Sunday, September 28, 2014

Post-pregnancy skin sensitivity

Hi Carolyn,
Thank you so much for the adorable card you sent Quinn [the new baby]. She’s doing great. Her skin is sensitive like mommy’s. I’ve actually had some issues lately with extreme sensitivity on my upper cheeks under my eyes. It started a few weeks ago. It might have been a reaction to some eye cream, although I had been using it for a while. I imagine my hormones are still going crazy since I’m nursing.

When it really flared up was when I used some pretty old Gommage. I haven’t exfoliated for a couple of weeks, but I really need tomy skin feels kind of bumpy and dry. So I thought I’d try the gentler gommage I used to use. Let me know what you think. 

Yes, right now and probably until you have stopped breast feeding and gotten your normal [menstrual] cycle back, you may experience unusual things with your skin (and body)—similar to when you were pregnant. Lots of reorganization is going on inside so once again, mama suffers!

I wouldn’t worry about the old Gommage (303) as far as it still being good. More likely it is the citrus in that particular product that is causing the reaction. For now, yes you will still want to gommage, so the 305 will be a better option. Put the 303 away but don’t throw it away! Once your body has readjusted and gotten “back to normal” you probably can use things you might not be able to right now. If you have a cream you use on your face with no reaction, perhaps try to use that temporarily under your eyes.

Sorry you’re having issues. Just go look at your little Miracle if you get down about your skin. She comes firstforever! And your skin, your body, will get back to normal eventually.

For new moms: If you have a reaction, just put that particular product away for now but don’t throw anything out if you’ve been using it in the past without issues. Give your body some time to get through all the intricacies of being pregnant, giving birth, and breast feeding before terminating any products you’ve used that are now causing problems. And like I told this client, go look at your little miracleand smile!

For more information, see:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What causes rosacea to flare up? Rosacea triggers

If you have rosacea, you will want to take stock of several things in your life that may be affecting your condition; these are called triggers. It’s important to know that what bothers you may not bother another rosacea sufferer. However, finding out what causes other people to have flare-ups may help give you ideas. Let’s go through the triggers.

The most common trigger is vasodilation. This means anything causing the capillaries to expand. Known vasodilators include: alcoholcaffeinehot waterhot weatherflushing/blushingspicy foodssuntanning bedssteam roomswhirlpoolshot drinksangerexercisemenopause and the flushing associated with hot flashes, some medications, especially stimulants like ephedrine (found in many cold and allergy medications), herbal energy pillsstress, and extreme hot (or cold). That’s quite a list, yes?!

I also think vasoconstrictors are potential triggers, backing up my theory that rosacea is first and foremost a vascular condition. Vasoconstrictors include: smokingair pollutioncold weathercold water, and ice (applied to the face). NEVER do this, by the way—rosacea or not!

A mistaken link to rosacea is alcoholism or simply drinking alcohol in any amount. This, no doubt, comes from W.C. Fields who had a form of rosacea that affects the nose (it causes severe redness and swelling) called rhinophyma. And although alcohol can cause all kinds of problems including vascular changes, it is certainly not the only cause of this disease. Alcohol is a common trigger, but there are lots of people who suffer from rosacea, even rhinophyma, who have never touched alcohol in their lives.

I have a client who was having her hardwood floors refinished. She has what I consider to be a mild case of rosacea. She came in for a facial during this floor refinishing phase, and I could see a noticeable flare-up of her rosacea. Not only had the redness in her skin increased, but the poor-quality air in her house was causing severe sinus problems for her, and she was developing cough as well.

I mention this case study to illustrate how things that might not be on the trigger list may still be culprits in causing your rosacea to flare up. Be consciously aware of your environment and what may be affecting your body and therefore your skin.

If you have rosacea you have probably gotten accustomed to what you have to do to keep your flare-ups to a minimum. But in case you don’t know this yet, sun exposure is one of the worst offenders and promoters of flushing and flare-ups. So, to the degree that you can, avoid sun exposure—especially direct sunlight, and always have sunscreen on your face. Everybody needs to wear sunscreen, but those of you with rosacea (especially active rosacea) need to wear it always. Any amount of protection from sun exposure will help to some degree.

There are several companies who make tinted sunscreens. If you feel the need to hide the redness that comes with rosacea, you might want to try one of the these products so you get some coverage for the redness and sun protection at the same time. And certainly if you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, be prepared and have a hat handy. If you don’t have a hat, you will be sorry, and the extended sun exposure will probably inflame your rosacea.

What about medications? Topical medications that you may be given a prescription for at the dermatologist include MetroGel, MetroCream, and MetroLotion®. These all contain an antibacterial, antifungal agent called metronidazole. There are other companies who make similar products, but these (especially MetroGel) seem to be the most commonly prescribed.

Oral antibiotics are generally given to treat inflammation and possible bacterial infection in the form of pustules and pimples. Tetracycline, a common antibiotic prescribed for acne, is sometimes recommended for rosacea. Personally, I disagree with taking antibiotics in general and specifically in the case of rosacea.

Treating a problem with oral antibiotics does two things that I have a problem with. First, not only are you treating the problem, in this case rosacea on the cheeks of the face, but you are also feeding all the cells in your entire body the same medication. Second, treating with oral drugs does not generally promote self-responsibility in regard to your problem, but rather promotes a quick-fix mentality, not to mention the effects from long-term use of oral antibiotics. 

Rosacea cannot be treated with a quick fix. It requires paying attention—daily—to what you are eating, and drinking, and the environment you are allowing your skin to be exposed to. Taking a pill may give you temporary relief from the problem, but it will do nothing for long-term solutions. Rosacea may go into a remissive state while you’re on oral medications, but generally it will return if the triggers are not eliminated from your life.

There are many articles on this blog about rosacea as well as related categories like sensitive skin and others that will help you with this skin condition. Here are a few you may be interested in:

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    MYTH: Soap is a good cleanser

    I’m not a fan of soap as a general rule. The ingredients used to make it a hard bar are generally harsh and better kept off your face. You may feel soap really gets your skin clean—and you’re right. But soap gets it too clean. It may make your skin feel squeaky clean, but in reality, you’ve just stripped all the oil and all the water off the surface of your skin. This will give you a taught feeling (which you may associate with clean), but your skin is now stripped!

    You don’t have to strip everything off in order to get a good, general cleanse. And when your skin is stripped, it is left vulnerable until the proper pH is restored. It’s as though you’re moving out of your house or apartment, and you not only take all your belongings and furniture, but you also pull up the carpet, take the wallpaper down, and peel the paint from the walls. Soap has a similar effect on your skin.

    The best way to clean your skin is with a water-soluble, milky-type cleanser. Almost all companies include a cleansing milk, cream, or wash in their product line that is water-soluble.

    For more information, see:

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Blackheads & Whiteheads explained

    What is a blackhead?

    Technically termed a comedo or comedone, a blackhead is an open pore clogged with debris (dead skin and oil or sebum). A comedone is dark or black because oil inside the pore reacts to the oxygen in the air (it oxidizes) and turns dark. Tiny specks of melanin (the dark pigment in your skin) are also present in blackheads, contributing to their color. Finally, dirt and debris from the air can darken the debris in an open pore. Blackheads are considered noninflammatory and contain no infection.

    Why do blackheads occur? Blackheads form as a result of too much oil trying to get to the surface. The pore can only handle so much oil at one time. The result is congestion (clogging) and a blackhead or plug is formed. The reason for this excess oil can be hormonal, dietary, or genetic. Sometimes using a cream (moisturizer) that is too heavy can cause clogging. Alkaline soaps strip the skin of oil and water, sometimes making the oil glands pump more oil to compensate for the loss. This can create blackheads. 

    What to do for blackheads:
    • Keeping the skin clean through daily cleansing is the first step for reducing the potential for blackheads. Since dead skin and oil clog the pores, getting rid of this surface debris will help maintain cleaner skin.
    • Exfoliation is another important step in keeping blackheads away. Regular exfoliation keeps the surface of your skin smooth and free from a buildup of accumulated dead cells. This, therefore, helps to keep the pores from clogging.
    • Finally, using a clay mask will deep clean open pores, helping to keep blackheads to a minimum. 
    What is a whitehead? 

    Whiteheads (also termed milia) are closed pores that are clogged. They contain the same debris as blackheads, but since there is no pore opening, the debris in a whitehead has nowhere to go. Because dead skin covers the opening to the pore, sebum doesn’t mix with oxygen in the air and therefore maintains its natural white or yellowish color. Thus the term whitehead. Milia are also considered to be noninflammatory.

    Why do whiteheads occur? Whiteheads can form for similar reasons as blackheads: hormones, genetics, and heavy creams. I have found clients who consume large amounts of dairy products (mainly milk) tend to form a lot of whiteheads. The forehead seems to be the primary place for these dairy-induced milia to show up. Dehydration can sometimes cause whiteheads. When the dead cell buildup is thick, layers of dead skin easily cover the pores, creating milia.

    What to do for whiteheads. Since whiteheads by definition are closed pores, an opening must be made in order for the debris to come out. Therefore, I recommend having milia professionally removed. I am not a proponent of self-extracting, especially in regard to milia or any other closed pores. In the case of whiteheads, self-extraction can lead to disaster. Trying to extract whiteheads without creating an opening will force the debris farther down into the follicle wall, causing the potential for infection and a much more noticeable problem.

    Usually a whitehead continues to grow, like a snowball rolling down a mountain, continuing to collect debris that has nowhere to escape. Large milia are easier for an aesthetician to extract. The debris will be forced to the surface due to its ever-increasing size, and through professional extraction it can be removed for good.

    The simple rule to follow for self-extracting is this: open pores with blackheads are usually extractable, whiteheads are not (because they are closed pores). If you cannot not extract your blackheads and (just say no!) whiteheads, you must follow some simple rules. Please read:
    For even more information, see: 

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Facial frequency: How often should I get a facial?

    How often should I get a facial? 

    I hear that question every day—or at least when I see a new client. Once a month is a common recommendation for getting regular facials. Every 28 days or so (sometimes a bit longer if you’re older), your skin cells regenerate. New cells are coming up to the surface and flattening out to form the uppermost part of the epidermis (the skin you can touch), while older cells are being shed. When you have a facial once a month, you are supplying the newly forming cells with good nutrition through increased blood circulation as well as getting rid of surface dead cells ready to come off. Essentially a facial enhances the natural life, death, and removal of skin cells.

    Having a facial more often, once a week for instance, would be even more beneficial for your skin, but few people have the time or the money to do this. If I could, I would have a facial once a week and a full-body massage once or twice a week. But for most people (myself included), this is a fantasy. My point is, more often is always better than less often when getting regular facials.

    And regularity is the key word. Rather than having a treatment once a week for a few months and then not seeing the inside of a salon for nine months, getting a facial less often (every four to eight weeks), but consistently, will yield the best results. You will receive immediate short-term benefits from a single facial treatment, but only by having regular, consecutive facials will you experience long-term results.

    Another consideration is the condition of your skin. People with problem skin will want to have facials as often as possible to help keep their skin on the road to recovery. Skin that is broken out can really experience good results from professional treatments. Those of you with few or no problems will benefit from regular, monthly facials as well.

    Everyone needs extra exfoliation, more hydration, and deep cleaning no matter the type or condition of the skin. I can definitely tell a difference in a client who has had monthly facials over a period of several years. There is a certain clarity and softness to her skin that is unmistakable. The lines are less noticeable, and her skin, quite simply, looks healthy. Usually she has a good understanding of her skin and knows the value of consistent care.

    Time and money usually dictate how often you can have a professional treatment. First spend your money on good at-home products (since you’ll be affecting your skin on a daily basis), then try to have a facial every four weeks. If this is not possible, six to eight weeks would be my next recommendation. Even getting a facial seasonally will do a lot to help prepare your skin for whatever changes the weather will bring.

    The importance of professional treatments cannot be overemphasized, but without daily at-home care, professional facials can only take you so far. Remember: Optimum results occur when incorporating good skin care habits at home as well as facials in a salon.

    For more information, see:

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Giving in to Girl Scout Cookies and more: One client’s sugar revelation

    I try to be aware of what I put into my body. I drink a lot of water, take vitamins, and I really watch my sugar intake. I am 24 years old and am struggling with acne along my jawline and chin. I definitely see an increase in the breakout around my period, so I think it is mostly hormone- and stress-induced.

    Since reading your book, I am extra aware of sugar in my diet. But I will be honest—I do give in to the occasional chocolate fix (and those Girl Scouts are around again). I also know there is a lot of hidden sugar in my diet. My daily intake consists of two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee in the morning, a mid-afternoon yogurt (which I know is high in sugar), a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sometimes a cookie or small piece of chocolate, and then wherever sugar is less obvious in other things in my diet.

    If this is an example of watching sugar intake, it is about watching a lot of sugar going into her mouth. No wonder she is having skin problems! Usually when people come to me for advice, they don’t have so much obvious sugar in their diet. But here, with this example, I hope you can see how much sugar this client is eating—every day. If she would simply and totally rid all of the above mentioned sugary foods from her diet, I would be very surprised if she didn’t experience significant clearing with her skin.

    If someone is sugar-sensitive, the sugar in the coffee alone is too much sugar—especially on a daily basis. That this client is experiencing any problems with her skin, severe or not, is absolutely no surprise. Yogurt, plain with nothing added, is the only yogurt I recommend eating. You can always add fresh fruit, like bananas, apples, etc. But if you eat yogurt with fruit added during manufacturing, just look at the label—you are getting a lot of “hidden” sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be a great meal on the run, but it is loaded with sugar. The jelly is obvious, but I’ll bet the peanut butter has sugar in the ingredient list too. If it is from a health food store, perhaps not. It may just be peanuts and oil. But a grocery store product will contain sugar. Cookies and the “occasional chocolate fix” are only going to compound this young lady’s problems.

    Her program is simple: eliminate at least all of the above-mentioned items from her diet. In Timeless Skin, I recommend going on a three- to ten-day sugar fast. Sometimes limiting the amount of time you will abstain from something makes the process a little easier to get through. I don’t advocate reintroducing the same amount of sugar into your diet that you were eating before the fast. But sometimes just taking a break from sugar completely will give you the extra willpower you need to begin to reduce the amount of sugar you are getting on a daily basis. Once you stop feeding the problem, your blemishes will (hopefully) be a thing of the past.

    For more information, see:

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Hyperpigmentation: A few Q & As

    I have a problem with a pigmentation spot on my face that will not go away. I’ve had it since childhood and have tried everything to get rid of it—hydroquinone, Retin-A, AHAs, everything, but with no success. I assume the spot is caused by sun exposure. It looks very much like the age spots older people get. I have extremely fair skin, so sun damage really shows up on my skin. What would you recommend?

    Your dermatologist may be able to remove the spot with a laser; you’ll have to go have a consultation and see what your options are. But keep in mind, any amount of sun you receive will increase the pigmentation—the darkness of spots. So the best preventative measure would be to always have your spot covered, even if it is simply by your hand as you are walking to and from the car. And definitely wear hats and use sunscreen when you are outside for any length of time.

    Is the spot located in a place where sun easily gets to it when you are driving a car or even sitting in the passenger seat a lot? This is a common occurrence and means every time you drive or sit in the car, the spot is going to receive a lot of UV sun exposure. This is true even if your car windows are tinted. Granted, this darkened glass may inhibit some radiation, but not enough to stop hyperpigmentation.

    Consult with a dermatologist if you are truly looking to remove this spot; perhaps he or she will be able to assist you. Also, if you are prone to hyperpigmentation, even if you were able to remove a particular pigmentation spot, there is no guarantee that same place or another place on your face won’t turn dark in the future.

    I have noticed I am getting brown freckles on my forehead.

    This is simply pigmentation. When we are exposed to the sun, and especially as we get older, pigmentation irregularities are bound to happen. With sun exposure comes sun damage, sometimes in the form of simple freckles.

    Hyperpigmentation is not a fun thing to have; but luckily it’s not life-threatening, just a nuisance. So make covering your face a daily habit. Be aggressive about keeping direct sunlight off your face and wherever else you have developed hyperpigmentation.

    To read more about pigmentation irregularities, see:

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    The Extras—Do more to have healthy skin

    There are two steps you’ll want to add to The Basics on a weekly or biweekly basis that are important for maintaining healthy, problem-free skin. I call these two steps The Extras. Although they are called “extras,” I really consider them to be “essentials.” These important steps are exfoliating and using a clay mask. The Basics are your daily maintenance, but The Extras can take your skin one step closer to being its best.

    Exfoliating removes the dead cell buildup on your face, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. It’s an overaccumulation of dead skin and excess oil that can cause your pores to clog, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, and potentially breakout. Removing a few layers of dead cells on a regular basis is an important step that helps to clean out the surface skin, removing oil and debris that has accumulated; refine the texture of your skin, leaving it feeling smooth to the touch; exfoliation helps your moisturizer do a better job since the cream has less dead skin to absorb into. You will hear me say this a lot: Exfoliation is paramount to healthy, clear skin.

    A clay mask deep cleans the pores and soothes the surface of your skin. Clay draws to itself, lifting out superficial debris from all of the pores the clay is spread on. Clay also can temporarily diminish redness, helping to soothe irritations. Clay is also good for stimulating blood circulation, which is always a plus for healthy-looking skin. I have written many articles about the importance of clay, especially if problem skin is an issue. Start by reading the articles below that also have more links to even more information to understand how beneficial this step is to your overall healthy skin care routine.

    For more details, see the following articles:
    For more information about clay masks, see:

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Using dry skin products on oily skin—STOP THE INSANITY!

    The following is a case where knowledge really is power.

    A client came in for a facial, complaining of congestion all around her nose and cheeks. She had experienced this for over a year and was unable to get any clear answers as to what might be going on with her skin. During the treatment, I asked what had changed in her life a year or more ago—especially with her skin care routine. She did change skin care products right around then, but she didn’t feel this was the problem.

    After looking at her skin, I agreed that it was indeed congested. I really felt it was product-induced rather than a problem with too much oil production. Why? The pores were clogged in a way that just didn’t seem consistent with overproduction of oil from within. Her skin had a spongy quality to it, like it was getting too much moisture. It looked puffy and felt oversaturated.

    My client admitted to using too much product when she moisturized and that she’d previously switched to dry skin products. She was doing this because her skin felt “dry,” although she wasn’t oil-dry just dehydrated. These two conditions can feel the same (“My skin feels dry.”) but the treatment, whether for true-dry or dehydrated skin, is not the same. Minus the congestion and current problems, her skin was normal or normal to oily. My recommendations were: 
    • Step one: stop using so much product!
    • Step two: start using products for combination or normal-to-oily skin (her skin type)
    • Step three: exfoliate and use a clay mask as often as possible. Two to three times per week would be a good start, and then once a week after the congestion has diminished
    Exfoliating will help remove accumulated surface dead skin that can make skin feel dry. Clay can greatly improve the condition of her pores, helping to clean out the superficial debris and keep her pores from enlarging.
    This client did what many people do—she treated her normal to oily dehydrated skin like true-dry skin by over-moisturizing. Understanding the condition of your skin—specifically the oil content of your skin—is crucial to treating it properly.

    I see this over and over again: A client like this one thinks because her skin feels dry she actually has true-dry skin. And in many instances that just isn’t the case. Hopefully you’ll read information here and on my website and have a better understanding about the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Then, after applying this knowledge, you can enjoy the benefits of proper skin care.

    My client’s skin, by the way, has dramatically improved. After switching to a more appropriate moisturizer for her actual skin type as well as using less product, the spongy quality to her skin has all but disappeared. And the congestion she was experiencing has been cut in half at least.

    This misunderstanding between true-dry skin and dehydration is something that keeps coming up with my clients—and their problem skin. Sometimes (not always, of course) the problem is misinformation. For more information and clarification on this important subject see:

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Teenage Skin—what you need to know

    Many of my clients have asked what they can do for their teenagers problem skin. Or sometimes they simply want to start their teens on a good skin care program, but dont know where to begin. Whether your kids have problem skin or not, there are some basic habits teenagers should try to develop that can have a positive effect on their skin. I have written this section specially for them.

    1. Keeping your skin clean is of paramount importance. Generally, you use soap to wash your face. This presents problem number one. Almost all soaps have high alkalinity. Alkaline cleansers should not be used, especially by people (young or old) having problems with their skin. Alkalinity strips all surface oil and water off your skin, leaving it depleted. The oil glands will usually pump out more oil to compensate for the loss.

    Adding to this excess oil, your skin might become dehydrated from the soap. So your face may feel dry (although its simple dehydration), yet will look and feel oily at the same time. Confusing, isnt it? Liquid Aveeno or Cetaphil cleansers would be good alternatives to soap. They are inexpensive and do a good job of cleansing. 

    So keeping the skin clean with a non-alkaline cleanser is the first rule to follow. Just as I would instruct adults, you should be washing your face both in the morning and in the evening. Getting into good skin care habits early on will benefit you down the road.

    2. Rinse off your face immediately after exercising. This is very important. All that salty sweat is basically toxic waste (toxins) being released from your body. It is coming out of your body, and you need to complete the elimination by thoroughly rinsing your face with water until you cant taste the saltiness anymore. Many clients who were experiencing sweat-related problems had a significant reduction in their breakouts using this quick rinse-off method. 

    3. Dont wash too much. If clean is good, then surely washing several times throughout the day must be better, right? Well, its not. Since soap dries out the surface of your skin, you are essentially forcing your oil glands to pump and pump and pump to keep the surface lubricated. Even using non-alkaline cleansers can overstimulate the oil glands, giving rise to oilier skin. Although it is important to keep the skin clean, you dont want to create more oil. Washing twice a day is a good guidelineand always after sweating. If you feel the need to wash another time in the day, then do so. But in general, dont wash too much.

    4. Abrasive scrubs are out if there are problems with infection (red bumps, pimples, blemishes, zits, and/or acne). Blemishes can easily be opened up or irritated with the abrasive particles contained in a scrub. Like open wounds, a scrub can leave these blemishes subject to even more infection and makes them take longer to heal. If no infection is present, scrubs are fine to useas long as they are used with care. You never want to rub too aggressively with a scrub. Please be sure your skin is already wet when applying the scrub. Never use one on a dry skin. Why? Too much pulling and not enough glide.

    5. Pimple-drying agents should not be used on problem skin. This includes oxy products, blemish pads, etc. These products are very harsh, to say the least. Theyre being used on skin that is infected and inflamed. This tissue needs soothing, calming, antibacterial products used on it, not harsh, caustic creams.

    6. Food does affect your skin. There are plenty of books and many doctors who will disagree with me on this issue. However, I have seen too much evidence to believe otherwise. It just doesnt make sense that what you eat doesnt affect everything about you, including your skin. Its like saying I can fill up my cars gas tank with orange juice, and this wont affect how it runs. A car requires a certain type of fuel to run efficiently, and so does your body. If you put low-quality foods into your system, sooner or later your system (your body) will rebel.

    During the teen years (I know this was true for me), eating healthy, well-balanced meals isnt necessarily the norm. There tends to be a lot of sodas and sweets, and usually a more than occasional fast-food burger and fries. Even if your stomach can survive this, it is doubtful your skin willnot for any extended length of time. I think your body can tolerate all kinds of abuse for a short period of time, but after your time is up, your body will rebel. It will start creating symptoms of overload. One of these symptoms” is breakout.

    And to top that off, kids are bombarded by advertisements in teen magazines to use oxy this or zit remover” that. As Ive said before, these products do little more than irritate the skin and put the irruption in a dormant (inactive, not cleared up) state. Become aware of how food may be affecting your skin.

    7. Dont pick. I know this is an impossible request. I feel it is my duty to at least address this issue even though Im quite sure faces will be picked at by their owners. Its human nature. But truly, my recommendation is to leave your face alone.

    When to start your kids on a skin care program. When your children are starting puberty, it would be beneficial to start them on a good skin care program. If they arent having any problems with their skin, have them begin washing their face with a non-alkaline cleanser. Do this at least nightly, and for an even better routine, morning and night. Thats a good start, and later down the road you can add other products (toners and moisturizers, exfoliators and masks) when needed.

    At such a young age, and if no problems are present, their skin is functioning optimally and wont need a lot of extra care. And when I say morning and night, I completely understand the likelihood of that is low. Many of my adult clients dont wash twice a day. Hopefully you can get your kids to wash at least once and hopefully two times every day. Miracles do happen :+)

    If your teens are having problems, its time to get them started on a good program of cleansing, exfoliating, and using a clay mask to help keep their breakouts to a minimum. Exfoliating and using a clay mask are additional steps that can help make a difference in their skin.

    Numerous clients have found good results for their teenagers skin by following the previously mentioned steps. Not all teenagers are going to follow a skin care routine, but I have found if they see good results from following a simple program, they will be more prone to following through with it on a regular basis.

    For more information, see:

    Stress plus going off the Pill can equal breakouts—a client profile

    I’m 27 years old, and I have very oily skin. In the past, I’ve had overall good skin. I’ve always had a good regime; your 3-step program plus exfoliating and using a mask at least once a week. I also see my aesthetician every few months. But for the past 6-8 months I’ve developed a lot more breakouts. And now I have dark spots left over from the bigger blemishes.

    I know more or less what is adding to my problem: I got off birth control pills about six months ago (I was on them for about two years), I just went back to school, and I work a lot of hours at my job. So my stress level is definitely high right now. I welcome any suggestions you might have. Too bad your salons are so far away from me!

    This emailer exemplifies how stress can cause dramatic effects in your body, which affects your skin. She has a lot of stress from work and school, plus the added stress of going off hormone medication (the Pill). Six months ago she got off birth control pills; six months ago her skin became problematic. I tell my clients that it can take six months to a year or more for your body to readjust after going off the Pill. For some it may be a longer or shorter timeframe, and for others going off the Pill may not affect their skin at all. Patience is an important practice to exercise.

    Have you recently gone off birth control pills and are now experiencing breakout? Did you just begin taking the Pill and find you have problem skin? You must question all things, including stress, as either contributing to your skin’s condition or helping it to clear. (The spots she is referring to are probably due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)

    As I will continue to say, the breakouts are there for a reason, or reasons. I like to look at problem skin as your body sending you a message, a signal that something needs to change in order for the skin to clear up. Hopefully you can identify the cause or causes of your problem skin. Remember: knowledge is power. Be honest with yourself and with how you are contributing to the breakouts. Whether it’s through diet, poor skin care habits, or something else, own up to your part of the process and take some steps to help your body free itself of the toxins it is expelling through your skin. 

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Quick Tip: How to use a Toner

    The following is an exact copy about how to use a toner from a section in TONERS 101: WHAT is a toner and WHY use one? Also HOW & WHEN to use a toner? It is an important tip that many people may not know about, so I include it here as well. Take a look at the full article to read more information about this important step in your daily routine.

    Most likely you have always put toner on a cotton pad and gone over your face with it. Or you may have been splashing it on like an aftershave. I recommend spraying toner on your face as the optimum way of applying it. This method is quick, economical, and the most effective way to apply toner evenly onto your face. It feels refreshing as well, and you don’t need to keep cotton around.

    If your toner doesn’t already come in a spray bottle (Yonka toners do), empty spray bottles are easy to find at any beauty supply or grocery store. So just purchase one, pour your toner in it, and spray away. You’ll be so happy you did! It’s a quick and easy way to apply your toner, and it also is a refreshing blast of hydration for your face. For men, this spray method will eliminate the use of cotton that tends to stick in the beard.

    For more information, see: