Established in 1954, this French skin care brand is one of the pioneers of aromatherapy. It is also one of my favorite brands. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Katherine Tomasso, the National Director of Education at YON-KA Paris. Here is what she had to say…
(Q) Hello. How are you? Tell me more about the Yon-Ka Paris brand…
This year marks 60 years of YON-KA Paris, a leader in aroma-therapeutic spa treatments and products. Founded in France in 1954 by the Muhlethaler family, a trio of health and wellness enthusiasts and visionaries, the collection was first founded on the principals of total body detoxification and regeneration. High standards of quality and safety lie at the heart of YON-KA values. Crafting phyto-aromatic skin care products for the face and body is our passion, as well as a means to help people experience a complete total body wellness and sensorial effect, which is so special and unique to the brand. The YON-KA Paris experience is heightened by the olfactory and sensorial notes of the scent and complexity of each individual product, which itself heightens the effectiveness of the treatment and the technical nature of the product. Ever since our creation, our team of scientists have been devoted to the selection of innovative and evidence-based natural ingredients with acute efficiency. Currently, rigorous R&D, advancements in botanical science and our unwavering commitment to nature positions us as a leading expert specifically in the area of Age Management.
Our at home spa collection for “Aging Well” is based on three tenets: the Age Defense collection includes products formulated specifically to address the first signs of aging. Age Correction features corrective care products for the visible signs of aging. And we’re thrilled that later this year we’ll launch Age Exception, a brand new category of products formulated to address the multiple needs of mature skin due to various hormonal imbalances linked to advanced aging. Age Exception showcases our full commitment to nature, and science and research, resulting in elegant, high performing products. Knowing the impact that highly skilled professional touch can have to a persons’ over-all sense of well-being, an international team of YON-KA expert therapists developed a series of high touch manual techniques now integral with the YON-KA Paris luxury spa experience, a truly incredible and transformative one.
We’ve also developed specific and tailor-made spa treatments for face and body, emphasizing high touch. The YON-KA manual technique is inseparable from the world of our aroma-therapeutic collection. It’s an expert and subtle alchemy between the professional’s hand, the hand that feels and gives, and the instrument that prolongs and reinforces it, the vitalizing and pre-dosed essential oil that optimizes it. In harmony with the customer’s needs, it takes place within a holistic and personalized approach to deliver the very best that the product has to offer, a visible result and a real sensation of improved well-being, all whilst ensuring the highest performance and tending to each individual. We truly believe that there is such beauty to be found in human touch as expressed with the YON-KA face and body techniques. As a result, high touch expertise is one of our brand values and our motto…. “The Art of Touch – A Touch of our Art”.
(Q) What inspired the creation of this brand? How did the idea and evolution of Yon-Ka Paris come about?
The simple answer is plants! Our phyto-aromatic actives are carefully selected and scrutinized from more than 130 plants. More specifically aroma-therapy and phyto -therapy, is the therapeutic use of aromatic essential oils and plants extracts respectively, and have different actions and benefits to the finished product. Our advanced formulas carefully pre-dose essential oils and extracts into a complete and effective finished product. One of our first products, EMULSION CONCENTREE contains an exclusive and treasured formula that blends 5 aromatic essential oils that have been stabilized into water based emulsion. Due to the specific actions of each one of the essential oils, including their synergistic effects EMULSION CONCENTREE has extraordinary detoxifying and regenerating properties. Lavender, Rosemary, Cypress, Thyme and Geranium marries important and versatile skin care actions with the beautiful, fragrant aromas of the Mediterranean basin. We’ve named this complex “Quintessence” and even today Quintessence is the DNA of the brand:
• Fine lavender from Haute Provence (lavandula angustifolia) with calming, healing and anti-inflammatory properties .
• Rosemary from Morocco (rosmarinus officinalis) with antiseptic, regenerating and toning properties .
• Geranium from Egypt (pélargonium graveolens) with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and healing properties.
• Thyme from Spain (thymus officinalis), excellent stimulant with powerful antiseptic properties .
• Cypress from Provence (cupressus sempervirens) decongestant and powerful nervous system regulator.
Used in various concentrations in 70% of our ranges, always pre-measured to ensure absolute safety and optimum results, Quintessence increases the effectiveness of the ingredients it is combined with and provides an olfactory experience that can be relaxing or energizing depending on what is needed.
(Q) You have products for the face and for the body, among other things. Currently, what are your most popular products? Tell me a little more about your best sellers…
No surprise, any product which is densely concentrated in “Quintessence” is very popular with our devoted brand followers. An international leading best seller is LOTION YON-KA. Categorized as an aromatic skin tonic it’s really much more that. LOTION YON-KA is a true eau du soin daily treatment. Unlike other toners which are applied with cotton, LOTION delivers its aromatic and hydrating effects in an abundant spray. It’s an absolute must after cleansing but can also be sprayed during the day for a little aromatic respite. (It’s better for you than a coffee break!) In the Age Correction segment, two popular programs leads turnover. OPTIMIZER Duo consists of a lightweight serum and cream rich in signal peptides from hibiscus flower and lupine bean. Working with fibroblast growth factors these natural builder peptides firms and redensifies the tissues with exquisite results. Clinical tests showed how hibiscus peptides worked to stimulate fibroblasts and collagen I by +23%.
Today’s educated consumer is also aware of the need to preserve elastin which is another key protein of youth. The STIMULASTINE Duo contains boswellia, dill, out and yeast extracts to maintain the necessary elastic properties of elastin, without which the skin would atrophy. Clinical studies made to this popular duo showed impressive 3 dimensional improvements made to deep wrinkles. As we anticipate the new Age Exception category spa goers should expect the brand to continue formulating products that deliver these types of impressive results and proven efficacy.
(Q) I am always in need of a good serum. Tell me a little more about the Yon-Ka serum…
Serums are amazing and YON-KA Serum is a precious reparative and detoxifying cocktail for all skin types. It blends Quintessence into a synergy of golden plant oils which are rich in essential fatty acids, lipids and numerous anti-free radical vitamins. Besides its elegant texture and beautiful scent buyers seem to really like the versatility of YON-KA Serum. For example it can be applied to the neck and throat alone. This is great to do during your make-up free time such as going to your Pilates class or doing your favorite off hour activity. The Quintessence supports the micro-circulation so the complexion is quickly energized and radiant. A few drops of YON-KA Serum can also be added to boost your customized treatment cream which keeps the skin balanced and in a healthy mode of renewal.
(Q) What products would you recommend for someone with combination skin?
As you know many people have combination skin and we definitely have several “go to” products which address this condition. CRÈME 93 is the perfect treating and protective cream for combination skin. Rich in ylang-ylang, a white flower with a very exotic scent also has adaptogenic and normalizing properties. Proteins, lime essential oil, and anti-oxidant vitamins also help to normalize imbalanced areas of the complexion. One of our newer treating creams, VITAL DEFENSE is another effective treatment option for combination skin. Its added benefits include protecting the skin from oxidative stress and pollution so it’s especially perfect for city dwellers. Myrtle extract is its active ingredient which increases glutathione recovery rate. Glutathione is an essential molecule we produce which is essential for cell protection and longevity, the key to preserving the life of the skin.
(Q) You have body products that do various jobs, which I have to admit is quite impressive. Do you really have body products that actually make you skinnier?
Not skinnier, but healthier and more energized. The combination of aromatic essential oils, marine and plant extracts will stimulate the natural micro-circulation process. Sluggish circulation is main culprit and root cause of cellulite and/or general imbalances of the silhouette. We add heat producing extracts like nutmeg, wintergreen and thyme to our body range of products which help to promote a contouring effect. The Body Range also features toning and firming products, aroma-therapeutic body oils and treatment bath and specific body care preparations for areas such as the neck and bust.
(Q) It’s really interesting that you have a line specifically for sun care. Everything from sun protection to sunless tanning. Tell me a little more about your sun care line…
It’s a very specific yet very manageable collection which includes solar protection, sunless tan options and after sun treatments. Three broad spectrum solar protection products (protects skin from UVA & UVB rays) give consumers great choices for their SFP protection. For the longest time, UVB rays were the only ones considered to be harmful to the skin. In fact UVB rays are responsible for sun burns; they accelerate the aging process and can lead to skin cancer. Representing 95% of all UV radiation we’ve learned that UVA’s are actually the more harmful and even dangerous ray. Their affects to the aging process occurs in the skin’s deepest layers resulting in damage to collagen and elastin fibers, two of the skins youth proteins. They can also damage DNA which can result in skin cancer, and they produce numerous free radicals that hasten the overall aging process.
These are reasons why it’s essential to formulate broad spectrum filter combinations. Last year we reformulated the line to have better protection from UVA, position each product as a true anti-aging formula , while ensuring they were light weight and ultra- sheer, suitable for all skin types. Consumers are really responding to the great protection and wear ability of these formulas. After sun care options includes a repairing and soothing after sun milk that is super concentrated in cucumber, calendula, Roman and German Chamomile, milk proteins and vitamins. For sunless tanning, there is LAIT AUTOBRONZANT with DHA, shea butter, fruit extracts and vitamins. Rich in three types of tea, YON-KA Tan Prolonger give the skin a progressive glow and subtle looking, natural tan.
(Q) I have to ask, are your products really free of parabens?
We’re committed to producing safe, high quality products and stabilizing the formulas is the key to product safety. Due to some challenges we’ve had with the paraben alternatives on just a few products, we have not yet met our objective 100% to date. We’re confident that we’ll be entirely paraben free by the end of the year.
(Q) Do you test on animals? What is your stance on animal cruelty?
Yon-Ka products are not tested on animals, the safety tests are carried out according to alternative methods. In vivo tests are carried out on human volunteers under medical supervision:
• C linically tested means that tolerance tests and / or efficacy were performed on humans under the supervision of a Medical Investigator .
• D ermatologically tested means that these tests were performed on humans under the supervision of a Physician Dermatologist .
Additionally, we’re certain that high quality products can be produced without being at the expense of animals. As a side note, about 75% of YON-KA’s international staff of employees is a pet owner; so our team advocates the fair and humane treatment for all animals.
(Q) For all of those skin care enthusiasts and lovers reading this interview, what would you like them to know about Yon-Ka Paris?
YON-KA Paris’ at-home spa collection has a vast range of products for both men and women with focus ranging from face, body and sun care, developed by a family driven by a passion for botanicals. The brand is currently present in over 5,000 spas and salons in over 40 countries worldwide. Rigorously trained YON-KA Paris professional aestheticians are your best resource for obtaining a beauty regime that emphasizes all of your unique needs. Advanced botanical skin care preparations from YON-KA Paris can be transformational to skin’s health and beauty as well as how you feel about the pleasures of daily skin care practices.
For more information about YON-KA Paris, please visit www.yonka.com today.