As the year draws to a close, it feels like the perfect time to look back over the biggest health and beauty stories and developments of 2018. While we don’t advocate the many fads that crop up throughout the year, there are definitely some health and beauty lessons to take into 2019. Admittedly, the key focus points of sleep, stress and mood are there, but there is also a new supplement or two and skincare techniques. Here are the health and beauty lessons that stood out for us…
Triphala could help you live longer
It’s a supplement that you might not have heard of, but triphala hit the headlines earlier this year after a study revealed it could extend your lifespan. Not on its own, but when taken with a good quality probiotic it’s thought that the blend of fruits (amalaki, bibitaki and haritaki) can seriously boost your health and wellbeing. For those who have never heard of the ingredient, it has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is often referred to as ‘tummy tonic’. Not only it is a good antioxidant, but it also gently cleanses your gut and helps to regulate your bowel movements. If you’re intrigued, take a look at Pukka Herbs Wholistic Triphala for more information.
PHA is the new AHA
Exfoliating acids have been gaining traction for the past couple of years and a lot of us opt for the likes of glycolic and lactic acid to help slough away dead skin instead of scrubs. However, they can be irritating for those with slightly more sensitive skin or if you use them too often. Enter PHAs, aka polyhydroxy acids, which offer all the benefits of AHAs without causing dryness or redness and you can use them every day. Essentially PHAs are the new generation of AHAs and if this is the first you’ve heard of them, expect to see a lot more of them moving into 2019.
Gut health is still essential
Gut health has been a popular topic of conversation and big business for probiotic brands for the past few years. There is a constant flow of fresh research cementing the idea that balancing your good and bad bacteria is essential for your health and wellbeing. Over the course of the past 12 months studies have shown that a healthy microbiome is established by the age of two and a half and scientists established a link between a healthy heart and a healthy gut. One study even suggested that eating crickets could be good for your gut because they supports the growth of good bacteria and they also help reduce inflammation. That said, if you don’t fancy crunching on a cricket Shabir has written a very comprehensive guide to probiotics.
There’s some truth to Chinese medicine
Some people roll their eyes at the slightest mention of Chinese medicine, but this year we have seen a revival of the ancient traditions, in particular Gua Sha, a technique that helps boost circulation and reduce inflammation. Cynics might argue that this is simply another way to dress up the benefits of massage but no one can deny that Gua Sha tools have been cropping up left, right and centre since Chinese New Year.
Usually made out of jade, Gua Sha tools are used on key areas of the skin in quick, sweeping movements to increase circulation and promote healthy skin. It is the ritualistic approach to using the tool that has caused the most amount of hype though. At a time when self-care is on the rise, taking a couple of minutes out of your day to focus on your skin rather than a screen can have an impressive impact on lowering stress and anxiety. And, who doesn’t have just two minutes of an evening?
You’re probably getting enough sleep
Eight hours might have always been the number you strived for, but most of us only tally up six to seven hours of sleep a night if we’re lucky. Fortunately, this year research has suggested that we might have overestimated how much sleep we really need and six hours could actually be better for our health. Not only that, but if you don’t get enough sleep during the week, pressing snooze at the weekend to catch up can also be beneficial.
While six is now the magic number, several studies concluded that those who get a little as four or more than eight could be damaging their health. If you’re someone who struggles to drift off and regularly feels sleep deprived, Shabir has some helpful pointers and natural remedies in: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Microneedling is back
Pressing a roller full of 0.5mm titanium needles across your skin might not sound like the most pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening, but if firmer, plumper, fresher looking skin is your aim, then it’s definitely worth considering. Microneedling, or dermarolling as it’s also referred to, has made a comeback this year and for good reason. By puncturing your skin with these needles you send it into repair-mode, which boosts your body’s collagen and elastin production. It also helps skincare ingredients penetrate deeper into your skin. So the hyaluronic acid serum or squalane oil that you slather on afterwards should work harder to replenish and revive your skin.
We should all take fulvic acid
Fulvic acid has been championed by researchers for years, yet it still remains relatively under-the-radar as far as supplements go. The tide is changing though. This was proven when we launched Ionicell for Women in April, which has been a consistent bestseller since. Why? Because this particular form of fulvic acid has been clinically proven to boost your hair, skin and nails, as well as improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Not everyone likes their supplements in capsule form though, so there is Ful.Vic.Health Fulvic Acid Elixir for those who prefer liquids. You can take this on its own or add it to your morning juice. If you want to learn more about the benefits of fulvic acid, read Shabir’s feature: Fulvic Acid – The Elixir Of Life.