Thursday, October 30, 2014

Radiance—what makes a woman radiant

Below are the bullet points from an article I found in some of my writing files. I was living in Chicago (2003) and was just about to publish Skin Care A to Z. My publicist at the time mentioned “O” Magazine was looking for skin care professionals to write about their point-of-view on Radiance—what makes a woman radiant. I didn't make it into the magazine (wa, wa) but I do want to share some of the thoughts I had back then, which are still true for me today.
  • The source of true radiance is that inner knowing that you are perfect just exactly the way you are.
  • I believe when you look at a woman and see her “glowing” you are looking at a woman who, perhaps, does take good care of her physical body. But surely this is a woman who has developed that core, inner knowing that she is a beautiful loving being. This, more than good skin, is what radiance is all about.
  • Genetics, nutrition, and sun exposure all play a part in how healthy you look. But without self-acceptance and peace within, your ability to radiate true health is diminished.
  • Because of my profession, I am in the unique position to see women up close and personal who are aging—and who look fabulous! They may not feel this way about themselves, but I see it. Aging is truly a marvelous thing to watch.
  • Aging is multifaceted. It is not simply acquiring lines and wrinkles. Aging is the miracle of life evolving and unfolding. How you age is primarily, or at least initially, in your mind. What you choose to focus on will affect how you age. If you focus on the lines and wrinkles, neglecting to see the maturation of who you are as a person, you'll miss out, in my opinion, on the opportunity to see the blessings that come with age.
  • Radiance is a combination of outer health and inner beauty. Inner beauty is attainable; it is developing a core beliefa knowingthat you are a perfect human being, and beautiful just because.
  • Keeping things in balance is necessary for maintaining health. Proper rest and relaxation; minimizing or eliminating smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating poor-quality food; drinking lots of water; taking good care of your skin; keeping direct sunlight off your face; and finding quiet time to reflect on the day's events will all help you to achieve true radiance.
  • Radiance is your inner strength reflected outward through your healthy mind and body.
Even when I was a fledgling aesthetician in my 20s, I knew for sure that I was not going to let aging get me down. And now, in my 50s, I continue the practice I began all those years ago. First, I do not say negative things about either my wrinkles or my self. Initially I had to catch myself—a lot—when I would go down the path of negative self-talk. But now, and this is absolutely true, when I look in the mirror on a day I don't look so hot, I just let out a giggle and say “I'm 53! This is what 53 looks like today!—Not bad!!!” And I say a prayer of love for myself and move on with my day. This way of being didn't come overnight; I honed it over time—and you can too. It's never too late to start changing the way you talk to yourself and therefore see yourself.  
Today is a good day to start :+)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ingrown Hair—Men: Q & A

I am a guy who's interested in skin care. Wherever I remove hair [from various parts of my body], I get acne-like bumps that, though they look like acne, when I take a closer look it’s trapped hair growing back. These places are red, irritated and leave marks. I’ve tried almost everything (including, laser, waxing, shaving, exfoliating with a loofah). And, while the same issue exist with my facial hair, it has been lessened through following your advice. I used depilatories but they provided some of the worst results. How do I remove my body hair without experiences these acne-like ingrown hairs?

First, try using the advice I give in Timeless Skin for ingrown hair on the face on any other parts of your body you're having issues. You may have the tendency for a skin condition called pseudofolliculitis and you may not find any one thing that remedies the condition in total. Pseudofolliculitis is where the hair curls back down into the skin instead of coming out of the surface skin. This can cause inflammation and redness along with infection.

Exfoliation is really important if you’re prone to ingrown hair—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 these ingredients. AHAs help to dissolve the intercellular glue that holds cells together, which can be helpful in the case of ingrown hairs. Try an alpha hydroxy acid solution on your chest area, and see if that helps with the hair coming through your skin.

A product called TendSkin has been helpful for some people with ingrown hair. Be careful to follow the directions. If you experience irritation with TendSkin, discontinue use immediately and refer back to some other products and techniques for helping with ingrown hair. You don’t ever want to use a product that is causing more harm than good. I am surprised that laser hair removal has not helped your situation. You may want to try electrolysis and see if you fare better with that hair removal technique.

I wish I had a miracle cure for you. It sounds like you have been diligent in trying many things. It is important you do not continually irritate your skin (especially through using the loofah and the depilatories); this won’t help the problem. Some skin conditions, and pseudofolliculitis is one of them, do not have quick fixes. It will take diligence and consistency, but I have faith that you will find solutions that work for you going forward.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sugar by many other names

The following is an excerpt from my second book, Skin Care A to Z. It's a list of known and not-so-known sugars. This list is used by permission from an excellent book on sugar and how to get it out of your diet, The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. She has also written another great book, Potatoes Not Prozac, which I also recommend. And now, the different names for the same thing—sugar:

apple sugar
barbados sugar
bark sugar
barley malt
barley malt syrup
beet sugar
brown rice syrup
cane juice
cane sugar
cane syrup
caramel coloring
caramel sugars
caramelized foods
concentrated fruit juice
corn sweetener
date sugar
evaporated cane juice
Florida crystals
fruit juice concentrate
(may be found in tofu)
glucose polymers
glucose syrup
high-fructose corn syrup
invert sugar
karo syrups
“lite” sugar
“light” sugar
malt dextrin
malted barley
mannitol, xylitol, maltitol
microcrystalline cellulose
raisin juice
raisin syrup
ribose rice syrup
rice malt
rice sugar
rice sweeteners
rice syrup solids
(aka hexitol)
(evaporated cane juice)
sugar cane
unrefined sugar

Malts, syrups, and most things ending is “ose” are going to be sugar— of some kind. And as you can see by the size of this list, there are numerous variations of what we think of as sugar. No matter what name it goes by, sugar causes skin problems in many people. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Basal cell carcinoma: Introduction

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common form of skin cancer that you need to know about. Over 2.8 million people are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma annually (in the United States alone), and that number is only going to increase as the years go by. Basal cell carcinomas occur in the basal cell layer of the skin and are primarily caused by sun exposure.

There are many different looks to basal cell cancers; sometimes they may just look like regular moles on the skin. They don’t have clear-cut identifying markers, like, for instance a melanoma. Unlike this deadly form of skin cancer (melanoma), basal cell carcinomas rarely spread to other parts of the body. The most common area for this type of skin cancer to surface is the face, ears, even the scalp. They also can appear on the upper part of the back and chest. Sometimes the spots can bleed, and as you will read, left untreated basal cell carcinomas can become disfiguring.

I will be posting a few client's stories of basal cell cancers and their removal under the category skin cancer, so be sure to check back for those upcoming posts. Hopefully some of you will read these stories and decide that you need to go have an unusual spot or mole looked at by your dermatologist. Don’t have a skin doctor? Click on American Academy of Dermatology to get some ideas on finding one in your area.

Even without reading any stories, I hope you understand the importance of getting funny-looking moles or places on your face (or anywhere) you have questions about checked by your dermatologist. The key is to listen to your intuition and don’t be reluctant to get things checked out. Remember: Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, get your moles checked today!

Friday, October 24, 2014

MYTH: Aging is bad

I truly believe aging is not the terrible thing it is represented to be in the consciousness of this country. Aging is inevitable, and it is the most natural process in life—one to be heralded, not condemned. A pervasive perception in our society today is that there is something inherently wrong with getting older. Yes, it can be disheartening to see the lines start to form or get deeper. Slowing down, loosing your 20/20 vision, and waking up to stiff joints is not what you would choose for yourself. Although degenerating is the part of the process that is perhaps the hardest to take, what about what you gain with age?

The big question is "What is wrong with aging?" If you spend your whole life fighting the aging process, are you really living? What are you comparing old to? How will you grow old? Do you know older people who seem young? People who haven't caved in to some society-driven illusion of how "old is bad." The adage about wine getting better with time—isn't this true for people as well?

Aging with grace is what I'm striving for in my own life, and it is what I discuss with my clients. You can struggle with what is happening and put up a big fight, but the bottom line is the aging of your body will occur anyway. There are no miracles to be found in a jar of cream, nor is there a Fountain of Youth at the doctor's office. You are your own living miracle, and how your body functions is the daily affirmation, the absolute proof. The Fountain of Youth is inside you.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eye Cream Quick Tip

Buy more than one package of eye cream. Keep an extra one at work, on your nightstand, in your purse, or all of the above. I now keep one under my pillow because my cat kept rolling it off my bed table! It doesn't really cost more to purchase several eye creams since you will be going through each container slower than if you had just one to use. Put it on sparingly throughout the day to keep the delicate under-eye tissue soft. It's that important.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yonka's Gommage Instructions

Soft Peel Miracle: GOMMAGE
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 needs to exfoliate. Exfoliation means to slough off dead cell buildup on the surface of the skin. If you accumulate too much buildup, your skin starts looking lifeless; it doesn't reflect light well and your makeup won't go on smoothly. The solution: Gommage! The Gommage is what I term an active exfoliator vs. passive exfoliators like AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) that just sit on your skin. With Yonka's Gommage you are actively yet gently removing several layers of the dead skin layer, which in turn will step up circulation (blood feeds and nourishes all cells), and refine the texture of your skin (make it feel smoother).

The Gommage has a bean gum base, which gives this product lasting hydrating quality. If you haven't tried Yonka's Gommage, isn't it about timeto have great looking skin?
***The instructions inside the box of Gommage are slightly different than those listed below. Based on results, the following is the most effective way to use the this product. [These instructions, by the way, are the originals when Gommage was called Desincrustant]***
Exfoliation is paramount to healthy skin, therefore Gommage is the most important in your routine. Gommage needs to be used at least once per week, however it can be used as often as every day. Twice per week would be great. This process takes a few minutes, but is worth every second!

Note: When sampling, use ONE WHOLE sample per application (one sample = one applicationonly!). In others words, use the whole sample! If you don’t, you will not get a proper gommage. Using the sample will give you an idea of how much to use.

IMPORTANT: Your skin and the air around you needs to be DRY (no moisture in the air, no moisture on your skin)
  • Use a quarter to a half dollar-sized dollop
  • Warm Gommage between your hands and apply to DRY face and neck. The gommage starts out as a sticky gooey gel
  • Massage in using light, circular movements, and after a minute or two it will start absorbing into the skin
  • When it starts absorbing, it gets a bit sticky. Keep massaging, but do not rub your face raw!
  • (If you feel you have to rub hard, you didn’t begin with enough product. Don’t remove what you’ve got on your face, but apply a bit more, then continue...)
  • You will start to notice pencil eraser-type flakes appearing as the gommage dries
  • Get over a sink and use brisk movements to eliminate the impurities. When complete, no more flakes will appear
  • Rinse the residue off with tepid water, and you’re done!
  • After rinsing, pat dry, tone and hydrate. Your skin will feel extremely soft and look very clear and healthy. Your makeup will go on smoothly
Quick Tips
In a hurry and need to gommage? Before your shower, apply Gommage. Massage until the flaking begins, step into DRY shower, and flake off completely. Start water, and rinse residue off as you shower.
  • Gommage when you can’t come in for facials
  • Gommage when your coloring looks dull
  • Gommage when your skin looks flaky. And remember:
  • When in doubtGOMMAGE ! It is essential to your healthy skin program
Gommage and clay mask can be done in tandem once a week as an at-home facial. Gommage, run a bath, and put the clay mask on. Hop in the tub, and relax! Gommage and clay mask are additions to your daily Basics routine and are important to maintaining healthy, clean, and clear skin.