Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hyperpigmentation & perfume

I have a funny brown spot on my lower neck. Why?

This question could also be about a white or pigmentless spot on one or both sides of the neck. The number one reason for this, from all the clients I have seen, is fragrance application plus sun exposure.

Where do you put your perfume? On your lower neck or the sides of your neck? Up near your ears? If this is the case and you receive sun exposure, you are begging for hyperpigmentation or possibly hypopigmentation, which is loss of pigment resulting in white spots. Perfume is highly chemical and can cause a chemical reaction when exposed to UV radiation. So there is your problem.

However, if this “funny spot” is an irregular mole, especially one that has changed recently or is new and not hyperpigmentation, I recommend having it checked out by a dermatologist—now.

For more information on pigmentation issues, see:

Friday, November 27, 2015

What moisturizer should I use?

Using a cream that is made for your particular skin type is of great importance. If you use an inappropriate product, you can really cause problems. Moisturizers (and toners) stay on your skin day and night, whereas cleansers go on briefly and come right off.

Acidic or non-alkaline moisturizers are what you want to use because they will not disrupt the natural balance of your skin. Bacteria does not thrive in an acid environment, so using a moisturizer that is acidic on the pH scale can go a long way in keeping bacteria at bay. Pure essential oils are acidic by nature, so they make good ingredients in skin care products. Test your moisturizer with nitrazine (pH) papers to be sure it’s OK to use. Be aware that just because the test results show your cream is acidic, there is no guarantee it will be effective in clearing up problem skin. But it’s a good start.

What about the term oil-free? Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where being a chemist would be of great help. Many oil-free products contain no oil, but employ filler and emollient ingredients that can clog your pores just like an oil. It’s similar to fat-free foods that don’t have a high fat content, but are loaded with carbohydrates that are stored in your body as fat. Tricky, isn’t it?

If you have oily skin, you should avoid petroleum products. Petroleum-based ingredients (mineral oil, petroleum jelly, paraffin) can be very clogging. They have a large molecular structure and just sit on the surface inhibiting proper skin function (elimination and absorption) and can leave a greasy film. If you have true-dry skin, you won’t have as many problems using these poor-quality ingredients as a person with problem skin will.

Oils aren’t altogether bad. And although you don’t want to use heavy creams on oily skin, all oils are not to be avoided. Organic, vegetable-based oils have a small molecular structure and are easily absorbed by your outer skin. These oils tend to be lighter in texture, making the moisturizer less oily to the touch. Vegetable oils have nutrients in them, whereas petroleum products are basically nutrient-deficient.

If you consistently experience burning or itching soon after applying your moisturizing cream (or any product), I suggest immediately removing it and tossing it in the garbage. Better yet, return it for a full refund. These types of reactions are your skin telling you it has an intolerance to something contained in the product. Burning and itching are not normal responses and should be regarded as warning signs. Narrowing down ingredients you’re allergic or intolerant to can help you further down the road when shopping for products. Finally, not all moisturizers are good for your skin, no matter how much money you spend on them.

For more information, see:
I've used Yonka products for 30 years!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Yonka’s ADVANCED OPTIMIZER DUO—Serum & Cream for Anti-Aging

What are The Optimizers? 

They are a fluid and a cream that comprise a two-part skin care system that are designed to be used together, although they can be used separatelydepending on your skin type. If you have normal to dry or true-dry skin and you feel you are not getting enough hydration from your cremes, give The Duo a try. They pack a powerful punch to keep your skin feeling moisturized.

OPTIMIZER SERUM (formerly called Optimizer Fluid)

This is one of  my all-time favorite Yonka productsmaybe the favorite!  I have been using it under my hydrating creams day and night for years. I started using it during the cold Chicagoland winters, and since moving to Colorado it is a twice-daily essential in my skin care routine.

Although Optimizer Serum is a super-hydrating fluid, it does not contain oils that might clog pores, so all skin types can use it. I highly recommend giving Optimizer Serum a try. It can really made a big difference in the hydration of your skin. 

Essential ingredients in SERUM:
  • Hyaluronic acidsuper-hydrates
  • Hibiscus peptideshelp stimulate the production of collagen
  • Collagenlifts, firms, long-lasting hydration 
  • Complex of organic proteinsactivates cellular oxygenation, stimulates protein synthesis, regenerates cells to favor the healing process, softens the depth of lines and wrinkles 
  • Dimethiconeprotects, smoothes 
  • Horsetail extractfortifies skin proteins 
  • Soy peptideshydrating, smoothing
  • Glycoaminoglycanhydrating, restructuring, firm forming

Although Optimizer Serum is designed to be used with Optimizer Creme, it can be used on its own or incorporated with your favorite Yonka cream. If you have oily skin and don’t like wearing a cream, Optimizer Serum would be a perfect choice. It will hydrate your skin without adding any extra oil.

This a day and/or nighttime moisturizer that packs a powerful punch. Hyaluronic acid, shea butter, hip and horsetail extracts are among the luxurious ingredients this formula contains. The Creme is great for normal/combination skin, or for those who are heading toward a drier skin type. You can use the creme combined with Optimizer Serum or on its own. This all depends on the hydration level of your skin.

Essential ingredients in CREME:
  • Hyaluronic aciddeep hydrating action, reinforces, strengthens
  • Complex of hydrolized organic proteins (milk, elastin, amniotic liquid)activates cellular oxygenation, stimulates protein synthesis, regenerates cells to favor the healing process, softens the depth of lines and wrinkles 
  • Horsetailfortifies skin proteins, promotes hydration 
  • Shea butternourishes, antioxidant
Directions for using OPTIMIZER DUO:
After cleansing, before toning
  • Apply 3-4 squirts of OPTIMIZER SERUM (I believe that applying the fluid directly on your dry skinbefore the toner—will deepen the action of this wonderful hydration booster)
  • Massage the Serum in
  • Then spray Yonka Lotion toner
  • Finally, apply OPTIMIZER CREME or your current day or night cream
  • Don’t forget your eye treatment as the final step to your Basics program

For more information, see:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Too Busy for Skin Care? Sometimes doing The Basics is all you need

I’m a busy [executive, mom, or any person], and I don’t have much time to spend in front of the mirror taking care of my face. What can I do for optimum healthy skin?

This could have been written by a person in any profession, whether an office worker or a stay-at-home mom. Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on your skin; you just need to be consistent and conscientious. Your twice daily routine is simply to clean your skin, spray on a pH balanced toner, and apply an appropriate moisturizer. The moisturizing step includes using eye cream. That’s it
—what I call The Basics 1-2-3. This may be enough for you, depending on the condition of your skin and your lifestyle habits, which include diet.

If you are having problems with your skin, of course you will want to spend a little more time doing a few extra things. The Extras include using an exfoliator, and especially if you have congestion problems, a good clay-based mask. The Extras can be done once to several times per week depending on your needs.
If you have no-problem skin and don’t want to do anything extra, you can do The Basics and nothing more. Your skin will be better off doing extra steps, but you may not have the time or inclination to do so. I would recommend having facials or giving yourself facials from time to time. Your skin will reflect this extra care with a healthier glow and smoother texture.

I think people (women and men) see all the commercials on TV and the advertisements in magazines for numerous skin care products and perhaps mistakenly think it will take a great effort along with many products to accomplish simple skin care. And as you have read, this is simply not true. Like many people, I don’t have a lot of time to spend in front of the mirror; therefore, I completely relate to this reader and her concerns for a simple program. Optimum health will be found doing the optimum elements to healthy skin.

To understand the minimum for a skin care routine plus a few added steps for healthy, vibrant skineven if you run on a busy schedulesee:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bathtime Quick Tips (plus Do Not Disturb Me sign ideas)

If you are a bath person, you are well aware of the healing powers of taking a relaxing soak. It is a restorative pleasure. Baths give you a moment to slow down and take some time for you. The wet heat is one of the best ways to soothe aching muscles. I like to use bath salts because they are aromatic (a bath filled with bath salts is like incense for your home) and can help to relieve muscle aches as well as stimulate circulation. Bath oils are also aromatic and will help to moisturize rough, dry skin while you bathe.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time to luxuriate in the tub, try to find at least 15 minutes one day a week to close yourself in a room—alone—and just breathe. Tell your husband and the kids you are locking yourself in the bathroom, and short of an emergency, you are not available. (I jokingly told a client to get a “Do Not Disturb” sign for her bathroom door. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea!) Putting aside time for you gives you more energy to give to others. It’s a simple principle, although not always so easy to implement. 

For more ideas to take care of you, see:
Here are some fun examples for your own Do Not Disturb Me sign:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Yonka for Men: UNDER EYE GEL—gel eye treatment

Yonkas UNDER EYE GEL is a soothing eye gel that helps to alleviate puffiness and dark circles, which plague many men (and women). It visibly relaxes the eye contour and smoothes lines and wrinkles. It has a refreshing scent and goes on easily.

Key benefits:
  • Combats puffiness and dark circles
  • A pick-me-up for the eyes
  • This ultra-fresh gel with natural active ingredients visibly smoothes and energizes the eye contours, even after long days...or short nights
  • The advantage: Can be used as a mask (5 minutes) in case of major fatigue. An immediate effect guaranteed

    Essential ingredients:
    • Phyto-polyphenols from salomon’s seal, arnica and cypress nuthelps the micro circulation and draining action
    • Phytostimulines technology from beech budregenerates, hydrates, tones up
    • Mimosa tenuiflora (rich in bioflavonoides, tannis, mimonosides, oligo-elements)regenerates, anti-free radical action
    • Sweet almond proteinshydrates
    • Sodium hyaluronatehydrates, soothes, regenerates
    • Sodium lactate methylsilanol (contains silicon)relieves congestion
    • Roman camomile essential oilrelieves congestion
    • Peppermint essential oilrefreshes, tones up
    • Carrot essential oilsoothes

    Directions for use:

    For daily use:
    Apply a thin layer of Undereye Gel on lines around eyes. Use morning and night and any time in between. Eye creams (and gels) keep the tissue around the eyes soft. They do not erase wrinkles. Sorry!

    Used as a mask: One to several times per week, apply Undereye Gel in a thick layer under eyes. Leave on for at least 5 minutes. When finished, penetrate any remaining gel into the skin. If there is too much left, gently tissue (blot) excess.

    For more information on using eye creams, see: 

    Also see:

    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Day vs. night creams: Do you need both?

    Many people are confused over the use of day and night creams. What is the difference? Do you really need to use two different products on your skin? The answer is both yes and no. Function and variety are the two main reasons for using a different moisturizer on your face during the day and at night.

    Day creams add a blanket of protection to your skin from the outside environment. This not only includes guarding against sunlight (if your day cream has a built-in sunscreen) but also dirt and debris in the air. A moisturizer will add a layer of protection between your skin and any makeup you may be wearing. These creams also supply oil and nutrients to the skin to help keep it soft, supple, and moisturized.

    Night creams are usually more treatment oriented than their day cream counterparts. Nighttime is when your body (and your skin) goes into a less active, more regenerative and repairing mode. Night creams are generally made to address specific needs that your protective day creams may not and are generally not meant to be worn under makeup.

    Other than the different functions of day and night creams, another reason to use two different creams is variety. Your skin can benefit from the variety of ingredients in two creams, instead of constantly using just one. Also there is the added benefit of diversity of aromas and textures. Using the same cream day and night limits you on these levels as well. This may not be important to you, but many people like to have a variety of experiences when it comes to the way their creams smell and feel.

    I recommend using a different cream for day and for night. You will benefit from a variety of ingredients and actions, as well as different aromas and textures. But if using one cream both day and night works best for you (many of my clients fall into this category), it is surely not harmful to use one cream. As long as the moisturizer you are using is appropriate for your skin type, this simpler approach is perfectly fine.

    For more information, see

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015

    Problem Skin Q & As—Monthly Breakout

    I am 32 years old, and a few years ago blemishes and acne started to bother me, especially during my monthly cycle.

    The blemishes I have are mostly red and swollen spots that do not have a white head or open pore. I have tried many acne treatments, but the results have not been good. The red and swollen spots just stay there and do not go away—even with days of treatment.

    If I leave them untreated, these red spots will shrink a bit and turn dark red but remain there. Then dead skin starts to build up and cover the spots like a scar. The blemishes are bothering me a lot and new ones are popping up before the old ones go away. It’s like a nonstop cycle. I am interested in knowing what would help me.

    Skin care isn’t just topical (product driven), it is initially and primarily internal—reflecting how your body is handling food, hormones, stress, and environment.
    • Do you eat sugar, and if so, how much? 
    • Do you have a balanced diet filled with healthy foods? 
    • Do you drink much water? 
    • Sodas? 
    All of these will affect the state of your skin. Products can be quite effective on problem skin. But what you must truly understand is unless the root cause is found and fixed, the skin care problems can and probably will continue.

    The first thing I want to know about her skin is why did it change a few years ago? Did something change in her world or her body that caused her skin to suddenly become a problem? For example, did she have a baby? Did she move, change her diet, or start taking medication? There are endless possibilities as to what might have changed (been added or taken away) in her life.

    It is not unusual for blemishes to present themselves or worsen during a woman’s monthly cycle. Taking evening primrose oil would be something to consider to see if it helps keep the symptoms of PMS to a minimum. This supplement will probably not keep all breakout from happening, but hopefully it will help to lessen skin problems as well as ease the other symptoms of PMS at the same time.

    Making the distinction that her blemishes are red and swollen but without a head is important. Without a white or yellow pus-filled head, these types of blemishes are not extractable. If, in an attempt to get rid of them, you try to squeeze or otherwise self-extract, you will pay for your actions. Since there is no opening for the infected debris to exit the pore, when pressure is applied (through picking or squeezing), the infected mass has to go somewhere, so it breaks through surrounding follicle walls underneath the surface, which unfortunately spreads the infection. This means the blemish will look bigger and take longer to go away. In the case of blemishes like this client’s, without a clear and defined head, using clay and/or essential oils is the best and only recommended course of treatment.

    I will assume she was using the traditional treatments available over the counter, which include benzoyl peroxide products and perhaps products with salicylic acid and possibly even alcohol (the bad kind). If so, this is probably why she has found little or no relief. Drying the cysts just isn’t going to get rid of them. Drying out this already irritated, infected skin can cause the blemishes to become even more red and sensitive than if you didn’t treat them at all. When it comes to clearing up breakout, benzoyl peroxide products usually come up short.

    That the spots just stay there and do not go away may be helped by increasing your water intake. Water flushes toxins out of the body, and since blemishes are a sign of toxic overload, drinking more water is always a good course of action. In terms of the spots taking so long to go away, the depth of the cysts will be exemplified by the length of time it takes for them to clear. Simply put, the deeper the damage, the longer the healing time. This is not unusual, it is just the frustrating part of having problem skin.

    The mention of a nonstop cycle of blemishes is the second clue that something is amiss. The first clue is the actual breakout. Something inside your body is out of balance, and your skin’s reaction is the proof. This says to me that something is constantly or consistently being introduced into her daily life that is affecting her skin; it might be through food, drink, stress, or perhaps even products.

    Knowing the details of her diet including water intake and of course how much sugar she has in her diet will help me know how to guide her into better lifestyle habits. Then, after finding out what products she uses and making any adjustments there, I would explain how to treat the blemishes themselves—topically. These suggestions include geranium or lavender oil for the spots, regularly exfoliating dead cells, and using a clay mask several times a week. I would suggest also using a regular daily program with pH balanced products meant for problem skin.

    I usually break out one week before and one week after my period, mostly on my chin along with some blackheads there and on my nose. I use a topical acne medication (Benzamycin®*), which I would love to eliminate completely. I cannot use products designed specifically for acne. They are too drying and irritating and actually cause major breakouts. I tried Proactiv—what a horror show my face was!
    *Benzamycin is a gel that combines benzoyl peroxide with erythromycin, an antibiotic.

    I think these comments represent a lot of people’s experiences. She gets some breakout and has a slight blackhead problem, but her skin is not in a constant problem state. She’s used prescription and over the counter products and has even tried products seen on TV infomercials. From what she said, she hasn’t found anything that is really helping.

    Taking evening primrose oil may help to even out her pre- and post-menstrual breakouts. If the medication is doing more harm than good, or if it is simply ineffective, using other spot treatments might be the answer. For the blemishes themselves, I recommend geranium oil with or without dotting with clay mask. I would also caution her to be very conscious of her sugar consumption leading up to and following her period. Sugar is just going to create more problems with her skin. Generally, sugar cravings increase near a woman’s period. It’s a cruel joke of nature, really. We reach for the very thing that will cause problems with our skin.

    For more information, see:

    Monday, November 16, 2015

    Dehydrated Skin explained

    What is dehydrated skin? 

    Dehydration is not “dry skin” or what I call true-dry skin. Dehydrated skin feels dry, but technically dry skin is lacking oil versus dehydrated skin that is lacking water. Dehydrated skin generally has a large buildup of dead skin cells. It is the job of those cells to retain moisture in the form of oil and water. If there are too many dead cells on the surface, more water is needed to keep all the cells moist. By eliminating the buildup (achieved through exfoliation), your cells are better able to retain moisture and less likely to become dehydrated.

    Why is it dehydrated? Skin becomes dehydrated for several reasons:
    • Some people are genetically predisposed and naturally dehydrated. This type of dehydration is usually very deep and tends to be harder to treat.
    • Climate is a big contributor to the hydration level of the skin. People in desert climates are usually battling dehydration because there is so little moisture in the air, while those in a more humid environment don’t become dehydrated as easily.
    • Seasonal weather can affect the hydration of the outer skin. Winter air is usually cold and dry, coupled with indoor heat that zaps moisture from the air causing the skin to become dehydrated. Using a humidifier to combat this dry, artificial heat can really be beneficial to the skin.
    • Flying can do a number on the skin since the air in planes is extremely drying.
    • Sun exposure can also leave the skin dehydrated. If, for instance, you put a bowl of water outside in the hot sun, it won’t take long for the water to evaporate. The same is true for the skin.
    • Soap, because it strips the skin of all oil and water, can lead to mild to severe dehydration as well.

    What to use on dehydrated skin. Anytime you feel dehydrated, a good course of action would be to exfoliate, and then follow with an appropriate moisturizer. Exfoliating immediately removes dead skin buildup, enabling the remaining cells to retain water more efficiently. If you are dehydrated, yet have oily or problem skin, do not overload on moisturizer because this can easily lead to breakouts. If you’re oily, using moisturizers for dry or dehydrated skin can cause clogging problems. Dehydration should be treated separately from oil or lack of oil production. In short, exfoliation is the key to alleviating dehydrated skin.

    Drinking water may help to keep your skin better hydrated; however, it does not eliminate dehydration. Water is utilized in your entire body for many different purposes. Even if you drink a lot of water, it doesn’t necessarily go directly to your skin. But drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses is still the rule for getting enough water in your system.

    Don’t use drying or harsh products on dehydrated skin. Soap can definitely cause flakiness and dehydration. Milky cleansers that are non-alkaline are best. Using an alcohol-free toner will help add moisture to the surface since most toners are primarily water. Still, the best and fastest relief for dehydrated skin is exfoliation.

    For more information, see:
    If it’s saying “I feel dehydrated,” try exfoliating!

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

    Yonka for Men: BARBER SHAVE—soothing shave cream

    Yonkas BARBER SHAVE is a gentle and soothing shaving cream for men. It contains calming and hydrating agents of aloe vera, sweet almond oil, and plant glycerin. This soothing cream minimizes irritation, razor-burns, and the small cuts that sometimes occur while shaving. Barber Shave is highly effective on the toughest of facial hair while respecting skin sensitivity.

    Formulated for all skin types, Barber Shave is especially effective on sensitive skin, reducing redness and irritation associated with shaving. When applied, the gentle foaming action allows a razors to glide easily over your skin for a fresh, renewed, clean-shaven look. 

    The action of Yonkas Quintessence (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary) leaves your skin feeling balanced and revitalized. In short, Barber Shave leaves your skin calm and comfortable. As mentioned above, it is ideal for all skin types, even sensitive skin.

      Essential ingredients:
      • Allantoinsoothing
      • Vitamin B5, aloe veramoisturizing, prevents razor burn
      • Virgin sweet almond oilprotective, anti-irritation
      • Plant-based glycerinmoisturizing, leaves skin supple
      • Lemonastringent, invigorating
      • Yonka “Quintessence (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)—deep cleansing, balancing

      Directions for use:
      • Apply a small amount of BARBER SHAVE to damp skin
      • Work into a lather with the fingertips or a shaving brush
      • After shaving, rinse and dry the face (without rubbing)
      • Then tone skin with the Lotion YK
      • Follow with Yonka for Men Age Defense cream or Nutri-Creme
      • Then apply eye cream like Yonkas Undereye Gel

      The following is from one of my clients who is now using Yonka for Men:

      I dont spend a lot of time thinking about my skin, but I do care how it looks. My wife introduced me to the Yonka skin care products about a year ago, and Im a fan. The Barber Shave is great. A modest size tube goes a long way. After experimenting a bit my routine is simple:
      • I squeeze out a slightly-larger-than-a-pea sized amount
      • use my fingers to massage it onto my beard to create a lather
      • then let it sit about 30 seconds before shaving

      I must not be great at shaving (or Ive got an odd shaped face) because prior to using Barber Shave I nicked myself (or worse) nearly every morning. If I am patient and let the Barber Shave sit on my face for less than a minute before shaving, I rarely see blood and on the rare occasions that I do, the bleeding stops after I finish shaving and rinse my face. I also appreciate knowing that Yonka didnt take any shortcuts or cheap out on the ingredients. Thats important since Im putting this stuff on my face nearly every day.  

      For more information, see:

      Saturday, November 14, 2015

      Solutions for Stressed Skin

      Are you stressed out? If so, more than likely your skin reflects the stress you are experiencing in your life. Physical stress, such as injury, chemotherapy, or simply a hectic lifestyle, has an impact on the appearance of your skin. Even emotional stress can show up as tired-looking skin. The following are some of the many skin stress producers:
      • a hectic lifestyle
      • sun exposure
      • sleeplessness/fatigue
      • worry/concern/personal problems
      • poor diet, smoking, alcohol  
      • poor skin care habits
      • physical injury or illness
      • medication/chemotherapy

      Any of these can have a negative effect on the health of your skin, producing a dull complexion as well as all-around tired-looking skin. Although stress takes a toll on the body as a whole, there are several ways to combat these ill effects and to experience healthy-looking, stress-free skin all year round. The following stress reducers can bring you closer to healthy, vibrant-looking skin.

      As I discuss in my book, Timeless Skin: Healthy Skin for a Lifetime, exfoliation is paramount to healthy skin. Exfoliation helps to remove dead surface cells and increases circulation to the face, which gives your skin smoother texture and a healthy glow. I tell my clients when they can't come in for a facial—exfoliate! It is certainly not the be-all and end-all, but exfoliation can take away layers of stress from your face, revealing the natural beauty hidden beneath.

      Along with exfoliation, using a cleansing or clay mask will help to remove dirt and debris that may have built up in your pores. A mask also stimulates blood flow to your face, giving your skin a healthy, well-nourished glow. One of my favorite recommendations for accomplishing these two steps (exfoliation and masking) is to give yourself a facial at home.

      An at-home facial is an attempt to simulate the benefits of a professional facial in the comfort (and convenience) of your own home. As with massage, nothing takes the place of having an expert do all the work for you, but you can duplicate many of the steps of a facial, which will benefit your skin and help you feel relaxed and de-stressed! 

      The ingredients in an at-home facial include exfoliating, using a clay mask, and relaxing. These three steps are beneficial to all skin types, from dry to oily. You’ll need about half an hour or so for your at-home facial. You can embellish my suggestions or tailor them to your particular schedule. If you can't find the time to take too long of a breather and actually relax, you can just exfoliate and mask, then get on with your day. But taking a few minutes out of a hectic day to relax and unwind sure feels good. And dare I say if you can’t find time to relax, you most likely really need to relax!

      Make your bathroom a temporary relaxation sanctuary. Fill the room with candles, draw an aromatic bath, and listen to relaxing music to ease the stresses of the day from your body. If you’re not a bath-type person, find a room in your house where you can relax—undisturbed—for 15 minutes or so. It would also be nice to have soothing music to ease you into a calm, meditative state.

      To start your at-home facial, you’ll want to:
      • Clean your skin with a facial cleanser
      • Then apply use your exfoliator of choice, which might be an abrasive scrub or a gel-type, non-abrasive peel (like Yonka’s Gommage)
      • Be sure to take a little extra time to exfoliate all the places you might be neglecting, like around your ears, hairline, and under your chin
      • Next, apply a clay or hydrating mask. (Please read How to use a Clay Mask—Important Instructions if you don’t know to keep the mask moist. See link below.)

      Then go to your peaceful place (either your quiet room or bathtub), and relax. Be sure to breathe! Simply inhaling and exhaling slowly can help to reduce stress on the spot. When you’re ready to face the world again (or just ready to get out of the tub!), remove the clay mask at your sink—not with the bathwater—with tepid (not hot or cold) water. Follow with spray toner and your day or night cream, depending. Remember eye cream as well. 

      An at-home facial can be done whenever you need a mini-break from a stressful day. Traveling can offer an ideal opportunity to have some uninterrupted “me” time, especially if you are away from your family and the normal stresses and responsibilities of home. It may seem impossible to take time out for yourself, but once you know it is possible, at-home facials can benefit you on several levels. Enjoy your treatment and know you are helping yourself, not just your skin, in many ways.        

      Even if you can’t erase the stress from your life, incorporating these few simple steps once a week can help reduce stress from your skin. Just remember, it only takes a few minutes to keep the stressed-out look away!

      For skin care recommendations, see:
      For some anti-stress solutions, see:

      Friday, November 13, 2015

      Yonka’s EMULSION PURE—Toner and blemish spot treatment

      EMULSION PURE is the third toner from Yonka-Paris and is best for problem skin and acne. It does not spray like the other toners: Lotion PS and PNG.

      Pure contains the highest the concentration of essential oils of all the toners, giving it a better effect on inflammation and infections (essential oils have strong antibacterial properties). In a more diluted form, like in Lotion PS (the lowest concentration of essential oils of the three products), essential oils are more soothing for sensitivities yet still have the beneficial properties of stimulating circulation, helping with cellular respiration.

      Emulsion Pure is an excellent spot treatment when used as a compress on a specific blemish. It can also be used over your entire face as an extra-strength toner. This concentrate of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary essential oils starts the healing process by helping to calm infections and reduce inflammation.

      From Yonka headquarters:
      Address the unique needs of your skin with this purifying and regenerating treatment emulsion that is essential for those who suffer from chronic breakouts. With a potent concentration of Yon-Ka Quintessence, this multi-action medicine cabinet in a bottle can be used before and after waxing, on sunburn, on insect bites, and on old scars for purifying, soothing, and regenerating effects.

      Essential ingredients:
      • Yonka “Quintessence” 4.3% (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)—purifying, regenerating 
        • Thyme—antiseptic 
        • Lavender—healing, soothing, stimulates cell metabolism 
        • Cypress—vasotonic, clarifying
        • Geranium—normalizes sebaceous secretions
        • Rosemary—regulates lymphatic circulation 
      • Botanical emulsifier—stabilizing
      Directions for use:

      To use Pure as a compress: 
      • Take a piece of cotton 2-3x the size of the spot (in other words: use a small piece)
      • Soak in PURE
      • Compress (press) onto the blemish 
      • Keep it there at least 5 minutes, no more than 15 minutes

      You can compress while watching TV, reading, or talking on the phone; whenever you have 5 minutes to sit still and give the compress the time needed to do its magic.

      To use Pure as a toner: 

      • After cleansing
      • *Splash PURE over face and neck or
      • Use **cotton soaked in PURE and go over face and neck
      • Then apply your moisturizer
      • You can also mix PURE  into your cremes

      *I’m not a fan of using the cotton method. Why not? First you waste a lot of product as it soaks into the cotton. Also, you simply don’t get much or enough product on your skin. For best results, use the splashing method (**pour Pure into your palm, rub hands together, then apply to face and neck.)

      Not sure what toner to use? Please read: 

      And for more spot remover ideas, see: