Friday, April 29, 2016

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!

For more information, see:

Allergies (the airborne kind) and your skin

Airborne allergies can really do a number on the sinuses. But these allergens can also cause dark circles, puffiness under your eyes, and possibly eczema or another dermatitis, to say nothing about sneezing, wheezing, and generally feeling miserable. When your body is dealing with invading allergens it cannot possibly keep up with everything, and your immune system becomes compromised.

If you have allergies, you may be taking medication to suppress the symptoms. Most over-the-counter products have decongestant ingredients that can dry out your system. Because of this, allergy medications can also wreak havoc on your skin. I recommend adding hydrating elixirs to your moisturizers and exfoliating as often as possible to help keep your skin feeling hydrated and looking flake-free. 

To help your body function under the stress of allergies, be sure to get all the proper nutrients on a daily basis, and try to avoid drinking alcohol and eating sugar. Both of these can stress your immune system as well as cause inflammation, which is exactly what your sinuses don’t need. When my sinuses are under attack, I can feel an immediate difference (for the worse) after the first few sips of wine or if I eat even a small amount of sugar. Dairy products, namely milk and cheese, are mucus forming, so avoid these if possible while you are experiencing allergies.

When the pressure gets to be too much and my sinuses feel painful, I will do a little bit of acupressure on the areas. All this means is that I apply pressure to points on my sinus cavity, which really does help to temporarily relieve some of the pressure and pain.

  • I start by applying pressure to my brow bones, especially where those bones meet the nose near the inner eye area
  • Under the brow bone always seems to be a sensitive area, sinuses or not, so I always like to linger in that area
  • Next I work just under the bones surrounding my eyes, from the nose outward
  • Then around and especially under my cheek bones
  • And even my middle forehead area
I usually apply an even pressure (not a light touch, but steady increasing pressure) for 10 seconds or so for each area. If you have allergies and your sinuses are congested, you will feel where you need to apply pressure, and wherever you see the colors on the above illustration would be good places to press to help relieve sinus congestion. Don’t get caught up in “doing it right,” and don’t forget to breathe!

No matter the names of the locations, doing a little bit of acupressure on your sinuses can go a long way to helping relieve pain from allergies. You can experiment and see what works for you, but using this technique can really help to relieve sinuses tension. It can work for headaches as well.

For more information, see:
...help is on the way

Thursday, April 28, 2016

MYTH: You need to use a separate cream for your neck

Many times advertisements for neck creams are another ploy to get you to buy more products. Although the skin on your neck varies from the skin on your face, I recommend treating it basically the same using your regular facial products. I always recommend including your neck in everything you do to your face: The Basics plus exfoliation and sunscreen. However, it is usually unnecessary to purchase a separate cream for this area.

With that said, if you want to use something different or special on your neck, go right ahead! Sometimes I use Yonka’s Optimizer Gel Lift (meant for the neck among other areas), and I do like it. Do I see an appreciable difference using that special product vs. my daily moisturizing creams? Truthfully, I haven’t used Gel Lift or any other neck-specific product long enough to give a well-informed answer to that question.

As with all issues pertaining to skin care, if you see a difference for the better—great! Keep using that product or procedure. If you don’t, you probably won’t continue on.

For more information, see:
—or do...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yonka for Men: NUTRI-CREME moisturizer

NUTRI-CREME is a wonderful moisturizer from Yonka, and it is very popular with my male clients. I wish it didnt have for men on the label because Im quite sure I could easily sell this moisturizer to my female clientele.

From Yonka headquarters: Nutri-Creme is an energizing and nourishing cream that instantly reveals healthy-looking skin. This vitamin packed antioxidant moisturizer protects the skin from environmental stress and restores its vitality. Nutri-Creme leaves your skin feeling soft, supple, and super-hydrated.

Essential ingredients:
  • Vitamins A, C, E, and B5antioxidants, helps to prevent cellular aging
  • Pumpkin seed oil, virgin olive oilnourishing, protective
  • Grapefruit extractmoisturizing, purifying
  • Essential oils of orange, lemon and limeastringent, invigorating
  • Yonka “Quintessence” (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)energizing, stimulating to blood circulation

Directions for use:
In the morning and/or evening:
  • After cleansing and shaving
  • Spray on Yonka Lotion toner (Men’s Lotion YK, Lotion PNG, or Lotion PS)
  • Apply a pea-sized dollop of NUTRI-CREME over face and neck
  • Then apply Undereye Gel or your favorite eye treatment product

For more information, see:

Monday, April 25, 2016

10 Reasons to Publish a Book in Your Field

I was asked by the printer of my second book, Skin Care A to Z, if I’d be willing to write an article for their newsletter about why and how it can be beneficial to author a book. I love to write so I set out to write my thoughts on the subject. Below is the article that, although it’s not about how to take care of your skin, I think you may find interesting nonetheless. With that said—Enjoy!

Over the years I have met numerous people who have a book in their head and a dream to “one day” write it and have it published. I was that person 15+ years ago. Now two publications later, I have to say that writing books has been a wonderful way to promote my business as well as myself as an expert in my profession. If you’re one of the many, consider writing and publishing a book in your given field. Here are some reasons why:

1. Writing a book can help people. Writing about what you know offers people the ability to learn from your years of experience. I’m in a personal service industry, and prior to my first book coming out I was basically helping one person at a time. Now through my books, I can help people who may not be able to come to my office, yet they are able to absorb the knowledge I am imparting through the written word.

2. Writing establishes you as an expert in your field. As I mentioned, many people want to write a book, but few actually do the work. Holding up a book you have written helps to elevate you as an expert in your field like no other. Become a trusted resource with a published book.

3. If you want to reach a wider audience, write a book. Perhaps you’re a coach, a consultant, you own a small business or are in the personal services arena. By writing even a short book, you can enlarge your area of influence. You’ll not only reach your target audience, but your book may spill over into an even wider group of new followers. Reaching a larger audience equals more credibility for you and can translate into more clients for your business.

4. Writing a book brings self-gratification. I love to write, so publishing books is a wonderful way for me to get information out to the public while giving me a huge amount of self-satisfaction. I love the entire process, from the initial outline to opening a newly printed book. Writing a book will give you the confidence to excel in your chosen field. There’s nothing better than accomplishing a long-standing goal.

5. Writing puts you in the media’s headlights. If you have a published book, you are more likely to be approached by the media for quotes and interviews. After all—you’re the expert! You have taken the time and trouble to write down what you know, and the media is always looking for new ideas or even a new angle on an old story. They need content, so provide it for them.

6. Writing a book can and will drive traffic to your website. If you are looking for a great way to get people to your website, then get that book out into the world. Within the pages of any book you write, you have endless possibilities to promote yourself. With an About the Author page you can add information to drive people to your website, other books you’ve written; the list goes on. However you want to promote yourself—include it in your book.

7. Increase your revenue with the written word. Counter to what many people think, writing a book doesn’t necessarily make you a millionaire (unless you’re JK Rowling!). But having one or more products (books) out on the market can bring in extra revenue year after year. This is especially true if you write about an evergreen subject (something that doesn’t go out of style), then you can sell books forever.

8. A published book is the best business card ever. I think of my books as a marketing tool for my business. Yes, they are information books and have helped a lot of people. But they are also the best marketing tool I have at my fingertips. Put two experts side by side: One has written one or more books, the other has not. Who would you choose as your go-to expert? I would pick the author over the other expert every time. And so will your prospective clients. 

9. You have a large knowledge base, why not write it down? I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s best (and perhaps easiest) to write about what you know—and it’s true. The subject you are well-versed in is the best one to write about. Even if you’re just an expert in your own mind, writing and publishing a book will establish you as an expert in everyone else’s minds too. When you write about what you know, you may find you have so much to say, the pages just write themselves! 

10. Don’t be afraid to write a book! Perhaps you can come up with many reasons for not writing a book, but my suggestion is to acknowledge the fear and publish anyway. Even if there are already 10 books on the subject you want to write about, you may have a different angle that hasn’t been explored or you have something entirely new to say about your subject matter. Write about the topic you know well and are passionate about, and don’t let fear be your guide.

Publish a book to establish yourself as an industry leader and an expert in your field. The rewards you will experience far outweigh any apprehension you may have about starting the process. So—write! You’ll be so happy you (finally) did.


A special thank you to PUBLISHERS’ GRAPHICS for doing such a great job printing my 2nd book, Skin Care A to Z. You do great work!

For more information, see:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Birthday—to ALL!

May I be so bold as to wish myself a Happy 55th Birthday? No matter—I just did!

I live a blessed life. I am grateful for all the love and friendship and family I have in my life. And then all the animals. ♥

On this day I want to wish you a Happy Un-Birthday. Do something nice for yourself today—and every day!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why did you become an aesthetician?

I get asked that question a lot. Since I was young, I have always had a fascination with the human body. Perhaps because I grew up as a ballet dancer, I had a unique view into how the body functions under unusual and stressful circumstances, since dancing is quite an athletic event, and ballet in particular puts you in touch with your body—like it or not!

Injuries eventually forced me out of the dance world after nearly 20 years of ballet. I was looking to switch careers and become a massage therapist. Life intervened, and I was offered a position as an aesthetician at a friend’s salon. She was kind enough to put me through skin care school, and I jumped at the chance since my interests were not only in massage but skin care as well.

Of course, straight out of school I knew nothing compared to what I know now, but I did my best. Through a never-ending commitment to learn more and more about the body, and skin in particular, I achieved my current level of expertise.

Eventually, by the way, I did graduate from massage school. I worked for several years both in skin care and massage, but I discovered that helping people with their skin in the context of a facial was the best application for my talents. After several years in practice, I stopped renewing my massage license in favor of being an aesthetician only.

Being an aesthetician and now writing about skin care has brought me much joy over the past 3 decades. I am blessed to say I have loved my work in skin care.

Thirty plus years is a large part of my life thus far; another long-term path. I am confident about the knowledge I have gained over all of these years and continue to enjoy helping people have clear and healthy skin—or at least dispensing information that can help them achieve that.

Animals have always been a part of my life, from a little girl longing for (and getting) her first kitten, to my current passion: helping rescued horses at Colorado Horse Rescue. Dogs, cats, goats, pigs, cows, horses—you name it I want to eventually rescue and love all kinds of 4-leggeds.

For more information, see:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Never a blank page when it comes to aging

I read somewhere or was told by someone at some time that when producing a book there should never be a page left blank. If you have a copy of Timeless Skin, you can see that I received this advice after its publication! So for Skin Care A to Z, I heeded that advice and came up with quotes relating to age and the aging process from famous (and not so famous) people to fill any blank pages that came up in production. Following are all of the quotes I used in the book. Enjoy!

Taking joy in life is a woman’s best cosmetic.
– Rosalind Russell

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
– Stanislaw J. Lee

Age is just a number. Old is a state of mind.
– Carolyn Ash

Don’t just count your years, make your years count.
– Ernest Meyers

Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.
– Pearl S. Buck

You’re not as young as you once were, but you’re not as old as you will be.
– Irish Proverb

For more about my take on the aging process, see:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

EXCELLENCE CODE CREME for mature skin from Yonka-Paris

EXCELLENCE CODE CREME is actually the very first Yonka product in a jar. However, this is not your normal jar. You dont actually open the top (exposing all of the product to bacteria, by the way); it has a patented push top that squirts out a pre-scheduled amount of cream, perfect for one application.  There is a link below to an article all about the subject of these airless jars. Here is a comment from one of my long-time clients:

My mom gave me a large sample of Excellence Code Creme and I LOVE IT!!! My skin looks absolutely amazing! What a huge difference. I really cant believe it.  It helps my redness like nothing else. And my skin glows—thats never happened. I cant believe I am paying that much for a cream, but oh well. I just have to budget for it.

From Yonka Headquarters: Excellence Code Global Youth Creme awakens maturing skin, restoring visible youth. Reverse the visible signs of aging. With each application, wrinkles are faded, skin is firmer and plumper, the texture of the skin appears smoother and the complexion is clear and bright. Regenerate healthy skin with reinforced barrier repair abilities; nourish and hydrate the skin for improved resistance against aging.

Yon-Ka Excellence Code Global Youth Creme was designed with mature skin (55+) in mind. When skin ages, it becomes more fragile due to hormonal changes. This luxurious cream fights off the main signs of aging, including dryness, wrinkles, firmness, and dark spots.

Essential ingredients:
  • Co-Enzyme Q10, vitamin Eanti-free radicals
  • Avocado & grape seed oils, shea butter, hyaluronic acidhydrates, nourishes
  • Thistle, vitamin Aprotects, repairs
  • Silicon-amino acid complexfights against the deterioration of collagen and elastin
  • Yeast & nutgrass extractsfirms, gives bounce to the skin
  • Complex of bamboo silica, pea extractanti-wrinkle, smoothing
  • Red algae extractclears and evens complexion
  • Yonka “Quintessence” (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)—balancing, restoring
Directions for use:
Morning and/or evening: 
  • Cleanse
  • Spray your Yonka Lotion toner
  • Apply EXCELLENCE CODE CREME to your face and neck
  • Then use your favorite Yonka eye treatment cream or gel

For more information, see:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Finding a Great Clay Mask

There are many masks out on the market that claim to be clay or cleansing masks, but they actually have very little of this essential ingredient in them. And that’s a shame because you purchase what you think is a clay mask, get little or no results, then think all masks must be ineffective. Knowing the different names for clay types and where those important ingredients are in the ingredient list are two of the main points you want to know when looking for a good clay mask.

There are several names for clay you will see in a mask ingredient list: kaolin, bentonite, French clay, China clay, and green clay are the clay types most commonly used in a clay mask. Sometimes mud is a term used in a clay-based mask as well. Knowing these names is important when searching for an effective mask. I have actually seen masks marketed as “clay” that had little to almost no actual clay in them.

Another important point when looking for a mask is knowing how much clay is in the product. You want to make sure clay is one of the first ingredients on the list. A high percentage of clay(s) above all else is what will make any mask you use effective.

Since ingredients are listed by weight, a mask with a large concentration of clay will have one to several clays listed among the first on the list. For instance the clay masks from Yonka have clay (different types) as the first 3 out of 4 ingredients. And the ingredient list isnt very long, so you know that these masks have a high-percentage of clay in them. Yonka isnt the only manufacturer of quality clay products, but knowing how much clay is in any product youre going to use is of the utmost importance.

Products found in a salon are usually far superior to grocery or department store varieties. Check with your aesthetician (if you have one), and keep an eye on the ingredient list. Not all clay masks are created equal, but if you search for one with clay as some of the first few ingredients, youll be on the right track. Still, you may have to experiment before you come up with one that works for you. With that said, you may very well find a good clay mask in a retail store. Make the ingredient list a top priority no matter where you purchase your mask.
How can you tell if your clay mask is effective? 

Before applying the mask, take a good look at your pores. Then after the mask is rinsed off, do the same check. If you don’t notice a significant reduction in the amount of debris in your pores, especially around the nose area or wherever you have the most congestion, the mask is not doing its job. Check the ingredients and make sure it is predominately clay. If not, find a new mask that has a higher concentration of clay. (By debris and congestion I essentially mean blackheads; open pores, which are easily cleaned out by a good clay mask.)
Another alternative you might have heard of or even used yourself is making your own mask with dry clay powder. Found at most health food stores, the powder is mixed with water and sometimes essential oils for a DIY home treatment. I don’t, however, recommend using this type of homemade mask on your skin. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, clay with no other ingredients is just too intense and too concentrated and can cause even non-sensitive skin to get red and irritated. I recommend finding a good, manufactured mask that has a high percentage of clay in it, and use this as your cleansing home treatment. 

Use a clay mask at least once a week to deep clean your pores, more often if you have problem skin. Clay, above all else, will really keep your pores cleaned out and your skin looking healthy. Please read some of the other articles I have written on the importance of using clay in your weekly routine (found under the category clay masks). Here are a few I highly recommend: