TLC for Hands

Pink background with thumbs up hand with pink rubber glove on

Poor, poor hands. Have they ever taken such a battering? Assaulted by the alcohol in most sanitisers, washed for a total of minutes a day while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice over, under our breaths. (Personally, we really wish someone would come up with an alternative to that which is the requisite 20 seconds long, or forever more when we wish someone Many Happy Returns as we head in their direction carrying a large cake, we’re going to be thinking of the corona-nightmare.)

Handcare might seem pretty low down the list of priorities right now, when we’re fretting about so many other ‘bigger’ issues. But with hands at risk of becoming so dry that they get papery and even cracked, that’s really not good news, either. Cracked skin can become infected skin – red, sore (and as we all know from a mere paper cut) the number of nerve endings in our wonderfully dextrous, gloriously sensitive hands means that the pain of any cut or hand injury seems way out of proportion to its size. (And besides, aesthetically, does anyone really want hands that feel like sandpaper…?) Read More…

The Goose Formation


As the geese take flight from the Canadian shoreline, they lift off from the water in squawking discourse. Yet, in a matter of seconds, a line begins to emerge from the mass of brown feathers. This line straightens, arches slightly, and then, as on cue, bends sharply to form a perfect V shape. Canadian geese fly in V formation for a very pragmatic reason: a flock of geese flying in formation can move faster and maintain flight longer than any one goose flying alone. Synergy is a law of nature.

What is synergy? How does it relate to leadership?

We have a lot to learn from these geese. Read More…

Working From Home


‘I had a very interesting dream last night’, says my partner provocatively, by way of a morning greeting. I glance at the clock. 7.30 am.  Bloody hell. What’s he still doing here?  It used to be that there was no time in the A.M for discussing anything, let alone dreams. He was off on his bike for a 9 am, or an 8 am meeting if I was really lucky. This left me, in my freelance world, to make my own way peacefully into the morning – Radio 3, Darjeeling tea, and a dog walk, before starting work.

Now, in this new world of 24/7 partnerships, I have to at least feign interest. I half-heartedly prompt him for more: ‘It was about how to solve our data collection problem and it involved Plato – but the annoying thing is,  I’ve forgotten the vital bit’, he says slurping the dregs of his tea and banging the mug down on the side table.

I want to scream, but even I realise that might be a bit of an over-reaction. In any case it’s not even 8 am and the whole, sorry day, riven with angst over whether the internet can handle Zoom and simultaneous downloading , arguments over which of us speaks the loudest on the phone (him) and who left coffee grounds left in the sink (him), stretches ahead of us. Read More…

Click To Buy – Health And Wellness


Best For Health And Wellness – Elle Sixmith and Olivia Peel


    • Garden Of Wisdom C-Deep Vitamin C Serum

      A go-to for your wellness needs, Victoria Health was one of the first e-tailers to launch 20 years ago. You’ll find health heroes like Symprove and de Mamiel alongside soon-to-be cult products; VH has scouted many brands before they hit the big time, including Ameliorate and Lanolips. The editorial section offers bit-sized wisdom and straightforward science from co-founder and in-house pharmacist Shabir Daya on topics such as getting to grips with supplements. Also, don’t miss his live videos with beauty and style guru Trinny Woodhall, covering everything from troublesome health concerns to how to love holistically.

      What do shoppers buy on repeat? Victoria Health Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength, £35; VH Mega Probiotic ND, £19.50; and VH Sage Complex, £25, are firm favourites. And don’t miss the Garden of Wisdom skincare line, which Shabir helped formulate and is exclusive to the site. It’s been dubbed a more natural take on The Ordinary for its complexion transforming powers and no-nonsense approach to skincare. Its latest launch is C-Deep Vitamin C Serum, £18, to protect the skin against harmful free radicals.

      Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is a huge fan of Garden of Wisdom 100% Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil, £20 – she raved about it last year and sparked a waiting list.

Weekend Read

Chef in yellow and blue cooking at home in blue kitchen

In so many ways this is a collective bulletin, which will become evident as you read the words I’m about to write. It is in this space that I offer the thoughts of so many of us, but as I have said several times before, we live in an ever-changing landscape and it is my duty and responsibility as a ‘key sector’ business to hold us all together in these extraordinarily difficult times.

Last Saturday I mentioned that I was having thoughts of abandoning the monthly newsletter, after an entire VH lifetime of writing them. I have always loved writing the newsletters and in some ways it saddens me because over the years it has served to launch some of the most profound and cutting-edge brands, both in health and beauty. I don’t need to list them, most of you know.

I threw it wide open and asked your opinion and, as ever, you gave it. The overwhelming consensus was to revert to this, The Weekend Read, and so that is what I shall do. Keeping this same format, I will continue to release them each Saturday morning. A word of thanks here to everybody who mailed me; the decision was, as it should be, collective. Once again, I think I have personally responded to each of you and of course it remains an open invitation for each of you to let me know your ongoing thoughts. We are in this together, we always have been.

At this point I need to give you an update on where we are at, but heaven knows it changes in every moment, so I’ll do my best. It goes without saying that the critical raw ingredient issue continues, as it will for some time yet. I want to implore here that this is nobody’s fault, each of us are doing the utmost to get your products to you right the way through the supply chain. It is a battle, but we are all up to the challenge and it is with complete respect that I applaud those working day and night to satisfy the needs of so many.

Throughout, I still remain pragmatic and determined that we will get through this, so on that note I wish to announce (with a tra-la-la) that Daily Immunity has rolled off the production line and will be with us some time next week, all things being equal. I have to put a caveat in here that the freight delays are horrific, so I’m sending up a prayer that all goes smoothly. We have enough stock to cover the entire wait list, so nobody will go without, but it may take several days to process and send all orders, so please bear with. It is our continued recommendation that whilst there is not a product that will prevent any of us catching the COVID-19 virus, immunity supplementation is vital, not only now, but throughout this year and probably ongoing from that.
Daily Immunity £26 for 60 Capsules

I believe that one of the best things I can do at the moment is to offer practical solutions to some of the health issues many of us could be facing. It is in this mode that I want to write about oral hygiene, which is so important. With dental surgeries closed, save for emergencies, I need to tell you about a hero product, Peri-Gum. This is the wondrous product that saved me a few years ago when I had a raging toothache and couldn’t get to the dentist.

Shabir may even remember it, although quite honestly some of my finest drama queen moments are deeply hidden in the recesses of his brain. I understand. I also understand that Peri-Gum is probably one of those medicine cabinet must-haves. Loaded with seven herbal extracts, it helps improve gum disorders such as bleeding, swollen and infected gums, as well as helping to prevent mouth ulcers. And out of the archives, Shabir’s article on Preventing and Treating Gum Disease. He has it covered.
VH Editorial: Preventing and Treating Gum DiseasePeri-Gum Mouthwash Concentrate £19 for 29 ml

Now let’s talk about Vitamin C. The demand for all Vitamin C products, most especially liposomal Vitamin C products, is totally unprecedented. The wait lists are massive and I completely understand why because Vitamin C is one of those crucial supplements to help fight and prevent infections. Whenever our immune system goes into overdrive to help deal with infection, it very quickly burns through all the Vitamin C we have circulating in our bodies. Liposomal Vitamin C’s offer a highly absorbable form and they also tend to be gentle on the stomach, which is really important.

So an update here. We are receiving, albeit in small tranches, regular deliveries of Liposomal Vitamin C by YourZooki and some of you will have received your order by now. I hope we can get through all pending orders over the next couple of weeks, but I am keeping the product on ‘pre-order only’ for the interim because I don’t want to give false hope to any of you. Again, I must reiterate that Vitamin C will not prevent you catching a virus, but it will help support your immune system. Running alongside this, I wrote last week that the health/beauty crossover was so very important and it’s the sector that I am so passionate about.

And so it is that Vitamin C is having its moment in the sun, as it were. We released C-Deep Vitamin C Serum a month or two ago (in another lifetime and in a very different world) and as it is right now, it is one of our bestselling beauty products. Understandably perhaps, but as we stand, if we believe that Liposomal Vitamin C’s are in a league of their own, which they are, then C-Deep holds that same reverence for us in that it penetrates the skin deeper than traditional Vitamin C Serums. Shabir explains why in his article and I humbly acknowledge the profound circumstance of the health/beauty crossover.
VH Editorial: Is Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C SerumLiposomal Vitamin C by YourZooki £39.99 for 30 x 15 ml Sachets; C-Deep Vitamin C Serum by GOW for VH £18 for 30 ml

Talking about the sun, as we were, let me just reiterate the importance of the ‘sunshine vitamin’, Vitamin D. As I have previously written, numerous studies have indicated a relationship between Vitamin D and a healthy immune system. Without repeating myself, on another bulletin I wrote about the findings of Danish scientists supporting the fact that Vitamin D helps destroy bacteria and viruses. Let me reiterate the word ‘helps’ here for total clarity. We cannot under-estimate the importance of Vitamin D. Furthermore, a small miracle, it is in stock. Please don’t fall over, I don’t want to be writing about Bone Restore, however fabulous that product is!
DLux 3000 £7.95 for 15 ml

As I promised last week, for the sake of my sanity and yours, I would write a non-essential category each week. So here it is, part two of the story about my nails, which are now, as you will have read, short and naked. Let me tell you that not only have I worn polish for most of my life, but my nails have been silk-wrapped since forever and a day. As most of you are now doing alongside me, I have been massaging Fulvic Acid Nail Cream into my nails twice a day and I am beginning to see the nails I was born with, although clearly I wasn’t totally aware of them until I was given one of those brilliant, albeit retro now, manicure sets from a wildly glamorous aunt from New York. I think I was six.

So look, the thing is with each and every day my nails are recovering from the bashing they have received; I had thoughts of putting a top coat on them, but somehow it didn’t go along with the naked stance. And then, in the shower, a brainwave. Buff them. Buff them into near oblivion because it brings so much pleasure, not least the resultant shine. Let’s buff then. Collectively. And suddenly I’m six again.
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml; Super Shiner Buffer by Margaret Dabbs £7

The most pressing issue I have in writing a weekly bulletin is keeping it short. Those closest to me are having a sweepstake that I won’t be able to maintain the brevity, but I’m honestly trying my very best. I don’t want to lose any of the aspects of the newsletter that you have always loved, namely the gifts and treats. So on that note may I say that the brilliant Dr Colette Haydon of LixirSkin (I call her ‘my Colette’) has given me a stash of Universal Emulsion (30 ml) to share with you, each worth approximately £17. Universal Emulsion is a day moisturizer, night cream and a serum base in one. In one and as one, we launched LixirSkin together on the premise of less is more and this product stands testimony to that way of thinking.

So with every LixirSkin product, whilst stocks last, we will automatically include Universal Emulsion (30 ml) with your order. This will not show up on your invoice, so please don’t fret. I’m thinking here of Soft Clay Rubber as a standout product for the now, but don’t be swayed by me, you each have your favourite LixirSkin product. There is only one gift per customer and when it’s over, it’s over. Amen to that.

Let’s do some logistics, which we must. As many of you know, since our inception we have always sent out delay emails on individual products with an update. In the current climate, it is not only impossible to do that, but in so many cases there is little or no information to impart. I am very wary also that what we say today may not hold true for tomorrow. All updates, wherever we can, will be on this weekly bulletin, so I ask you to refer to this for guidance.

On from last week, your response was amazing and together with Shabir, I thank you so very much, but I need to say the following. Having cleared the entire UK stock of the Salt Pipe Inhaler, it still wasn’t enough to be able to process and send all orders. The manufacturers inform us that they are hoping for another delivery towards the end of April, but nothing is ever cast in stone in such precarious times. The other side of this is that when I write about something, I then get flooded with opportunistic emails from previously unheard of manufacturers offering us similar products. One word. Bandwagon. One more word. Delete. We stay loyal and committed to our manufacturers who continue to get the love and support they so deserve. If we have to wait, we have to wait.
The Salt Pipe Inhaler by Higher Nature £29.95 (Wait List)

Right, if I have counted correctly, this is the 17thparagraph and last week I wrote 24 paragraphs, so let’s talk about Chicken Soup. Let’s also say that Chicken Soup is the universal panacea of all things, it always has been. I can make Chicken Soup blindfolded, but I know my place in life mostly because of Nigella, who is one of us, but most of you know that. So below is Nigella’s take and twist on Chicken Soup, My Mother’s Praised Chicken. And if you are looking for a vegetarian alternative, Nigella suggests her Sunshine Soup, also linked below. I love the synchronicity of taking the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D as above, and making Sunshine Soup.

The caveat here of course is that it is so difficult to get all the ingredients needed, so make your own substitutions where you can. The other thing is that I once had a collection of over 600 cookery books (back in the day); they bought me endless hours of joy and happiness, actually the books I kept still do. So, if I may, I am getting a touch over-excited about Nigella’s new book which is scheduled for publication in October. It is called COOK EAT REPEAT and it focusses on the rhythms and rituals of the kitchen, intertwined with narrative essays about food and stories. My God, I love a ritual and in any other circumstance I would beg Nigella to let me serialise it here, but I’m not a national newspaper, so I shall gracefully step aside in my silence. And wait.
My Mother’s Praised Chicken; Sunshine Soup

We are nearing the end, but there is something I would like to share with you. A very long time ago, I was given an article called ‘The Goose Formation’. I have no idea who wrote it, but it has been on our website since the beginning of VH time. It is very short and won’t take you long to read, but it cements my belief that we are all in this together. With each twist and turn of life, we must hold hands and it is my complete privilege to be able to ‘fly point’, as indicated in the article, with these bulletins. I am supported not only by the VH team, but by Shabir who is the single most exemplary partner I could ever dream of having. And just in case you wondered, no we are not married. It ends here. The paragraph, not our partnership!
The Goose Formation

And if I’m talking about support, I could ask for no better support than that given by our editorial team. We are the girls, we live, breathe and email together, but then we have all known each other for the longest time. You know who they are, I talk about them all the time. Mostly award-winning journalists, our love and friendship transcends all else. Each week, one of them will support each of us by ‘flying point’, but just a few things more to say before we get to that section.

A quick round-up of last week’s featured products and their status. We still have some stock of LifeDrink, both in the family size and the sachets; thank goodness for Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, still in stock and a most-wanted supplement to help relieve the feelings of anxiety and stress; Fulvic Acid Elixir, which went so completely crazy, but if ever I had a wish, it would be that the world took this elixir; Mega Probiotic ND, thankfully because I cannot express in enough words about the importance of taking a probiotic, and finally DermSafe, the clinically proven hand sanitizer.

Although I have written the same over the past couple of weeks, it really saddens me that I need to write this again. I prayed that we would have an amnesty on this, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our customer care team are under increasing pressure and once again I need to say that our first priority has to be to those who need our help and support the most.

Please, please be mindful of this and refrain from calling or mailing about your order. I want to reiterate that information is sketchy at best, and non-existent in so many cases. We are still receiving deliveries, albeit, and understandably, with delays, but we are quietly fulfilling all that we can and continue to do so in strict date and time order.

Finally, it has been four years since my beautiful friend, Sally Brampton, walked into the sea and didn’t come back. Sally was the first editor of the British edition of Elle, which launched in November 1985. Most will remember Sally for her brilliant columns in The Sunday Times, which were so widely read, revered and acknowledged by millions of people. It is at times like this that Sally would have been at her very best. With a profound wisdom, she touched each of us as she struggled with her long-term prognosis of clinical depression, which so tragically took her away from us.

In the far distant past, I made a promise to Sally that I would always, always keep the articles she wrote for us on our site. And perhaps somewhere above each of us, Sally is ‘flying point’ because I offer each of her columns to you now. I will tell you that they are as relevant today as they have ever been. I hope they both help and comfort you in times of need. I also hope that in some way they make you smile too because Sally would have loved that. A total legend in her own lifetime, nobody wrote it like Sally. I miss her dreadfully.
Sally Brampton

And on this, the 27th paragraph (see what happens!) I have no more words other than to thank you for your continued loyalty. There wouldn’t and couldn’t be a VH without you, so please stay safe.

My thoughts continue to be with each of you.

Gill x

What To Do About Dental Problems

Vector drawing of teeth and brushing with pink toothbrush

If you have toothache, seeing your dentist face to face is impossible now, due to the risk of transmission of corona virus. However, you may be able to consult a dentist online as practises are urged by NHS England to ‘establish (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote, urgent care service, providing telephone triage for their patients with urgent needs during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with advice, analgesia and antimicrobial means, where appropriate’.

In these circumstances, ‘it’s vital to understand the nature of urgent and non-urgent needs’, says Dr Richard Marques, a leading London dentist ( Here’s his summary:

‘Issues such as a lost filling, dull toothache, mild sensitivity or a small chip in a tooth can all be treated at a later date. Examples of more serious issues that would constitute an emergency include:

  • Gums that will not stop bleeding
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity or toothache causing constant pain
  • A tooth that has been knocked out/is jagged
  • Swollen cheeks/gums and general extreme pain from swelling or possible infection.

If you experience any of these serious problems, try calling your dentist in the first instance. If you can’t access your dentist and symptoms continue, call the NHS help line on 111.

If the situation is serious, you may have to go to your nearest A&E but you should only do this on the advice of a medical professional (or NHS111).

In these circumstances, ‘it’s important to try and stay calm because stress will cause the body to react in a way that worsens the symptoms,’ says Dr Marques.

He recommends these simple measures that may ease the problem:

  • If your tooth is knocked out, put it in a glass of whole milk until it can be treated. The milk helps keep an acid-alkali ration so the tooth won’t swell, he explains. Change the milk to keep it fresh but try to keep it in a cool place rather than the fridge, unless you have to wait a long time.
  • To ease pain, take paracetamol as directed, or ibuprofen (unless you have a problem with this). Alternatively, take homeopathic arnica 30x, one to three times daily for two days or longer; arnica is a natural anti inflammatory. Or mix 1 tsp powdered turmeric, the golden Indian spice, in a little water, and sip for its antibacterial You could also try turmeric tea – Pukka Herbs offers Organic Turmeric Gold Herbal Tea, around £2.99 for 20 plastic free tea bags, or take a 400g supplement of turmeric once daily, eg BetterYou Turmeric Oral Spray, £17.95.
  • If you have areas of swelling, hold an ice pack, or a packet of frozen peas, on the external skin for 20 minutes twice a day.
  • To help remove bacteria and clear infection, dissolve 1tsp fine salt and dissolve in warm boiled water; swish around the mouth for 60 seconds. Do this three times a day after meals so after breakfast, lunch and evening meal, then before you go to bed.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide for pain and inflammation, eg Colgate Peroxyl Mouthwash, £4.49 from (this is available at time of going to press). Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends natural Peri Gum Mouthwash Concentrate, £19.
  • To help reduce pain, try cloves, which have natural painkilling and antibacterial properties. Simply dab a small amount of clove oil on the affected area inside your mouth. Or rinse two or three dried cloves and place between the offending tooth and your cheek to help kill the pain.