About Shabir Daya

Shabir Daya is the in-house pharmacist at Victoria Health

Posts by Shabir Daya

Bakuchiol, A Natural Alternative To Retinol

Dropper of clear serum pulling out of bottle, close up shot

Over the last decade particularly, retinol has been hailed as the holy grail of all anti-ageing hero ingredients used in serums, eye creams and moisturisers, and with good reason. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, encourages cell renewal and enhances collagen production to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles. However, retinol can be harsh causing signs of irritation including redness, itching and peeling. If you have sensitive skin, the chances are you will not be able to experience the powerful effects of retinol on your skin – until now. Bakuchiol is the latest plant-based, anti-ageing ingredient in skincare which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin and is considered a natural alternative to retinol.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a phenolic antioxidant oil extracted mostly from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, also known as the Babchi plant. Bakuchiol Oil has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used to treat numerous skin ailments including inflamed skin concerns such as eczema and psoriasis.

How does Bakuchiol work?

Although Bakuchiol bears no structural resemblance to retinol, it has been shown to work on similar pathways that retinol does, resulting in multiple benefits to skin.

The first published study testing Bakuchiol’s benefits for skin appeared in the International Journal for Cosmetic Science in 2014 and involved 17 women aged between 41 and 60 years who used a patented Bakuchiol material, Sytenol® A, at a strength of 0.5% for 12 weeks.

The results clearly showed that, after twelve weeks treatment, there were significant improvements in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall photo-damage. The results showed that Bakuchiol clearly targeted several cellular pathways similar to those targeted by retinol. (Chaudhuri & Bojanowski, Intern J Cosmet Sci, 36(3):221-230, 2014)

A more robust study involving 44 patients, published in 2018, provided further evidence of the similarity of Bakuchiol to retinol in reducing fine lines and pigmentation concerns, again without the dryness and skin irritation associated with retinol. (S Dhaliwal et al, British Journal of Dermatology 27/06/2018)

The researchers concluded “Bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photo-ageing and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is promising as a more tolerable alternative to retinol”.

Who can use Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is ideal for those who prefer natural skincare, sensitive skin types as well as those with oily skin. Its benefits include its ability to enhance collagen synthesis, inhibit collagen degradation, enhance cell renewal, provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties means that it is helpful for everyone including teenagers suffering from acne to those in their 30’s and above looking to benefit from its anti-ageing properties.

How is GoW Super Bakuchiol Serum different?

Garden of Wisdom’s Super Bakuchiol Serum contains the patented well-defined pure Bakuchiol oil, Sytenol® A.  There are many Bakuchiol oils on the market of varying quality, some with low levels of Bakuchiol and others that may contain photosensitizers or residual solvents left behind after the extraction of oil from the seeds.

Sytenol® A Bakuchiol has been through extensive safety testing and this high purity ingredient has been used in several clinical studies including the first published study mentioned earlier.

Bakuchiol oil is structurally different from retinol and is therefore a suitable alternative to retinol during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. Since Sytenol® A is devoid of photosensitizers, Bakuchiol Serum can be used during the day unlike retinol which is know to cause sun sensitivity.

Until now, retinol has been the holy grail ingredient for smoothing wrinkles, acne prevention, fading age spots and rejuvenating ageing skin. Bakuchiol, I believe is the new plant-based anti-ageing hero to help achieve the same results without irritation, dryness and peeling effects of retinol.

Trinny & Shabir On Supplements For Every Age

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Knowing what supplements to take at what age can be confusing, so Trinny and Shabir dedicated a Facebook Live to the topic. While they’ve covered the fundamental supplements you should be taking depending on your age, it’s important to note that there are some issues that can affect us throughout our lives. For example, many of us lead stressful lives regardless of our age and stress can deplete our vitamin B12 levels.

You might not need to take all of these supplements, but here is a basic template of the supplements for every age…

In your 20’s

At this age many people live a fast-paced lifestyle and often they may be not eating the correct foods or may skip a meal or are simply not eating enough of the right foods. The two key supplements are a good quality multivitamin and omega 3.

Take the multivitamin of your choice ensuring this supplies vitamin A for healthy skin and folic acid or folate, which is important for anyone planning a pregnancy.

Take an omega 3 supplement because research indicates that omega 3’s display multiple benefits by calming inflammation; are required for hormone production; help to moisturise skin but also prevent acne, spots and blemishes; for brain performance and provide a host of other benefits. Remember that these are termed essential fatty acids because they are vital for a number of processes and the body cannot manufacture them.

Research shows that we don’t tend to get enough omega 3 from our diet – some indict that we’re up to 40% deficient. A good fish oil supplement will be of benefit such as Lion Heart Omega 3 Fish Oil or Krill Oil which provides the cleanest source of omega 3’s. If you are a vegan look to Echiomega, which contains echium seed oil. Flaxseeds and hemp seeds are a good source of omega 3 for vegetarians.

In your 30’s

You might be thinking about or already have had children. It would be prudent to switch-up your multivitamin. A prenatal multivitamin, such as Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Fertility, is ideal as it supports preconception and the very earliest stages of pregnancy.

If you do conceive we would recommend that you change over to Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Pregnancy, which is a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to provide you and your baby with the correct levels of vitamins and minerals.

You should still keep up with your omega 3 supplement. It might be worth incorporating a good quality probiotic at this age because your digestive system might be sluggish. A probiotic will help support your digestive system and get your gut working optimally. Mega Probiotic ND is an eight strain probiotic. Taking it on a daily basis helps support your digestion, enhance your immune system, provide energising B vitamins and detoxify the intestines.

Eating more fermented foods will help to support the bacteria in your gut, but it’s worth noting that a lot of the goodness can be destroyed by your stomach acid, so it’s still worth taking a probiotic.

In your 40’s

You should continue with your omega 3, probiotic and multivitamin supplements. Unless you are trying to conceive, you can revert back to the multivitamin you took in your 20’s.

Generally speaking, most women enter the perimenopause stage in their 40’s. You don’t necessarily have hot flushes, but you may notice subtle changes such as lower energy levels or a loss of concentration. Phytoestrogens, such as clover and sage, have hormone mimicking powers that can help balance out the declining oestrogen levels. We tend to recommend Sage Complex to balance your hormones.

Neuro-Mag is another supplement that we would recommend people start taking in their 40’s. As you go through your 40’s you might experience changes in your sleep patterns and feel more anxious. Magnesium is required in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. Magnesium citrate is magnesium in a citrus form and has a cleansing effect on your body and helps to detox. Neuro-Mag is a different type and is absorbed efficiently and taken up by the nervous system, helping you to relax. It has a calming rather than drowsy effect, so it can be taken in the morning and evening.

Magnesium can be absorbed through your skin. There are oil sprays, which contain magnesium chloride that can be used locally to help ease joint pain. However, if you are looking for something to help support your nervous system, I would recommend Neuro-Mag.

In your 50’s

While you should stick with your multivitamin, omega 3, probiotic and Neuro-Mag, you may decide to give up your Sage Complex, if you have gone through the menopause (the average age is 51 years). You should consider introducing digestive enzymes into your routine.

During these years, your digestive enzyme production is roughly a third of what it was in your 20’s. The decline in female hormones can result in a spike in production of cortisol (stress hormone), which encourages your levels of insulin. Digestive enzymes help to break down your food and may help reduce bloating – we recommend Super Enhanced Digestive Enzymes.

You may also want to think about taking a quality calcium supplement, especially if you have a history of osteoporosis in your family or have suffered with joint issues. Bone Restore with Vitamin K2 provides three highly absorbable forms of calcium, plus several nutrients which are vital to help strengthen the joints and bone structures including vitamin D3 and vitamin K2.

We also recommend people in their 50’s have their vitamin B12 levels tested. Many of us do not have sufficient amounts of a specific protein (Intrinsic Factor) that carries vitamin B12 from the gut into the bloodstream. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency: weakness, fatigue, short of breath, pale of jaundiced looking skin and sensations of pins and needles.

In your 60’s and beyond

You may wish to stop taking Bone Restore or your calcium supplement if osteopenia or osteoporosis are no longer a concern. Continue with your multivitamin, omega 3, probiotics and digestive enzyme. As well as vitamin B12, you should go and have your vitamin D levels checked because your body’s ability to manufacture D3 declines past 60’s even when skin is exposed to sunlight.

If you do need B12, then use B12 Boost oral spray. For Vitamin D3, I would consider the newer nutraceutical forms such as Micro-Liposomal Vitamin D3 for their ability to deliver this vitamin into each and every cell.

For more from Trinny, check out her YouTube channel, here.

Stress Ages Our Skin

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Stress plays a major part in the health of our body and of our skin. At times of stress our body produces excessive amounts of cortisol which is responsible for a variety of concerns including anxiety, weight gain and sleep disturbances. Aside from the adrenal glands producing cortisol, keratinocytes in the epidermis, the outer cell layers of skin, also manufacture cortisol which increases when the body is stressed or when skin is exposed to external stressors such as pollution, UV radiation and dehydration. Stress in this case refers to physical, emotive or environmental stressors.

Since cortisol is an inflammatory hormone, it is known to cause a wide range of skin concerns and depending upon your skin type, cortisol can make your skin very dry, wrinkled, fatigue-looking, reactive and sensitive, oily and/or acne-prone. I am going to briefly discuss skin concerns: Read More…

Which Magnesium Supplement Should I Take?

Wooden block with MG on white background surrounded by pills

Magnesium is a fascinating mineral that is involved in nearly 300 biochemical reactions within the body whose wide and varied benefits range from energy production though to brain function. With such wide and varied usages by the body, it may not surprise you to learn that magnesium deficiency is very widespread in the adult population. The main reasons for a magnesium deficiency 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. Read More…

Double Cleansing The Body

Detox written in clouds, outlined with balloons

Double cleansing is often associated with skin care and involves using a cleansing balm, oil or micellar water to break down make-up, remnants of moisturiser, SPF and sebum on the surface of the skin followed by a deeper water-based cleanse to deep clean pores and remove any impurities.

The principle of double cleansing could also be easily applied to the health of the body because 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. Read More…

How To Take Collagen Supplements

collagen writin in white powder on blue background

There are hundreds of collagen supplements on the market, in powders, capsules and drinks, usually obtained from bovine and marine sources, however there is differing advice on when and how to take collagen supplements. It is not surprising that people get confused so below is a low-down on how to take collagen supplements. But what is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It is found in skin, muscles, blood vessels and other tissues and structures and its main role is to impart strength to these systems. Collagen production declines as we age and since adequate collagen is required to maintain our joints and skin, many consumers choose to introduce a collagen supplement into their regimen. There are different schools of thought on collagen supplementation and below are my recommendations: Read More…