Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kick the Habit!: Wearing Foundation

Why do women wear foundation? 

Some women wear makeup strictly out of habit. They automatically put it on without thinking. Others wear it because they are told they should. Many women wear foundation to even out their skin tone. Some women simply like to wear it. 

At the cosmetic counter, the sales staff will tell you how good foundation is for your skin, how it contains sunscreen, protects you from the outside environment, and can help to even out your coloring. All of this is true. Many foundations do contain sunscreens, and using sunscreen is very important. Foundation does add another layer between you and the dirt, debris, and pollution in the air. Finally, foundation will even out your skin tone, and this is the “benefit” I want to discuss.

The meaning of the phrase to even out skin tone has eluded me for years. The skin all over your body has certain intrinsic characteristics to it—color, texture, moles, and freckles. Hardly anyone has totally “even” skin tone. Once in a while I come across someone who has perfect coloring, and inevitably even she has covered up perfection with foundation. A woman will make everything evened out on her face, while the rest of her body looks natural, having a flow to the tone and coloring of her skin. In other words, the skin on her body looks normal and unaffected. How many times have you seen a perfectly made-up face, then looked at that person’s arms, shoulders, or neck only to see the skin’s natural tone?

Foundation gives you a matte canvas on which to paint, a single-toned pallet to apply color to. Skin, however, is not usually this monochrome. It is full of imperfections and color differences, freckles, and pigmentation. I’m not talking about obvious, dark pigmentation spots or port-wine stains, for instance. I’m referring to women who have perfectly normal skin tone with naturally occurring pigmentation. Trying to cover up these small differences is, I believe, an attempt to cover up self-described flaws that I don’t see as flaws at all. Wearing color (eyes, lips, cheeks) is fine. That’s purely personal preference. Why can’t we just stop there?

Foundation is actually not good for your skin. It acts as an occlusive covering over the skin. Its purpose is to remain on the surface, not to penetrate like a moisturizer. So it stays on top, just sitting there. As you hopefully know, your skin doesn’t breathe from the outside in, so foundation doesn’t keep your skin from breathing. It does, however, inhibit elimination. And your skin will absorb some of the foundation. After all, it’s just sitting there all day long. Undoubtedly some of it will seep into your pores. And when this happens, the pores can enlarge. Foundation can cause congestion as well, especially if you have an oily skin type. If you have breakout and are using foundation, you are just fueling the very problem the foundation is attempting to cover up.

It’s not as though you can wake up tomorrow and simply stop wearing it; foundation is a habit. Since you’re used to seeing yourself look a certain way, I think weaning yourself off the look of foundation is the best way to change this particular habit. Start by adding water to your base makeup to thin it out. By the time you put foundation on this way, it’s almost as though you have none on at all. So why wear it? Use this thinned-out foundation and gradually put less and less on until you’re used to seeing your skin with hardly anything covering it. Eventually, just stop putting foundation on at all. Your eyes will have adjusted to what you’re seeing in the mirror, and those around you will have adjusted to your new look as well. 

All of the women I’ve encouraged to stop wearing foundation are ecstatic. They never thought they could go without, and now that they have, they love it! Their skin looks and feels better; they don’t get foundation all over their clothes or worry if it needs touching up. They feel free and liberated.

Do you need to free yourself from this unnecessary step? Try to wean yourself off foundation and see how it goes. Worst case scenario—you go back to wearing it. But please know it serves no beneficial purpose to the skin. Or rather, any benefits you may derive from wearing foundation, like shielding you from the environment and adding an SPF to your skin, are totally outweighed by the detrimental effects, which are clogging, congestion, and enlarged pores. Health is the only foundation. 

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yonka-Paris GOMMAGE 303 & 305: Non-abrasive gel peels with amazing results

Yonkas Gommage: 
 Soft Peel Miracle

How many times have you heard me say, “If I could only use one product from Yonka on my face, it would be Gommage? Well, I say that because it’s true, and here’s why. Everybody can benefit from exfoliation. (Exfoliation means to slough off the dead cell buildup on the surface of your skin.) If you accumulate too much buildup, your skin starts to look dull and lifeless, it doesn’t reflect light well, and your makeup (if you wear any) won’t go on smoothly. In essence when you dont exfoliate on a regular basis, your skin suffers both from how it feels and also how it looks. The solution: Gommage! 

The Gommage is what I term an active exfoliator vs. passive exfoliators like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that just sit on your skin. With Yonka’s Gommage you are actively yet gently removing several layers of dead skin, which in turn helps step up circulation (blood feeds and nourishes all cells), and refines the texture of your skin (makes it feel smoother).

Gommage has a carob bean gum base, which gives it a lasting hydrating quality on your skin. If you haven’t tried Yonka’s Gommage and you want great-looking skinisn’t it about time?

GOMMAGE 303 says on the packaging its for a normal to oily skin type. I will go a bit further and say that 303, because of its citrus nature, is best for ANY skin type that is not sensitive to citrus. Simply put, Gommage 303 is for non-sensitive skin. Because of the fruity aromatic, some people who have true-dry (oil-dry) skin may prefer this product over 305simply due to the scent. Personally, I love the aromatic of Gommage 305, but my experience as an aesthetician is it isnt for everyone. Dont let the label on this product keep you from trying it, even if you dont have normal to oily skin. 

I use both 303 and 305 (personally and on most of my clients in the treatment room) and many of my clients do too. With essential oils of orange, sweet lime, and lemon, as long as your skin isnt sensitive to citrus, Gommage 303 is heavenlynot just because it makes your skin feel smooth, soft, and well-exfoliated but also because of the lovely fruit aromatics.

Essential ingredients:
  • Carob, brown algae derivatives—exfoliating, hydrating 
  • Essential oils of orange, lemon, lime—astringent, balancing 
  • Lemon extract rich in vitamin C—lightening, antioxidant 
  • Plant glycerin—hydrating

GOMMAGE 305 says on the package it is for dry or sensitive skin. Because of how both 303 and 305 are labeled, I am going to tell you a story.

When I first started using Yonka back in the mid-80s, there were 3 gommages: 300, 303, and 305. Gommage 300 was for dry and sensitive skin; 303 was for normal to oily skin; 305 was for problem and acne skin. Imagine my surprise when they discontinued Gommage 300!

Yonka relabeled 305 for “dry or sensitive skin siting that problem, acne skin was sensitive and that was how I was to sell it to my clients. That wasnt an issue, since 305 has always been for problem skin, and many times problem skin is sensitive skin. But because the words on the label had changed, explaining this and convincing new clients was a bit time consuming, to say the least. And now, all these years later, I still find myself having to go into a somewhat lengthy explanation of the different gommages to assure my clients I am indeed giving them the correct product for their skin type.

I label Gommage 305 for sensitive and problem skin. As I mentioned before, if you have red, sensitive, and especially rosacea skin you will probably find 303 irritating due to all the citrus. Not so with 305. Problem, infected, or acne skin tends to be sensitive, so Gommage 305 is the best one for those skin conditions. And since all skin types need exfoliation, including irritated skin, this might be the one for you.

Essential ingredients: 
  • Carob, brown algae derivatives—exfoliating, hydrating
    White nettle—soothing
    Essential oil of lime and bornĂ©ol—purifying, clearing
    Plant glycerin—hydrating

I cannot over emphasize how important Yonkas Gommage is to your healthy skin care routine. So many people who have tried and failed to use it correctly have missed out on this amazing exfoliator. Please click on the Important Questions article link below to read a first-hand account of one of my clients experience with Gommage—before she met me and after I gave her proper instructions.