, you really need to heed my advice and keep the clay moist when it is on your face. Clay deep cleans and can definitely help to de-clog your pores. The more stubborn the problem, the more diligent you need to be about doing your routine.

I would be careful about using scrubs on stubborn blackheads. Why? Because when you have a lot of impacted material (dead skin and oil) held within the pores, you want to gently lift it out, not potentially drive it back into the pores. When using a scrub, the motion is to mash it into the skin—no matter how gently you are using it. If you do drive the debris back into the pores, you may cause infection, leading to all kinds of problems that are worse than stubborn blackheads. There is not a lifting action during the scrubbing process like there is with a clay mask.

I’ve heard toothpaste is good for clearing up zits.

Where this rumor got started I’ll never know. Just like the myths about using common household cleansers for problem skin, the best things to use on your skin are products made for your skin. Clay mask along with essential oils like geranium or lavender are your best bets for clearing up blemishes. Try using toothpaste, but I am sure you will find it does nothing, except possibly dry out and even irritate your skin. Toothpaste is for cleaning your teeth not for clearing your skin!

One of the tips I got from your book [Timeless Skin] that I do religiously now and have benefited enormously from is the clay masking. I've always had dry skin and have avoided clay masks a all costs until I read your tip about keeping it moist. That has been a tremendous help for my skin. Once or twice a week I use a clay mask as well as geranium oil for overnight spot therapy on the occasional monthly blemish. Thank you for your helpful tips!

For more about the importance of using a clay mask and other helpful information, see:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MYTH: Drinking coffee is good for your skin

Before I get started (and as youll read below) I am not saying dont ever have any coffee—and do not take my one cup a day away from me! I just want to give you a rundown of what coffee/caffeine does to the body—especially in excess.

I haven’t ever heard that coffee is “good” for your skin exactly, but we have all heard the reports that tout coffee (caffeine) as good for your body. In fact back in February of last year I read an article in The Washington Post that recommended drinking up to 5 cups a day (to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes). Since last I checked, skin is an organ and is connected to the body, therefore skin is affected positively or negatively by what affects the body. So if coffee is good for the body it must be good for our skin, right? Regardless, I stand by the implyed title of this article and say coffee is not good for your skin.

Here is a short list of what coffee—caffeine—can do to your skin:
  • Coffee causes dehydration. How? Coffee acts as a diuretic in your system, taking precious water out of your body. Less water internally equals dehydration; less water superficially on the outside skin also means dehydration. So does coffee cause dehydration? In a word—yes! 
  • Coffee dilates your capillaries. Why is this important? Capillaries are the blood network for the skin on the face. Throughout your life you want to limit the dilation and contraction of those vessels to limit redness down the line. This dilation is why caffeine can be helpful to relieve headaches, which involve constricted vessels.
  • Caffeine increases heart rate, increasing blood pressure. You dont have to go far to read research about coffees effect on our heart rate. Isnt that why we drink it—to increase our energy and give us get-up-and-go? That is due in part to your heart and blood moving harder and faster.
  • Coffee decreases appetite. Perhaps that is precisely why you drink coffee—to keep your weight down by decreasing your desire for food. For me, I know my one cup in the morning does decrease my appetite and therefore I am less likely to eat breakfast. This, for me, is not a good thing. I’m not trying to lose weight and I am a big believer in breakfast (as in break-the nights-fast). Eating first thing is important for maintaining proper metabolism and keeping my blood sugar in balance. Without breakfast and with coffee I am sure to get low blood sugar (ie: jittery and shaky). Still, please—dont ask me to forgo my one cup a day!

Im not advocating giving up caffeine completely. For me, my day just doesnt feel right without my morning cup of coffee. It is a habit and a routine that brings me pleasure. However I only have one cup a day.

I encourage you to take stock of how much coffee you are actually drinking and cut down if youre going overboard or simply drinking too much.

For more information, see:
It looks so innocuous and happy, doesn’t it?