Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Who gets Rosacea?

Rosacea can occur in adults as young as 20 years old although it most often occurs in men and women well into their 30s up to their 50s and beyond. Women generally experience rosacea more than men, but this could be due to the fact that men tend not to complain or seek treatment for disorders with the same frequency (and tenacity) that women do.

Rosacea frequently appears in the classic “butterfly” pattern on women, with redness fanning out on the cheeks and the nose; men usually find their noses to be the most affected and red place on their face.

People with lighter complexions (fair skin) are more prone to getting rosacea. Fair skin types are more susceptible to many skin troubles just based on their coloring. UV rays, for instance, can penetrate much more readily into skin that doesn’t produce much pigment. Therefore redness and sunburn are more common for those of you with light skin. Your skin tends to be more sensitive than someone with more natural sun protection (melanin). The redness of sunburn, breakout, and other skin maladies are more noticeable on light skin due to the contrast.

There are many articles on this blog pertaining to rosacea specifically and sensitive skin in general. See both categories for more information.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Are facial masks worthwhile?

What do masks do? What types of masks are best for each skin type? Are they worthwhile?

What a mask does depends on what kind of mask it is. Hydrating masks help to soften the skin by increasing the amount of moisture on the surface. Cleansing masks generally contain a large percentage of clay(s), which helps to clean out the pores.

I am a proponent of clay masks for almost every skin type. Clay is beneficial for oily or problem skin, helping to soothe infections along with loosening debris held in the pores. For a drier skin type, although a hydrating mask would be fine, clay not only gets the skin clean but helps to step up circulation due to clay’s stimulating effects.

I tell my clients that if they feel they need to use a hydrating mask, what they really need to do is exfoliate. Feeling dry on the surface is usually more a matter of dehydration than oil-dry skin. (See Is Your Skin Truly Dry or Just Thirsty? to understand the difference between dehydration and true-dry skin.) If you must use a hydrating mask, I recommend simply applying a thick layer of your favorite facial moisturizer as the mask vs. spending extra dollars on a hydrating mask. The two are essentially the same.

When using a clay-based mask, there is one important caveat: You must keep the clay moist the entire time it is on your skin. How?
  • take a spray bottle
  • fill it with clean, filtered water
  • after applying the clay mask, spray your face liberally with the water
  • then spray intermittently for the 15 minutes the mask is on
This keeps the mask moist (you don’t want clay to dry the surface skin out) and makes the mask much easier to remove. If you have your toner in a spray bottle (highly recommended), you can use this instead of water.

For more information on using clay masks see:
as well as other articles listed under the category clay masks.

Are masks worthwhile? Is having cleaner, healthier-looking skin worth the time it takes to do a mask once or twice a week? I’d say—

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yonka’s Serum Vital—regenerating, restorative complex

Several years ago (2012), Yonka went through a package change as well as removing parabens from all of their products. (See Yonka goes PARABEN-FREE—along with other news for more information.) One of my favorite products, Mesonium 1 & 2, also went through a change: they combined the two bottles into one and gave it a new name: Serum Vital.

In the past, I called Mesonium a facial in a bottle. When I used this product, usually in the winter months, I really felt it made my skin look as though I had just had a facial treatment. I am happy to say that after using Serum Vital for a 2-week experiment, the results were the same: Facial in a Bottle! 

Serum Vital is a preventative, healing complex beneficial for all skin types. Serum Vital replaces your night creme (for the course of treatment) and is used as a mega-recovery mission for your face. Some oilier skin types may find this too oily; for those of us with true-dry (oil-dry) skin, Serum Vital is a godsend! Although it is a nighttime cure, I use it day and night. Two squirts seems to do the trick and my skin looks and feels wonderful. See below for my personal instructions on how my own routine at home.
Highly concentrated in botanical extracts, this fluid (with 24 essential amino acids), truly boosts vitality and radiance for mature skin. Serum Vital also benefits skin distressed by a period of fatigue, excessive exposure to sunlight, emotional stress, giving birth, as well as pre- and post-op skin careThis product fights dryness and dehydration, smooths wrinkles and fine lines, and restores a visibly younger appearance to the epidermis.

Essential Ingredients:
  • Beech bud peptides, soy peptides, mineral salts (magnesium, calcium)restructuring, revitalizing
  • Cereal germ oilregenerating, nourishing 
  • Vitamin B5, vitamin PPsoothing, softening
  • Vitamin Fanti-dehydrating
  • Vitamin Eantioxidant
  • Yonka “Quintessence (essential oils of thyme, lavender, cypress, geranium, and rosemary)energizing
Directions for use: In the evening, after cleansing and spraying on Yonka Lotion (toner), shake the bottle well*** and squirt 2-3 pumps into your hand. Apply the concentrate to the face and neck, in place of your usual night cream. Apply eye treatment and you’re done.

***Now that the oil and more aqueous fluid are in the same bottle (Mesonium had them separately), it is essential to shake the bottle several timeswellto be sure you have mixed the oil and watery mixture together. Soon after you set the bottle down, they will separate again. So, if you wait after shaking, you must shake again in order to get the appropriate application.

Yonka recommends using Serum Vital as a cure for 30 nights, preferably at the change of seasons. I like to use it for a week at a time when I’m feeling the need. And it is also fine to use this complex as you need it any night, whether within a consecutive week or month. For me, Serum Vital feels like liquid velvet on my skin.

Here is my routine when using Serum Vital. Remember, I have true-dry skin. For those of you with more oil production, your products and the steps you take will be different:
  • Cleanse (I usually use Lait Nettoyant)
  • Apply Optimizer Serum (I am addicted!)
  • Spray my Yonka toner (I use the pink one: Lotion PS)
  • Give a good shake up to the Serum Vital bottle
  • Then 2 squirts (that seems to be enough; you may need more, depending) of the luxurious Serum Vital
  • Eye cream (I use all 3, so either Nutri- Phyto- or Alpha-Contour)
As I mentioned, when I use Serum Vital as a cure for a week, two weeks, or a whole month (depending on what I feel like I need), I tend to use it day and night. Not always, but I want you to know you really cant use this product incorrectly. Day, night, day and night; use it as your skin requires. 
For any of you who are newsletter subscribers, Serum Vital will be discounted at 25% off for the month of September. If you haven't subscribed yet (you really shouldI give monthly discounts!), go to any page on my website ( in the upper right-hand corner, and sign up! 

As with all Yonka products, Serum Vital is paraben-free.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alternative Medicine—the power of choice

Alternative medicine encompasses everything from homeopathy to herbal therapy, acupuncture to massage. To me, alternative or complementary medicine is anything that keeps my body well and on the road to balanced healing. Not to denigrate modern medicine, but many drugs that are commonplace today can actually cause imbalances and keep us from achieving our highest states of health. This, of course, is not always true (especially in cases where health is severely compromised), but on a day-to-day basis, I reach for the alternatives to the drugs and medicines you would find at the pharmacist or doctor’s office.

Alternative medicine, to me, would more accurately be termed original medicine. If you read back in the annals of medical history, herbs, essential oils, and medicines that were completely organic were the norm for centuries. Granted, there were diseases and epidemics that ran rampant and ended lives by the thousands. I certainly wouldn’t want to go to the dentist or have surgery without the benefit of modern medicine. But for many everyday maladies, alternative or complementary medicine can be a viable and healthy alternative to the common drug therapy of medicine today.

Alternative medicine has a preventative posture to it. In order to stay well, there are many things we need to avoid as well as take in. Anything in excess, as we know, can create a polluted environment inside our body. For simplicity, sometimes just avoiding excess can be a very powerful preventative measure for our long-term health.

One of the foremost leaders of the alternative medicine movement is Dr. Andrew Weil. (I wish he was a relative of mine so I could pick his brain at family gatherings.) He has written numerous books that contain vital information to help guide you to alternatives that provide health and well-being.

Weil is an allopathic (“traditional) doctor by training, but he, like many other AMA trained physicians, has gone into a more wholistic* practice, choosing to treat the body as a whole and complete entity vs. specific and individual parts.
*My preference for spelling something involving the whole body.

I’m glad I live in this era where I have a choice as to how I will achieve optimum health, whether it is from conventional treatments or (more likely) from alternative medicine. The alternative for me is prevention.

I will continue to post articles about how to achieve good health as well as healthy skin. See Juicing for Better Health for one idea on how to get lots of nutrients into your system easily.