The Ordinary



    Out Of The Ordinary

    A new stripped-back product range is the future of skincare, says India Knight

    It’s one of those loud klaxon weeks, because what we have here is a truly brilliant line of top-notch, results-led skincare that costs from a fiver to just under £13. I know, it’s amazing. The products come from the clever people behind Niod. The difference is that this lot – the line is called The Ordinary – are completely stripped back. They contain the ingredients that do the business, and nothing else. There is no lovely essence of this or scientific-sounding made-up word to make it more special. You want vitamin C or retinol or hyaluronic acid or whatever? Here it is, with zero frills, in plain, functional packaging. And it works. That’s the point: it works brilliantly. I mean, how cool?

    The range is called The Ordinary because “in the context of where technology is today, they’re ordinary”. To translate: they’re ordinary enough to be in tons of high-end products; they’re the high-end norm. But here they are for a fiver and upwards. I think that not only is this a genius idea, it is also the future of beauty. It is beautifully democratic. It means everyone can afford optimal skincare.

    You know how every now and then a tabloid goes mad because a product that’s actually effective comes in at under a tenner, then everyone goes bananas and there’s a stampede? And, in my experience, the product isn’t particularly exciting, it’s just cheap, or cheaper (and it usually smells of room deodoriser). You can now forget about those products. The discount supermarket’s own-brand serum-whatever. The Ordinary is cheaper and works better.

    There are 10 products. I don’t have space to tell you about all of them in detail, but you will get the idea. They’re currently available on and and you can read more about them on both sites. The three I’ve using are Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8). Retinol is brilliant on both acne-prone and ageing skin. The 2% formula means your face won’t peel off, but will become smoother and less congested, if congestion is a problem. It’s great. I also love Hyaluronic 2% + B5 (£6). If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the old hyaluronic, which I bang on about at length, can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Vitamin B5 is also great at hydration. This product is for you if you’re dry/patchy/agedly/ thirsty of skin. The 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (£6) goes on at night before you go to bed. It reduces the harm done by tanning and generally sorts out your skin. Read More…

The Ordinary

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90

    • The new kid on the beauty block aims to bring youthful results without bankrupting you. Applied Morning and night before your moisturiser, the impressive oil-free treatment combines low, medium, and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid to ensure deeper penetration within the skin, as well as next-generation slow-release technology.

      What does this mean for your skin? Well, hyaluronic acid is what’s known as a cushioning agent, so expect a youthful plumpness to be restored to your face and fine lines caused by dehydration to vanish. Oh, and the vitamin B5 acts like a vacuum, sucking up and then holding on to the moisture – boosting skin softness and elasticity in the process.

      Buy Now






The Ordinary


Why beauty insiders are falling over themselves to snap up this £10 budget skincare range by Lisa Armstrong



Confession time: I’m a conflicted beauty columnist. I love a beauty product. I am as ineluctably drawn to hair masques and skin oils, lip colours and nail paints as a child is to new geometry sets and crayons. Some of what’s on the market now is remarkable. Plenty is fine.

But the claims – sweet Mother of God. And the gobbledy- pseudo-science. As for the prices. £60- £200 is quite common for a relatively “standard” luxury offering, which might be ok if it delivers results. But you never quite know, do you, whether it’s going to work. It’s not like a handbag or frock, where you can see the workmanship (or lack of ). You’re taking it on trust from someone who may have different needs from you. Read More…

October Newsletter


Welcome to the October newsletter where for the second month running we globally launch a new brand; the brand is Stemm, it is another concept from DECIEM, it is another journey and once again it changes everything. We also launch the third yešti product within NIOD and we do an update on The Ordinary. We take another look at Psychobiotics with the launch of an exciting new supplement and there is news of a product death, well it is really a semi-death and I think it will surprise many of you. Also on this newsletter, a new product launch from Sarah Chapman, it comes with a gift, but for now let’s do Stemm:


Three products. Three products that will change everything again. In concept Stemm carries the same message as NIOD, it is extraordinary and extraordinary is rather rare. As with NIOD, Stemm launches on a health platform and as with NIOD the Stemm experience may leave you pretty astounded because all three products are completely sensational and I actually cannot and will not live without them. Together with Brandon, I write and give you the Stemm Collection:

Stemm is a range of daily care and treatments to support the health of follicles, scalp and, in turn, hair. Traditional haircare focuses on the only part of hair that is not living, the hair fibre itself. Stemm recognizes that the beauty of hair, its visible thickness, density and fullness, begins at the root and the range focuses on supporting hair health from the root up, while concurrently its formulations respect the integrity of the hair fibre itself and protect it from environmental, cleaning, over-conditioning, colouring and styling damage.

Combining traditional nutrients like black fulvic acid, burdock root, clove and a comprehensive array of amino acids and minerals with highly-advanced forms of high-strength caffeine, creatine, high-stability sulphur and plant peptide isolates, Stemm creates an optimal environment for hair health, from follicle to fibre. In a way, Stemm is skincare for hair:

High-Amino Shampoo: An effective shampoo concentrate to promote visible hair density for thicker-looking hair, with gentle cleaning technologies that respect hair fibre. Traditional shampoos can strip healthy natural oils and damage the hair fibre over time. This advanced formula avoids this damage while supplementing hair and scalp with nutrients to help hair look its healthiest, densest and fullest, both immediately and with continued use. High-Amino Shampoo also offers natural mild conditioning to hair fibre.

I am not listing all the ingredients as there are so many of them; you can refer to the product page to read them, but I know instantly whether a product will perform and live up to promise; there are times when I know what a product will do before I’ve even put it through the testing process, I get shivers down my spine. I got shivers, I used it, I tested it extensively, I used it when I was travelling because whenever I travel my hair plays up; my hair didn’t play up, I have fallen in love and I think you will too, whatever your hair type, this is just awesome.
High-Amino Shampoo £25 for 480 ml

Black Fulvic Conditioner: A rinse-off treatment that promotes thicker-looking hair and specifically targets damaged parts of hair to avoid the apparent loss of density associated with the build-up that occurs with traditional conditioning agents. Traditional conditioners almost always cause an immediate thinning of the hair fibre and also result in build-up of conditioning agents over time. This formula combines a targeted conditioning system that does not coat the entire hair and focuses only on damaged areas that require support, while supplementing hair and scalp with nutrients to help hair look its healthiest, densest and fullest immediately and with continued use, working synergistically with the High-Amino Shampoo.

The texture, the smell, the efficacy, the everything. I consider it rather fortunate that I was playing with this before I walked into the shower to test it for the first time because I may well have fainted flat out with excitement. It is pretty thick in consistency and I can only describe it as a haircare experience like no other. There are products that ‘send me’ and this sent me to another time and another place, which I will write about soon, but for now all you really need to know is that it contains a ‘next-generation’ form of hyaluronic acid specifically adjusted to bind to hair along with a very long list of ingredients that support hair from the root up; I also use it as a conditioning hair masque, leaving it on for several hours. Haircare nirvana; right here, right now.
Black Fulvic Conditioner £28 for 480 ml

Density Stimuli: I suppose if there was a hero product, this would be it, although quite honestly even though it can be used as a stand-alone, I would really recommend using all three products in the range. It is a high-potency serum that follows through from the shampoo and conditioner and as they make hair look thicker, denser, fuller and healthier, so does Density Stimuli, but with a focus on follicle and scalp instead of hair. This advanced leave-in scalp formula is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, peptides, polyphenols, caffeine and other nutrients at extraordinarily high concentrations.

Ingredients include highly-refined black fulvic acid, biotin, purified pea peptides, purified fireweed and a very-high-solubility caffeine (very high 5% net caffeine by weight in formula). Density Stimuli should be used once daily, ideally at bedtime, to a clean, dry scalp. I actually use mine in the morning (non-conformity suits me) after washing and conditioning my hair. Either way apply directly to the scalp using either the supplied dropper pipette or the supplied dispensing nozzle, based on your preference. Massage into the scalp thoroughly and do not wash your hair after applying.

When I was initially testing, I was using Density Stimuli twice a day because I developed a bit of an obsession; I wanted it on my scalp during the day and I wanted to sleep with it on my scalp too. So I did. And then I developed a bit of an obsession with the results. My hair looked amazing, I mean truly amazing, it grew fast, in fact so fast that I had to make an emergency trip to the hairdresser because I couldn’t see through my fringe. I honestly feel that Brandon needs to pay for my hair from hereon in; I did tell him, but you know how it is, men just move onto another subject and ignore what you have just said.  Not tremendously convenient really.

With time Density Stimuli just gets better, three weeks in and I was deliriously happy, four weeks and I developed a stroking-my-hair-because-it-felt-fabulous habit (who remembers the stroking-the-face habit with NIOD!) and now, well it is in my life and I can’t imagine life without it. I kiss the bottle because I am so grateful for what it has done for my hair and you may want to kiss the bottle too if you suffer from thinning hair, because it helps address that issue too. The research is impeccable, the efficacy is stunning and the results are completely gorgeous.
Density Stimuli £35 for 60 ml

The Stemm Collection: As with all DECIEM concepts, Stemm is pioneering and I would use the words ‘next generation’, but I think it is far more than that. There is a depth of knowledge and wisdom in these formulations; in a sense, and as with the yešti products within NIOD, they are steeped in the past although there is a distinct modernism about them.

Brandon and I call Stemm ‘Apothecary Medicine’; we call it that because we both feel that it has been made especially for us; it feels like it goes right back to the beginning and that the formulations have been handed down from our ancestors for the health and wellbeing of our hair and scalp. There is an ‘earthiness’ about each of the products, the feel, the texture, the smell, which is from the ingredients themselves and not essential oils or fragrance; and somewhere in my dreams, a wise man is massaging Density Stimuli into my scalp, I feel nurtured, I feel nourished as if for all the world my senses have been awakened to the possibilities that Stemm can bring to each of us on our journey together. Stemm is free from sulphates, silicones, common conditioners, parabens, colours and fragrances.

To celebrate the beginning of the Stemm journey, we are offering you the opportunity to use all three of the Stemm products for £68, which is a saving of £20 across the products. Together we share and the sharing will begin when each of you receive these products, which we are anticipating to be within three to five days; the plane decided to go on detour – again!
The Stemm Collection £68 (High-Amino Shampoo £25; Black Fulvic Conditioner £28; Density Stimuli £35)

NIOD (The Extraordinary)

Myrrh Clay (MC)

This is the third yešti product to launch within NIOD; the yešti journey and exploration continues and it follows through from Sanskrit Saponins and Mastic Must. It is another masque; it is another intensive skin treatment; it blew my mind away yet again, in a whole series of having my mind blown away. Soon I may not have a mind.

I am not sure that there are enough superlatives to describe MC, but I will give it a go because we all need this on our skin; it lifts, it tightens and then comes the deep, deep intrinsic aroma of the ingredients, which is so incredibly evocative that as above with Stemm, if you close your eyes it may send you to another place and another time. But then that is core yešti, a journey offering respect to our past with a series of formulations that allows our collective past an overdue chance to speak. The words are written by me and Brandon, the formulations are given with love and respect, the journey belongs to all of us. There is no separation. Myrrh Clay:

Myrrh Clay is a treatment masque that visibly firms the skin, borrowing from a triangle of Ayurvedic, Unani and traditional Chinese studies of medicine. Myrrh Clay offers a visible tightening of the skin immediately and without forming a noticeable film on the surface of the skin as is common with modern skin firming formulations.

Myrrh and its very fragrant resin, derived from tree sap, are recognised in Ayurvedic, Unani and traditional Chinese studies of medicine for their high content of terpenoids and sesquiterpenes. While traditional topical uses of myrrh were for wound healing, as an antioxidant and for age prevention, the main benefit of topically-applied myrrh is visible and immediate firmness to the skin. Myrrh Clay combines a highly-purified myrrh with isolated polyphenols from strawberry leaves (Ayurveda) and concentrated Wu Zhu Yu (from traditional Chinese medicine), all supporting a visible firming effect in a nutrient base of humic-rich peat and Indian Multani Mitti clay.

Myrrh Clay should be used once a week on clean, dry skin. Just apply a thin layer to the entire face, leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with warm water. And for now we have the trilogy of masques, Flavanone Mud for decongestion, with the added bonus that it takes down inflammation, Mastic Must, which I will write about next and now Myrrh Clay. When I received the lab sample of MC, I literally sat for 30 minutes inhaling the aroma; I was rooted; I couldn’t move; I couldn’t talk. And then I put it on my face. I left it on for 30 minutes (I test to the extreme). And when I rinsed it off, I was rooted in front of the mirror; I couldn’t move; I couldn’t talk.

If I had one wish right now, it would be that we could send Myrrh Clay into the world right in this moment, but there has been an issue with one ingredient, we are waiting rather impatiently for it to arrive, it will be here very soon (hopefully within two weeks – I’m tapping my fingers on my desk) and as soon as it arrives MC will be with you. My lab samples have run out, so I am waiting too and I’ve got huge withdrawal symptoms. And yet again we have a wait list, this from the girl who really dislikes wait lists, but it’s long and so with respect I suggest you get on it sooner rather than later.
Myrrh Clay £28 for 50 ml; Flavanone Mud £28 for 50 ml

Mastic Must (MM)

It arrived the day we released the September newsletter; most people received it the following morning and it would appear that rather a lot of you dropped everything and went straight into the bathroom with it. By 10 am we started to receive feedback and by the end of the day I could have written an entire book about Mastic Must. And the accolades keep coming in because it is completely stunning, there is nothing in the world like it and suddenly it has become an iconic product.

It is really funny that whenever we release a new NIOD product so many of the emails claim that it is the best NIOD product to date and it is the absolute favourite of all time. It happens all the time and such was the case, yet again, with MM. I don’t have room on the newsletter to list all the comments, so I am just going to use one; it is short, sweet and to the point because quite honestly nothing, but nothing can touch MM for its efficacy in helping to shrink pores. We all have them and watching them shrink in front of our very eyes is almost surreal. So we apply, we leave it on, we towel dry and we blast our skin for 15 seconds with a hairdryer – and we virtually die of excitement when we look in the mirror. This:

‘I have pure love for Mastic Must. I wondered if I needed another masque. But yes, yes, I do!! I was up all night drinking martinis and look like I’ve had one of my 14 hour sleeps’
Mastic Must £27 for 90 ml

Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS)

I just want to write a few words here about CAIS; in each and every moment people are discovering NIOD and acknowledging the formulations as being truly extraordinary. CAIS, alongside MMHC, was the first NIOD product to launch, it is the core NIOD product and I believe everybody (if you can) should be using CAIS in its capacity of keeping skin in a heightened state of repair; in this respect it stands alone.

If you wanted to step it up and use CAIS 5%, now would be a good time to do that thing, most especially if your skin has been exposed to the sun (suddenly we had summer in September!). I know some of you use 5% as a constant, but for those who don’t, I tend to think it should be used as we enter each new season, which we have just done – hello autumn – my favourite season of the year, the difference it makes is pretty remarkable.
Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% £38 for 15 ml; Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5% £130; Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex £38 for 30 ml

The Ordinary

It launched on the September newsletter. Within an hour it sold out. We died. It changed everything. It has been said by many people that The Ordinary is one of the biggest ever skincare launches in the history of the beauty industry. It needed to happen; there has to be truth, there has to be accountability.

And then a series of happenings: There is a girl called Arly; she has been a member of the VH family (we don’t have customers, we have family) for many years; she is also a blogger (Detail Oriented Beauty), but I honestly didn’t know that until a few months ago. She read the September newsletter, she became extraordinarily emotional and she started to write. She wrote as if her life depended upon it; she posted about The Ordinary just before midnight and then we were both up throughout the night. I didn’t ask her to do it, she did it because she has incredible ingredient knowledge and she understands what it is to have bad skin. Hugs Arly, special girl.
VH Editorial: In The Press

And then Wayne Goss happened; I have declared undying love for Wayne on a newsletter before; it’s not because he is an internationally renowned (on a massive scale) make-up artist; it is because we laugh together, our emails could and probably should be published and he nearly flipped ten thousand somersaults when we were talking about The Ordinary. And then he made a video, put it on YouTube and the world as we knew it ended right in that moment. We died. Again. Watch it here.

And then The Ordinary began appearing everywhere and together with Brandon, I thank everybody who has written about it; neither of us have slept for what seems the longest time and I’m not sure when we will ever sleep again! There will be a book about this, there has to be a book, we will lock ourselves up and write it together, but at the moment we can barely breathe, so please bear with us, we are doing our very best.

I am almost frightened to write about the accolades because I know what will happen, so just to say here that a VH Addict was completely astounded that her sun and age spots virtually disappeared after using Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (£7) for a few days; we have put a rather extensive guide to Vitamin C on our site together with suggested regimens across the range and FAQ’s. You will also see that we have listed some new products; they are not available now, but they are coming soon (mid-late October) and within minutes of listing Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (£5.50), we had a rather large wait list. We are not surprised, Azelaic Acid is brilliant for addressing acne. Oh!

Through all of this, NIOD remains The Extraordinary and it always will.
The Ordinary

Psychobiotics – A Probiotic Supplement To Relieve Anxiety

I wrote about Psychobiotics a couple of months ago, but as ever nothing remains static and an exciting new supplement has just been launched, so I am going to write and recap about pyschobiotics first and then follow through with the lowdown on Florassist Mood.

We have always known that the brain has an influence on the digestive system; this is easy to understand because for many people, when under stress, their digestive system gets affected. Scientists are now pretty convinced that what happens in the gut also affects the brain and this is termed the gut-brain axis.

This two-way communication between the brain and gut is not a surprise since there are around 100 trillion microorganisms in the gut, which out-number the body’s cells by a tenfold factor. This suggests that there must be a role for these bacteria other than digestion and supporting immunity.

Two specific bacteria, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175, have been studied extensively and found to influence mood positively. A probiotic supplement containing both these specific probiotic strains, Florassist Mood, has been the subject of human trials and found to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and low mood, while also helping to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. One of the studies showed a 50% plus decrease in low mood scores and a 55% improvement in anxiety scores, which is really promising. Florassist Mood may also offer real hope for those who do not wish to take mood-modifying drugs.
VH Editorial: A Probiotic Supplement to Relieve AnxietyFlorassist Mood £26 for 60 Capsules

Getting Rid Of A Cold Quickly

We are entering the cold and flu season, so with my feet up on my desk, Shabir writes and I rest:

The average duration of a cold is between four and seven days, depending upon the strength of our immune system and how quickly it can respond. The common cold can be described as a group of upper respiratory concerns caused by viruses, which is why antibiotics should not be prescribed as they will not work.

The most common viruses responsible for a cold are rhinovirus and corona virus, although there are around two hundred types of viruses that may cause a common cold. Symptoms of a common cold include a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, sore throat, lethargy, a mild cough and itching of the throat.

Typically the worst symptoms last for three days, although you can feel pretty congested for up to seven days and so my first recommendation would be to use Horseradish & Garlic Complex. Horseradish contains volatile oils which enhance circulation, aid digestion, reduce nasal congestion and helps warm the body. Garlic helps support the immune system and is known for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In a small study, fresh garlic was shown to have antiviral properties including one virus known for causing the common cold. Using a dose of three capsules a day, this supplement will help reduce the duration of a cold.
Horseradish & Garlic Complex £21 for 90 Capsules

A sore throat and varying degrees of a cough often accompany the common cold. ChitoRhino ColdClear, containing chitosan and zinc, is an oral mist throat spray designed to help reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms of a cold. Plant derived Chitosan, helps soothe the whole of the upper respiratory tract helping to alleviate a sore throat, coughs and other symptoms.

Zinc has 18 approved health claims, the highest number for a mineral. In a latest study at the University of Helsinki involving nearly 200 subjects, it was concluded that using a zinc lozenge shortened the duration of a cold by nearly three days. ChitoRhino ColdClear uses an oral form of zinc which is easily absorbed and additionally contains vitamins A, C and E, all known for their varying roles in supporting the immune system. ChitoRhino ColdClear has a natural berry flavour just in case you needed to know!
ChitoRhino ColdClear £13.50 for 30 ml

Shabir believes that the above two products should be in all of our medicine cabinets for when the need arises, and it normally does arise! However, in order to avoid or prevent a cold, we need our immune system to be working at the optimal levels. To ensure this we recommend Daily Immunity, which is a powerhouse of herbs, vitamins, mushroom extracts and friendly bacteria that will hopefully ensure that you are not plagued by colds throughout the winter months. We recommend Daily Immunity should be taken from now right through until spring.
VH Editorial: Getting Rid Of A Cold QuicklyDaily Immunity £25.50 for 60 Capsules

Lash Boosting Eye Cleanse by Sarah Chapman

This multi-tasking eye treatment is a light-weight formulation which removes make-up, but can also be used as an eye soak with cotton pads to refresh tired eyes, helps reduce puffy eyes and at the same time promotes longer, thicker lashes and brows. Loaded with arnica, aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and Damask rose water, it also helps maintain healthy hair and minimise hair loss. Sarah Chapman fans will of course be delighted and they will be even happier after reading the next paragraph.

With every Sarah Chapman skincare product ordered we will pop in Sarah’s Omega+ Booster Supplement as a free gift, which is worth £28, while stock lasts. There are a few exclusions, the gift will not be available if you order the Professional Cleansing Mitts, the Facialift, the Bodylift, Overnight Facial Supplement and Overnight Facial Candle. Go! ***Sorry This Promotion Has Now Ended***
Lash Boosting Eye Cleanse by Sarah Chapman £32 for 70 ml

Death (Semi-Death) Of A Product – The O! Wow Brush

I know it’s shocking, but you need to read on and I am sure you will understand. I can’t remember when we launched the O! Wow brush, I think it was a couple of years ago; it became a global phenomenon (of course it did!), I think most of you have one in your make-up bag, The Sunday Times has featured it at least five times, India Knight fell in love with it, as we all did. It air-brushed our skin, we looked amazing and quite honestly nothing came close.

And now the inevitable has happened; Cailyn Cosmetics, who are based in LA, have decided to venture into international markets. I can’t blame them, they need to grow their business and I truly wish them every success because they supported us magnificently. However, there is a ‘but’ and it is a big ‘but’ for me; by expanding into the UK and appointing a distributor, the cost of the O! Wow Brush has risen, alongside price hikes on all of their products.

So when I say ‘semi-death’, the O! Wow Brush hasn’t died and gone to product heaven, it will still be available somewhere, but we are delisting it from our site alongside the rest of the Cailyn products. The O! Wow brush is currently £20, they want us to put the price up to £30 and I said ‘no way’. No way because that is a £10 increase and no way because there are times when you just say ‘enough’. We did it, we loved it and with great fondness we say goodbye. We still have a limited amount, so if you don’t have one and you want one, I think you will need to be pretty fast and get it whilst you can!
The O! Wow Brush £20; The O! Circle Brush £35; Pure Ease Brush Cleaner £12 for 100 ml

How To Boost Brain Power

It is a scientific fact that over time we will all lose a certain amount of brain power; suggestions in the loss of brain power include ageing, problematic brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, and a lack of dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical found in the brain and responsible for transmitting signals in between nerve cells within the brain. Dopamine affects your emotions, movements and sensations of pain and pleasure. Dopamine is released in the brain when a craving has been satisfied and gives you the ‘feel-good’ factor when it is released in normal amounts.

As we age, our dopamine levels decline and when this happens it can affect us in many different ways including loss of concentration, a loss in a sense of wellbeing right the way through to clinical depression. Parkinson’s is a disease in which there is a loss of dopamine and drugs such as levodopa are prescribed to help replace the loss.

Dopamine, being the brain’s most important neurotransmitter, is used to control movement, memory and concentration. The major cause of dopamine depletion is due to the fact that as we age we produce more of an enzyme called MAO-B, which destroys dopamine; levels of MAO-B enzyme increase dramatically by the time we approach our 60’s. This increase results in the destruction of brain cells; an excess of this enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide in the brain. Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic molecule and destroys soft tissue in the body.

And then Dopa-Mind landed on our desks. It contains a standardised extract of wild green oat, also known as Avena Sativa, which has been traditionally been used to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety, tension and hyper-activity. It has now been found to help inhibit the production of the enzyme MAO-B, which as above, destroys brain cells.

In human studies this special extract of wild green oats significantly improved concentration and brain function. Brain mapping showed a significant increase in brain theta waves responsible for focusing attention and signal detection. Signal detection is vital because we use this process to detect familiar faces, objects and skills, which are often lost with diseases of the nervous system.

In another study involving elderly people, some with cognitive impairment and some without, the use of wild green oat extract showed a 65% improvement in the reduction of mental errors in all the groups involved. When the results for the group with mild cognitive impairment were analysed, this group actually showed a remarkable 74% improvement.

Yet another study indicated that wild green oat extract improves brain processing time and speed. When compared to subjects taking a placebo, those who took 800 mg of wild green oat extract were 180% faster in their response and took less time to complete the tasks. Additionally these subjects made fewer mistakes and 800 mg is the precise strength found in Dopa-Mind with a dose of just one tablet a day.

Finally, declining levels of dopamine can also result in loss of energy, low sex drive, mood swings and lack of motivation. Dopa-Mind is yet another pioneering, cutting-edge supplement and it has the potential to be extraordinarily far-reaching and that is so important.
VH Editorial: How To Boost Brain PowerDopa-Mind £35 for 60 Tablets

The Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is an exotic looking fruit which belongs to the cactus family of plants and it has some unique health benefits. The outside skin of dragon fruit has scales which resemble a dragon and most people describe the taste as a cross between a pear and kiwi fruit.

Also known as Pitaya, Dragon fruit is rich in vitamins including vitamins C, B1, B2 and B3; it is rich in minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Additionally Dragon fruit is a good source of fibre, protein and omega essential fatty acids; it is also rich in antioxidants.

Health benefits include helping to decrease cholesterol levels, assisting with constipation and a sluggish digestive system and many have reported weight loss benefits. Being rich in fibre, it can help to stabilise blood sugar levels, which, in turn, helps prevent cravings and may prevent excess insulin production, which encourages weight gain. Dragon fruit also displays powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Dragon Fruit Pitaya Powder is a supplement providing 100% pure Dragon fruit powder with no fillers or binders in the formulation. The powder is derived by freeze drying the Dragon fruit in order to retain freshness, colour, flavour and the vast array of beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. Each sachet provides one month’s supply.
VH Editorial: Benefits of Dragon FruitDragon Fruit Pitaya Freeze-Dried Extract Powder £14.99 for 56 grams

VH Editorial

This month the Beauty Bible girls write about ‘new finds’, Jo Fairley asks if our phones are making us healthier, Carolyn Asome, ever the fashion guru, takes a look at the new season style rules and Catherine Turner eases into autumn. In our ongoing ‘Sally series’, we re-publish kindness makes the world go round.
Beauty Bible Loves: The Autumn VH Edit; The New Season Style Rules; How Your Phone Can Make You Healthy; The Joys of Autumn; Kindness Makes The World Go Round

The End Bit

Just a few things here:

If you take Glucosamine for joint pain, and many of you do, you may want to take advantage of a special offer from Lamberts. We like Lamberts and they have put together a ‘joint pack’ of Glucosamine Complete and Pure Fish Oil 1100 mg. It is £19.95 and you save just over £7.
Joint Pack by Lamberts £19.95

A new tea from Pukka Herbs. Elderberry and Echinacea Tea with Elderflower. We love.
Elderberry and Echinacea Tea with Elderflower £4.78 for 2 x 20 Sachets

We still don’t have a confirmed date for the release of NIOD’s Voicemail Masque, but to appease a mountain of emails and phone calls, I have resurrected the wait list, so you can join in once again, which does of course mean that when we do launch it, you will be first in line and on something like this I think it matters!
Voicemail Masque by NIOD £30 for 50 ml (Pre-Order Only)

Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. Still waiting. Still sighing. Sorry.
Botanical Cream Deodorant £18 for 50 grams

A huge response after I wrote about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) on the September newsletter; we know it affects so many of you, we know it is massively misunderstood and we also know that things need to change in the way this illness is perceived. We will fight the fight and I will keep talking about it because it matters. It matters a lot.
VH Editorial: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; RiboGen French Wood Oak Extract £30

The Wrap

And so we come to the end of another newsletter; it has been an incredible month and if your order took slightly longer to get to you, I apologise, but we were virtually drowning with the response to The Ordinary as I have written above.

Together with Shabir, the entire VH team, Brandon and the entire DECIEM team, I thank you for your incredible loyalty and support; we couldn’t do it without you.

My personal thanks to Krishna, Michael, Sophie and Dionne – mega-stars each of you; Anastasia Achilleos for putting me back together when I needed it the most, the incorrigible Wayne Goss, Carolyn Asome for just being and Arly, for all she is.

I hope each of you have a wonderful October.

Gill x

The Joys Of Autumn


When summer comes to an end, there’s an undeniable ‘back to school’ feeling. The arrival of darker nights and dropping temperatures signals a long winter ahead and this has a profound effect on our mood and our systems. Naturally, our minds jump ahead, but actually, we can make the decision to enjoy the seasonal shift into autumn. It is such a glorious time when the earth is still carrying the heat from the warmth of the sun and the leaves begin to change colour from green into a riot of golds, rich copper, nutty browns and honeyed yellows. Too often, it’s tempting to close the curtains and spend more time indoors – but getting out into nature is a great chance to witness all this happening and it slows things down. Read More…

New Season Shopping Rules


I’m just about ready to move on from this summer: hot sunshine, endless blue skies and lucky us, even a September heatwave to ease us back into the working world. It’s been bliss hasn’t it? The chance to loll around in a greying J. Crew hoodie (or the beachiest of summer dresses) and not wonder whether it’s too late to save up for a pair of Gucci Princetown furry, backless loafers (I’m still working that one out) or whether velvet will make you look like your Granny (no it won’t). Because let’s be honest: we’re not a nation that’s very good at hot weather. Charred, not to mention copious quantities of flesh are suddenly deemed acceptable – you don’t see New Yorkers or Italians un-dressing in similar fashion when the mercury hits 28c. Read More…