About Gill Sinclair

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Posts by Gill Sinclair

August Newsletter

August written in scriptive font

Well here we are, it’s the August newsletter where we have a few new product launches including a Limited Edition product from Ameliorate, which I know you will love and adore.  We also launch a new product from Thyme Out, with a strong message behind it, a supplement that aligns with the brilliance of Neurophroline and a reformulated product from iS Clinical. But more than that, you will need to get keyboard ready because there are a few treats throughout and they don’t last forever.  Let’s do it:

Thyme Out For Wrinkles

For those of you who love Thyme Out (who doesn’t, it’s one of those miraculous products), I am here to tell you that there is a new product launch and we are so excited.  It is called Thyme Out (the natural alternative) for Wrinkles.  Although I don’t really like the ‘wrinkle’ word, I got over myself pretty rapidly when I started to research and recognised its huge potential, especially for somebody like me (see below) and I don’t think I’m alone.  And here is why I think it’s the beginning of the way forward as a whole new ‘way’ in beauty begins to unfold:

I can’t remember how many times I have written that I rarely use acids on my face; I don’t use retinoids (or retinol – a member of the retinoid family) by choice because I have sensitive and reactionary skin.  The downside is that although retinol is often called a ‘Holy Grail’ ingredient for anti-ageing, it irritates my skin and creates ongoing inflammation (the main cause of ageing), so it’s a ‘no’ from me and my skin.

So when this product arrived on my desk, I stood up and did a happy dance because it was accompanied by a statement from Thyme Out saying that it was the world’s only 100% natural organic anti-wrinkle product containing the naturally occurring compounds of Bakuchiol (Psoralea corylifolia flower) and Sweet Potato.  Big words, big claims (by them, not me!) and so I started to research, but I couldn’t find a spray formulation that included both compounds together with Thyme, which in and of itself helps address mild skin issues.  The story just got better.

The bottom line here is that although, as mentioned above, we are all familiar with AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) and the derivatives of vitamin A (retinol), the fact remains that every version on the market uses a synthetic or a naturally compromised extraction of these compounds.  As such, there is always a limitation to how well they work together with numerous side-effects including those mentioned above.

Bakuchiol has been called the ‘natural version of retinol’ and certainly clinicals have confirmed its function as such; using the whole plant, Thyme Out for Wrinkles is not only for wrinkles, it helps maintain the overall health and integrity of skin.  And the question everybody will be asking: when to use it?  I use it after cleansing and before Neurophroline, but the general rule, whatever your skincare regimen, after cleansing and before anything else.

Synthetic retinols are dead.  Long live natural retinols.  Shabir will kill me for writing that, so will most of the ‘acid-loving’ beauty industry.  Like I care.  Mist and sing with me: Rebel, Rebel: Ode to Bowie.  And Bakuchiol.
Thyme Out for Wrinkles £20 for 120 ml (comes with a refillable ‘to go’ spray – spray all day long is what I think!)

Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion – Rose Limited Edition

Whenever we do a new launch for Ameliorate, my mind goes right back to the beginning of the Ameliorate journey when we exclusively launched this brand.  Since that time Ameliorate has become a legend in its own lifetime and has a massive following, which it so richly deserves because each of the products have their own unique brilliance.

It is always difficult to define the success of brands (outside of cosmetics), but what is relevant and evident is that the brands that fall into the health/beauty crossover are amongst the most successful.  I could reel off a whole list of them but suffice it to say that Ameliorate is the living and breathing epitome of this.

So yes, we did launch Ameliorate on a health platform and the beauty side morphed in further down the road.  Shabir’s article, written for launch, still stands where he takes an in-depth look at Keratosis Pilaris (KP), the raison d’être behind the brand and since that time an entire legion of people who don’t have KP are hooked on its intense moisturising qualities amongst its many other attributes.  For those with a good memory, I virtually died and went to heaven when we launched Softening Bath Milk Oil; for me it’s one of those epic products.

That said and done, for a limited time only, Ameliorate’s bestselling Transforming Body Lotion will be available in a rose fragrance with bespoke pink packaging.  Transforming Body Lotion is the hero product of the range; it helps sweep away dead cells promoting renewal and repair, whilst working to lock in hydration for up to 24 hours and it’s suitable for all skin types.

Pretty in pink, the Rose Limited Edition is currently on pre-order.  We don’t have a firm date for release at the moment, but we are anticipating approximately 14 days.  I know this is a longish time to wait for something but Ameliorate wanted it on this newsletter (so did I!) so here it is.  To make the wait a little sweeter, with every Rose Limited Edition ordered we will include a travel size Nourishing Body Wash (60 ml) worth £8.

From this day on another wait list, so get it whilst you can is what I think; I mean who knows, it could become a collector’s item!  Just to be clear, because these things matter, we will not debit any monies from your account until the day we process and send your order.  With love and pink kisses from me and Ameliorate.
VH Editorial: Treatment of Keratosis PilarisTransforming Body Lotion – Rose Limited Edition £24 for 200 ml (it will automatically include Nourishing Body Wash as above); Softening Bath Milk Oil £19 for 250 ml  

Neurophroline

At this point, I think Neurophroline could win the ‘Beauty Product of the Year’ award (self-proclaimed) because the feedback about its efficacy has blown us away, but then it would because it more than lives up to the clinicals, so I’m going to start by replicating some of the words written by Catherine Robinson in Conde Nast Traveller for two reasons; the first because she has a wonderful way with words (Nurofen!) and secondly because whenever I write about Catherine, her children think her fame has rocketed to superstar status (it probably has!); here are some of her words:

‘Just as we’ve learnt how to pronounce and spell Hyaluronic Acid, there’s a new kid on the block: Neurophroline.  I’m still at the stage of calling it Nurofen for the skin, but maybe that’s because it’s as fundamental to your skincare kit as Nurofen is to your medicine bag.  Our skin is our largest organ and is our first barrier against environment stress, pollution and toxins.

It is also a barometer of what’s going on inside the body (depression, exhaustion, anxiety, hormone change).  Much like anything that is overworked, skin gets stressed and stress produces the hormone cortisol, which in small doses is fine, but too much causes acne, spots, redness, dark circles and increased wrinkles.  Neurophroline is an extract from wild indigo, a plant native to India that has been used in Ayurvedic traditions for generations and has been found to break down cortisol in your skin’.

You can read the entire article here because I can’t actually bring myself to type Catherine’s words about VH because I will start to blush and that’s not a good look when you’re walking around with full-on red lips (me, not Shabir!). I think I’m on my 10th bottle (excessively-heavy-handed-with-product).  Anyway.  Neurophroline.
Neurophroline Serum by GoW for VH £18 for 30 ml

Shade Factor

So where do we go now?  We do the inside/out approach because that’s who we are and that’s what we do.  Once again we are doing the health/beauty crossover because supplementation and meaningful topicals are inexorably linked and together with Shabir, I believe that we should take a 360-degree approach.  With that said, please allow me to introduce you to Shade Factor, a new supplement which has been formulated to help support skin before, during and after you spend time outdoors.

As we age, ultraviolet exposure takes its toll on skin health and the benefits of Shade Factor include supporting our natural immune response to UV exposure, helps promote healthy DNA function, helps boost cellular energy and encourages protective ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy releasing molecule that fuels our cells and powers intracellular actions.

Most of you know that we love the ‘marriage made in heaven’ scenarios and this is the latest in a long line of them.  I suppose that one day I should write an article about all of them, but for now let me just tell you that Shade Factor is loaded with 500 grams of Niacin (as niacinamide), Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid from Red Orange Complex) and an extract of the fern, Polypodium leucotomos, which helps inhibit premature ageing from outdoor activity.

And there we have it; Neurophroline and Shade Factor; powerfully working together to help mitigate stress and DNA damage internally and externally.  Together forever?  Yes, I think so and although I’m writing this as the sun shines upon us, Shade Factor can be taken all year round, with Neurophroline working topically to help protect environmental stress.

Do I believe that Neurophroline is sufficient protection for our skin during the winter months, absolutely I do. I have never used an SPF during winter and rarely use it in London during the summer months. Colette (that would be Dr Colette Haydon, Founder of LixirSkin) strongly believes that SPFs are for the beach only.

She has always maintained that sunscreens are quite harmful to the skin if used every day. It was for this reason that she formulated Universal Emulsion, one of the core LixirSkin products, as an urban day cream and primer.  It uses an unusual emulsification technique to obtain an SPF 10 without any added sunscreens.

And a certain Miss Lisa Armstrong (The Telegraph) has been on two-year-mission researching the truth about sunscreens.  Interviewing Dr Michael Prager, a GP who has become one of London’s leaders of cosmetic ‘tweakments’, recently, she asked his views on wearing an SPF all year round, which has, as she writes, been heavily promoted by the beauty industry over the past decade as an anti-ageing weapon.

His response ‘It’s absolute nonsense.  Never would I wear an SPF in London in the winter. The side effects far, far outweigh any benefits’.  He further states that he considers most SPFs to be major polluters, not just for our skin, but for our water system and coral reefs too.

As Lisa says: ‘I’ve been reporting on this for a couple of years and there are always some angry responses from readers who think I’m being irresponsible – I’m just the messenger, people’.  Messenger or otherwise, Colette, Lisa, Dr Prager, Shabir and I stand united on this.
VH Editorial: The Problem With SunscreensShade Factor £25 for 120 Capsules; Universal Emulsion by LixirSkin £29 for 50 ml; Universal Emulsion by LixirSkin £45 for 100 ml

Ful.Vic.Health with a Treat

Earlier this year I included an email from a VH Addict where she was singing the praises of Fulvic Acid Elixir, which has gone on to be dubbed ‘The Libido Elixir’ because of its apparent aphrodisiac qualities, which so many of you have written to us about.  Glory be, because as most you know this is the one product I would take to a desert island over and above everything else, such is its efficacy for overall health.

And then I received another email from the same (beloved) customer with another update.  Because of her ongoing love for all things Fulvic, the gift, which will appear at the end of this section is in her honour.  And of course there is nothing I like better than abdicating sections of this newsletter, so with my deepest gratitude, I replicate her email verbatim:

‘Gill, you very kindly featured my words in your newsletter earlier in the year and I am happy to say that Fulvic Acid Elixir is still working its miracles. However, I had to write as I have found more results from taking it and from using the other Fulvic Acid products.

I mist my face morning and evening with the Fulvic Acid Mist and apply it to my scalp every other day when I wash my hair.  I also shampoo with the Fulvic Acid shampoo and occasionally use the Fulvic Acid conditioner (my hair doesn’t do well with a lot of conditioning).

Anyway, I may be going slightly mad, but I could swear my hair isn’t as grey as it used to be. I don’t dye my hair at all as I just knew that I would end up with 2″ stripes of undyed roots before I got around to getting it dyed again, so I decided to go grey “gracefully”.  I wouldn’t have been described as grey-haired, but I was getting towards salt and pepper, certainly above my ears.

Since I have been using the Fulvic Acid products, I swear I have not only not got any greyer but the amount of grey has actually decreased? Is this even possible?!

Furthermore, my hair is thicker, reversing the menopausal thinning I was experiencing. I went to put it into a ponytail the other day and was surprised by how much more hair there was than before.

Just to round off this paean of praise, I love, love, love the Fulvic Acid Nail Cream: not only have my nails never been so uniformly long, they are glossy and smooth. Please keep on making the Fulvic Acid products and I look forward to the new products in the range that you have hinted at!’

My response: I have no idea whether Fulvic Acid Shampoo reduces the volume of grey hair; it certainly isn’t anything we were looking at, but if it is doing this, well there we are, miracles may happen where we least expect them; inadvertently or otherwise.

Regarding hair thickness, this is where Fulvic Acid is so brilliant; for sure it can take time, we say several months, although we are all different.  As I recently wrote, I have been using Fulvic for more than eight years and it has transformed my hair where nothing else has.

Finally, and before the treat, I’m wondering whether I can actually give our own brands numerous awards at the end of the year; I mean anybody would think I was biased (I’m actually not, brilliance is brilliance whatever the brand), but the Fulvic Acid Nail Cream does things that most nail creams can only dream of doing.  Case rested.
Fulvic Acid Shampoo £25 for 240 ml; Fulvic Acid Conditioner £25 for 240 ml; Fulvic Acid Mist £25 for 120 ml; Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £12 for 30 ml; Fulvic Acid Travel Trio £20

The Treat:  When you buy Fulvic Acid Elixir (480 ml), we will automatically include a Special Edition size (240 ml) of Fulvic Acid Elixir as a gift from us to you.  This gift is worth £15 and you cannot buy it, but we think it’s a good size to pack in your suitcase if you are travelling, you may have other thoughts!  This is a limited time offer; I am not putting a time scale around it because I can’t.  Bashing the keyboard time again. ***Sorry this promotion has ended***

This comes with our heartfelt thanks for all of you who take the Fulvic Acid Elixir and have supported us on this rather fascinating journey.  Once again, this will not show up on your invoice, but you will find it nestling by the side of its older and bigger sibling in a VH box.
Fulvic Acid Elixir £30 for 480 ml

Ingenious Vegan

A new product from Ingenious who most of you know because of their bestselling product, Ultimate Collagen+.  So what is it?  It’s their new patented plant-based supplement formulated to help increase the manufacture of collagen in the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin, thereby improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The hero ingredient of this vegan supplement is Astrion.  Astrion has been proven through several forms of studies to help increase natural collagen and hyaluronic acid production when taken internally.  Astrion is made from specific extracts of Centella asiatica and Astragalus, both of which have a long history of promoting skin health.  Working together these two ingredients also limit the breakdown of already existing HA and collagen in the skin, which can only be a very good thing.

Together with Astrion, Ingenious Vegan also includes vitamin C, vitamin E and Zinc.  Just as a by-line in Zinc, Shabir always calls zinc ‘the traffic policeman’ because it remarkably goes to whichever part of the body needs it most.  Clever zinc.  Clever Ingenious Vegan.
Ingenious Vegan £49.99 for 90 Capsules

Three More New Products

I am very aware that continually launching new products creates an element of confusion and this applies to both health and beauty products.  On health products, it is important and responsible to update on ongoing research and development.  There are many instances where I have written ‘all change’ on a supplement and then there are the products which were formulated several years ago and they still sit in the ‘best-in-class’ category.  Designer pricing and packaging has never done it for us and quite honestly we sit and laugh at most of it.  It’s insane.

Beauty is slightly different.  Beauty, to a certain extent, is fickle, it always has been, but mostly we are sensible enough to know that we don’t need to load six or seven serums onto our skin; we respect new innovation, but mostly we respect ground-breaking simplicity.  For me that means having a skincare wardrobe of the products that I love, but don’t necessarily use every day.

There are some constants and I am going to begin this section with a product from my nearly-twenty-year-constant-brand, which is of course iS Clinical.  Before I do this, can I just slip in here that the Lip Duo has gone out of stock three times (heavily sighing), but it’s now back in stock. And so:

Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque

When is a new product not really a new product?  When it has been reformulated, that’s when.  I can’t actually remember the last time iS Clinical reformulated a product, although I think it may have been several years ago when we launched Reparative Moisture Emulsion.  I can’t remember its previous name, all I know is that it morphed into something quite extraordinary and my love and respect for this product continues no matter what.

So, as you will note from the heading, Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque has been reformulated with a powerful blend of botanical extracts, Salicylic Acid and eco-friendly micro-beads to provide a combination of physical and biochemical exfoliation.  Brazilian Blood Orange provides added antioxidant protection and it also includes Copper PCA (note: who remembers when we launched Copper Firming Mist several years ago – I do, it completely rocked the skincare market – in a good way).

Anyway back on track, together with iS Clinical, we recommend using Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque once a week.  Just moisten your skin with water and apply a thin layer, gently rubbing in a circular motion and then let it sit for approximately five minutes to allow the enzymes to function.  You may, or may not feel a warming sensation, this is perfectly normal and there is no need to panic.  Rinse with cool water and voila.
Tri-Active Exfoliating Masque £82 for 120 grams; Reparative Moisture Emulsion £72 for 50 ml; Copper Firming Mist £24 for 75 ml

Overnight Recovery Mask by Aurelia

Another mask (masque) this time it’s Aurelia’s Overnight Recovery Mask, which is a richly nourishing overnight face mask formulated to help soothe, hydrate, repair and calm the skin.  It is targeted for those with dry, flaky, sensitive skin or skin that is prone to redness and breakouts.

Fragranced with pure lavender extract to help you relax, ingredients include Aurelia’s signature probiotic ingredients, which they say will restore and balance the skin; hydrating Shea butter, Aloe Vera, Meadowsweet, Arnica (for its natural anti-inflammatory effects), Calendula and Yarrow.
Overnight Recovery Mask by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £58 for 60 ml

Intensive Skin Treatment Candles by NEOM

Another reformulation, this time it’s NEOM’s Intensive Skin Treatment Candles.  There are two fragrances in the range, Real Luxury and Tranquillity.  Real Luxury has been blended to care for dry, stressed skin in need of extra nourishment and Tranquillity helps prepare your body for sleep incorporating 19 sleep-inducing essential oils.

In both instances you should light the candle for 15-45 minutes (your choice) allowing it to form a therapeutic pool of oil.  Blow out and allow the oil to cool.  The was has been scientifically formulated so it warms to the perfect temperature for application to the skin.  Drizzle the warm oil all-over and then massage in, or alternatively use on certain targeted areas such as legs, hands, feet or dry elbows.  And now:

The Treat: When you buy the Real Luxury Intensive Skin Treatment Candle, we will automatically include NEOM’s Scent to De-Stress (50 ml), a beautiful hand balm worth £15; when you buy the Tranquillity Intensive Skin Treatment Candle, we will automatically include NEOM’s Scent to Sleep hand balm (50 ml), again worth £15.  This is a limited time offer, it will not show up on your invoice and once they are gone, they are gone!
Real Luxury Intensive Skin Treatment Candle £40 for 140 grams; Tranquillity Intensive Skin Treatment Candle £40 for 140 grams

Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules – The Treat

On last month’s newsletter I felt a touch sorry for Ionicell, our bestselling supplement, because Fulvic Acid Elixir had hogged all the limelight (and I’ve done it again on this newsletter).  This month, I feel for Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which had been our bestselling supplement for several years, until Ionicell came and knocked it into second place in the bestselling stakes.

I’m wondering whether HA will reclaim its top spot by the end of the year (and let me tell you it’s pretty close), so to help it (and you) on its way we are doing a three-day-only treat.  When you buy Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules, we will automatically include a travel size of HA as a gift to you.  This contains 15 Capsules and is worth £17.50.

Assuming I am not on a desert island with Fulvic Acid Elixir, this is one of my must-take supplements.  I have taken HA for virtually 20 years and the latest reports are that my face has not slipped south yet; I’m sure Shabir will be the first to tell me if and when it does!  I hero-worship HA for its plumping of the skin qualities, but more than that, it keeps my joints well lubricated and that’s really important in my humble opinion.

Anyway, this offer ends on Thursday 1 August at midnight GMT, or whilst stocks last.  Go to it! **Sorry this promotion has ended**
Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules £35 for 30 Capsules (including Travel Size worth £17.50 as above)

Shoe & Insole Cleansing Spray by Margaret Dabbs

Well, here’s something different.  If you want to eliminate bad odour, cleanse and preserve the condition of your footwear, here is a fast-acting shoe spray.

Scented with the fresh fragrance of Lemon Myrtle, it is quick drying and non-staining.  Tea Tree Oil is included for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities which can help to prevent Athlete’s Foot and it should be used daily, most especially if you wear trainers.  And if we are talking about Athlete’s Foot, Shabir has written an article about it which is linked below.  Actually is there any health concern Shabir hasn’t written about!
VH Editorial: Athlete’s Foot TreatmentShoe & Insole Cleansing Spray by Margaret Dabbs £19 for 100 ml

Our Three Bestselling Holiday Products

We do this each year and I am here to tell you that two of the three products which we featured on last year’s newsletter are the same this year.  This doesn’t surprise me at all, and I doubt it will surprise you either as they are Thyme Out and Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent.  I doubt whether the third, which is a newcomer, will shock you either.  Let’s do them:

Thyme Out

Not only a bestselling product, but an award-winning product too.  Since we launched Thyme Out last year, its soothing and healing properties has helped so many.  Thyme Out exists to tackle various inflammatory skin concerns such as prickly heat, rashes and sunburn, but not only that it is a fabulous first-aid product too, helping to heal cuts and grazes, zapping insect bites and I’m not even going to start talking about its ability to help treat acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.  Pack it in your suitcase!
Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml

Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent

For the third year running, this appears on the bestselling list.  Not really surprised, its claim to fame was that it was used in a photo-shoot for Vogue and it has maintained its hero-status ever since.  It does what it says, it smells divine, it’s DEET and chemical-free and we love it. Another one for the suitcase.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent £20 for 250 ml

Fulvic Acid Travel Trio

I can’t work out whether the Fulvic Acid Travel Trio appears by virtue of the fact that the three products are being packed into suitcases, or whether it is because they are a great introduction to the Ful.Vic.Health brand.

Never mind that, the trio consists of Fulvic Acid Shampoo (60 ml), which effectively cleanses both hair and scalp; it delivers 65+ minerals which help invigorate repair and renewal of keratin production.  Particularly relevant at this time of year, it will also help remove chlorine from hair.

The Fulvic Acid Conditioner (60 ml) conditions, nourishes and revitalises hair; it can be used as a hair mask too.  The Fulvic Acid Mist (60 ml) reached hero status in its capacity as a potent rejuvenating treatment for the scalp.  Providing ionic minerals and amino acids, it targets hair health, thinning hair and hair loss.  We spray it on our faces too – because we can!
Fulvic Acid Travel Trio £20

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are caused by a weakness in the walls of the blood vessels.  They are four times more common in women, will often develop during pregnancy and may also run in families.  Haemorrhoids, which are usually the result of excessive straining during bowel movement due to constipation, are actually also varicose veins and will respond to the same treatment.  Shabir investigates.
VH Editorial: A Natural Remedy for Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, Haemorrhoids and Poor CirculationDiosmin Plus £26 for 60 Capsules

VH Editorial

This month:

Antidepressants treat all sorts of illnesses and can be beneficial for people with mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, OCD and bipolar disorder.  And while for most, the potential side effects are outweighed by the opportunity to feel better within ourselves, these types of medication can, in some cases, affect our skin and bodies in unexpected ways.  Rebecca Fearn investigates.
Can Taking Antidepressants Affect Your Skin by Rebecca Fearn

Whether it’s a serum that promises results in 60 seconds or an eight-step cleansing routine that takes time, effort and endless products, the beauty industry is a never-ending stream of instant gratification and consumption.  But changes are afoot.  With the backlash against ‘fast fashion’ and recent research revealing that one in five women feel guilty about buying new clothes, we are starting to see more mindful beauty purchasing too.

Dubbed ‘slow beauty’, Becci Vallis says that brands are reassessing how they can appeal to customers keen to embrace this simplistic approach.
Why You Should Consider Slow Beauty by Becci Vallis

If ever I write a cookery book, states Jo Fairley, and I guess with 25 books of varying kinds under my belt, it’s not entirely beyond the realms of possibility – then it will be called ‘Dried Onions & Donald Trump’.  I realise that this may not be the catchiest title for a cookbook ever, um, cooked up, but those are the two key reasons why I have truly embraced the kitchen, relatively late in life.  And am experiencing the greatest, most unexcepted joy as a result.

With a loving tribute to her Kenwood Titanium, Jo reveals all and I’m thinking of resurrecting VH Eats (it’s still on the backend somewhere) when we launch our new site, whenever that is.  Let it be soon, but don’t hold your breath!
The Food of Love by Jo Fairley

There are not enough superlatives to describe the powerhouse that is Lydia Fenet, declares Carolyn Asome.  By day, global director of strategic partnerships at Christie’s New York and a leading benefit auctioneer who has raised over half a billion dollars for over 400 non-profits around the world by night.

She is also a mother to three children and has done a great service to womankind by writing her first book, the Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You.  A powerful book, a powerful article which I implore you to read. The final paragraph of this article really sang to me and ahead of publishing it today, I have sent this article to so many people (men included!).  It’s who we are, it’s what we believe and we always have.

I’ll leave you with this statement from Lydia, ‘a truly powerful woman doesn’t thrive by putting other people down; she does it by lifting people up, and benefits from that as much as driving herself to live to her fullest potential’.  Thank you.
The Importance of Community by Carolyn Asome

This from the Beauty Bible girls, Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley:  Over the years, we’ve seen that, slathered this, tried that and sent literally thousands of products out to be trialled by our Beauty Bible testers too.  So as true connoisseurs of beauty products with (blimey!) 50+ years’ experience between us, we like to think we recognise a great product when we see it.  Discover which six products the girls have raved about recently on their own website.
The Beauty Bible August Essentials

The End Bit

The 10x magnifying mirror is upsetting me.  I love steam and extraction and I can’t find a clogged pore.   I’m blaming Pore Cleaning Powder, but I suppose it’s better than blaming Shabir for failing to formulate a product property.  Epic stuff.
Pore Cleaning Powder by GoW for VH £12 for 50 grams

This from Arthur Mitroulas, founder of Vice Reversa:  ‘I have used Neurophroline consistently for the past three weeks and swear by it.  It really feels good on the skin, not oily at all and it also feels like it gives me a protective barrier from the sun and the elements’.

There’s something about a brand owner who can recognise brilliance in other products other than their own.  My Colette does the same thing.  Leading by example.  Their brands reflect their personal integrity.
Vice Reversa; LixirSkin

So much praise for the laundry revolution from Japan, Terra Wash+Mg.  Changing the way we clean our laundry, one washing machine at a time.
Terra Wash+Mg – Organic Washing Detergent Replacement £35 (365 washes)

And so we come to the end of another newsletter; as ever, and together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH Team, I thank you for your support, your love, your loyalty and your feedback.

If you are travelling, please be safe and please be well.

With love

Gill x

July Newsletter

Hello July over sunflower

After a whirlwind few months, which included numerous brand and product launches, I welcome you to the July newsletter where we consolidate all that was and all that is. This will include all the latest news and feedback, most of which has knocked me sideways, together with some more new launches and a couple of treats thrown in because I know these mean a lot to you. So without any more preamble, let’s do it and I am starting, for the second month running, with Neurophroline:

Neurophroline

If ever there was a serum that had wings, Neurophroline would be that serum because it flew out the door, literally flew.  Retrospectively perhaps we should have called it ‘The Complete Serum’ because it is loaded with two types of Hyaluronic Acid, All-Trans Resveratrol, Apple Polyphenols as well as the hero ingredient, Neurophroline.

As I wrote on the June newsletter, the research and clinicals on Neurophroline are stunning and anything that has the ability to break down the stress hormone (cortisol) is good with me and good for the overall health and integrity of our skin. And of course on from that, it’s ground-breaking on so many different levels, but softening lines is a good place to start.

With the emphasis having been on single ingredient serums over the recent past, Neurophroline breaks that pattern in the most profound way.  There are so many things I love about Neurophroline, but I think over and above everything I adore the tight feeling you get when you first apply it.  There is good tight and bad tight (drying out skin) and I’m not too sure what if feels like when you have had a face lift (having never had one!), but tight is tight and for £18 I’ll take this route thank you.

Sitting right at the top of the serum tree, yes I think so.  I’m sure most of you are using it on your décolletage, as per the last newsletter, and several of my friends tell me that they too are chanting the ‘take my stress’ mantra when applying it.  There is something about positive affirmations, there is also something about being on my fifth bottle because I am besotted by its brilliance.

My experimentation continues unabated and most recently I have been dosing my body lotion (I’m thinking stress-free-tight-arms and thighs given time) with Neurophroline and soon I am heading to the sun (working, I promise you) where I will be dosing and testing to see whether this same combination will serve as an after-sun treatment.

I have a strong feeling it will because the raison d’etre for Neurophroline is to help take down inflammation, the root cause of most skincare conditions, including the ageing of skin. Oh, tra-la-la Neurophroline, I’m taking a few bottles of you to the sun and, to be neat, I am dosing into Ameliorate’s Transforming Body Lotion.
VH Editorial: Stress Ages our SkinNeurophroline Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £18 for 30 ml; Transforming Body Lotion by Ameliorate £22.50 for 200 ml

Staying on Theme

After the release of Neurophroline we were flooded with emails asking whether it could be used together with Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum. The answer is yes, Anti-aging Multi-Peptide Serum first and then follow through with Neurophroline. This is Shabir’s dream; he formulated the Multi-Peptide Serum for his own use, so this is exactly what he has been doing for several months, using both. He will forever deny it, but I think secretly he is in a ‘best skincare’ competition with me. More on that another time.

And if I may, we are both completely fixated with Pore Cleaning Powder. I would love to be able to tell you that Shabir formulated it for me, but he didn’t. Never mind that, I have now taken to calling it the ‘The Pink Hollywood Pore Refining Mask’, such is its brilliance. Somewhere in my brain ‘Pink and Hollywood’ go together, but aside from that it has reached the exalted level of being in the top three of all our recent beauty launches. And that speaks volumes.

I’ll tell you right now that unless something blows it out of the water, it is definitely going to win an award in my tongue-in-cheek award ceremony on the December newsletter. It’s that good and I’m seriously fussy when it comes to the products I use, as most of you know. The Pink Powder rules!
VH Editorial: Garden of Wisdom Suggested RegimensAnti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £20 for 30 ml; Pore Cleaning Powder £12 for 50 grams

Ionicell – The Treat

I mean you have to feel a tiny bit sorry for Ionicell because over the last couple of months I have been throwing the focus on Fulvic Elixir and the entire Ful.Vic.Health range, more of which I will write about soon.

But for now, I will tell you that Ionicell still holds the position of being our bestselling supplement for all the reasons I have been writing about since launch. Having dubbed it over a year ago as the ‘next generation’ nail, skin and hair supplement, the feedback has been astounding and is ongoing, most particularly in respect of hair thinning and/or loss when taken with Superior Hair. Nails and skin are another story!

Loaded with Ioniplex, a Fulvic ionic mineral that can contain up to 65 essential, macro and trace minerals, Ionicell has long-reaching beneficial effects, which we believe are essential to the wellbeing of cellular life. I have taken Fulvic Acid religiously, in varying formats, for more than eight years and I would go far as to saying that if you could only take one supplement for the rest of your life, Fulvic Acid would be the one I would choose, whether it was in the form of the Fulvic Acid Elixir or Ionicell.

And so the sharing. After giving Ionicell an award (it so deserved it) on last December’s newsletter, we released the Ionicell Twin Pack and madness descended. In some way I am hooked on madness (it’s an adrenaline rush), so we’re doing it again:

The Treat: I am not putting a date or time across this, but while we are still living and breathing and while we have the stock, you can buy the Ionicell Twin Pack for £30. Ionicell is £20 for 60 Capsules, so you save £10. Thrash that keyboard! ***Sorry this promotion has ended***
Ionicell Twin Pack £30 (2 x Ionicell – 120 Capsules); Ionicell £20 for 60 Capsules; Superior Hair £26.50 for 90 Capsules

Let’s do some new launches:

Whamisa

Whamisa is an organic Korean beauty brand which specialises in fermented ingredients. With the focus on preserving and boosting the benefits of natural ingredients at the heart of each of their products, Whamisa takes a unique approach to their research and development. Pioneering with botanical formulations and their own signature fermentation process, we launch Whamisa with three of their latest innovative products.

For the sake of transparency, Victoria has been rigorously testing because she is totally besotted with these products and there is something about exfoliating dead skin cells with plant-based natural exfoliants that she is loving and we think you will too. I love clever products as you know and these are extraordinarily clever in ingredient concept and design.

Organic Flowers Peeling Finger Mitt: Each finger mitt is soaked in the organic exfoliating essence, which cleverly utilises plant-derived betaine salicylate to gently exfoliate skin and unblock pores. Chrysanthemum, aloe leaf ferment filtrates and sodium hyaluronate have also been included to help boost skin’s moisture levels.

How to use: After cleansing, slip fingers into the exfoliating mitt and gently buff in a circular outward motion from the centre of your face. If using on the neck, begin at the collar bone and move upwards. Rinse thoroughly and then continue with your skincare regime. It is recommended that these mitts should be used 2-3 times a week and preferably in the evening and this goes across all three products.
Organic Flowers Peeling Finger Mitt by Whamisa £28 for 30 Mitts

Organic Fruits Peeling Finger Mitt: While the Flowers formula (above) targets dry to combination skin types, Fruits is designed to help re-balance oilier skin. Betaine salicylate is blended with fruit acids, while apple and raspberry ferment filtrates help eliminate excess oil and unblock pores. Some of these ingredients sound good enough to eat – my ‘inner Nigella’ must be coming to the fore.
Organic Fruits Peeling Finger Mitt by Whamisa £28 for 30 Mitts

Organic Seeds Peeling Finger Mitt: These are the deep clean finger mitts. Betaine salicylate and tartaric acid are combined with barley oat and beta-glucan to help exfoliate and unclog pores, eliminating bacteria without drying the skin out.
Organic Seeds Peeling Finger Mitt by Whamisa £28 for 30 Mitts

Floral Waters

It is thought that Floral Waters were widely used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks and there is something about them that has always sung to me. Perhaps it’s their pure simplicity, perhaps it’s because I’m fascinated (and always have been) with ancient ritualistic practices and perhaps it’s because I think they carry the energy of summer, although of course they are for all seasons.

There are five of them and their volatile ingredients are extracted from plants to make up the active ingredients. Each of the floral waters are first and foremost delicate skincare products, suited to both face and body. The active botanical ingredients give them their numerous properties and qualities:

Cornflower Water: Cornflower Water is well-known for its soothing effect on tired eyes and it also has draining properties. I’ve taken to soaking cotton wool pads and placing them over my eyes for ten minutes, but Cornflower Water has numerous uses, including removing make-up if you so wish.
Organic Cornflower Water by Laboratoire de Haut-Ségala £11.80 for 250 ml

Lemon Balm Water: Lemon Balm Water is a very soothing and calming treatment, which is ideally suited for sensitive skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action and it is brilliant for helping to relieve tired and heavy legs. Just massage into your legs, or you can pour some of this into your bath. And soak.
Organic Lemon Balm Water by Laboratoire de Haut-Ségala £11.90 for 250 ml

Italian Helichrysum – Immortal: Italian Helichrysum, often referred to as Immortal, is well-known for its circulatory benefits and it helps firm tissues and has soothing and healing properties. It can help calm redness, irritated skin, cutaneous marks, acne scarring and it could be beneficial for rosacea-prone skin. Helichrysum Water is obtained from the distillation of the flowers of Helichrysum (Immortal).
Organic Helichrysum Floral Water by Laboratoire de Haut-Ségala £11.60 for 250 ml

Lemon Verbena Water: Lemon Verbena has soothing, relaxing and sedative properties, which makes this another candidate for pouring into the bath. When used on the skin it can help improve firmness and tone.
Organic Lemon Verbena Water by Laboratoire de Haut-Ségala £12.20 for 250 ml

Witch Hazel Water: Witch Hazel is an astringent rich in flavonoids. This alcohol-free witch hazel is ideal for sensitive, delicate skin, acne and spot prone skin. It can also soothe skin irritated by razor burn or depilation.
Organic Witch Hazel Water by Laboratoire de Haut-Ségala £12.60 for 250 ml

Blink Brow Bar – Eyebrow Kits

Every now and then I trot off to Blink Brow Bar because they look after my eyebrows (somebody has to because I’m useless with them). Anyway the best part of the treatment is the massage that happens at the end of the treatment, but I also use and love their products and it suddenly occurred to me that if I was using them, perhaps you would like to as well.

I have known Vanita Parti, the Founder of Blink Brow Bar, for a very long time and so I called her and asked her if we could put an exclusive Eyebrow Kit together of her bestselling products, so that’s what we’ve done. Each kit contains three products as below and they come in three different shades, which we believe covers the spectrum:

Ultimate Arch Definer: When I was introduced to the Ultimate Arch Definer I wondered whether I had been living under a rock for several years because after receiving so many accolades, I had never used it and when I did it blew me away because it was so easy to use and gave eyebrow perfection.

At the time it was a Korean beauty technology breakthrough as the triangular-tipped pencil allows for ergonomic application, precise definition and a formula that just glides on. At one end of the pencil is a baby kabuki brow brush for blending and so that’s what I do, stroke with colour and blend. The brilliance of the Arch Definer is that it stays on all day and is sweat and humidity-resistant. Like who needs eyebrow gaps appearing halfway through the day. Not me thanks.

Brow Styling Gel: I love this. Brow Styling Gel acts like a mascara-style wand and is my go-to second step as it keeps brows firmly in shape. Containing Panthenol (vitamin B5), it keeps brows healthy and it has a subtle gloss. Wouldn’t really want to live without this.

Nourishing Brow Oil: A Blink Brow Bar bestselling product, we had to include this in the kit because it is a luxurious overnight treatment, which strengthens and conditions your brows and is formulated with a blend of Sweet Almond and Rosemary Oils, used for their nourishing qualities, together with Lavender and Sandalwood, which calm and balance.

Nourishing Brow Oil works naturally to help increase hair growth, while conditioning and strengthening brows. Fast absorbing, it has a non-sticky texture and is suitable for all skin and eyebrow types. And voila. The Eyebrow Kits. If you were to buy the products separately, they would cost £58, but we’ve knocked off £8, giving a price of £50 for each kit. If anybody needs to know, together with Vanita, I use Indian Medium Chocolate, which also happens to be the bestselling colour.
Eyebrow Kit – Light Chai by Blink Brow Bar £50; Eyebrow Kit – Indian Medium Chocolate by Blink Brow Bar £50; Eyebrow Kit – Dark Clove by Blink Brow Bar £50

Right, let’s do health where Shabir is in mode and has (joyously) written three articles, so it’s feet on the desk time for me:

Which Magnesium Supplement Should I Take?

Magnesium is a fascinating mineral that is involved in nearly 300 biochemical reactions within the body. Its wide and varied benefits range from energy production through to brain function, but with such wide and varied usages by the body, it may not surprise you to learn that magnesium deficiencies are widespread and the main reasons are two-fold. The demands for this mineral are often not met by our intake of green leafy vegetables and of course as we age our body becomes less efficient at absorbing magnesium due to a lack of digestive enzymes, whose production declines rapidly.

Our bodies rely heavily on adequate magnesium levels in the bloodstream and yet this is a mineral that we often overlook. Unfortunately, there is not a reliable blood test that can show if there is a magnesium deficiency, but scientists estimate that magnesium deficiencies may be running at unprecedented levels, with over 60% of the population being magnesium deficient.

In his article, Shabir takes a further look at the importance of magnesium and how to choose the best form of magnesium for varying concerns. Of course this includes the ground-breaking bestselling (after all these years!) Magnesium Oil Original Spray.
VH Editorial: Which Magnesium Supplement Should I Take?Magnesium Oil Original Spray by Better You £12.20 for 100 ml

Double Cleansing The Body

Double cleansing is often associated with skincare, but the principle of double cleansing could also be easily applied to the health of the body. The first part of the body that is exposed to toxins is the intestinal tract and the second part of the system which is often under toxic overload is the liver. Shabir’s article is therefore divided into two sections, cleansing the gut and cleansing the liver on a periodic basis.

Please excuse me for barging in here, but if we are talking skincare double cleansing, I need to tell you that one of my favourite double-cleanse regimens involves Cleansing Complex and Warming Honey Cleanser (in that order) from iS Clinical. On a global level, Cleansing Complex is their bestselling product and has been endorsed (without payment) by some pretty hefty names. Speaks volumes on a few levels.
VH Editorial: Double Cleansing The BodyComplete Fibre Cleanse by VH £21 for 168 grams; Milk Thistle Complex by HealthAid £11.99 for 60 Tablets; Cleansing Complex by iS Clinical £35 for 180 ml; Warming Honey Cleanser by iS Clinical £34 for 120 grams

How To Take Collagen Supplements

There are hundreds of collagen supplements on the market, in powders, capsules and drinks, usually obtained from either bovine or marine sources, each with differing advice on when and how to take collagen.

It is therefore not surprising that there is a great deal of confusion on collagen supplementation. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is found in skin, muscles, blood vessels and other tissues and structures. Its main role is to impart strength to these systems, but collagen production declines with age and since adequate collagen is required to help maintain our joints and skin, many feel the need to introduce collagen supplementation. Shabir does the lowdown.
VH Editorial: How To Take Collagen SupplementsUltimate Collagen+ by Ingenious Beauty £44.99 for 90 Capsules

And now:

The Sage Complex Treat

Sage Complex has been one of our bestselling supplements for many years. Ongoing research has determined that at this present time we don’t believe that there is a better formulation available to help alleviate hot flushes, excessive sweating, vaginal dryness and other concerns associated with peri-menopause and menopause.

This hormone-balancing supplement contains natural herbs that help mimic female hormones; it was formulated by Shabir (of course) and for the duration of seven days only (ending Tuesday 2 July at midnight GMT) we are offering the Sage Complex Twin Pack for £40 with a saving of £10. Voila! **Sorry, this promotion has ended**
VH Editorial: Hormone Mimicking Supplements Should Be Used By Nearly All Woman Over 35Sage Complex Duo Pack £40 (2 x Sage Complex); Sage Complex by VH £25 for 90 Capsules

The Healing Heart Facial

Some time ago, Victoria wrote an article entitled ‘Why We’re Going Crazy For Crystals’ and we are. I have always loved crystals and whenever I talk about them Shabir announces that I am having another one of my ‘woo moments’; but there are a lot of us having ‘woo moments’ on many different levels, which I will be writing about over the coming months.

I very rarely write about my ‘spiritual’ (for want of a better word) side, but it underpins everything that I am and everything that I do. Many years ago, and pre-VH, my claim to infamous fame was that I launched the Crystal Power Bracelets in the UK. It was a wild, wild time and we were all walking around with three or more bracelets on our wrists.

If you can believe it, I still have the first press cutting from that time when they appeared on an entire page in the Daily Mirror Sunday Magazine (as it was) and I have never forgotten Katy Bravery, the editor, who was so very kind and cemented my love for print media, which still exists.

At that time, the bestselling bracelet by a very long way was Rose Quartz. It didn’t surprise me, as Rose Quartz is symbolic of the energy of love and is associated with the heart chakra. It also has a very calming and soothing energy, which is most welcome in the frenetic world we live in.

The Healing Heart Facial, created by the extraordinary Denise Leicester of Ila, comprises of two beautiful Rose Quartz hearts, which can be used in varying ways. Regular massaging of the face with the healing vibrations of the hearts will help to drain puffiness, relax facial muscles and help dissolve stress lines. Included in the Healing Heart Facial is a small phial of Ila’s Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, which smells so divine, I think it’s almost from another time and another place.

A full facial massage ritual is included and it takes just five minutes, but it’s not only about the facial ritual. If you are feeling tired and want to stimulate your heart energy, lie down somewhere comfortable, place one heart on your own heart and one on your forehead. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath for at least ten minutes. I enhance the moment by burning Ila’s Incense.

My love for Gua Sha is well-known, but this is a completely different concept and one that I love. I often sit holding the hearts and use them on the same principle as worry beads. Calm.
VH Editorial: Why We’re Going Crazy For CrystalsThe Healing Heart Facial by Ila-Spa £29.50; Incense For An Aroma of Purity & Peace by Ila-Spa £12 for 50 grams; Face Oil For Glowing Radiance by Ila-Spa £75 for 30 ml; The Beauty Restorer Face Tool (Gua Sha) by Hayo’u £38

Summer Living

I often refer back to Shabir’s article, The Most Common Holiday Problems Solved, because it is a brilliant guide if you are travelling. It covers most eventualities, except the one which affects nearly everybody I know (I’m talking us girls) and it’s called bathroom anxiety. I have got no idea why it happens, but it just does, perhaps it’s something in the female psyche, I really don’t know.

So over to Shabir who suggests that we tend to display bathroom anxiety if we are uncomfortable in using hotel bathrooms and public washrooms (that’s me). This often results in ‘withholding’, which results in the ‘drying out’ effect and hence constipation.

There is also a suggestion based on small studies that motility in the gut might follow a circadian rhythm like many other processes within our bodies and this is apparent in frequent flyers and shift workers. If you fall into this category, you may wish to consider the use of a quick relaxant, such as De-Stress by Blooming Blends. I’ll have mine on an IV drip please.
VH Editorial: The Most Common Holiday Problems SolvedDe-Stress by Blooming Blends £22 for 30 ml

The Charge of the Light Brigade

News reaches me (it always does) from a certain friend that Boost, the LED Mask, is being worn at various dinners and has become a major talking point. Truly, this couldn’t amuse me more with the exception that various ‘friends’ have been posting their LED look on Instagram accompanied by equally amusing text: knackered skin is a thing of the past, said one, and of course I agree.

In my hallucinatory little world I’m dreaming of making a cameo appearance in the third series of Killing Eve wearing the mask. Red mask, fuchsia pink outfit, I thought, aka Villanelle (Jodie Comer) in Series Two. Except then I read Lisa Armstrong’s article on Villanelle where she stated that it was the ‘ultimate LOOK-AT-ME outfit with earrings the size of a barge’ and then went on to ask if this was the ‘definition of a psychopath’. Perhaps not, I’m thinking, perhaps not. Lest I’m labelled.
Boost At-Home LED Treatment Mask by The Light Salon £395; Boost Cleanse & Recovery Spray £18 for 100 ml

Three Things You Need To Know About

Summer Facial Oil by de Mamiel: This new season blend has been formulated intentionally lighter for the warmer months and as with all of Annee’s oils, it absorbs easily into the skin. It combines age-defying, antioxidant-rich aromatic oils to help repair and protect the complexion, whilst helping to promote vitality and radiance.

The oils included are Prickly Pear, helping to restore elasticity; Powerful Echium Oil, to help calm redness and treat post-sun inflammation; Ylang Ylang to help keep dryness at bay; Rosehip Seed Oil for its regenerative qualities and Rose Geranium to help encourage cellular turnover.

The Summer Facial Oil can be used after cleansing by placing 4-5 drops into the palms of your hands and pressing together to warm. Cup your hands, cover your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply for a count of three before exhaling for a count of five. Massage into the skin gently, using upwards and outwards movements until absorbed.
Summer Facial Oil by de Mamiel £80 for 20 ml

Botanical Cream Deodorant: I still remember vividly the wait lists (plural) for Aurelia’s Botanical Cream Deodorant after India Knight wrote about it in The Sunday Times. I also remember that this stretched over three or four months and I was forever banging my head against the wall.

Anyway, that was then and this is now, and I am here to tell you that the Botanical Cream Deodorant is now available in a new extra-large recyclable glass jar. This cream-to-powder consistency sits invisibly on the skin ready to absorb natural perspiration throughout the day. It retains dryness, inhibits bacteria and offers long-lasting freshness. The original smaller size is of course still available, but now you have a choice of size and a choice of fragrance because Aurelia have also just launched Citrus Botanical Cream Deodorant.  The glory of it all.
Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £30 for 110 grams; Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £18 for 50 grams; Citrus Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £18 for 50 grams 

Sarah Chapman Skinesis: A treat for those of you who use Sarah Chapman’s products. When you purchase any product from Sarah Chapman we will automatically include a free 10 ml gift of Skin Insurance which is worth £17. This will not show up on your invoice, but will be sent with your order. We have a limited volume, there is only one gift per customer and I’m not putting a time frame across this; once they are gone, they are gone.
Sarah Chapman

Ful.Vic.Health

So much amazing feedback on the entire Ful.Vic.Health range, so in no particular order I need to apologise yet again because Fulvic Acid Nail Cream went out of stock for the second month running after I wrote on the June newsletter that we were fully stocked. Well we were stocked and then we weren’t. I’m not saying anything about stock levels right now, but what I will say is that Shabir has nailed it (sorry!) with this formulation. Weak, brittle, unhealthy nails become a distant memory with regular use.
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £12 for 30 ml

Let’s talk about Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Conditioner and Mist. My thanks to Alice BB for sending constant emails declaring her love for these products and then putting in print (Country & Town House) that she was merrily lathering her locks with Fulvic.

And then an email from somebody who spent over seven years in the hair care industry (this shall stay anonymous) saying that she had tried all ‘hair things’ (her words, not mine) in those seven years and that she wishes she could announce to everyone how amazing Fulvic Acid is. Consider it done and thank you so much Ms A!

I just want to add here that as I wrote at the beginning of this newsletter, I have taken and used Fulvic Acid products for eight years. My hair now is incomparable to how it was before Fulvic. I have always washed my hair every day, but I would never dream of leaving the house without something to pump up the volume; but that was then and this is now and I absolutely promise you I have not used a volumising product for several years (perhaps somewhere along the line I may have tested one). Healthy, shiny, swinging hair. I like it this way. The Fulvic Way. I bet Shabir wishes he could swing his hair, but he can’t!
Fulvic Acid Shampoo £25 for 240 ml; Fulvic Acid Conditioner £25 for 240 ml; Fulvic Acid Mist (The Hero) £25 for 120 ml

Lyme Disease and the Tick Remover Card

Lyme Disease, if not detected early, can result in many concerns including numbness, severe joint pain, memory loss, sleep disorders and even paralysis of the facial muscles. The symptoms can, and usually occur months after the original tick bite. With the season upon us, please take a moment to read this. Thanks.
VH Editorial: Lyme Disease and the Tick Remover CardTick Remover Card £4.49

When Is A Perfume Not A Perfume?

When it’s a room spray or an aura spray. There is much talk about the use of chemicals in perfumes, although I have to say it doesn’t really bother me, but I know it bothers many of you.

So the thing is that from choice I have taken to wearing Beat the Blues room spray as a fragrance and I do the same with Inner Smile and Inner Calm (separately, not together!), which are aura sprays. I think it is going to become a thing. A big thing. That’s all.
Beat The Blues Room Spray £29 for 50 ml; Inner Smile Mist £40 for 50 ml; Inner Calm Mist £32 for 50 ml

VH Editorial

This month:

What Do Vitamins Actually Do For Our Skin?

Do you know the difference between vitamin A and vitamin C, and which one you should be using to boost your skin? No, well here’s a cheat’s guide written by Elle Turner.
What Do Vitamins Actually Do For Our Skin by Elle Turner

How To Reduce A Bloated Tummy This Summer

If you regularly battle with a bloated tummy, there are some minor tweaks you can make to help ease it. It’s all about summer living and summer loving say the Beauty Bible girls, without swimsuit (or bikini) aggravation.
How To Reduce a Bloated Tummy This Summer by Beauty Bible

How To Save Yourself

Jo Fairley offers some wise, time-saving tips on how to reclaim your mornings and not spend upwards of an hour choosing your outfit and getting dressed. Thankfully she doesn’t watch over me in the mornings, seriously!
How To Save Yourself by Jo Fairley

A Guide To Summer Self-Care

When we think about self-care we usually associate it with colder weather, but Giselle La Pompe-Moore takes a look at summer self-care across the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual aspects.
A Guide To Summer Self-Care by Giselle La Pompe-Moore

The Art Of Letter Writing

In  the digital age, it’s no surprise that most of us have lost the touch of writing a hand-written note or letter.  Carolyn Asome explores the lost art.
The Art of Letter Writing by Carolyn Asome

The End Bit

My trip to the sun is almost upon me; these are the things that are going with me onto the plane; two packets of Vice Reversa Plumping Patches (knowing I will probably have to share); my LED mask because I don’t care what anybody thinks; Altitude Oil by de Mamiel, I never travel without it (neither should you, it’s brilliant) and although I never wear make-up when I’m travelling I might just slick a bit of Rose Gold 101 Ointment over my lips for my check-in appearance.
Vice Reversa Plumping Patches £34.95 for Eight Patches; Boost LED Mask £395; Altitude Oil by de Mamiel £30 for 10 ml; Rose Gold 101 Ointment by Lanolips £13 for 9 grams

Another wait list. Another sigh. But not really surprised. iS Clinical’s Lip Duo flew out and then the couriers lost our order, so my apologies if we kept you on the wait list longer than necessary. This is a limited time offer, so just eight more weeks left to get the Lip Polish and Youth Lip Serum with £20 off.
Lip Duo – Lip Polish and Youth Lip Serum £64 (£20 saving)

Bee Calm and Bee Rested; two new supplements from Unbeelievable Health and Shabir really likes them; he thinks you will too. Maybe I’ll dole these out on the plane if anybody I know gets out of control.
Bee Calm £12.99 for 20 Capsules; Bee Rested £12.99 for 20 Capsules

Flying high this month, Aethic Sôvée Sunscreens; spinning the laundry dream, Terra Wash+Mg (the laundry revolution from Japan) and the adorable don’t-want-to-go-through-the-summer-without-this, Good Skin Day Shaker Summer Edit by LixirSkin.
VH Editorial: The Problem With Sunscreens; VH Living

All that remains is for me to thank each of you for your ongoing love and support. ‘Viva Neurophroline’ and together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I wish you a wonderful July.

With love

Gill x

June Newsletter

The word WILD with white blackground on connifer trees.

One month after saying that my head was spinning before I had written one word of the May newsletter, I am still in head-spinning mode as I welcome you to the June newsletter. At some point I will do the news and feedback from May (there is a lot of it), but for now I invite you to join me as we launch a staggeringly effective new serum from Garden of Wisdom, an exclusive Limited Edition product from LixirSkin and a brilliant new addition, in the form of a targeted cleanser, product from The Light Salon.

Additionally, there is a new product launch from Color Wow, the latest in their award-winning ‘Dream Series’, a very rare new and exclusive launch from iS Clinical (I nearly fell over with excitement) and another Ful.Vic.Health treat because you can’t put down a sharing gene, and I love sharing. Hold my hand (with nails adorned with Fulvic Acid Nail Cream) and let’s do it:

Neurophroline Serum

So what if I told you that there is a serum that has been clinically shown to help take the stress out of your skin. And what if I then told you that the stress hormone (cortisol) is indicated as affecting our skin in a major way, both internally and externally. Cortisol causes inflammation (fact), often resulting in anything from breakouts and redness to dryness and fine lines. But what if you could reduce cortisol in your skin. Enter Neurophroline.

And then enter Shabir who believes that Neurophroline is the only (I should have written ‘only’ in capital letters, but I didn’t want to shout at you!) ingredient-based technology that currently gets to the major cause of ageing skin, which is increased levels in cortisol. Amongst other things Neurophroline improves skin tone within a very short period of time. We’re pioneering here, read on:

The manufacturers of Neurophroline (Givaudan) believe that your skin can change in just two weeks by using Neurophroline daily, but I’m not saying that because we are all different. It also helps target luminosity, dark circles and hyperpigmentation, all by the regulation and breakdown of the stress hormone, cortisol, within skin.

If I didn’t know differently, I would say that Neurophroline is the stuff dreams (skincare dreams) are made of, but I have been using it and can absolutely attest to you that I am not dreaming. And neither is Victoria, whose skin really did brighten and change within two weeks.

I am not going to do chapter and verse about the full impact of stress on our skin or the virtues of Neurophroline because Shabir has done that on his article, linked below. But I will tell you that derived from a native Indian plant, Neurophroline is an extract of wild indigo and has been used in Ayurvedic traditions for generations.

Because this is Shabir’s formulation, he added two types of hyaluronic acid to the hero Neurophroline, including super low molecular weight hyaluronic acid to deliver this active to the skin cells within the epidermis. And then apple polyphenols and all-trans resveratrol. Because he can, he did.

With my feet on the ground and being realistic, we all suffer from stress in some way, shape or form (wait list stress is high on my agenda), so having a serum which allows us to have overall stress skin control is like manna from heaven. Well I think it is and I use it every single morning and evening after cleansing and before moisturising. If you prefer, you can put a couple of drops into your moisturiser. Just dose it is what I say.

I don’t really want to tell you that I’ve had thoughts of dosing by pouring an entire bottle of Neurophroline into my Nannette lilac cream (more on that below) and I might yet do it. And then I started to use Neurophroline on my décolletage as well as my face and ran around my bathroom screaming take my stress Neurophroline, take it, take it, take it. And it did. I’m on my third bottle.
VH Editorial: Stress Ages Our SkinNeurophroline Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £18 for 30 ml

Good Skin Day Shaker Summer Edit by LixirSkin

I’ve written about the Good Skin Day Shaker from LixirSkin across the last two newsletters and within the shortest space of time it has already established itself, alongside Vitamin C Paste, as being the bestselling product from the range, actually it’s slightly ahead of the paste. That takes some doing, but anybody who has used this product will completely understand why it has been hailed as ‘a little wonder pot’ across the media.

And now another wondrous moment for this biphasic formulation that will help de-puff the skin while simultaneously plumping the areas of the face that need it the most. Please allow me to introduce you to the Good Skin Day Shaker Summer Edit, which is an exclusive Limited Edition and will only last as long as it lasts, which probably won’t be long.

What is it? Well the Summer Edit is a tinted version of the original Good Skin Day Shaker. Not just any tint you understand, but a subtle, universally adaptable tint to help blur imperfections leaving skin with a natural ‘no make-up’ sun kissed glow. It is beautiful, actually beyond beautiful, but then Colette (my Colette) is beauty personified and she has bottled it.

The Summer Edit is the result of a moment some time ago when Colette and I decided we wanted to have a bit of fun. Fun it is, but I think most people I know will be walking around with this on their faces (legs Colette, legs, can we have a bigger size please!) all through the summer months; with all due respect why use foundation when you can use this. Bring on that glow. Bring it on. Merci Colette, merci.
Good Skin Day Shaker Summer Edit £36 for 15 ml; Good Skin Day Shaker (the original) £36 for 15 ml; Vitamin C Paste £32 for 50 ml

Boost – Cleanse & Recovery Spray by The Light Salon

I need (really need) to continue writing about Boost, the Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask, which we launched on the May newsletter, but before that, and fast on the track of that launch, The Light Salon have released a Cleanse & Recovery Spray, which is amazing.

Partnering with the team behind Clinispet+, Hannah and Laura (The Light Salon founders) release their first, of several, skincare products which is stand-alone, but can of course be used with the LED Mask. If you were to have a treatment at The Light Salon, this is the spray they use (and swear by) in their treatments and it stands up to everything they say it will do, and more.

The Boost Cleanse & Recovery Spray deeply cleanses whilst gently balancing your skin’s pH, helping calm redness and irritation.  It helps support the acid mantle on the skins surface, providing further protection from bacteria and pollution, yet maintains moisture in the skin.  It has all the attributes needed to help control oil flow, reduce infection and provide ideal conditions for rapid skin recovery, contributing to a healthy cellular turnover.

And this is what it does when used in conjunction with the Boost Mask.  Blue LED helps treat acne and blemishes by destroying the bacteria that causes blemishes.  So spritz Cleanse & Recovery as your anti-microbial step and you have a double whammy; the healing benefits of the spray coupled with Red and Near-Infrared LED. Stand-alone, or used in conjunction with the LED Mask, I’m impressed.
Boost – Cleanse & Recovery Spray by The Light Salon £18 for 100 ml

Right, that’s the first three launches done, so I will just say this: oh my, what a time to be alive in my own bathroom where best-in-class, meets best-in-class, meets best-in-class. I invite you to join me, not in my bathroom obviously (can you imagine!), but in your own:

Boost – Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask by The Light Salon

Actually this section mostly centres around the LED Mask because every time I think my skin can’t look any clearer or brighter, it does.  There are several reasons for this, which I’m about to write about, but notwithstanding my experimentation, Boost is probably one of my best investments (and yes, I bought my own) I have ever made.  Being completely honest, I get bored very quickly, but I don’t think I will ever get bored with Boost or its phenomenal results. And the very best bit, I don’t have to do anything; I just put it on and take to my bed, in the best-ever scenario, or I walk around with it on. And then I went further.

I was sitting in a meeting with Adele from Nannette de Gaspé and we were talking about dry masking under LED.  There is no scientific evidence that this works; I was slightly concerned that the lights wouldn’t penetrate properly through the mask, but I was prepared to test it every which way, so that’s what I did.  For complete transparency I used Vitality Revealed – Face, which I live and die for; I often go under the radar and slip one into my bag and then drive home – fast. Poor Shabir. Anyway regardless, it is a five-time-use mask, used preferably for five days in a row as a treatment.

Boy, what a treatment it proved to be, but under the lights would it hold up for five uses?  Yes it did. Magnificently, and I really put it through the wringer. I double-dosed under Boost (twenty minutes) for the first two sessions and for the remaining three sessions I did it for ten minutes per session.  My biggest concern was that the dry mask would dry out and not deliver the actives. It didn’t dry out and it truly delivered. I was in skincare heaven (it’s almost becoming a permanent fixture) and I just happened to see Trinny, who sat staring at my skin in amazement and I was only halfway through testing.

And a few other things here.  I put Defy & Drench from the Miss de Gaspé range through the wringer too, but it didn’t hold up under testing; taking absolutely nothing away from Defy & Drench, it remains fabulous, but don’t try it under LED.  And finally, on subject, and as I’ve written before, Trinny and I were having separate love pangs with the Nannette de Gaspé products, but it was some time before we realised we were both doing the same thing. I remain spellbound by the brilliance of Baume Noir Face and I think (actually, I know) she does too.  Something about that lilac cream.
Boost – Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask by The Light Salon £395; Vitality Revealed – Face £95 (one mask, five treatments); Baume Noir Face £275 for 50 ml

Vice Reversa

The day I stop being so passionate about certain brands and products, is the day I will walk away from all of this.  And then you meet somebody like Arthur Mitroulas (Founder of Vice Reversa) and I dance the dance of all dances because in an industry sorely lacking in integrity (sorry, it’s the truth), there are pockets of shining light and Vice Reversa are shining through, in every sense of the word.  And now, they can shine every brighter.

It’s not like I am not over-the-moon thrilled with the best-in-class results of these pioneering micro-needling patches as a stand-alone, because I am.  Furthermore I could have positioned them as being ‘Botox/filler alternatives’, but I didn’t do that mostly because they are two very different modalities and cannot be compared, but I will say this: I don’t do needles, I never have, but if we are doing ‘needles’ then these are the only needles I want penetrating my skin.

If you were to hold a Plumping Patch in the palms of your hands, the crystallised serum needles would melt fairly quickly and you would have the liquid serum in your palms.  I am not suggesting you do this, you don’t want to waste a patch, but of course I then had another thought, and into my bathroom I went to test the patches under LED. I couldn’t help myself.

I didn’t tell Arthur what I was doing, because after three years of researching and bringing Vice Reversa to market, I didn’t want him to fall over in sheer horror.  No, I thought, let me try this first. The thing is that we live in a fast world and I thought if I could accelerate the efficacy of the patches, then that’s a good thing. A very good thing for the moments when we need them fast.  30 minutes fast. In full transparency again, I don’t sleep with the patches on, but prefer to keep them in place for two hours whilst I am compos mentis.  The results thrill me. So:

I took six of the Plumping Patches, placed them strategically on my face and then blasted them under the lights for twenty minutes.  I took the LED mask off, pressed the patches into my skin (I’m addicted to the pressing mode) and then left them on for a further ten minutes; once again, the results were staggeringly good.  And then I told Arthur. I told him that I had baked my face. Poor Arthur. But Gill, he said, it is not scientifically proven. Yes Arthur, I know, but as above, I don’t really care, it works, so by all means go into testing, but I know what I know.  And what I know is that this can obviously only work if you own an LED mask, but more than that, if you are using them solo, they remain beyond excellent.

If you haven’t already done this, try using a couple of patches on your neck.  My next trick is to use all eight patches on my neck because I can and because I know what will happen, without lights. The neck saviours perhaps? I think so.
Micro-Needling Plumping Patches by Vice Reversa £34.95 for Eight Patches

Let’s do some health stuff, Ful.Vic.Health first:

Fulvic Acid Nail Cream

Whoosh. My heart said yes, my head said no, but I did it anyway and I’m such an idiot because it came back to haunt me, as these things do. I’m talking Fulvic Acid Nail Cream. And I’m talking that within hours of the May newsletter being released we were out of stock. Fulvic Acid Nail Cream was a gift for those who participated in the treat, which was on the newsletter, but outside of that and as a stand-alone product, it literally flew and yet another famine was upon us because I went against my ‘head intuition’. Thankfully we are back in stock, but it took a little longer than I thought, for that I apologise.

But, as is often said, you can’t keep a good product down and Fulvic Acid Nail Cream is the nail cream everybody is talking about. Little wonder because it is brilliant, but more than that, I wrote on the last newsletter that there is a Ful.Vic.Health product which I want Shabir to formulate. As if it was an invitation (actually perhaps it was), we started to receive emails of Fulvic products that you wanted Shabir to formulate. I promise I have the list. Shabir doesn’t even know about this (except he does now!). I’ve said several times over the years that it’s little wonder he hasn’t business-divorced me. But hey, I’m still here and so is the Fulvic Acid Nail Cream!
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £12 for 30 ml

Another Ful.Vic.Health Treat

Hopefully my heart and head are aligned, because hard and fast on the back of the above, I am doing another treat. Basically because I can (it’s our own brand), but more than that, such is our belief in Fulvic Acid Elixir, we would like the world (well those who can) to take it because of its profound health attributes. I am sure most of you have read Shabir’s article on Fulvic Acid Elixir, but I am linking it again below just in case you haven’t.

I realise that many of you take Ionicell, which as I wrote on the last newsletter remains our bestselling supplement, however some of you prefer the Elixir and some of you do both (like me). And here it is: when you buy Fulvic Acid Elixir we will include in your order travel sizes of the Fulvic Acid Shampoo, the Fulvic Acid Conditioner and the Fulvic Acid Mist (so that’s three products!). Each product is 60 ml, so you can stash them away for your holiday (the mist is great for taking down sunburn and the shampoo takes the chlorine out of your hair), but for those of you who haven’t used any of these products, it is an opportunity to try them.

I have no idea how long this treat will last, so I’m not putting any dates across it, but once they are gone, they are gone. There is only one gift per customer and this will not show up on your invoice but will automatically be included in your order. Go to it Fulvic. ** This promotion has now ended **
VH Editorial: Fulvic Acid – The Elixir of LifeFulvic Acid Elixir £30 for 480 ml

Liposomal Cocktails

I take my inspiration from where I find it and Liposomal Cocktails are inspired by Trinny, which I’ll explain soon. Shabir has a thing about liposomals and he has had a thing about them for a very long time. I’m going back a few years, but they have become more fashionable, if you can call a supplement fashionable, over the recent past.

Essentially, Liposomal Encapsulation Technology has been used for many years to deliver certain drugs to specific tissues within the body, without affecting other parts of the body. At the heart of this technology are liposomes. Liposomes are microscopic bubble-type particles which form a membrane made up of special molecules called phospholipids. Phospholipids are very similar to the membrane that surrounds each and every cell within our body and either allows or hinders the absorption of a nutrient or a compound.

Many years ago, researchers discovered that these liposomals could be filled with therapeutic agents and nutrients. The membrane of the liposomal would hold in the nutrient and would not release until it reached the bloodstream.

This incredible technology works because of the natural behaviour of phospholipids when they are within a water solution under the right conditions. So if you were to make a solution of vitamin C or vitamin D and mix it with phospholipids, the result would be that the resulting liposome would contain either vitamin C or vitamin D suspended inside the liposome. Total brilliance.

The very latest liposomal product that Shabir is having a moment about is Glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants available with over 100,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles; furthermore experts believe that a vast majority of us may be deficient in this important nutrient.

Every single cell within our body manufactures glutathione, which is why scientists often consider it the most important antioxidant. Glutathione is required to manufacture glutathione peroxidase, which protects the whole body against oxidative damage that can age our glands and skin. Glutathione is also required for the manufacture of a number of important enzymes, helps to detoxify the liver and reduces the by-products of metabolism, which are damaging to the body.

And one last thing about Glutathione. It has been the subject of numerous studies on its ability to help tackle hyperpigmentation concerns. Both glutathione and its reduced form, GSH, were found to be beneficial for age spots, dark spots and pigment problems.

Back to the beginning. Liposomal Cocktails. I was with Trinny just before she was about to fly to NYC (those who follow Trinny will know that she has just conquered NYC, as only she can, with her Trinny London products). Anyway, she takes all (yes all) the Aurora Nutrascience’s liposomals and rather than take all of them with her, she asked Shabir if she could mix them together to save packing space. He said yes and so Liposomal Cocktails were born. On the rocks. Why not. If you’re going to do it, do it in style. With a straw.
VH Editorial: What Are Liposomal VitaminsMicro-Liposomal Glutathione £32 for 160 ml; Aurora Nutrascience

Dream Filter by Color Wow

Full name of product: Dream Filter Pre-Shampoo Mineral Remover, but excuse me Color Wow, I’ve just shortened the name to Dream Filter, which is exactly what I did with the Dream Brush because that had too many words in its name too. But never mind the semantics, the ‘Dream’ series, created by Gail Federici and John Frieda, continually leads the way with ground-breaking products and Dream Filter is no exception.

So what does it do, well quite a few things actually, but basically this pre-shampoo treatment extracts minerals and metals from your hair. Acting like a magnet, it removes other gunk too and the net result is brighter, lighter, fresher hair (and hair colour) in under three minutes.

All you need to do is apply Dream Filter to dry hair before shampooing, spraying evenly to saturate your hair. Wait one to three minutes and then shampoo. It can be used daily if required (I require, I wash my hair every day) and just in case you were wondering, it will not strip, dehydrate or damage coloured hair. Oh, and one more thing here, Dream Coat for Curly Hair is now available in supersize. And swing that hair!
Dream Filter £24 for 200 ml; Dream Coat for Curly Hair Supersize £51 for 500 ml

The Laundry Revolution From Japan

It’s called Terra Wash+Mg and it’s an eco-friendly laundry detergent which is reusable and capable of 365 washes and that’s only one of its many attributes.

Terra Wash+Mg is the subject of a Japanese patent-protected innovative technology, which is filled with highly purified magnesium. When this special magnesium comes into contact with water it generates bubbles of hydrogen and forms ionized alkaline water, which makes it easier for water to remove dirt from fabric and that includes germs, bacteria, sebum, mould and odour.

In testing it has been shown to be ten times more effective in removing odour than conventional detergents; it is hypo-allergenic, fragrance free and 100% free of toxic and synthetic chemicals. The hypo-allergenic bit is so important (I know about these things) as it makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin, or for those who are prone to compromised skin conditions, such as eczema.

And Shabir loves it, but really loves it. I think he talks about it every day. Who knew that a man (only a man) could get so ecstatic over an alternative to harsh, chemical laden detergents. I also think he has been muttering that it costs just under 8p per wash, which is good with me and just in case you need to know, it works with cold and hot water and its ultra-hygienic formulation keeps our washing machines clean too.

Long live our washing machines, white Zara T-shirts (love) and all our clothes. With over 1m sold in Japan, you are invited to join the revolution.
Terra Wash+Mg Organic Washing Detergent Replacement £35 (365 washes)

Lip Polish and Youth Lip Elixir by iS Clinical

I really don’t need to tell you about my love and adoration for all things iS Clinical, which includes Bryan Johns and Alec Call, the founders, aka my LA boyfriends. We have been together since the beginning of time (that’s VH and iS Clinical time) and the boys appointed me as a custodian of their brand a very long time ago, which unfortunately for me doesn’t include shares (it would be unethical anyway).

And proud I am because despite my genuine and total love for the lilac cream and some other skincare products along the way, I still believe that not that many skincare brands can hold a candle to iS Clinical. I always have it in my bathroom, always. I refuse to travel without Reparative Moisture Emulsion and a friend absolutely swears by dosing Reparative with Hydra-Cool Serum every morning and evening. I know, I know, another high-end skincare wardrobe, but so worth it if you can.
Reparative Moisture Emulsion £72 for 50 ml; Hydra-Cool Serum £48 for 15 ml; Hydra-Cool Serum £76 for 30 ml

Back to it and an iS Clinical new product launch is a rare thing. Extraordinarily rare. So when I was with the boys earlier this year and they told me about two new lip products, I nearly fell over with excitement. Lips from iS Clinical. There is a God. A Lip God.

Lip Polish: I think ‘Polish’ is such an evocative word and the thought of polishing my lips kind of sent me and in reality, it sent me even further. Loaded with vitamins C and E and blended with intensely rich botanical butters, exfoliation is encouraged and helps to smooth and hydrate the lips leaving them glowing, well if lips glow that is. And when my lips began to throb (in a good way) my excitement peaked. I knew it would be fabulous because the boys would never release anything that wasn’t, but it exceeded all expectation. But then it’s iS Clinical. Worship.
Lip Polish by iS Clinical £32 for 15 grams

For any of you who have tried any of iS Clinical’s ‘Youth’ products, you will know the efficacy of that range. If you haven’t then this could be a first as I am here to tell you about Youth Lip Elixir which does any number of things, including nourishing the lips, plumping and smoothing the lips and helping to redefine the lip contour (the Vermillion Border as it’s called).

When Bryan and Alec presented Youth Lip Elixir to the media in the US, the most interest centred on the science and the ingredients used in this formulation, which kind of speaks volumes because iS Clinical is a scientifically led brand and are in the top five of global cosmeceutical brands. Little known fact.

Freeze-dried hyaluronic acid, although not a brand-new innovation, is included together with an extremely low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. It also includes Extremozymes, which is an iS Clinical proprietary combination providing unprecedented multi-level protection against environmental aggressors.

I suppose I could write reams about the science, but I’m not going to do that because I don’t have the space, but what I do have is a total belief and respect for each iS Clinical product and Youth Lip Elixir is no exception.
Youth Lip Elixir by iS Clinical £52 for 3.5 grams

Lip Duo – The iS Clinical Treat

To celebrate the launch of Lip Polish and Youth Lip Elixir, the Lip Duo has been created. This gives you an opportunity to try both products for £64, with a saving of £20. This is a three-month celebration and all I need to do is diarise it otherwise the Lip Duo treat will run forever. Of course each of the products can be bought as a stand-alone (as above), but I think I know what will happen here. Glory be.
The Lip Duo by iS Clinical £64 (Lip Polish + Youth Lip Elixir) 

Neubria – The Nootropic Treat

At this point I’m beginning to wonder whether this newsletter takes the prize for having the most treats on one newsletter; I haven’t actually counted, but here comes another one, this time from Neubria, the Nootropic brand.

To recap what I’ve written before: Nootropics, often called smart drugs, are natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to help improve mental performance in healthy individuals. Clearly we are not doing smart drugs here, we are going natural, but Nootropics are fast gaining popularity (Shabir just gave an interview to Grazia about them – thank you Susannah Taylor) as they help boost, memory, focus, creativity, intelligence and motivation.

There are six Neubria products in the range and I wrote about most of them on the March newsletter if you want to reference them. For the duration of this newsletter, order any three Neubria products and we will give you the cheapest product free of charge. So in effect you are buying two and getting one free. This will not show up on your invoice (impatiently waiting for our new website when these things will happen automatically I hope) so please don’t have a panic attack. We will manually adjust your invoice after you have placed your order.
Neubria

News and Feedback

Let’s do this:

Pore Cleaning Powder

Joining Fulvic Acid Nail Cream, we had a Pore Cleaning Powder famine too. I know I wrote that using Pore Cleaning Powder reminded me of being a movie star in the 1940’s, well it does, but this fabulous pink powder has, in the shortest time, developed a kind of iconic status.

And back in stock it is, for how long I don’t know, but another consignment is arriving soon and because I love experimenting (and having double-whammy product uses), I have been coating my feet with it and hanging them over the edge of the bath for ten minutes. I’m about to test it on my hands, but you may get there before me. Meanwhile my face is pore-refined to the extent that I have lost all magnifying mirror fear. Its only taken an entire lifetime.
Pore Cleaning Powder by GoW for VH £12 for 50 grams

Aethic Sôvée Sunscreen

We launched this world-first eco-compatible, reef-safe SPF, scientifically proven sunscreen on the last newsletter and wow, what a response we had.

And then Claire Coleman wrote a hugely interesting article in Metro (thank you Claire) saying that many products claim to be eco-friendly or biodegradable, but she could only find two brands that are actually independently tested and endorsed by people whose priority is the sea, not selling sunscreen. Aethic Sôvée was one of them and it was developed in conjunction with scientists responsible for the first-ever research into the impact of sunscreens on coral.

We launched with two products, Aethic Sôvée SPF25 and Aethic Sovee SPF40 and now there is a third product in the range, Aethic Sovee SPF50 Mother and Baby Fragrance-Free Sunscreen.
VH Editorial: The Problem with SunscreensAethic Sôvée SPF25 £44 for 150 ml; Aethic Sôvée SPF40 £53 for 150 ml; Aethic Sôvée SPF50 Mother and Baby Fragrance-Free Sunscreen £58 for 150 ml

Boost – Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask by The Light Salon

And back to the LED mask we go, mostly because I wanted to separate this from everything above. The first thing I want to share is Lisa Armstrong’s article in The Telegraph, which I’ve linked below. I don’t want to get over-emotional, but I will just tell you that Hannah and Laura (The Light Salon girls) said that it meant the world to them and because these things really do mean so much, we all started to cry. Lisa, I and we thank you.

Secondly, I absolutely promise you that when we released the newsletter, none of us knew what to expect. We held our breath as the first consignment sold out in 72 hours. The second consignment came and went and the third consignment will be with us within the next two or three days, all things being equal. We do have a wait list, but this is our biggest delivery yet, so we should have enough for those who want to join in, including some of my friends who are still waiting. Stand in line, I told them. And that’s what they’ve done. Respect.
Let There Be Lights. Your Skin Will Thank You by Lisa Armstrong

VH Editorial

This month:

Move over shower gel and cleansers, the bar of soap is making a comeback and for good reason. From reducing plastic to time-saving, Lisa Niven-Phillips says that despite having been around for centuries, traditional bar soap has had a rough ride in recent years, continually slipping down the popularity scale in the cleansing world, but things are changing and Lisa explores why.
The Bar of Soap Is Back, And Here’s Why by Lisa Niven-Phillips

‘When was the last time you listened to anything that intently’ asks Carolyn Asome. She continues, ‘I wrote recently that it takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate the beauty of imperfection, but it also takes a mind quiet enough to have any sort of clarity, especially clarity about oneself’. In a deeply thoughtful article, Carolyn explores the idea of strengthening your sense of self and how it can make you happier, which includes the profound mantra of not allowing anyone to make you cruel, no matter what. We live by this.
A Sense of Self by Carolyn Asome

This month Jo Fairley takes inspiration from the late Barbara Bush and puts together a plan of action for a better world. Without a political bone in her body, Jo leaves ‘Rant Central’ (social media) far behind and declares her views.
Actions For A Better World by Jo Fairley

‘This is just the worst time of year for eye woes’, write the Beauty Bible girls. ‘Dark circles, puffiness, tired and dry and itchy eyes. Even if you don’t suffer from hay fever, the pollen in the air can be irritating and inflammatory’. Read this to discover what they know.
The Complete Guide To Easing Eye Problems by Beauty Bible

‘My naturally rosy complexion is so normal to me’, says Rose Gallagher, ‘that I’d never considered it a problem. Waking up to an angry, bumpy breakout or stepping out of a hot shower with a bright red face is just normal. It’s what I do every day, I’d never given it a second thought until I started sharing my rosacea online’.
My Life With Rosacea by Rose Gallagher

The End Bit

Two new products from Temple Spa, Easy On The Eye, which is a gentle eye make-up remover and soothing eye solution and Life Defence SPF30 Protecting Moisturiser. Each year they seem to run away with a multitude of Beauty Bible awards, so this will please the many Temple Spa fans and I think Easy On The Eye might just get a mention in the next awards, it’s that good.
Easy On The Eye £16 for 150 ml; Life Defence SPF30 Protecting Moisturiser £38 for 50ml

After the launch of the fabulous, powerful Blooming Blend tinctures on the last newsletter, the top three bestselling products are Sleep Easy, Fatigue Fix and Be Sexy. Speaking volumes perhaps. We love our beds. Ahem.
Blooming Blends from £22 each for 30 ml

And with the warmer weather arriving, perhaps it’s time for Thyme Out, which we think is the ultimate summer must-have, even if it is fabulous to use all year round. This is the miraculous gem that helps almost every single inflammatory skin condition, including prickly heat, cuts, grazes and more. Who remembers India Knight’s (hello India) article from last year? I do, everything went bonkers. Let’s do it again.
A Spritz For Irritated Skin by India Knight; Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml

And so we come to the end of another newsletter, another long one I know, but there was so much I wanted to share with you, so thank you for reading.

And, together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, as ever your support and loyalty means so very much. Thank you for creating famines, however hard wait lists are, we get there in the end – together.

Wishing you a happy and healthy June.

With love

Gill x

May Newsletter

Blue strip LED lights in a coil

Hello, and suddenly it is the May newsletter where I have so much to write about my head has started to spin before I even begin. I apologise in advance because I know this is going to be a long one (as if they aren’t long enough under normal circumstances), but we do love a bit of excitement and I’m in mode:

So I invite you to join me as I introduce you to yet another emerging category in all things bright and beautiful, bright being the operative word here. We also launch ‘recreational skincare’ (I’ll explain later), a new sunscreen (a world first), a new product from Garden of Wisdom, which Shabir is jumping up and down about (he needs to stay still, he has a lot of formulating to do) and a new (for us) cream for eczema.

Additionally, I have news on Miracle Lotion, which very nearly gave me a heart attack (you will understand why when you read it and when you see it), I applaud a fabulous new brand, Blooming Blends, and there is a new product launch from Ful.Vic.Health (yes, yes, it’s our own brand), so we’ll do a little song, dance and celebration (that means a gift) around that. And then of course, we have all the feedback from the April newsletter including a soapbox moment (never too far away, it’s just beneath this). Let’s go:

Vice Reversa

For the second month running, I am opening the newsletter with Vice Reversa. This is for several different reasons, but mostly because it sets the theme for so many things that I will be writing about on this newsletter, including at-home treatments, which thrills me no end because I’m such an in-my-own-bathroom girl.

As with all emerging new categories, it is absolutely vital to do some heavy research rather than just jump on a bandwagon because it seems like a good idea. I have always said that not all supplements are created equally and I apply the same statement to micro-needling patches. The Vice Reversa patches have taken over three years to bring to market, they were created in a Korean facility that holds the Global Patent across this genre and that matters.

It matters because they have passed the scrupulous health and safety regulations that are required, it matters because they can hold more than one active ingredient in each ‘crystallised serum needle’ and it matters because infringements on patent regulations and efficacy are ongoing, with several factories facing prosecution and closure. Governance is all.

I know I am forever jumping on my soapbox, but I have to make a stand for what is right and I will ensure that if we are going to invest in emerging trends, then we have to have best in class in all categories of health and beauty. There is no question in my mind that these are best in class (for several different reasons) and as I wrote on the last newsletter, the very thought of serum dissolving deep into the epidermis completely thrills me.

And actually they thrilled Colette Haydon (Founder of LixirSkin) too. My Colette (as I call her) told me they were truly excellent, which is no small statement coming from one of the world’s leading skincare formulators. Arthur Mitroulas (Founder of Vice Reversa) stand proud!

I know acceptance of emerging trends doesn’t happen overnight, but the response to the launch was incredible. For that I thank you and this is just the beginning. I know the launch schedule over the next couple of years; we are going deeper and deeper and I am beyond excited. Another journey. Together. Stay with me. And that’s a song.
Micro-Needling Plumping Patches £34.95 for Eight Patches; Pimple Patches £19.95 for Eight Patches

Boost – Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask by The Light Salon

Do I believe in Light Therapy – yes I absolutely do. The benefits of each treatment are multi-faceted and my problem was (note past tense) that I didn’t have the time to have regular treatments. I used to dream of having a machine at home and visions of a light therapy room (I dream big) were often in my thoughts.

For the record, I had (and have) my treatments at The Light Salon at Hershesons (makes sense, Daniel cuts my hair) and some time ago I had just emerged from the lights only to find Luke Hersheson waving a box at me. It was Boost. An at-home LED Mask, which I promptly tried to steal from him as my ‘jealous gene’ rapidly arose within.

Founded by Hannah Measures and Laura Ferguson, The Light Salon is a brilliant success story and I feel so very privileged to work (actually it’s not work, it’s a mission) alongside the girls as a new phase begins for them, with the release of Boost, and for each of us.

In their words: ‘When used as part of a smart skincare regime, LED light therapy can help provide the perfect foundation to everyday great skin. Often referred to as ‘the next big ingredient in skincare’, LED light therapy is a fundamental beauty treatment that enhances and maintains the results of everything else included in your skincare routine’. I would just add that I think it is a fundamental beauty AND health treatment. The health and beauty crossover, which I’m always banging on about!

Why health? Well it can combat stress and anxiety as Near-Infrared has a balancing effect on cortisol, the stress hormone, as it helps trigger our ‘happy hormones’, such as serotonin and dopamine. And let me tell you, it works on this level incredibly well. It could, in fact, also be called the sleep mask, because ten minutes usage just before going to bed may be incredibly beneficial.

And your skin. What can I tell you. It plumps, lifts and strengthens; it helps improve uneven skin tone and texture, it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines (over time) and it brightens and hydrates to help you look less tired and that is absolutely true. You will notice that after the very first time of use (well I did).

I am married to Boost for all the above reasons and more. This is a lightweight mask; it is made of flexible silicon, it is hands-free and completely portable. It works for any face shape and lifestyle. I have written emails wearing it, I’ve watched Netflix wearing it and I pronounced to Hannah and Laura that I would happily walk around a supermarket wearing it because I like being disruptive. It goes without saying that every time I fly I will be wearing it. It comes with global adaptors and a protective bag. The glory.

Each Boost session lasts for ten minutes and the device will automatically switch off after that time. The minimum recommended treatment programme is 3-5 days a week and you can double-deliver (20 minutes) twice a week for a prolonged brightening effect. Except the thing is that I use it every day. I just don’t care, it’s beneficial and it makes me happy. Very happy.

The day I received my mask, I was so beyond myself I had to take it out to dinner with me. I couldn’t bear to leave it at home. At said dinner, I stood up and did a demonstration (I mean who cares) and then allowed everybody to have a ten-minute session. Every person in that room bought one, well they couldn’t actually buy it because it hadn’t been released, but they are on a wait list because I told them that each of you come before each of them. That went down well.

I invite you to join me; for sure it’s an investment, but if we are going to invest, as I’ve written above (thoughts of becoming a parrot go through my mind) then we have to ensure that it’s best in class. I believe Boost is and at this point I just want to acknowledge the research, development and hard, hard work that has gone behind this project. And anything that takes the stress out of my face is good with me.  Just to add, we are awaiting our delivery, they got held up (as these things do), but we expect them within the next three or four days at which time we will process your order.

Hannah and Laura, I think you are amazing and so deserve all the good things that I know will come your way. My love and respect to both of you. Thank you.
Boost At-Home LED Treatment Mask £395 by The Light Salon; Everything You Need To Know About Light Therapy by Louise Whitbread

Ful.Vic.Health: Fulvic Acid Nail Cream

The story continues. As many of you know we launched Ful.Vic.Health last October. We started with Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Fulvic Acid Conditioner and Fulvic Acid Mist. One month later we launched Fulvic Acid Elixir.

Specifically formulated for the optimum health of hair and the scalp, the Fulvic hair treatments contain Ioniplex, the patented humic-free Fulvic Acid compounds which helps calm underlying inflammation and enhances keratin production within the hair follicles resulting in health hair fibres. In studies, Ioniplex showed a 14% increase in hair thickness within six weeks.

Fulvic Acid Elixir also contains Ioniplex in a liquid form for rapid absorption and was launched as an alternative for those who were struggling to take Ionicell, the capsule version, which still remains our bestselling supplement because of its brilliance in generating collagen, re-hydrating cells and strengthening hair, skin and nails. We call it next-generation supplementation, such is its clinically-proven efficacy.

And then Shabir had a moment. I’m not exactly sure where I was when he had the moment, but because we had received so much positive feedback about the vast improvement in nail health, he decided to take it one step further and formulate a heavy-duty, multi-tasking nail cream to further enhance those benefits and to also help nourish dry, brittle nails and help fight fungal infections in nails.

In Shabir’s words: ‘Whatever nail problem you have, Fulvic Acid Nail Cream strengthens, protects and repairs to help maintain strong, nourished nails’.

Once again using Ioniplex, the gold-standard fulvic acid, as a base, it is joined by Tea Tree Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Witch Hazel, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. Without me writing one single word, we loaded it onto our site and it started to fly out the door. Thoughts of being out-of-stock entered my head, but I overcame that thought pretty rapidly because I want (and need) to celebrate this new launch with you:

The Treat: If you buy any Ful.Vic.Health product (excluding the Nail Cream obviously) we will throw in a free Fulvic Acid Nail Cream for you to try, test and love (I know you will love). This is a limited time offer, there is only one gift per customer and this offer will last for seven days until midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 7 May 2019. This will not show up on your invoice, but will automatically be added into your order, so please don’t fret. **This promotion has now ended**

You can of course buy Fulvic Acid Nail Cream as a stand-alone product if you don’t wish to participate in the above; it’s just that we love a celebration and it is our way of thanking each of you for your loyalty and support of Ful.Vic.Health. And because you need to know, I have had my own moment on Ful.Vic.Health. It may just blow your minds when it happens. Hurry up Shabir, with respect of course.
Ful.Vic.HealthFulvic Acid Nail Cream £12 for 30 ml 

Pore Cleaning Powder by Garden of Wisdom

I know, I know, the name. Let me repeat it. Pore Cleaning Powder. At the very core of my being is a deep desire to have clean pores. That moment when you dare to stare into a 10x magnifying mirror and don’t have a fit is almost upon us. I say ‘almost’ because this is not going to be a one session wonder, but the first session will amaze you because it amazed me.

It’s a pink powder. Its ingredients include Pink Kaolin Clay, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Oxide and Aspen Bark, but there are several more. This is what I call ‘basic skincare’, basic meaning that it sings ‘retro’ to me; there is something about it that makes me think of being a movie star in the 1940’s. How I ever landed in the health and beauty industry continuously bemuses me. Ahem.

Anyway, it is fabulous and it is suitable for all skin types; all you need do is dip a damp pad into the powder and apply the paste to your face and neck, or alternatively just apply to the T-Zone. Leave it on for five to ten minutes and then rinse it off. It will help remove dirt lodged in pores and will help brighten your skin. The very thought of this powder sucking up dirt (and excess oil) is thrilling. We recommend using it two or three times a week.

We also recommend exfoliating before use, I exfoliate and steam (as per my hero-worshipping moment about Sarah Chapman’s steamer on last month’s newsletter) before using. And yes, Shabir formulated it and yes, I am using it regularly.
Pore Cleaning Powder by GoW for VH £12 for 50 grams; Organic Cotton Pads £2.40 for 100 Pads; Pro-Hydro Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman £119

Blooming Blends

We have a new skincare brand to launch, but before that let’s do health in the shape of a new range of botanical boosting tinctures, blended for modern life.

Blooming Blends was created by Fleur Sladen as she was trying to find something natural and easy to use that gave her the right kind of boost as and when she wanted it. She looked at what was available on the market, but couldn’t find the right product for her needs, so she created her own.

Fleur calls the different tincture blends ‘my emotions’ and I think we can all relate to that. Formulated for her everyday needs, she swaps and changes between the blends. For example she may use Sleep Easy at night, give herself a Mood Booster after breakfast to help clear her fuzzy head and then take half a pipette of Digestion because she had too many tomatoes at lunch, which is a real killer for her.

You get the gist, so at this point my love and thanks to Kinvara Balfour who introduced me to Fleur and is such a believer that I think she has become an Ambassador for the brand. Also a special mention to Lisa Armstrong who was testing alongside me (just to ensure that I wasn’t hallucinating).

Lisa tested Sleep Easy. She took it on a Friday night and didn’t wake up until 10.30 am the following morning. That speaks volumes (her words, not mine) and I think it’s rather lucky she wasn’t on copy deadline. And just because I can, and just because I always manage to deviate from the things I’m really meant to be writing about, huge congratulations to Lisa for winning the Fashion Journalist of the Year Award at the British Press Awards (again). Awe-inspiring.

Anyway, back on subject, there are nine different blends including ‘De-Stress’, ‘Fatigue Fix’ and ‘Be Sexy’. Bearing in mind that I take Fulvic Acid Elixir (dubbed as The Libido Elixir), I’m not sure that I dared to add ‘Be Sexy’ into the mix, but Fleur told me that the blend was full of rose, it opens your heart and gives a boost of happiness, so now I’m taking it and let me tell you it works. Happy drops.

Fatigue Fix may interest many of you; this has been specifically formulated for those afternoon slumps when you reach for chocolate and/or coffee and you know you shouldn’t because it could muck up your sleep pattern. And then there is Jet Lag, which helps align and balance your body clock. Take it a couple of days before you leave and for a couple of days when you get back (morning and evening). Long-haul just got better.
Blooming Blends £22 each for 30 ml (Vegan, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)

We Are Wild

You may be forgiven for thinking that we are only launching this new American brand because of its name. Well it does sing to us, but so do the products. We Are Wild skincare is all about recreational skincare, which translated means that the products were formulated for the great outdoors and the need to travel light. There are just three products in the range; they are stick-based and incorporate the latest advancements in probiotic and fermentation technologies.

So the three products: Solid Clean; Solid Water and Solid Oil, with a few words on each:

Solid Clean: From balm to oil to light foam, this is a three-in-one facial cleanser that dissolves and removes daily dirt and grime. With soybean ferment extract and pomegranate fruit ferment, the formula balances and nurtures your skin rather than drying it out. I am such a fusspot when it comes to cleansers (actually when it comes to anything really) and I was impressed. One for the journey. Yes, but you don’t need to journey to love this and I do.
Solid Clean £22

Solid Water: With pure water, probiotics and fermented antioxidants, the formula delivers ultimate toning and hydration. I’m not talking about the stripping days of toners, this is in a different league and the instant cooling effect helps to soothe skin and leave you with a dewy finish. When we received our samples for testing, this is the one that I tried first, it was calling to me! It didn’t disappoint, within the space of three seconds it fell into my bag and became mine before Shabir or Victoria had a say in the matter. And I’m thinking of those of you who have to endure night sweats. This is the antidote.
Solid Water £22

Solid Oil: A blend of 12 natural oils, including sunflower, moringa, jojoba and tamanu, this nourishing balm helps nourish and restore dry, troubled skin with minimal effort. Lightweight and rather fabulous, I used it with trepidation because of my ever-so-sensitive skin and my allergies, which I’m totally bored writing about. The thing is that I didn’t have a reaction and that’s important for those of you who are as sensitive as I am. There are a lot of us around. Would I forego my evening skincare regimen and just use this – well yes I would occasionally because it works. And at 2 am, I’m thinking of my bed, not my skin.
Solid Oil £22

Over We Go – VH Supplementation

You may have noticed that over the past year we have been re-branding some of our bestselling supplements. In the majority, these are the supplements that Shabir has formulated. The latest supplements to be own-branded are Superior Hair and Cholestsafe.

I want to reassure you that in line with all re-branded VH supplementation, the formulations haven’t changed at all; if they had I would tell you. Superior Hair is a legend for hair loss and hair health and Cholestsafe remains Shabir’s recommended supplement for helping to lower cholesterol levels.
VH Editorial: How To Lower Cholesterol NaturallyCholestsafe £25 for 90 Capsules; Superior Hair £26.50 for 90 Capsules

Basix Skin Defence Cream

I have never heard of Kigelia Africana, but they are fruits of the African Sausage Tree (a sausage tree!) and they display potent healing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which make these fruits ripe for a variety of skin concerns and they are the base ingredient of Basix Skin Defence Cream.

This restorative cream targets and helps treat eczema, psoriasis and contact dermatitis and also encourages the healing of inflamed skin. With added ingredients of Kakadu Plum, Lemon, Ginger and Aloe Vera, it can also be used to help treat acne, bed sores, nappy rash, leg ulcers, scarring, burns, blisters and sunburn. Heaven knows, it might even sing to us if we ask it to.

Created and formulated in South Africa, it is sold in over 1000 pharmacies in SA and now we have it too. I like the story, I like the product and I like the fact that it may well become rather famous. And Shabir’s thoughts mirror mine.
VH Editorial: How To Treat EczemaBasix Skin Defence Cream £24.50 for 50 ml

Aethic Sôvée Sunscreen

It is interesting to note that over the past year, Hawaii, Fiji, Palau and parts of Florida have banned the sale of SPFs containing a number of chemicals, including oxybenzone and octinoxate due to their impact on coral reefs.

Studies have shown that oxybenzone and octinoxate, used in SPFs to absorb UV rays, make coral more susceptible to bleaching and can damage the DNA. Both chemicals are also known to be toxic for marine life, including shrimp, sea urchins and algae.

Aethic Sôvée is the world’s first eco-compatible, reef-safe SPF to be scientifically proven. Containing three of the most photo-stable filters available, it provides a broader spectrum of protection against the sun’s harmful rays than most leading sunscreens. It uses three filters, MBBT, DHHB and EHT, which you can read about either on our product pages or in Shabir’s article linked below.

Containing organic moisturisers including olive oil, beeswax and coconut extract, it offers maximum hydration and nourishment for your skin. The addition of vitamin E ensures that free radicals are neutralised. Each ingredient has been tested with the confirmation that the formulation is skin friendly and has been patented coral-safe and marine certified. This lightweight, creamy lotion offers a matte finish and has a subtle fruity scent, which is, of course, marine friendly.
VH Editorial: The Problem With SunscreensAethic Sôvée SPF25 £44 for 150 ml; Aethic Sôvée SPF40 £53 for 150 ml

Ultimate Collagen+

So many of you are huge fans of Ultimate Collagen+, the second-generation collagen supplement scientifically formulated to replenish collagen and hyaluronic acid in the body. Containing three natural ingredients, marine collagen peptide, hyaluronan complex and astaxanthin, its advanced enteric approach is proven to achieve a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles by up to 26% within 10-20 days according to Ingenious Beauty. Time for a treat:

The Treat – Ultimate Collagen+ Gift Box: This is a triple pack of Ultimate Collagen+, the cost of which works out slightly cheaper than buying three individual products. But that’s not the treat, the treat is that when you buy this Gift Box, you will automatically receive a free two-week travel pouch containing 45 capsules, which is worth just over £21. This is a limited edition and once they have gone, they have gone. Once again, this will not show up on your invoice, it will just arrive with your order. Go!
Ultimate Collagen+ Gift Box £124.99 (Triple Pack) (Ultimate Collagen+ £42.99 for 90 Capsules)

Miracle Lotion

We have been talking about Miracle Lotion since the very beginning of time and I can’t remember how many times I have written that the packaging is so bad, it could be kitsch. But never mind that, we all love it for its amazing moisturising qualities. There is something about Miracle Lotion. And now there is something else.

They have changed the packaging and the fragrance. After all this time. I nearly had a coronary when I saw it and Shabir thought it was a bottle of weed killer. I have no more words and I doubt you will have either when you see it. That said, its brilliance remains and I’m now wondering if there is a family connection between the founders of Miracle Lotion and Dr Bronner. Let’s move on.
Miracle Lotion £20 for 473 ml (200 ml more than the original)

Three New Products from QRx Labs

Here is the line-up:

Deep Facial Cleansing Oil: A facial cleanser that combines Olive and Grape Seed oils to provide a deep-cleansing effect without drying out the skin. It also contains vitamins C and E to help keep skin hydrated while it removes dirt and impurities. It is lightly scented with Tangerine and Lemon essential oils.
Deep Facial Cleansing Oil by QRx Labs £15 for 180 ml

Glycolic/Salicylic 10/2 Acne Control Pads: Each jar contains 50 textured pads providing an effective treatment combining AHA and BHA acids. Glycolic acid, an AHA exfoliant, peels off dead skin cells on the surface of the skin enabling a smooth even-textured surface. Salicylic Acid, a BHA exfoliant, works to deep clean pores of oil and dirt helping to prevent acne breakouts.
Glycolic/Salicylic 10/2 Acne Control Pads by QRx Labs £15 for 50 Textured Pads

NiacinaMax Serum: This is a maximum strength Niacinamide serum containing a 10% concentration of ultra-pure Niacinamide combined with Tea Tree oil, Calendula Extract and vitamin B5. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) can effectively help to address some common concerns such as enlarged pores and uneven skin tone. When combined with Tea Tree oil and Calendula Extract, it will help to maintain clear skin and reduce redness and inflammation.
Niacinamax Serum by QRx Labs £12 for 60 ml

News and Feedback

Good Skin Day Shaker: You may well think that I am never in the office (actually that’s not too far from the truth), but there are always very important things to do and I do love a celebration. So there I was with ‘my Colette’ swinging our legs and comparing shoes (as we always do), but mostly jumping up and down after the successful launch of her latest product, Good Skin Day Shaker.

Champagne, yes I think so because not only is Good Skin Day Shaker a phenomenal product, it beat the launch of her excellent Vitamin C Paste as I thought it might. And then India Knight wrote about it in The Sunday Times. No more words.
India Knight Reviews The Lixirskin Good Skin Day ShakerGood Skin Day Shaker by Lixirskin £36 for 15 ml; Vitamin C Paste by Lixirskin £32 for 50 ml

The Resurrection: Here we go again, yet another product that went to product heaven and then got itself resurrected. I can never understand why this happens, most especially when it is a bestselling product, which Caricol was and is. Caricol is a traditional and unique Buddhist recipe, recommended as a digestive tonic and is a helpful support for IBS sufferers who typically experience constipation, diarrhoea or a combination of both.
Caricol £23 for 20 Stick-Packs

Gengigel Oral Spray: Another one to add to the excellent Gengigel range of oral health products. This oral spray contains hyaluronan which provides active protection from gum disease and helps support the natural healing of inflamed or damaged tissue in the mouth. In studies hyaluronan has been show to aid the regeneration of gum tissue. It is an ideal treatment for gingivitis, periodontitis and bleeding gums. It also helps relieve mouth ulcers, dry mouth and food burns.
VH Editorial: Treating Mouth UlcersGengigel Oral Spray £7.90 for 20 ml

I Care:  ‘I am 62 years old’ states Louise Wheeler. ‘I was 59 when my husband was diagnosed with ‘serious cancer’ as it was then described.  In fact it was advanced oesophageal cancer.  We are so lucky to be living our life together today.  It is for that reason that I wanted to record my tips whilst still fresh in my mind.  I hope that in some small way I might be able to help someone like me to feel less alone and helpless’.

I Care is a little booklet crammed with survival tips for those caring for a loved one with cancer.  I wanted to share this with you; the booklet is free of charge and if you are caring for somebody with any serious illness, not only cancer, I think it may help comfort and support you.  If you would like a copy, then please write the words ‘I Care’ in the notes section of your order and we will automatically drop it into your order.  We hold hands.  We have to.

VH Editorial

This month:

The Beauty of Imperfection

‘I never fail to be tickled by some Japanese expressions’, writes Carolyn Asome. ‘To date, Irusu which means pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door, or Shinrin-Yoku, which means visiting a forest for relaxation and to improve your health or yup, quite literally, forest-bathing. But possibly the one we are most familiar with is the Vogue’ish Wabi Sabi, the idea of finding beauty in imperfection.

Outside rarefied design circles, society hasn’t on the whole caught up with the idea of Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi is a rather powerful lesson in reminding us that we are part of nature’s cycle of growth and eventual decay. Through Wabi-Sabi we hopefully learn to embrace the glory and the beautiful (and inevitable) marks of the passing of time’. Acceptance.
The Beauty of Imperfection by Carolyn Asome

What I’ve Learnt From 14 Years Of Living With IBS

‘Living with IBS comes with a wealth of emotions’ says Jo Coates. ‘Before I was diagnosed I felt embarrassed, confused and disgusted at my body. Immediately after my diagnosis I felt relieved that what my body was experiencing had a name, but still frustrated and isolated. Nobody I knew spoke openly about their bowel habits. Now, 14 years on, those emotions look completely different. I’ve come to love my body. I understand it and I know, for the most part, how to show it the compassion it so desperately craves. I feel hopeful. No longer isolated or lonely, but full of respect. My IBS doesn’t define me’.
What I’ve Learnt From 14 Years Of Living With IBS by Jo Coates

How To Create A Skin-Friendly Environment

‘Even when you’re doing everything ‘right’ for sensitive skin – calming creams, no perfume – it can still act touchy’ state the Beauty Bible girls. ‘As many as 40% of women who apply to become testers for our Beauty Bible Awards self-identify as having sensitive skin. But the truth is it may not be your beauty regime that’s triggering flare-ups, other factors can come into play. Over the years, we’ve identified many lifestyle shifts that may help skin to chill out, whether you have occasional flare-ups or even more entrenched skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne’.
How To Create A Skin-Friendly Environment by Beauty Bible

Owning The Room

This from Jo Fairley: ‘If you’d told me as a young woman that one day I would be able to stand in front of an audience of 14.500 women, deliver a keynote speech and love every single minute of the experience, I’d have laughed in your face. Public speaking? I’d honestly rather have run a 10k – in the opposite direction (away from that podium) at that point. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate running’.
Owning The Room by Jo Fairley

The End Bit

Do you fancy sitting in a Turmeric bath – well now you can. Sea Magik’s Salted Turmeric Serenity Salts are created from a combination of the original Dead Sea and Epsom salts, with the addition of the wonder herb, Turmeric, which has natural anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.
Sea Magik Salted Turmeric Serenity Salts £8.99 for 1 kg

Three new products from LivOn Labs, Altrient Acetyl L-Carnitine, Altrient Magnesium MagTein and Altrient R-Alpha Lipoic Acid. There, I’ve told you!
Altrient Acetyl L-Carnitine £53.99 for 30 Sachets; Altrient Magnesium MagTein £71.99 for 30 Sachets; Altrient R-Alpha Lipoic Acid £71.99 for 30 Sachets

Weleda Skin Food is a hero product for dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet and has been the recipient of many awards over the years. It is a classic. It is now joined by three new products, Skin Food Body Butter, Skin Food Light and Skin Food Lip Balm. And if we are talking about hero products, let’s throw in Weleda’s Birch Cellulite Oil, also the recipient of numerous awards.
Skin Food £12.50 for 75 ml; Skin Food Body Butter £18.95 for 150 ml; Skin Food Light £12.95 for 75 ml; Skin Food Lip Balm £6.95 for 8 ml; Birch Cellulite Oil £25.95 for 100 ml

And that’s it. The end of the newsletter! Together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I want to thank you for your ongoing love and support.

Wishing each of you a happy, healthy and safe May.

With love

Gill x

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. 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

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

 

March Newsletter

Potted Daffodils

Hello and welcome to the March newsletter where we will be launching not one, but two new skincare brands. Both are niche, both are specifically targeted and having said that we rarely launch new skincare, I suppose I had better start eating my words as I defy my own rules once again.

Additionally, we have a new product from Nannette de Gaspé, a world-first in sublinguals, a new range of supplements, including a fabulous nootropic (I will explain later) and we take a look at ginger for migraines and castor oil (yes really).

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala (LHS)

Oooh-la-la. A new skincare brand. A new French skincare brand that went completely crazy when it recently launched over there, and now we have it over here. I think I know why several of the products went out of stock within inches of its launch and it wasn’t because of the name of the brand, which I can just about pronounce after practicing in front of the mirror. It’s because it’s cool, in every sense of the word.

The skincare market is split into many sectors, which includes the highly technical innovations (the firsts) and a significant return to the values of some of the most ancient ingredients in skincare, plants, which is where we are heading with LHS. This powerful new range of products is based entirely on the hero ingredient Aloe Vera, which I have always loved and which has saved my skin on numerous occasions.

Once again we have a range of products which are simplistic, they do what they need to do and put to the test, they work in a rather magnificent way, but I would expect nothing less quite honestly. There are just eight products, three day-care products, three night-time products, an eye contour and an Aloe Vera gel for the body. Let’s do them:

Day: We begin with a Micellar Water and we all love Micellar Waters; this one is delicately scented and it cleans the face and eyes gently. Enriched with floral waters and hyaluronic acid, it leaves the skin hydrated and smooth. I really, really adore this.
Aloe Vera Micellar Water £17 for 200 ml

We then move onto an Anti-Pollution Face Serum which easily penetrates the skin. The natural hydrating properties of Aloe Vera, combine with hyaluronic acid and alginate extract, allowing this anti-pollution serum to help protect the skin from external aggressions. I’m always happy when a product stands up to its promise. This does.
Aloe Vera Anti-Pollution Serum £20 for 30 ml

The light day cream combines Aloe Vera with Linden floral water and is enriched with Argan and Jojoba pure plant oils. When testing, I had a stash of hard-core drugs by my side in case I reacted badly. When this happens I am often rushed to A&E and put on a drip, which is far from cute, but I didn’t react and I have the most sensitive of skins. I did a happy skip and jump around my bathroom because my skin took on a fabulous glow after using all three of these products. Tick, tick …. fabulous scented skincare I can actually use.
Aloe Vera Day Cream £20 for 50 ml

Night: And of course we begin the night-time regimen with a Make-Up Remover, which is refreshing and purifying. They recommend that you put a drop or two on cotton wool and wipe all over your face; I rarely do what people tell me to do (ask Shabir – poor Shabir!), and I prefer to massage this straight onto my skin, rinsing with copious amounts of water.
Aloe Vera Make-Up Remover £17.90 for 125 ml

Another serum, a Face Serum for night-time use which is dry-touch and combines four pure plant oils, Aloe Vera (of course), Musk Rose, Jojoba and Hazelnut. Think ‘supple’ and then think ‘comfort’. Comfortable skin (and we all know when it’s not) rocks.
Aloe Vera Face Serum £20 for 30 ml

LHS call this a melting touch night cream. ‘Melting’ is an evocative word, but it literally does melt into the skin, repairing with marine and plant active ingredients. Fucus and Kelp extracts are blended with Aloe Vera and Rose floral water and suddenly floral waters are having a moment in a rather wonderful way. God, I love this.
Aloe Vera Night Cream £23 for 50 ml

And there we have it, a simplistic new skincare range, just three products in the morning and three products in the evening. But I’m not finished yet. There are two more products, the first of which became the bestseller in the entire range when it was released in France, and I have a feeling it may do the same here:

It would appear to be the season for eye products because I keep writing about them; I mean it’s not my fault, these fabulous products keep appearing before me and this one is no exception.

My excitement peaked when I saw it was roller-ball; it peaked again when I read the ingredients. Aloe Vera meets hyaluronic acid, meets Rose and Immortal floral waters, which are used to soothe and decongest the eye area.

So I rolled it under my eyes and an instantaneous coolness descended upon my skin. Wow oh wow, I thought, that feels amazing, but wait, I had other thoughts too. I think most of you will know where I’m going here. If it had such a powerful cooling effect on the eye area, what about putting it on pulse points, which I did, starting with my wrists.

Who cares if it was formulated for the eyes, I’m using it all over the place and it is going to be an essential go-to for the warmer months, which hopefully are on their way. But not only that, menopausal women unite, roll away the night-sweats, roll away the hot flushes, which always seem to arrive at the worst possible moment. I mean, for heaven’s sake – let’s roll together.
Aloe Vera Eye Contour £17.90 for 15 ml

How to follow that. Well, I will follow it by telling you about the eighth product in this range. It’s an Aloe Vera Gel for the body and I really don’t need to say any more. It does what it does and I always, always have Aloe with me whenever I travel. It’s in my bathroom too, obviously. And finally, Victoria takes an in-depth look at Aloe Vera. We need to do these things.
The Forgotten Beauty Benefits of Aloe Vera by Victoria Hall; Aloe Vera Gel £11.90 for 100 ml

Vegan Health Daily Oral Spray

The first indication I had of this new product from Better You was an email with the words ‘World’s First Vegan Health Daily Oral Spray’ in huge capitals; to me capitals are indicative of shouting (don’t we all love it when people send us ‘shouty’ emails – give me strength). Hold on, I thought, that is a huge claim and so I called the Better You boys (bonjour Andy) to clarify and they satisfied me enough with their research, so please allow me to introduce you to the World’s First Vegan Health Daily Oral Spray!

Loaded with vegan D3, vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin), iron and iodine, this daily oral spray has been specifically formulated to optimize vegan diets, containing the primary nutrients which are under-represented in vegan and vegetarian diets. These appear at scientifically substantiated levels to help support a healthy lifestyle.

It is recommended that you spray via the inner cheek; the spray delivers these four essential vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream via tiny droplets which absorb quickly into the buccal membrane of the inner cheek. Working closely with Cardiff University, this nutritional delivery system is extraordinarily effective. Please note: This is not suitable for children under 13.
Vegan Health Daily Oral Spray by Better You £ 14.95 for 25 ml

Baume Noir – Eyes

Nannette de Gaspé have just launched their latest product in the Baume Noir range, which I totally worship. It’s an eye product (told you we are on an eye fest) and dear God it’s £175.  Look, I know I keep writing about the price of the Nannette products, but I always tell it as it is. The thing is that I thought they would never talk to me again and take the products away from me, which would have needed some explanation, and here is why:

I’m sure that most of you will have seen that I called the Vitality Revealed masks hideously expensive on the last newsletter.  I did counter that by saying that they were brilliant, because they are.  And then what happened.  We sold out, that’s what happened.  And astonishingly Nannette de Gaspé still appear to be talking to me, which is rather miraculous under the circs.

So onwards and Baume Noir Eyes appeared on my desk in its signature black packaging.  My level of excitement was in line with when I first opened Baume Noir Face, except when I got to the actual product it was in a much smaller jar than Baume Noir Face.  Excuse me.  My poor little heart sank, but only for a moment because when I actually opened the jar and put my finger inside, I kind of understood.

As Baume Noir Face is lilac, this is knicker-pink colliding with Germoline in colour (thankfully not in smell).  And it’s not a cream as such, I thought it would be, but there we go, I was wrong.  It’s kind of a balm, but not a solid balm.  As one would expect from Nannette, it has a texture all of its own and all you do is warm the smallest amount between your thumb and middle finger, warming the product and then you just press (please don’t rub) it onto the eye area and that includes the upper eyelid.  So a smaller jar, but a super-concentrated formulation.  Relief!

For those that need to know these things, Baume Noir Eyes incorporates cutting edge, targeted ingredients, transported through a biomimetic micro-vectorized (lost – me too) technology to deliver a powerful blend of actives into the skin.  Ingredients include Green Tea Extract, Pomegranate, Caffeine, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid.  You would expect some of those ingredients in an eye product, but I’m rather intrigued by the inclusion of Persian Silk Tree Extract, a natural plant that can help diminish the dreaded puff and any number of other things.

Poor Shabir.  Spare a thought.  My adoration of high-end products continues.  I don’t often fall in love with eye products (I’ve written this several times in the past and yet in the space of a few paragraphs, I have gone and fallen for two), but I am more than in love, whatever that means.  And now a treat:

Treat:  If you order any Nannette de Gaspé product (this excludes the Miss de Gaspé range), we will automatically drop in a dry mask for you to try.  It is called Hydrate & Glow and it is just that, a hydrating and illuminating dry mask.  It is reusable, so you can have two sessions with this mask and don’t go looking to see if you can buy it (after the event) because it is not for retail sale.

If you haven’t dry masked, prepare to be amazed, but I need to tell that we only have a limited amount of Hydrate & Glow and once they are gone, they are gone, never to return. Amen.
Nannette de GaspéBaume Noir Eyes £175 for 15 ml

Neubria – Nootropics

This is the new range of supplements which come with a ‘Shabir Seal of Approval’; no small thing let me tell you. There are four supplements in the range, Spark, supporting memory and recall; Edge, supporting concentration and cognitive function; Krill, a sustainable advanced Omega 3 supplement and Drift to help support healthy sleep and relaxation.  Let’s look at them:

Three of the products, Edge, Spark and Drift, are advanced brain health supplements. Edge is formulated specifically for people who want to improve their mental performance (feel the need in me). It also happens to be a natural nootropic. Nootropics, are the new buzz in supplementation, although they have been around for some time.

Nootropics, often called smart drugs, are natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to help improve mental performance in healthy individuals. Clearly we are not doing smart drugs here, we are going natural, but Nootropics are fast gaining popularity as they help boost memory, focus, creativity, intelligence and motivation. Edge contains the natural nootropics, Bacopa Monnieri Extract, Ashwagandha Root Extract and Ginkgo Biloba Extract, together with 22 vitamins and minerals.

I became intrigued, so I am taking them. I mean we are not doing hard-core Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds here, heaven help us, no we are doing it the natural way and if it encompasses the sky and diamonds, I really don’t mind at all.
Edge by Neubria £25 for 60 Capsules

Spark, the second of the advanced brain health supplements, is designed to help support age-related memory and recall. It includes the six ingredient ‘clarity botanical complex’, which have been carefully chosen for their effects on cognitive function. Again it includes Bacopa Monniera together with Tumeric extract, Ginkgo Biloba and Sage Leaf extract. Other ingredients include Cognizin, which supports mental energy, focus and attention, Co-Enzyme Q10 and 22 essential vitamins and minerals. I like 22 as a number; just do.
Spark by Neubria £25 for 60 Capsules

The third in the advanced brain health series is Drift, which has been formulated specifically for people who struggle to relax at the end of an often stressful day. It contains Bliss Botanical Complex, a blend of four botanical ingredients that work together to help support relaxation and healthy sleep. The complex includes Lemon Balm Extract, Hops Extract, Chamomile Extract and Saffron Extract, all of which have demonstrated sleep-inducing properties.

Drift is further enhanced by the inclusion of l-tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that interacts with the brain chemicals which are most important for sleep and also the timing of your biological clock’s sleep-wake pattern.
Drift by Neubria £25 for 60 Capsules

Finally Krill. Neubria have formulated a pure Antarctic Krill Oil, a superior source of Omega 3, EPA and DHA, which have been clinically proven to help support heart, brain and eye health. Made from sustainable, traceable krill sources, Neubria recommends that Krill should be taken by anybody who doesn’t consume fish at least twice a week. That would be me. I don’t like fish and neither does Carolyn Asome. Obviously it’s really important that you know that about both of us in case any of you invite us to dinner – ahem.
Krill by Neubria £25 for 60 Capsules

31st State

The second skincare launch on this newsletter. I had been hearing all good things, actually make that fabulous things, about this range of products specifically designed for teenage skin and hair.

Trinny often talks about these products because Lyla, her daughter, uses them. Then I happened to be at a party with Catherine Robinson of CN Traveller, make that the very amazing Catherine Robinson who seems to appear on these newsletters rather regularly. Anyway at said party, she pinned me against the wall and told me I had to list 31st State. Didn’t really want to argue with her because she was wearing killer heels (actually so was I) and I thought she might spike me if I didn’t listen.

And then, behold, I received a phone call from Damiana Foscari of 31st State telling me that she had worked with my daughter at Burberry (back in the day) and that Lara had said I would list the brand. I am totally unaware at which point Lara decided VH policy. Er, Lisa Armstrong and Carolyn Asome, I included that last sentence for your amusement.

Enough preamble, let’s talk products and they contain powerful active natural ingredients that work and smell great. The brand, created by Stephanie Capuano, is inspired by a vibe that is pure California, the 31st state where clean living is a way of life. In Stephanie’s words:

‘What I wanted was products that were made from clean, high quality ingredients – what my sons wanted was for them to really work, and be cool, of course. Stuck between green-washed and fake natural products that smelled awful and lacked efficacy, and stereotypical make aftershave type products laden with chemicals, there seemed to be no option for boys like my sons, or me, the purchaser’.

Teenage boys, teenage girls and Ms Victoria Hall who really, really rates these products, most particularly the Overnight Clearing Pads, which she has been waxing lyrical about. Any minute now, I will start dreaming about 31st State, but just to say although the brand is in its infancy, the Overnight Clearing Pads have already won an award.

Right, back to it and we have another simple range of products, three skincare products, two body care products and two hair care products:

Foaming Face Wash

Created to keep your skin looking clear and feeling fresh, Foaming Face Wash incorporates Tea Tree and antibacterial Manuka, working together to target spots by helping get rid of oil. Magnesium, Copper and Zinc help regulate excess sebum and help prevent breakouts. Another accolade, Foaming Face Wash was a finalist at the GQ Grooming Awards 2019.
Foaming Face Wash £12.99 for 150 ml

Spot Control Gel

The same combination as above, Tea Tree, Manuka, Magnesium, Copper and Zinc, this concentrated gel zeros in on the bacteria that causes spots, while helping to prevent future breakouts. Dab a small amount onto spots and spot prone areas. It can be used morning and night.
Spot Control Gel £ 12.99 for 15 ml

Overnight Clearing Pads

Once again, all the same ingredients with the addition of Lactic Acid. Ah, now I know why Victoria is smitten, she loves an acid and these pads have been formulated to keep your skin looking clear, removing surface dirt and oil. There is something about the word ‘dirt’ that excites me. Dirty chips aside (sorry), the word conjures up cleaning products, which I have a thing about. A good thing. Let’s clean.
Overnight Clearing Pads £15.99 for 50 Pads

Body Care

Two products here, a 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash and a Roll-On Deodorant. The Hair & Body Wash was created to help you feel clean and fresh all day long. It includes Silver, which actively fights bacteria. Zinc helps control body odour and soothes the skin. The Roll-On Deodorant actively fights the microbes that cause unwanted body odour offering long-lasting protection. It is Aluminium free.
2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash £8.99 for 250 ml; Roll-On Deodorant £5.99 for 50 ml

Hair Care

Another two products, Style & Shape Hair Putty and Easy Hold Styling Gel. Providing texture, definition and subtle hold, Hair Putty is loaded with Tamanu Oil and hydrating Shea Butter, which will also protect your hair from UV rays (I know, I know, we don’t live in California, but we still get rays). The Styling Gel is just that, a styling gel, which is non-sticky and smells pretty great. Shame I don’t use hair gel; maybe Shabir will.
Style & Shape Hair Putty £8.99 for 100 ml; Easy Hold Styling Gel £6.99 for 100 ml

Castor Oil

And suddenly we are talking about Castor Oil. I know, can you believe. If you were force fed spoonful’s of castor oil as a child, you’re probably not thrilled that the pale yellow liquid is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, writes Victoria in her article on Castor Oil. This time though it’s less about its bowel-inducing powers and more about what it can do for your skin.

Synchronicity can be awesome. I had been with Anastasia (Achilleos) and she had slathered Castor Oil all over my body; castor oil heals she said. I’ll take that. And literally within a couple of hours, Lisa (Armstrong) told me that she had been taking Castor Oil and she was going to write a column about it in The Telegraph.

There are so many castor oils on the market, but we like Pukka’s Castor Oil basically because if you are going to use castor oil, it needs to come from a trusted source, most especially now that it is having a moment.

Castor Oil has endless uses, aside from its medicinal qualities and knowing what I know, I don’t think this is going to be one of those fad moments. The potential of this humble oil is massive and you can read more about this in Victoria’s article. Medicine cabinet or bathroom? Both.
Why Castor Oil Is Making A Comeback by Victoria Hall; Organic Castor Oil by Pukka Herbs £9.95 for 250 ml

Ginger for Treating Migraines

Most people suffering from migraines are often prescribed a group of drugs called triptans to relieve the symptoms of migraines and severe headaches. Triptans bind the serotonin receptors in the brain helping to diminish the swelling of the blood vessels in the brain. The most common side effects of triptans include dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, flushing and infrequently, chest pains.

Going the natural route, Magnesium supplements are often recommended to help prevent migraines since Magnesium is a muscle and nerve relaxant, which may help to prevent the swelling of the blood vessels in the brain.

Alongside Magnesium, Ginger is now gaining popularity as a remedy for helping to treat headaches and migraines. Shabir takes an in-depth look at Ginger and analyses the results of a study which showed that both triptans and Ginger reduced the severity of migraines within two hours, although obviously Ginger did not have any notable side effects, which are often present when taking prescribed medication.
VH Editorial: Ginger for Treating MigrainesGinger Capsules by Lamberts £9.95 for 60 Capsules

My Under-Eye Moment

Please don’t fret, I am not about to write about a third eye product. I just need to tell you something. I have no idea how it happened, but I woke up recently and found a rather unattractive gash under my eye. I’d love to blame Shabir, but I can’t.

Anyway, no point in speculating, it needed to go. One of these days I’m going to write about my top ten epic products of all time, but one thing I do know is that Sheald Recovery Balm will be pretty high up on the list. I immediately used it on the gash and that evening I applied it again. The following morning no sign of the gash whatsoever. I believe in miracles. This is a miracle product and nothing comes close. I doubt anything ever will. Well not in my lifetime.
Sheald Recovery Balm by iS Clinical £43 for 60 ml

Hormones and Skincare

Our hormones are critical to our overall wellness and also for our skin health. Being aware of how hormone levels change within a month can make us more inclined to use skincare products that are functional and appropriate. Your hormones constantly affect your skin and although linked to age, there are other scenarios that also come into play.

Shabir takes a look at fluctuating oestrogen levels and how when oestrogen drops, testosterone and progesterone become dominant, which can lead to greater inflammation.

A month’s cycle in other words and for the purposes of this article Shabir has used the Garden of Wisdom products. Well he would really, as he formulated them. And his next formulation, well expect it within the next few weeks (all things being equal) and it’s a stunner.
VH Editorial: Hormones and Skincare

Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a chronic long-term inflammatory condition affecting the eyelids and the skin surrounding the eyes causing a lot of discomfort. There are two types of blepharitis, anterior blepharitis, which affects the outer edge of the eyelids where the eyelashes are found, and posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner edge of the eyelids where the eyelid comes into contact with the eyeball.

There are many causal factors for blepharitis, but the most common one is staphylococcus infection. This bacterium species invades the follicle of the eyelash or the glands around the eyelids. The eyelid tissue may be sensitive to the toxins secreted by these bacteria resulting in a thick, sticky discharge, which may cause the eyelids to stick overnight.

So what are the other causes of blepharitis and how can you treat it? The answers are all in the article below.
VH Editorial: Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Blepharitis; OcusoftHycosan Extra Eye Drops £10.95 for 7.5 ml

Ful.Vic.Health

Let’s talk Fulvic Acid. The bestselling product in the Ful.Vic.Health range changes from day to day, literally. The race is on between Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Fulvic Acid Mist and of course Fulvic Acid Elixir (aka The Libido Elixir!). I just want to add something here. Some of you are confused whether to take Ionicell or Fulvic Acid Elixir, it doesn’t really matter which, it’s a personal choice.

I think some of the confusion has arisen is because I have written several times that I take both. Basically I’m an all or nothing girl, and on this I have gone OTT because I can and because I am hooked to the staggeringly brilliant results. You absolutely don’t need to do what I do, except so many of you are. I think this customer knows which one she prefers:

‘I have been taking Fulvic Acid Elixir for six weeks now and am quite frankly stunned at the effect it has had on my terrible nails. For several years I have not had proper nail growth with only part of some of my nails growing due to damage to the cuticle and nail bed. But now I have proper nails again for the first time in years and I am sure it is down to this Elixir.

I can’t actually believe the change – a doctor looked at my nails and said she doubted there was anything I could do about them. Well I am convinced this Elixir has the difference. I stopped taking Ionicell and switched and have seen a big change. Plus I find it hard to swallow so many supplements. Please spread the word for people with serious nail problems.’ Thank you, consider it done!
Ful.Vic.Health from £25

Some Things

It’s a rather miraculous occasion when Shabir lists supplements, aside from our own of course, but we have listed Neubria, as above and we listed Ultra Collagen+ on the February newsletter. It went slightly bonkers and the feedback has been amazing; suppose you can’t keep a good product in whatever category.
Ultimate Collagen+ £42.99 for 90 Capsules

Spring is on its way and to celebrate, Annee de Mamiel is about to release her Spring Facial Oil. I have put it on pre-order for the moment but the moment it arrives (in a few days), we will send it to you.

Hand blended to be ready to use as of the Spring Equinox on 20 March, this new season blend works at a cellular level to deliver renewed energy, helping to bring Winter weary skin back into bloom. I will be writing forever if I list the ingredients, so please check our product page for that, but Annee created this seasonal facial oil using the finest ingredients known for their age-defying, antioxidant, balancing and brightening qualities, helping your complexion radiate vitality and clarity.

I think everybody knows that Annee is a personal friend; there is nothing like watching the success of a friend and the following quote from the New York Times Magazine made me completely emotional because we have known each other a very long time: ‘To say that these oils have a cult following is to say that Miuccia Prada has a nice little dressmaking business – it is an understatement of colossal proportions’. Bravo Annee – respect.
Spring Facial Oil by de Mamiel £80 for 20 ml

The Resurrection: We thought CocoBaci had gone to product heaven, which seemed rather a shame since this coconut oil-pulling brand had developed a following. And somehow it is back. Don’t ask me why or how because I don’t know.
CocoBaci £19.95

Constipated. I’ve asked the same question over and over. Why do most women suffer from constipation, if not permanently, at certain times like when we go away. I think Shabir did explain it once, but I’ve forgotten, so never mind that, there is a new supplement called KiwiZyme which is a natural fibre for constipation, helping to calm inflammation.

KiwiZyme includes a combination of Kiwi Fruit Extract, Aloe Vera inner leaf and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) prebiotics. The Kiwi fruit extract also includes the fruit flesh to provide significantly high levels of the digestive protease enzyme, Actinidin. Protease digestive enzymes help break down protein into amino acids.

Apparently, it really does work, but don’t ask me to test it because I have a severe allergy to Kiwi. This fascinates Shabir who has, on several occasions, threatened to smear me with Kiwi. Bad boy, you are not getting my 50% of VH by killing me. Castor Oil for me then.
KiwiZyme by Viridian £20.40 for 30 Capsules

Beat the Blues. All I will say is that these products are magical and if you missed what I wrote about the new products in this range, you can read all about them here, as they appeared on the last newsletter. Divine divinity.
Beat The Blues from £27

VH Editorial

I have written about several articles throughout this newsletter, but in addition the profound Ms Carolyn Asome (as I now refer to her) has written about why you should embrace a little failure. Will somebody somewhere please give this girl an award for her services to VH. Her remarkable insights to life truly move me.
Why You Should Embrace A Little Failure by Carolyn Asome

Jo Fairley discusses women’s rights, nope we are not going political, we are talking shoes here. And if we are talking shoes, let’s talk Allbirds, which Jo refers to and all the fashion girls (and me) are wearing.  Blame Lisa Armstrong.  She made me do it. Moving on, Jo, together with Sarah Stacey,  declare that it’s all about cleaning your beauty stash in this month’s Beauty Bible article.
A Woman’s Right To Shoes by Jo Fairley; These Shoes May be Boring, But They’re The Latest Cult A-List Buy by Lisa Armstrong; How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Stash by Beauty Bible; 

Danielle Fox talks about five nutritional trends to have on your radar and finally Perdita Nouril asks if we really need to change our skincare each season.
Five Nutritional Trends To Have On Your Radar by Danielle Fox; Do You Really Need to Switch Up Your Skincare Every Season by Perdita Nouril

The End Bit

Victoria is totally besotted by Sarah Chapman’s Cleansing Cushions. These are layers of plush cotton featuring an easy-to-hold ergonomic finger pocket for improved dexterity and hygiene. I put one on each of my fingers and started playing finger puppets, which kept me amused for several minutes.
Cleansing Cushions by Sarah Chapman £14 for 80 Pads

I think it’s probably best I stop writing, so all that remains is for me, together with Shabir, Victoria and the VH team to thank you for supporting us, for sending the emails that you do and for ongoing loyalty.

I hope you have a wonderful March.

With love

Gill x