Friday, July 31, 2020

To all FACIAL SALONS: I am so sorry! (Covid-19)

I love that. Stay strong everyone!
Fellow aestheticians and small business owners have been on my mind quite a bit lately for obvious reasons. To say I dodged a bullet because I recently retired isnt really the truth. As some of you know my home was a total loss in the October 2017 North Bay fires after closing my Boulder salon and moving a few months before, but that is beside the point. I don’t feel like I dodged a bullet, I was ready and willing to close up shop and do a slow glide into retirement. But I am certainly glad I’m not having to deal with this pandemic as a business owner, initially being required to close the doors and then dealing with all of the new regulations being placed on the personal service industry and small (and large) businesses nation- and world-wide.

We’ve all been affected; I lost my “retirement job” walking dogs and am currently out of work. Like so many, I’m able to work, but in my case everyone is home with their animals (lucky animals!). It’s a loss, for sure, but it is nothing in comparison to those of you who are struggling to keep your salons and spas alive. Having run my business for 24 years, I am well aware of all the hills and mountains that need to be climbed—sometimes daily—to keep a business afloat. Add to that being willing but unable to open due to restrictions in place where you live and work, it’s just such a sad state of affairs. (As of 9/2020 businesses in California where both the server and client cannot wear masks are still unable to open. That means all facial salons!)

Because I still hold facial licenses in 4 different states, I get emails from each state commissioner about the new rules and regulations for opening a salon back up—if that’s even possible—and how things won’t be going back to “normal” any time soon. I’m not a fan of the phrase the new normal, but in this instance I think it’s the only way to describe what will come out of this after all is said and done. There will be a new way of getting back to a normal way of doing business that simply doesn’t and won’t exactly match the way it was pre-pandemic.

In my salons, clients always thought they were my only client because it was a rarity that 2 people were in my office at the same time. I scheduled things that way intentionally because for me it felt like a best business practice. I loved it when clients would mention they noticed they were the only person in the office from the time they walked in the door to the time they walked out.

Now, with new restrictions, it is inevitable that most if not all clients in salons, be it hair, nails, skin, or waxingeven massage and acupuncture clinicswill feel the same way. Interesting that now this “best business practice that I employed perhaps wont feel as good to people since it will be a forced way of doing business. Hopefully there will be clients who like the anonymity and will take comfort in being so well-attended to without distraction.

No one, except perhaps epidemiologists, could have predicted this epidemic and certainly not on the scale it has become here in the U.S. Watching how salons are having to comply with federal and state mandates, opening then closing and waiting to reopen again, I can’t imagine how tough it is for all salon owners and facial employeeswithout the ability to do your jobs and see the clients that you love. And when you all can reopen, it will be interesting to see how those jobs will have changed and what they will look like going forward.
I was reading an article recently in Allure Magaine online (click here if you’d like to read it) about how facials in particular are being affected by Covid-19. In it, a dermatologist (Dr. Nada Elbuluk) was quoted saying she didn’t think now is a good time to get a skin care treatment. “A facial involves exposure to mucosal sites (eyes, nose, mouth), and prolonged contact between the person giving the facial and the person receiving it. It’s not possible for a person receiving a facial to be wearing a mask so it places that person at higher risk of exposure during the procedure.” How I see it, the risk goes both ways.

I can say for a fact I hated wearing a mask when I was giving facials. The only time I did—and I did it throughout my career—was when a client would come in sick and I had to wear one. I can also say without question that 50% of the time I would still get sick even after wearing a mask and being very careful to clean everything thoroughly once that person had left the office. Because client and aesthetician are essentially sharing air during a facial, I was adamant about people not coming in when they were sick.

Now wearing a mask will be the norm. Perhaps forever, no one knows, and because of this I feel for all of the aestheticians in the world. Maybe others aren’t so annoyed with wearing a mask while giving a facial, but for me these face coverings are hot and they move when you look down so you have to constantly adjust them during the treatment. And along with the muffled conversation while explaining things to a client, wearing a mask gave me a feeling of being removed from the intimacy of the service.

For an extra layer of protection, many if not all facial salons will also employ face shields. Having never given a facial with one but knowing how much I disliked wearing a mask, I can only imagine how strange (and certainly, possibly, uncomfortably hot) it will be for practitioners to be so covered up during a personal service. Necessary—absolutely, comfortable—doubtful.

Wearing thin rubber gloves could also become a part of the aesthetician’s new “uniform.” Yet another way to create a protective barrier between provider and client, yet another way to be once removed from the touch and feel of the wonderful sensory experience (for both giver and receiver) that is a facial treatment. I am so sorry for all of these changes.

From Wikipedia: This too shall pass is a Persian adage translated and used in multiple languages. It reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality [lasting for a short time], of the human condition.

Sometimes (always?) when someone dies, you’re not quite sure what to say to the bereaved. With this pandemic I think the same thing is true. This too shall pass, we’ll get through it, it’ll be over one day, be thankful for all the good in your life. I don’t know if anything said can really help the multitudes of people who are suffering through these times, but what I do know is life—eventually—will get back to a familiar, albeit different, “normal” place.

Another quote from the Dalai Lama keeps coming to mind: If a problem can be solvedtheres no need to worry, and if it cant be solvedworry is of no use. Its similar to The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Blessings to all everywhere and also to those who have passed away during this pandemic. My heart and thoughts go out to all of you.

For some hopefully helpful articles, see:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Yonka’s CREME MAINS: Repairing, Comforting Hand Cream (replaces Nutri-Protect)

Nutri-Protect was the first hand cream Yonka-Paris came out with in 2013. It was yummy and fabulous on so many levels. To state the obvious, I loved this cream! And, like so many favorites in the last many years, Yonka for whatever reason decided to take this product out of their lineup. Im happy to say Yonka did replace Nutri-Protect with CREME MAINS Repairing, Comforting Hand Cream. (Mains means hands in French.)

The professional size (for treatment rooms) says Creme Mains et Pieds (hands and feet) and I totally agree! By just using a small, pea-sized amount of this cream on both your hand and your feet, your nose will be in heaven and your skin will be super-hydrated. The scent is different than Nutri-Protect. In a way I miss that aromatic, but the lovely scent of Creme Mains makes up for it.

The ingredients in this hand treatment are almost identical to its predecessor Nutri-Protect, but like Masque Nº1 and its replacement Hydra Nº1 Masque, some ingredients are in a different order on the list. When it comes to Creme Mains, this makes for a different, more orange/mandarin aromatic than the precious hand cream. Still wonderful, still Yonka-yummy.

From Yonka headquarters: Take it everywhere you go to care for your hands, nails and cuticles. This ultra-comforting cream repairs and protects very dry and rough skin via a specialized formula, a combination of shea butter, vegetable glycerin, grape seed oil, bisabolol and vitamins A, C and E. A hand treatment gem that promotes their beauty and comfort.

This hand cream is a great solution to fight the dryness of your skin caused by the accrued use of using hand sanitizer. Recognized efficacy: Skin is nourished and repaired: 89%. (As you can read in other posts, sometimes these percentage numbers seem ridiculous in terms of hard science, but in this case since it’s a hand cream and not going on your face, it’s not such a big deal to me.)

Yonka Paris Creme Mains Comforting Hand Cream Features & Benefits:
  • Superior repairing, nourishing, comforting treatments for hands, nails, and cuticles
  • Fast absorbing, non-oily
  • Repairs and relieves even extremely dehydrated, irritated, chapped skin
  • Ultra moisturizing formula leaves hands incredibly supple and comfortable
  • Promotes and preserves hands youthfulness
  • Protects against unforgiving external stressors
  • Paraben-free
  • 97% ingredients of natural origin

Essential ingredients:
  • Shea butter—repairing, nourishing, protective
  • Grape seed oil (rich in essential fatty acids)—restructuring
  • Vitamin B5, bisabolol—comforting, soothing 
  • Vegetable glycerin—hydrating
  • Vitamins A, C, E—antioxidant, regenerating
  • Essential oils of sweet orange, grapefruit, mandarin, and magnolia—refreshing phyto-aromatic effects
Directions for use:
  • Apply CREME MAINS cream to dry, clean hands
  • Massage in well
  • For damaged or cracked hands, apply frequently during the day
  • For very damaged hands, apply a thick layer of cream and wear cotton gloves overnight
  • Remember: A little goes a long way
  • For an extra treat: use on your feet, too!

Due to the pandemic we are all using a lot of hand sanitizer, which is usually very drying, along with washing our hands more than we have in the past. Your hands, nail, and even cuticles will appreciate having this soothing, smoothing cream on especially at the end of a long day. Take it with you during the day and keep it on your bed table at night. Happy hands, happy life!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Eye makeup removal with Vaseline question

I’ve been taking mascara off for years with Vaseline and have used it on my lips also. Is it harmful, and if so, what should I use instead?

Vaseline® or any other petroleum product in and of itself isn’t harmful to the skin necessarily; these ingredients can clog the pores if contained in a moisturizing cream or foundation.

The most important thing to remember is whenever you are removing mascara, you have to be sure not to pull your undereye skin as you are wiping off the mascara. That tissue is delicate and should not be pulled or tugged daily. This is the number one reason using Vaseline isn’t such a good idea.

Due to its gooey consistency, this petroleum jelly will naturally stick to the skin. Therefore, the potential for having to pull the skin near your eyes increases. Vaseline tends to stick around wherever it has been applied, so if you choose to use this as a makeup remover, along with the potential to pull the sensitive tissue around your eyes, you also add the potential for it getting (and staying) in your eyes. If this has ever happened to you, you know that it takes quite a long time for the jelly to get out of your eyes, creating blurred vision temporarily.

Therefore I can say I am not a fan of using Vaseline or any other gooey product to remove your eye makeup. A thin oil is better than petroleum jelly, and a product made for makeup removal would be my number one recommendation. Vaseline is probably inexpensive, but because you run the risk of pre-aging the skin around your eyes, it could end up being an expensive proposal. See the articles listed below for details on how to properly (and easily) remove your eye makeup, including mascara.

For more information, see:

Books—Mine & misc: All links so far—MISC, TIMELESS SKIN, SKIN CARE A TO Z

books—mine & misc

  • Some of my favorite health books (upcoming)

Monday, July 27, 2020

IPL & PhotoFacial treatments for hyperpigmentation, capillary issues & scarring

In your book you say there isn’t anything that can be done about broken capillaries, but I had successful laser sessions a year ago that erased most of them from my face.

This email came from a client of mine. She actually had IPL treatments, which are a bit different than laser therapy. Indeed, she had severe couperose (broken capillaries), predominately in her cheek and nose area. She did achieve remarkable results from having her capillaries treated with IPL. It took several sessions, but over 70% of the damage was eliminated.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can be an effective treatment for mild or severe couperose, rosacea, or just getting rid of those pesky capillaries that have been hanging around on your face for so long. I have many clients who have had success with this procedure and are now enjoying less redness in their skin. One of the benefits of this treatment versus some of the older laser versions is it can treat tiny broken capillaries as well as redness deep within the skin where abnormal vessels are found, which is especially good for rosacea sufferers. Because IPL helps to alleviate the flushing associated with rosacea, treatments can really have a long-term effect.

IPL is also effective for getting rid of hyperpigmentation, making your skin tone even and free from pigmentation spots. Because sun exposure is what caused this condition in the first place, you will be instructed to be very aggressive with your sun protection program; it will not be just temporary care, but diligent sun protection for the rest of your life.

Although I don’t believe in before and after pictures in most circumstances, in several articles discussing IPL for redness, the before and after pictures speak volumes for this procedure’s efficacy. These photos give a clear view of the patient’s skin prior to IPL, which looks like skin with medium to severe capillary damage. Afterward, there is at least a 60% reduction in redness—the capillaries have disappeared. I have also seen these results in several of my clients.

Usually you will first go through a consultation with your dermatologist or a physician’s assistant in the office. They will go over your needs and wants as well as procedural information. Then you will find out about cost. IPL is not cheap. On average, each treatment is anywhere from $700 to $1,200, and you have at least five treatments in a series. However, if you are suffering from severe hyperpigmentation, rosacea, or just capillary damage, and you are willing to truly commit to aggressively protecting your skin (especially your face) from sun exposure, then IPL may be the miracle you have been searching for.

Your skin may be red for a day or two, but (if you have rosacea) it was red already, so it may not look very different after the treatment. Once the redness subsides, what you should be left with is less redness and an overall improved condition.

Depending on your pain tolerance and the normal procedure at the doctor’s office, you may have a topical anesthetic applied to the skin being treated. This is not a painless procedure, but the effects can last a long time, making it worth the small amount of discomfort you may experience.

I had a wonderful treatment called PhotoFacial that really helped to eliminate acne scars I’ve had for years as well as hyperpigmentation from when I was pregnant. It’s a bit uncomfortable, like a rubberband snap, but tolerable—and worth it! I had a series of 5 treatments, each one was about 2-3 weeks apart.

PhotoFacial (developed by Dr. Patrick Bitter, Sr.) is yet another name for IPL therapy; FotoFacial and EpiLight are a few more. No matter the name, if hyperpigmentation, rosacea, broken capillaries, or perhaps even acne scars are a concern, investigate IPL and see if it works for you.

Laser as well as light therapy are analogous to computers; the technology is advancing and expanding so rapidly that the techniques and machines used today may be obsolete tomorrow. As with all procedures, please get more than one opinion, and do your homework. When it comes to your face, you want someone who has a lot of experience and a great reputation working with IPL.

As with any and all procedures you are seeking, ask around for referrals. Once you have a few names, talk to someone in each doctor’s office. It’s doubtful you will get to speak with the doctor until you pay for a consultation, but sometimes you can get a feel for the office by the people who are working there. You always want to find a professional who has a lot of experience doing these treatments and using the machines, not a doctor who is just beginning to do this procedure.

For an example of someone who had a bad experience with IPL, see the article below. I think it’s smart to read the good and the bad and make your decision from there. As you’ll read, this client was probably not a good candidate for this procedure, but the doctor went ahead and performed it anyway.

For more information, see:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Do NOT do this to your blackheads!!!

I was doing some research online and came across these photos of a young lady having a DYI spa day at home. I will make this short and to the point: Do not under any circumstances use Elmer’s or any other type of glue on your blackheads!!!!Please!

I get itI think. The glue will stick to the debris in your pores and will therefore pull it out. However when it comes to using things like this: please just use a product manufactured to do the job of removing blackheads vs. a multi-purpose glue [that] bonds strongly to a variety of different materials, including paper, ceramics, leather, fabric, wood, and more.

Looking at all the DYI “using Elmer’s Glue to remove blackheads” posts on the Internet, I can just imagine someone contacting me because they have developed a severe skin sensitivity after using this method. If you have any type of sensitive skin, applying glue to it might be a disaster waiting to happen. And if you don’t have sensitive skin, it’s still a dumb thing to do. I’m sure some people might find this blackhead removal procedure intriguing, but coming from a professional in the skin care industry—just don’t do it!  
Elmer’s glue is FDA approved but not as a skin care ingredient. The ingredients in glue have not been tested for skin sensitivities to say nothing about preservatives in glue that simply aren’t meant for epidermal application. Glue hasn’t been tested for skin because it is not meant for skin! The only bright point here is glue is generally “non-toxic” in case a child tries to eat it, for instance; still it is simply not meant to be spread on your skin.

I understand the fun of experimenting with glue on your blackheads and perhaps the excitement of peeling the dried adhesive off your skin, but please—please—reach for a high quality clay-based mask next time you want to really “get rid” of your blackheads. As you will read in the article below, at best your blackheads are just temporarily removed no matter what you use. However using a clay mask on a regular basis can help to keep your pores cleaned out and that helps to keep enlarged pores to a minimum down the line.

For information about more proper (and improper) ways to help get rid of blackheads, see:

Friday, July 24, 2020

Some thoughts about cosmetic surgery—a totally personal choice

I found this great quote by writer Judith Krantz in a wonderful little book of quotes called, Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese: Wisdom from Our Elders by Kathryn and Ross Petras:
“A woman I graduated from college with told me plastic surgery was vulgar, that lines were a sign of character, that it’s beautiful to age. I said bull. Character is internal. If you want to present yourself to the world with a face-lift, why the hell not?” 
I love this quote because, for me, it really says a lot. I agree with the woman Ms. Krantz is talking about. I do believe that aging can be a beautiful thing if we let it. And I do believe, for myself (and I know I am not alone) that lines are the manifestation of the accumulation of life—a life well lived. I also agree with Ms. Krantz when she says if you choose to get cosmetic surgery, or any type of procedure, that is purely and unequivocally your decision and in fact your right. I don’t think we should judge others for what they decide to do with their appearance. But perhaps we can learn from it. And this goes both ways.

Cosmetic surgery is purely an individual decision. Many of my clients probably think that I am totally against it, and that is not true. As I tell anyone considering such procedures, I will drive them to and from the hospital if they don’t have a ride. And I am serious! I do believe, because I have strong opinions about surgery, that people are afraid to fill me in on their decisions.

I have even had some clients “disappear” and never return to my office. Later I find out a client has had a procedure, and I guess she didn’t want my judgment. On the contrary, anyone who has come to my office after plastic surgery can tell you, I am fascinated! I want to know all about it—whether the client is happy with their decision, and because I have seen my client’s skin prior to the surgery, it is so interesting to see their face and skin afterwards. For me it is all just information, and I try not to judge anyone for doing what they need to do.

But some people, in my opinion, are chasing after a dream—a dream of youth and looking young forever. This is where I stand on my soapbox and hope that if you’re going to get surgery that you also do inner work as well. Inner work to make sure you aren’t trying to fix the unfixable with a cosmetic procedure. The unfixable meaning a view of yourself that is unrealistic, a self condemning view that no surgeon’s knife will be able to fix or heal.

Everyone has surgery for their own reasons. I just want to make sure that all the options have been looked at before someone forever changes their appearance. And in the end, everyone is going to do what they want to do anyway, so who cares what I or anybody else thinks! I am nearing 60 now and still I am fascinated with the changes taking place (and there are definitely changes taking place!), but I can confidently say I can’t see changing anything, not right now anyway. However you certainly don’t need my approval and if you really feel the need to do a cosmetic procedure and you feel good about your decision then go for it!

There are a few very important points that cannot be excluded from any discussion about plastic surgery. The first and most important thing to find out about is credentials. You must know who your doctor is and what kind of doctor he or she is. There are many people who have “M.D.” behind their names, but are they well-versed (and certified) to do cosmetic surgery? Please read the article on plastic surgery listed below to get further information on this most important topic.

Second, have you gone to several doctors (yes, this takes time) to get several different opinions about your potential changes? Personality as well as skill level are important to match up with a doctor who is going to be essentially cutting on your body. I hope you invest enough time to discover the perfect doctor for you. They may not be who your best friend chose, but if the fit feels right to you, then so be it.

In closing, I have a little quiz for you. Let’s say surgery was not an option. I know it is, obviously, but just for one moment, let’s say surgery is not an option. Then what would you do? What would you do differently to take care of your skin, your body, and your total self that you aren’t doing now? Would you slow down or limit your sun exposure? Eat better and drink more water? Spend more time on rituals to stimulate your health rather than break it down? Would you be more accepting of yourself because you’d have to be? Remember, for this one moment there is no cosmetic surgery available. What would you do differently? I think it’s an interesting question to explore.

In the end nothing really matters—not really. We live our lives the best we can and I think, at least this is true for me, we search out happiness in every corner and down every road we can find it. There are many roads to choose from and many different paths we take in life. So be well, enjoy your life and feel good about yourself always.

For more information, see:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

SENSITIVE MASQUE from Yonka-Paris (replaces Creme 11 moisturizing cream)

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 opinion, 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?

I suppose I just need to 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:

My experience with Prometrium (“natural” progesterone hormone)

Such a cute little round pill, I said to myself the first time I took this progesterone replacement. I had gone to a new doctor who thought I could switch to Prometrium and get off the bioidentical progesterone I had been taking for years from a compounding pharmacy. I would be able to pick this prescription up at my local pharmacy and an additional bonus is this drug is much cheaper than the somewhat expensive compounded kind.  

I’m all up for trying new things, so I tried Prometrium even though I wasn’t having any issues with the progesterone I had been taking. At the time, I was kind of glad I decided to switch since I hadn’t veered off my bioidentials in many years and perhaps it was time for a change. Why not? What have I got to lose? How bad could it be? Well, let me tell you—it can be horrible!

I realize this drug is dispensed to millions of women every year. And for the most part everyone must be OK using it. This was not the case with me. I took it the first night without issue. The same for the 2nd night. But on the 3rd night I had some of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had in my life! And I’ve had some doozies.

At first, I didn’t make the connection so I kept taking it. It wasn’t until the 2nd night of horrible nightmares that I realized the only thing that had changed was this medication. Obviously I stopped taking Prometrium after that. I went back to my compounded progesterone and luckily, happily my dreams became the normal, visually stunning, pleasant visions I am used to. Whew!

Ive read that Prometrium is a natural form of progesterone. It is said to be identical to the progesterone produced by the bodyotherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to try it. My doctor said the same thing, in fact when I specifically asked, she said it was bioidentical. In fact she was shocked that I had such a bad experience with this very commonly prescribed hormone.

Nightmares aren’t really listed in the side effects for this drug, and I didn’t find too many accounts of people describing nightmares occurring after taking it, but I had that experience and even if I am the only one in the world, that’s good enough for me. I will never take Prometrium again.

My experience is of course not going to be (and isn’t) everyone’s experience. But I wanted to leave this information out for anyone who might be considering taking Prometrium, although I am certainly not saying don’t take it. But if you do start or if you have been taking it and are having unexplained weird dreams—perhaps it’s this form of progesterone. And for any of you who have had similar experiences, you are not alone. Can I say it again—YIKES!

For more information, see:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Yonka moves to airless jar technology for their newer skin care creams

I have gone on several diatribes about many of the changes Yonka-Paris has gone through in the 30-plus years I have used this product line. Today I feel moved to rant a little bit about Yonka joining many skin care companies who are putting their moisturizing creams in what are called “airless jars.”

For many product lines I believe this is a vast improvement. When you open a jar of cream, you expose all of the contents to bacteria in the air plus you most likely stick your (possibly not completely sanitary) fingers in the jar to retrieve the cream, which then goes on your face. With airless technology you usually press down on the top of the jar or container and a predetermined amount of cream pops up. You simply wipe it off the jar and onto your face. Kind of nifty unless 1) you prefer tubes (that’s me) and 2) the prearranged amount of product just isn’t right for you.
If Yonka was changing from the use of completely open jars to airless jars I’d be all in favor of it. But this is not the case. One of the things I love (love!) about Yonka products, should I now say loved, is they always came in tubes.
  • Tubes can stand on end so all of the cream eventually goes to the top (exit area) and you can get practically every last drop of product*
  • Tubes stand up in the medicine cabinet (or wherever you put your skin care products) and take up less room
  • And to me, tubes look sleeker and more streamlined than clunky jars that are wide and not as easily held as a tube

My question Why use jars? is rhetorical, really. I get why the Multaler family is going toward airless jars, and I will say it does make sense when it comes to being innovative and searching for the newest technology, but I still don’t like it. As far as being forward thinking and on the leading edge, these airless jars are there. Still and allI prefer tubes. I like dolling out the amount of product I want vs. being given a prearranged amount that comes when you press the jar. Maybe I want just a little bit moreor a little less. You can’t do that with the newfangled jars.

As far as getting all the cream out of the jar, I’ll have to get back to you on that. I haven’t yet finished a Yonka cream in an airless, self-dispensing jarbut I will and I’ll let you know how much product is left, ungettable, in the (presumably) bottom of the jar. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised on that level at least and will find that all of the cream was pumped out till the bitter end. Time will tell. Until then, I can only hope that all of the “old” creams in the Yonka line remain in tube—forever! 

Yonka products (so far) in airless jars:

For more information, see:

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Sun Protection: UV spelled out

The sun is essentially a big ball of gases, emitting all kinds of heat and energy down to us here on earth. The energy we’re concerned with is ultraviolet light, or UV light.

The sun is the closest star to earth (yes—our sun is a star!). There would literally be no life on our planet without the sun. There isn’t anything particularly special about this medium-sized star; it shines in the same way as other stars are thought to shine. What makes the sun so important is its close proximity to earth. 

The sun affects us in several ways.
  • It has a gravitational pull on the earth’s oceans, although it is probably less than half as strong as that of the moon. This affects the tides as well as the weather in general.
  • Without the sun’s energy beaming down on plants, there would be no food to eat (no photosynthesis).
  • Sunshine or the lack of light can affect our moods.
  • And finally, sunlight has a tremendous affect on our bodies and particularly our skin

UV spelled out. There are three basic bands of ultraviolet light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. You don’t hear much about UVC light because as it hits earth’s upper atmosphere and is absorbed by the ozone layer, therefore we are not affected by it. Not yet, anyway. With the destruction of the ozone layer, there could be consequences at some point in the future.

UVB is the short ray. It hits the epidermis (our outer skin) and reaches as far down as the uppermost layer of the dermis (the papillary dermis). As UVB rays penetrate the epidermis, they stimulate the production of melanin, a dark pigment that gives you a tan. However, UVB is predominantly known for causing redness and sunburn (UVBurn). It is much more intense than UVA and can cause a lot of damage to the outer skin quickly. Exposure to UVB also causes a thickening of the top layer of skin and accelerates the formation of wrinkles. In short, UVB causes immediate damage.

UVA is the long ray. It goes beyond the surface of the skin and is able to reach deep down into the dermis. UVA can damage collagen and elastin fibers, the substances that keep the skin firm and free from sagging. UVA generally does not cause sunburn like UVB rays but does play a large role in suntans. UVA contributes to destroying DNA, setting up the potential for cancer or precancerous growths down the road. UVA, like UVB, stimulates melanin production that can cause pigmentation irregularities like chloasma (hyperpigmentation). UVA causes long-term damage.

For more information, see:

Monday, July 20, 2020

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 TONER: What to use and what NOT to 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.