Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gommage in the shower?

Can I use the gommage in the shower?

Let me be brief: No! Yonka’s Gommage (303 or 305) is a wonderful exfoliator that should not be used if your face is wet, whether in the shower or bath or steam room. Why not? Gommage is in a gel base and needs to dry (through massaging it into the skin) in order to grab onto dead skin cells that are later rubbed off. If your skin is wet, even with simple humidity in the room (like after a shower), the gommage won’t slough off.

The following are my instructions for using Gommage to the fullest. These instructions basically duplicate a previous post: Yonka’s Gommage + Instructions. As you will read at the bottom of this post, these“myinstructions are actually the way Yonka used to instruct clients (and aestheticians) to use Gommage back in the ’80s. Regardless how you use it, the following tips are going to be helpful.

This is very important: Your skin and the air around you needs to be DRY (no moisture in the air, no moisture on your skin). In other wordsyou cannot do the gommage while taking a showeror a bath!
  • Use a quarter to a half dollar-sized dollop
  • Warm Gommage in your hands 
  • Apply to DRY face and neck
  • Gommage starts out as a sticky gooey gel
  • Massage in using light, circular movements
  • After a minute or two, it will start absorbing into the skin
  • Keep massaging, but do not rub your face raw! (If you feel you have to rub hard, you didn’t begin with enough product or you are really dehydrated. Don’t remove what you’ve got on your face, but apply a bit morearound half the amount you began withthen continue massaging in.)
  • You will start to notice pencil eraser-type flakes appearing as Gommage dries
  • Get over a sink, and use brisk movements to eliminate the impurities off your face
  • When complete, no more flakes will appear
  • Rinse the residue off with tepid water (not hot or cold)
  • Pat your skin dry with a towel
  • Spray your Yonka Lotion toner
  • Finally, apply your favorite Yonka day or nighttime moisturizer
  • Your skin will feel extremely soft and look very clear and healthy
  • Your makeup will go on smoothly
In order to have a complete, healthy skin care routine, I highly recommend using this excellent product at least once to several times per week. As I’ve said many times, exfoliation is paramount to healthy skin. I have many favorites in the Yonka-Paris skin care line, but Gommage is in my top 3 for sure. (Want to know what the other two products are? Click here and read through to the bottom of the post!)

The instructions for the gommage have changed over the yearsand I’m not sure why. I think the older way is also a bit more time-consuming and labor-intensive, however I believe it works massively better than the newer instructions in your box of Gommage. Those directions will tell you to apply the gel, leave it to dry for 10 minutes or so, then start to rub it in and off your face. It may seem like a minor difference, but I believe if you work it in vs. let it sit on your skin, you will ultimately get a better gommage or peel.

Here is an excerpt from a new client’s email. She had always been told the “new” way to gommage and I sent her instructions for the “old” way. Here are her comments:

Wow! Thanks, Carolyn! I was, indeed, using the gommage incorrectly. I was applying the correct amount, but I was told to leave it on after I applied it for about ten minutes, then use my fingers to sweep downwards on the skin to get the “pencil eraser” flakes to come off. I tried it your way last night. It worked brilliantly.

Whichever way you prefer to apply this productjust do ityou’ll be happy you did. Yonka’s Gommage can and will make a huge difference in the healthy look and smooth feel of your skin.

Friday, April 24, 2015

21 Years of Grace

This was taken last month in her favorite sleeping place.
Several years back, in my original post for this blog, I said that occasionally I would write about things unrelated to skin care. This is one such post.

Today is my sweet cat Graces 21st birthday! She arrived at my doorstep in the arms of a friend back in August 1994. She was found in the hood of a pickup truck parked at a post office in Dallas, Texas. This friend heard a cat crying, and as she was looking over the truck to try to locate the kitty, the truck owner came out and wanted to know what she was doing. She said, “I hear a cat under the hood! and he replied, “Is that cat still there? She quickly told him to lift the hood, where she found a black, straggly-looking kitty tucked near the front wheel. She quickly grabbed the cat and probably gave the guy a dirty look.

I had just moved into an apartment where I could have pets. I didnt however expect that the day after I moved in I would get a knock at the door with my friend holding this sweet and scared young cat. A few friends came over, and we watched this scraggly kitty as she pranced on the carpet. She was actually lifting her feet because being under the hood of a truck in Texas in August had singed the pads of her poor little paws. One friend said, “She is so graceful. And that is how she got her name:  Grace.
Gracie, although she looks black, is a very dark brown Burmese mix with a white star on her chest. I call her coloring espresso. The vet said she was probably 4-6 months old, so I went back from August when she entered my life, and arrived at my birthday (today) in April. I used this day for her birthday also so I would remember how old she was year to year. I could have never guessed that I would be counting up to 21 yearsand who knows how many more!

Now, as a kitty crone, she is basically skin and bones. During her “heavier years, she weighed around 10 lbs, give or take. Now she is a pretty consistent 4.8 pounds! Shes not really able to do the normal kitty gymnastics of cleaning herself, so once a week or so I do a washcloth cleanse, which she hates, but she looks so much better afterwards. Every evening she calls me into the bedroom to pet her and love on her. She sleeps all the time, even more so than other times when she was younger.

Every morning when I wake up and see her on my bed I think, wowanother day of Grace! So, Happy Birthday old girl. I am grateful for all of these 21 years of Grace! I feel honored to have her in my life and under my care.
April 2015Skinny but regal
If youre interested in seeing the other 4-legged kids in my household, see My 4-Legged Family, which is listed under the PAGES section at the top right-hand side of this blogsite.
These are some of the first photos of Gracie, August 1994. Funny how she has almost grown and shrunk to just about the same small size.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sun Protection: Hats, Hats, Hats!

A client of mine was going to Arizona for a vacation one summer. I asked if she had a good hat, and she said no. I knew this client didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a hat, so I recommended she go to Target. They always seem to have good, inexpensive hats that I call Throw Aways.

I rarely spend more than $10-$15 on a hat. It has to pack well (being able to fold and mash it in a suitcase or bag is imperative!) and if I lose it, I am not out much money. Plus I know there are more where it came from. In fact, when I find a hat I truly love, I usually buy two of them. Having a spare for insurance means if I lose it or something happens to my beloved hat, there is always one waiting in the wings. The one exception to this is the hat(s) I wear out with the horses. In this case, I do spend money on a hat that has good coverage. I’ve found REI has the best wide-brimmed hats that hold up over time. (These are generally not the mashable kind.)
Probably my first hat on my 2nd birthday
Hats, for me, are very important. I simply don’t want direct sunlight on my face—ever! Now that I am into my 50s, I am much more careful than I was in my teens and early 20s—when I didn’t really care or think about sun exposure unless I was at the beach. There, I always covered my face, but not while I was walking on the sand or the street or to and from my car. But now I always have something between my face and the sun.

Keep your hats handy and try to have something for every occasion. Running, skating, walking, golfing, boating, snow skiing, biking, motorcycling, dress up, dress down; you name it, you’ll have a hat. Of course, many of these activities can share one hat.

Sometimes a bandana is the only appropriate sun protection. If you water ski, for instance, you can wear a bandana tied around your head, at least covering your forehead. A tight-fitting visor can work here, also—a hat would never stay on during this activity.

Be creative and stay well-protected. You’ll thank yourself as you watch the years go by. Sun is the number one cause of premature aging.

Monday, April 20, 2015

“Adult Acne” explained

I have many clients who have been diagnosed at their dermatologists as having “adult acne. When these clients are in my treatment room for a facial and upon further examination, many times it turns out they simply have a minor breakout. Usually it is caused by improper diet, stress, or perhaps a hormone imbalance. Their breakout certainly needs to be addressed, but I dislike the term adult acne, although it is widely used nowadays to describe problem skin in adults.

Technically, even a blackhead has the potential for acne. But it is rare in these individuals diagnosed with adult acne that I see true acne, as opposed to a small breakout. It is all a matter of degree, but the kind of acne I use the term acne for is the full-blown type. An adult can certainly have true acne. But I don’t like overusing the term adult acne when it makes a minor breakout sound much more intense than it really is, lessening the weight of having true acne.

Regardless whether you have true acne, “adult acne,” or simply breakout, please read through this blog to find helpful hints and tips for solving or at least managing your problem skin.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Men & Skin Care: One profile—is this you?

The following is one profile of how some of you take care of your skin. I know this is a generalization, but it is based on seeing male clients over the years, listening to stories about my female clients’ husbands, and asking men wherever I go how they take care of their skin. I know there are those of you (more and more) who are conscientious about your skin and who really do have good skin care habits. The following is not a profile of you, but of “the others.”
  • You almost always use soap. And you use the same soap on your face as you do on your body—whatever is within reach in the shower. This can include deodorant soaps, which by the way, are working to inhibit the sweat glands from producing. How can this be good for your face?
  • After washing with soap in the shower, you usually shave
  • Next you use aftershave. Many times these products contain alcohol.
  • Sometimes you slap on a moisturizer (any one will do), and you’re off. That’s it—simple, easy, done.
  • You may only use soap in the shower and never mess with moisturizer or even an aftershave. Your reasoning is, “What for?” You aren’t having any problems with your skin, so why bother with products?
  • At night, sometimes you just splash your face with water.
Believe me, I’m not advocating that men follow a complicated skin care routine (women either) when the less-is-more approach seems to be working just fine. I am, however, suggesting incorporating a few minor changes that would be beneficial. See Men’s Skin Care Dos & Don’ts for information on how you can best take care of your skin on a daily basis.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yonka’s Nutri-Protect Hand Treatment Cream

Repairing, Hydrating, Anti-aging Cream
for dry, rough, chapped and damaged hands

Below you can read about the wonderful ingredients and actions of this hand cream, but I can tell you from my own personal experience and also from what my clients say: Nutri-Protect is a wonderful, nourishing hand treatment product!

The aromatics alone sold me. When I first applied this luxurious moisturizer, I couldn’t stop sniffing my hands! I loved the fresh aromas of citrus and shea butter.

I have a tube of this available for my clients to use while in my facial room. Everyone who has tried it loves it like I do. NOTE: A little really does go a long way! I have seen clients squeeze a lot of product onto their handsreally, a pea-sized dollop is plenty.
One thing I really love is that my hands aren’t greasy after applying this nourishing hand cream. I can easily work on my computer or handle papers without leaving grease marks everywhere. While at my office this is a huge plus for me.

Because my hands are in and out of water while I
m working, having this treatment cream available after every facial keeps my hands from drying out. I also love to put this nourishing cream on my heels. Just before bed, I massage Nutri-Protect over my sometimes dry feet, and—especially in the winter—my heels stay hydrated and crack-free. I love this hand cream! 

CLICK HERE to be taken to this products shopping cart page on my website.

From Yonka headquarters:

“3 in 1 treatment for hands, nails and cuticles. With its elegant texture, this ultra-comforting hand cream bursts with benefits when it comes to repairing the driest and most damaged of skin. Rich in ingredients renowned for their restructuring, nourishing and hydrating properties, it helps preserve a youthful appearance for hands, and ensures their protection against harsh environmental factors (water, wind, cold, dry air, etc.). Quickly absorbed, it leaves skin soft, supple, smooth and silky.”

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 the cream to dry, clean hands
  • Massage from the fingertips towards the wrists
  • For damaged or cracked hands, apply frequently
  • Remember: A little goes a long way

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why does skin break out? Part II—Breakout contributors

Hopefully you’ve read Why does skin break out? Part I, which asks important questions to help you understand why you may be breaking out. Here I’ll discuss products that you don’t want to use on your skin and other things that may be contributing to your skin problems. 

Products with alcohol. Not all alcohol is bad; it is primarily SD, ethyl, and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol that are not good to use on your skin. Alcohol merely puts out the fire, so to speak, but does nothing to douse the origination of the flame. It causes dry skin to form in and around the affected pore or pores where it was applied, which can cause problems of its own. Although drying something up seems to be effective, it is simply a temporary fix and is not part of a real solution for ending your breakouts. See Alcohol in Products: The good and the bad for detailed information on the different alcohols used in products.

Witch hazel found in most stores contains roughly 15% ethyl alcohol. So although it is not pure alcohol, it still contains some bad alcohol nonetheless. This type of witch hazel and its accompanying alcohol should be avoided, especially as a main ingredient in a product. Hamamelis virginiana is the actual plant name for what we call witch hazel. This extract is actually a good ingredient and can be helpful to reduce swelling and inflammation. Unfortunately it is usually mixed with ethyl alcohol, which is a skin care no-no.

Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient in many products for problem skin. Go to any grocery or drug store and there are numerous “oxy” products lining the shelves, waiting for unsuspecting customers to take them home—only to find they usually don’t work. Benzoyl peroxide is antibacterial, which is good. But it is also a skin irritant and can cause dryness, sensitivity, and irritation, which is bad. You want to soothe and heal your blemishes, not irradiate them by using a nuclear bomb!

Fragrance as a skin care product ingredient can cause problems with many peoples’ skin. Even fragrance worn as perfume can cause allergic reactions in a large percentage of the population. Fragrance is an ambiguous term. It is similar to natural flavoring in foods. What is the fragrance made of? I have seen many decent, natural face products that employ fragrance in their formulations. This can ruin an otherwise good product. Fragrance can also cause big problems with your skin. Allergy to fragrance is one of the most common reasons someone cannot use a particular skin care product. Watch out for this ingredient.
Bar soap is a skin care no-no as far as I’m concerned. There just isn’t any good reason for using it—on your face. Soap, by its very nature, has ingredients in it that help hold its shape and keep it hard—ingredients the skin on your face really doesn’t benefit from. Soaps are generally alkaline vs. being pH balanced; alkalinity is bad; pH balanced is what you want. See pH & products for important information.

If you are currently using bar soap, try switching to a liquid soap or face wash. Sometimes these, too, will be alkaline, so testing with pH papers is always the best way to find the right cleanser for you. Because alkalinity strips all the oil and water off your face, your oil glands may overproduce to compensate for the loss, which can cause oiliness, dehydration, as well as breakouts. See MYTH: Soap is a good cleanser.

Although not an ingredient in skin care products, the trace mineral iodine is known to cause breakout in some people. And I happen to be one of those people sensitive to this vital mineral. I know this because in the past I have taken kelp tablets, high in iodine, and every time I do my skin starts to break out.

One time I experimented to see if it was indeed the kelp that was disturbing my skin. I stopped taking the kelp, let my skin clear up completely, then once again starting taking kelp tablets while not changing anything else in either my diet or my skin care routine. Sure enough, my skin started reacting by breaking out. Therefore taking kelp tablets as an easy way to get iodine is just not for me. Although important for a healthy-functioning thyroid, iodine is easy to get through foods, namely fish, and seaweeds (high in kelp).

Having gone through a bit of a struggle in perimenopause with my energy levels (having to do with adrenals glands and also thyroid), I do have a bit more insight into iodine and other supplements that can help keep your body functioning optimally. This will be discussed in a future post.

In an upcoming article, the last installment in this series (Why does skin break out? Part III—More contributing factors), I will go over even more contributing factors to your breakouts. Keep reading!