To celebrate our founder, Kiri Yanchenko’s 40th birthday, we asked her to answer 10 of her most frequently asked skin, lifestyle and wellbeing questions.
I started my career in the FMCG Design & Brand Activations industry in Sydney. During this time, I took a career break and became my father’s sole carer. He passed away before he was 62.
During this period of intense pressure, I was prescribed medication to help my skin and stress levels. I reacted to this medication; three of the side effects were severe pustular acne, skin hives and weight loss. I was admitted to hospital. My skin went from normal to unbearable almost overnight.
After leaving hospital, when I was offered more medication from professionals, I decided to review my whole lifestyle, taking a holistic approach to my health. I started researching diets and a healthy lifestyle. I went through the process of cutting out everything I shouldn’t be eating and reassessing everything that I was using on her skin. Going through the process of identifying certain triggers to my skin problems and helping myself took two years.
I struggle with mental health/anxiety issues ongoing - I believe these are inherited from my father. I look after myself holistically, the way I help my customers, and make sure I have adequate rest, exercise, and self-care etc whilst helping others.
Please refer to this blog post for a little more background information on AMPERNA®
10 of Kiri's Most Frequently Asked Skin, Lifestyle and Wellbeing Questions
For the days that I wear makeup, what makeup would you recommend?
I recommend looking for a mineral based that is no nasties without talc and without high percentages essential oils. You will still need to patch test, and after patch testing look at wearing the makeup on parts of your face at home or out for a short outing first like an hour here or there. Our patch test guide is here and tips on makeup are here.
What is best for hormonal acne around mouth, chin and neck?
I always suggest a Holistic Coaching session with me as every skin is different. However, for hormonal acne you’ll need the correct AMPERNA® regime to help your skin plus a holistic plan to help you with the hormonal issues you have and your overall general health & wellbeing. If you would like help with the right regime you can email photos of your skin to me on firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s important to take any photos in daylight & in focus from a few angles without makeup on.
Normally I help people with coaching, either our Acne Trio or Acne Plus bundles and also I will suggest other things like going makeup free to allow your skin to breathe and also drinking lots of water amongst other things.
What are your top anti-inflammatory foods for skin health?
My personal top favourite foods would be avocado, chia seeds, matcha, fatty fish like salmon and almond/hemp milk. I limit my gluten and dairy intake as I am sensitive to these foods.
What do you do for mindfulness and why is it important to you?
I do a lot for my mental health, because running a business is very stressful and fast paced and I need to look after myself in order to help others with their skin. I go for a walk every morning early (5:30-6:30am), I go to the gym 4 times a week approx, I do pilates once a week and I also have a regular sports massage/chiro appointment & float tank session. It’s important to me because I feel better when I look after myself but I also know that I may have inherited mental health & anxiety issues from my father.
What major lifestyle changes did you find most impacted your skin health journey?
Eating well, looking after myself physically, sweating and also using the right products helped my skin the most. When I was a teenager I had pimples, and I always used too many of the wrong products, I also wasn’t interested in eating a wholefood diet as I do now. I was a teenager and just wanted to have fun. That’s not to say that I was too un-healthy – I have always had home cooking and did a lot of sports. I just was as nutritionally educated as I am now. I now know how to listen to my body, listen to my skin and change my AMPERNA® regime up accordingly. I have learnt to live with my allergies and sensitivities and I look forward to waking up every day to help other people with their skin. I love speaking to people and referring them to the right professionals but also taking the time to listen to their issues and talking through things that can help them.
What products should everyone have in their skin care regime?
You can have as many or as little products in your skincare cupboard as you like, you just need to know how to use them correctly for your skin and how it is presenting in the moment. Do ensure that they are all stored correctly and within their use by dates. I like to talk to people about having a comprehensive but simple regime that you can adjust if you need to. The simpler and more active the better, the product should be formulated well using great ingredients like AMPERNA®. For specific products, cleansing is a necessity, hydration and also pro-aging products. I always recommend wearing a hat and protective clothing as well as SPF/sunscreen products. I am more than happy to help everyone with a regime of AMPERNA® products – I use all our products every day of the year. If I have an allergic reaction (I am allergic to trees, grasses, pollens etc) I knock my regime back to water and the Soothing Duo for example. I always talk about the products I am using on our socials so please follow us there.
How do you best deal with stress?
I now recognise the signs of my body being stressed and I like to take note of how I am feeling. I go for a walk, change the working environment to a café or the park and I also book myself time to unwind in my diary. For example, I switch up my exercise, sleep in instead or change the time I do Pilates.
Can diet really help my skin?
Overall, eating more balanced foods as a generalized approach can benefit your health and your skin specifically. Preliminary findings suggest a diet rich in vegetables and unsaturated fats and low in dairy and sugar may lead to healthier skin.
Do you recommend any vitamins for skin health?
I always suggest getting a blood test and seeing a specialist about vitamins rather than just going and purchasing as many things as you can. You need help understanding what your body is lacking and this way is friendlier on the hip pocket. When I was sick and had pustular acne, I had blood tests/allergy tests and a stool test, I would also see an endocrinologist for my stress hormone and my hormones. We worked on my gut health and my inflammation. As such I used a zinc supplement (as these help acne), an iron supplement as I was low in iron and a probiotic with fermented foods. These supplements were picked because I was informed about what my body needed at the time. I regularly get blood tests and look at what I need to adjust ongoing.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their skin health journey?
It is very easy to get overwhelmed and be sucked into quick fix marketing online when you are anxious about your skin and your health. I would go to reputable sources of information and seek someone who can help guide you that really has your best interests in mind. You can of course come to me so I can help you with a logical plan to help you with your skin and health. I can then refer you to the right people to help you. Above all be kind to yourself and know that holistic health & skin health is a journey, and I am here to help.
Have a question you need help answering? You can email Kiri at email@example.com for any skin and lifestyle related questions to help you on your skin journey.