Essentials Skin and Wellness Center

Offering head to toe holistic skin healing treatments to 
set people free from the pressures of social norms.


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Top 4 Reasons You Breakout During the Holidays

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on December 6, 2018 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (822)

Top 4 Reasons You Breakout During the Holiday Season

Isn’t that just how it is? We get busy and start planning fun activities with family and friends, only to wake up with a big red breakout or worse, clusters of breakouts, on our chin, cheek or forehead. It’s not like you don’t take care of your skin. Why does it seem that skin is more prone to breakouts during the holidays? Is it just your imagination? The answer is no. You aren’t just imagining things. As fun as this season can be, it also can create the perfect storm for skin challenges like, inflammation, oil and dry imbalances and the dreaded breakouts.Here are the top 4 reasons that may shed some light on this phenomenon.


Reason #1:

The old Grinch Stress! That’s right. This time of year has a tendency to bring on a lot of stress. If you’ve ever followed any of my blog posts or Facebook Live Videos in the past, we know that stress wreaks havoc on our Cortisol levels. That leads to hormone fluctuations and inflammation. Which can lead to nasty breakouts. How do you know if your breakout may be coming from stress? These breakouts often will be hard, red, inflamed and sore bumps under the skin that rarely come to the surface. They also may be located on the chin, jaw or forehead.

Reason #2:

Sugar! Oh, the way we love the sweets and carbs the second the “Holiday Season” is upon us. Usually starting as soon as Halloween. I know, we all try to be good but let's just cut to the chase here. Who doesn’t love home baked goodies?? It’s usually tied to tradition and good feelings so it’s a hard thing to avoid. Why should we avoid it in the first place? Sugar isn’t all about weight gain. In the skin care world, it actually has a lot to do with our friend inflammation and a little thing called glycation. Glycation is when a sugar molecule bonds with a protein molecule and actually breaks down the skin barrier and accelerates aging, cases inflammation and attacks microcirculation. How does this cause Acne? Well simply when you have inflammation increased while at the same time a breakdown in your skin barrier, imbalance takes place and you are open to a bacterial attack. If your microcirculation is affected, it can affect the blood flow to the area and toxin removal of the follicles. So basically, sugar in large quantities are kind of a negative thing.

Reason #3:

Eggnog! Eggnog, really? Yes Eggnog! Well actually, dairy. Believe it or not, dairy has long been known to be a trigger to acne breakout. These breakouts often look like pustules and can be filled with clear liquid. They also can show up around the mouth and come in clusters. Because of the presence of hormones, as well as its effect through the insulin like growth factor (IGF-1), dairy intake may aggravate acne on a number of levels, including an increase in oil production, inflammation and abnormal hormonal activity. So very sad! But maybe it’s time to switch to apple cider.


Reason 4:


Busier schedule. How does a busier schedule impact your skin? Besides the stress we already talked about above, business can also lead to small changes in daily habits that all have a larger result than originally thought. Canceling that monthly facial because there just isn’t enough time. Getting to bed later causes lack of sleep which slows to bodies repair time. Drinking more alcohol or coffee and such, causes more dehydration which can throw skin out of balance. Being too tired to remove makeup at night can result in compacted pores. Catch the drift? The busier we are the more apt we are to put ourselves last. And although this is a life lesson, the Holiday season is no exception. So take a moment to slow down, take stalk and decide to treat yourself well this year and your skin will thank you for it!

Back to School, learning the basics of great skin

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on August 2, 2018 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (58)

Oh my gosh it’s that time again! Seriously, where did the summer go? Now we are staring straight at fall and if you still have young ones at home, back to school is just around the corner!

Today, I wanted to share and get back to some basic principles to achieving great looking and healthy skin. With all the gimmicks and options out there, how are we to know where to begin?

Lets start by examining our skin & its importance

Our skin is an amazing organ. Coined the “Third Kidney” it is not only the largest organ of our body but also one that is directly linked to all systems of the body. It takes in oxygen, excretes toxins, hydrates, senses pain, provides circulation and regulates heat and cold. Our skin is amazing but it can also require a little maintenance. It amazes me how much we focus on our internal bodies and totally neglect our outer. It’s not complicated to keep care of our skin and make sure its healthy but it does take a little effort. So what steps can you do today to boost your skin’s effectiveness and give it what it needs to function at its best?

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that great skin is a partnership between good homecare choices and result-oriented professional treatments to achieve optimum results. Let's start with the neck up.

From the neck up

The first step to great skin from the neck up is proper cleansing. Cleansing for your skin type and concerns is vital to create balance. A good cleanser preps your skin to receive the nutrients from anything that follows. A cleanser that is too harsh will strip your skin and mess with its microbiome that protects your skin. A cleanser that’s to heavy or occlusive, will block any other nutrients from following products and worse, even clog your skin. So how can you know what’s right for you? A professional skin analysis is a great way to know for sure and should come with your first professional facial treatment.

Next, let's talk toners. Toners are a vehicle to help deliver important ingredients contained in your serums and moisturizers. A good toner will also hydrate your skin. Hydrated skin always utilizes nutrients and functions better. Imagine a dry sponge on your countertop. You spill your coffee. Now which works best to pick up that coffee? A dry sponge or should you dampen that sponge? Some toners can have active ingredients to purify, or calm the skin but the important thing is to stay away from toners that are full of alcohol and harsh ingredients to give you that stinging squeaky clean feeling. That’s asking for trouble!

Last, top with a good moisturizer. What makes a good moisturizer? As with everything, it has to do with good fats and bad fats. Moisturizers have two main functions. Repair and protect. Depending on what you are wanting to target will depend what type of moisturizer you use at the moment. The important thing I want you to remember is what are the carrier oils being used? Just like food, there is a difference between healthy oils or “fats” and not healthy oils in moisturizers. The grade of oil also makes a huge difference. Carrier oils are important to not only nurture the skin but also carry active ingredients into the skin for optimum results. The good news is you don’t have to know all of the oils that work and why and if they are right for you. That’s where a professional Esthetician comes in. We work hard at knowing ingredient lists and what they do for you and if they will work with your skin type and skin conditions.

Serums and exfoliants are the last category. They are for targeted conditions. I recommend a full consultation to determine if these are necessary and which ones will work best as well as how often you should use them.

Home care is an important step in having great healthy skin on the entire body. Partnering with a Licensed Esthetician to find a regimen that works for your needs is a must so you do not waste money on products that aren’t what they are cracked up to be. Results are our main focus and end game.

Want to know what’s best for the body? Look for my next blog to talk about ways we can improve the texture, look and feel of the skin from the neck down.

Inflammaging. What is it and what can I do about it?

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on March 7, 2018 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (31)

Inflammaging. It's a term I keep seeing pop up in the wellness industry and now in the skin care industry. I believe we will continue to hear about it as it seems to be a growing epidemic. So what is it? Is it really important for us to talk about and if so, what can we do about it?

Inflammation; friend or foe?

Inflammation is a normal response to outside threats like stress, infection and toxic chemicals. When you get injured or have trauma such as an infection, your body will respond with inflammation. It helps signal the immune system to pay attention to that area which is affected. Our bodies use inflammation to help launch the healing process by releasing proteins via our immune system to protect our body. What happens when that inflammatory response continues and doesn't turn off? When, like a light switch, it gets gets stuck in the on position and begins to become overactive? Well that's when we start to experience what is called chronic inflammation. That can be problematic. It's like a cascade of reactions that in turn cause our immune system to turn against us. Eroding our health and even our skin which in turn causes premature aging. Yikes!

What are some of the effects of chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation have been linked to a myriad of issues. Do you recognize any of theses?

  • Attacks your joints such as RA
  • Disturbs our sleep
  • Linked to heart conditions and disease
  • Higher cancer risk
  • Effects on mental health and clarity
  • Makes weight loss more difficult by slowing down the metabolism, create food cravings and insulin resistance
  • The cause of Oxidative Stress!
  • Harms your gut
  • Causes accelerated aging

So what can we do about it?

The good news is there is hope. First, you want to recognise that silent inflammation isn't so silent and could be having more of an effect in your body and aging process than originally thought. Second, make small and sometimes large steps to put an end to chronic inflammation. What kind of steps can you take?

  • Find your triggers. Did you know certain foods can feed inflammation? It can also be different for each person, so check into an elimination diet to pinpoint what those are for you. I like the 131 diet or Adrenal Reset Diet.
  • Check your gut health and make sure you have enough digestive enzymes and probiotics to help your nutrition to be absorbed properly. See an Certified Nutritionist if necessary.
  • Choose to put your health first in your life and manage your stress. Make appointments for "you" time and if necessary, get your Cortisol levels checked.
  • Lastly, talk to us about LED Light Therapy treatments to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress over your entire body.

With a little help and diligence, there is hope to put and end to Chronic Inflammation and reduce accelerated aging known as Inflammaging.

The tale of two sisters...not twins and other eyebrow waxing tips everyone should know...

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on January 8, 2018 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (52)

I wanted to come up with some tips on choosing a good eyebrow waxing specialist. I hate it when I see things happen like half an eyebrow removed or skin removal or worse, a burn and scar. Yet people shouldn’t have to be afraid of waxing their brows! So if it’s ok, here are a couple of tips before letting anyone do anything to our pretty girls that frame our face.

1: Make sure it’s a trained Esthetician with experience. Although hair stylists are trained, doing it at the shampoo bowl or in a chair is just all the wrong kind of angles.

2: No honey wax! Blue hard wax is what you want to ask for and Ceriple or Berodin are a few of my personal favorites. It’s low temp and won’t take off skin.

3: Ask if they wax and then shape via tweezing. I take off excess hair with wax but always shape by tweezing with a mag lamp so I can see and be as detailed as possible.

4: Most importantly, do they measure your brow so it naturally matches the shape of your eye and face. It’s an old and tried technique I use every time and if they don’t, you are asking for uneven brows. That also may tell you the level of their expertise. I know we have two sisters for brows and not two twins but hopefully this helps everyone diminish the chances of to much hair being removed. Although sh** happens as they say and it can happen to the best of us. Let me know if I can help further!!

The Four Pillars of Acne

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on October 27, 2017 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (31)

Many people come to me wanting answers when it comes to acne breakout on skin. It doesn't seem to matter what age or what type of acne the person suffers from, they just want it gone. Often they want to know why this happening is.

There is a lot out there trying to explain and fix the issue of acne. Loads of tips and theories and sadly, most leave people feeling deflated and a bit frustrated. Whether you are experiencing pustule breakout that is just dying to be "popped" or red hard nodules and cysts, I have found that I like to boil the subject down to 4 main "Pillars" that create the perfect storm for acne to exist. When we know what those pillars are, we can address them directly, individually, and as a whole. So what are these 4 Pillars? Glad you asked.

Pillar 1: Over production of dead skin cells.

The medical name is hyper-keratosis. It's where your skin is not exfoliating fast enough. It means you will have a buildup of dead protein. Why is this important? When your pores and follicles are lined with dead skin cells, it mixes with sebum and makes a seed called a micro-comedone. That in turn clogs that pore or follicle leading to more trouble.

Pillar 2: Over production or an imbalance of Sebum (oil) production.

When our skin is out of balance in oil and hydration (water), it can cause all kinds of issues. If you have to much oil, it will mix with your dead skin cells, clog your pores then cause a breakout. If you are dehydrated, your pores will shrink and make it harder for impurities to come out of your pores. Worse yet, if you try to combat your oiliness with products that dry out your skin and dehydrate your skin, it will make your skin produce more oil trying to hydrate itself. This creates a horrible cycle and problem.

Pillar 3: Inflammation.

When your skin is irritated it creates heat in the form of inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to try to fight off sickness or infection. The problem is that it can also close off your follicle trapping oil and dead skin cells and bacteria in the pore, making the problem worse. Then when you attack your skin with heavy medicated products and harsh peels, your skin reacts. Just like that, you exasperate the problem.

Pillar 4: Bacteria

Our skin is a microbiome of activity. It's a balance of good and bad bacteria and a host of cellular activity. Our skin is also the largest organ of the body and is part of the excretory system that detoxifies our bodies and excretes toxins. When our skin bacteria is out of balance, it leaves room for p.acne and acne vulgaris bacteria to grow and start local infections, as in breakouts. Then when we are on anti-biotics, topically and internally, we may get an initial relief but it can also lead to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria creating a backlash effect and worse acne flare up.

So how do these 4 Pillars work together to make a breakout?? First your follicle is lined with too many dead skin cells. Then it mixes with sticky sebum (oil) and creates a seed (micro-comedone). That clogs the pore and starts irritating the follicle creating inflammation. The pore swells not allowing the toxins and debris to be released. A sugary gas emits and bacteria start to feed causing a local infection in your pore. White blood cells charge to the rescue and bam! You have white puss that fills your follicle. Sometimes it rises to the top and creates a pustule in the form of a yellow head. Sometimes the opening of the follicle is blocked and the debris stays stuck deep in the pore. That gets hot and swollen and a nodule forms. If the follicle ruptures, a cyst will form. Please note! DO NOT TRY TO POP ANY OF THESE AND YOU SHOULD NOT EXTRACT CYSTS!

Keeping these 4 pillars in mind is imperative when I try to find solutions to heal breakout and keep new ones at bay. Everyone has their own recipe or keys to unlock balanced, well-functioning skin. It's my job to help find that balance. Choosing products that address each of these pillars is the goal. We never want to exasperate any of these pillars. Doing so will only create more issues. Unfortunately, most over the counter products do just that. They may focus on one or two pillars but neglect or exasperate the others. Knowing this, will hopefully help you be better equipped on being a savvy shopper. Will this product cause more irritation? Will this product cause me to dry out, therefore cause more dead skin? Will this product kill my bacteria? Will this product hydrate my skin while not causing too much oil production? All these questions should be addressed when being presented with a product that offers miracles.

No matter what, the number one this we must always treat and stay away from is inflammation. It is the root of all evil when it comes to skin conditions. Let me help find the right recipe for you.

5 Fall Tips for Fabulous Skin!

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on October 2, 2017 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (39)

The weather is changing. There's a briskness to the air and heaters may start to turn on at night. We just got done with 3 great months of summer heat and fun in the sun. Our skin may respond with some rebellion. Often I see people come into the treatment room this time of year with complaints of unbalanced skin. Dehydration mixed with dead skin build up can create havoc and will show itself with break outs, rough texture and uneven oiliness. Not to mention, our skin may have taken a beating in the sun this summer, so now we have possible sun damage concerns to address. So how can we bring our skin into balance to ensure our winter months aren't a train wreck? I have 5 easy steps to help you this fall. I promise, you won't look scary by the end of October if you follow these simple tricks!


1. It's time to exfoliate! You want that rough texture to go away and your skin to glow? Get rid of that dead skin build up by exfoliating! Now, if you know anything about me, you know I'm not a fan of scrubs. There are few and far between that I care for but a good gommage at home can really help things along. Try a boot camp of gommaging your face once a day for 7 days and see how that leaves your skin feeling!

2. Book a facial! Not only can we go over your home regimen to make sure it still fits you, consider booking a peel! There are lots of ways we can go deeper than home gommage treatments to stimulate cell renewal and remove damaged, dead skin cells. How about a Hydro-dermabrasion treatment? It uses water mixed with a special blend of essential oils to hydrate and plump the skin while the tip and vacuum pressure gently exfoliate the top layer of the epidermis. You end up with a soft glowing complexion! Not sure Aqua-Glow is right for you? If brown spots are your issue, book an Essential White facial with 30% Glycolic peel or our Alpha Vital Smoothing treatment.

3. Skin gets dehydrated with the cooler air starting to come in. Air becomes dryer in its humidity and heaters leech moisture from the air. Boost your skin care regimen at home with Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that bonds water molecules to skin cells. It actually will grab water from the air and bond it to your skin. It plumps and hydrates and boosts the effectiveness of moisturizing ingredients in your moisturizers. You can find it in the Hydra Booster, Hydra N1 serum, creme or mask. Remember to up your water during the day to keep you hydrated from the inside out. Also, don't wash our skin in hot water or take long hot baths and showers. Try for tepid water and keep your time in the water short.

4. Try a Mask! This subject area is overlooked and often mis-judged. Masking is a great treat you can do at home to help correct skin issues that arise from imbalances. Masks are not only fun, they can be a useful tool to customize your home regimen and target specific needs. Say you are experiencing oiliness in your t-zone and dullness in your cheeks. You can use a clay mask, like YonKa's Masque 103 down your t-zone and a hydrating mask like YonKa's Masque N1 on your cheeks. Needing to smooth and brighten? Work on some sagging? There are masks for that too! I love, love, love YonKa's Excellence Code Masque filled with nutgrass & sweet almond proteins to firm and tighten while brightening with AHAs. It's seriously received the nick name "Spanx for your face!" So pick a mask! They aren't just for Halloween anymore.

5. Consider doing a "boot camp" for your skin to treat the brown spots you created in the sun and the damage that occurred, with products geared to even out pigmentation. Products like YonKa's Essential White Program, full of Red & Brown Algae, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, & Beech Bud Peptides all work to diminish dark spots and even out skin tone. Don't forget your SPF!!

So there you have it! My top 5 tips to look fabulous this fall! Let me know which ones you have tried and how they worked for you. Your biggest tip is to work with a professional that can help tweak things for you and answer questions. Fall is my favorite time of year. No reason to let it take a toll on your complexion!


Solutions for Tired & Slacking Skin!

Posted by Essentials Skin and Wellness Center on June 22, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (30)

What can we do when we wake up and our skin lacks that luster.  We look tired and dull yet we have slept a full 8hrs!  To address the way our skin appears in the AM we must visit what we do or do not do in the PM.  

We have all heard that our skin and body goes into repair at night.  While we "rest", our bodies are busy.  Our cells repair and rebuild at all of our stages of sleep.  Although, they do their best work at repairing cellular damage during REM sleep.  Not gettting that deep rest?  Well that can be the start of our problem.  

Lacking rest can do a number on our skin.  Especially our face.  From dark, puffy eyes to thinning skin, even increased discoloration!  But what about slacking loose skin?  Does our nighttime activity play an important roll in how much our skin can sag? When we get adiquate sleep, our cortisol (our stress hormone) drops, and melatonine (our sleep hormone) levels raise.  Since cortisol is a cause of much havoc like inflammation and free radical damage and melatonine actually acts like an antioxidant to stimulate and support cellular repair, I would say that's a good step in the right direction!

I guess there is something to the old addage "Beauty Sleep".  Are there any ways we can support our bodies efforts?  I'm glad you asked!  There are definately some steps to help us fight the aging process while we sleep.

Fist, it has been recommended that we have a bed time routine.  Turn off our tv and step away from the phone 20-30 minutes before you lay down. Wether you like to read or listen to relaxing music while sipping tea, find something you like to do that centers you from the days events.  Then head to the bathroom sink because there are a few things you need to include in your routine to boost that anti-aging and repair in your skin so you wake refreshed and with improved skin then when you went to bed.


  1. After cleansing with a cleanser that is made for your skin type and doesn't strip your skin, follow with a hydrating toner like YonKa's Lotion PS or PG if you have oily skin.  Hydration is imperative to carry and prep your skin to receive important nutrients from our serums and cremes.  
  2. While your skin is still moist, it's important to choose a serum or booster that focuses on a skin condition you want to address.  Discoloration? Try one with melanin inhibitors.  Dullness?  Something with hyolaronic acid is great.  Acne? Lets choose one that has lactic acid and sulfer.  Accelorated aging issues?  We can address that with a serum that energizes cell energy.  Serums and boosters are where we target concerns and issues. 
  3. Lastly, follow up with a moisturizer to feed your skin with anti-oxidants, herbs and vitamins.  We want to feed your skin while you sleep and give it the nutrients it needs to repair.  Since we have been addressling slackin and sagging skin, try a moisturizer that is geared to building strong ellastin or collagen.  Ingredients like Imortality Herb, Vitamin A & Co-enzyme Q10 all work together to firm and re-energize your skin.
  4. Don't forget your eyes and neck!  Eye creams with Rosemary will target those dark circles and puffiness while extending your products into your declote region will go a long way where are neck is concerned.


I want to add one last tip.  Exfoliate!!  When we exfoliate with a gommage or gentle scrub, we not only stimulate circulation and get that blood flow to our skin tissue.  It also creates a small wound response which stimulates cell renewal.  Not to mention the smoothing and brightening effect it has.  With all the goodness you are about to apply, lets not apply it on old dead shingles on a roof.  

It is so important to invest on good home product.  It doesn't have to be confusing and if you choose to consult a professional trained in skin repair, we can make sure you invest in products that you need, will work with your skin type and that will get results.  No reason to shoot in the dark.  

With consistency and good efforsts, you WILL see a change in your skin and you CAN obtain that radient plump complexion we all desire.


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