About Catherine Turner

CATHERINE TURNER is a journalist, editor and stylist specialising in beauty, health and wellbeing with over 20 years experience in glossy magazines including a stint as Editor-In-Chief of Marie Claire Health & Beauty. Her ‘inside out’ approach to beauty has seen her having her chakras balanced, feet read and warm oil being poured on her third eye. In 2012, her love of yoga took over as she quit her job as Beauty & Health Director of Easy Living to take a sabbatical at an ashram in the remote Himalayas. Now back from her travels, she is juggling yoga study and teaching with the role of Acting Beauty and Wellbeing Director for Psychologies magazine and columnist for VH Editorial and getthegloss.com

Posts by Catherine Turner

Embracing January


Once all the partying of Christmas and New Year is over it’s so easy to go into a slump or into guilt mode and start on a rigid regime whether that involves dieting, exercising or making resolutions. Going from one extreme to another seems to be a natural response to make up for excess but inevitably it’s not quite as simple as that. Changes in habit take a while to stick, as do the results to show. And at a time when the weather is cold and the days short, embarking on anything punishing will take an iron will to stick to, most probably ending in us giving up before February arrives. So this year why not try a gentler approach – go with the flow a bit more, allow the fun and festivities fade gradually and adjust naturally to the coming months. If nothing else, being kinder to ourselves is a good place to begin to radiate kindness to others. Start by getting rid of negative thoughts and forget the usual New Year ‘to dos’ – here’s a January plan to enhance your mind and body in a positive way. Read More…

Rest And Digest


So many of us experience digestive issues these days – and this can mean a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, cramping, indigestion to full blown IBS and intolerances. Even more so at this time of year when festivities tend to centre around rich food and the drinks are flowing. Of course, we can always hold back, but a deeper understanding of the subtleties of how our digestive system works alongside some sensible advice can help see us through without being too bah humbug.

We talk about gut feelings, butterflies in our tummy in our day to day, so we instinctively know our digestive system goes beyond just a mechanical churning system – and indeed it is connected to our minds. It is our ‘second brain’, being made up of over 100 million neurons (cells), spread along its entire length which make up what’s called the enteric nervous system (ENS).  The ENS is constantly reacting to the state of play whether it’s hunger, bacterial infection or stress, sending messages to and from the brain via the vagus nerve, a kind of super fast information highway. Read More…

Finding Happiness


What made me happy recently? Walking in the park through the falling leaves and golden sun of late autumn. Sharing a delicious home cooked meal with family. Teaching a yoga class and seeing the glowing, relaxed faces smiling back at me at the end. There are many examples we could all think of – occasions, fragments of our days which conspire to make our lives happier, more fulfilled, enjoyable.

Of course these are fleeting moments – short lived events which come and go. And as life gets busier, we often ‘miss the moment’, inadvertently neglecting that basic emotional need to be uplifted. Maybe we’re on auto pilot – in Facebook, Tweet, What’s App mode, not taking time to smile and say hello to our neighbours, or to feel the fresh air on our faces. This head down approach can leave us feeling flat, joyless even.

Equally, we can get hooked and find ourselves chasing rainbows, constantly searching for something new, more pleasurable. Like the marathon runner who turns to triathlons for a bigger challenge/high or forever trying out different restaurants and cuisines to satisfy our tastebuds. When we consistently ride happy highs and lows, we get less pay off, leaving us to feel deflated. The upshot is even if we do have enjoyable experiences, reach our goals and generally get what we want – happiness can seem ever more elusive. Read More…

Sustainable Exercise

golden light bike

The exercise routine I follow goes like this: I begin the day thinking I’ll go for a run at lunchtime, and/or a 7 pm yoga class. But as the time draws closer, my mind will resist. The sun is setting, I’ve got to finish some work – a whole list of excuses suddenly comes to mind. It takes an iron will to ignore those resistant voices in my head even though I’ve never regretted going once I’m done. I know that it’s good for me to get moving. A stack of scientific research shows that those who exercise are less susceptible to serious disease. Most importantly, I feel much better when I’m active, so why do I so often choose the easier option – to stay in and watch a box-set instead?

There is an evolutionary explanation for this. Our ‘fight or flight mechanism’ means we are hard wired to do the minimum to survive. Thousands of years ago – when finding food was a life or death situation – we needed to conserve energy in order to fight predators. Now that our lives are sedentary, food is generally on tap, this natural response in our bodies hasn’t changed, therefore we rely on willpower and our minds to stay active. Read More…

Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil


Health bunnies can’t fail to have noticed how Ayurveda (the ancient Indian approach to wellness) is increasingly influencing our daily routines. Lattes and porridge laced with the golden herb, Turmeric; the idea of ‘oil pulling’ i.e. swishing our mouths with sesame or coconut oil; ghee (revered as a precious superfood in India) as the ‘good fat’ of choice.

In a way this is a natural extension of the interest in yoga, since Ayurveda stems from the same knowledge base – the Vedas, a vast body of ancient texts covering all aspects of living life to the full from exercise, eating and meditation practices through to astrology and architecture. But what does Ayurveda mean? Directly translated, the word ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ knowledge, and generally could be described as a holistic approach to healthy living and longevity. A renowned Vaidya (Ayurvedic Doctor) I met in India recently had a very simplified and practical explanation – that it is a way of extending life mainly through good food and sleep. Read More…

Super Sleek Hair Treats


Oils have become the superfoods of the beauty world – and no wonder – they have endless healing and nourishing qualities via a myriad of micro nutrients which make them multi-taskers on many levels. Applying them is almost like feeding your body a dose of the best vitamins from the outside. Hair wise, we had the Moroccan Argan craze with a few drops of the rich golden oil acting as a conditioning serum to banish frizz and bring back shine. Along with the vogue for sipping coconut water came a splurge of ranges containing variations of the tropical oil as a natural foaming agent in shampoo, as well as a moisturising ingredient in all sorts of conditioning products. And these are just two examples of countless plant, vegetable and nut oils being used as beautifying ingredients.

Trouble is, it is hard to get our heads (!) around the idea of slicking our hair with oil. Specially if, like me, you have super fine hair which needs all the volume it can get. My own experiences began in the ‘back to natural’ days of the 70s when as a teenager, my Grandma suggested using warm olive oil to deep condition my hair. I loved the effect, but it was a little messy and took a lot of washing to get it out. So I moved on to the little tubes of VO5 oil which you warmed in a cup of hot water (remember those?).

As I grew out of my teens I began to try sophisticated, hi tech hair products until more recently when I’ve deliberately chosen to simplify my regime again. This has happened gradually, through becoming more conscious of what I’m putting in and on my body in general. I began ‘cleaning up’ the food I eat – more to stay away from unnecessary additives rather than to be on a spartan detox or new fangled diet. I discovered that the purer the food I ate, the better I felt and interestingly, the less complicated I wanted my beauty products to be. The best thing is that it’s so much easier to see when an oil is truly 100% natural or organic – the label may have maybe one or very few ingredients on it or at least names you recognise.

I found making the switch to oils as skin care pretty easy. The skin on my body is on the dry side and so naturally loves the richer texture of balms, unctions and oils. It has been a little harder with hair and scalp, however, but there are ways and means to get that shine and nourishment without the oil slick. I’ve always loved the Indian Ayurvedic holistic approach to health and beauty, and many of their simple, daily preventive treatments revolve around oils, so I take inspiration from that.

A big part of the Ayurvedic routine is daily top to toe self-massage with warm oil – ideally before showering. That means you can include your hair and scalp as you’ll be washing it off. Warm the oil – either by putting the bottle in a bowl of hot water or for speed, warm it in your palms first, then apply the oil to dry skin and hair working your way up from toes to crown, taking time to massage your scalp and run the remains of the oil through the lengths and ends of your hair. Once you’re done, apply a normal amount of shampoo and massage in before you add water – this ‘lifts’ the oil before it gets diluted. Then jump in the shower to rinse off. You’ll find your hair and skin feel soft and supple – almost with a water resistant feel without being sticky.

Once I started to do this regularly, my skin became more resilient and healthy – as if the barrier was more in tact. Same with my scalp – previously it had been prone to itchy, scaliness and sensitivity and that improved. Gradually my hair is feeling shinier and stronger, the bonus is, my nails are too. It may take a bit of practice to fit into your routine, but the more you do it, the more it becomes a habit. And you can always adapt – for example, on days I don’t have time to wash my hair or if I’ve had a blow dry, then I’ll skip a day or two just using oil on my body and protecting with a shower cap as you would anyway.

As for which oil – well, that’s where we can have fun experimenting as we are spoiled for choice. Generally speaking, all oils will soften and smooth hair and scalp. If you want to go the very pure Ayurvedic route, buy 100% organic sesame oil (the non-toasted variety) and is used to not only moisturise, but also to soothe what is known as Vata tendencies (i.e. calming down anxiety, stress and a busy mind). Otherwise there are lots of ready made blends specifically for hair which contain other ingredients such as essential oils to trouble shoot specific problems, or you can simply go for beautiful aromas. Here are just a few recommendations:

This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir, £25 we love multi tasking and this spritz cares for your hair and helps you sleep. The famous argan, alongside jojoba, baobab and sunflower to nourish hair and scalp, while essential oils of lavender, vetiver and camomile help soothe you into a deep sleep. Best of all, it has a light texture – great if you’re oil averse.

Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Hair Oil, £31 has a base of coconut and jojoba oils with a beautiful blend of wonderfully scented and therapeutic essential oils including ylang ylang, geranium and rosemary which help to soothe and moisturise hair and scalp. Easy to use – 2-3 pumps on dry hair – ideally leave on overnight and wash out in the morning.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil, £5.90 the classic hair oil in pure form. This version is cold pressed to retain all the micro nutrients. A few drops applied to damp hair (depending on thickness and length) pre-styling smooths frizz. Or use as a pre-wash conditioner on dry hair to soothe scalp and deeply moisturise. Simple, effective, great value.