Sunday, November 11, 2018

Acne and imbalance—What to do

Acne is an exterior sign of internal imbalance. If you have acne, look at your diet, any hormone fluctuations you may be experiencing, and how you are taking care of your skin (or not). All of these have to be in balance in order to control and eventually clear acne.

If you have acne, products and facials—although helpful—are not the sole answer. I believe you must also look to your diet. Please don’t discount the possibility that what you are putting in your mouth is having an effect on your skin. I highly recommend getting in touch with a clinical nutritionist or someone who really understands the relationship between food and skin. I believe you have to go to the source of the problem (in this case, food being a potential contributing factor) rather than merely treating the symptom, which is problem skin. Hormones are the primary cause of skin problems, but food does have a secondary effect.

For those of you with acne, I recommend following The Basics (cleansing, toning, and hydrating with a moisturizer specifically made for problem skin), along with diligent exfoliating with a gel peel (gommage), plus a clay mask. Whenever there are problems with the skin, exfoliating and masking should be done at least two or three times per week.

I also recommend taking a good look at your sugar consumption, something that a lot of people tend to disregard as an issue with skin problems. I can tell you as a practicing aesthetician for more than 30 years and also someone who is sensitive to the sweet stuff, sugar is a major contributor to many peoples’ skin breakouts and also acne. (Although this photo depicts blood sugar issues from sugar, the problems I’m talking about is skin breakouts and oilier skin. But blood sugar issues are certainly caused by ingesting even a little sugar.)

In order to really treat acne, I truly believe you must get your entire house in order. Don’t just look for topical or oral medications from your dermatologist to work miracles on your skin. It really takes a commitment to proper eating habits, a good skin care program, staying away from picking at the skin, and sometimes using prescription topical or oral medications to further reduce the lesions on your face.

I also want to say that if you are a teenager with acne, the element of time is another important component to helping your skin issues to disappear. Sad but true, sometimes you just have to get through the hormone surges your body is going through over time before your skin will clear up. All the other items I’ve talked about in this article will definitely help your skin, so don’t give up!

For further reading, see:

Monday, October 29, 2018

Q & A: How to use Yonka’s Gommage (this is very helpful information!)

Over the (many) years I have used Yonka products, several facial clients havent been able to get the gommage to work.” This is preciously why I give samples and detailed instructions, knowing that not everyone will use it successfully the first few times. I also hope the instructions Ive provided in the article listed at the bottom of this post helps anyone who I may not see in my salon but who has not really known exactly how to use this very important product.

Many salons and most aestheticians use the gommage as Yonka is now instructing them to. I was trained, originally, back in 1985 when things were done a bit differently. In fact Gommage was then called Desincrustantnot a great name, so I was happy about that change. Back then there were actually three gommage products, today there are just two.

Usually a client is told to apply Gommage, let it sit on the face for a few minutes, then use the fingertips to gommage or flake the product off. This isnt a terrible way to use it, but you truly will get a better gommagea better exfoliationif you massage the product in the whole time it is on your face. Without this added massage, you simply dont get the best exfoliation. Plus your skin benefits from the added circulation from the manual manipulation. (Please refer to my instructions in the link below.)

Why cant I get the gommage to peel off? I feel like I have to rub my skin raw, and that cant be goodright?

This is probably the most common occurrence when using the gommage and it’s simply do to not using enough product. Because the gommage is a somewhat loose gel, when squeezing it out of the tube you may initial think you are pouring out enough product. But without using at the least a quarter-size dollop and more likely needing a half-dollar sized application, you probably arent using enough product. This isnt the end of the world, but without enough product to come off, the gommage will basically act more like a moisturizer and soak into your skin. Again, not the end of the world, but not the result you are ultimately looking for.

If you feel you are rubbing your skin raw, you now know you probably arent using enough product. I recommend not removing what you have applied but do add more productabout half the amount you began withmassage that in over your first application and soon the gommage flakes should appear without any trouble. 

When I used the gommage last night, I felt like I couldnt get it to dry off. Am I using too much? How should I apply it next time?

This, too, happens from time to timeeven to me! Sometimes in the treatment room, Ill accidentally squeeze too much product onto my hand and as I apply it to the client’s face, I can tell it will take forever to start to gommage. Rarely, but on occasion when this happens, I do take a tissue and take off a bit of the product. Again, not the worst thing to have happen, but without the proper amount of gommage, this process wont work the best it can.

If you find you have applied too much gommage (youll know because you will massage and massage and the product just doesnt sink into your skin), you could sit under a ceiling fan if you have one in your home; you could simply fan your face for a few seconds; you could tissue the excess off but I don’t wholeheartedly recommend that. You may take too much off and then you’re back to square one: needing more product. The gommage process from start to finish takes about 5 minutes. If you are massaging for a lot long than that, you’ve probably applied too much product.

Believe me, after using the gommage a few times, you will understand how much you ideally need to use. My point in detailing these instructions is not to scare you away from using itquite the contrary. I want to give you as much information as possible to help you through any hiccups you have when first starting out using gommage.

Gommage is such an important step in your weekly skin care Extras program, I wanted to include a client comment for any of you who have had issues using this particular product. This client had received a sample of gommage from another Yonka salon in my area, but didnt have the correct instructions (or any instructions?) as to how to use it.

Hi Carolyn,
I thought I’d try the Gommage the night after my facial with you. Your instructions were perfect! At first I did have slightly too much of the product to start with and it wasn’t working, so I blotted a bit off of my face and started massaging it gently, and it was exactly as your blog explainedpencil eraser texture sloughed off in the sink. I also used it on my hands because my hands are so dry right now, and I basically had the exact same results. I am very happy I made the purchase of Gommage. It is DIVINE! My skin feels SO great! Thank you for your great advice.

Using Yonkas Gommage is paramount to your healthy skin care program. Please dont let the somewhat complexity of it turn you off. Once you get this product to work, it will work wonders for your skin. If you havent tried it yet, please do! And if you have tried Gommage in the past but just couldnt get it to work on your skin, it is my hope that with all the instructions I provide here (and in my salon) that you will give it a goone more time. It really is worth the extra effort!

Please see these links for more information:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Coping through tough times

Have you ever watched a river or stream? In parts there is chaos, with water cascading over rocks and white water forming. Then the water calms and sometimes pools to the side, as if giving itself a rest from the ravages of the rocks.

If you were to just look at the water going over the rocks, you’d only see the rough water and chaos. But if you pull away and look at the river as a whole, you can see how there are phases of craziness and calm that the water goes through as it makes its way downstream.

Isn’t this true with life? If you concentrate on the rough water you may be encountering at the moment, it can feel insurmountable. Unending. Chaotic. But if you pull back and see the whole picture, you can see that there are always calm times after the rough spots.

If you simply look at nature to help you through tough times, you will see there are always calm periods after a storm. Sometimes just remembering this simple fact can help us get through the rough times. Calmer, happier days are ahead.

For some other articles on helping to relieve stress, see:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Helpful hints to lessen sugar intake

Perhaps you’ve read Sugar Addicted? Try a three-day sugar fast (see link below) and decided to give up sugar for a while. Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution, deciding it was time to make a positive change and sugar had to go. Whether you’re skilled at letting the sweet stuff go or need some helpful hints, the suggestions below may be new to you, and my hope is these ideas help you to lessen sugar in your diet to bring you closer to balanced health.

Don’t eat sugar two days in a row. If I follow this rule, the addiction doesn’t have a chance to set in, I get to exercise my will, and I can have sugar every now and then. This doesn’t mean it’s OK to eat it every other day. It means don’t go on a run of eating sugar for days on end. Have some cookies one day if you haven’t had sugar in a while and just want to indulge. But stop there. Otherwise you will get your system readdicted and you’ll have to go through the withdrawal process all over again. Don’t start another chain of events. Don’t link one day of eating sugar to the next. You want to break the chain, not start one.

Another alternative is to go sugar-free Monday through Friday and allow yourself a moderate amount of sugar on the weekends. It’s like a reward for being good most of the week. It is the excessive intake of any toxic substance that creates the downfall of health. I’m not a big believer in complete denial or deprivation; moderation is the key here. Allow yourself some pleasure, but keep your sugar intake in check. Remember, you control how much sugar you eat; don’t let sugar control you.

If you don’t crave it, don’t eat it. Sometimes eating sugar is just a habit. Jars or bowls of sweets are lying around your home or office, so you constantly have visual cues to eat the sweet stuff. If this is true, it will be hard to just walk past that dish full of jelly beans or M&Ms, but you’ve got to give it a shot. Sometimes you have to forgo the good stuff to get to the great stuff, which in this case is clear skin (if you know you're sensitive to sugar). So if you aren’t going crazy with a sugar craving, pass up the sweets.

Don’t buy things you know you’re going to eat. If you are anything like me, when it comes to the junk foods you love, you have faulty willpower. I sometimes buy a sugary food thinking, “Well, I just want it around in case I have an uncontrollable craving.” And the truth is, at the moment I hold that item in my hands, I know in my soul that I will be eating it as soon as I get home. This is not to say I don’t give in to my cravings from time to time. But if something is sitting around my house, and it’s one of the junk foods I like, I will eat it. So my suggestion is this: don’t buy foods to keep around the house you know you don’t really want to eat or shouldn’t eat. When that major craving comes along and you decide to give in, go out and get the sweets you crave at that moment and be done with it. Make it a one-time deal. Don’t keep poor-quality foods lying around in your kitchen calling you to “come and get it.”

Not buying the sweet things you like may seem like a simple concept, but just wait till you’re in the grocery store eyeballing all those sweet delights. You may think to yourself, “I’ll just get one (box, bag, or pint) and keep it for emergency sugar attacks.” Or you may think if you buy your favorite candy you’ll be able to eat “just one.”

My objective is to take you to the land of awareness, and to help you realize you have the ability to affect the health of your skin. In order to do this, you need to understand the correlation between sugar and your skin problems. It is within your power to say yes or no to sugar. Now you can decide if you want to contribute to your breakouts or not.

For more information, see:
Um—I think it was not within her power quite yet