Vogue – The Director’s Cut

Weekly Desk Drop by Jessica Diner

Director’s Cut, the monthly column in print from Vogue’s beauty and lifestyle director, Jessica Diner, now sees an additional weekly online outpost – a selection of the products landing on her desk that then make it home into her beauty cabinet or make-up bag.

    • GoW for VH Niacinamide Serum

      GoW (or Garden of Wisdom) is a brand from Arizona that is picking up traction here in the UK thanks to a collaboration with Victoria Health co-founder Shabir Daya MPharm. The range is made up of single-ingredient serums and oils (which is quite the skincare trend at the moment) and I love it for its simplicity and good quality ingredients. “It’s for all ages, skin types, tones and it’s affordable”, says Daya. “The aim was to keep it simple without having to use several serums in order to tackle one concern”. My favourite is this Niacinamide Serum – amazing at balancing oily skin and strengthening that all-important skin barrier. A new staple.

      GoW for VH Niacinamide Serum £9

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What Are The Health Benefits Of Soursop?

Soursop

Soursop is having a resurgence at the moment, especially on social media. While it’s relatively new to the western world, it has been used in herbal remedies and tinctures for centuries in South America. The fruit is being championed as a wonder ingredient for your health as it’s thought to help boost your immune system and fight off disease. But, is there any science behind these claims?

What is Soursop?

Soursop is a fruit that grows in tropical areas, including South America, the Caribbean and parts of Africa. It’s also known as graviola and custard apple. It has a green skin and looks somewhat like a spiky mango with white flesh and brown seeds inside. 

What are the health benefits of Soursop?

Since the Nineties, Soursop has been championed for its wide ranging health benefits. The leaves and root are known to boost your immune system, help soothe stomach ailments and ease hypertensionSoursop is also a powerful antioxidant and a good source of vitamin C, B1 and B2. The latter two along with magnesium help to boost your energy levels without giving you the dip that is associated with caffeine.

In recent years, two studies have also highlighted Soursop’s potential to block pain and reduce inflammation.

A quick scour of social media will bring up posts declaring soursops ability to slow or prevent cell mutation. In 1997, a study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry which indicated that Soursop compounds might be effective in stopping cell mutation, but there haven’t been any clinical studies to further this line of thought.

Can you take Soursop supplements?

You can eat Soursop, but as with most things you’d need to consume a lot to attain the recommended amounts. Fortunately, there are supplements that offer concentrated doses. Graviola Fruit by Rio Amazon, £11.99, utilises all parts of the fruit and contains the antioxidant, CoQ10. The supplement also contains annonaceous acetogenins. It’s recommended that you take between three-to-six supplements a day before food.

While it’s clear that more research needs to be done around the leaves, root and pulp of Soursop, there is little doubt that this is an ingredient we`re going to see a lot more of moving forward.

The Facial Massage Debate

Beauty Jade Tool

Facial massage has been heralded as the one stop shop for plumping, firming and smoothing skin, as well as leaving it with a radiant glow. Unsurprisingly, plenty  of skincare experts advocate the use of massage in some way to improve the quality of your skin.

Most facials incorporate some form of massage too, be it a dedicated section of the treatment or an accompanying technique when the therapist is cleansing or moisturising your skin. The reason is that massaging the skin boosts your circulation and lymphatic drainage, which in turn reduces inflammation and puffiness.

Over the years, massage has evolved into a full workout for your face with some experts claiming that facial exercises could take years off of you. The vigorous massage techniques and pummeling are believed to tone and sculpt your facial muscles, as well as boost that fresh glow. Not everyone is on board though. There are some experts who stress that strong massage can actually breakdown your skin’s collagen and cause more damage than good.

In their book You: Being Beautiful, both Dr Oz and Dr Michael F. Roizen argue that: “Exercising the facial muscles is a sure way to increase wrinkles. The repetitive movements of the skin, over the years, combined with the normal thinning of the collagen and elastin of the dermis, will eventually crack the skin, causing wrinkles.”

So, how should you approach facial massage?

While you want it to supercharge your circulation and get the blood flowing, you don’t want to be too rough with your skin. Hayo’u founder and Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle developed the Beauty Restorer tool with this in mind. To work in harmony with traditional Chinese massage technique, the jade tool is perfectly shaped to fit into the natural curves of your face and helps you to gently but effectively increase circulation. Jade is renowned for its soothing, cooling powers as well.

How long should you massage your skin for?

It can be for as long or as short as you need. The Hayo’u method promotes one minute and longer 10 minute rituals depending on how much time you have to spare. Plenty of experts recommend using your hands and incorporating massage into simple tasks, such as cleansing. A cleansing oil or balm is the best texture to use as it encourages you to really work the formula into your skin.

Do you have to use tools?

Plenty of therapists use their hands rather than tools to massage their clients skin, so there’s no reason for you to invest in one in order to reap the benefits. However, if you’re not sure how to approach facial massage or want the cooling powers of jade, then we recommend looking into the Beauty Restorer.

August Newsletter

august spelled with pink flowers

Hello and welcome to the August newsletter where we talk about wardrobes; skincare wardrobes and supplement wardrobes, with a light touch on fashion wardrobes (full blame on a certain fashion director). With the heat still on (as I’m writing this), we throw the focus on holiday products, although quite honestly we need most of these without even jumping on a plane to seek the sun. It has sought us.

We take a further look at Garden of Wisdom (GoW), the resurrection of a product, which is no longer in product heaven and if you don’t mind, I am also going to talk about my hair for a moment or two. Shabir makes an appearance (one of many) with a skincare regimen that is helping so many of you and there are a few treats sprinkled throughout, so please read carefully, we don’t want you to miss out. Let’s do it:

GoW for VH

I have several things to say here. The first thing is that we led the July newsletter with the ‘official’ launch of Garden of Wisdom for VH, even though I had slipped in a few paragraphs on some of the products in previous newsletters. The response, as you will have probably guessed, has been truly beyond our expectations and we are so grateful for the support and feedback. We are blown away, but then you can’t keep a good product down, actually plural, products.

The bestselling product at the moment is Vitamin C Serum 23% + Ferulic Acid, but then that doesn’t really surprise me because it has been featured here, there and everywhere, including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Harper’s Bazaar. Thank you Sarah Jossel. Thank you Lisa Armstrong. Thank you Bridget March. You can read these articles (and more) by clicking on the ‘In the Press’ link below and in each and every moment I am now hallucinating about bubble wrapping thousands of Vit C’s, except as I’m writing this, Shabir is on bubble wrap duty. All power Shabir!
In The PressVitamin C Serum 23% + Ferulic Acid £10 for 30 ml

And then there is HA. Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Vegetarian. And the feedback has been flooding in. Basically it’s all about the texture and efficacy. With so many of you commenting that it is the HA serum of all HA serums, no matter the price, high or low. Accolades make us extraordinarily happy. Excellent products make us even happier. This may go into wait list territory; if it does, then please don’t fret we will hopefully clear it within 7-14 days.
Hyaluronic Acid Serum £9 for 30 ml

As many of you know, I do not use acids on my skin; actually I will slightly correct that by saying that I very rarely use an acid. I know I am in the minority because most people love acids, but I will occasionally succumb if I feel my skin needs it. The latest product released from GoW is the Glycolic Acid Serum 5%. Do we, don’t we – Victoria asks the question and you know something, I just might every now and then.
VH Editorial: Should You Be Using Glycolic Acid?Glycolic Acid Serum 5% £12 for 30 ml

The great eye serum/cream debate. Two different camps. Those who swear by eye products and those who think they are a complete waste of time. The ‘waste of time’ camp believe that their everyday serums/creams are just as effective as a specifically formulated eye product. The ‘swear by’ camp reel in horror at the thought of not using a specifically formulated eye product and they often start using at an early age.

Shabir is in the ‘swear by’ camp. And nothing will move him. I float around both camps and I’m not so hard-core about it. It all starts off really well. I am a believer, honestly I am, but then I get lazy and keep forgetting to use an eye product even though I can see results. For the record, this also applies to neck creams.

But never mind that, I happened to get up close to Shabir’s skin a few days ago with a specific mission to check out his eye area. I really wanted to look through a 10 x magnifying glass, but I know my boundaries. Damn the man. He formulated the Eye Contour Serum primarily for his own use and he has no bags, no dark circles and virtually no lines. Complacency is just not happening. I’ve become hard-core about the issue. I swear.
Eye Contour Serum £18 for 30 ml

My Skincare Wardrobe

I have always had a ‘wardrobe’ of skincare products, across brands. It suits me and it suits my skin. Our skin is constantly changing and rather than stick to a specific skincare regimen, I use what I think my skin needs on any particular day (or night!).

And then Lisa Armstrong wrote about the high-low approach in her article about GoW (linked above). Her words sang to me because it is everything that I believe in and everything that I practice myself. Her words:

‘Even if you’re hooked on luxe moisturisers, you could introduce some GoW basics for your prep work. We’ve been taking the high-low approach in our wardrobes for years – now it’s time to do the same for our skincare regimens’. Yes Lisa, Dolce shoes and Zara white T-shirts. The £4.99 version because it’s a better shape than the more expensive ones. It works.

I can’t write about every single product that I use (most especially because I am always testing products), but I have a couple of things to say here. Low-Low works; High-Low works; High-High works. We are all different, but there are times when ‘low’ is better than some ‘high’, such as the HA Serum as above. Discerning. Absolutely. Let’s keep this thing real and tell it as it is.

So just some of my products. There are currently 18 GoW products and I have all of them. I haven’t actually used them all yet, but they are there for me to use as and when I feel the need. They sit alongside iS Clinical’s Warming Honey Cleanser and the Balm-Gel Cleanser from Harborist. I absolutely adore both these cleansers and please bear with, I have a few words to say about the Balm-Gel Cleanser after this section.
Warming Honey Cleanser by iS Clinical £34 for 120 grams

Onwards, and I always have a bottle of iS Clinical’s Active Serum in my skincare wardrobe, likewise their Reparative Moisture Emulsion. In all the years, nothing, but nothing has performed on my skin like Reparative when my skin kinks out. I travel with it too. It soothes my skin when needed, especially if I’ve been in the sun. It comes everywhere with me. As does Sheald Recovery Balm, but that’s another story.
Active Serum by iS Clinical £68 for 15 ml; Reparative Moisture Emulsion by iS Clinical £72 for 50 ml; Sheald Recovery Balm £43 for 60 ml

And then, LixirSkin’s Soft Clay Rubber because I am still totally obsessed with rolling away the grime and Coola’s MakeUp Setting Sunscreen Spray because I think it’s a phenomenal product.
Soft Clay Rubber by LixirSkin £28 for 60 ml; MakeUp Setting Sunscreen Spray by Coola £39 for 50 ml

Anyway, you get the gist and it’s actually quite fun to build a wardrobe if you don’t mind brand crossing. I’m not doing a body care wardrobe, well not on this newsletter, but basically it would probably be full of Ameliorate’s products because they just do it for me. Miracle Lotion too, the epic Miracle Lotion! Maybe on the September newsletter. Ah yes, September. Dippy Doo. Right, onto the Balm-Gel Cleanser, followed by a high maintenance moment and then my supplement wardrobe.
AmeliorateMiracle Lotion £16 for 237 ml

Balm-Gel Cleanser by Harborist

I wrote about and launched this rather fabulous cleanser on the April newsletter; for me it was instant love and for many of you too because it completely sold out and it has been out of stock until now. It arrived back just when I needed it. But more than that, it has arrived back with an award attached to it.

As many of you know, I have a horrid allergy to essential oils and my skin is extraordinarily sensitive anyway. I cannot use any skincare which is loaded with essential oils, which is why I always have third party testing done on those products. There are one or two exceptions when I have lab samples made for me leaving out the essential oils, but basically I am not alone and that’s why this cleanser is so important for those who have allergic reactions to many skincare products.

The award was from the FreeFrom Skincare awards and the Balm-Gel Cleanser was named as the best overall product across all categories. It also won a gold award in the face-care category and a silver achievement award. The announcement came with a quote from one of the anonymous testing panel, which I think will resonate with many:

‘My eczema has cleared up completely. It delivers on every level – as well as being effective it is truly kind to sensitive, highly reactive skin. It deeply nourished my skin, dramatically improving its health, feel and appearance’.

Kate Porter we applaud you. Many congratulations, you are helping so many of us who live with allergies and sensitive skin. We cannot wait for the next Harborist product to launch. Except I suppose we will have to. Tapping my fingers on my desk. Sensitive. Tap. Skin. Soon please Kate. And thank you.
Balm-Gel Cleanser by Harborist £25 for 100 ml (Vegan)

A High Maintenance Moment

It’s all about my hair. I hope you don’t mind me talking about my hair, but it went out of control a couple of weeks ago. It has behaved itself my entire life; I wash it every day, I blast it dry, shake my head and go. I only ever have my hair cut, it never enters my head to go and get it ‘done’. I get it cut about every eight to ten weeks, except it was only four weeks and I had to make an emergency hair appointment.

Five months on Ionicell and this is what has happened. I’m not alone. I know we are all different, but this is happening to many of us. I knew it was powerful stuff, Fulvic Acid is, but somebody is going to have to pay for my now high maintenance hair. I know. It can be Shabir. He discovered it. It’s all his fault. Skin, hair and nail Nirvana. I think so. And onto my supplement wardrobe we go:

My Supplement Wardrobe – A Celebration and A Treat

It’s all very simple. I take many supplements, some are specific to me as some would be specific to you. We are all different, but the one thing that remains constant is my base supplement wardrobe. I am sure you know exactly what these three products are if you read this newsletter regularly. A few newsletters ago I referred to them as my desert island supplements.

They are Hyaluronic Acid High Strength, Mega Probiotic ND and Ionicell; of course Ionicell, I truly believe everybody should take it, as indeed everybody should take a probiotic. And HA, well I have taken this forever, with one small ‘cold turkey’ moment, when I wanted to test its efficacy after taking it for so many years. That didn’t last long. I went into complete meltdown and double-dosed for about a month to recover. I don’t suggest you do that though. I can’t be held responsible for such things.

So let’s have a celebration. Let’s celebrate that our skin (all zones) won’t slide south and our joints will not click (HA); let’s celebrate that bloating is minimized (I mean hot weather bloating is seriously not on) and that our gut (don’t really like the word, but hey …) remains healthy (Mega P) and let’s celebrate Ionicell as above and more. Much more. Fulvic For Life.

The Treat: When you buy Ionicell and Mega Probiotic ND together, we will automatically throw in the travel size of Hyaluronic Acid High Strength. That is the 15 capsule size and it is worth £17.50. Quite simple really. One click shopping and all three products will arrive. Nothing to add except of course this offer will only last whilst our HA stock levels last.
The Supplement Wardrobe £39.50 (Includes Ionicell £20 for 60 Capsules; Mega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules; Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules Travel Size – 15 Capsules worth £17.50)

Our Three Bestselling Holiday Products

As it stands right now, Thyme Out is our bestselling ‘pack it in your suitcase’ product. I’m not really surprised because I know that when it gets to the end of the year and we do the VH Awards (I promised to do them again!), this could well sweep the board in so many different categories. But for now its soothing and healing properties will help tackle various inflammatory skin concerns such as prickly heat, rashes and sunburn and is a rather wonderful first-aid product too, helping to heal cuts and grazes and it also zaps those insect bites.
Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml

Last Summer, Mrs White’s Unstung Hero was our bestselling summer product; this was of course before we discovered Thyme Out and it may also have something to do with the fact that India Knight wrote about it in The Sunday Times and half the world (so it would seem) responded. We all love this amazing mosquito repellent, which certainly lives up to its heroic status and name. It smells divine too. No small thing.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent £20 for 250 ml

And last, but by no means least. The fabulous FanU. Keeping us cool in the heat, this is one of those products that you didn’t know you needed until you had it and then you discover you don’t want to live without it and start having a panic attack when the battery needs charging at the hottest time of day. I solved that issue by having two fans, but notwithstanding that, in the beach bag it must go.
FanU £9.99 Available in Pink or White; The One Stop Holiday Shop (I couldn’t write about all of them!)

The Facial Massage Debate

We love a debate and here Victoria takes a look at the facial massage debate:

Facial massage has been heralded as the one stop shop for plumping, firming and smoothing skin, as well as leaving it with a radiant glow. Unsurprisingly, plenty of skincare experts advocate the use of massage in some way to improve the quality of your skin.

Most facials incorporate some form of massage too, be it a dedicated section of the treatment or an accompanying technique when the therapist is cleansing or moisturizing your skin. The reason is that massaging the skin boosts your circulation and lymphatic drainage, which in turn reduces inflammation and puffiness.

Over the years, massage has evolved into a full workout for your face with some experts claiming that facial exercises could take years off of you. The vigorous massage techniques and pummeling are believed to tone and sculpt your facial muscles, as well as boost that fresh glow. Not everyone is on board though. There are some experts who stress that strong massage can actually break down your skin’s collagen and cause more damage than good.

In their book ‘You: Being Beautiful’ both Dr Oz and Dr Michael F Roizen argue that: ‘Exercising the facial muscles is a sure way to increase wrinkles. The repetitive movements of the skin, over the years, combined with the normal thinning of the collagen and elastin of the dermis, will eventually crack the skin, causing wrinkles’.

So how should you approach facial massage? While you want it to supercharge your circulation and get the blood flowing, you don’t want to be too rough with your skin. Hayo’u founder and Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle developed the Beauty Restorer tool with this in mind. To work in harmony with Traditional Chinese massage technique, the jade tool is perfectly shaped to fit into the natural curves of your face and helps you to gently, but effectively, increase circulation. Jade is renowned for its soothing, cooling powers as well.

How long should you massage your skin for? It can be for as long or as short as you need. The Hayo’u method promotes one minute and longer ten minute rituals depending on how much time you have to spare. Plenty of experts recommend using your hands and incorporating massage into simple tasks, such as cleansing. A cleansing oil or balm, such as Derma E’s Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil, is the best texture to use as it encourages you to really work the formula into your skin.

Do you have to use tools? Plenty of therapists use their hands (as above) rather than tools to massage their clients skin, so there’s no reason for you to invest in one to reap the benefits. However, if you’re not sure how to approach facial massage or want the cooling powers of jade, then we recommend looking into the Beauty Restorer.
VH Editorial: The Facial Massage Debate by Victoria Hall; Beauty Restorer Face Tool £35; Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil by Derma E £15 for 60 ml

The Probiotic Concentrate by Aurelia

And before I have written one word about this new product, I am receiving emails declaring love and appreciation for a brilliant product. So what is The Probiotic Concentrate all about. Well, basically it has been formulated to help supercharge your skincare routine with an intensive, yet lightweight formula that contains Aurelia’s pioneering probiotic ingredients in their purest form.

These probiotic ingredients continuously protect, restore and balance the skin targeting pigmentation, loss of elasticity, hormonal breakouts, dullness and polluted skin and it has been formulated to either apply to cleansed dry skin, or to mix with your chosen serum, facial oil or moisturiser, morning, evening or both.

This sounds like a perfect skincare product to have in your skincare wardrobe. A drop here, a drop there, a boost here, a boost there. Well done Aurelia!
The Probiotic Concentrate by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £38 for 10 ml

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a chronic long-term inflammatory condition affecting the eyelids and the skin surround the eyes, often causing a lot of discomfort. There are two types of blepharitis, anterior blepharitis, which affects the outer edge of the eyelids where the eyelashes are found and posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner edge of the eyelids where the eyelid comes into contact with the eyeball.

The symptoms of blepharitis vary with the severity of the condition and they include red rimmed eyes, sore, burning and gritty eyes, foreign body sensation, as though there is something in the eye, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, bloodshot eyes, abnormal eyelash growth and a greasy eyelid appearance. Sufferers of blepharitis are also more prone to eye infections, particularly styes.

Shabir takes an in-depth look at this health concern, but more than that. He always, always recommended Ocusoft Lid Scrub Plus and/or Ocusoft Lid Scrub Plus Foam Cleanser and then they both suddenly departed and shot up to product heaven. We are not sure what happened, but both have been resurrected, which is a very good thing because they are brilliant products.
VH Editorial: Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of BlepharitisOcusoft Lid Scrub Plus £9.95 for 30 Pre-Moistened Pads; Ocusoft Lid Scrub Plus Foam Cleanser £11.50 for 50 ml

Enterosgel

This is an amazing product. It is not new, but it is ages since I have written about it and so I will tell you that the Enterosgel sachets bring effective relief from diarrhoea, indigestion, IBS, food poisoning, upset stomach, travellers tummy and food allergies, with the exception of the treatment of anaphylactic shock.

With 30 years of clinical research behind it, Enterosgel is an innovative intestinal adsorbent (enterosorbent) developed for binding toxins, viruses, allergens, pathogens and other harmful substances in the GI tract and removing them from the body.

Enterosgel works like a clever sponge, gently passing through the gut. It adsorbs only medium-weight molecules of harmful substances in the gut and removes them within 12-24 hours with a normal bowel movement. Due to its hydrophobic features and porous structure, Enterosgel does not remove water, vitamins and other beneficial substances from the gut.

Enterosgel is suitable for babies, children and adults and is non-allergenic. It is easy to take, simply dilute in 100 ml of water one or two hours before or after a meal. Brilliant stuff.
Enterosgel £18.43 for ten sachets

The Acne Regimen

We like to keep things simple and whilst we can never claim that any product, topical or otherwise, will clear acne, three products have certainly been shown to help an awful lot and that would include helping to treat cystic acne. The feedback has been tremendous and so here comes Shabir’s recommended regimen in order of use:

Cleanse with Derma E’s Very Clear Acne Cleanser; Spritz with Thyme Out (a moderate spritz, not too much); GOW’s Niacinamide Serum.
And that’s it, you can follow through with a moisturiser if desired, or in more chronic cases we recommend Silver Serum.
Very Clear Acne Cleanser by Derma E £15 for 175 ml; Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml; Niacinamide Serum £9 for 30 ml; Silver Serum £12.95 for 50 ml

The Beauty Bible’s August Picks With A Treat Attached

Sarah and Jo know a thing or two about products; they have seen and tested (via the Beauty Bible awards) hundreds and thousands of products over the years. They know what works, they know what doesn’t. They also know what they love and use themselves and so they have put together their best VH picks as of this moment.

In this article they have mentioned This Works, Ilapothecary, the sleep products from Better You, Temple Spa, Thyme Out (yes they are hooked too!) and Margaret Dabbs Fabulous Legs.

The Treat: So let’s talk about Margaret Dabbs and let’s say that we are all in love with her Fabulous Legs collection. And let’s also say that we really respect all that Margaret has done with her brand. And let’s celebrate her brand by saying that with any Margaret Dabbs purchase (across the range), we will drop in her Intensive Anti-Ageing Hand Serum which is worth £30. Yes, you have read that correctly, £30. This will not show up on your invoice, but will automatically be included in your order, whilst stocks last of course. Only one gift per customer. Go!
VH Editorial: The Beauty Bible’s August Picks; Margaret Dabbs

LivOn Labs

With the base supplement wardrobe done, I wrote above we each have different needs and I have just read an email from a VH Addict who is singing the praises of Altrient Glutathione for age spots. She wrote that she suspects this product could be overlooked, but in her opinion, it works far better than anything else she has tried. Trust her, she knows what she is talking about.

And then there was an article in The Times by Alice Hart-Davis who is absolutely swearing by Altrient C as a skincare supplement. Many agree. It is a brilliant product. And the third product in the range, Altrient B, which, amongst other things, helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. Heat lethargy? Try this.
Altrient Glutathione by LivOn Labs £79.99 for 30 Sachets; Altrient C by LivOn Labs £35.99 for 30 Sachets; Altrient B £54.99 for 30 Sachets

Athlete’s Foot & Candida

One of the most common areas affected by fungi and bacteria are the feet. Athlete’s foot gets its name because these fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, moist and dark environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms, gyms, showers and of course shoes. Not just limited to athletes, this concern is more common in males than females (one strike for the girls!) affecting roughly one out of ten people.

There are three types of Athlete’s foot and Shabir investigates all of them, while also recommending Horopito & Aniseed capsules. Interestingly in 1982, scientists at the University of Canterbury discovered that horopito was more effective at destroying Candida albicans than the powerful pharmaceutical anti-Candida drug, Amphoterican B. Two birds, one stone.
VH Editorial: Athlete’s Foot Treatment; VH Editorial: How To Treat CandidaHoropito & Aniseed £23 for 60 Capsules

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat, also known as heat rash, is one of those skin problems that manifests in an uncomfortable, itchy rash. Also known as miliaria, it occurs in hot, humid weather conditions when small particles of sweat block the sweat glands causing a rash to appear on the body. The rash can develop anywhere, but it most commonly occurs on the face, neck, back, chest and thighs. The trapped sweat causes localized irritation and the characteristic heat rash.

So how to tackle prickly heat. Shabir always recommends Stinging Nettle Root for both the prevention and treatment of prickly heat. Nettle is commonly employed to help provide relief of hay fever and other allergens because of its ability to inhibit the release of histamine, which is responsible for the rash. Additionally, nettle extracts are powerful diuretics helping to eliminate the compounds that are responsible for the rash.

To read more about prickly heat, please click on the article, where you will discover that Thyme Out is also recommended for this health concern. Is there anything this product can’t do!
VH Editorial: Preventing Prickly HeatStinging Nettle Root £14.95 for 100 Capsules; Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml

A Natural Remedy for Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, Haemorrhoids and Poor Circulation

Millions of people worldwide suffer from diseases associated with poor circulation. Varicose veins, spider veins and haemorrhoids are just some of the common circulatory disorders directly associated with poor circulation.

Circulatory concerns do not occur in a day, they are often a result of poor dietary and lifestyle choices, although they may also be associated with the ageing process. Poor circulation primarily affects the legs and feet, however the implications of poor circulation are widespread and can be severe.

Numerous concerns associated with poor circulation also include leg ulcers, tired and heavy legs, reduced libido, persistent wounds and infections, Restless Leg Syndrome, shortness of breath, mental fog, poor memory, dizziness and a lack of energy. Wow, quite a list there. Read more on the articles below.
VH Editorial: A Natural Remedy for Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, Haemorrhoids and Poor Circulation; VH Editorial: Restless Leg SyndromeDiosmin Plus £26 for 60 Capsules

VH Editorial

Ageless Style: that often explored subject in the summer style glossies and a pressing concern for women of an age when tousled bed head starts to look very much like having flu. The opening words of Carolyn Asome’s article which made me laugh so much, that I nearly choked on the water I was drinking at the time. I mean guilty as charged, but then as you will have read above I do wash my hair every day, this could perhaps be another reason why. I urge you to read, it’s fabulous.
Ageless Style: How Not To Look Mumsy (Or Like Mutton For That Matter) by Carolyn Asome

Jo Fairley decided she wanted to write about funerals. Yes funerals. She has written down her requests for her own (hopefully not imminent as she states) and shares those details with us. Far from morbid, this is all about celebrations, champagne, pink glitter coffins and Carly Simon. I told her she had forgotten James Taylor, so although not on her copy, he will be there too according to Jo. I see!
Funerals by Jo Fairley

Also this month Arly continues her discussion on how supplements have become the best step in her skincare routine – go Arly! Catherine Turner asks what’s your yoga style and Tina Gaudoin partakes in some wild swimming.
My Skincare and Wellness Supplement Routine by Detail Oriented Beauty; Yoga: What’s Your Style by Catherine Turner; Wild Swimming by Tina Gaudoin

The End Bit

Sarah Chapman: I am in giving mode, so if you buy any Sarah Chapman product, we will automatically send you Sarah’s Overnight Body Treatment (40 ml), worth £18. High performing and much loved by many, this is a really generous size, so I can only imagine it will fly out the door. As ever, this will not be included on your invoice, but will just arrive with your order. Again, only one gift per customer. Tra-la-la.
Sarah Chapman

Dream Coat – For Curly Hair:  We launched this on the last newsletter, the feedback has been awesome.  This from a VH Addict: ‘I have been one of your most loyal customers for many years and, as you know, I am not given to writing reviews.  But I just felt that I had to after trying Dream Coat For Curly Hair by Color Wow.  I have been searching for the perfect product for my curls for many years.  They either gave good curls, but were very crisp and crunchy or did very little at all.  Dream Coat has given me perfect, shiny curls that are not crisp or crunchy.  Not only that, they have remained perfect in this hot and humid heatwave, when I would usually go very frizzy.  I have found hair Nirvana’.
Dream Coat – For Curly Hair £24 for 200 ml

Summer Essentials Duo by iS Clinical: Another Limited Edition, this time from iS Clinical.  Two products in this kit, Cleansing Complex (the global bestseller) and Extreme Protect SPF 30, which does a wonderful job at repairing, hydrating and protecting.  Those who love iS Clinical will always love iS Clinical.

For those who have never used any of their products, this is an opportunity to discover the skincare brand that I have loved since the beginning of time – VH time.  So the details: Cleansing Complex (180 ml) is £35 and Extreme Protect SPF 30 (100 grams) is £64, which equals £99.  Except whilst stock lasts, the Summer Essentials Duo is offered at £74, saving £25.  Yes!
Summer Essentials Duo by iS Clinical £74 (Cleansing Complex £35 for 180 ml; Extreme Protect SPF 30 £64 for 100 grams)

And so we come to the end of another newsletter; I give thanks to the Inner Smile Jasmine Mist which I have liberally sprayed around me as I’ve been writing this; I am breathing smiles and sending my love and thanks to each of you for your incredible loyalty and support.

Together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I hope you have a wonderful August. Please be safe, please drink loads and loads of water and perhaps we should do a ritualistic dance for rain – if it hasn’t arrived yet.

With love

Gill x

Takeaway Tips From Shabir and Trinny’s Facebook Live on Summer Ailments

Trinny Woodall and Shabir

Whether you’ve suffered with prickly heat as the temperatures soared or you continuously struggle with tired, heavy legs, the solution to your summer concern could have been discussed in Shabir and Trinny Woodall’s latest Facebook Live on the most common summer ailments. Read More…

The Beauty Bible’s August Picks

green clay

Now and again, as connoisseurs of all things gorgeousness-related, we like to share on VH a round-up of some of our recent faves which you can find right here, right now on the website. So: here’s what Beauty Bible’s been loving, lately…

Margaret Dabbs Fabulous Legs

We’d never really thought of giving our legs a ‘makeover’ before – but boy, does this collection do just that. Five products in all (obviously you needn’t use ALL of them, though we did). Before? Legs dull, flaky, generally meh-looking. Afterwards? Not only bareable but actually BARED, thanks to soaring weekend temperatures.

The regime starts with a scrub – Toning Leg Scrub. First, a little caveat: before you’ve used this, you need to stir it. And the pot’s full. And if you take the lid off in bed in your nightie (as Jo did), to sniff it, then you will also probably have to change said nightie. So: do this in the bathroom, and stir with the spatula. Scoop the scrub from the bottom of the pot onto legs, and massage well for three to five minutes. Legs will be unbelievably soft and smooth once you’ve showered this off. To be honest, this is a leg-makeover-in-a-pot, in itself.

Then, a leg mask. A LEG MASK? Yup. Choice of two. The Yellow Leg Masque is skin-brightening and radiance-boosting. You probably don’t need it all over right now, so we recommend slathering the mix – enriched with argan and sweet almond oil – from knees to ankles. If heavy legs are a problem, then go for the decongesting Black Leg Masque – we love the camphor-y, seriously aromatic scent of this, and it’s great for that tired-leg feeling.

We suggest following with either/or the following. We love the smoothing effect of Firming Leg Serum, which quenches skin with moisture, boosting circulation while it’s at it (a blend of ginger extract, argan and Abyssinia oil feature, among other ingredients).

Last step is Refining Glow Leg Spray, which brings a sense of lightness to legs (again, that ginger/oil blend, together with cypress, lavender, mint and lemon). It’d be a great leg reviver to use on-the-go. (Will it work through tights? We’re rather hoping we don’t have to find out.)

Transformative. Truly.

Thyme Out

This product has been a complete blockbuster since it landed at VH. Think of it as the skin equivalent of Ocean’s 8, or a Jojo Moyes novel, or a track from Beyoncé. Off-the-scale popular.

And its success is a reminder of just how many of us have niggly skin issues: rashes, eczema, prickly heat, psoriasis – not to mention acne and breakouts, as well as cuts and grazes. We’ve personally already used it on a really annoying persistent mystery itch, on insect bites (the British mosquito season has started early after the combo of sunshine/storms), nettle rash…

Thyme Out is organically-sourced, and water – not alcohol-based (so you can put it on skin you’ve scratched till it’s raw without any stinging). It smells so strongly of thyme (in a good way) that we’re almost tempted to sprinkle it on tomatoes before tucking them under a grill. (We won’t, of course – but we’ll make sure that there’s a bottle of this handy for coming in from the garden, as well as on the bedside table.)

Cleverly, the generously-sized bottle comes with a small spritzer that you can tuck in your handbag or washbag. (Be aware: this is a spray, not a rollerball; Jo took off the lid to roll it onto skin and deposited the thyme-fragranced contents all over her clean sheets. Which she didn’t really mind – and it doesn’t stain permanently – but isn’t what you really want.)

For annoying skin woes, we think it’ll swiftly become your No.1.

Temple Spa Trufflelixir

Fact: a tide of beauty products flows into Beauty Bible HQ. The process is: some of it goes into our ‘holding bay’ (affectionately known as ‘The Beauty Dungeon’), for us to look at later.

Some of it is just tagged ‘Get ten of these and listen to what a Beauty Bible tester panel has to say about its effectiveness’ – because we don’t have enough square footage of skin to put everything through its paces.

And just some of it – often when we’ve previously been impressed by a brand’s previous offering, or there’s something truly innovative about a product – gets fast-tracked for testing on our own faces. Straight away.

So, obviously, we were going to start immediately on Trufflelixir, with the astonishing results that previous Temple Spa Skin Truffle creams have notched up in our Beauty Bible Awards.

After a couple of months of use, we can report: this is really impressive stuff. It’s a breeze to use – one pump, a few drops, and it glides smoothly all over skin, making it look instantly radiant. (We do love a bit of instant benefit, while waiting for long-term results.) Importantly, although it contains retinol, we had no reaction whatsoever – none of the flaking and redness sometimes experienced with retinol/vitamin A products, in the past, which have left us wary.

There are all the luxe ingredients in there we’ve come to expect from the Skin Truffle range – diamond powder, gold, silk peptides, a champagne extract and summer truffles! All of which deliver the luxurious texture that makes this really lovely to use.

Long-term, we look in the mirror and see: brighter skin, a more even skintone and fine lines that have become that bit finer. It’s a must for any Skin Truffle fan, to layer beneath that cream – but if you’re looking to add a fab serum offering visible benefits into your regime pretty much from the get-go, we suggest you truffle this out.

Because while truffles may famously like the dark, this ain’t going anywhere near that dungeon.

Ilapothecary

Some of you may be familiar with Ila? – luxuriously-priced natural treats for face and body, in a range created by natural wellbeing expert and visionary Denise Leicester. It’s amazing stuff – treats for face and body (and at treat-like prices). But now, it’s got a ‘little sister’ – actually, not so little, with ten or so products that pour Denise’s aromatherapeutic expertise into some seriously mind-shifting products.

They truly smell incredible. But more than that, they’re unbelievably effective – like a giant, aromatic ‘nudge’ into a different mindset. Slightly more affordable, the range offers several real innovations – and here’s the low-down on our faves so far.

Beat The Blues Room Spray: We think this is probably what heaven smells like. Setting out to bust negative energies, it does exactly that – which is why you’ll find us spritzing it around the office in the morning, and why we keep it firmly within reach by the computer, for a quick and joyous burst of clary sage, petitgrain, rose geranium and tuberose. According to Denise, it’s good for helping you listen to your intuition.

Speak Your Truth Aroma Roller: We adore this. It’s a big, fat rollerball of aromatherapeutic magic, incuding rose and sandalwood, polished and sweetened with nurturing vanilla. It’s not an actual truth serum, but as Denise says, ‘it helps connect our physical body with our meditative being’. Jo rolls it onto her pulse points before doing to her daily calm.com meditation; it is grounding, soothing, helps with focus – and honestly, could be worn as a fragrance in its own right.

Frankly, we are never NOT in the mood for this range.

This Works Evening Detox Mask

Remember Princess Fiona, from Shrek? Well, she’s who you will look like, in this mask.

Do not, however, let the fact that it is really, REALLY green put you off for a minute – because this is a fabulous, fabulous, FAH-BU-LOUS skin treat.

First off, though, we have to say that we think This Works got the positioning of this mask all wrong. We find it way too face-waking for evening use, enlivening both the skin and the senses, with a camphor-and-citrus-and-frankincense, pick-me-up scent.

So for heaven’s sake forget the name, and use it in the mornings. Twice a week, ideally – but we saw fantastic results after just one use, and are now using it regularly. It’s applied via a dispenser brush (you twist it 180º to unlock it), which you use to paint the green mask onto skin. (Incredibly satisfying and soothing feeling, BTW.)

The colour is from malachite – which works to detoxify and protect against pollution. Alongside that, there’s natural kaolin clay – but this doesn’t set super-hard (we’re not fans of many clay masks), or feel uncomfy. There are skin-brightening fruit acids (NB we experience absolutely no reaction to these) – and the whole thing has a great exfoliating action. From first use, skin appears brighter – and we feel really refreshed and ready for the day.

It’s gone straight to the top of our fave mask charts and can’t recommend too highly. Meanwhile, do have fun scaring the living daylights out of the postman, won’t you?

BetterYou Magnesium Sleep

The BetterYou range is all over this website like a rash. (That’s probably a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase, but they do crop up all over the place in the form of magnesium salts, butters etc.)

The whole range is wonderfully sleep-beckoning and muscle-relaxing – a go-to for us in the quest for better sleep for some years, now. But we’re really loving this new addition to the range: a nourishing body lotion rich in magnesium oil (proven to relax tired muscles, slow sensory activity and quieten the mind) – but the pleasure of which is now enhanced by a lovely soothing scent.

It features chamomile and lavender – we’re finding it relaxing from the very first sniff. The idea is to massage four pumps of Magnesium Sleep Mineral Lotion into skin 30 minutes before bedtime, ideally focusing on areas like shoulders, neck and legs. (We like to smooth at least one pump into feet, which are highly absorbent – and could always use some extra moisture!) It’s also safe for use in pregnancy, NB. Can you hear us snoring gently, from there…?