Friday, July 3, 2020

Does my toner need to dry before applying cream?

The following came from one of my favorite clients: my mom! I think a lot of people have the same question, so I thought I’d share this one with you: 

I still have that [Yonka] toner you gave me, but I need a question answered. As you know, I use the dry skin cream but do I use the pink spray toner in between cream during the day? Also do I use the spray before or after the cream?

I get asked these same questions frequently. And the answers are very simply, really. First, you can use the spray toner as often as you want throughout any given day. But generally, on a daily basis (AM & PM), you want to:
  1. Clean your skin, towel dry
  2. Spray the pink toner
  3. Apply your moisturizing cream

In addition to the above, you can use the spray toner whenever you want to. For instance, you might feel like spraying it on in the middle of the day, just because. And that is fine! Your skin will love the hydrating quality of the Yonka pink toner (it contains glycerin, a hydrating ingredient), so feel free to spray away whenever you want as long as you do use it after cleansing and before moisturizing in your twice daily (morning and evening) skin care routine.

OK, then I guess you let the toner dry before applying the moisturizing cream?

Actually, you don’t need to let the spray of toner dry on your skin before putting your moisturizer on over it. I’d just spray the toner, then put your cream on when your skin is moist from the spray. This way your cream will glide easier over your skin and you aren’t waiting for the toner to dry. In general, applying your moisturizer over your just-sprayed toner is the way to do it.

Caution: there is a possibility you may not feel as hydrated if you apply your moisturizer on an over-saturated face where you’ve perhaps used too much toner. (If you’ve used too much, your toner will literally be dripping down your face.) And because of all that liquid, your cream might not “stick” to the skin like it would with a light coating of the spray toner. Generally, and with the Yonka toner specifically, the spray is a very fine mist, so you really don’t have to be concerned with overdoing it. Dripping will be an indicator! 

For more information, see:

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Can an aesthetician extract my ear blackheads?

Can I get the blackheads inside my ears extracted by a facialist?
This wouldn’t be a job for someone you don’t know or who you don’t have a great deal of confidence in. But if you have a skilled aesthetician, she may indeed be able to make some headway extracting your ear blackheads.

I have extracted some enlarged plugs in the ears of my clients, but this is extremely hard to do. It has to be done with Q-tips® because fingers are too big to fit inside an ear. And truthfully, I rarely get the entire blackhead extracted—the area is so confined and hard to maneuver in.

In my experience, I have found that sometimes only part of the plug comes out during the extraction process. But getting the process started usually helps to clear the blackheads eventually. Plus, you will now be paying more attention to this area.
I treat the inside ear with an essential oil solution (for me, this is the toner I use), and when I put the clay mask on my client’s face, I put some in the ear, too. Make sure the aesthetician doesn’t forget to remove the clay from your ears before you leave the facial chair. People might begin to talk!

Maybe you don’t know if you have blackheads inside your ears. Ask your aesthetician during your next facial (if she doesn’t volunteer the information), or simply ask a trusted friend. Ask someone with a gentle spirit who won’t throw out an answer that hurts once it’s heard.

Remember, no one except your significant other is looking that closely at your ears. And perhaps he or she doesn’t even notice your ear’s insides. So don’t get all fanatical about how the insides of your ears look! Just keep your ears clean and worry about more important things.

For more information, see:

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

SENSITIVE MASQUE from Yonka-Paris (replaces Creme 11)

SENSITIVE MASQUE from Yonka-Paris is another unfortunate rebranding disaster from Yonka-Paris. There have been so many changes to this line in the past few years it is almost an entirely new product. I have used Yonka for my entire career—almost 33 years. It has only been in the past 10 years and more specifically the last 5 years that all of the changes have taken place.

The fiasco, in my humble option, is with this particular product (among others). Here is what I mean: Creme 11 was a wonderful anti-redness creme that enjoyed being in the Yonka lineup for over 3 decades. Because keeping older formulations is not in the Yonka playbook, Creme 11 was destined to leave. Why, I simply can’t understand!

The replacement recommendation for Creme 11 is this product: Sensitive Masque. Now, if the product works—great. But why oh why couldn’t they have called it something else. Or simply reformulated Creme 11 and kept the recognizable name? Yonka never asks me for my opinion and I never have any say so in their corporate decisions. Going from calling something you use daily from a cream to a mask I think is a huge marketing mistake. They also came out with Sensitive Creme and Sensitive Anti-Redness Creme—why did Creme 11 (an anti-redness cream) get stuck with the title mask?

Boo hoo and what can ya do? I guess just get over it and hope Sensitive Masque works the same—perhaps better, if possible—as Creme 11. Fingers crossed! All of the new sensitive skin products came out just as I was closing up shop in Boulder. I did give retail sizes of this to several clients who were regular users of Creme 11.

One client who used and loved Creme 11 tried both Sensitive Creme as well as Creme 11’s replacement: Sensitive Masque. She wasn’t able to articulate why she liked the Creme better than the Masque, but she liked the way Sensitive Creme felt on her skin and that’s really all the information you need. If something feels good (or better than something else) you’ll use it easily.

Because Yonka recommends Sensitive Masque be used in place of Creme 11, I’d start there. If you can get samples of both Sensitive Anti-Redness Creme and Sensitive Creme, then you’ll be able to try all 3 sensitive skin products and can discern which one works the best for your sensitive skin.

For more information, see:

20 Skin Care Dos & Don’ts

Most, if not all, of the following dos and donts are in one way or another talked about in any of the many articles up on this blog. This list is certainly not all of the things you want to do or not do to take care of your skin. But they are here, all together, for you to read through in case you dont want to search for each separate article. For those of you who just want the list, here it is. Following is a short discussion on each do or dont.
  1. Don’t use hot and/or cold water on your face.
  2. Do cleanse both morning and evening.
  3. Don’t buy neck creams.
  4. Don’t use dirty water to splash rinse.
  5. Don’t use a magnifying mirror.
  6. Don’t wear foundation.
  7. Don’t do facial exercises.
  8. Don’t use soap on your skin.
  9. Don’t use products with alcohol.
  10. Do use toners.
  11. Do simplify your cosmetic drawer.
  12. Don’t let anything dry on your skin.
  13. Don’t tissue products off your skin.
  14. Don’t dry the skin out (blemishes).
  15. Do put sunscreen on your kids.
  16. Do drink more water. 
  17. Don’t eat sugar (if you can help it).
  18. Don’t spend time in the sun unprotected.
  19. Do listen to your body.
  20. See below.
1. DONT use hot and/or cold water on your face. Capillaries are the blood network to the skin on the face. They are very tiny vessels that are weak by nature and can “break” or dysfunction very easily. I have written two articles on the subject that explain in detail all youll want to know. See PLEASE—No Hot Water! and Ice & Skin?—Don’t do it! Moderation is truly the healthiest way to treat your capillaries.
2. DO cleanse both morning and evening. In the morning, you want to clean off what your skin has eliminated all night long. Just because you’re sleeping (peacefully, I hope) doesn’t mean your body has stopped functioning. It has slowed down, but sweat and oil are still being eliminated all through the night. You also want to start the day fresh by washing off all the product you put on the night before. At night, you want to cleanse off all the debris from the day, environmental as well as sweat and toxins your skin has eliminated from within. If you wear makeup, it is best to cleanse twice at night. Once to get all the makeup off and the second time to get your skin clean. See True or False: You only need to wash your face at night.

3. DONT buy separate neck creams. Although I’m recommending you don’t buy separate creams for your neck, I am emphatically recommending you do use products on your neck area. This is often a neglected, forgotten, and many times sun damaged area. It is also a place where gravity really takes hold during the aging process. You want to use basically all of your skin care products on this area: cleanser, toner, moisturizers, exfoliators. Unless you have breakout on your neck, there isnt a strong need to use a clay mask there.
Neck or throat creams are another ploy to get you to buy more products. Although the skin on the neck varies from the skin on the face, I recommend you treat it basically the same. Include your neck in everything you do, 1-2-3 plus exfoliation and sunscreen, but it is usually unnecessary to purchase a separate cream for this area. Take care of your neckyoull be happy you did. See The Forgotten Places: The Neck as well aThe Basics 1-2-3 Program for more information. 

4. DONT use dirty water to splash rinse. I know a few companies tout this practice as being great for the skin but really, how much sense does it make to splash dirty water on your face? Use the fresh water coming out of the tap. Let the dirty water go down the drain where it belongs.

5. DONT use a magnifying mirror. Unless you require one to apply makeup, there is no need to make yourself crazy with this unrealistic view of your skin. Don’t set yourself up. No one looking at your skin can see what shows up through magnification. Not even you. For more details, read Why You Don’t Want To Use A Magnifying Mirror.

6. DONT wear foundation. Try not wearing it unless humanly impossible and get used to seeing your skin. Water your foundation down so it goes on thinner. By the time you do this, it’s like not wearing it at all sowhy wear it? You really don’t want to cover the natural characteristics of your skin. The look of the skin has a wonderful flow from face to body back to the face again. Foundation gives a mat finish and a perfect pallet in which to apply your face paint (makeup), but it disrupts the natural flow of your true skin.

It’s a habit. You are in the habit of seeing yourself with foundation on. Don’t wear it unless you have to. Hopefully, you will get used to seeing yourself without it, become more comfortable a natural, and perhaps do away with foundation all together. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t benefit the health of your skin. Health is the only foundation. See MYTH: Foundation is good for your skin.

7. DONT do facial exercises. Although the lady in this photo is perhaps not doing facial exercises exactly, when you do these exercises you are making expressions, and wrinkles are basically lines of expression. Therefore when you do facial exercises you are in essence deepening any wrinkles you currently have and possibly creating more. Exercising your body is essential to balanced health; doing facial exercises could be creating the very thing you are trying to get rid of—wrinkles! See MYTH: Facial exercises help reduce wrinkles and/or firm the skin.

8. DONT use soap on your skin. Soap is generally alkaline. Your skin in naturally acidic. When you use soap, you literally strip the skin of all its natural oils and water, leaving it too clean. This may signal your oil glands to produce more oil to overcompensate for the loss. Using gentle milk cleansers (that are acidic) is best. Read MYTH: Soap is a good cleanser.

9. DO simplify your cosmetic drawer. Do you have a pile of unused or rarely used cosmetics in the same drawer as the products you reach for often? There is nothing more satisfying than opening what used to be a cluttered makeup drawer and seeing just the opposite: clean and clutter free space with the items you use and love within easy access. This is a case where less really is more. Why stop at your cosmetics drawer? See if there are other areas in your home (and/or office) where things have collected and junked the place up. Take one thing at a time and put it in its place. Youll be so happy you did! See Makeup De-Cluttering Quick Tip.

10. DO use toners. Toners are an important yet misunderstood step in your daily skin care program. If you use the right kind of toner (one that is pH balanced without alcohol), it helps your skin maintain it’s natural acid nature. Using the wrong kind (toner with alcohol) can set your skin up for dehydration as well as the possibility of becoming oilier. See What toner should I use? for more information.

11. DONT use products with alcohol. Alcohol, similar to soap, strips the acid mantle (natures oil and water film on the skin) and leaves your skin dried-out and dehydrated. Again, your oil glands will sometimes pump out oil to replace what the alcohol just stripped off. See Alcohol in Products: The good and the bad.

12. DONT let anything dry on your skin. Products that dry on the skin just dry the surface tissue out. For instance, almost always you are instructed to let clay mask dry on your skin, but this will simply dry the surface out. One step forward (beneficial cleansing effects from clay), two steps back (you’ve just dried your skin out). See How to use a Clay Mask for more information.

13. DONT tissue products off your skin. Tissue will not remove any product adequately. If you’re using a cold cream-type cleanser, you almost have to use a cleanser to remove the cold cream. Cold creams are generally not water-soluble, meaning they don’t dissolve in water. My recommendation: Skip the cold cream all together and just use a milky (water-soluble) cleanser. If you use cleansers that suggest using tissue to remove the product, I still recommend splash rinsing instead.

You may be instructed to tissue excess moisturizer off your face, or just do it because you feel you need to. If this is the case, you’ve put too much product on and your skin simply cannot absorb it all. Start with less product next time and smooth it into your skin without wiping, blotting, or tissuing anything off.

14. DONT dry the skin out (blemishes). As I’ve explained in the chapter on problem skin, when you put products on blemishes to dry them out, you are really just drying the water out of the surrounding tissue, not actually clearing the blemish. Clay mask will go a long way to helping unplug clogged pores. Read Help For Breakouts to see what to do for your blemishes. The last thing you want to do is further irritate and dry out your skin. Unfortunately, most of the blemish control products on the market do just that. Dotting clay mask on your spots and/or using geranium essential oil, is a much preferable way to ease the infection from the skin while not incurring any damage.

15. DO put sunscreen on your kids. Remember, sun exposure is cumulativefrom birth, so every minute of exposure counts toward the aging process later on. Don’t be a fanatic, but don’t let your children get any more unnecessary sun exposure than you can help. Teach them early about hats and sunscreen. See Top 10 reasons for not wearing sunscreen: What’s your excuse?

16. DO drink more water. Our bodies cannot sustain life without water. Getting adequate water on a daily basis is very important, even on a cellular level. To read some hints and tips to get more H20 in your life, see Tips to help you Drink More Water!

17. DONT eat sugar (or at least cut down). Sugar is a huge contributor to breakouts. It also acts like a toxin in your body and can cause blood sugar problems. Although it is added to many foods, from candy bars to the not-so-obvious deli-meats and breads, becoming aware of sugar in your diet will help you eliminate itor at least reduce your intake. See Hidden Sugar: Sugar in Unsuspected Places along with the many articles in the SUGAR & skin category for information and stories about how sugar affects your skin.

18. DONT spend time in the sun unprotected. Hats, sunscreen, and protective clothing are a must if you’re spending any significant time in the sun. Sunscreen should become a part of your daily routine. See My Sunburn Preparedness Kit.

19. DO listen to your body. If you have even the slightest hint you may be getting sick, take herbs like echinacea or garlic to help boost your immune system. Timing is everything and if you listen to your body and act on the early warning signs of a cold or flu, you can really help to ward off minor illnesses. Stay well through prevention. See Supplements: all links so far for more information.

20. DONT worry. DO Be Happy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

More new products from Yonka-Paris: TIME RESIST Day & Night Creams

Yonka-Paris and the Multaler family is movin’ and shakin’ these days. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, having worked with Yonka for over 30 years the first 20 had very few changes. The past 5 years or so have seen so many changes it’s hard to keep up. Changes changes changes. If all or most of the changes were things I agreed with (be it naming products or changing formulations) I’d be all for itof course! But so many of these changes have been things I do not love.
I wish this new line of Yonka products was called “acceptance.” When you resist something, it generally doesn’t go away. When you accept something, you can usually go on with your life. With acceptance you are putting far less energy into a thing than if you put up resistance. Here the “thing” is aging.

I’m 56 years old. I have been taking care of people’s skin and my own skin with exceptional care for over 32 years (as a working aesthetician). I have written in my books and here on this blog about how I believe accepting the aging process, this inevitable process, is the best way to handle getting older.

With these new Yonka products, it might just be a matter of semantics, but I still don’t like the name “Time-Resist.” I only hope I like the formulations and the products themselves. Then all else can be forgiven.

The use of jars is a change that Yonka seems to be going toward more and more. Many of their new moisturizers are in jars; I happen to love tubes. I like being able to dispense the amount of cream from a tube vs. being subject to a pre-arranged amount that now comes out in these airless jars. ButYonka makes their decisions and as a sales person with the company, I have to abide. These two new “Time Resist” creams are in jars. (In the future I will present more information about airless jar technology.)

This post is basically an overview of these two new creams. For more specifics about each one, see their individual links listed below. The Stimulastine products (Jour & Nuit) were discontinued in 2016. These two Time Resist products are basically their improved (and more expensive) replacements.

All of the following in italics is information about these new cremes from Yonka headquarters:

Aging is a part of the natural life cycle, which is predetermined at birth. Aging skin reveals the effects of time passing and the skin can thin, wrinkle, and loose its density and radiance. External factors (pollution, smoking, alcohol, sun, etc.) speed up these phenomena.

If you loved Stimulastine, then youll love the TIME RESIST duo which is a precious ally for your skin. TIME RESIST provides your skin with advanced natural ingredient technology that neutralizes the effects of these external factors, controlling the visible signs of aging.

At the heart of these velvety and hydrating formulas is an all-new synergy that combines new-generation plant-based stem cells with the anti-inflammaging Youth Energy lipoaminoacid to uphold your skins youth. Protected throughout the entire day, technologically advanced microspheres enriched with hyaluronic acid visibly smooth wrinkles and give the skin more bounce. At night, the Euglena gracilis and silk tree extracts replenish and revitalize your skin so it appears firm and fresh upon wakening. 

In time wrinkles are visibly smoothed, skin is plumped, signs of tiredness are diminished, and your complexion is much brighter.

Discover a new application gesture with the touch & slide airless jar. It delivers the right dose of cream by pressing down once on the cap. This economic innovation is safe and maintains the beautiful aromatic pleasures of Yon-Ka products.

TIME RESIST Targets Dermal Stem Cells
Stem cells are essential for preserving young and beautiful skin. Yon-Ka revolutionized this approach by taking an interest in dermal skin cells hidden away in the deep dermal layers of the skin. Still unknown to us a few years ago, they are at the core of the skin’s firmness and elastic properties.

Plant-based Saponaria Pumila stem cells, the mountain’s secret to young skin
Yon-Ka found a revolutionary way to preserve dermal stem cell activity by boosting them with plant-based stem cells of Saponaria pumila. 
This mountainous plant survived through the ice age by developing incredible protective and repairing abilities. Yon-Ka showcases its powerful survival potential to help preserve dermal skin cells.

TIME RESIST Fights Against Inflamm’aging (get it: inflammation + aging...)
As the contraction of inflammation and aging, Inflamm’aging is a phenomenon that affects all humans. With age, chronic and silent reactions spread through skin tissues and weaken the cells’ defense systems.

Youth Energy, Yon-Ka’s serenity molecule
Yon-Ka based its work on a biotechnological active ingredient that mimics the PalGly molecule–known as the serenity molecule, naturally present in our bodies and presenting anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties. Youth EnErgY is a lipoaminoacid that shows excellent affinity with the skin. When integrated into the TIME RESIST formula, this new active ingredient provided skin with the biological secrets for harmonious longevity.

Innovative Results

After 28 days of using the TIME RESIST creams, skin is smoother, firmer, more supple and elastic.

  • Reduced wrinkles: -75%*
  • 100%** of women found their skin to be more beautiful***

*CLINICAL TEST—Dermatological evaluation after application of the TIME RESIST duo in the morning and evening by 20 women aged 40 to 55 for 4 weeks (best results)

**CONSUMER TEST—Self-evaluation after application of the TIME RESIST duo in the morning and evening by 45 women aged 35 to 55 for 4 weeks.

***This is absolutely where Yonka loses me. “Self-evaluation” is a ridiculous “test result” to include in any information regarding this or any productin my opinion. When I listen to these “results” in the seminars on new products I attend, it is all I can do to not speak up (which I sometimes do) and exclaim my strong disagreement with these evaluations. “100% of women found their skin to be more beautiful.” I meanis that a real “innovative result” of this product?

When I first ever saw Yonka and the back-then Yonka product manuals, they were like looking through deeply involved scientific chemistry books. I was amazed, intrigued, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with everything Yonka-Paris. If I saw the professional information on this line as it is presented now, I wouldn’t be so impressed. It resembles all the multitudes of information on just about all other product lines. Gone is the technical approach that I so loved over 3 decades ago. Oh, well, I guess this is progress. And if these products work as well on your skin as they look on paper, I’m all for that, test “results” or not!

Treating acne is twofold

Treating acne or any constant skin care problem is a twofold process. If you do one step but forsake the other step, it’s doubtful you’ll see long-term results. As I read skin care books and articles in magazines and even listen to skin care experts on TV, I am always amazed that the treatments for problem skin usually recommend doing only one thing: treating the breakout. The question in my mind is always “What is causing the breakout in the first place?”

Here is one analogy. You are driving your car down a street with nails all over the place. You drive, and lo and behold, you get a flat tire. You fix the flat tire and keep driving down the same road. Later, you get another flat, and you fix it. What you don’t realize is until you get off the road with all the nails in it, you will continue to get flat tires. Translate this to your skin. You may not even realize you are doing things that are contributing to your problem skin.
Until you become more aware, you will probably continue to have problems—even if you’re using topical (or oral) medications. You must go to the root to find the cure. And even then there are no guarantees. But causal treatment (treating from the cause or root) will surely help you get a better hold on why you are breaking out.

If you alter your behavior in order to stop contributing to your breakouts, hopefully then you will have clearer skin. You may not be able to afford to eat so much (or any) sugar—or whatever it is you may have in your diet that is a major contributor. But you have a choice. You can choose to continue to be frustrated with your blemishes or decide to do something about them, which usually includes discontinuing items currently found in your diet.

For more information, see:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Product talk with a new client: Part 1

My acupuncturist speaks very highly of you and Yonka products. She recommended I email you regarding a new skin care regime for my skin. I have dry skin that is prone to blemishes. I was taking Spironolactone* because my skin had really gotten out of control. My dermatologist said it was hormones and the only solid way for clear skin was to block those hormones. The Rx has run out and I haven't gone back for a renewal. Im interested in a new option and would love to hear from you.
*From Google: Spironolactone is a medication that contains anti-androgen activity. Androgens are male sex hormones, like testosterone. As anti-androgens block the effects of excess male hormones, Spironolactone is often prescribed to sufferers struggling with acne.

First of all, your dermatologist is right: skin issues are hormone driven. Period. Stress can affect your hormones, sugar consumption can affect your hormones, deepening on your age, perimenopause or menopause affects hormone levels. Many things affect your hormones, but it is hormones that cause breakouts. Because that medication is blocking androgen hormones I would truly love for you to find an alternate way to help your breakout and not continue to block anything—hormones or whatever.

It would be helpful for me to know a bit more about you and your skin: What products do you currently use (and what are their functions? ie: cleanser, toner, etc)?

To shorten this article, I have included this client’s answers right after my questions. There (will soon be) a Part 2 followup that will give even more information for product recommendations. See link below. 
These are the products I currently use:
  1. Cetaphil gentle cleanser for all skin types; CeraVe facial moisturizing lotion PM (I use this morning and night); Revitalift intensive overnight mask (I always use at night and sometimes in morning if my skin looks or feels dry; CeraVe Skin renewing Night Cream for extra moisture (sometimes); Revitalization eye cream or CeraVe eye repair creamArnica gel on inflamed spots; Clearasil Rapid action treatment cream for blemishes; Bobbi Brown eye make remover (when needed); Tretinoin cream for blocked pores and 11 wrinkles between eyes
  2. Your age 43
  3. Have you had facials and if so, what did the aesthetician(s) say? I have never had a professional facial! Huh, never realized that.
  4. Do you pick at your skin? If a blemish has a head I will relieve the pressure but I dont pick at my skin. 
  5. How much sugar do you eat (honestly) in a day? Raw sugar in take: 4-6 tablespoons with 24 oz of coffee; maybe a cookie (regular size, not the kind as big as your head); I dont drink sodas but I do drink sweet tea made with Splenda (I dont drink that very often, maybe 1-2 times per week). Of course, the holidays make sweets readily available—Ill watch my diet more closely and see what I come up with.

Yonka products can definitely help you. However, problems come from the inside. That is just something basic you really need to understand so you dont look to the outside product world to “heal” your skin issues. AndI know I can help you!

Over the years I've used many products from department store to drugstore. My dermatologist stated the higher priced cleansers arent any different then the drugstore products. At times I believe this and at times I dont. All purchases can be emotionally supported and driven. Ive started using essential oils and Im enjoying them a lot. The main factor is their scents, which is very important to me. Ive been reading your blog and am interested in the dry vs dehydrated debate because I think I am both! 

Right off the bat4 tablespoons of sugar every day is a lot if you’re sensitive to sugar! Have you read any of my articles on sugar and skin care? If not, you might glean some important information from them. This one is an eye-opener: Sugar in your precious Frappuccinos!

Ive realized it was 3T with 24 oz of coffee, not 4-6T. However this morning I had 1.5 teaspoon per 8 oz cup and feel like that is change with no real effort. So, yay on that one! Cant wait to hear your skin care recommendations. Many thanks!

OK, still3T daily is a lot of sugar if you are sensitive to it. And I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you are! Good for you for lessening without hesitation your intake. Keep that up and see how it goes. Taste-wise, at some point, your sipping experience won’t be satisfying, but if you go slowly it just might work.

When it comes to products, I think Cetaphil is fine to cleanse with. See link below. For a topical blemish treatment, I would start using lavender essential oil on your inflamed spots vs. arnica. Arnica isn’t bad, just not as effective and not an antibacterial like essential oils are.

The creams you’re using are typical for what is available in the retail market. Here are the Yonka products I recommend. Click on the name to go to that product’s blog. I’ve also included a few other articles about the products you may find interesting and/or helpful:
  • Is Cetaphil OK to use as my facial cleanser?
  • Lotion PNG—use this AM/PM. I would start with this “normal to oily” product vs. the other toner for “dry” (oil-dry) skin. As you are working on lessening blemishes, I feel the dry skin toner might cause problems—for now    
  • Yonka toners: Which one should I use? 
  • Creme 15—for now, use in AM & PM. I would get through at least one tube of this cream. Using it morning and night it’ll probably take about 2 months. If your skin is significantly better before that and you feel like using a different cream(s), I’ll recommend something else that may have a little more moisture for your 40+ skin. 
  • I highly recommend Hydra+ (formerly called Hydralia) if you feel you need more moisture/hydration. Due to your comments, I think you’ll need this product.
  • Is your face in need of extra hydration? Try Yonka’s Hydralia or Advanced Optimizer Serum
  • Juvenil is another blemish control product, but since you love essential oils and I have recommended lavender essential oil for a topical treatment for your places, I’ll just leave you the information that’s in the article linked here so you’ll have another product in your arsenal.

I would start there and see how things go after a few weeks. Really, your skin should reflect better health immediately, but I would use the products for a few weeks before making a determination on their effectiveness.

For more information, see:

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Shaving Tips for Men

Whenever you go to shave, remember: the softer the skin and hair, the easier the shave will be. Here are a few other tips to help you get the perfect shave. There are several other posts on this subject, links are below.
  • Applying your shaving cream when you first get in the shower will give it a chance to moisturize your skin and soften the hair. If you can, leave the cream on for a few minutes and enjoy a smoother shave.
  • Use your shaving cream sparingly. If you use too much cream it can cause the potential for nasty nicks and cuts due to a dull (clogged) razor.
  • Next, shave the toughest areas on your face last. This will give the shaving cream time to soften the skin in these areas and hopefully make for a smoother and nick-free shaving experience.

If you have tried every technique and still have major razor bumps, you may want to try a few things. First is a product on the market called Tend Skin (see ingrown hair link below). It is also said to help with ingrown hair. I am not a fan of this particular product because it contains a high percentage of the bad type of alcohol, but I have heard from several people that it did actually help with their razor bumps.

If you choose to use Tend Skin, be careful and watch to see if your skin becomes dry and especially flaky. If so, discontinue use of this product and opt for something more soothing. If the places are red and infected, you can use essential oils (lavender specifically) and/or clay mask on your razor bumps.

Secondly, alpha hydroxy acids have been found to successfully reduce razor bumps. Why? There is usually a lot of dead skin that interferes with the hair making its way to the surface of your face. AHAs help to decompose some of that dead skin, leaving room for the hair to make an appearance. There are moisturizers that contain alpha hydroxy acids, or even stronger AHA gels that can be used locally on the areas where razor bumps are a problem.

Some skin is simply prone to irritation while shaving. But if you prepare your skin before shaving, use the appropriate shaving technique and apparatus (whether manual or electric razor), and tend to the skin you have just shaved, you will fare much better than if you did not incorporate all of these techniques and steps.

For more detailed tips on preparing your skin before shaving, see:
Also see:

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Back Breakout—What NOT to Use

In a popular beauty book, the author recommends using dishwashing detergent followed by benzoyl peroxide for back breakouts. Now, I am only one person, but I have a fair amount of common sense. I can see how the author thinks if detergent gets the grease off her dishes surely it would be an acceptable product to use on human skin. Because as we all know, skin and porcelain and/or glass are virtually the same thing, right?  

OK, I’ll stop being sarcastic and just tell it like it is. Using dishwashing detergent on your skin is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of! I did a TV show where I had degreasing detergent on the table of what not to use on problem skin. I once knew a client who put dishwashing detergent on her blemishes in an attempt to dry them out. She thought, perhaps as the above mentioned author does, that a degreasing agent would degrease her skin. But the results for my client were irritation coupled with severe peeling on and around the blemishes. I can’t imagine what would happen to the skin on your back if you applied dishwashing detergent even just one time, and then followed it with another known skin irritant: benzoyl peroxide.

This author goes on to recommend applying the dishwashing detergent not with your hands but with a bath brush. You have not only set up the potential for irritation using a product never intended for human skin, but to add insult to injury you are going to ensure severe irritation by using a brush to massage in the product! Is she crazy? No, just very ill-informed. She is not an aesthetician or even a person who has had any experience (from what her bio reads) with skin on a real, up close and personal level. As with anything, look at the source.

The kind of advice in that book is the kind of advice I recommend avoiding at all costs. Those suggestions might look good in a magazine or flash advertising, but to actually be recommending this for readers who have problem skin on their backs (or faces, or wherever) is preposterous. I can only hope that if you choose to read books like that one, you will also use your common sense. How much sense does it make to use dishwashing detergent (meant for dishes and glassware) on your delicate skin? If your answer is, “It kind of makes sense,” then I will just tell you straight up: don’t do it! Dishes are dishes, but human skin is a living organ that needs special care.

For more information on back breakout specifically and breakout in general, see:

Friday, June 26, 2020

A nice mention from Jack LaLanne

It’s kind of funny, I wouldn’t have known about this mention in Jack’s book had it not been for a personal trainer friend of mine who sent me these photos. I appreciate the quote(s) and for giving me credit in what I’m sure is a wonderful book by Jack Lalanne, Live Young Forever. He was discussing tanning beds and however he came across my book, I’ll probably never know, but I do have a lot to say (all negative!) about tanning beds.
As you probably heard in the news, Jack passed away in January 2013 at the age of 96. I remember watching his workout show on TV as a kid. It was the only thing of its kind back then and Jack himself was truly one of a kind.

Thank you again for including me in your book, Mr. Lalanne. You were (and no doubt still are) an inspiration to many during your long and healthy life!

For more information, see:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ingrown Hairs—what they are and what to do about them?

Ingrown hairs are basically hairs that have lost their way. Instead of moving directly up the hair follicle, which is cylindrical like a tunnel, the hair curls around and remains either close to the surface of the skin or actually makes its way back down to the base of the follicle. This inability to reach the skin’s surface and eventual exit above it causes an ingrown hair.

Ingrown hairs are a problem for many people, but men tend to have the most trouble with ingrown hairs on their faces, which look like irritated bumps on the skin. This is especially true for African-American men because dark-skinned people generally have curly and coarse hair. Curlier hair has a more difficult time finding the surface of the skin. These ingrown hairs may cause inflammation to occur, which is a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Ingrown hairs generally form after the hair in a particular area has been cut, waxed, or in some other way removed. Some say that pulling the hair out against the natural grain (most waxing procedures follow this rule) can cause the hair to break just below the surface. Then when the dead cells set in, the hair can’t find an exit, causing an ingrown hair.

Exfoliation is really important if you’re prone to ingrown hairs—no matter where you get them. If they occur on your face, using a scrub or other exfoliator on a regular basis should help to alleviate the problem. This is where alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) may come in handy. Several of my male clients have seen good results with their ingrown hair problems by using products that contain this ingredient. AHAs help to dissolve the intercellular glue that holds cells together, which can be helpful in the case of ingrown hairs. AHAs may work well for women who find ingrown hairs are a problem in the bikini line area.

Women who get ingrown hairs on their legs can try using AHAs, but because of the large surface area of the legs this could get quite expensive. Using exfoliation gloves may be your best bet. The gloves give you the ability to regulate pressure and therefore not irritate the skin. Do be careful not to rub too hard with these gloves. They are abrasive and too much of a good thing can turn bad.
Exfoliation gloves can be found at most stores where cosmetics are sold. They’re easy to use and are machine washable. Unlike a loofah, you can get them clean and bacteria free between uses. They aren’t very expensive so you could get several pairs and just throw them in the wash after each use. They make great gifts too. Put them in a basket with bath and body products and maybe a scented candle, and you will make someone very happy.

If you have irritation bumps with the ingrown hairs, be careful when you shave over this area. You can easily break open the skin and cause further irritation and possibly spread infection.

A product called TendSkin (see upcoming post) has been helpful for some people with ingrown hairs. Be careful to follow the directions and do not use on a large area of the face. Men’s skin tends to be less sensitive than women’s, but even so, if you are a man and have ingrown hair in your beard area, be careful to apply this product appropriately. If you experience irritation with TendSkin, discontinue use immediately and refer back to some other products and techniques for helping with ingrown hairs. You don’t ever want to use a product that is causing more harm than good.

In the end, no matter where the ingrown hairs are forming, exfoliation is the best course of treatment before trying to remove them. Read other posts on this frustrating condition: , What are razor bumps?, and many more articles under the category hair removal.

For more information, see: