Welcome to the October newsletter and as we head into the autumn and winter months we launch ‘Daily Immunity’, a new supplement to help protect against infection and after last month’s launch of the new HealGel products, we take a look at the feedback received. I will also follow through on the latest news from Innovative Skincare and Phylia de M, both of which include a rather fabulous offer, so you will need to read these sections carefully. Additionally the Beauty Bible girls announce their latest awards, I bring you up to speed on the supplements that I am currently taking and Shabir throws the focus on how to combat stress effectively and also investigates the myth of cranberry juice. Let’s go:
As autumn and winter approach, many of us will experience bouts of colds, infections, catarrh and similar concerns. Often we blame bugs as the cause of our illness rather than addressing varying weaknesses in our immune system.
The immune system is unlike any other system within our bodies with a complex interaction between several glands, proteins, tissues, chemical compounds, hormones and gut bacteria. These interactions are all involved to help achieve optimal immunity and in its simplistic form, the immune system comprises specialised white blood cells, which learn what belongs to the body and what does not. The role of the immune system is to protect the body against many pathogenic bacteria and viruses on an ongoing basis. Any organism that attacks our system will cause infection and disease and it is the optimal working of the immune system that helps destroy these organisms in order to prevent any further damage and infection. This process is referred to as the immune response.
We strongly believe that cutting-edge supplementation plays a key role in helping to protect against infections and we recommend that Daily Immunity should be taken from the first day of autumn right through until the first day of spring. This powerful supplement contains a comprehensive blend of ingredients including Astragalus, Elderberry, Oregano, Olive Leaf, Garlic, Bee Propolis, Maitake and Shitake mushrooms, Vitamins C and D and Zinc. Daily Immunity can also be used to help shorten the duration of an infection by increasing the dosage.
In a far-reaching article, Shabir takes a closer look at the workings of the immune system, the factors that affect the immune system and how to ensure peak immunity. Boosting the immune system is vital to help prevent infection and to ensure the optimal working of many other processes carried out within our bodies, so do take time to read this article. I’m on Daily Immunity (of course!) because I am not prepared to sniff my way through the next few months or take to my bed with a high temperature. NOT on the agenda!
Daily Immunity by Food Science of Vermont £25 for 60 Capsules (V); VH Editorial: A Daily Supplement That Supercharges Your Immunity
As many of you will have read in last month’s newsletter, we re-launched the original HealGel (which is now called HealGel Intensive) and launched two new products, HealGel Face and HealGel Eye. If you missed what I wrote, then you can read it here together with reports from our independent testers. The feedback we have received has been truly amazing and this cult brand goes from strength to strength. I could easily write quite a few paragraphs about all three products and include some of your comments, but given that my best moments are when other people write sections of this newsletter, I am now abdicating to the wondrous Sarah Vine, who wrote the following in The Times magazine:
‘New for the autumn are HealGel’s face and eye creams. HealGel was devised a few years ago by five plastic surgeons (including the late Martin Kelly) as a potent skin salve to soothe, repair and combat scarring. It came in a rather lo-fi pot and was best kept in the fridge, but soon developed quite a following owing to its genuine ability to restore traumatised skin.
Now it’s being re-launched in a rather more user-friendly pump and with a slightly snazzier name (HealGel Intensive). But what’s really exciting is that there are two new additions suitable for everyday use: HealGel Face and HealGel Eye. These have been my sole skincare companions in recent weeks, and for once I can say that the hype is wholly justified.
The list of ingredients is extensive and impressive: arnica and madecassoside, liposomes, peptides, biodynes, omega oils, hyaluronic acid and more. The result is a fuss-free product which works equally for day or night, lasts well and balances the skin. A tip: use a tiny bit of the eye cream nightly on frown lines to soften them’.
HealGel Intensive £37.50; HealGel Face £48; HealGel Eye £32; VH Editorial: Gill meets Natascha McElhone
Phylia de M
I have been looking back at everything that I have written about Phylia since we launched the brand in the UK in May of this year. The feedback continues to be massively impressive and I truly believe that whilst each of the core products work effectively on their own, they are at their very best when they are used in conjunction with each other.
We are doing a few things here; the first thing is that I am replicating what I wrote about Phylia on the May newsletter; the second thing is that I need to say is that I have now been using Clean, Condition and Connect for approximately seven months, my hair is growing like weed (my hairdresser loves me!) and if I thought my hair was brilliant in May, it is on an entirely different level of fabulousness now; I also know that by the end of the year, it will change again and become even more amazing.
So, here is what I wrote in May and there is a treat at the end, so please read carefully:
‘I once wrote an entire newsletter based upon living in a Utopian state where I wished that every product that I wrote about, worked for everybody. I also wrote that whilst we strive for this, I have to be realistic knowing that not all products worked for all people, but I would concede at a 98% success rate! I wrote that a few years ago and the same holds true today, except I’m now going for a 99% success rate as I invite you to join me in using three of the most spectacular hair-care products I have ever had my hands on!
When I was recently in LA, I was introduced to Phylia de M, a hair-care line that had just launched in the US. I have to be completely honest and say that I wasn’t overly-excited to carry another hair-care line because the market is pretty saturated, but that was before I met Kazu Namise and saw her hair. I wanted her hair. The word ‘unique’ is not a word that I throw around lightly, but Phylia de M truly is unique, and so are the results because I saw a difference in my hair on the first day and after several weeks of using the products, my hair has changed so significantly, I can barely believe it is my hair.
Phylia de M is specifically targeted for nurturing recovery from a variety of hair and scalp conditions such as excess hair loss, slow growth, thinning hair or limp lifeless hair and for those who have abused their hair via excess tinting, dieting or questionable styling techniques. The philosophy behind the range is that everyone’s hair has the potential to be amazing and ingredients include a blend of organic aloe, tannic acid (a plant-based reparative) and pure, humic-free fulvic acid, which provides vital keratin to cells and ‘reminds’ them to perform at optimum capacity’.
The Treat: Such is my belief in the Phylia hair care system, my sharing gene has decided to make an appearance; I have 100 bottles of Clean (worth £28) to give away to the first 100 people who buy any of the Phylia products. There is only one gift per customer and once they are gone, they are gone. Please also note that this will not show up on your invoice, but will just arrive with the rest of your order if you are amongst the first 100 people.
Just to round this up, less is more with each of the Phylia products, so for most people each of the products will last approximately two months, except of course the magnificent Rephyl (the oversized Connect), which might well last a semi-lifetime. Go Phylia!
Clean £28 for 265 ml; Condition £30 for 265 ml; Connect £45 for 120 ml; Rephyl £180 for 570 ml; Phylia de M Three Step Kit £103
On last month’s newsletter I wrote about some of the feedback we had received about Instant Smoothing Gel (described as ‘Spanx for the Face’) and since then we have been bombarded with emails, telephone calls and Facebook comments about the brilliance of the entire Innovative Skincare collection. I have been in the health and beauty industry for a very long time and I have never seen this level of positive response about skincare products before, with most people saying it has changed their life; it is quite extraordinary. This month I am throwing the focus on ‘Restorative Eye Complex’, but before that please allow me to introduce you to a member of the VH Community, Yenli Izzillo:
Yenli’s posts about Innovative Skincare on our Facebook page are legendary and I wanted to share some of the emails and posts from her with you. Rather than include them in this newsletter, I asked Yenli if she would write about her experience with the products and you can read her story on VH Community; it is incredibly compelling. I just need to say here that all views are her own and I didn’t tell her what to write. I think I need to accept that I am not alone on the top of a mountain ‘flying the flag’ for Innovative Skincare; Yenli has joined me and I think my LA boyfriends (Bryan Johns and Alec Call) should make her a brand ambassador!
VH Community: Review of the Innovative Skincare Brand
Let’s do Restorative Eye Complex: I expect an awful lot from an eye cream and if it doesn’t deliver then it’s pretty useless in my book. I need it to help reduce puffiness and dark under-eye circles and I’m not too keen on lines either; I also don’t want to wait six months to see results because I’m massively impatient and I need results. Restorative Eye Complex delivers on its promise and is probably the most spectacular eye cream I have ever used; the fact that it is clinically proven to help prevent DNA damage is the icing on the cake. To demonstrate the efficacy of this product, this from a customer:
‘I recently developed a swollen lump under my eye, which over the course of a few days started to turn brown. It looked horrendous and despite increasing the number of times I used my eye cream, it just got worse. I went on holiday, forgot my eye cream and vowed that I would consult a plastic surgeon when I got home.
My daughter, who was with me, had been using Restorative Eye Complex and suggested I try it to see if it would help in any way. After the first couple of days the swelling lessened and within ten days of use the lump and the brown pigmentation had completely disappeared; I was astounded, no plastic surgeon required and I’m telling everybody I know about this miracle eye cream’.
Note from me: This kind of inflammation is incredibly common and often leads to ‘cellular proliferation’ as described above. As a first step, Restorative Eye Complex helped calm inflammation and then went on to increase the circulation around the eye area to help get rid of the toxins responsible for hyperpigmentation, puffiness and dark circles. What a hero!
Restorative Eye Complex £73 for 15 ml
To end this section, I have another treat for you. If you missed what I wrote about Instant Smoothing Gel on last month’s newsletter, then please click here to read all about it. This is of course the product that I have been testing straight from the lab for the past three years and its working project title was ‘Extreme Lift’, which made me love it even more! I have 100 x Instant Smoothing Gel (5 ml) samples, each worth £30 to give away to the first 100 people who buy any product from the Innovative Skincare range. Again, because this gift is valuable, there is only gift per customer and this will not show up on your invoice, but will arrive with the rest of your order if you are amongst the first 100 people. I hope you love using it as much as I do.
Innovative Skincare Products; Instant Smoothing Gel £92 for 15 ml
Restless Leg Syndrome
Many people have trouble getting to sleep due to a condition commonly called ‘restless leg syndrome’ (RLS). There are many theories about the cause of RLS and symptoms include legs jerking, twitching and kicking involuntarily when in bed; in more severe cases RLS has also been linked to painful night-time leg muscle cramps. It has been suggested that the majority of sufferers have iron and magnesium deficiencies and that the supplementation of iron and magnesium can help ease this condition considerably.
A lack of iron has a negative effect on the transmission of messages from the brain to other parts of the body, such as the arms and legs and as most of us are magnesium deficient, increasing magnesium levels really helps to control RLS. Skin absorbs magnesium brilliantly, so spraying legs with Magnesium Oil GoodNight Spray will instantly help relax muscles and nerves. For best results we recommend taking a non-constipating iron supplement in conjunction with the use of topical Magnesium Oil. Globifer Forte has been scientifically proven to be the most absorbable form of iron currently available.
Globifer Forte £18.50 for 40 Tablets; Magnesium Oil – GoodNight Spray £12.30 for 100 ml
The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible & Awards
There is nothing like writing something on a newsletter and then it doesn’t happen! There are times when I should just keep my mouth firmly shut and I’m referring to the fact that I thought we would get the new revised paperbook edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible a couple of weeks ago (read here). The reality is that they are not here yet, but I guess they will be arriving within the next few days, each one exclusively signed by Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, so if you are on the wait list, I’m sorry and if you are not, you can order your copy now – well after you have read the next paragraph actually!
4,000 women. 4,000 products. A team of six. Eighteen months. That’s what it takes to put together a new edition of a Beauty Bible book and in this month’s Beauty Bible feature, the girls write about the book and also reveal some of the award winners. I’m ever so tempted to tell you who they are here, but I wouldn’t dream of stealing their thunder in case they come and hit me! All I am going to say, with a smile on my face, is congratulations to Temple Spa – seriously wow!
The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible – Signed Revised Edition £10.99 (RRP £15.99); VH Editorial: The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Awards
As some of you are already aware, NUDE Skincare have recently re-launched their products and there are some significant changes. Probably the one change that will be of most interest to you is that Replenishing Night Oil has been discontinued (please don’t faint!) and has been replaced by ProGenius, which is a new formulation and now becomes their signature treatment oil. That is all I’m saying at the moment; together with the Beauty Bible girls, we await feedback from our joint testing programme.
NUDE Skincare; ProGenius £58 for 30 ml
Shabir’s turn! This month he writes about stress, urinary tract infections and breathing difficulties; we finish up with his Reflux Regimen, so with my feet on my desk (again!), here we go:
How To Combat Stress Effectively
Modern-day lifestyles often dictate a more hectic and faster-paced way of living, which can often result in raised stress levels; but what is the definition of stress? The classic definition of stress is ‘any real or imagined threat, and your body’s response to it’. Stress is often considered a mind-altering state and the causes of stress produce a physical reaction in the body.
When a person feels overwhelmed by a situation, they throw their bodies into a ‘fight or flight’ response. This response physically increases the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, and blood is moved from the mid-section of the body to the legs, arms and head for quick thinking and for fighting or fleeing.
Some stress is unavoidable and can actually be of benefit, such as the adrenaline rush for need to meet deadlines, however stress becomes a problem under the following circumstances:
1/ If you are continuously in an overwhelming mode.
2/ When your response to that mode is negative.
3/ When your emotions and reactions are inappropriate to the stressor.
Prolonged stress can be linked to heart disease, muscle pain, chronic headaches, insomnia, weight loss and some digestive disorders; it is also considered to be the single biggest killer of the 21st century.
In this investigative article, Shabir takes a look at stress, digestion and health; strategies to manage stress and Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, the supplement he recommends for stress and anxiety.
VH Editorial: How To Combat Stress Effectively; Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £26 for 60 Capsules
Is Drinking Cranberry Juice a Myth?
A urinary tract infection is one of the most painful infections a woman can get and the most common complaint is an intense burning sensation when trying to urinate. The most common and popular self-treatment has been the use of cranberry juice, but I believe there is a problem with cranberry juice because of its high sugar content.
Cranberry, alongside other fruit juices, contain fructose, often referred to as fruit sugar. Fructose is a simple sugar that can cause many problems within the body, including having an impact on the health of the urinary tract. If you ingest a lot of sugar, and this includes grains, which are easily converted into sugars, then this feeds the bad bacteria within the intestines and the bladder. It is for this reason that I never recommend any form of cranberry juice for urinary tract health, although I have no problem recommending cranberry capsules or tablets.
There are many cranberry supplements on the market and Shabir works through the minefield and recommends the supplement he considers works best for urinary tract infections.
VH Editorial: Is Drinking Cranberry Juice a Myth?; Cysticlean £24.99 for 30 Capsules
There are numerous health concerns that can result in breathing difficulties, causing the obstruction of the airways. In general breathing problems will create spasms in the muscles surrounding the bronchi (small airways in the lungs) which can constrict and impede the outward passage of air. Typical symptoms are coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing.
There are various reports and anecdotal evidence that the use of salt pipe inhalers can help with breathing difficulties. Salt pipes are basically hand-held ceramic containers that hold Halite salt crystals. Air is drawn through the filters fitted with crystal salt of the salt pipe and is purified as it’s drawn over the natural salt crystals. This gives the user a sensation that resembles taking a deep breath of fresh sea air.
Using the salt pipe, the moisture of the air absorbs the microscopic particles of salt, allowing it to penetrate the entire respiratory tract. It works by drawing excess fluid from the sinuses and cell lining, cleansing the nasal passages and opening the airways to help relieve the main cause of congestion and irritation.
The Salt Pipe £29.95
The Reflux/Hyperacidity Regimen
Hyperacidity, also commonly referred to as an acidic stomach or reflux, is a concern that affects large numbers of people. There are many causes for this and they include irregular eating habits, eating spicy and salty foods, a stressful lifestyle, heavy smoking and excess caffeine intake.
To help alleviate this condition, I recommend the use of Centaurium Tincture; take fifteen drops three times a day. Centaurium is considered a stomach bitter working to help improve digestion by increasing both the secretion of digestive enzymes and helping gut motility. These actions occur via the hormone ‘gastrin’ and enhance the breakdown of food, which often helps to relieve the symptoms of nausea, flatulence and gastric discomfort. It is often the improper breakdown of proteins that results in hyperacidity, which subsequently inflames the upper tract.
Another important function of gastrin is to tighten the oesophageal sphincter. This helps reduce the tendency for reflux of the gastric contents into the oesophagus and used over a period of time (approximately 6-12 months) may actually aid to prevent this concern.
I would also recommend the use of Mega Probiotic ND; take one capsule twice a day. Probiotics play a vital role in numerous concerns in the body and these include detoxifying acids once they reach the gut, they also help with the efficient breakdown of food aiding in the prevention of stagnation; probiotics also help in the production of vital immune enhancing compounds.
Right, feet off the desk and it’s back to me and although Shabir has just written about Mega Probiotic, I just need to add something here; girl on a mission! On the September newsletter I wrote about what happened to me when Mega P went out of stock and I had to go cold turkey (read it here); I strongly believe that each of us need to take a good probiotic as a key foundation supplement and probiotics don’t come much better than Mega P.
Without Mega P, my stomach bloated, I had stomach cramps (smart!) and I couldn’t do up my jeans, which were all resolved once I started taking it again. The thing is that I am not alone in my love for this supplement and this from a customer:
‘Mega Probiotic is a wonder. It has made a huge difference to me; I really struggled with bloating after my c-section and it took me a while to realise that the three courses of antibiotics I had to take, to kick the three month infection, had wreaked havoc. Within a week of taking them, the big balloon that used to be my abdomen started to deflate. I am now looking like me again as opposed to a Weeble. Hallelujah!’
Mega Probiotic ND £18.50 for 60 Capsules
News & Feedback
I have already written about most of the editorial features we have released this month, but in addition Jo Fairley writes about exercise and Lulu reveals some of her recipes for gorgeousness.
Sage Complex: A whole lot of love for Sage Complex; this from the Beauty Bible girls: ‘This cornucopia of oestrogenic herbs works wonders to help combat menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, with a combination of wild yam, red clover, chaste berry, Siberian ginseng, kudzu, pomegranate extract and more, in three capsules daily. The many, many friends we’ve recommended this to are thrilled with it too’ ….. and this from a customer:
‘I took Sage Complex for the first time yesterday and actually had a better night’s sleep than I’ve had for absolutely ages …. Surely no coincidence’! Note from me: One of my all-time favourite supplements for calming down my singing and dancing hormones!
Sage Complex £23.95 for 90 Capsules
Altitude Oil: The amazing feedback continues for Annee de Mamiel’s Altitude Oil; although it was blended to help support the immune system when travelling, most people seem to be using it to help clear headaches and bunged up noses; it works a treat, it smells divine and an extra tip: add a few drops into a bath if you are feeling a bit below par; the oils of eucalyptus, pine and peppermint will help revive you. A truly magical potion.
Altitude Oil by Annee de Mamiel £22 for 10 ml
Super Power Green Organic Matcha Tea: Huge response to Shabir’s article about Matcha Tea, which is all rather wonderful really because he would probably sulk in the corner if nobody read what he wrote!
Super Power Green Organic Matcha Tea by Teapigs £26.60 for 30 grams; VH Editorial: The Best Kept Secret Revealed
Duvet by Temple Spa: This luxurious advanced body cream has been designed to envelop the body with hydrating and firming ingredients, leaving it smooth, toned and fragranced. It is called Duvet because it brings an immediate comfort to the body and is intensely moisturising and cooling. This from a customer: ‘The Temple Spa Duvet body cream is the best on the entire planet; I’m down to the last scraping in my container and I have just ordered more as I’m now totally addicted’.
Note from me: The first 40 people to buy any Temple Spa product will automatically receive a 15 ml pot of ‘In the Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt’; this will not show up on your invoice, but as with the other gifts in this newsletter, will just appear in your order if you are amongst the first 40 people to order. Tra la!
Duvet Firming Body Cream by Temple Spa £32 for 200 ml; In The Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt £27 for 60 grams
Autumn Facial Oil with Flower Essences
Returning to Annee de Mamiel, Annee has just released Autumn Facial Oil, the first of her seasonal facial oils to contain potent and highly effective flower essences. Flower essences are the blossoms of plants prepared from a sun infusion in water, then diluted, and preserved.
The Autumn Facial Oil is designed to address the needs of the skin as it makes the transition between the intensive summer months, towards the calmer, cooler phase of time. Key ingredients include Evening Primrose, Palmarosa, Carrot, Red Raspberry Seed and Rosemary.
How to use: 4 – 5 drops, morning and evening, as part of your daily skincare regimen. Apply directly to skin with fingertips and gently press into the face and neck. This bottle should last approximately three months.
Autumn Facial Oil by Annee de Mamiel £60 for 20 ml
Given that I am in the middle of a ‘supplement sweet shop’, I could take heaps of supplements every day, except I don’t. Obviously we all have specific needs (i.e Seditol for sleep; Diosmin Plus for circulatory issues and Super Strength Olive Leaf Extract to help lower high blood pressure), but I just want to write about the core supplements that I am currently taking and I’m not including Mega Probiotic or Daily Immunity in this list because I’ve already written about them!
Obviously as research and development is ongoing, my regimen changes dependent on new research and scientific findings; although I’m a creature of habit, I do listen when Shabir bangs on about the efficacy of certain supplementation and after taking IdealOmega 3 for many years, I have now switched over to Power of Krill. On Shabir’s article, My Essential 6, he has written about the scientific evidence and merits of taking Krill Oil instead of fish oils. I’m converted.
Power of Krill £24.95 for 60 Softgels; VH Editorial: My Essential 6
Astaxanthin: This is one of the most powerful antioxidants available and I take it to help protect my entire body, including skin, against the ravages of free radical damage.
High Potency Astaxanthin by Futurebiotics £16.95 for 30 Softgels; VH Editorial: The Age-Defying Antioxidant
Sibergin: Love, love, love. This is my very favourite energy booster and if I ever forget to take it, I know all about it because I start slumping around 4 pm. This is the supplement that the Beauty Bible girls love too; in their words ‘we truly love this product and its kept us going through the update of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. Sibergin is Siberian ginseng and it works to enhance energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and it probably takes dogs for walks, but we don’t have one’.
Sibergin by HealthAid £15.49 for 30 Capsules
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) & Skin Restoring Ceramides: I hardly need to write about these two supplements; I wouldn’t want to live without either of them and Shabir and I both believe that HA is THE most crucial anti-ageing supplement. Skin Restoring Ceramides helps lock moisture into the skin and is completely brilliant for all dry skin conditions, including comprised skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis.
Hyaluronic Acid High Strength £35; Skin Restoring Ceramides £25 for 30 Liquid Capsules
Ultra Concentrated Liquid Chlorophyll: We launched this product on the May newsletter (read here); at the time I wrote that it was trending in America and that trend has got even stronger. I add this liquid to juice and its benefits include assisting digestion, aiding detoxification, enhances energy production (nothing like a double whammy with Sibergin!) and keeps the body in an alkaline state, which helps encourage nutrient uptake by the cells in our body.
Ultra Concentrated Liquid Chlorophyll £25 for 59 ml (59 servings); VH Editorial: Go Super Green with Chlorophyll
And so we come to the end of another newsletter. Together with Shabir, the VH team and the VH Editorial team, I thank you for your amazing loyalty and support. I hope you have a fabulous October.