Sunday, July 31, 2016

Yonka Products for Problem Skin

I wanted to post some information to help you put together a skin care program using Yonka products if you have problem skin.

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

You first need to determine the amount of oil your skin produces to truly understand which products to use. Please read:

I have a lot of breakout:

I have sensitive skin with breakout:

I have a lot of blackheads, but no breakout:

There are dozens of articles on this blog pertaining to breakouts, problem skin, and some of the potential causes of skin problemsnamely sugar. Please do your research and become familiar with what breakout is and how to help stop it from happening vs. going with the attitude that products can perform miracles.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rosacea case study: Suzanne

Suzanne was diagnosed with rosacea over five years ago. Her dermatologist has her on a program of MetroCream®, which is a topical medication, and the oral antibiotic tetracycline. She has tried to go off each medication separately, but whenever she does, the rosacea returns almost worse than before. She called to ask me where in her skin care program should she apply her MetroCream—before or after her moisturizer?

Whenever you are incorporating topical medications into your regular skin care regime, you want to get the medication on your skin first before you put your moisturizing cream on. If you put the medication over your moisturizer, it will have less contact with your actual skin. So the order of Suzanne’s product application would be:
  • Cleanse with her regular milky cleanser
  • Apply MetroCream and let it settle on her skin
  • Next, use her spray-on toner
  • And finally apply her moisturizer last 
  • If she is going to be outside, sunscreen is a must due to her rosacea, which goes on over her moisturizer (or, for oilier skins, sunscreen can be your moisturizer for day) 

I wondered why Suzanne had been on an tetracycline for five years. She did question her doctor about the long-term use of this medication, and he told her it was OK to take these low-dose antibiotics even over a long period of time. My question to the doctor is how long can or should she take them? Forever? Was the dermatologist ever going to end Suzanne’s use of tetracycline? In the meantime, I highly recommended she start taking acidophilus to help her colon increase the healthy bacteria that had no doubt been affected from all those years of oral antibiotics.

I asked Suzanne if she knew her triggers (the foods and lifestyle habits) that caused her rosacea to flareup. She said, “Hot and cold, right?” Yes, extremes in temperature definitely exacerbate any redness in the skin and especially rosacea. But there is so much more to know about what causes your own rosacea to pronounce itself. I felt that if she could educate herself a bit more, she might be able to lessen the rosacea and potentially go off the oral antibiotics.

I encouraged her to read Rosacea: Your Self-Help Guide. There are several books on the subject, but this is the one I found most helpful. I asked Suzanne to stay in touch so I could track her progress and find out if she discovered anything new from reading the rosacea book.

For more information, see:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sun Protection: Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is used in sunscreens as a reflective or physical block against UV rays. As a kid, you probably remember seeing (or even wearing) zinc oxide on the nose—it is pure white and very noticeable. Nowadays it is used as a key ingredient in sunscreens.

Zinc oxide is one of only a few ingredients that are currently used to block the damaging UVA rays. Parsol 1789 (avobenzone) and titanium dioxide are the among some others. Please don’t misunderstand: in a sunscreen, zinc oxide is not a complete block—nothing short of being inside will keep all the sun’s radiation off your skin. But zinc oxide, along with avobenzone and titanium dioxide, are ingredients to look for in your sun products.

If you are a skier, a sailor, or are doing any number of activities that cause you to be out in the sun for long periods of time, consider using zinc oxide to protect your skin. There are even zinc products that are available made in wild and fun colors, so you can protect your skin and make a fashion statement too!

For more information, see:
OK—this is not necessarily the norm!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tend Skin Lotion for problems with ingrown hair

Tend Skin is made to help reduce the pain and inflammation of razor bumps, ingrown hair, and razor burn. The main active ingredient in Tend Skin is aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Aspirin, of course, is an analgesic (pain reliever) as well as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Next on the ingredient list is isopropyl alcohol. This, as you hopefully know, is the “bad” kind of alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is very drying to the skin. Water is the next ingredient, so the fact that alcohol comes before water means this product is almost entirely made of alcohol. (Ingredients are listed by weight.)

However, many people have seen results with their ingrown hair by using Tend Skin. Sometimes even I have to bypass the information I know to be true in lieu of getting results, as long as there are no adverse effects to the skin when using this product. In other words, if you can use Tend Skin successfully without experiencing any problems as a result of using it, you may be able to help your ingrown hair problems. But if you use Tend Skin and it causes reactions or just doesn’t help your problems, I don’t recommend using it. This is a specialized product and because of the alcohol content, it won’t be for everybody.

For more information, see:

Saturday, July 16, 2016

More questions about Ear Blackheads

Much to my surprise (and disgust!) my husband informed me that I have a bunch of blackheads in my ears. And when I put my finger there, it feels very oily. Help! What can I do to get rid of these unsightly blackheads?

You are not alone in your concerns. Whenever I give a client a facial, I always check inside his or her ears to make sure they are staying clean and blackhead-free. Our ears are sometimes a forgotten place in regard to our skin care routines. But just like other parts of our bodies, our ears have active oil glands and pores that, if left uncleansed for a period of time, will accumulate oil and debris that can create blackheads.

It is a lot harder to get rid of blackheads inside your ears than it is to help prevent them in the first place. If you already have congestion there, first you want to get into the habit of cleaning your ears—something that you have undoubtedly not done for most or all of your life.

I use the same cleanser for my ears as I do for my face. I take a little bit and put the cleanser on the tips of my fingers and stick them right in my ears. Not down the ear canal, just in that pocket that’s like the cup part of the ear. I massage the cleanser in a little bit—not for very long—and rinse when I rinse my face. I actually only do this in the shower, but you can certainly do it at your sink if you prefer. The shower is just easier for me because I can get the shower spray right above my ear and really get the residue of the cleanser all out before getting out of the shower. This should be a daily habit, especially if you are having blackhead problems.

UPDATE: Recently Yonka has come out with a waterless cleanser. I think this would be an excellent product to use inside your ears. The premise with this cleanser is there is no rinsing off involved, which can be a little tricky using a washoff cleanser inside your ears on a regular basis. With this new cleanser,
  • Put Eau Michellaire on a Q-tip--enough to get it wet but not dripping (so not much product is needed) 
  • Go over the cup of the ear area where your blackheads are
  • Do not stick the Q-tip in your ear. We are just treating the problem skin here, not trying to clean out your ear canal
If done on a regular basis, this will hopefully help keep blackheads at bay and then away. While in the shower, using your regular, milky cleanser (as mentioned above) is still a fine thing to do.

If you are trying to get rid of existing blackheads, you will want to take a more active approach. My first suggestion would be to
  • get out your clay mask
  • after thoroughly cleansing the ear area
  • gently put some mask in the cup of your ear or wherever the blackheads are
  • let the clay dry for 10-15 minutes*
  • remove carefully with warm water, or in the shower. I say carefully because you really don’t want cleansers or clay or anything to go down your ear canal
Ears are very delicate organs, and although I am suggesting you clean the area, I am also imploring you to be very careful and not let anything actually go inside your ears.

*This is probably the only instance where letting the clay dry is acceptable. As you have probably read many times throughout this blog, you never want clay to dry on your face. The surface area is too large and it can dry out your facial skin. Here, in the ear area, I think trying to keep the mask moist could cause problems and is definitely cumbersome. When I have clients in for facials and they have ear blackhead problems, I put clay there while they have clay on their face, but in the ear I just let it dry.
  • when rinsing, the best thing to do is to tilt your head with the ear you’re cleaning pointed down to the ground so that gravity will take care of the rest.
  • then with your finger, make sure all the product gets out of the ear cup. Tilting like this will ensure nothing drips or seeps inside of your ear.
If you have a bad blackhead problem, you may want to use the clay for several consecutive days, eventually backing off to 1-3 times per week. When the problem goes away, be sure to continue to cleanse the ears daily in the shower and use the waterless cleanser otherwise. Also, use the clay mask when you feel it’s necessary, maybe once a week for maintenance.

For more information, see:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yonka-Paris LAIT APRES-SOLEIL—After-sun repairing cream

From Yonka Headquarters:
LAIT APRES-SOLEIL is an after-sun hydrating lotion that is repairing and soothing for face and body. From the first application, this cream for all skin types cools the suns fire and provides a fresh feeling to the skin. Quickly absorbed, this milky lotion soaks in as it relieves the hot feeling of extended sun exposure. Apres-Soleil leaves your skin soothed, supple, fresh and silky.

This product is kind of an unknown gem from Yonka, which is really too bad. Apres-Soleil is a wonderful moisturizer and really helps to soothe and rehydrate skin after sun exposure. Although Yonka suggests using it on your faceand there is nothing wrong with thatI still like to use my facial products for face and Apres-Soleil for my body. Experiment for yourself and see what you prefer.

There are many products you can use for after-sun exposure or simply to keep the skin on your body soft and supple, but if you havent ever used Apres-Solieil: Try ityou might just fall in love!

Essential ingredients:
  • Cornflower, calendula, Roman chamomile, German chamomile, linden flowersoothing 
  • Pro-vitamin B-5hydrating, repairing
  • Allantoinsoothing, calming
  • Vitamin Aregenerating
  • Cucumber extract, milk proteinshydrating, soothing
  • St. Johns Wortrejuvenating, moisturizing
  • Yonka “Quintessence (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)vitalizing, balancing
Directions for use:
  • Apply generously after any sun exposure to body (and/or face)
  • If you received a sunburn, I recommend my Sunburn Relief Cocktail (see link below). Here you can use Apres-Soleil as one of the 3 ingredients listed in the article
  • Not only for after-sun exposure, you can use this silky body moisturizer all year round as your preferred body cream

For more information, see:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Q & As

Can you suggest something regarding scars (dark spots) that have been left by past pimples? I was thinking about either microdermabrasion or using products containing kojic acid* that promises to lighten scars. Any thoughts on these?
*Kojic acid is a skin lightening ingredient. It can inhibit the formation of melanin.

You could try microdermabrasion. It is expensive, but it may work for you. You could try kojic acid products and see for yourself if their promises are well-founded. As I have said, no product or procedure is for everyone. And many things out on the market may work for you. My belief, however, is that many will not.

True scarring from blemishes is a tissue-related problem. I think the scarring this reader is talking about is really post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Because the dark spots never seem to go away, it probably seems like a scar, but in reality it is an overaccumulation of melanin at the site of the blemish. This caused the dark spot and sun- light is helping it to remain there. What I know is that if you become diligent and hyperaware about sun exposure, your “scars” will lighten and go away—as long as you keep sun off your face.

I am in need of a spot lightener. Basically I suffered from acne when I was pregnant, and the blemishes caused dark spots on my face. I need something to make the spots lighten up. Do you have a product that will reduce the darkness? PS: Why did these dark spots appear in the first place?

When you have breakout, especially deep cysts or pustules loaded with infection, the spots are like tiny wounds, and this wounded tissue is subject to variations in pigmentation. For example: One summer I tripped on my office patio as I was leaving work. My right foot caught the fall, but I ended up deeply scraping the top of it. Once a scab had formed, I stopped wearing Band-Aids; when the scab came off, scar tissue was left in its wake. Since it was summer, the area received all kinds of sun exposure due to wearing flip flops and sandals, leaving the injured tissue full-on exposed to sunlight. When I thought about it, I would put sunscreen there, but for the most part I was a “bad client” and just forgot about protecting it from UV light.

Due to the amount of sun that area received, and the extent of the injury with its resulting scar tissue, a large dark spot existed where the scrape occurred. Some people even thought it was a tattoo! But in actuality it was hyperpigmentation around the outside edge of the injury along with pigmentless scar tissue inside. Had it been winter, the area would have received little or no exposure to the sun, and no doubt it would be less discolored. Now the scar is barely noticeable, but when summer rolls around the darkness will probably reappear and then fade again in the winter. This example is of a foot; imagine how much sun your face is getting in the summer (or winter), subjecting your “injuries” to the potential for hyperpigmentation.

One way to avoid some of the darkness of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is to stop picking at your skin! It’s a bad habit and can cause damage to the area. With that said, a picker is going to pick. I can’t change your predilection for doing this; you believe you are helping your skin by picking. Perhaps when you can install a different belief, you can change your behavior. Try the belief: “When I pick at my skin, I am causing further damage. And it will take my skin longer to heal. Picking does not help.” Adopt this, and you are on the road to recovery.

I am not saying that extracting the infected mass from a spot isn’t advantageous. It is. However, in my experience, most people have little or no restraint when it comes to self-extraction. And sometimes tools are needed to properly get to a plug; the use of which is best left to an aesthetician in the course of a facial treatment. If you can’t get a facial, at least put healing products on the blemishes (geranium, for instance) and know this will go a long way to getting rid of the spots faster. Picking will only prolong the healing process and create the potential for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

In conclusion, as long as you are experiencing breakout and receiving sun exposure (even limited amounts), you have the potential for causing dark spots where the blemishes are located. So, don’t pick at your skin, always wear sunscreen when you are out, and find ways to heal the blemishes without causing further damage. Many tools for having healthy skin are listed throughout this blog.

For more information, see:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Burn yourself cooking? Lavender to the rescue!

Lavender is probably the most popular and widely recognized of all the essential oils. Lavender has numerous healing abilities. Probably the best-known is the effect of this essential oil on burns. Lavender is even used in burn units in some hospitals in France. I know if I had a severe burn, I would want essential oil of lavender as at least one of the healing tools used.

My friend Elizabeth called and said she had splashed hot oil on her face while cooking the night before. Although the spots were fairly small where the oil had met her skin, they we re starting to blister and were red. She had Neosporin (an antibiotic cream) in her medicine cabinet and used that until we talked the next day. I recommended she go to her health food store and purchase a bottle of pure essential oil of lavender.

Lavender oil (aka lavender essential oil or essential oil of lavender) has excellent properties that help to alleviate the pain of a burn, and it also has a tremendous ability to help start the healing process for the damaged cells. And as with almost all essential oils, lavender also has antibiotic properties.

I instructed Elizabeth to simply apply the lavender oil to the affected areas as often as she could, and no doubt it would help her skin to heal as well as soothe the pain, which it did. Elizabeth called a few days later and said all signs of the oil burns on her skin were gone. She agreed that everyone should have lavender oil in their first-aid kit.

Whether oil has splashed on your face or your arm or if you burned your finger or hand getting something out of a hot oven, try lavender to take the burn out and heal your skin.

I always travel with a small bottle of lavender. As mentioned, lavender oil has natural antibiotic as well as antiseptic abilities. It is a mood enhancer, helping to calm you down during times of stress. It can even help you sleep if you put a few drops on a cloth or a pillowcase. But my number one (personal) reason for using this amazing essential oil is for its excellent healing ability on topical skin burns. Lavender is truly an important product to have in your medicine cabinet or travel kit.

For more information about lavender, see:

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sunscreens protect my skin from all sun damage—True or False?

FALSE! Unfortunately, we have succumb to the notion that creams with SPF are totally protecting our skin from the sun’s damaging effects. That would be nice, but unfortunately sunscreen can only do so much to protect your skin from sun damage. And—it is important to use daily!

SPF stands for is Sun Protection Factor. This is a numeric system set up to alert us as to how long it will take for our skin to burn in the sun while using the product. An SPF 15, for instance, says that by using the product you should be able to stay out in the sun for 15 times longer than if you didn’t have it on—and not burn.

Can you start to see how SPF and sunscreens in general are not going to give you an umbrella of protection? They are only truly set up to keep your skin from burning. You can and may still tan while wearing sunscreen. You will also still receive the damaging UVA and UVB rays from the sun—but your skin shouldn’t burn with the sun protection product on.

Obviously there is great benefit to wearing sunscreen. I recommend wearing it daily. If this is not you, please at least wear a sunscreen when you will be outside and exposed. Again, don’t feel falsely protected when wearing a cream on your face—whether it is an SPF 15 or 50.

For more information, see: