Victoria Hall

The Dental Trend That Will Never Catch On

dental_vh

It’s safe to say that a lot of us would quite like whiter teeth. Even the most crooked pair of teeth look better if they’re a shade whiter. It’s no surprise that social media platforms like Instagram have become the prized place for influencers and celebrities to rave about the latest whitening toothpastes and treatments. Read More…

Should We Be Opting For Reusable Sanitary Products?

Menstrual Cups

Few of us give our monthly period much thought or attention until it arrives. So much so, the majority of us, 67% to be specific, buy the same brand and type of sanitary product each and every month. Considering the British period product market was valued at £265.8m last year by research company Mintel, that’s impressive brand loyalty – or an indication of our total lack of interest in giving that time-of-the-month any more attention than is absolutely necessary.

Slowly but surely the tide is beginning to change though and a small amount of us are starting to consider our choice of sanitary products. This month, the BBC reported a decrease in the amount spent on tampons and towels. While some experts put this down to supermarket discounts and offers, others believe it could be part of a bigger movement championing reusable options. Most of us know at least one person who uses a moon cup each month rather than the more traditional options, but is it time we all made the move to reusable sanitary products?

How does our choice of sanitary products affect the environment?

There’s no doubt that our overuse of plastics and the impact that it’s having on the environment is huge news at the moment, and a topic that is unlikely to simmer down any time soon. Over the past couple of years, our awareness has shifted to the effect our disposable tampons and towels can have on the environment.

Most tampons are made from a blend of rayon, wood pulp, cotton and synthetic substances, although as they’re not deemed as a medical product manufacturers do not have to reveal the full list of ingredients. The average woman uses over 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, which is a considerable amount of plastic to end up in the landfill, or the sea.

What about our health?

Your vagina is one of the most absorbent areas of your body and some experts believe that due to the volume of tampons we use in our lifetime, the small amount of chemicals used in tampons could potentially cause health issues. However, there is currently no scientific research to back up this claim.

TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is regularly associated with tampons. However, TSS is caused by a build-up of bacteria and therefore, can occur if you’re using a moon cup or a tampon. If TSS is your biggest concern, then it’s worth opting for sanitary towels, and reusable ones if you want to tick the environmental box too.

What are your options?

Go organic: Even 100% cotton tampons will take a long time to decompose. However, brands such as NatraCare offer a variety of plastic-free sanitary towel and tampon options that are worth exploring if you want to make a more conscious choice without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.

Reusable options: From reusable tampon applicators and sanitary towels to moon cups, there are plenty of options for those wanting to seriously cut down their waste. Moon cups are the most common reusable sanitary products available and have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. Aside from the environmental benefits that the medical-grade silicone cup offers, there are also monetary gains to be made as the £21 purchase lasts for years.

While there’s very little doubt that reusable sanitary products is market that is going to continue to grow, it is a matter of personal preference and making the change from a throwaway tampon to a moon cup can take time. In terms of the money you’ll save in the long run though, it’s definitely worth considering…

Is Overtiredness Stopping You From Sleeping

Clocks Going Back

Whether they go forward or back, the change in the clocks can often impact our sleep. This weekend, they’re going back so we can all enjoy an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning, but be warned, the days are about to get shorter and the cold, dark nights are going to become longer.

Sleep, or lack of it, is big business. In the US, its been reported that some have resorted to paying anywhere between $1100 and $5000 a month on sleep coaches in a bid to ease their insomnia. On the other side of the pond, since the clocks went forward in March, there has been plenty of discussion about sleep – how much we should be getting, how to get more et cetera.

But more recently, experts have been suggesting that overtiredness could be impacting the amount and quality of shut-eye we’re getting. Physiologist and sleep therapist, Nerina Ramlakhan told the Guardian, ‘We have become restless as a society – and that places more demands on us when we get into bed at night.’

‘We have lost the rituals and practices that gave us little respites during the day. In the past, you would go to the supermarket and, while you were waiting in the queue, you’d daydream, be a bit bored, look around,’ she says. ‘Now, any window like that will be filled by looking at your phone, answering some emails, sorting out your Amazon account.’

How can you reduce overtiredness?

The obvious answer might appear to be get more sleep, but as Ramlakhan has explained, too many of us are in constant overdrive during the waking hours that we’re too wired to relax at night. We should be looking at ways the tweak our lifestyle and introduce moments of respite throughout our days.

While it is easier said than done, limiting the amount of time you spend on your phone can help. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that those who don’t switch-off from work-related emails and activities at home struggle to relax and recharge for the next day.

The iPhone Screen Time app is a good way to introduce time restrictions on emails, social media and various apps. Putting your phone on DND (Do Not Disturb) between the hours of 6 pm and 7 am can also help ease you off late night work emails and mindless scrolling of your Instagram or Facebook accounts.

As with every article on sleep, we had to drop in meditation and yoga. Both practices are good at helping you to switch off and reconnect with yourself. If the idea of an hour of Vinyasa Flow feels you with dread, try swimming or joining your local bouldering club – both require you to leave your phone in the locker and keep your mind focused on the activity at hand.

If you get those moments of tightness in your chest or want something to help ease your stress, look to Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, £26. It’s a supplement we recommend time and time again for the simple fact that it does genuinely offer some relief. Interestingly, new research has also suggested that your other half’s body odour can also help you to de-stress, so keeping a T-shirt aside could potentially do the trick too.

What if you still can’t sleep?

If you’re still struggling to sleep after introducing pockets of rest during the day, it might be worth looking at your bedroom environment. Is the temperature cool enough? Is there any light coming through the curtains? And, is there a noise that could be silenced? None of these things are particularly ground-breaking, but a lot of us don’t have good sleep hygiene. For instance, not eating an hour or two before bed, or partaking in an intense cardio class too close to bedtime.

Upping your levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) can also help you to drift off (Cherry Night, £25.95, by Viridian is a good option). But, this does take a week or so to take effect. If you want a little helping hand in the first instance, look to Sleep Tight, £25.50, which contains a range of relaxing and sleep-inducing herbs, including magnesium, oat straw and ashwagandha.

Meet The Woman Behind Nannette De Gaspé

Nannette de Gaspe

Most of us are well acquainted with sheet masks and have put several to task to hydrate, brighten and improve our skin. The idea of using a dry sheet mask might feel slightly unnatural, but over the past year several have launched onto the market. The woman who discovered the technology and first launched it onto the skincare market is Nannette de Gaspe. To mark the launch of Nannette de Gaspé’s game-changing dry sheet masks and her impressive Art of Noir skincare range, we caught up with her to find out what inspired her…

Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I began my career in corporate banking and corporate finance. For a number of years, prior to launching Nannette de Gaspé, I worked in private equity.

What gave you the inspiration to develop the dry sheet masks?
A few years ago, through my private equity work, I was presented with a revolutionary technology in the delivery of active ingredients and a process to dry print the formulations onto textiles.

I was inspired to bring the technology to the market when I learned how the clever delivery system transports active ingredients to multiple layers of the epidermis (top layer of skin), creating a reservoir under the skin, feeding and nourishing it from the inside out. I was very impressed with the significant clinical results achieved in a very short amount of time. It was true innovation.

I decided to launch Nannette de Gaspé, a luxury, high-performing and natural beauty brand to share this wearable technology with the world.  My vision was and is to empower people with revolutionary cosmetic solutions that are easy-to-use, not intrusive and truly beneficial to the skin. We have since introduced our Baume Noir Face, a virtually waterless global face cream that also incorporates this advanced delivery technology.

Can you explain in Layman’s terms the technology?
We are using a breakthrough micro vector ingredient delivery system that allows for active ingredients to travel through micro penetration to multiple layers of the epidermis (top layer of skin). The technology not only allows for a deeper penetration of actives, but also ensures a more continuous release of actives as the micro vectors slowly melt into the skin, thus delivering more pronounced results in a condensed amount of time.

Because our TechstileTM treatments are dry, there is no water to act as a filler, infusing your skin with upwards of 95% natural ingredients and up to a mind-blowing 87% active ingredient concentration.

Why did you decide to expand the range with the Art of Noir products?
We would always suggest to our clients that they should wash their faces with a good cleanser and use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and refine pores, before using our dry TechstileTM  treatment. Many of our clients would ask us when we were coming out these products.

Because Nannette de Gaspé was called a disruptor in the beauty industry when we pioneered the dry TechstileTM treatment, we knew that we had to bring out unique, high-performing skincare. We spent almost two years creating our Art of Noir skincare collection which is upward of 95% natural.  

What are your desert island beauty essentials?
Definitely our Essence Noir Cleansing and Treatment Clothes, the Polish and both Baume Noir Face and Lips. I would also want my Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer (never leave home without it!), Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara, MAC Blushbaby Blush and, of course, my Elta MD SPF46 Sunscreen.

What do you think the future holds for the health and beauty industry?
Skincare will be more about quality than quantity. Consumers will want their skincare routine to be simple, treatment focused and fit easily into their lifestyle. They will be looking for high-performing active ingredients in multi-tasking formulations (ie. a cleanser that is also a light exfoliator with anti-ageing and hydrating benefits).

As trends are moving towards nourishing the body with green and clean inside and out, people will want clean beauty which incorporates more natural and sustainable ingredients.

As consumers become more educated and savvy, they will want greater customisation options and access to products and technologies that they can use at home, on their terms. Brands will offer personalised products for the changing needs of one’s skin, which can be daily, weekly, monthly.

Everything You Need To Know About Dermarolling

dermaroller

The idea of puncturing your skin with sharp 0.5mm long needles for three minutes, twice a week, might be enough to make some people squirm, but dermarolling, or microneedling, has received a lot of press in recent months. The technique isn’t necessarily new, but more experts are rallying behind it as a way of rejuvenating your skin quickly. So, what are the benefits?

First and foremost, what is a dermaroller?

It look like a medieval torture device, but the spiky, roller gadget can be hugely beneficial to your skin. Dermarollers have lots of small, sharp needles that you roll across your skin to create micro punctures. Needle length varies from 0.2mm to 1mm for both in-clinic and at-home dermarollers. Nannette de Gaspé’s Roller Noir has 0.5mm length needles to ensure it’s safe to use at home yet still offers collagen-boosting results.

What are the skincare benefits?

Microneedling creates thousands of tiny punctures to your skin, which not only help to slough away dry skin, but also turbocharges your collagen and elastin production. Essentially, microneedling makes your skin think it’s been injured and forces it into repair mode.

While you will notice your complexion looks fresher, don’t expect overnight success in terms of skin firmness as it can take around eight weeks for your skin to produce collagen.

How do you use it?

Experts recommend rolling upwards in a diagonal direction across your face at least twice, if not three times for the best results. Always roll on freshly cleansed skin and wash/spritz your roller with alcohol afterwards to avoid any bacteria build-up. Expect your skin to be a shade of pink for at least 15 minutes after you’ve rolled.

What’s the best skincare to use alongside your dermaroller?

If you usually apply your vitamin C or retinol serum in the evening, alternate these with your dermaroller. Reactive ingredients, especially exfoliating acids can be too harsh on skin after microneedling. Instead, opt for a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum or a soothing, nourishing formula to help replenish your skin. Remember you’ve just caused micro-injuries across your face, so be gentle.

How long will your dermaroller last for?

Similar to razor blades, over time the needles on your dermaroller will become blunt. However, this should take around six months if you’re using it a couple of times a week.

Total Wellbeing: The Term You’ll Be Hearing About A Lot In 2019

total wellbeing

There were whisperings of self-care throughout 2017, but it wasn’t until this year that the term really came into its own. Over the past few months brands, magazines and influencers have all tapped into the theme. It has its own dedicated week in November and a quick scroll of Instagram on a Sunday reveals that it even has its own hashtag, #sundayselfcare.  

But, what does self-care actually mean? Well, essentially it’s anything that encourages you to spend some quality time with yourself and leaves you feeling good, including taking a bath, putting on a face mask or reading your book, you name it. The NHS defines it clearly as ‘keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional.’

According to Mintel’s latest report, as we progress into next year self-care will evolve into ‘total wellbeing’. The report states, ‘Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.’ From the moisturisers we slather on to the sprays we use to clean our houses and the cars we choose to drive, total wellbeing spans across all aspects of our life.

“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness,” says Gabrielle Lieberman, Director of Trends & Social Media Research Americas. “Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalised approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”

In terms of skincare it’s likely that you’ll be hearing a lot more about probiotics and the many benefits good bacteria can have on our complexions. Of course, pre- and probiotic skincare isn’t new. In fact, good bacteria has been used in formulations for a while, but up until now it hasn’t been highlighted. Brands such as Aurelia Probiotic Skincare have been championing ‘biotic’ ingredients and the bestselling Botanical Cream Deodorant is testimony to its efficacy.

When it comes to supplements, it’s likely that future formulations will be developed in spray form as this is the best way for the body to absorb most nutrients. And, it’s likely that our supplements will be tailored to our specific needs. Although, this won’t necessarily happen next year, you can expect to read a lot more about the importance of monitoring your vitamin and mineral levels as part of the total wellbeing approach. If you’re baffled by which supplements you should be taking, it is worth reading Shabir’s Essential 6 For Optimal Health.