VH Newsletter

January Newsletter


Hello and welcome to 2018 and the January newsletter; I was ever so tempted to make this the first-ever non-product related newsletter because there are so many things that I want to write about other than products. So this is what we are going to do; I am mostly going to write about health issues (actually Shabir is doing nearly all of that) and in between I will have a few soapbox moments, do some feedback, introduce you to new members of our team (exciting!) and somewhere amongst all of this there are a couple of treats and of course the feature articles, which are pretty profound this month.

As the new year begins, the buzz phase is self-care; it is everywhere you look. The New York Times (and as reported in Grazia) has declared that ‘self-care is the new going out’. We are notoriously bad in the UK at doing self-care and I am no exception. We feel guilty about nurturing ourselves and our needs, but in this brave new self-care world I actually ran away (far away) just before Christmas and for the first time ever I didn’t plug my laptop in and I turned my phone off. Life continued. Read More…

December Newsletter


Hello and welcome to the December newsletter. Historically this last newsletter of the year has always been rather different to the rest. Often referred to as the ‘bonkers newsletter’, each year we do something different and this year I have decided that we are going to do the first-ever-full-on VH Awards. Nobody has voted and in fact nobody knows anything about them except me and Shabir, who did another eyeroll to heaven when I told him that I had self-appointed myself to be judge and jury on proceedings.

Even before I start writing I know that it may well get out of control, but its been a bit of an ‘out of control’ year, so we may as well continue right to the end. As ever with the December newsletter, there are treats right the way through and you will need to read very carefully because I wouldn’t want you to miss out as we only have a limited amount, so you will need to be fast for some of them.

That said, what would a newsletter be if we didn’t launch some new products. I am going to begin with two new launches and then I’m going to change into an incredible Dolce & Gabbana creation (in my dreams), plonk a tiara on my head and present the awards. Let’s go: Read More…

November Newsletter


Welcome to the November newsletter where we introduce you to Biocol Labs (head-over-heels excited) and new product releases from Ameliorate and BioBelle (of ‘I Woke Up Like This’ fame). We do the feedback on LixirSkin, which I will tell you right now is completely sensational and I also report on the Beauty Bible Awards, where one brand absolutely swept the board with 14 awards (FOURTEEN!). There is a Podium moment too, but first Biocol and I honestly can’t remember the last time I led a newsletter with health, but I am now, so let’s do it:

Biocol Labs

Even with the launch of many award-winning skincare and beauty products, we are still predominantly health-driven; it is at the very core of what and who we are and of course in turn it translates into skincare products, but I’ll touch on that later. In the very early days of VH I had a dream. I couldn’t understand why the packaging of health products was so dire and I was the one who was going to change all of that. I felt passionately about it, but I grew up rapidly. Of course it is totally irrelevant what the packaging is all about; if the efficacy and therapeutic dosages are questionable then what on earth is the point of being cute. And then (15 years after the event) Biocol landed on my desk and my heart nearly stopped beating.

Biocol Labs was founded in 1977 in Lisbon and they call themselves the ‘post-chemical pharmacy’ with a mission of making chemicals redundant through nature and science. They introduce you to the post-chemical society and invite you to feel free to stay forever. Biocol is an independent, family owned operation doing its own research, development and production to help make the world free of chemicals and silliness; their words, not mine, but let me say one thing, these products are very far from silly and Shabir, who has ceremoniously thrown out every single ‘designer’ supplement that has landed on his desk, thinks the formulations are pretty exceptional.
Biocol Labs

Not wishing to be called lazy, there are times when brands write far better descriptions about their products than I could ever do; for sure, I can twist and turn the words a bit, but what’s the point. So here are just five of the products; they are each from the ‘Something’ range; alongside ‘Something’ we are launching the ‘I Feel’ range, which is all about weight loss and I’ll follow through after ‘Something’:

Something For The Knackered: Our lives can be pretty hectic nowadays. The last thing we want is burn out. Something For The Knackered contains magnesium, which helps with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, as well as ginseng, which contributes to vitality. In case of extreme tiredness, we recommend two packs and a good rest during the weekend. Say no to knackered. Take one ampoule in the morning for five days.
Something For The Knackered £17.90

Something For Happiness: It’s important that even during periods of great stress and tension we stay positive, energetic and productive, but that’s not always easy. This is where Something For Happiness comes to the rescue. This formula contains saffron, griffonia and vitamin B6, which contributes to the normal function of the nervous system and supports emotional balance, helping to restore your body and mind to their natural states of wellbeing. A joke would be good here, but look – you’re smiling already! Take two capsules, one in the morning, one in the evening, for six days.
Something For Happiness £21.90

Something For Bloated Tums: Most digestive remedies are made of synthetic ingredients, which our bodies were not made to absorb. Thus attacking a problem with another problem. Your bloated tummies don’t need that. Here is the post-chemical digestion helper. Something to settle tums is a plant-based fix of probiotics, ginger and chloride, that contributes to a normal digestion. It also contains fennel and green anise, which contributes to the normal function of the intestinal tract. Wrapped in a beautiful pocketsize box. Phew. Take two capsules when feeling bloated or when digestion problems occur.
Something For Bloated Tums £16.90

Something For A Mini Rehab: Drinking nights are fun. The mornings after aren’t. Something For A Mini Rehab contains milk thistle, artichoke and choline, which helps contribute to the maintenance of a normal liver function, helps breaking down harmful alcohol-induced toxins and also helps restore lost vitamins and minerals. For hangover prevention take two capsules before drinking and two capsules the morning after. For liver mini rehab take one capsule in the evening for ten days.
Something For A Mini Rehab £17.90

Something For A Detox Week: Something For A Detox Week contains a purifying blend of ingredients such as chicory, artichoke and choline, which contributes to the maintenance of a normal liver function and supports the detoxification and elimination of additives, food excesses and pollution effects. It is recommended that you take a pack per month together with a plant-based, wholefood diet. That’s right, show your liver some love. Take one ampoule per day for seven days. Take in the morning. Drink pure, diluted in water or juice or stir into porridge.
Something For A Detox Week £18.90

I Feel

Before I write about these products, I just want to say that I rarely write about dieting and weight loss because I really don’t like the weight loss market. I remember saying that on a newsletter several years ago and I got annihilated by a brand who were just about to launch a new ‘weight loss’ product with a massive marketing campaign, which, incidentally, I refused to list. Another time I wrote that I had never stepped foot inside a gym (well I haven’t – more annihilation came my way) because the thought horrified me. It still does. I do walk, I really do. To my car.

The problem I have with weight loss products is that it is such an emotive subject and I am never going to tell you that you will drop weight and lose inches when there are so many other factors associated with losing weight such as metabolism and eating habits. This is of course a very personal view and given that it is an issue for so many, I am happy to write about these products, again using their words, because they take a refreshing approach and that’s all I’m going to say on the subject:

I Feel: Control: I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m irritated, annoyed or stressed. Slimming is not easy because emotions have a bigger appetite than our mouths and stomachs. This bottle contains a mixture of plants with Vitamin B1 that contributes to a normal psychological function and helps me regulate emotions and control the will of eating all the time. Take 7.5 ml during breakfast and 7.5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Control £19.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup

I Feel: Reduce: The world wants to convince me that slimming is easy, but it’s not. I know it’s not. I feel it in my skin and in my flesh. I eat healthy. I work-out and I resist all the temptations around me. No, it’s not easy, but I won’t quit. I finally know that I’m on the right way. This bottle contains a concentrate of plants with choline that contributes to normal lipid metabolism and helps me burn fat and reduce volume. Take 10 ml before breakfast and 5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Reduce £21.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup

I Feel: Maintain: I’ve left a serious relationship with my body. We started to want different things. We broke up and the two of us went different directions until I understood that the problem wasn’t with my body, but with my emotions. Now I feel in control and with the ideal weight. This bottle contains a concentration of plants and manganese that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and helps me maintain my ideal body volume. Take 7.5 ml at breakfast and 7.5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Maintain £19.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup


Most of you know that I am fiercely loyal when it comes to skincare products. It is no secret that I use iS Clinical and NIOD, with a few products from The Ordinary thrown in for good measure. And now of course LixirSkin. I have the deepest respect for Colette and of course the products she has formulated. It is one thing creating products for other brands, which she has done for over 20 years, but it is quite another thing when it is your brand, your name, and reputation, on the products. But there are some things in life that you just have to do; it’s almost like a calling and this was Colette’s calling. The update:

I think that there are some brands and some products that just sing to you. It is difficult to define, but there is that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that pervades its very existence. Very few brands, in my humble opinion, have it. LixirSkin does.

Almost immediately after launching LixirSkin on the October newsletter, the feedback started to come in. Literally within 48 hours, which is quite something. Most people are saying the same thing; they love the simplicity of the concept and the products. Wow, the products. You almost don’t want to say what the hero product is because everybody has a different hero, but with the big love spread between Vitamin C Paste, the Electrogel Cleanser and Universal Emulsion, I will just say that the Vitamin C Paste has now sold out four times, and let me tell you, we had, and continue to have, high stock levels.

I blame myself for the Vitamin C Paste famine. I sent out an Addicts Bulletin virtually two weeks ago and said that I was writing it with the Paste (PASTE – such an evocative word) on my skin because my skin loves it, but really loves it. And then there were none.

Given that the ‘universal good skin trio’ (as above) equally share ‘hero’ status, I just want to talk for a moment about the three Night-Switch products. This is where the brilliance of the entire concept comes in as the three Night Switch products are for specific skin concerns and formulated with pure active molecules for targeted results.

They are for night, when your skin switches to repair mode and are formulated to be mixed with Universal Emulsion, which is also a serum base. Colette recommends only using one Night Switch product at a time, then giving your skin a rest before switching to another. Switching stimulates the skin to get better results. Yes, it is incredibly simplistic, but Colette believes that truly there are only two skin concerns, ageing skin and problem skin.

The Night Switch moment over,  I have a few more things to say; the first is that Arly (wonderful Arly) of Detail Oriented Beauty, put these products to the test. Scrupulous to the end, you can read her report on the link below. Secondly, if you go to our In the Press section, you can read some early press reviews, which made all of us very happy – very happy indeed.

Finally, we are going through some stock issues right now, so please bear with us. We are doing everything we can to ensure that stock is replenished on an ongoing basis and we will get your products to you just as soon as we can. Colette has been completely overwhelmed by the demand and, like me, she is so very emotional about the response and all your comments, which of course I have shared with her. Genius brand. Genius woman. Ooh la la, Colette, ooh la la …… an iconic brand is born.
LixirSkin; LixirSkin by Detail Oriented Beauty; Gill meets Colette Haydon

Ameliorate – Intensive Hand Treatment

I flipped this new product from Ameliorate onto this newsletter because I knew it wasn’t going to arrive in time to be included on the October newsletter. That said, many products don’t seem to arrive in time, but there are only so many products you can put on a pre-order basis on one newsletter. As such, and without even writing a word, many of you have already ordered and received this new product launch from Ameliorate, so here is the lowdown for the rest of us.

Clinically proven, dermatologist approved and independently tested, Intensive Hand Treatment exfoliates rough, dry skin, stimulating the renewal of healthy skin cells while softening and deeply moisturising the skin on the palm, as well as the back of the hand. It is loaded with actives and AHAs and the same powerful Alpha Hydroxy Therapy used in the bestselling Transforming Body Lotion, namely Lactic Acid, which is included not only for its exfoliating properties, but for its ability to lower the skin’s pH and help improve the skin’s ability to protect itself.

Proven to moisturize for up to 12 hours, it is recommended that Intensive Hand Treatment should be massaged into the hands and cuticles and left on overnight, after which it can be used twice daily. As this is a hand treatment, it may leave a little residue on the skin, but that’s absolutely fine with me (and I hope you too) as it will continue working to condition hands. Ameliorate are rocking it. Yet again.
Intensive Hand Treatment £15 for 75 ml

The Beauty Bible Awards

And there they were; resplendent in all their glory, Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, aka the Beauty Bible (BB) girls were hosting the Annual Beauty Bible Awards. And there we were, sipping pink champagne (if you were bad like me) or a non-alcoholic pink cocktail (if you were good like Shabir). I had made a mental note to myself that it would not be too cute if I had three glasses of champagne, because I needed to report back and write about the event (held at the ever-so-glam Grace Belgravia), so I had two glasses of champagne, one to celebrate Sarah and Jo, and the other to celebrate one of our listed brands sweeping the board and winning 14 awards.

But first, the awards. There is something about winning a BB Award; it is tremendously prestigious and it sets itself apart from other awards because each of the products are tested on real women, when I say real women, I mean people like us who tell it as it is. There is only one thing that matters and that is the truth. Rigorously monitored, the scores and the comments are collated over an entire year of testing and finally the winners are announced.

So, the brand that won 14 awards. Temple Spa. It is a staggering achievement and with the deepest respect, I congratulate Liz and Mark Warom for their innovation, dedication, love, warmth and support over many, many years. Temple Spa is not an ‘everywhere’ brand; it is niche, discreet and incredibly special. For those who use their products, you will completely understand this, for those who have yet to discover the brand or the products, you will find them by clicking on the link below.
Temple Spa

It will come as no surprise that the Beauty Bible feature article for this month is all about the awards; here the girls look at six of this year’s winning products, two of which, Body Truffle and Exalt, are from Temple Spa. At this point I am not going to write about the other 12 winning products from the range, but amongst them are Peace Be Still, In the Beginning, Quench Rejuvenation Mask, Sugar Buff, Go Easy Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover, The Contourist and Sole Balm.

Finally, it is not only the scores achieved that matters, it’s the comments that go alongside them, so when you read the BB article, do take time to read the comments too. Tears of joy would flow, but my eyes just cannot mist up at this point because I need to say an enormous thank you to Jo and Sarah who work tirelessly throughout the year on this project. And to Amy Eason too, lovely Amy who holds it all together, mostly in the dungeon of Jo’s home, which is a sight to behold (as is Jo’s perfume room).

Beauty Bible trips to Hastings on the horizon perhaps. Maybe not, but the second-best thing, for the moment, is for you to take a look at the new Beauty Bible site where you can read about the rest of the awards, amongst all things bright and beautiful.
VH Editorial: Every One A Beauty Bible Award-Winner; BeautyBible.com


It crosses my mind that if we were to enter ‘I Woke Up Like This’ for a Beauty Bible award, it could be dancing around with a ‘Beauty Bible Award Winner’ stuck on it. There is always next year, so for now, and without a pink award, this is the mask that continues to fly out of the door. I think there is an ‘I Woke Up Like This’ epidemic. Seriously.

There may be more epidemics on the way, because this month we are adding more products to the BioBelle collection. They are, in no particular order, Stay Gorgeous, Beauty Scoop and Beauty Secret. My money (well, not my actual money per se) is on Beauty Secret. Suppose I’ll be wrong, but it is loaded with Pomegranate and HA and actually they are all rather fabulous, so check them out.
BiobelleI Woke Up Like This £4; Stay Gorgeous £4; Beauty Scoop £4; Beauty Secret £4

The Podium

I wrote at the beginning of this newsletter that we are predominantly health-driven, which in turn translates into beauty products, often in an incredibly profound way.

After launching LixirSkin, I received an email from an Addict praising the products; it was quite an in-depth and highly personal email. The bottom line was that the LixirSkin products had a catalytic effect on helping to shift a long-term depression and anxiety. I don’t suppose many people will think that beauty products can be life-changing, but get it right and they absolutely can be; I have watched this happen so many times over the years, across brands, but specifically with those brands that carry their own inimitable energy.

So when does a beauty product actually become a health product; when you launch on a health platform, that is when. Going back more years than I actually care to remember (perhaps more than 12 years ago), we launched iS Clinical on a health platform. There was no choice actually, they were not retail products then, but I begged my LA boyfriends to let me bring them into the UK based on the fact that Shabir was a pharmacist (I Am A Pharmacist – the title of the book Shabir will never write!). The rest is history.

NIOD was launched on a health platform too; it was an emphatic decision. There was no way NIOD was launching as a ‘beauty brand’ or on a beauty platform. Brandon and I were very clear on that; DECIEM has beauty brands, NIOD is not one of them. There is a depth to NIOD that defies words and explanation. And we’ll leave it at that.

And now LixirSkin. Once again, launched on a health platform. Colette is a doctor in dermo-pharmacy; the health and integrity of skin is a health issue, not a beauty issue. And there is a huge difference.

I don’t think we can ever under-estimate the power of outstanding products; falling in love is a heady experience and so many have fallen in love with LixirSkin. But it’s more than falling in love, the health/beauty crossover is an emotional one. When it has the ability to change lives, as it has, it falls into another genre.

These final words are not mine, they belong to the LixirSkin loving VH Addict: ‘I sometimes think we women (and men who groom) are patronized and accused of being trivial for wanting to look and feel pretty. The feeling is so much more important I think than the actuality. I have a spring in my step now, the weight is starting to come off and I’m not apologetically trying to shrink myself. How in God’s name can that be trivial’.

Let’s Talk Gifts

Being perverse, I wanted to be the one that didn’t write about gifts at this time of year; I won’t write a thesis on the meaning of gifts because I’m not sure that anybody would want to read it, so putting my views and thoughts on one side, the following is a small curated offering:

Me Time

Enjoy a moment’s peace with this special edition Renewing Rose Bath & Shower Oil. It will help boost your spirits and you simply add this blend to your bath or shower ritual. I like ritualistic things. This is one of them.
Me Time: Special Edition Renewing Rose Bath & Shower Oil (14 ml) by Aromatherapy Associates £18

Sleep Together

We are talking sleeping together with products here and the said products are Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Deep Sleep Breathe In. Deep Sleep Breathe In is a rollerball for your pulse points which has been blended with Lavender, Camomile and Vetivert essential oils to help support evening wind-down time. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is proven to help improve sleep quality, blended with the same essential oils.
Sleep Together by This Works £27 (includes Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 75 ml and Deep Sleep Breathe 8 ml)

Herbal Bath Oil Collection

I love Kneipp products and I always have several boxes of these stashed in my bathroom; the collection contains six 20 ml bath oils, each being sufficient for one or two baths. They are Enjoy Life, Back Comfort, Complete Bliss, Cold Season, Sweet Dreams and Balance. Confession. On more than one occasion I have poured all six into one bath. Shabir will get a temperature when he reads this. I’ll just sing.
Herbal Bath Oil Collection by Kneipp £9.95 for Six Bath Oils

Lanolips Bauble Gift

A sheer fruity tint of Rhubarb, which deepens your natural lip colour, all wrapped up and gift packed in a bauble tube. The molecular structure of lanolin closely resembles and mimics your own skin oil plus pure pigment. SPF30.
Lanolips Bauble Gift £7.99

Christmas Wish Scented Candle

This limited edition Christmas Wish Scented Candle is a comforting blend of 13 pure essential oils including mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean to help you relax and unwind, whilst surrounding your home with the soothing, traditional scent of Christmas. Three wicks.
Christmas Wish Scented Candle by NEOM £45

The Seasonal Edit by Sarah Chapman

Containing Ultimate Cleanse, Morning Facial and Overnight Facial, the Seasonal Edit arrives in a signature cosmetic bag. Cleanse, rejuvenate and nourish, saving £36 on the retail price of these products.
The Seasonal Edit by Sarah Chapman £55

My Diary of Beauty Secrets

The collection. Six sheet masks. Stay Gorgeous to nourish and hydrate; I Woke Up Like This to enhance that natural glow; Beauty Scoop, which helps minimize fine lines; Beauty Secret, firms and moisturizes; Happy Hour, age prevention and After Party, soothes and brightens. Go.
My Diary of Beauty Secrets by BioBelle £24

VH Editorial

We have done the Beauty Bible Awards and now we have two variations on a theme. Thought provoking and approaching from different angles, Carolyn Asome and Catherine Turner both write about happiness. I almost don’t want to tell you the title of Carole Morin’s article, still hanging onto her contributing role by the sheerest of threads she contemplates Tiny Acts of Evil and then back to a semblance of normality, Jo Fairley muses on losing her phone.  Finally, Arly examines ‘The Serious Side of Self-Care'; brutally honest, she talks about her own depression and the feeling of hopelessness.  I implore you to read it, you may or may not agree with some of Arly’s statements, but it remains unedited and I applaud her bravery and courage. No small thing.
Be Happy – How To Be The Best Version of Yourself by Carolyn Asome; Finding Happiness by Catherine Turner; Tiny Acts of Evil by Carole Morin; Something’s Got To Give – And It Better Not Be Me by Jo Fairley; The Serious Side of Self-Care by Detail Oriented Beauty

The End Bit

We started with health, we are ending with health. Two new launches (five new products) and one for the road:

DLux+ Vitamin D+K2 – Vital Support For Healthy Bones

Vitamin D+K2 Oral Spray is an optimum strength spray delivering 3000iu of Vitamin D alongside 75 ug of Vitamin K2. Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work synergistically with each other to help ensure that calcium is directed out of the arteries and into the bones where it helps improve bone density. Without enough K2 calcification within the arteries can occur, increasing the risk of heart disease.

This new daily oral spray sources a bioavailable and stable form of K2 MK-7, which can be easily utilized by the body. The form of K2 has been derived from flowers, guaranteeing purity of the active form of K2. Take three sprays daily, shaking well before every use. Spray against the inner cheek as research has found this to be the most absorbent area. Caution: Please do not use if you are using blood thinning medication. Natural peppermint flavour.
DLux+ Vitamin D+K2 Daily Oral Spray £9.95 for 12 ml (lasts 30 days on the recommended dose)


Shabir likes Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency. He likes it a lot and whenever anyone asks him what multi-vit to take, this is the one he nearly always recommends. And now there are four more Alive products; Alive Children’s Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin; Alive Immune Support Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin; Alive Calcium Soft Jell and Alive Women’s Energy Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin.
VH Editorial: Are All Multivitamins The Same; The Alive Range

Hyaluronic Acid High Strength

This is the one for the road; well not the road exactly, but this is the most crucial of all anti-ageing supplements in our opinion. I haven’t written about it for ages, basically because most of us are taking it, but if you are not, please do consider using this supplement. As I have written many times before, I am not up for a south-sliding face or creaking joints. And the knife just isn’t an option for me, unless I am hypothetically using it to spear people who mis-behave. No names. Seriously, no names!
VH Editorial: Hyaluronic Acid: The Anti-Ageing NutrientHyaluronic Acid High Strength £35 for 30 Vegecaps

And so we come to the end of another newsletter where once again, together with Shabir, I thank you for your amazing support, loyalty and feedback.

We all stand together; each brand, each product, each of us and each of you. I am indebted to the brands and the products that continue to make such a difference. Also I am surrounded by the most amazing support team; without whom none of us would be able to function.

Finally, the moment really does belong to Colette, Sarah and Jo. Colette, I don’t think you can begin to know the profound importance of your work. Sarah and Jo. One either side of me, they have been my rocks almost since the very beginning. I often refer to iconic brands and iconic products, I did it earlier in the newsletter. If we are talking people, Sarah and Jo are icons of the health and beauty industry. We adore. We applaud. We respect. Thank you.

With love

Gill x

October Newsletter

Autumn leaf on pavement

Welcome to the October newsletter where we launch four new brands, yes four, they all rolled in at the same time. So we say hello to LIXIRSKIN from Colette Haydon, ESHO from DECIEM, Slixir and Curlie Ellie. We also take a look at the latest new product to be released from the excellent Florassist range, I give you all the latest news and feedback and I’m jumping onto The Podium for a moment or two. Let’s do it: Read More…

September Newsletter


Welcome to the September newsletter where we are going to rock and roll our way through some new brand and product launches. We have new products from NIOD, Dermasuri, Color Wow and iS Clinical. We have seven (yes seven!) new products from The Ordinary (head examination needed) and a new brand which I’ve kind of flipped over. Additionally, we take a look at Cannabis (of the legal kind), the lymphatic system and stomach issues; there is a low-key celebration too. Let’s do it:

RE:Pigment (RP) by NIOD

Please believe me when I tell you that RE:Pigment was one of the very first products we were going to release after the core NIOD launch of CAIS and MMHC. Except we didn’t and the reason we didn’t is because we knew about some core active brightening and supporting technologies, which were not yet available and so we waited. Patience is a virtue and so I became virtuous because NIOD has a ‘conquer all’ DNA, which remains so very important to me and Brandon over and above all else.

RE:Pigment is a highly-saturated, ultra-lightweight, emollient solution incorporating modern advances in biotechnology and peptide technology to fight signs of one of the most complex-to-treat dermal concerns: hyperpigmentation. This formula visibly counteracts both uneven pigmentation, such as spots, as well as overall pigmentation issues through several pathways. This multi-pathway approach optimizes the synergy between the technologies in contrast to networked technologies that approach visible pigmentation through the same mechanisms.

I am not going to write about the science here; all the information is listed on the product page and that is the place to read all about Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, Acetyl Glycyl Beta Alanine and White Shiitake Ferment, amongst others, if you feel the need. Brandon is so excited about the technologies used in this formulation; he spent an entire hour on the phone talking about them, without taking a breath. I was on my bed eating grapes with my eyes shut; in those moments I send up a prayer that we don’t Facetime each other.

The above statement doesn’t mean that I’m not excited about RE:Pigment; I am actually beyond excited as this is probably the most powerful of all NIOD products. The thing about hyperpigmentation is that there are so few options actually available. If you have severe hyperpigmentation then laser treatment will probably come top of your list, but it is expensive and it doesn’t always work; there are thousands of products on the market making such extraordinary claims that you can only laugh at them. One look at their ingredient listing and it’s a major eye-roll from Shabir, in a long line of them.

Anyway, as you will have guessed I have been testing RP rigorously and I am in worship mode; worshipping Prudvi (NIOD’s lead chemist) is one of my most favourite things. In the testing phase I asked him what the main priorities were in the formulation and he said that there was really only one priority and that was to target as many pathways involved in pigmentation as possible in one single formula. That priority then translated into several priorities. In the end, the formula had very little room left for anything; it’s now made up of over 90% active technologies, which requires the use of the actives themselves to solubilize one another.

With complete transparency, I will tell you that I don’t have hyperpigmentation; I have one or two visible dark spots, but nothing drastic and I have been ‘treating’ them, most especially the annoying one on my hand, which has almost faded into oblivion. But there is something else about RP. It brightens your skin to such an incredible degree that I now can’t live without it. NIOD lab: please note!

I think it is important to tell you that you will not see immediate results; for sure some of you may see a brightening effect after a few days, but it actually took around 14 days for me to see a difference on my skin. I think that will probably be true for those of you who use NIOD, but I’m just debating the subject here so you know what to expect, unless of course you look in the mirror and see the ‘unexpected expected’ within a day or so. Start singing if that happens!

We are releasing RP in two sizes, RP 15 ml and RP 30 ml; if you want to use RP just to dab onto dark spots, then the 15 ml size is all you will need as a little goes a long way. However, if you want to use RP as part of your skincare regimen, then you will probably need the 30 ml as results improve with continued use; as a preventative measure, this is an essential as I am not doing age spots. Repeat. Not doing them.

If you are going to use RP as part of your NIOD regimen, then this should be used twice a day, after CAIS but before MMHC2. Please avoid unprotected UV exposure when using this formula (hello Survival!). And that’s a wrap on hyperpigmentation and the extraordinariness of RE:Pigment.
RE:Pigment £27 for 15 ml; RE:Pigment £50 for 30 ml; Survival from £20

Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator

Many of you will remember when we launched the fabulous Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt. It was the once-a-fortnight secret to soft skin and so many of us fell in love with it. I always knew that there would be more products coming from Dermasuri, I also knew that they would be considered very carefully and researched beyond the point of research. I have been waiting almost 18 months for this product and when the sample arrived on my desk, I threw it in my bag and immediately left the office. I think that’s a sign. Very few products receive the *must-try-immediately-and-I-need-to-go-home-right-now-status*.

So let me tell you about the product. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is made with Rice Milk, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. This gommage style gel gently creates rolls when massaged on skin, then lifts away dead cells. Although there are of course other gommage style exfoliating gels on the market, the key differentiator is the use of Rice Milk which has been used for centuries in Japan, not just the Geisha culture, but workers in the rice fields too. They used the milky water from the first wash of rice for soft, clear skin and to polish their skin. POLISH … hello, my skin has been polished rather magnificently. Perfect.

All you do is apply a few pumps on damp skin and gently massage in a circular motion until rolls form. And form they do. And fall into the sink they do. And excited about that – yes I am. I know it is incredibly sad, but dead skin rolls make me so extraordinarily happy, I can’t tell you. I stare at them and smile, and then I rinse my skin. But wait – I tested it on my hands too. There are not enough words to describe the moment, but try it for yourself and see. Rolling off the years would be an appropriate statement. Feet next.

It is recommended that you use this product one to three times a week at most. Me, I don’t take much notice of instructions, so I used it two nights in a row. The disappointment of no dead skin cells rolling off my face on the second night was rather profound. It had done its job and I had to wait impatiently for the next moment. It arrived, I promise, it arrived!

My love and thanks to Susumu Tsuchihashi, President of Dermasuri, for creating amazing products and for his incredible love and support. No small thing.
Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator £29.95 for 25 grams; Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt £19.95

Dream Coat by Color Wow

Please read this carefully: I wrote about Dream Coat on the Addicts Bulletin just under two weeks ago. We didn’t get to the end of the day and we had sold out; I think you all know me well enough to know that when we sell out of a product I don’t do a dance of happiness; instead I dance it out, which goes something like blast out the music and dance out the stress of a ‘pre-order only’ status product. Trust me it works. It has almost become a daily occurrence.

We received a second consignment a few days later, but it was only a fraction of what we needed. So what to do. I wanted to write about Dream Coat on this newsletter, but I also knew that it had sold out in America and we were looking towards the end of September before it would become available again. And then I had a moment. I stashed a whole load under my desk for the purposes of this newsletter and asked Shabir to take it out of the ‘What’s New’ section of our site.

So below, is what I wrote on the Addicts Bulletin, I doubt we will get to the end of the day before I put it on pre-order again, but at least you will be on a wait list (without us debiting any monies from your account) for the end of September because at this point I don’t know what the stock levels will be looking like and I can’t make any hard and fast promises. Here it is:

I don’t normally flip over hair-styling products, but I’m flipping because although this has been created for frizzy hair (I don’t have frizzy hair), it actually made my hair look amazing and I don’t say that lightly. This has already been released in America and it is going crazy over there, thus its current unavailable status. The best I can do right now is replicate the words of Dr Joe Cincotta PhD and Chief Chemist of Color Wow.

‘The key to fighting frizz is all about controlling moisture levels and locking the cuticle down as tight and smooth as possible. Unlike typical serum or oil-based humidity-fighting formulas that lay down a heavy coat on hair’s surface, (which deflate volume and leave the hair greasy), Dream Coat uses a ground-breaking, heat activated polymer technology that is lighter than a feather. Dream Coat scatters teeny droplets randomly on hair’s surface. When heated with your blow-dryer these droplets connect and crosslink forming an invisible, hydrophobic matrix that does two things. It compresses each strand into a sleek, silky, supple shape and sheathes every strand in a light, imperceptible ‘raincoat’ that repels moisture’.

Color Wow is of course the brainchild of Gail Federici and John Frieda, who know a thing or two about frizzy hair. I don’t really know anything about frizzy hair, but what I do know is that I now have ‘Cleopatra’ hair and I’ll take that, thank you. In a way I kind of wish I had frizzy hair so that I could experience the powerful magic of this product, which they are calling the ‘Supernatural Spray’. The Dream has arrived for some. The Dream is real. The Dream is coming to the rest of the world soon!
Dream Coat by Color Wow £22 for 200 ml

The Ordinary

Happy Birthday O. With the release of the September newsletter, The Ordinary is one. Together with Brandon, I am deliberately keeping this very low-key. I have continually written over the past year about the challenges we continue to face with The Ordinary; it has been a really difficult year.  Struggling to keep up with the overwhelming demand has been at the forefront of our endeavours; when we launched Colours, everything collapsed, including both our websites. We should have been euphoric, but we weren’t. We are accountable, yet there was no real accountability to offer because of the sheer volume of demand. And that hurt both of us. Badly.

And yet, amongst all of this, The Ordinary has made a profound difference to the beauty industry and to so many of you. At this point it really is not about how many products we can sell or the products we continually release. O. is more than a commodity. It is a way. It is a being. It makes a fundamental point about honesty and integrity. Many have an opinion about The Ordinary. Some good, some bad. It goes with the territory. The Ordinary is a force. So Happy First Birthday O. The world is a better place with you in it. It is our democratic right to choose. Millions have chosen. Thank you.

The Retinol/Retinoid Story

And out of somewhere and nowhere, there is a new story to be told. One of the key promises of The Ordinary is to be evolving and, as part of this commitment, we take feedback very seriously. The Ordinary’s retinoid offerings have been top sellers from the very start and have received outstanding reviews, but we also had feedback that a) the difference between Advanced Retinoid and Retinol was confusing; b) Retinol 1% was too strong as a starting point for those who preferred direct retinol; c) the products were not lightweight enough to be used as part of several steps in a regimen; d) most preferred Retinol 1% to be silicone-free. And so we have listened to all of this feedback and done even more.

Let’s start with the dramatic bit; Advanced Retinoid 2% is being re-named to align with new product introductions and Retinol 1% will soon be discontinued.

The line-up is below, but with a caveat; the two new Granactive Retinoid products are available now, but the three new Retinol products won’t be available for several days (please don’t let it be weeks!) so I’m putting them on a pre-order status, but please be aware we will not be taking any monies from your account until we process your order.

Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (Moderate Strength. No Irritation) & Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (High Strength. No to Low Irritation)

These water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free solutions contain a 2% and a 5% concentration of the same advanced retinoid active complex used in the original Advanced Retinoid 2% called Granactive Retinoid that has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol. Granactive Retinoid, an active technology from Grant Industries, is a solubilized system of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, a highly-advanced form of retinoid which is, in fact, a non-prescription ester of all trans direct retinoic acid that offers a multi-fold better effect against signs of ageing than retinol, retinyl palmitate and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid.

These products use next-generation retinoid active technologies which have been shown to achieve better reduction in ageing than retinol, without irritation. These technologies cannot be compared to retinol itself in terms of concentration because they include a different retinoid molecule, in a similar way that retinol cannot be compared with retinoic acid in terms of concentration.

The existing Advanced Retinoid 2% will be renamed to Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion to align with the new naming direction. The formula continues to offer an emulsion of 2% of this retinoid complex. While the new formulas in Squalane offer a very-light-weight solution for better compatibility with several steps in a regimen, the existing formula continues to be a creamy hydrating emulsion for those who prefer this format. The box and label change for the existing Advanced Retinoid will be in rotation for a few weeks as new packaging finds its way through distribution.

We recommend applying a small amount to your face in the PM as part of your skincare regimen, after water serums, but before heavier treatments. Please do not use with other retinoid treatments and avoid unprotected solar exposure.
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane £7.80 for 30 ml; Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane £11.90 for 30 ml; Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion £8.00 for 30ml.

Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (Low Strength. Moderate Irritation); Retinol 0.5% in Squalane (Moderate Strength. High Irritation) & Retinol 1% in Squalane (High Strength. Very High Irritation)

These water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free solutions contain three different strengths of pure direct Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing. While Retinol has been studied extensively, it is irritating to the skin and new technologies exist that mimic the visible effects of Retinol without causing skin irritation. For this reason we generally recommend using the Granactive Retinoids, as above.

If you have not used high-strength retinol formulas in the past, we strongly recommend that you start your retinol regimen with Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and adjust to higher strengths as your skin builds tolerance. You will achieve the same end results without the unpleasant redness and peeling along the way. Please also note that water can affect the stability of retinol. Additionally, plant oils sound peaceful in products but in retinol formulations can trigger lipid oxidation and can impair retinol integrity. These formulations do not contain water, silicones, plant oils or alcohol. As above, please do not use with other retinoid treatment and avoid unprotected solar exposure.
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane £4.20 for 30 ml; Retinol 0.5% in Squalane £4.90 for 30 ml; Retinol 1% in Squalane £5.80 for 30 ml (Pre-Order Only Status)

And just when you thought this section was over, it isn’t:

Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

Yes! This formula combines very high concentrations of two of the most powerful and important antioxidants in skincare: Resveratrol, and Ferulic Acid. Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in several plants and O.’s pure source is 100% derived from Japanese Knotweed. Ferulic Acid is a high-potency phytochemical antioxidant found naturally in walls of plant cells.

Skincare formulations generally incorporate Resveratrol at 1% or less and Ferulic Acid at 0.5% or less. This formula contains each at 3%, an exceptionally concentration. The formula does not contain any water, silicones, oils or alcohol. Water can impair the stability of any antioxidant. Stability is all. Impaired stability equals impaired product.

Application should be either alone or after water-based serums and before oils or heavier creams. Alternatively, you may wish to mix with other treatments to enhance their antioxidant capacity significantly. Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% can be mixed with Vitamin C 23% or Vitamin C Suspension 30% at each application to form an outstanding antioxidant network of Vitamin C. This product will be available within the next few days, all things being equal.
Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% £5.50 for 30 ml (Pre-Order Only Status); Vitamin C 23% + HA Spheres 2% £4.90 for 30 ml; Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone £5.80 for 30 ml

EUK 134 0.1%

And if we are talking about antioxidants, the mother and father of all of them is EUK 134. EUK 134 is a mimetic of superoxide dismutase and catalse, forming an exceptionally rare self-regenerating molecule that scavenges superoxide free radicals, eliminates hydrogen peroxide and converts reactive oxygen species into water and oxygen.

While it has been around for many years, very few products on the market use this truly superb antioxidant which can regenerate itself to offer round-the-clock antioxidant protection. The only issue with EUK 134 is that it must not be used immediately with strong acids such as suspensions of Ascorbic Acid. Strong acids will completely destroy EUK 134 which is based on manganese, which is also why it is not included as part of the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% formula. If you wish to take advantage of both formulas, the most effective regimen would be to use Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% in the PM (mixed with Ascorbic Acid suspensions if desired) and EUK 134 in the AM. EUK 134 can also be mixed with most products such as Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for a strong antioxidant boost.

Don’t let the low price of this formula misguide you. EUK 134 is by far one of the strongest antioxidants available in the world. It is truly a ground-breaking technology. While EUK 134 itself is very costly, the suggested concentration in a formula is below 0.05% and most formulas do not use this maximum suggestion. This formula uses EUK 134 at an extremely high 0.1% concentration and we do not believe any product on the market today uses a higher concentration than this amount. The formula does not contain any water, silicones, oils or alcohol. Water can impair the stability of any antioxidant.
EUK 134 0.1% £6.90 for 30ml 

I Woke Up Like This

I received an email. It was from a customer. This is what it said:

‘I was wondering if you had ever tried a brand called BioBelle. If not I urge you to stock it ….. a friend of mine returned from the US and gave me a BioBelle ‘I Woke Up Like This’ sheet mask to try. Honestly, I have never ever seen results like it. I was glowing! I was almost poreless! I was young again! I’m not kidding these were results on my 70-year-old skin that due to medication is prone to horrible lump-like blemishes that leave red marks and they were practically invisible’.

The inevitable followed, but before anything I need to say that I have stayed away from sheet masks despite the fact that I have had several hundred samples of them stashed in the office; the collection spans over an approximate four-year period, but not one cell in my body wanted to write or recommend any of them, until now.

The BioBelle masks are huge in America (second time I’ve said that on this newsletter) and BioBelle say that the use of Tencel, a biodegradable fibre made from the pulp of wood is a new technology which helps make their products absolutely cutting edge. Whatever technology, whatever serums, these masks are beyond fabulous and more than 100 patents have been awarded internationally for the development of Tencel.

Before I even tell you the names of each mask, I know that ‘I Woke Up Like This’ is going to be the bestseller of all of them; if you can fall in love with a name, I just have. Just looking at them in my bathroom makes me happy. Using them makes me even happier. The descriptions for each are on the product pages and I am not talking about the event at the end of the year now, but I’m kind of thinking My Diary of Beauty Secret Kit may well go on a few wish lists. Go … discover fabulousness!
BioBelle; Primer £4; Glam Hydrogel £5; I Woke Up Like This £4; After Party £4; Happy Hour £4; My Diary of Beauty Secrets Kit (Six Masks) £24

The Treat: Cysticlean

It is thought that up to two million women suffer from cystitis and urinary tract infections each year and that 20% of women have another infection within two months.

We have long recommended Cysticlean capsules which provide 240 mg of Proanthocyanidins (PAC) derived from North American cranberry extract, which work to help prevent and treat cystitis and urinary tract infections by dislodging bacteria that adhere to the bladder wall. High levels of PAC are clinically proven to benefit in the prevention of UTI’s and cystitis and Cysticlean contains the highest level of actives currently available in the UK.

It is of course one of our bestselling supplements, so here is a treat for those who either use it, or would like to trial this remarkable supplement. Up until midnight on Monday 25 September the price of Cysticlean will be £14.99 for 30 Capsules, which is a saving of £10 from the listed price of £24.99. If I may, I would just like to thank Cysticlean for the ongoing love and support in all that we do together.
VH Editorial: Is Drinking Cranberry Juice A Myth?Cysticlean £14.99 for 30 Capsules **Sorry this promotion has now ended**

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is the largest circulatory system within the body and it is also a system which has not been fully investigated. Most people are simply unaware of it, why it exists or what role it plays in the body.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, glands, spleen, thymus gland and tonsils which carry a clear fluid called lymph. Lymph’s composition is similar to blood except that it does not contain haemoglobin or any blood proteins. The lymphatic system consists of organs, ducts and lymph nodes which act as filters for the removal of toxins. The lymphatic system is a detoxification system; a nutrient delivery system and is the home of the immune system.

Shabir takes an in-depth look at the lymphatic system in his article below, where you will read, amongst other things, that the lymphatic system drains an average of three pounds of plaque and toxins from the brain each year. Removing this plaque and toxins may aid cognitive function as well as a possible psychologic response.
VH Editorial: The Lymphatic SystemCleavers by Viridian Nutrition £15.55 for 90 Capsules

Does Your Stomach Growl?

The third and final article from Shabir on this newsletter – does your stomach growl?

It is perfectly natural for the stomach to growl every now and then. Some people however find that their stomach growls loudly and frequently which can be embarrassing, frustrating and difficult to control. The medical term for stomach growling is borborygmic.

Many people associate stomach noises and growling with hunger. Growling does not necessarily occur when you are hungry, but it is usually louder when you have an empty or partially empty stomach. The noise occurs from the muscles lining the stomach and the intestines when food begins to be broken down. If the stomach is partially full, the noises are more muffled and conversely if the stomach is relatively empty, then the noises are much louder.

In his article, Shabir takes a look at some of the reasons behind stomach growling and the steps which may be taken to help prevent this condition. Conclusively he recommends taking Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes, which have a myriad of benefits, including bloating.
VH Editorial: Does Your Stomach Growl?; Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes £23.25 for 60 Capsules

VH Editorials

It seems apt to follow through on Shabir’s articles with the monthly featured articles from the VH Editorial Team and I’m trying to keep a straight face as I’m writing this, but it’s not really working because every-time I think of what Carole Morin has written, I fall about laughing. In my wildest dreams I didn’t ever think that George Osborne would make an appearance on our website and I think that is all I can say here; you’ll understand when you read it!
Desert Island Lips by Carole Morin

Arly. Wonderful Arly. For those who don’t know, exactly one year ago when we launched The Ordinary on the September newsletter, Arly stayed up all night to write about it. I didn’t know she was doing it; I didn’t ask her to do it, but she just did it. It seems rather apt that this month’s article is called ‘The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Routine’.

A few things to say here; the article includes products other than O. and this will be the third and final article on O. from Arly for the foreseeable future. With three articles to refer to, it will help you create your own personalised skincare regimen.

May I also say that with all the best will in the world, Arly is constantly bombarded with requests for personal regimens and I need to protect her because the situation is getting out of control; I am so, so sorry but she will be unable to offer guidance on personal/complete regimens any longer, although with the three articles there shouldn’t be a need. I hope you understand. Thank you.
The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Regimen by Detail Oriented Beauty

Take Four Girls. Jo Fairley, Sarah Stacey, Carolyn Asome and Catherine Turner. This month Jo writes about ‘The Joy Of Sea-Bathing’; well I suppose she would, she lives in Hastings. I have already told her that I am not joining in. Sorry. Love you Jo, but no.
The Joy Of Sea-Bathing by Jo Fairley

Carolyn Asome goes deep and tells us why we need to stop worrying; there is something wonderfully calming about Carolyn and I hope her words really help some of you.
Why We Need To Stop Worrying by Carolyn Asome

Catherine Turner, our intrepid traveller, has just returned from India and her article, Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil is a reflection of her travels and her own belief system.
Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil by Catherine Turner

Finally, the Beauty Bible girls, Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, do Post Summer Hair SOS, focussing on hair at the end of summer. Summer?
Post Summer Hair SOS by Beauty Bible

Right, back to it:

Warming Honey Cleanser – iS Clinical

This is a resurrection. The story. Going back several years this product was used in professional treatments only. I really didn’t think that was fair bearing in mind it is an amazing cleanser, with a difference. After much lobbying my LA boyfriends conceded (YES!) and it became a retail product. And then one day it disappeared. So I threw a strop (because I can!) and now it’s back. Glory hallelujah.

For those who have used it, you will understand my words above, for those of you who haven’t, Warming Honey Cleanser functions as a treatment cleanser, although I call it an ‘experience cleanser’. It is a blended cocktail of Honey, Myristic Acid, Olive Oil, Papaya Enzymes and Japanese Green Tea. You only need to use a really small amount and you massage it directly onto skin to activate, at which point it gently warms upon application.

I am really not going to write about its cleansing abilities, because they are what you would expect from iS Clinical. I use Warming Honey Cleanser in many different ways, but my favourite is to use it as a double-cleanse treatment two or three times a week, massaging it into my skin for about three minutes. I was doing this ten years ago, I am so happy to be doing it again.
Warming Honey Cleanser by iS Clinical £34 for 120 grams

Mrs White’s Unstung Hero

The story continues. Your feedback has been incredible; I could write reams, but I’m not going to. Instead I am just going to replicate an email sent to me:

‘I am just back from a very hot Italy. I have to let you know what a difference using Mrs White’s Unstung Hero made to my holiday. Having a reaction to mosquito bites, my legs in particular have been bitten so badly in the past that the scars last for months afterwards. Not this time! I sprayed every three to four hours. The spray coats the skin beautifully with no stickiness or residue. There is a pleasant light aroma to the spray.

I did get a few bites, rather than the normal 30 or more, but even those few bites were so light that they didn’t cause any issues. I am back home with tanned, bite-free legs – wonderful. And an added extra – staying on a farm one has to expect flies in the summer. Mrs White’s Unstung Hero kept the flies away from me too! Mrs White really is one Unsung Hero’.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent £20 for 250 ml

Pommade Divine

Hello Pommade Divine Travel Size. For those who don’t know, Pommade Divine’s original formula was first made by the Royal Family’s chemist, Butler’s & Co. in 1800. Since then, this multi-purpose healing remedy made with natural ingredients that have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, has been used extensively.

This deeply moisturising protectant for dry, itchy skin, dry cuticles, chapped lips and hands is now available in a 30 ml tube, which is perfect for travelling and for handbags.
Pommade Divine £14 for 30 ml; Pommade Divine £19.80 for 50 ml

The End Bit

There are moments, several of them, when I go ahead of myself and then regret it. It happens with the best of intentions of course, basically because I want you to know things when I know them. I can’t always do this for obvious reasons and slightly diversifying I have been sitting on a mammoth secret for nearly five years; but the Mini Pop-Folds by The Wet Brush were not a secret and I honestly thought they would arrive sooner than they actually did, which is why I wrote about them on the last newsletter. So they arrived. We made them available to buy. I didn’t say a word and within 24 hours they had virtually sold out. Rose Gold #1.
Mini Pop Folds by The Wet Brush £7.99

More O. news. Two of the products, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and Natural Moisturising Factors + HA (NMF) are now available in larger sizes as below. I say they are now available, but the way things go, who knows whether they will still be available by the time you read this. Actually they had better be otherwise Brandon is toast. Unbuttered.
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution £4.20 for 30 ml; Natural Moisturising Factors + HA £6.80 for 100 ml

The Organic Matcha Green Tea Gift Set contains AAA grade Organic Matcha (30 grams), a bamboo whisk and a Matcha serving spoon. The box was sitting on my desk when I walked into the office one morning. I liked the box. I thought I’d tell you that.
The Organic Matcha Green Tea Gift Set £37

That’s it. Done. We have come to the end of another newsletter and together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I would like to thank you for your amazing loyalty and support. As I always say, we couldn’t do any of this without you, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

I hope you have a wonderful September.

With love

Gill x

August Newsletter


Welcome to the August newsletter where I talk about Survival, the four new products from NIOD, we release another product from The Ordinary and we take a look at a few other new product launches. Shabir takes an in-depth look at probiotics, discover the latest product to go off the Richter scale and the VH editorial girls have done it again with some pretty hard-hitting articles, which I will write around on The Podium. Because it is August, I have given myself permission to write a shorter newsletter than usual, so that said let’s do Survival:


I am not going to go too technical about Survival because together with the ingredients, everything is listed on each of the product pages. Instead I will reiterate again that although the focus will undoubtedly be on the inclusion of SPFs (with the exception of Survival 0), Survival is a range of four networked protection systems that help support healthy skin defences against environmental and lifestyle-related assaults. Despite their lightweight texture, these formulations offer a broad selection of advanced technologies to target the effects of oxygen radicals including the superoxide radical, nitrogen radicals, glycation and advanced glycation end-products (AGE), pollution, smog, stress, infrared and blue light. The Survival products are not tinted and the colour is derived from the protective components such as Lutein, Pycnogenol and fractionated melanin.

Controversially, or otherwise, the only time I wear an SPF is when I am on the beach, or in strong sunlight, so I may be the exception to the rule, but I am using the Survival products because of the spectacular formulations (thank you Prudvi) and rather like ‘alpha and omega’ we now have ‘CAIS and Survival’, the first and the last. In Statera. The Balance.

Perhaps my above stance comes to be because there is a thing about SPF products; this entire sector of the beauty industry is cloaked in confusion and many myths, most of which are completely false. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is an indication of UVB protection only and does not communicate any level of protection with respect to UVA. The SPF number can be highly misleading in terms of actual protection. SPF 10 blocks up to 90% of UVB rays; SPF 20 blocks up to 95% and SPF 30 blocks up to 97%. The thing that really gets to me is the ‘holier than thou’ attitude about SPF 50/60; I want to scream when I see the marketing around this genre because at 98% there is only 1% more protection from UVB rays than SPF 30, yet they are portrayed as being the salvation of skin in the sun.

To read about the myths, such as, in practical terms, there is no such thing as a ‘waterproof’ SPF, and other important facts about SPF products, please click here; this should be read as an educational piece and some of the statements may well shock you. Outside of that article, nothing is more shocking than discovering that a high percentage of SPF products do not actually have the level of SPF as listed on the packaging and promotional material. This is more common than rare; they are big name brands and I’m not going to name them, but I have a feeling Brandon won’t be able to stay silent, most especially after a particularly well-known brand is ‘offering’ SPF 50, which three separate lab tests have proved is only SPF 27, or thereabouts.

I kind of rest my case here, just three more things to say. A thank you to Brandon for writing the ‘educational’ piece and Survival 0 is currently the second bestselling of the four products, which is for night-time use (although I sometimes use it during the day) and does not contain SPF. Interesting times.

Finally, Survival has only launched in Europe while DECIEM are completing the necessary registrations in markets internationally, which can take up to six months. During this time international customers can order from VH (that’s us!), importing for personal use only.
Survival 0 £20 for 30 ml; Survival 10 £23 for 30 ml; Survival 20 £24 for 30 ml; Survival 30 £25 for 30 ml; CAIS 1% £38 for 15 ml

The Ordinary – Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

The latest offering in a series of Vitamin C products, this is a water-free stable suspension containing 30% pure L-Ascorbic Acid. The Ordinary already offers a suspension of 23% Vitamin C in a silicone-free base. Whilst this formulation remains ideal for best utilisation of Vitamin C, some find the short-lived gritty feel on the skin uncomfortable. To address this concern The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone uses silicones to eliminate the gritty feeling of Vitamin C. Silicones do impair absorption of Vitamin C slightly, but offer a smooth, more comfortable finish. This formula uses low-volatility silicones and incorporates higher levels of Vitamin C to maximise dermal exposure.

I don’t think I need to write much more because I am already in ‘stress mode’ knowing that this will probably go out of stock before I blink. Just to say that it targets uneven skin tone and signs of ageing, it can be used either in the morning or the evening, once a day is enough and less is more.

Rolling back to last September, what on earth was I thinking when we launched The Ordinary. I must have been delirious or Brandon spiked my food. I’ll spike him for all the stress he has caused me. Thankfully I’m testing a NIOD product that will help take every bit of stress off my face. If we are really lucky, it may be released before 2020!
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone £5.80 for 30 ml; Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% £4.90 for 30 ml

Magic Skin – Skin Repair Gel

There are many times when a product consistently sells out without me mentioning or writing about it. Magic Skin is one of those products.

Magic Skin is an Aloe Vera based gel, which also includes Myrrh oil, Helicyrysum essential oil and Rock Rose oil. The healing properties of Myrrh will help soothe skin blemishes, skin rashes and skin conditions such as acne as it has strong anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Also an active healer, Helichrysum is one of the most powerful natural anti-bruising ingredients. Good stuff!

Everything about Myrrh makes me happy, so I’m going to allow NIOD’s Myrrh Clay to crash in here because I love using it, I think it is vastly under-rated and it visibly firms the skin.
Magic Skin by 1001 Remedies £25.60 for 35 ml; Myrrh Clay £28 for 50 ml

Coconut Oil Teeth Whitening Pen

I can’t remember precisely when it was, perhaps it was two or three years ago, Catherine Turner wrote an article about oil-pulling, an age-old Ayurvedic oral hygiene method using coconut oil. In the past couple of years, oil-pulling has become a bit of a ‘thing’ and there are several products on the market; we launched CocoBaci, a 15-day oil pulling programme, which has continually been popular. While I still recommend CocoBaci, there is now an alternative, the Coconut Oil Teeth Whitening Pen, which some of you may prefer to use as it is less ‘faffy’.

Developed in America by two dentists, it is natural, fluoride free and tastes pretty good. Besides helping to eliminate plaque and bacteria, coconut oil can also help improve breath. All you do is unscrew the cap and remove the wand. Apply gel to dry teeth in a circular motion, taking care not to apply the gel to the gums or lips. The easiest thing to do is to smile as you are doing it, just keep smiling for about a minute and there is no need to rinse. Anything that helps remove stains, brightens teeth and helps maintain healthy gums is good with me. In my bathroom!
Coconut Oil Teeth Whitening Pen £19 for 10 grams

Mrs White’s Swatnot – Fly Repellent

And suddenly there is a theme. This is another product I haven’t written about, but I suppose I should really. When India Knight wrote about Mrs. White’s Unstung Hero, we all know what happened; if you missed it then you can read all about it here. She also wrote about and praised Swatnot, so here is the lowdown:

Swatnot is a natural people and pet friendly fly spray which effectively eradicates house and stable flies without posing any health risks. Its unique blend of essential oils, including highly precious chrysanthemum absolute, is a welcome alternative to chemical pesticides and has a massive following from horse owners as it doesn’t compromise horse’s health. That aside, and as India wrote, no horsefly bites seems miraculous to her. Me too. I don’t have a horse, but I’ve had horsefly bites and they are very far from cute. And spray!
Swatnot £15 for 250 ml; Unstung Hero £20 for 250 ml

Detox Foot Patches

The theme takes a tangent. This is another product that went off the Richter scale, as mentioned above, when Sarah Stacey wrote about them in YOU magazine, so this from Sarah:

‘Recently I rediscovered Bodytox Detox Foot Patches, which you apply at night. Come the morning, I peeled them off, shuddered at the dark waste on each pad, then marvelled at how well I’d slept and how rested and toned my face look. Your feet are the foundation of your body, according to Chinese medicine, with 60 acupuncture points and some 7000 nerve endings. The patches combine wood vinegar, mugwort extract, chitosan (an ingredient from crustacean shells) and tourmaline (a semiprecious mineral), which claim to draw out toxins from your body’.

No more words from me other than to say my eyes nearly popped out my head when I was watching the screens, which was then surpassed by the thought that everybody had them except me, including Carole Morin, the VH Addict who has written about them on her article – this article should actually come with a health warning. She walks a fine line.
Detox Foot Patches £12.99 for Six; VH Editorial: Bum, Bum, Bum by Carole Morin

What Can’t Probiotics Do?

I have been holding onto Shabir’s article on probiotics for a couple of months, basically because the bestselling Florassist Mood has been out of stock for nearly two months and it features prominently for low mood. I don’t want to get side-tracked here and write about out of stock products, so I will do that later, but for now I am going to replicate a part of this article, but as ever, you can read the full version by clicking on the link below.

After birth, our gut is colonised by trillions of micro-organisms called probiotics, which we are supposed to have for life. These micro-organisms, mostly beneficial bacteria, are important to the health and wellbeing of our bodies and carry out numerous functions which include enhancing immunity, digesting food and manufacturing energising B vitamins.

Each of us have a unique probiotic profile which is influenced by genetics, gender and age, all of which cause it to change throughout our lifetime. This probiotic profile is of course also influenced by our diet and lifestyle.

With increasing research, we are finding out that many probiotic species have specific roles to play in the body, including elevating mood, preventing gum disease as well as protecting our heart.

And suddenly we have a bit of a probiotic minefield. For overall health and wellbeing, we have long recommended Mega Probiotic ND, a broad spectrum probiotic supplement. The ND stands for non-dairy and it contains eight species of friendly bacteria than can help colonise the gut after passing through the harsh environment of the stomach. We call Mega-P a core probiotic supplement, which can then be supplemented by an additional specific probiotic without fear of any side effects.

I am not going to list the various probiotics available here; this list is extensive but it covers low mood, as above and then a plethora of probiotics to help issues such as high cholesterol, gum disease, inflammatory bowel disorders, intimate care, travel, problem skin and probiotics which are suitable for babies and children.

Probiotics are, in my opinion, essential for gut health; I have taken Mega-P since we first launched it, several years ago. I throw in others when I feel I need them; I think Florassist Mood is a stunning supplement, always remembering that not all probiotics are created equally. I start banging my desk when I see probiotics with low therapeutic dosages claiming to be the ‘cure-all’ for everything. Thump, thump, thump … I’ve been thumping for years!
VH Editorial: What Can’t Probiotics Do?Mega Probiotic ND £19 for 60 Capsules; Florassist Mood £26 for 60 Capsules

Do You Suffer From Period Bloating?

Shabir is having a moment. In this second, of three articles this month, we investigate period bloating, which is a major concern for so many women as they approach the start of their period.

It is estimated that eight out of ten women suffer from bloating before and at the beginning of their period. Although a relatively common occurrence, period bloating is actually fluid retention and results in feeling overly full or having a swollen waist. It is not a serious concern, but it is an annoying one.

Bloating usually occurs at the premenstrual stage; during a menstrual cycle there is a major fluctuation between the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. It is the relative levels of these hormones and the difference in levels of the two hormones that cause different symptoms in different women before and during a period. Women can actually gain pounds of water due to the ability of oestrogen to cause fluid retention.

Most often, by the third day, the water retention begins to diminish and the symptoms ease because when oestrogen levels rise bloating increases and when they begin to fall, the bloating obviously decreases.

Aside from hormonal changes, other possible reasons for period bloating could be excessive amounts of blood pooling in the pelvic area, your diet and high levels of prostaglandins, hormone type compounds which can also lead to bloating.

Dandelion root and leaves have a long history of use in traditional medicine as a digestive aid, but it is also an amazing natural diuretic. Dandelion root is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and numerous antioxidant plant compounds and as a potent diuretic it helps increase urine flow, rids the body of excess water and helps relieve feelings of bloating.

Shabir recommends Dandelion Tincture by A Vogel which contains freshly harvested organically grown root. The recommended dosage is 15-20 drops up to three times a day just before and during your period. Additionally, Dandelion may help to relieve menstrual cramping, which can only be a good thing. Caution: Dandelion Tincture should not be combined with conventional diuretics and should not be used by people with gallstones.
VH Editorial: Do You Suffer From Period BloatingDandelion Tincture £9.75 for 50 ml


In his final article this month, Shabir writes about excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that affects approximately 3% of the adult population. Hyperhidrosis affects mostly the palms, feet, underarms and face and yet it is thought that only 50% of people affected seek treatment.

Hyperhidrosis is thought to arise as a result of the over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system or in some cases it could be due to an underlying medical condition. The sympathetic nervous system normally functions to respond to localised changes, an example being increased sweating as a result of an increase in temperature. The condition is categorised into:

Primary hyperhidrosis: This is where there is some sweating beyond what would be deemed normal, however it is not excessive all around the body. Primary hyperhidrosis is thought to arise when a particular sweat gland gets overly stimulated. Genetics may be implicated.

Secondary hyperhidrosis: This is when a trigger for excessive sweating is diagnosed, which may include hyperthyroidism, menopause, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, diabetes, gout and certain infections.

Hyperhidrosis is a serious medical condition and is an indication that there is something wrong with the body either nutritionally or it may well be caused by a toxin overload. Seeking a natural herb or vitamin to help relieve hyperhidrosis is almost like taking the conventional route.

Shabir recommends three different products, which you can read more about in the article. They are Daily Fruit & Veggie by Natrol, Organic Sage Leaf and Detox Foot Patches.
VH Editorial: Natural Remedies For HyperhidrosisDaily Fruit & Veggie Ultimate Superfood £20 for 90 Capsules; Organic Sage Leaf by Viridian £16.90 for 90 Capsules; Detox Foot Patches £12.99 For Six


From the moment of inception I have always loved Soapsmith. I love the products they make, I love their ethos and when I look at them I start to smile. I smiled rather a lot when their butter bath bombs landed on my desk. They really are divine and are packed with shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut butter to gently cleanse and moisturise the skin.

The variations include Lavender Hill, Bloomsbury (my favourite), Green Park, Limehouse, Marble Arch and Whitechapel. Add to that three new soaps that have just been launched, Kings Road Soap, Whitechapel Soap and Shuffles Soap, which I stole from our stock and brought home with me; I have tried hard not to raid our entire stock because I want them stacked here, there and everywhere; they also make perfect gifts. Bath bomb and soap newness and fabulousness here we come!
Butter Bath Bombs by Soapsmith £3 each; Soaps £7; Shuffles Soap (A Random Assortment of Soaps) £7

Glow Oil

There is nothing quite like launching a sunless body oil in the middle of winter, but that is exactly what happened with Glow Oil and it became an overnight bestseller. If it can do that in the depths of darkness, then this little baby will be rocking its way through the summer months.

Glow Oil is a safe, light, fast absorbing sunless body oil and helps achieve a radiant glow without DHA (dihydroxyacetone) commonly found in self tan and fake tan products. With tiny golden prisms, Glow Oil offers an immediate golden radiance whilst the DHA-free keto-sugar forms a lasting glow in two to three days to achieve the best glow, rather like a self-tan, but in my humble opinion, safer and infinitely better on so many different levels.
Glow Oil by The Chemistry Brand £20 for 100 ml

Marula Oil – The Ordinary

I just want to say a few words about Marula Oil. The very best Marula Oil comes from South-West Africa, a region encompassing Namibia and bordering South Africa. As I have written before, it has been out of stock for the longest time because of unfavourable rain conditions in the region. For sure it would have been extraordinarily easy to source a different Marula, but that was never going to happen because in our opinion there is not a satisfactory substitute for the unrefined African Marula Oil used.

Of course we had, and still have a massive wait list. We have received one consignment and more will follow shortly, but it is literally being delivered barrel by barrel. We will get there and I hope the wait won’t be too much longer. If you are desperate for an amazing oil, then do try Squalane while you are waiting. If I wrote that I actually prefer it, it could cause a miniature riot, but I do, so let the riot ensue. Ahem!
100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil £8.10 for 30 ml; 100% Plant Derived Squalane £5.50 for 30 ml

The Podium

I am jumping on The Podium to write around three of this month’s articles, which have been written by Jo Fairley, Carolyn Asome and Arly (Detail Oriented Beauty). Each of them are deeply moving in their own way and I am sure that they will touch so many of you.

Before I write anything else, I need to say that it would be the easiest thing in the world to commission articles to fill space on our site or to give me something to write about on the newsletters. Nothing could be further from the truth because I have always wanted VH to be a home, a place where we all belong and where we hold hands no matter what. We laugh, we cry, we do many different things, but we feel safe because we are safe.

There is no separation between any of us; I am often moved to tears when I read some of these articles because more often than not their words are an extension of my own belief system. These three articles couldn’t have come at a more profound moment and each of them came within five minutes of each other. Wearing my heart on my sleeve, these are the girls who sustain me and continually sustain me with their unconditional love and support in all that they do and in all that they are. I thank them.

I am going to start with Arly; I think she is trying to rival me with her word count because her article is seriously long and I know it took her a very long time to write it. The article is called ‘The Problem With Instagram’, but I think it should actually be called ‘The Problem With The World’.

Her article goes far, far deeper than the words I wrote about social media and cyber-bullying. It goes deeper because she is in that ‘social’ world and to all intents and purposes I am not. It is a shocking insight to human behaviour and then it drills down to the beauty industry.

For her own protection, I edited out some sections which took matters right to the core of what individuals and brands have done and continue to do. Amongst several other things, including wait lists, she writes about the fact that she has been very close to taking down her platform because of the cruelty of others and I can totally relate to that.

It takes great strength and courage to stand your ground against extreme adversity in any walk of life, but in an industry that is meant to promote all things bright and beautiful, the ugliness is apparent and transparent to so many of us. Arly, thank you for such a thought-provoking and brave article.
The Problem With Instagram by Detail Oriented Beauty

Let’s do ‘Embracing Change’; this is Jo talking about the one thing that gets to all of us at numerous times in our lives, change. There are so many connotations of what change is, but growing up loathing change, Jo writes about how she came to terms with change and how best to embrace it.

I think some of the most poignant changes any of us face are those of death and illness. This article arrived on the back of me reading an email from a VH Addict who had just been diagnosed with a life-changing illness. In such circumstance there is no supplement that can help, but the safety of our words and thoughts are everything.

I am going to replicate Jo’s final paragraph:

‘We never know what life will throw at us – and we’re often told that what matters isn’t what happens to us, but how we deal with it. I couldn’t agree more. But it was Stephen Hawkin, no less, who once simply said: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change – I’ll take that Professor ….’ Me too. ‘S’,  this one’s for you.
Embracing Change by Jo Fairley

Following on, another five minutes went by and then I received an email from Carolyn. Her subject. Emotional Intelligence. The theme of change, again. Talking to Carolyn, she told me that she felt that we were on the verge of an energy shift, which is why she chose that subject to write about.

In essence all three of these articles are linked; sections of Carolyn’s article, particularly her final paragraph, relate (unknowingly) back to Arly’s article, which is no coincidence in my humble opinion. No more words needed.
Emotional Intelligence by Carolyn Asome

VH Editorial

Just two more articles for me to tell you about; the first is from Catherine Turner who writes about Super Sleek Hair Treats and how oils have become the superfoods of the beauty world. Argan Oil has played a major role over the past few years, but I adore how she has referenced VO5 oil, which we all used to warm in a cup of hot water when we were teenagers. Those retro bathroom moments were really something. Wait, that’s an article in itself. The Beauty Bible girls can do that drenched in Aqua Manda!
Super Sleek Hair Treats by Catherine Turner

The final article is from the Beauty Bible girls and they do Double Duty Beauty, which is a rather interesting read about using products that perform more than one task.

Another retro moment here where Sarah and Jo write about Christian Dior’s Svelte anti-cellulite treatment, which actually was a true anti-cellulite treatment and it worked, it really worked. We all used Svelte, regardless of whether we had cellulite or not, we didn’t care, the smell was everything and if I close my eyes I can still smell it.

An iconic product, but those days have long gone since certain ingredients used in that and other formulations have been banned for many years, so we are left with mediocre offerings that talk about ‘the appearance of cellulite’; they can do no more and it’s tragic. I know there are greater issues in life, but a Bring Back Svelte campaign would be rather excellent. Millions of rampaging women overturning a ridiculous ingredient ban. How wonderful!
Double Duty Beauty by Beauty Bible

Right, back to it and just a few more things to say:

Check out the In Transit Skin Defence Kit if you are a This Works fan. The kit contains In Transit Camera Close-Up (20 ml), In Transit Skin Defence (20 ml) and In Transit No Traces (20 Pads). This anti-pollution skincare trio has been put together to cleanse, protect and moisturize skin in portable travel sizes. This is a limited time offer, worth £35 it is available for £25 while stocks last.
In Transit Skin Defence Kit £25 (worth £35)

All the girls in the office have fallen in love with The Wet Brush Mini. It is a portable Wet Brush, which you can fold up and just pop in your bag. It has a mirror too, so double whammy happiness. They were all lusting after the Rose Gold Mini and it seems to have disappeared from my desk, so I don’t know who has it! The thing is that I thought they would arrive in time for this newsletter, but it appears that they won’t, so keep an eye on our site because we will load them as soon as we receive them. In the meantime check out all other brushes in The Wet Brush range. They have become collectable!
The Wet Brush

Curl it. Straighten it. Set it. Forget it. Introducing Style on Steroids from Color Wow. Sprayed on dried hair, this versatile, high performance aerating spray blasts in volume with ‘setting’ results that lasts from dawn to dusk. Spray and play to refresh and re-set second day hair. Color Wow say it is foolproof and impossible to overuse …. it’s the over-achieving must-have mist and I’m not going to argue with them!
Style on Steroids by Color Wow £20 for 262 ml

There is one more product that was meant to be on this newsletter, but it isn’t. I wonder what it could possibly be and where it could possibly come from! I’m absolutely not running a competition because there will be thousands of winners, so let’s just say that the September newsletter should be rather interesting.

The end and all that remains is for me to thank you, together with Shabir and the entire VH team, for your continued support and loyalty.

If you are going away, travel safely.

With love

Gill x