Saturday, October 7, 2017


Im stunned. Im in a state of shock. Yonka has suddenly discontinued Gommage 303.

I can’t say I’m totally surprised, although I am extremely disappointed. Last year when I had a private training at my salon, the Yonka rep discussed upcoming changes with the product line. She did mention the possibility of going down to one gommage, but I guess I didn’t really think it would happen. But it has. Yonka now only has one gommage product available: Gommage 305With that said: I love Gommage 305. It certainly doesn’t have the citrus aromatics of Gommage 303, but I love it just the same.

A few years back Yonka changed the formulas for many of their products, taking out parabens and making overall changes to many of the ingredient lists. Unfortunately, 303 got hit with a major change that, for me as an aesthetician, was not only unfortunate but left me not wanting to use this citrus exfoliator on my clients. Gommage 303 quite simply didn’t gommage well. In treatment I had to use 2x the normal amount (and I use a lot of gommage in every facial). It didn’t peel off well and at home when I’d use it, I had to rub too hard to get any kind of a peel.

So really, this change doesn’t affect me personally. I didn’t love 303 anymore (after the ingredient changes) and I pretty much stopped using it in treatment. However Yonka headquarters didn’t highlight this change like I think they should have, and I wasn’t given time to purchase stock of this gommage for my clients who absolutely love it. There just wasn’t enough advanced notice to give my clients time to prepare for this large change in all of their skin care routines. Some—really most—of the products Yonka has chosen to discontinue lately haven’t affected too many people, although Creme PS was another biggie; discontinuing Gommage 303 is a big deal for many who love this gommage and that is a lot of people.

So for a large percentage of my clients this change will be a shock. Many of you just didn’t like the pungent smell of 305, preferring the citrus aromas of 303. Like Phyto 52, 305 has a rosemary-type scent, although there isn’t any rosemary in this gommage. Borneol, a camphor derivative, gives 305 a more earthy aromatic. I personally love it, some of you don’t. But please PLEASE don’t let this stop you from using gommage! It is essential to your routine and without it your skin will suffer.

The two gommages where originally combined into one blog post. I’ve taken all of 303 out and 305 stands alone in a new, solo article still published May 1, 2016, like the original. I will leave for posterity and happy memories the following details about our beloved Gommage 303. There are also links at the bottom of this page to articles I have written about what the gommage is and important instructions on how to use it.

So long, trusted friend. After our 32 years together, it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for all the good work you’ve done for all of these many years!

GOMMAGE 303 says on the packaging its for a normal to oily skin type. I will go a bit further and say that 303, because of its citrus nature, is best for ANY skin type that is not sensitive to citrus. Simply putGommage 303 is for non-sensitive skin. Because of the fruity aromatic, some people who have true-dry (oil-dry) skin may prefer this product over 305simply due to the scent. Personally, I love the aromatic of Gommage 305, but my experience as an aesthetician is it isnt for everyone. Dont let the label on this product keep you from trying it, even if you dont have normal to oily skin. 

I use both 303 and 305 (personally and on most of my clients in the treatment room) and many of my clients do too. With essential oils of orange, sweet lime, and lemon, as long as your skin isnt sensitive to citrus, Gommage 303 is heavenlynot just because it makes your skin feel smooth, soft, and well-exfoliated but also because of the lovely fruit aromatics.

Essential ingredients:
  • Carob, brown algae derivatives—exfoliating, hydrating 
  • Essential oils of orange, lemon, lime—astringent, balancing 
  • Lemon extract rich in vitamin C—lightening, antioxidant 
  • Plant glycerin—hydrating

For more information, see:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Oils in your skin care products

There is a misconception that oil in products (moisturizers) is a bad thing. I disagree. Oil-free products have to add fillers and emollients in order to make their product smooth and spreadable. If a product isn’t using oil(s), it is probably using synthetic, nonnutritive ingredients to replace natural oils.

High-quality, vegetal (vegetable) oils are not detrimental to an oilier skin type; petroleum derived oils, like mineral oil, probably are. Please do not shy away from using “oil” in your moisturizers if you have oily or normal to oily/combination skin. If the product is made for your skin type, you should be fine—as long as it is a quality product. As I've talked about in this blog, cheaper products with cheap ingredients (like mineral oil) are probably not going to work well if you have problem skin.

Here is a short list of oils that can be found in moisturizers. These oils (vegetable and other) are preferable to mineral oil or petroleum derived ingredients. This list is not every oil that is available, but it gives you something to compare with the products you are using. Note: termed vegetable oils, most of the following come from nuts and seeds:
  • Almond Oil, Sweet Almond Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil

Just because you are using a moisturizer with one or more of these oils in it doesn’t mean it will turn out to be a great product for you. But if you find your creams have mineral oil or petroleum listed as the main ingredient, I would opt for a moisturizer that contained more organic, “natural” ingredients and vegetable oils such as those in this list.

Please note: If you have internal allergies (food allergies) to any of the above, more than likely they will not make good ingredients in a topical skin care product—for you.

For more information, see:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Yonka’s GALBOL 190—Firming, hydrating concentrate for bust and body

From Yonka headquarters:
GALBOL 190 is an anti-sagging complex for the body and bust. This fluid concentrate is non-oily and is applied to all the areas lacking tone.  

With the firming, regenerating and hydrating action of its 20 plant extracts, the epidermis [outer skin] is smoothed and tightened, the bust shape is redefined, and the tissue gains firmness. Finally, Galbol 190 vitalizes with its natural fruity scent.

Here I go again! As many of you know, I truly do not believe that a mere product applied to the skin (epidermis) can do anything close to actually firming” and/or tightening” skin. Ever. There are wonderful ingredients in this body product, however unless you are the type who likes to apply lots of products to your body (other than moisturizer), I can’t really recommend using Galbol 190.

Similar to my feeling about the former Galbol 90 face product that has been renamed “Lift + (see link below), the ingredients are wonderful but I don’t for a minute believe either of these products is lifting anything, let alone your skin. If you use Galbol 190 and love it, please let me know! I am always open to hearing from Yonka users with positive experiences even if it contradicts my own professional opinion(s).

Essential ingredients:
  • Horsetail—helps firm and promote cellular regeneration
  • Hop plant—intensely shapes and firms
  • 20% PCA (beets, potatoes)—super-hydrating
  • Citrus Complex—tightens
  • Sage—firming, regenerating
  • Coltsfoot—stimulating
  • White nettle—corrects tissue pressure, vasotonic
  • Yonka “Quintessence (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)—revitalizing, toning 
Directions for use:
Apply morning and/or night:
  • After the shower or bath 
  • Concentrate on the areas of concern 
  • Help it so soak in with active movements
  • For a reinforced firming action, use GALBOL 190 in combination with PHYTO 152

Dont let me stop you from trying this product. If the firming and tightening fail, you will at least be using great ingredients on your skin.

For more information, see:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Case study: Paige’s breakout

One of my clients, Paige, suddenly noticed her skin breaking out, and she couldn’t figure out why. Nothing had changed in her diet, and her stress levels were unchanged as well. After further investigation, asking Paige about anything that might be new or different in any area of her life, she finally came up with the answer to her skin care problems.

Earlier she found out she had an ovarian cyst. Rather than operate, her treatment consisted of a shot that would stop her periods for perhaps an entire year, which would reduce and hopefully eliminate the cyst. Her skin was breaking out because her body’s hormonal balance was out of whack. Not having a menstrual cycle is a big deal! Women menstruate for a purpose, so not having this release can wreak havoc with your skin.

Paige had to basically wait out the year and contend with her new skin problems. Like with pregnancy, there wasn’t a lot she could do because of the course of her medical treatment. She continued to get her monthly facials and did a lot of at-home extra care for her blemishes. I recommended acupuncture to help Paige’s body adjust and get her back in balance, as well as previously mentioned helpers for her actual breakouts. Eventually her skin cleared, and I am happy to report her cyst disappeared.

I keep saying the breakouts you are experiencing are there for a reason. In other words, you are not breaking out for no apparent reason; it just may not be apparent to you—yet. Ask yourself questions to help determine the cause of the “sudden” breakouts:
  • What has changed in your life recently or at the time your skin problems started appearing
  • Look at what you are eating to see if there is a correlation to the breakouts you are experiencing

Usually you can figure out the cause of the problems by going back in time to when the breakouts began and what was going on in your life at that time. 

For more information on breakouts, read through the many categories in this blog pertaining to problem skin issues if you haven’t already. Through reading the different sections, hopefully you will have a better understanding of what might be causing your breakouts as well as how to go about clearing up your skin.

For more information, see:
Become a skin care detective for your skin.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Radio Interview with Carolyn Ash on Conversations with Beth & Dan

Here is a fun radio show interview I did with Beth Aldrich and Dan Balth on their weekly radio show: Conversations with Beth and Dan. It was recorded in 2006 in Chicago, Illinois.

I had a lot of fun talking with them about skin care and related subjects; I hope you enjoy listening to us!

CLICK HERE to listen to the show on youtube (duration 22:27).

Conversations with Beth and Dan is a co-production of the Men's Media Network and For Her Information Media. Executive producers are Beth Aldridge and Dan Balth. Produced and directed by Andy Metran in Metran Studio Chicago. Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Cleanse once? Twice? How often and why

You want to cleanse both morning and evening. Here’s why:
  • Washing your face in the AM: Even though your body goes into a more regenerative (less active) mode overnight, you still want to wash your face in the morning. This way you’ll have a fresh, clean start to your day. You clean your teeth in the morning even though you brushed them the night before, and you should clean your skin too.
  • Washing your face in the PM: The need to cleanse in the evening may seem a bit obvious if you’ve been wearing makeup all day. But even if you don’t wear makeup, you still have a buildup of debris, sweat, and oil as well as pollution from the environment that needs to be removed.

A big mistake makeup-wearers make is to not clean their skin thoroughly. It’s not enough to just remove the day’s makeup, you must also clean the skin underneath. If you wear makeup, you’ll want to cleanse twice at night. Once to get the makeup off, and the second time to get your skin clean.

And don’t get me started on those of you who don’t wash your makeup off at night. I won’t write much about this subject assuming you already know it’s bad to sleep with makeup on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yonka Products for Crow’s Feet, Dark Circles & Puffiness

I wanted to post some information to help you with Yonka products if you have simple crows feet or issues with puffy eyes and/or dark circles.

Click on any product name to be taken to its corresponding article on this blog.

I have crow's feet/fine lines around my eyes:


I have dark circles and/or puffiness under my eyes:

For more detailed information on Phyto Contour, see the following plus other helpful articles regarding eye area concerns:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A personal note about your skin and flying

Please: Don’t assess your skin in the bathroom of an airplane!

I always laugh when I’m traveling, in flight, and see my face in the mirror of the plane’s bathroom. I look at least 10 years older! I see things that on a normal day, in normal light, under normal circumstances, I don’t see. For starters:
  • You are looking very close up
  • Your skin is probably severely dehydrated during your flight
  • You are looking at yourself under the worst kind of light possible: fluorescent light 
Therefore it is so unfair to make any assumptions about what your skin really looks like after seeing it in the mirror of an airplane bathroom.

Please do not use these reflections as real and valid. You are in unusual conditions, and these images of your skin are unreal!

For more information, see:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Skin Care Tips for the Office Worker

The recycled air found in most offices and work places is no friend to your skin. A daily work life spent indoors can often leave your skin dull, dry and irritated. Makeup can turn blotchy and will often require frequent retouching. The good news is there are easy ways to combat the ravages of dry office air. If you are eager to recapture a glowing, healthy look to your skin, try adding one or more of the following tips into your daily or weekly routine.
  • Do some form of stretching exercises once or twice during the work day to improve circulation. This will give an energy boost to all parts of your bodyincluding your skin!
  • A lunchtime break spend outside has many benefits. The extra oxygen in the outside air can give your skin a healthy glow. Breathing in fresh air is invigorating and can help you face the afternoon’s work with more energy. (Don’t forget to wear a cream with SPF!)
  • At night, cleanse your skin twice. The first time to remove any makeup you may be wearing (especially foundation), and the second time to get your skin really clean. For a relaxing treat: Take a clean, warm (not hot!) washcloth and place it over your face before cleansing to help lift off some of the makeup and to prepare and soften your skin for deeper cleaning with your cleanser.
  • Stimulate blood flow to the face by exfoliating (sloughing off dead skin) 2-3 times weekly. Yonka’s Gommage is my personal favorite and an excellent choice. (See link below.)
  • Give yourself an at-home facial. Start with a thorough cleansing, use an exfoliant, and follow with a mask that suits your individual skin type. A clay (cleansing) mask is my favorite recommendation. Then, take a relaxing bath while masking. After your bath, remove the mask and follow with a spray toner and moisturizer.
  • Water helps to hydrate the tissues and aids with detoxification. Drinking more water and eating high-water content foods like raw fruits and vegetables helps the body’s eliminating organs do a more efficient job. Many people are surprised to learn that our skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination.
  • Vitamin C helps in the manufacturing of collagen, a protein essential to the healthy elasticity of the skin. Vitamin C also aids the body in detoxification. When the body is free of toxins, you are more energetic, feel less bloated, and your body performs optimally so you look and feel healthier.
Think of these tips as “skin boosters.” A little care can go a long way in getting rid of the office’s drying effects on the skin and helping to keep your skin healthy from the inside out. Practicing these steps on a regular basis will give you visible benefits to enjoy while at the office 9 to 5, but really 24/7—365.

For more information, see: