Hello and welcome to the June newsletter where we talk about the launch of a new product from LixirSkin, which is rather special. We take a look at some other new product launches, there is a bestselling supplement treat, all the latest news and feedback and we also throw the focus on mental health issues. And then of course we have the girls with this month’s feature articles. Let’s do it:
Soft Clay Rubber by LixirSkin
It has been nine months since we launched LixirSkin for Colette Haydon. Simplistic in its approach to skincare, there were just six products in the range and now there are seven. So we say hello to Soft Clay Rubber, which sits in all its resplendent knicker-pink pot glory in my bathroom and I’m guessing it will soon be in most of your bathrooms too.
This is a limited launch, so you will need to be fast to be one of the first. The rest won’t have to wait that long, around two weeks I think, but don’t shoot me if it’s slightly longer; visions of another wait list are swirling around my head, so best we move on.
Soft Clay Rubber is inspired by the true tradition of the French facial and is a ‘no bits’ exfoliant and mask in one. The rub-off formula combines enzymatic and mechanical exfoliation. It is formulated with keratolic enzymes, which gently break down the keratin of dead cells that can block pores. The white clay in the formulation helps to clear congestion and draw out impurities and excess sebum.
This from Colette: ‘Some skins are fine and blessed with tiny pores. Others are thick and blessed with strength, but have open pores that accumulate dead skin and sebum, which turn into blackheads. I wanted to create a product that’s not for everyday use. Exfoliating bits in formulas aren’t always the sign of a good exfoliator, they can be irritating and abrasive and merely scratch the surface of the skin’.
So let’s get down to it. One product, two different uses and put to the test, if I had to choose, I prefer the first method and Victoria prefers the second. Mask wars perhaps!
The first: Once or twice a week, apply generously to dry skin, massage and pat for one minute and then ‘rub-off’ with your fingertips. And this is where ‘rubber’ comes into play, because as you rub the mask off, the rubber bits fall into the sink. I will totally admit to being rather sad, but watching the bits fall off makes me happy; so happy in fact that when I was first testing I did it twice for the sheer excitement of the process.
The second: You can also use this as a mask; just apply a generous amount to your skin, leave for five minutes and then rinse off. For double hit use, you can apply first as a rub off exfoliant and then re-apply as a mask. This method is recommended for those with heavily congested skin, but actually I kind of like doing this each time because it makes my skin glow and that makes me happy.
But, I’ll take this further, just because I can! After the mask ritual, I use the Vitamin C Paste, which then becomes another mask ritual all of its own. Vitamin C Paste. The hero bestselling product of the range (as of this moment). Although only nine months old, I believe it has reached iconic status, but I think it probably achieved that several months ago. In fact Soft Clay Rubber and Vitamin C Paste could actually be the ‘holy grail’ of mask rituals. Bravo Colette, bravo.
Soft Rubber Clay £28 for 60 ml; Vitamin C Paste £32 for 50 ml both by LixirSkin
A couple of weeks ago it was Mental Health Awareness Week and I covered it rather extensively on the Addicts Bulletin. I am going to replicate those words here because it is vitally important to so many of us.
I cannot even think, write or say the words ‘mental health’ without thinking and remembering the late, great Sally Brampton who was the poster girl for mental health issues. She touched my soul, she touched so many of us in differing ways. I made an absolute promise that I would always keep her profound articles on our site and they are there for all time. To some they will be new reading, to others they can be referenced over and over.
Her article on Suicide still brings tears to my eyes and I have read it hundreds of times. Remembering Sal, my beautiful friend who walked into the sea and didn’t come back. Always with me.
VH Editorial: Suicide by Sally Brampton
Why Dreaming Could Be Key To Your Mental Health
During Mental Health Awareness Week there were an influx of stories surrounding stress, anxiety and sleep. When it comes to the latter, the focus is often on the struggle to fall asleep and the knock-on effect of not getting enough. We rarely talk about our quality of sleep, let alone whether we dreamt or not. Can you even remember the last time you had a really truly vivid dream? If you struggle to get eight hours sleep a night, the thought of dreaming can feel more of an indulgent luxury. But, more and more research is highlighting the importance of dreams. Victoria investigates.
VH Editorial: Why Dreaming Could be Key To Your Mental Health by Victoria Hall
We are staying on the healing theme. If you read the May newsletter, you will know that I led with Soul Medicine created by Denise Leicester. I don’t want to keep using the word ‘profound’, but there is no other word to describe the impact music can have on our state of mind and the feedback has been overwhelming.
And there we were, the collective few on a dizzy night in Fitzrovia Chapel, the most beautiful of buildings which used to be the chapel of the Middlesex Hospital where Denise trained as a nurse and where she would accompany her patients to help with their healing process.
The launch of Soul Medicine. The ambiance, the music, the healing. We were as one as Denise started to sing and, as Anastasia Achilleos wrote, ‘Denise’s beautiful enchanting magical, healing, uplifting singing literally blew the roof off Fitzrovia Chapel as one by one the phones came out to record this other-worldly vibrational music’. Being Loved. Ambe Ma.
I am beyond passionate about Denise’s work and as such I shared Soul Medicine with a few special people. And then Wayne Goss posted on Instagram. I didn’t know he was doing it and I had tears rolling down my face when I read it, because I can relate and I believe we can all relate on some level. Wayne’s words:
‘My friend Gill told me about Soul Medicine vibrational music. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t for me. But I downloaded it anyway because I love her. Four tracks actually. Being Held. Being Lifted. Being Loved. Being Present. I put ‘Being Loved’ on and went about my normal day of dullness. As the track played I felt myself welling up. It was the most beautiful sound. A hmmm. And it made me cry. Not tears of sadness, but tears of release. Hard to explain. But it was so beautiful. So beautiful. It made me miss love. And made me think about what love really is.’
Soul Medicine – 432 Love Tracks £20 (All Four Tracks); Inner Calm Mist £32 for 50 ml; Inner Smile Mist £40 for 50 ml
The Bestselling Supplement Treat
Right, let’s slip this one in now. It’s Mega Probiotic ND (Non-Dairy). It’s a twin-pack. The normal retail price for 2 x Mega-P (as we call it) would be £39. Except it’s now £29 for 2 x Mega-P. It won’t be around for too long because we may run out of stock. Fingers on the keyboards because it’s good to share.
Mega Probiotic ND Twin Pack £29 whilst stock lasts; (Mega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules)
Trinny and Shabir – Facebook Live
Yes, Shabir was in the bathroom with Trinny again two weeks ago and this time he was talking about hyperpigmentation, rosacea and scarring. If you missed it, you can catch up with it on the link below.
As you may have read on the May newsletter, Shabir has been working with Garden of Wisdom formulating a series of new skincare products. One of those specifically targets hyperpigmentation. It is Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum. It is an advanced skin brightening and lightening serum which helps improve the appearance of age spots, freckles and melasma; it also helps correct uneven skin tone.
So in other words it is a bit of a hero product (the second hero product within a few paragraphs). The formulation also contains Niacinamide (B3) and Paper Mulberry, and we all know how much Shabir loves a bit of Niacinamide.
Also making an appearance on the video, Sheald Recovery Balm which remains best in class for all scarring issues and of course it can be used on open wounds. I worship the lab this was formulated in. Still. After all this time. Clever, clever LA boyfriends. Forever Sheald.
VH Editorial: Takeaway Tips from Shabir and Trinny’s Facebook Live; Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum by Garden of Wisdom £12 for 30 ml; Sheald Recovery Balm by iS Clinical £43 for 60 ml
And so it came to pass that I received an email asking if we would stock this brand and I started to laugh. I know this brand really well; I’ve only seen it a few hundred times on my ever-so-frequent trips to LA and I’ve even used (and loved) it. And yet, for some unknown reason, it didn’t occur to me to list the brand on our site. But now we have.
Several of the Coola Classic Sunscreen products contain the latest in FDA approved non-mineral (chemical) actives. With the use of natural plant phyto-protectors, derived from ingredients such as Plankton and Red Raspberry Seed oil, there are a choice of products. I can’t write about all of them, there are too many, but I rather like the fact that they are loaded with antioxidants and they provide full UVA and UVB protection.
I am going to reel off my favourites and top of the list is the Cucumber Mineral (Physical) Sunscreen in SPF 30; not that it performs better than the rest of the products, but because I adore the smell of cucumber and so I’m very happy to have it on my skin. Next is the Body Unscented Sunscreen Spray in SPF 30 for those moments when I’m too lazy to rub a cream in, although of course there is an Unscented Classic (chemical) Sunscreen Moisturizer too.
Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Cucumber £36 for 50 ml; Eco-Lux Body SPF 30 £36 for 236 ml; Body SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer £30 for 148 ml
Three more to go; the Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion which is eco-certified and loaded with Agave, Aloe Vera, Lavender Oil and Rosemary extract; Liplux a broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 lip balm and finally a Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30.
Why a makeup setting spray? Well, we keep being asked to list a makeup setting spray and we haven’t got one, but now we have. And fabulous it is. Regardless, I now use this every day, well the days I actually wear makeup. When it’s hot, I don’t want my makeup sliding down my face because it’s not a good look, and the days when there is no sun, well my makeup stays fixed and that is good. Actually very good indeed.
Coola; Ecocert Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion £30 for 180 ml; Liplux Lip Sunscreen £12; Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray £39 for 50 ml
Natural Remedies For The Relief of Sinus Congestion and Sinusitis
A very high percentage of people suffer from sinus congestion and blocked sinuses every year. The medical term for this is sinusitis and it is a condition where the sinuses become infected or inflamed.
Sinuses are hollow spaces or cavities near the bones in the skull around the nasal passages. Each sinus has an opening that allows the exchange of mucus and air and the four sinuses are joined together by a thin membrane. Nearly two pints of fluid moves through the sinuses every day and helps to clean and moisten the membranes lining the nose and throat.
Fine hairs in the sinuses ensure that the fluid does not get blocked within the sinuses. When the membrane joining the sinuses becomes infected or inflamed, the fluid simply accumulates causing pressure on the sinus walls leading to pain in the region.
Sinus infections usually occur as a result of being infected by a virus or fungi. Fungal spores in the air are thought to be one of the most common causes of sinusitis as are pollen from summer and winter flowering shrubs and trees.
There are over 40 types of airborne fungal spores and sufferers of sinusitis were found to have an average of two within the sinus cavity. Where your pain is located is often an indicator of which sinus is inflamed or infected, although most people with sinusitis have pain in multiple locations. In his article, Shabir takes a look at how to treat sinusitis with natural products.
VH Editorial: Natural Remedies For The Relief of Sinus Congestion and Sinusitis; Sinus Support £20 for 45 Capsules; Plantago Tincture £9.75 for 50 ml; Sinuforce Nasal Spray £7.35 for 20 ml
The Beauty Benefits of Prickly Pear
Shabir is having a moment, actually it’s more than a moment because he is knee-deep in formulations and ingredients for both supplementation and for skincare. I will write more about all of this over the next few months, but for now he is having a bit of a love fest with Prickly Pear, basically because of its role in helping to control inflammatory skin conditions.
Prickly Pear oil contains the highest amount of Vitamin E than any other beauty oil and it contains 150% more Vitamin E than Argan oil. It is extremely rich in essential fatty acids, including Omega 6 and 9, antioxidants, polyphenols, amino acids and Vitamin K.
The essential fatty acids help calm inflammation and redness and Shabir has been recommending it for those prone to rosacea as it may help. The oil is easily absorbed into the skin and penetrates quickly without leaving any greasy residue. The effective and potent antioxidants are known as betalains, which are red and yellow pigments found in plants.
Prickly Pear contains the highest amount of betalains than any other plant including beetroot, Goji berries and Acai and it is these super antioxidants that may help to protect skin against ageing from various types of damaging radicals, but there is more:
Prickly Hair is a brilliant hair treatment (tried and tested by me) for dry, dull and lacklustre hair; all you do is massage a couple of drops into your hair, leave it in for about 15 minutes and then wash it out. It’s also fabulous for cuticles and you will need to read Shabir’s article about how it may also help those prone to acne. In other words, the very versatile and rather amazing Prickly Pear oil.
VH Editorial: The Beauty Benefits of Prickly Pear; 100% Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil by Garden of Wisdom £20 for 30 ml
Beauty Restorer – Face Tool
When we launched the Hayo’u Method Beauty Restorer for Katie Brindle on the February newsletter, I said at the time that we would be delving into the deeper benefits of Gua Sha over the following months and we are going to take a look at some of those now.
Facial Gua Sha is a natural and simple way to help rejuvenate the skin without resorting to invasive techniques. Facial Gua Sha is often referred to as the ‘Eastern Facelift’ as it can help slow the signs of ageing by stimulating the skin, muscles and nerve tissues. As such, we are really touching on the health/beauty crossover, which I believe is paramount and something I have been writing about for all time. Here are Katie’s words on this:
Moving the Lymph: The lymphatic system comprises lymph nodes, glands, the spleen and tonsils; whereas our circulatory has a pump to move it, our lymphatic system relies solely on the movement of the body in order to flow. The lymphatic system is crucial for our immunity. It carries cellular waste from the tissues to the blood, to be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs, the liver and the kidneys.
If you have ever experienced that morning ‘puffy’ face, it is the result of a build up on lymphatic fluid and lactic acid. Gua Sha gently gets that sluggish lymph moving again. Improved lymphatic drainage helps to reduce congestion and puffiness, which will help leave your skin brighter and clearer.
Microcirculation: Unlike topical skincare, facial Gua Sha works from the inside. It draws blood gently upwards towards the skin and this increased microcirculation helps nourish the skin to help boost radiance. Why?
Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your cells while it removes waste products. Good circulation is vital for a healthy complexion and a vast number of skin conditions can arise from impaired circulation. The inclusion of a short facial massage in your skincare regimen really does make a difference.
Fascial Release: Using a Gua Sha tool allows you to work deeper into the muscles and fascia for deeper tension release. The curved points of the tool are used to help activate specific acupressure points on the face and ensure good Qi (energy) flow.
We have 43 muscles in our face and each of these can store tension, mostly caused by stress. When your muscles are tense, blood flow is restricted, you get less oxygen and nutrients to your skin, resulting in pain and the probable ageing of the skin.
If you have noticed any aches, tightness or pain, it is probably a sign of stress-related physical tension. By following the one-minute facial ritual (on the product page) in the evening, it can quickly help alleviate the daily build-up of stress and help reduce symptoms such as muzzy head, jaw clenching, teeth grinding and headaches. When tension is released in this way, the skin visibly rejuvenates, for which we are grateful.
Hayo’u Beauty Restorer £35; Hayo’u Treat-Rite De-Stress Face Oil £33 for 30 ml
Restless Legs Syndrome
We have often talked about Restless Legs Syndrome, but I am doing it again because we are receiving so many emails about this condition.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder which causes an awkward sensation in the legs along with an uncontrollable desire to move the limbs for relief. This uncomfortable sensation usually occurs in the legs and feet, but can also be present on the arms and elsewhere on the body.
Most sufferers of RLS describe the sensation as a ‘creepy crawly sensation’, a tingling type or as if pins and needles are being pricked into the affected part of the body. There may also be numbness which gives the sufferer a strong urge to move the limb or the affected part of the body.
The exact cause of Restless Legs Syndrome is still not fully understood, however genetics play a link, magnesium and iron deficiencies have also been implicated. Additionally certain drugs may be responsible for RLS and it is possible that some health concerns, such as diabetes, may increase the incidences of RLS.
In a far-reaching article, Shabir takes a look at some of the common causes of RLS, which include circulatory issues together with magnesium and iron deficiencies.
VH Editorial: Restless Legs Syndrome; Diosmin Plus £26 for 60 Capsules; Pure Magnesium Oil Spray £16.50 for 236 ml; GlobiFer Forte £18.50 for 40 Tablets
Should You Be Using Glycolic Acid?
From salicylic and mandelic to glycolic and lactic, the sales of acid-based skincare is on the rise. Not only are these ingredients highlighted on the labels of serums and creams, but more and more brands are unveiling formulas dedicated solely to individual acids. Chemical exfoliation – do you know which one is right for you? Victoria gives the lowdown if you want to go down this route.
VH Editorial: Should You Be Using Glycolic Acid by Victoria Hall (who loves an acid!)
News and Feedback
And off we go:
It takes a very special product to stay at the top of our bestselling list since the day it was launched, but Ionicell has alongside Hyaluronic Acid High Strength and Mega Probiotic ND, my three holy grail supplements. As we have always said, it can take time for supplementation to kick in, but I am absolutely noticing a difference in my skin, hair and nails and from the feedback, so are you.
The thing is I feel cleaner, not in an earnest ‘holier than thou’ kind of way, but it’s like when you pour drain cleaner down a sink, the cleaning of the pipes makes me happy. Sad, (the second ‘sad’ on this newsletter), but I love cleaning products and I love Ionicell too. Actually it could be beyond love because I keep being asked what I have done to myself; like as if ‘they’ are subtly hinting that I have had something ‘done’, let me tell you, I absolutely haven’t. Rocking it – together!
Ionicell for Women £20 for 60 Capsules; Hyaluronic Acid High Strength £35 for 30 Vegecaps
My goodness, Derma E is having a moment; actually rather a big moment and I feel so guilty because I very rarely write about this brand. So please allow me to address that right now by telling you that we have stocked Derma E products since the beginning of VH time. Shabir loves it, Sarah Stacey loves it and their Very Clear Acne Cleanser has sold out twice after Shabir recommended it on Trinny and Shabir’s Facebook Live.
Derma E may not have the razzle-dazzle of some of the new brands, but their formulations are constantly being updated, they are sound, solid and they work. And really, efficacy is the single most important thing in skincare. And one more thing, Derma E have integrity, masses of it.
Derma E; Very Clear Acne Cleanser £15 for 175 ml
Fan Mail: ‘I’ve been troubled with rosacea for a while and nothing I had tried cleared it completely; it would disappear and then recur. Being an advocate of natural remedies, I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t able to find something which really worked. However, I was much inspired by your article and ordered a bottle of Thyme Out, more in hope than expectation, but what a miracle it turned out to be!
It took a week for the inflammation around my lips to completely fade, but now my skin is clear. Even though occasionally I get signs that the rosacea might be recurring, I apply Thyme Out immediately and it goes. At last!’
Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml
Fan Mail to Shabir: ‘I asked for some advice about my ever-growing joints on my fingers and you suggested for me to try Superior Joints. Well you are amazing and awesome. Not only did they stop the pain, to my amazement the joints have reduced in size and almost look normal. I didn’t expect such a brilliant result and I wish I had taken pictures before and after. I can’t thank you enough’.
Superior Joints £30 for 60 Capsules
Following through from the last newsletter, the feedback on these fans has been so amazing. Even more amazing is that we released them in the middle of a heat wave, so the timing was perfect. If you missed what I wrote on the last newsletter, then please read all about them here. I cannot emphasize enough how important this work is. When we stand together for the greater good of all, then very special things happen. I truly believe that. Thank you for supporting us on this.
VH Editorial: Victoria meets Adele Marks; FanU £9.99 (Available in White or Pink)
And suddenly everybody seems to be talking about Alive because it makes them feel more alive. And I’m not taking it. That will soon be rectified. Hello Shabir!
Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency £28 for 60 Tablets
Happy Birthday Spacemasks. One year old on this newsletter. Much loved.
Spacemasks £15 for Five Spacemasks
As ever, we have a diversity of articles this month and I think many of us can relate to Jackie Annesley’s article entitled ‘Dear iPhone, you are seriously annoying’. Just as a side note, if anybody from Apple is reading this, please do let me know how to delete the emails on my phone that just won’t go away. They disappear for minutes and then re-appear. They are haunting me and I want to throw my phone at the wall; at the wall, together with the people who sent those emails. I don’t like you anymore.
VH Editorial: Dear iPhone, You Are Seriously Annoying by Jackie Annesley
Tra-la-la and trumpets blowing for Carolyn Asome because she has written a book. For Vogue actually. And it’s called Vogue Essentials: Handbags and it was published earlier this month. A Life in Handbags takes a look at handbag trends, the ‘It Bag’ era and so much more. There is a paragraph where Carolyn talks about beaten up bags. I can relate. I have one. It will be a part of me forever.
VH Editorial: A Life in Handbags by Carolyn Asome
The Beauty Bible girls take a look at natural ways to brighten eyes and this one is all about home remedies for those of you who aren’t using Shabir’s Eye Contour Serum – ahem! Carole Morin returns with more outrageous comments in her Diary of a VH Addict and Catherine Turner takes a look at why your diet could be affecting your sleep.
VH Editorial: Natural Ways To Brighten Eyes by Beauty Bible; Diary of a VH Addict by Carole Morin; Why Your Diet Could Be Affecting Your Sleep by Catherine Turner
Jo Fairley declares that we all need a telescope and a microscope as she writes that we all need heroes in this world, and one of hers, notwithstanding the fact that she went to jail for insider trading, is Martha Stewart. Meanwhile Tina writes about her ongoing treatment for her autoimmune disease.
VH Editorial: Why We All Need a Telescope and a Microscope by Jo Fairley; The Trouble with Male Doctors by Tina Gaudoin
Finally, Victoria informs us how a plant could revolutionise your shower (spoiler, it’s Eucalyptus) and Arly talks about differing aspects of social media, which as many of you know is something that I have often written about on this newsletter. Arly tells it as it is for her and I’m sure many of you will relate.
VH Editorial: Why This Plant Could Revolutionise Your Shower by Victoria Hall; Is Social Media Bringing Out The Worst In You? By Detail Oriented Beauty
One more thing to add. The Beat The Blues Room Spray is having several moments. This is the spray that we all love and adore. This is the spray that we not only use as a room spray, but as a personal spray. It has become a perfume to some and a corporate tool for others. Not mentioning any names, but it is being sprayed in boardrooms and in meeting rooms. The outcome is proving interesting!
Beat The Blues Room Spray by ilapothecary £28 for 50 ml
And so we have come to the end of another newsletter; all that remains is for me to thank each of you, together with Shabir, for your ongoing trust and loyalty, which means so much to both of us and all the VH team.
I hope you have a wonderful June.