April Newsletter

Vice Reversa

Hello and welcome to the April newsletter where we do the exclusive UK launch of a new brand, Vice Reversa, which also heralds a new era of an emerging category in all things bright and beautiful. That would be bright and beautiful skin. Additionally I tell you about the latest product from LixirSkin and my obsession with a new must-have (in my humble opinion) from Sarah Chapman.

And then we do health. Liposomals, Nootropics (again) and a stunning new supplement which helps turn off the pain signal. Aculief has more than a moment in the spotlight and this month we have some really powerful feature articles, so much so that I am going to leap onto The Podium with Victoria to write about abuse (because I can and because I will), but more of that later. Finally, there is a Ful.Vic.Health treat that I don’t think you will want to miss. Let’s do it:

Vice Reversa

With a tag-line of ‘helping undo what life does’, I invite you to meet Vice Reversa, the new generation of micro-needling patches, which are smart, which are simple and which epitomise the very latest in modern skincare for age old skin issues. And this is just the beginning.

The story: One email to me. One response from me and within the space of three minutes I knew what I had to do. I knew that I was looking at groundbreaking products from a groundbreaking company. Their ethos was in line with my own. Their mission statement and their innovative stance on skincare confirmed that. And I hadn’t even tested the products. Sometimes you know.

Launched across Australia at the end of last year, it is now our turn to experience these micro-needling skin fix patches, aka wrinkle wranglers, aka zit zappers. Each patch contains thousands of microscopic ingredients made from crystallised active ingredients formed into micro-fine needles that dissolve into your skin and penetrate the epidermis, where the ingredients really have effect, nourishing and replenishing cells.

This pioneering science utilizes a unique and groundbreaking (count the number of times I write the word ‘groundbreaking’!) delivery system to target and transport these ultra-fine molecules. With a global patent across these micro-pyramid patches, Vice Reversa patches go where we need them to go and they go in deep.

This much I know, because I have been testing them every which way over several weeks and in line with Vice Reversa, we believe in personalized, adaptive routines and effective solutions because skin changes and skincare should adapt. Collectively we believe that everyone deserves good skin.

We launch with two transdermal patches, Plumping Patches and Pimple Patches:

Vice Reversa Plumping Patches: Because you’re not prepared to co-exist with fine lines and wrinkles. If life is giving you wrinkles and your frown lines are giving you frown lines, use these dissolvable micro-needle plumping patches. Loaded with Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Adenosine, Madecassoside and three types of peptides, each patch contains 2500 needles and can be used along your forehead, under your eyes and around your mouth.

This medical grade hydrocolloid patch creates a perfect seal to ensure the cocktail of plumping ingredients are absorbed during use. A close friend swears they are responsible for easing the ‘crepiness’ on her neck. I’ll take that.

The patches work best when they are applied overnight, but they don’t have to be used overnight. As long as the patch is in place for 2+ hours it will be effective. At this point I need to say that these patches are not an alternative to injectables such as Botox. In Victoria’s interview with Annie Shortall, the woman behind the brand. Annie states that she wanted to bring something new to the market that intrigued women (and men too), spoke to their intelligence and allowed them to have a bit of fun making life (and skin) brighter and better.

We recommend using these patches twice a week. The magic starts to work when you push the patch onto your skin. The initial sensation is a bit weird (weird makes me happy), but not at all uncomfortable. Actually I love giving them a few pushes (never rub them) every now and again because I’m feeling and visualizing the needles melting, which excites me rather a lot.

The thought of pushing these needles onto every part of my body thrills me, but I haven’t done that yet, surprisingly. And before any of you ask, I’m there before you; I’ve already asked if a full face of needles would be possible and the answer is no. Damn the expense I thought, but for reasons I am not really understanding, it is technically impossible. Shame. Another vision crushed.

Rather than write reams more, which I could easily do, at this point I will refer you to Victoria’s interview with Annie. Annie talks about her background, the inspiration behind Vice Reversa and the burning question, should we get rid of our derma-rollers?
VH Editorial: Meet The Woman Behind Vice Reversa by Victoria Hall; Vice Reversa Micro-Needling Plumping Patches £34.95 for Eight Patches

Vice Reversa Pimple Patches: Because the Gods gave you good looks and a sparking personality but balanced it out with the occasional pimple outbreak. Micro-needling Pimple Patches aka Blemish Blasters, aka Zit Zappers.

Excitement. The almost-immediate eradication of sore, red blemishes. Put to the test, the efficacy of these patches is pretty astounding. This will be music to the ears to anybody who suffers from regular breakouts or the occasional spot here and there. Spots suck, Vice Reversa patches do not (their words, but we agree), instead they painlessly penetrate the outer layer of skin delivering ingredients to source. The spot.

Using the same technology and transdermal delivery system, these clever pimple patches promise to treat and soothe sore, inflamed breakouts. While Totarol and Salicylic Acid help to unclog pores, slough away dead skin cells and rebalance sebum production, Hyaluronic Acid hydrates your skin.

Madecassoside and EGCG (Green Tea Extract – a powerful antioxidant thought to be over 60% more potent to Vitamin C) help to soothe the area and ease sensitivity.

Each Pimple Patch has 380 needles made from the crystallised serum, which are attached to the hydrocolloid material to keep the area clean and sealed. Just imagine, 380 needles melting into your spot and I think I’ll leave it there before getting way too graphic.

Victoria tested these when a stress spot appeared on her face (and the stress had nothing whatsoever to do with me). It takes an awful lot to impress Victoria, but she was impressed and I’ve seen some pretty impressive testimonials from Australia too, including a YouTube video of a disappearing spot which went viral. The video obviously, not the spot. Who needs viral spots. God help us!

To use, please cleanse your face and dry thoroughly. Open the blister pack and remove one patch. Holding the patch carefully by the edges, carefully remove the protective film, making sure not to touch the micro-needles in the centre. Apply the patch immediately and gently press down to adhere it to the skin. For best results, please keep the patch on for 8+ hours, so overnight would be good.

Before moving on, I would like to say a personal thank you to Annie Shortall for the love, belief, support and all her prolific emails, which were more than a match to mine. As I have previously said, this is just the beginning of the Vice Reversa journey. And somewhere in the future there may well be a world-first, which I would love to tell you about, but I can’t because it is still in research and development in Korea.

Thoughts of raiding the lab enter my head, but quickly disappear when I think of the consequences. God help them if they don’t give me the exclusive. That’s all. Hello Arthur Mitroulas. Ahem.
Vice Reversa Pimple Patches £ 19.95 for Eight Patches

Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin

The latest impeccable skincare product created by Dr Colette Haydon in her inimitable skincare range, LixirSkin. I need to tell you that I have been using Good Skin Day Shaker for several months after I stole it from Colette’s handbag. Well, I didn’t exactly steal it, Colette took it out of her bag to show me and it just didn’t go back in her bag, but it came home with me instead.

And how happy am I that it did. Creatively Colette views Good Skin Day Shaker as a tool, working for the skin and asking no work in return from the skin. She blended it for anybody whose skin is showing signs of tiredness and for more mature skin that needs an everyday pick-me-up (my brain now has an everyday pick-me-up thanks to Nootropics).

The product is a contradictory conundrum. How to simultaneously fill-in and de-puff. The solution is a bi-phasic formula that once shaken does it all. The top phase is a juice of Hyaluronans combined with algae-derived minerals that help keep cells tightly together in one action and in the second boosts micro-circulation to help with drainage and de-puffing issues.

The bottom phase consist of perfluorocarbons gas carriers, which help retain oxygen to boost cell respiration and radiance, while helping to increase epidermal volume.

That’s the science bit over. The most important thing you need to know is how this feels on the skin, and it feels rather fabulous, but then I would expect nothing less from Colette who is a formulator extraordinaire as many of you know from using the basic LixirSkin products. Her Vitamin C Paste remains the iconic hero-product of the brand and has been since launch. I’m wondering whether Good Skin Day Shaker will topple the paste; it could, it really could, it is that good.

Good Skin Day Shaker should be used after moisturizer. After shaking well, gently press two pumps into the skin. If you prefer, it can also be applied on top of make-up if you feel your complexion needs a lift during the day and the bottle is small enough to carry round in your handbag. I know you are not going to do this, but I have one in my bathroom and one in my handbag. I just like having the ‘ooh-la-la’ energy of Colette around me. And I love having this on my skin. I think you will too. It stands alone and it can stand alone. Merci, Colette, merci.
Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin £36 for 15 ml

Ful.Vic.Health

I think it’s time.  I think that after the amazing launch of all the Ful.Vic.Health products and the incredible feedback we have received, we need to celebrate.  I have written before that the bestselling Fulvic products vary between Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Fulvic Acid Mist and of course Fulvic Acid Elixir, which I would rather like to have pumped intravenously while I’m sleeping.  The thought sends me (although heaven knows where it would send me to).

Anyway I digress, so this is just to say that if you place an order for any of the Ful.Vic.Health products between now and midnight (GMT) Friday (Friday 29 March), we will automatically throw in a free Fulvic Mist (60 ml), which is worth £12.50. Only one gift per customer otherwise a riot will ensue.

As many of you know the Fulvic Mist is an amazing scalp treatment, but it has many other attributes; spray it on your skin before using any other skincare products; spray it on your nails and watch them mend and grow, spray it on wounds for its immense healing properties and try adding a drop or two to your regular skincare to boost the effect (in rather a major way).
Ful.Vic.Health from £25

Aculief

In 2014, Aculief was awarded ‘Best New Product’ at Expo West in California, one of the largest health exhibitions in the world. Shabir has used it ever since and it sits on his desk. I have always maintained that you can’t keep a good product down and you can’t. Read on:

Aculief is a wearable acupressure device to help ease tension, headaches and pain.  It uses acupressure to relieve blockage in your energy flow (in Chinese medicine this as known as ‘Qi’) and helps enhance natural circulation throughout the body.  And it works.  And then something happened and we didn’t know what had happened, where it happened or how it happened, but suddenly we had an avalanche of orders for the Aculief and at the time of writing, this has gone on for nearly three weeks with no signs of abating.

And then we discovered what had happened.  Somebody in America had put the following post on Facebook and tagged us.  She isn’t a blogger, she isn’t a journalist, she just believed and her belief went viral:

‘This chip clip saved my life tonight.  I had a migraine start almost twelve hours ago and about an hour ago it was at an unbearable limit.  I had exhausted all of my drugs and tricks I usually use to ease my migraines to no avail.  I googled fast relief for migraines and it pulled up something called Aculief.  I glanced at the counter and saw this chip clip and decided it would do the same thing.  Within one minute I had some relief and within twenty my pain was reduced by half.  I decided to order the real thing and just wanted to share this with everyone, as I know many of you suffer from migraines also’.

The moral of this story is that it’s not always about new products and there are some things in life that can rarely be bettered.  This is one of them.
Aculief £19.95

The Podium

A close friend is training to be a Samaritan; it is rigorous training and you need to jump through several thousand hoops before you are allowed on the phone lines, quite rightly so because it is harrowing.  By far, the majority of calls are about abuse on so many different levels, including the ever-increasing rise of bullying on social media.  The currency of an abuser is often humiliation, which in and of itself is beyond the realms of acceptability.

I wrote at the top of this newsletter that there were some very powerful articles this month, which I will get to later, but almost without exception they refer to the intolerable and unacceptable aspects of social media.

I don’t have personal social accounts; the thought appalls me. I don’t care, repeat, I don’t care how many followers we do or don’t have.  Social media does not define me, social media does not define VH.  But it defines those who are abused, vilified and bullied.  For so many of these people the silence is deafening as the incessant onslaught is allowed to continue, which, in turn, questions the moral compass of society. How many more suicides?

With over 300 million people across the world battling with some form of depression, the latest term to make the headlines has been ‘smiling depression’. Victoria investigates the meaning of smiling depression and the ways you can identify it, one of which is ‘the social media effect’, which is backed up by numerous studies. Last year, the NHS opened its first addiction clinic dedicated entirely to digital addiction. No more words.
Smiling Depression by Victoria Hall; Samaritans 116 123 (UK)

PEA Discomfort Relief

I always know when Shabir is having a moment with a new supplement. He walks round the office holding it and thrusts it in front of my face several times a day, extolling its virtues. PEA Discomfort Relief is the latest supplement to receive this treatment.

So what is PEA? Otherwise known as Palmitoylethanolamide (we’ll stick to PEA if you don’t mind), PEA is a fatty acid compound naturally found in the body that helps target the underlying cause of pain. It works at the pain site to turn off the pain signal, but more importantly by working at the site of the original injury, it helps break the inflammatory pain cycle.

In clinical studies of PEA, noticeable reductions in pain were seen after 14-30 days of supplementation and in some cases in as little as seven days. Having established the validity of PEA, further studies were carried out and in a single-blind clinical study, researchers were able to assess the safety and efficacy of PEA in 20 sufferers of migraines who experienced severe pain as well as visual aura.

Each was given 1200 mg of PEA daily for 90 days and at 60 days patients experienced a vast improvement in reducing pain symptoms, which continued until the 90 day follow-up, where the group demonstrated a reduction in the number of migraine attacks per month without any adverse effects.

In separate studies, PEA demonstrated impressive results on patients with sciatica nerve pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).

PEA Discomfort Relief is a unique chewable supplement (berry-flavoured) that will help relieve occasional minor pain and discomfort. At times of pain, chew one or two tablets a day. Most importantly, they are non-addictive and non-habit forming.
PEA Discomfort Relief £26 for 60 Chewable Tablets (600 mg each)

The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman

I think steaming skin is a bit of a ‘marmite’ subject. You either love it or hate it, and I’m in the first camp and always have been. I can see no point whatsoever in having a regular facial without steam. This is a very personal perspective, but I would rather not have a facial if it doesn’t include steam and extraction.

I have often run into a salon and asked them just to steam my face because I don’t have time for a fuller treatment. And now, thank you Sarah Chapman, I don’t need to run anywhere except my bathroom because I am the proud new owner of The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer, which I see as an investment, not that I need to justify it to anybody (hello Shabir – please smile!).

I don’t think I need to explain steam to any of you, but for the sake of being neat this new advanced facial steamer emits nano-sized particles that deeply penetrate the skin to effectively cleanse, de-clog pores and hydrate the complexion. Powered by cutting-edge ionic and ultrasonic technology, the ultra-fine mist is charged with negative ions, ensuring the particles are more effective at penetrating the skin than regular steam.

Gone are the teenage angst days where I would sit with a towel over my head staring at boiling water in a big bowl (we all did that didn’t we!). How sophisticated life has become and it is suggested that you should incorporate steaming into your skincare regimen two to three times a week, for 5-10 minutes per session. And after all of that, the effectiveness of your skincare will increase. Time to pop on a patch perhaps. I think so.
The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman £119

The Tweakments Guide

If we are talking of facial treatments, which we were, there is nobody who knows more about non-surgical cosmetic procedures than Alice Hart-Davis, who has been reporting on the fast-moving world of aesthetics for over 20 years.

Her new book, The Tweakments Guide, is for any of us who have looked in the mirror and wondered what a tweakment might do to freshen up our looks. Alice is the expert who has tried them all and let me tell you, she is a braver girl than me, make that braver than most of us. In the words of the Beauty Bible girls:

‘We’re gripped, riveted and totally in awe of the colossal amount of work that has gone into creating this guide – key to add that it’s transparently honest. Also, given the deplorable lack of regulation in this arena, Alice has included an essential chapter on choosing the best practitioner and keeping safe’.

Alice is epic. Her research is epic. Her book is epic. And the thing that really matters is that Alice cares. She really cares about the work she does. I implore you to buy this book if you are thinking of having a tweakment because it could just make all the difference.
The Tweakments Guide: A Fresher Face by Alice Hart-Davis

The Trinny and Shabir Show

Shabir and I have just got back from LA, but before we crossed the Atlantic, Shabir was in Trinny’s bathroom once again.  They were talking about sleep and liposomal technology before they touched on acid reflux.  They did it live on IGTV, but if you missed it, you can watch it on the link below.

Trinny wore yellow and at some point she started sniffing Shabir (don’t even ask!); I was hiding in the bath reading the live comments, so I was a bit oblivious as to what they were doing. But never mind that, the feedback on liposomals was incredible and we went out of stock, of course we did, but with the exception of D3 (which may or may not be on pre-order as you read this) we are fully re-stocked.

I know exactly why we went out of stock because we saw Aurora Nutrascience at the exhibition in California, so obviously they weren’t sending out orders. Two more things, please take the time to read Shabir’s article on Liposomal technology, which kind of goes hand in hand with the video. And did we bring back any new products from LA? Yes we did, and I’ll start writing about them on the next newsletter.
Trinny and Shabir on IGTV; VH Editorial: What Are Liposomal Vitamins?

Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder problems are extremely common and each year thousands of people have to undertake Gallbladder removal due to pain and discomfort. Most expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much discomfort after the Gallbladder is removed.

After Gallbladder removal, many often complain of digestive discomfort, including frequent bowel movements, gas, bloating and liver problems. The risks of developing a fatty liver are also greatly increased.
Shabir takes a look at the function of the Gallbladder and the route to healthy digestion after Gallbladder removal.
VH Editorial: Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder RemovalMilk Thistle Complex £11.99 for 60 Tablets; Digestizyme by Lamberts £15.25 for 100 Capsules

DownDog by RoadScents

As many of you know, I adore Roadscents and I have them hanging all over the place, despite the fact that they were actually launched as luxury fragrances for cars, I decided that I didn’t want to restrict them to my car and I created a Roadscents tree, where they merrily hang out together and scent my bathroom.

Created by Tina Gaudoin, the former magazine editor, editorial contributor to VH and my friend (that last bit matters), I am happy to announce that Tina has developed a new product for dog lovers just in time for National Pet Month, which runs from 1 April.

With a warm masculine scent of Thyme, Patchouli and Cedarwood, Downdog, a deep, woody chypre was created in collaboration with French fragrance and flavours house, Grasse based, Robertet.

This latest scent joins GodSmell (my favourite), RoseRage and WakeUpCall. Inspired by her own experience, Tina set out to create Downdog to neutralize the pong of wet dogs everywhere (her words), including that of her Hungarian Vizslas.
RoadScentsDownDog £11

Nootropics

After the launch of four new Nootropics on the March newsletter, it seemed like we all wanted to hold hands and have a ‘Lucy In the Sky’ moment. If you are lost, then please click here to read what I wrote about them. Edge and Spark led the way, so in other words it was all about energy and memory.

We are such advocates of these innovative advanced brain health supplements and we now release ‘Shine’, which helps maintain a positive mood. It contains a bespoke Shine Bright Botanical Complex, which is an advanced blend of four natural botanical ingredients. These are Turmeric Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Ashwagandha Root Extract and Saffron Extract, each of which have demonstrated a positive impact on emotional balance and mood.
Shine £32.50 for 60 Capsules; Edge £25 for 60 Capsules; Spark £25 for 60 Capsules

How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you will have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of acid-based skincare products hitting the shelves. While scrubs might have been the tried and tested method of sloughing away dead skin a few years back, now it is all about the liquid exfoliator. So much so, Pinterest has seen a 58% increase in searches for liquid exfoliators.

Victoria takes a look at individual acids for individual skin concerns, adding in two products at the end for those who cannot live without a scrub. I fall into that category. I can’t help it, but I love Essence Noir Polish and Tri-Active Exfoliant.
How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin by Victoria Hall; Essence Noir Polish by Nannette de Gaspe £80 for 125 ml; Tri-Active Exfoliant by iS Clinical £68 for 50 ml

VH Editorials

‘In our selfie, self-obsessed society, there aren’t nearly enough manners to go round. And why we under-estimate the importance of good manners to navigate day to day life is beyond baffling’ writes Carolyn Asome. In Praise of Elegance takes a powerfully persuasive look at a return to elegance. ‘Elegance is such a loaded word, she writes, one could probably do with a crack PR team to imbue it with any sort of relevance in 2019. And yet, and yet, through the prism of nine squares, where so much of the tone on Instagram is dominated by a nauseating strand of self-love, there’s a growing curiosity to explore something different. Well at least I hope there is’. I hope so too.
In Praise of Elegance by Carolyn Asome

Losing things and finding ourselves in a desolate landscape – who hasn’t been there asks Jackie Annesley. It’s where crumbs of kindness are devoured. Cool To Be Kind examines what kindness really means and how love is our greatest success.
Cool To Be Kind by Jackie Annesley

‘There’s much talk of FOMO, nowadays. Fear of Missing Out. I blame Instagram’, says Jo Fairley, ‘so the other day, my heart did a little dance when I heard about FOMO’s (much saner) close relation, JOMO. It’s short for ‘Joy of Missing Out’ and I realise, I’ve pretty much been embracing this my whole life. Only now its got a name. (Or rather an acronym)’. With you JoJo x
Why JOMO Is The New FOMO by Jo Fairley

‘Whether you tuck an amethyst crystal in your bra every day or have an energy healer on speed dial, it’s clear that the popularity of spiritual wellbeing is on the rise. It’s unsurprising’ says Giselle La Pompe-Moore, ‘as wellness is now a staggering $4.2 trillion dollar global industry. One that’s infiltrated our local café menus, bookshelves and how we spend our Sunday nights. But why have we become so fixated by the pursuit of wellness’. Giselle does the lowdown.
The Stress Reducing Modern Wellness Trends To Know About by Giselle La Pompe-Moore

There is only one beauty action more important than any other this month, according to the Beauty Bible girls, exfoliate, exfoliate. In direct contrast to Victoria’s liquid exfoliators, Jo and Sarah extol the virtues of a scrub. Fact, I know the girls aren’t keen on liquid acids, so here is their take on the products they love to scrub with. I’m kind of with them, but you already know that. This is what happens when you beauty-grow-up-together. And we have. Daleks girls, really!!
Scrubs by Beauty Bible

The End Bits

And of course after launching the new Aloe Vera products, as predicted the Eye Contour went out of stock within a few hours. I knew it would, but thankfully it is now back in stock. Get it whilst you can, is what I think. It’s French and I’m not doing politics here, but at the time of writing, who knows what. Actually who knows anything, except that the products are all rather fabulous and the feedback has been amazing. Let’s leave it there.
Laboratoire du Haut-SegalaAloe Vera Eye Contour £17.90

A new product from CurlyEllie and a new addition to its award-winning collection for curly hair. Lasting Hold Styling Serum, which helps hold style for longer and forms a film on hair to coat and smooth curls while protecting against UV, wind and dry atmospheres. It will leave hair shiny and bouncy without feeling greasy or weighed down.
Styling Serum by CurlieEllie £9.95 for 125 ml

For the third year running we have been nominated as the Best Beauty Retailer and Etailer in The Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards 2019. The Style Beauty Awards are the largest consumer-voted beauty awards in the UK, with one-million consumer votes cast in 2018.

My thanks as ever go to Sarah Jossel, Beauty Director of Style, but as I wrote last year, I am pragmatic and I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground. I and we feel deeply privileged to have been nominated, which is more than enough for me.

We are not mass market, we do not have outside investment and we do not have a marketing budget to run a campaign. Additionally I am not a ‘vote for me’ person; in fact it would embarrass me hugely, so all I will say is that the voting opens on the 1 April and this is as much about the brands and each of you as it is about us.

Finally, and as ever, together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support and wish you a happy and healthy April.

With love

Gill x

 

Meet The Woman Behind Vice Reversa

vice-reversa

We’ve had sheet masks and we’ve had micro-needling, but the latest trend blends the two and has the potential to be even bigger than what’s gone before it. Micro-needling patches are popping up all over the place. But, with 0.3mm needles made from a crystallised blend of active ingredients that dissolve into your skin, Vice Reversa patches are nothing short of revolutionary. We met Annie Shortall, the woman behind the brand to find out more…

What is your background?

I’ve been working within the advertising and brand development sector for the past 15 years. I’m an art director by trade and over the past five years I have been specialising in the beauty sector, marketing brands across Australia. I’m always on the lookout for new brand opportunities that make life better and easier for everyone.

What was the inspiration behind Vice Reversa?

Having worked with Korean chemists and manufacturers for years on previous projects, I was introduced to the micro-needling technology and excited by the prospect of elevating at-home skincare and treatments.

From the very beginning I knew that I didn’t want to introduce or create another beauty brand that made women feel bad about themselves or to completely bamboozle people with science. Instead, I wanted to bring something new to the market that intrigued women, spoke to their intelligence and allowed them to have a bit of fun.

An at-home treatment that could address cystic or hormonal acne without the need to book an appointment with a dermatologist and a patch that could help restore and replenish was exactly what I wanted as a woman and it just felt right.

So, how exactly do the micro-needling patches work?

In simple terms, the patches have thousands of tiny microneedles made of a crystallised, highly potent serum that penetrates the outer layer of your skin. They work on a similar premise to dermarollers, but instead of topically applying product or causing micro-trauma to the skin, these patches deliver the ingredients directly by transdermal delivery system (TDDS) dissolving in the inner layers (epidermis).

The delivery system brings ingredients to the epidermis to heal and rejuvenate within. This patented technology is what makes micro needling patches a highly effective solution-based skincare option. The patch itself is made of medical grade hydrocolloid, which seals the area to encourage maximum absorption and protect the area from bacteria.

What sets Vice Reversa’s patches apart from other patches?

Without a doubt the super smart delivery system, TDDS, that the dissolvable microneedles provide. It’s an effective and efficacious way to deliver a cocktail of ingredient to your epidermis. The needles themselves are pyramid shape to provide precision.

Should we get rid of our dermarollers then?

Not at all. The patches can still operate as a simple, easy-to-use solution-based system for those already committed to the benefits of microneedling.

What is your top tip for getting the most out of the patches?

They work best when they’re applied overnight as this gives the crystallised ingredients plenty of time to dissolve. The medical-grade hydrocolloid patch seals and protects the area to maximise ingredient absorption and prevent bacteria from entering.

You’ve covered two of the biggest skincare concerns with your first two patches. What’s next for Vice Reversa?

We are working on delivering solutions to modern day life. Literally undoing what day-to-day life throws at you – from stress, pollution, late nights to having one too many and everything in between. We’re looking at patches that can offer remedies for brightening, dehydration, discolouration and pigmentation.

Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal

Dandelion seeds on stem

Gallbladder problems are an extremely common occurrence in the adult population with thousands of people having to undertake gallbladder removal due to pain and discomfort. Most people expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much discomfort after the gall bladder is removed.

People who have had gallbladder removal often complain of digestive discomfort including frequent bowel movements, gas, bloating and liver problems. The risks of developing a fatty liver are also greatly increased.

The function of the gallbladder

The gallbladder is a small organ located on the underside of the liver and its main function is to store bile that is produced by the liver. Bile is a substance that helps break down fats from the foods we ingest so that we can absorb some of these for the manufacture of hormones and other compounds. Any extra bile that the liver produces is stored in the gallbladder until the next meal containing fats when it is released from the gallbladder into the intestines.

Without a gallbladder, normal digestion is possible but often this proves not to be the case because the liver produces trace amounts of bile on an ongoing basis, which trickle into the small intestine however when you eat a meal containing fats, often the bile in the small intestine is simply insufficient to digest all the fats which can result in diarrhoea, bloating, nausea and/ or symptoms of indigestion.

Additionally, not digesting fats means that the body cannot absorb essential fatty acids, the good fats such as omega 3 and omega 6. Aside from possible essential fatty acid deficiency, the absorption of oil soluble vitamins such as A,D,E and K may also be compromised.

Healthy digestion after gallbladder removal

It is important to realise that gallbladder problems often arise as a result of a compromised liver function. It may be that the quality of bile produced by the liver is poor, which then results in bile forming a sludge and stones. Removal of the gallbladder will not solve this problem and if anything it may result in these stones forming in the liver which then results in less than efficient liver functioning.

My recommendations for healthy digestion post gallbladder removal include:

Eat some good fats and avoid bad fats including saturated fats. Although most people are recommended to have a low fat diet, this is not necessarily a good idea because the body requires essential fats for the production of hormones, cholesterol and numerous other compounds. Include moderate quantities of virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Take a liver supporting supplement. This should include Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Artichoke which all work in synergy to enhance the production of extra bile. The increase in bile production should help to ease digestive problems and may prevent stone formation in the liver itself. A supplement containing all these three herbs is Milk Thistle Complex by Healthaid.

Many people with gallbladder problems will have suffered with poor digestion and digestive discomfort for years. These symptoms will often continue even after the removal of the gallbladder. Digestive concerns such as IBS, SIBO and candidiasis often cause insufficient digestive enzymes production. Taking a wheat, gluten and dairy free digestive enzymes supplement, such as Lamberts Digestizyme should help to restore good digestive health and reduce the symptoms of indigestion.

What Are Liposomal Vitamins?

What-are-Liposomal-Encapsulated-Vitamins

What are Liposomal Vitamins?

Over the last few months, liposomal vitamins have been hailed as the best supplements to deliver vitamins to the body. It is important to understand what liposomal encapsulation technology (LET) entails in order to understand why these supplements may be very effective Read More…

In Praise Of Elegance

Gymnast on beam silouette on pink background

A return to elegance was big news during couture week in Paris last summer. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the Dior catwalk where designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri appeared to give a two finger salute to the nauseating theatrics and bad taste selfies of Instagram. Opening the show was Ruth Bell, the face of Dior, wearing a midi length cape dress and beret, the first in a line of models dressed in fit’n’flare silhouettes in an exquisitely restrained palette of midnight black and blush nude shades.  ‘I wanted to make something that was so subtle you almost couldn’t see it on Instagram’ Grazia Chiuri told Lisa Armstrong at the Telegraph, after the show, ‘of course it has to be luxurious but it doesn’t need to be obvious’.

Elegance possibly wasn’t the first word that sprang to mind when I interviewed the 22 year old Bell the following morning – sitting before me with her shaven head, alabaster skin and the otherness of youth, dressed in an over-sized hoodie and thick cotton trousers from Virgil Normal in LA. The interview had been rescheduled three times; I was waiting for the diva of all divas.

Bell is not a classic beauty and yet everything about her – an unfailingly polite manner, a quiet self-assurance and professionalism, arriving five minutes before our 8 am interview despite working till 2 am the night before, being happy to start the interview on the communal stairs because the offices were late opening so that I wouldn’t miss my Eurostar – was elegance personified.

Elegance is such a loaded word, one that could probably do with a crack PR team to imbue it with any sort of relevance in 2019. It seems so impossibly quaint, so démodé, certainly nothing cool or anything to inspire to. And yet, and yet, through the prism of nine squares, where so much of the tone on Instagram is dominated by a nauseating strand of self-love, there’s a growing curiosity to explore something different. Well at I least I hope there is.

What is elegance?  Literally speaking it’s the clean dismount of a gymnast from the balance beam, the smooth playing motion of a cellist, the way a dress takes in your waist just so. Elegance is also the art of less, a sense of timelessness, a beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity. It is also frequently used as a standard of good taste, except I think we all know that elegance is so much more than that.

It is thoughtfulness and kindness rolled into one, it’s a white lie to save someone’s blushes, it’s the opposite of flaky, it is small gestures that people remember and taking the time to have meaningful every day exchanges – while buying a stamp as much as resisting the urge to put the phone down on your mother-in-law. It is listening, knowing when to hold back, Coco Chanel’s style maxim of refusal, it is seeing beyond the end of your nose, knowing when to shut up and basically being a better person. Call it manners if you like. In our selfie, self-obsessed society, there aren’t nearly enough manners to go round. And why we underestimate the importance of good manners to navigate day to day life is beyond baffling.

What else is elegance? It is respecting yourself too, because there’s some ground between martyrdom (NEVER elegant) and stating your boundaries and valuing yourself. Taking responsibility for yourself – eating and sleeping well, breathing, exercising, being fit and healthy so that you can live up to the many many roles you taken on  has always struck me as rather an elegant thing to do, an elegant way to be.

It’s not believing that the world revolves around you: remembering that there is nearly always a rational explanation as to why someone has been slow to reply to your email – an explanation that, more often than not, has nothing to do with you.

A stiff British upper lip isn’t fashionable currently, but there’s a lot to be applauded in “just getting on with it”, instead of constantly worrying how you are feeling. Or how happy you are. Ah, that subject of happiness. We’re so obsessed in trying to reach this unrealistic 24/7 state of eternal nirvana, that we’ve started to believe that our problems, schedules, anxieties and feelings are more important than everyone else’s. Stop it now.

Being a little bit mindful, slowing down or just taking the time to notice the world around you – other people’s behaviour and feelings – promotes a more elegant way of living. And like so much positive behaviour, being elegant is quite addictive once you start giving it any air time. One of my favourite nuggets of wisdom which I want to share again is the sage advice that the sex therapist, Esther Perel received from her father. Every time I read it, it makes me think of what is wrong with the world.

“The quality of your life ultimately depends on the quality of your relationships. Not on your achievements, not on how smart you are, not on how rich you are, but on the quality of your relationships, which are basically a reflection of your decency, your ability to think of others, your generosity…about how you treated the people around you, and how you made them feel.”

Having a strong sense of self, knowing your mind, being confident – of what sits with you and what doesn’t – is helpful too. Elegance is refusal. It is knowing when to say no and sticking to it.

Cool To Be Kind

be-kind-by-jackie-annesley

The place was rammed.

Friday night,  late November, a gallery on Duke Street in St James, central London. Inside home counties couples and groups of W11 women shuffled through the small space, straining to see every drawing covering the walls of both rooms. The objects of their gaze were anthropomorphic sketches of a horse, a mole and a fox, plus a young boy and girl, in the breezy ink-on-paper style of artist E H Shepard’s Winnie the Pooh.

One of them portrayed the boy and the mole on the bough of a tree. “What’s your favourite thing about the horse?” asks the mole.  “His power? His wisdom? His beauty?”

“He is kind,” said the boy.

In another, the mole tells the boy:  “We often wait for kindness, but being kind to yourself can start now”.

The artist Charlie Mackesy,  better known for his sculptures and lithographs, stood behind the counter looking bemused at both the volume of people and sales. He later posted on Instagram – 115k followers and rapidly rising – that he wasn’t ready “for so many tears. Particularly men’s tears.”

These were men dressed like barristers and bankers and who could drop £3,000 for an original drawing with an accompanying truism about life beyond capitalism, Trump and Brexit. For £100, I chose a print that said: “What do you think success is?” asked the boy.  “To love,”  said the mole.  For one of the teens, I thought. If only someone had gifted that to every young baby boomer, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this global holy mess.

Luckily, the call to kindness seems to be gathering pace. The Mackesy exhibition (which has since led to a book deal) had come just a few weeks after fashion company The Vampire’s Wife posted a poem entitled Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye. Only true sociopaths (quite a few out there, mind) won’t feel moved by its introductory verse:

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.”

Losing things and finding ourselves in a desolate landscape – who hasn’t been there? It’s where crumbs of kindness are devoured. Which is probably why last year’s bestseller The Language of Kindness by Chrissie Watson, the memoir of an NHS nurse, sparked a 14-way bidding war between publishers and is being turned into TV drama.

I reviewed it for the Sunday Times when it came out,  writing:

“Who knew nurses prepared the bodies of those who died on their wards, massaging the grey skin of a drowned six year old with baby lotion in readiness for the grieving family. Watson’s final duty? To brush the little girl’s teeth with her dinosaur toothbrush and toothpaste ‘until I smell nothing but bubble gum’.”

In her acknowledgements, the saintly Watson thanks her patients: “What an extraordinary privilege it was to be your nurse”,  and yet the privilege was surely theirs too. God knows the world needs more Nurse Watsons.

Actually we are genetically wired to be kind. In The Little Book of Kindness, out last month, David R. Hamilton lays out the scientific evidence in favour of popping round to see that elderly neighbour or surprising your partner by picking him/her up from the station in the pouring rain.  Page 17 is divided into two parts: What Stress Does and What Kindness Does. He has zero good things to say,  obvs, about stress.

But kindness? It reduces blood pressure, protects the heart (perfect synergy), boosts the immune system, relaxes the nervous system, reduces inflammation and can be an antidote to depression. Beats all those drugs. Apparently it even slows the ageing process.

So physically this kindness shtick is a no-brainer.  But how exactly does it benefit our personal relationships, always a thorny work-in-progress? It was the Roman philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius who said  kindness is mankind’s “greatest delight,”  and many a scientist has set out to prove just that, most notably American psychologist John Gottman. In 1986, he co-founded The Love Lab (I mean, fab name) and for  the past four decades has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. As the guru of divorce prediction and marital stability,  Gottman divides us all up into Masters and Disasters.

Exactly what I was thinking – which are you?

The Masters scan their social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They purposefully build this culture of respect and appreciation. Disasters scan for partners’ mistakes. Even if talking about mundane events, their bodies are in fight or flight mode, preparing to attack and be attacked. Disasters deliberately ignore, or continually criticise their partner’s style or choices and kill the love in the relationship by making the other person feel invisible.

Gottman’s extensive research concluded that kindness glues couples together, making them feel cared for, understood and validated. By the way this is a man who at  76  is on his third wife Julie, whom he has been with for more than 30 years, so you can only presume that he’s become of Master of what he preaches.

This June another psychology professor – Jamil Zaki from Stanford University – launches his scientific take on empathy with the release of The War for Kindness. In an age of rampant tribalism and a divided Britain, Zaki argues that empathy is  like a muscle – a skill we can all strengthen with a daily workout. I totally agree with this – when I found myself cast into a desolate landscape a few years ago, I got the kindest message from a former colleague not exactly known for her empathy. It was so unexpected I still think about it, and her, most weeks. Life changes people, often for the better. In his forthcoming book, Zaki tells the story of a former neo-Nazi who is now helping extract people from hate groups, as well as US police officers who are changing their culture to decrease violence among their ranks. “An inspiring call to action” says the publicity blurb.

Shoot me if I sound straight out of Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner but my favourite message of all comes in the final line of Naomi Shihab Nye poem. It is, she writes, only kindness that makes any sense amid all this madness.

“…
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

The boy, the girl, the mole, the horse and the fox would surely agree.