Weekend Read

3D models of a hair salon hair drier line, pink themed with a pink backdrop

Throughout the past few weeks we have shared many things together and as I write this, things continue to ease on all fronts.  It is in this space that I continue to write about the products that we believe make a real difference, across health and beauty.  So with two new launches and two treats, I welcome you to Saturday morning and all that it brings.  Joy for you and me.  And another few eye rolls from Shabir.  Let them roll and let us rock and roll.  Here we go.  Hold my hand:

Over the recent past I have had to be really careful about the products I write about, lest I create another nightmare scenario in a whole long line of them.  Since this pandemic entered our world we have been struggling with supply and demand and there are still wait lists across several product lines, such as Altrient Vitamin C and others.  I’m not sure whether you will have noticed, but after initially writing about the importance of Zinc, I haven’t written about it since because although we list various different Zinc products, they have been really difficult to get hold of, most especially our bestselling Zinc product, Zinc Caps.

As I write this, the wait list is huge, but a delivery is scheduled for Monday, and all things being equal, we should have excess stock. This allows me to tell you that Shabir has always called Zinc ‘the traffic policeman’ as it has the ability to go to the parts of the body that need it the most.  Zinc has numerous health benefits, but it plays a crucial role in supporting optimal immune system function and is often recommended for fighting colds and flu.  Of course I will write my normal caveat here that we are using supplementation to enhance and support our immunity as best we can, but together with all other supplementation, Zinc will not prevent any of us from catching the Covid-19 virus.  Meanwhile, Shabir has it covered in his archived article, linked below.
VH Editorial: Zinc Supplements Uses, Side Effects and BenefitsZinc Caps by Life Extension £8 for 90 Capsules

Let’s talk about hair.  Actually I want to talk about hair health because it is so important.  This is of course the health/beauty crossover and with stress levels understandably peaking, this, in and of itself, creates hair loss issues that so many of you are now experiencing.  Stress results in the over-production of cortisol, a hormone that causes underlying inflammation within the scalp disturbing the signals of hair production.  This resultant thinning and loss of hair hits us on so many levels, including our emotions.  We need to do something about it.  And so we will.  In the form of a treat.

It has always been recognised that, stress aside, there is a link between hair loss and the menopause, so I am listing below another one of Shabir’s archived articles, which covers this subject extensively.  This of course brings us to Superior Hair, our bestselling supplement for hair loss.  We believe that it is one of the most comprehensive natural supplements currently available containing scientifically researched ingredients that work synergistically to help support the repair of damaged hair follicles as well as helping to promote the healthy growth of hair.

So let’s take Superior Hair and let’s also take Fulvic Acid Mist, which I love, adore and worship.  I think you know that. Fulvic Acid Mist is a potent, rejuvenating and invigorating treatment for hair loss and thinning hair.  Working hard to help renew cell life and keratin function in our scalp, follicles and hair, it is a transformative haircare product.  In this context we will include a free bottle of Fulvic Acid Mist (60 ml), which is worth £12.50, with every purchase of Superior Hair.  This is a weekend only offer and it will end at midnight GMT on Sunday 31 May, or whilst stock lasts.  Please use the link below to receive the Fulvic Acid Mist.  It makes life easier.

In other contexts, you can use the mist in conjunction with Fulvic Acid Nail Cream (nail cream first, mist second) and I have sprayed the mist on my face forever and a day.  I do this after cleansing and before Neurophroline (it’s all about taking those cortisol levels down) and Fulvic Face Cream, which is a whole different story.  A love story.  Continuing somewhere soon.  Like on here.  In a few weeks.  A new Fulvic product.  I am beyond excited.  I’ve digressed.  Sorry.  All hail Superior Hair.  Thank you.
VH Editorial: Addressing Menopausal Hair LossSuperior Hair Treat £28.50 (90 Capsules + Fulvic Acid Mist 60 ml); Fulvic Acid Mist £25 for 120 ml; Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml; Neurophroline Serum £18 for 30 ml; Fulvic Face Cream £30 for 60 ml

With the welcome news that we are easing out of lockdown over the next few weeks, it does of course remain that we must stay vigilant at all times, which means many things to many people.  The fundamental fact also remains that nothing has changed in our recommendations and for so many of you who have been in isolation, this next phase may be daunting.  I understand that, and I also understand that we must do this collectively wherever we can, however we can.  And so another treat.  But it is a Saturday only treat.

Many of you will recall that when the pandemic first hit in, I had just returned from LA and Vegas clutching a hand sanitizer.  That hand sanitizer was DermSafe, a clinically tested highly effective formulation which actively protected hands for up to six hours.  Several stampedes later, I feel the need to give back and share.  So it goes like this.  With every order placed today (Saturday 30 May) for £20 and above, we will automatically include a bottle of DermSafe (59 ml) worth £14, whilst stock lasts, hopefully until midnight tonight.  There is only one gift per customer and this will not show up on your order confirmation.  Take it as a given that it will be included. Thanks.
DermSafe £14 for 59 ml; DermSafe Family Pack £35 (3 x 59 ml)

Let’s do a new product launch. It’s from Derma E and most of you will have read my words last week when I was singing the praises of this skincare brand.  And quite rightly so, because in a series of new product launches from Derma E, I am going first with their Vitamin C Bright Eyes Hydro Gel Patches, which are amazing.  And they are loaded with all the right ingredients.  Vitamin C and B3 work to visibly brighten the look of dark circles, while Caffeine de-puffs and Allantoin and Aloe (God, I love Aloe) combine to help soothe under-eye skin.  I put them just under my brow too, basically because I always test every which way, and why not. It makes me smile.  It makes me happy.

Anyway, open the orange and white Derma E pot and you will find glimmering, golden eye patches, which are way too glamorous to be eye patches, but that’s what they are; they are even better if you keep them in the fridge, although you don’t have to.  See the thing is that nothing beats an ice-cold patch, in my humble opinion and these patches tick every known box on so many other levels too. I will further add that I cannot use many Vitamin C products because my skin is so sensitive, but I can use these and I can use C-Deep, which I tell everybody Shabir formulated for me, but actually I don’t think he did.  But that’s another story.  Anyway, back to these eye patches.  I think you need to discover them.  I’m hooked.  I think Shabir is too.  He loves an eye product. I bet he has these stashed in his bathroom.  If we don’t have enough, I’m blaming him.
Vitamin C Bright Eyes Hydro Gel Patches by Derma E £20 For 60 Gel PatchesC-Deep Vitamin C Serum £18 for 30 ml

I am now following through with a very common health concern, Dry Eye Syndrome. This predominantly affects people aged over 40 and is greater in women (please give us a break) than men.  Some of the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include dryness, redness, grittiness, blurred vision and a stinging sensation.  Also on the list are light sensitivity issues, excess watering and contact lens intolerance.  Shabir always recommends two products for Dry Eye Syndrome, Tear Support and Hycosan Extra Eye Drops.  These two products have helped so many of you and you can read about them in depth in Shabir’s article, which also explains the whole concern.
VH Editorial: Symptoms Of Dry EyesTear Support With MaquiBright £18 for 30 Capsules; Hycosan Extra Eye Drops £10.95 for 7.5 ml

If I may, I would like to tell you about a little known product, except after this, it could almost become famous.  It is called ‘Breath of Life’ and it is a rather stunning aromatherapy inhalation essence.  Formulated to help you breathe more easily, it contains essential oils of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, which are known for their anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  The blend also includes Lavender and a heady note of Menthol. Love Menthol.  On the health front it helps clear a blocked nose and helps ward off germs.  I’m absolutely not saying it wards off Covid-19, but what I am saying is that I keep one on my desk and one in my bag.  You can sniff it straight from the bottle, which is pretty useful when you are crashing a trolley around a supermarket.  The accompanying song.  Don’t Stand So Close To Me.  Sniff.
Breath of Life by Temple Spa £12 for 10 ml

And here is the second new product launch.  And I am saying ‘all change’.  Actually there is no choice because Shabir (I am a pharmacist) has formulated a new Azelaic Acid and the original has gone to product heaven. Most regular Azelaic Acids are associated with grittiness, however finely they are milled.  We wanted to come away from that, so we have.  So please allow me to introduce you to Garden of Wisdom’s Azelaic Acid which combines the clinically proven Azelaic Acid with the super hydrating amino acid, glycine.

The result is Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, a water-soluble, super smooth, super hydrating Azelaic Acid serum that displays anti-acne, skin brightening, oil-regulating and pore cleansing benefits without grittiness.  This water-gel based product gets deep into the pores to help unclog and inhibit bacteria which causes spots, whilst calming any redness; it also helps improve the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  Consider it launched.
Azelaic Acid £14 for 30 ml

I love retro products.  I always have done.  They totally fascinate me, mostly because of their simplicity.  Zam-Buk is one such product.  First appearing on chemists’ shelves in 1903, and in a time before antibiotics, Zam-Buk was an important first-aid medicine for any cuts or abrasions of the skin, helping to prevent infection.  Loaded with Eucalyptus, Pine and Thyme Oil, it is also useful for chilblains and many other ailments.  By the middle of the 20th century, with the invention of penicillin and other antibiotics, Zam-Buk had disappeared from medicine cupboards, but a few years ago it re-appeared.  So I thought I would tell you about it.  There is a caveat across this.  We don’t have that many in stock because the tin is being changed.  Except I like this tin.  So get it whilst you can.  In one of my ‘Wall Street’ moments, I bought all remaining stock.  I quite like doing that.  For the love of a tin.
Zam-Buk Antiseptic Ointment £3.99 for 20 grams

If we are talking about buying stock in bulk, I did that a couple of weeks ago with Pukka’s Castor Oil.  It had been out of stock for weeks, so I held back from writing about its brilliance for helping the growth of eyebrows and eyelashes until we received our stock.  Except it wasn’t enough.  And of course it had to be a Bank Holiday weekend last week, so instead of sitting under my desk eating Dairy Milk because I couldn’t get hold of anybody for three days, I resorted to ice-cream.  And as I write this, I have just been told that another delivery is imminent, which is just as well because I was going to find that Sebastian Pole (co-founder of Pukka Herbs) and have a discussion.  Love Sebastian.  But perhaps I love his Organic Castor Oil a touch more.  And it’s Mint Chocolate Chip ice-cream for the record.
Organic Castor Oil by Pukka Herbs £9.95 for 250 ml

I’m not writing anything about D3 this weekend, other than to say please keep taking it because the evidence is becoming ever stronger that it really does play a major role in our ongoing health and wellbeing.  What I will write about is the brilliance of Trek Natural; the feedback has been overwhelming, but then this is the insect repellant that ticks every box possible for efficacy.  I’ve been writing about it for the past three weeks or so, but then I will always bang on about outstanding products.  It’s who I am.  And it’s in the genes.  It goes across everything.  Like Fulvic Acid Nail Cream too, which could actually be our product of the year. Except it’s only May.
DLux+Vitamin D+K2 Spray by Better You £9.95 for 12 ml; DLux 3000 by Better You £7.95 for 15 ml; Trek Natural £9.50 for 100 ml; Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml

I think it is really important to discuss the varying forms of stress and adrenal stress is one of the most misunderstood syndromes of our time.  Stress, whether physical, emotional or environmental, can stimulate a cascade of hormone production by the adrenals, which includes adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.  The problem with adrenal stress is that most of us don’t know we have it.  Tiredness, fatigue and lack of sleep are amongst the symptoms, but do take time to read Shabir’s article explaining this very common health concern and the measures you can take to help control it.
VH Editorial: Adrenal StressMagnolia Rhodiola Complex £28 for 60 Capsules; Multi-Guard ADR by Lamberts £27.95 for 120 Tablets

And one more thing from me.  And that is to introduce you to Jane Cunningham. Jane founded BritishBeautyBlogger.com 13 years ago while working as a beauty journalist. She is known for her straight-down-the-line reviews and consumer-first stance in an online world where clarity is often missing.  She lives in South-East London and likes pink wine and yoga, sometimes together.  In an article named ‘Look After Your Selfie’, Jane takes a look at how Covid-19 has affected social media and, of course, the beauty industry in general.
Look After Your Selfie by Jane Cunningham

Finally, together with Shabir, Lara and the entire VH team, I would like to thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support. It’s all we can do to stay close as we continue to walk together.

Be safe.  Be well.
Have a restful weekend.

With love

Gill x

Look After Your Selfie

beauty written in capital bold letter with a glitter effect on pale pink background

Like most industries, social media has taken a big hit thanks to lock-down and Covid 19 in general. Many beauty brands have production facilities in China, France and Italy that have ground to a halt, and are only just seeing a glimmer of resurgence. Combined with the closure of retail outlets across the world and ingredients hard to source, beauty world in general is having to pivot hard to keep home-bound beauty consumers interested in doing more than plucking the odd chin hair and performing a lacklustre cleanse.

No matter how you may view ‘influencers’, they’re a barometer for trends and a visual indicator of the mood of the moment. That in itself is helpful for brands to understand what their consumer wants and be able to supply and act accordingly. With face masks rapidly becoming more popular will anyone buy lipstick anymore? Or will non-transfer colours experience a surge? Mascara, which had taken a downturn thanks to two big social media trends – natural lashes and false lashes – may see a pick up in sales as eyes will be the focus of an otherwise covered face. Now could well be a good time to pay care and attention to lashes – Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Lash Boosting Eye Cleanse (£33) is a good place to start.

A clear upsurge on Instagram is self-care – masking and basking, basically. Women in particular often need permission to stop being multi-tasking wonder workers so if you fall into that camp, consider permission well and truly given. That half hour in the bath can be a restorative like no other – play a podcast, burn a candle, drop fragrant oils into the water… in other words, make it count. Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil, £49, from Aromatherapy Associates is an expertly blended wash of calm – a bit of a bath-time tree hug if you like with none of the discomfort (have you ever tried to actually hug a tree in real life? It’s not nearly as nice as it sounds) but if sleep is elusive you need Deep Relax (£49) from the same brand. If you prefer something to sharpen your senses, Mrs White’s Old Soak Bath Salts (£15) in West Indian Grapefruit & Lime will do the trick.

While no industry has had to face a global pandemic before, social media is such a new arena that there is no Plan B. Even Plan A is such a transitory, moveable feast that we will have to see a major shake-up in how beauty brands interact with social platforms and content creators. We all know it got ugly – it’s easy to lose confidence in opinions that are paid for and harder still to decipher what’s real and what isn’t. I predict that authenticity and expertise will become key, with a move away from the one-look-suits-all approach.

Does the shake-up mean the rise of the older influencer? I hope so – at 55 I am definitely in a minority but so much less prone to brand seduction and therefore happy to give unbiased views. It matters, when delving into social media, that you find voices that resonate with you and currently, all social media slants towards younger users. Brands, hoping to convert Gen Z to customers, ignored their existing following (studies show that older women are far more loyal in their beauty purchases than younger generations) who often find themselves excluded from new launches and baffled by the prospect of uploading images of themselves in bath robe and face mask to the ‘Gram. It may well be that beauty brands hold on harder to their core consumer at this stage.

Speaking of masks (bath robe optional), Hibiscus Face Mask (£15.50) by Balm Balm is a joyful bathing companion and equally happy to be your hydrating friend while you read a book, catch up on Twitter or watch a box set. Social media impacts almost all of us in one way or another and mostly we don’t realise how ‘noisy’ it is – it’s often rather brain cluttering so sometimes you need to switch off to switch off and it’s absolutely fine to shove your phone under a cushion to focus on yourself as and when you can.

Instagram is in something of a holding pattern at the moment – content creators still creating, shifting content focus slightly and seeing what sticks and resonates with their audience but not making any radical moves. Comfort time, positivity messages, mindfulness, interiors and yoga are all resonating with audiences who previously took their pleasure from perfecting a cat-eye with a black liner. The big question is whether creators can move with their changing audience and do so on reduced or zero budget as brands reign in their spend. If you’ve only ever done one thing, it can be difficult to segue into something else particularly with the right tone of voice for a crisis. It’s a bit like asking a potter to try their hand at lacework. But, social media is nothing if not adaptable – change can be good – and we have some interesting and challenging days ahead in beauty world.

Weekend Read

Blue background with top down right of centre shot of a yellow pillow

Hello Saturday morning.  This week, and after a slight pause in proceedings, I am back in my bathroom testing products, which means that over the next few weeks and months I will be doing new product and brand launches on here.  And given that there is no time like the present, I am doing the first of these today. I also have three treats to write about. Three.  With no mention of what Shabir’s face looked like when he found out, I shall carry on.

So in a brief round-up, and taking Ionicell out of the equation, the most-wanted product from last Saturday was Trek Natural, which doesn’t surprise me because as you will have read, we believe this to be the best anti-viral insect repellent currently available.  It’s all about the level of Citriodiol in each formulation, and at 40% this whacks it to you (and me).  We still await determination from the Ministry of Defence as to whether Citriodiol actively works to help kill the Covid-19 virus.  I am not going to second-guess this, but notwithstanding that, we believe that its brilliance as an insect repellent makes it stand-alone in long-lasting efficacy.
Trek Natural £9.50 for 100 ml

Let’s do the first treat.  It’s another one of our bestselling products.  We believe it is in a class of its own.  We have always recommended that everybody should take this product, but its importance has been magnified over the past few weeks because it manufactures antibodies, which has always been crucial, but now it is as important as it has ever been.  Of course I’m talking about Mega-Probiotic ND.  Shabir has written several articles about the importance of probiotics which you can find on the product page.  Mega P (as we call it) is normally £19.50 for 60 Capsules.  But not this weekend. The short weekend.  Not the long one!

In the full knowledge that this will create a semi-riot and that I will probably be under my desk by about 10 am, which seems to be a weekly occurrence, I have created the Mega Probiotic Twin Pack which is £30.  I’m pretty rubbish at maths, but even I can work out that you save £9.  The logistics.  This is a weekend only offer, so it will end tomorrow at midnight GMT on Sunday 24th May or whilst stock lasts.  Whichever happens first.  It’s keyboard time.  Again.  Bash.
Mega Probiotic ND Twin Pack £30

If we are talking about crucial supplementation, this would of course include our current recommendation about the importance of taking Vitamin D3.  I know I write about this almost every week, but every which way I turn, there are an increasing volume of articles across the media about D3.  I have always believed in integrated medicine and it is at this point that allopathic and complementary medicine become one in their recommendation of D3.  I truly believe that over time, D3 will become the one supplement that we will all take, no matter what.  It is happening exponentially.  The numerous facets of D3 are far-reaching, categoric and essential.  And so are the clinicals and studies that are being urgently undertaken investigating Vitamin D3’s role in the resistance of Covid-19.  Please use.  And I don’t have shares in Better You. I promise.
DLux+Vitamin D+K2 Spray by Better You £9.95 for 12 ml; DLux 3000 by Better You £7.95 for 15 ml; DLux Junior Vitamin D Oral Spray by Better You £6.25 for 15 ml; DLux Infant Vitamin D Oral Spray by Better You £5.95 for 15 ml

Can we please take a moment to talk about Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.  Again, one of our bestselling supplements, Magnolia Rhodiola really helps with stress and anxiety, which so many are experiencing right now.  I think it is fair to say that we all have moments when we wobble, and it is perfectly normal.  There is no stigma attached to asking for help, which many of you do, or taking a powerful supplement that can help ease stress.  So from the archives, Shabir’s article, which I hope helps those who need it, which I guess is just about all of us.  I need to add that if you are taking prescribed anti-depressants, you cannot take Magnolia Rhodiola alongside these.  And breathe.  We are in this together.  We will emerge together.
VH Editorial: How To Combat Stress EffectivelyMagnolia Rhodiola Complex £28 for 60 Capsules

So here it is.  The new product launch.  Many of you will remember when we launched the original Thyme Out because it was featured all over the press and it went slightly bonkers.  Actually a lot bonkers.  So now a new addition to the range.  Thyme Out Face and Body Wash.  It doesn’t hold back on the label as it describes itself as ‘the knockout wash’.  We believe it is just that because it has a multitude of uses, including helping eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, cold sores, skin inflammation, pet rashes and a plethora of other things.  It is especially recommended for the most problematic teenage skin and it does this without the use of harsh detergents or soaps, in other words it is an all-natural hypoallergenic wash.

It can also be used directly on blemishes as a pre-treatment and it is formulated with just four natural ingredients.  These are Thyme in a blend of Coconut foaming agent (Coco-Glucoside), Apple Juice derived foaming agent (Foaming Apple) and purified water.  Take it in the shower, use it as a body wash, use it on your pets and it is safe for children.  Fully tested by me.  It is in my shower and my touchy-touchy skin rather likes it.  Another heroic product. To partner the original.
Thyme Out Face and Body Wash £18 for 210 ml; Thyme Out £18 for 200 ml

If I may, I would like to talk about basic things.  Basic beauty actually. And eyebrows.  Lord above, the eyebrows.  I don’t want to sound pathetic (except I suppose I do), but I cannot do my own eyebrows.  Over the years I have tried, trust me, I have used this gadget, that gadget, stencils and any number of other things.  No matter what, I spectacularly fail on every level.  I think it’s possibly because they are pretty uneven to begin with.  So I decided I was going to try and came up with a counter-plan.  That plan is in the shape of a bottle of Castor Oil.  Good old-fashioned basic Castor Oil. 

It makes your eyebrows grow you see.  And actually it makes your lashes grow too. I like simple things, so for just under £10 we can be simple together.  The theory was that if I used this every morning and every evening, I would, in time have abundant eyebrows and lashes.  And it’s working.  My God it’s working.  It all helps of course that my fringe covers my eyebrows, despite having cut it at least three times with nail scissors (it’s a theme) during lockdown.  So by the time there is some semblance of normality, I will have more eyebrows to shape, the gaps will hopefully be gone and it could well be that they become perfect.  I invite you to join me.  And on lashes.  I don’t do fake.  I tried it once.  I looked totally ridiculous.  And then I got an allergy to the stupid glue.  Of course.
Organic Castor Oil by Pukka Herbs £9.95 for 250 ml

As I mentioned last week, my sleep pattern has gone somewhat out of sync and I know I’m not alone.  So many of us are all over the place with our time clocks, so we need to help regulate ourselves if we can.  A few simple suggestions, keeping this short and sweet.  Read Shabir’s article, the signs and signals of sleep loss; try taking Cherry Night or the wonderful Sleep Easy Tincture (you can safely use both); have a magnesium bath about an hour before going to bed (it really helps with relaxation); spray your bedroom with Beat The Blues room spray; get into bed and pop on a Spacemask.  And (note to myself) do not eat chocolate in bed.  It’s concerning for white sheets.
VH Editorial: Signs and Signals of Sleep LossCherry Night £26.70 for 150 grams; Sleep Easy Tincture by Blooming Blends £22 for 30 ml; Magnesium Oil Original Flakes by Better You £9.95 for 1 kg; Beat The Blues Room Spray £10 for 15 ml; Spacemasks £15 for Five Masks

A few weeks ago I wrote about Sarah Chapman’s Facialift.  So what happened, it went out of stock after I suggested you sit rolling your face upwards whilst watching Netflix, or whatever.  Actually, I’ve more or less lost the will to live when it comes to box sets.  I just can’t anymore.  But never mind that, I need to tell you that the Facialift is now back in stock.  That’s the first piece of news.  The second piece will excite you as I find yet another reason to hide under my desk. With every Sarah Chapman order of £20 and above, we will automatically throw in a gift.  It’s a rather fabulous gift actually.  It’s the Bodylift and it’s worth £32.

The Bodylift body massage tool is inspired by the Facialift face tool and has 12 rolling heads and 72 massaging nodules to help encourage the lymphatic system to drain toxins and reduce puffiness from the body.  It also helps ease muscle tension and it’s great to use on upper arms, thighs, buttocks (a lift perhaps) and calves.  So a couple of things, this will not show up on your order  confirmation (so please don’t email me!), but will automatically be included in your order, as above.  This is a limited time offer, there is only one gift per customer and once it’s gone, it’s gone.  I can’t put a time limit on it, but I would suggest you don’t hang around if you want this gift. Go!
Sarah Chapman

Time for another common health concern.  Fungal nails.  Toenails and fingernails. Some of the symptoms include the discolouration of nails, together with discharge from the nail bed.  There are of course supplements to help eradicate the recurrence of fungal nails, but in full transparency they are difficult to get hold of at the moment because of ongoing raw ingredient issues, so I have a little trick up my sleeve.  It comes in the form of Fulvic Acid Nail Cream.  The much loved and adored Fulvic Acid Nail Cream.

Mostly we are all using Fulvic Acid Nail Cream because of its brilliance in strengthening and fortifying our naked nails, but actually I need to tell you that it also has three powerful anti-fungal ingredients.  These are Fulvic Acid, Tea Tree Oil and Lemon Grass Oil.  With regular use, perhaps twice a day, this will help the recovery of fungal nails. Just massage a little into the nail bed and onto the nail itself.  But wait.  There is more.  It can also be used in the treatment of athlete’s foot. It does this by providing relief from itching, burning, cracking and scaling symptoms, which are prevalent in foot infections.  So there we have it.  Each week Shabir asks me when I am going to put Fulvic Acid Nail Cream back to its regular price.  He’ll ask me again when he reads this.  Doesn’t matter.  I just start singing. The status quo remains.
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml

Over on Health Notes this week, doctors say Covid-19 patients are at high risk of potentially fatal blood clots but, as Sarah explains, we all are, so you need to know the symptoms and act fast if you have a pain in your leg.  And if you missed Sarah’s article last week about the legendary Gloves In A Bottle, do take a moment to read it.  I think I’ve read it about eight times.  It makes me tremendously happy.  But then so does Gloves.  Epic.
You Need To Know About Blood Clots by Sarah Stacey; Helping Hands With Gloves In A BottleGloves In A Bottle £10.50 for 240 ml; Gloves In A Bottle Handbag Size £5.15 for 60 ml

There is something about Derma E, the skincare brand.  This is the brand that we have listed since the beginning of VH time.  This is also the brand that appeared in The Sunday Times Style magazine about two decades ago with the heading ‘this is the brand the big boys don’t want you to know about’.  There are some headlines you never forget, and that is one of them.  Let me explain.  It doesn’t try to be anything but itself.  It won’t jump out at you.  It never has.  Yet quietly, very quietly, some of Derma E’s formulations were, and continue to be, light years ahead of anything else available on the market.  I think that if there was such a thing as a secret weapon brand, Derma E would be that brand. 

With some new launches coming from them in the next few weeks, I thought I would pre-empt that by giving you a little treat.  That treat is their Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask.  It is good for all skin types, but especially good for urban or oily skin.  It works for me and I have normal skin.  So here is the treat. I will include two (yes two) sachets of this mask with every order placed for £15 and above. It doesn’t matter which products you order, but there is only one gift per customer, it is a (short) weekend treat only and will cover all orders until midnight GMT on Sunday 24 May, or whilst stock lasts.  Happy masking.  Of the skincare kind.
Derma E

I just want to let you know that Annee de Mamiel has just released her Spring Facial Oil. It’s a wake-up call for dull, tired skin and those who follow Annee will of course love it.  Also from Annee, Anchor.  Anchor is from the de Mamiel Sleep Series range (which is of course amazing).  I am a huge advocate of reflexology and so may I suggest that after bathing at night (or foot bathing, which is completely fabulous) you massage Anchor into the soles of your feet with your thumbs.  It helps to reduce stress levels too.  Do try.
Spring Facial Oil by de Mamiel £80 for 20 ml; Anchor by de Mamiel £42 for 10 grams

And on Wednesday night, in the middle of nothing in particular, Trinny did a VH Online Shop Up. I didn’t know she was doing it and my eyes nearly fell out of my head as I watched her go through the list of her favourite products.  It’s a long list. Wow, Trinny, thank you. A tribute.
Trinny Does VH

Our feature article this week is written by Jackie Annesley where she waxes lyrical about the pleasure she gets from tea.  A Paean To Tea is a one-girl-relationship with tea, where Jackie declares that there is nothing more upsetting than bad tea.  As George Orwell once wrote, tea-making is ‘the subject of violent disputes’.  It probably will be after you read this!
A Paean To Tea by Jackie Annesley

Together with Shabir, Lara and the VH team, I wish you a restful Bank Holiday weekend.
With love in our hearts and with thoughts to all who are experiencing difficult times.
We stand as one. And always will.

With love

Gill x

A Paean To Tea

Spoon heads with various teas inside, in a row, on a pale blue wooden background

“I feel really unhappy.”

It’s a puerile statement for any mother to make, my only defence being it’s day 58 of lockdown, I’m still in pyjamas and the migraine drugs have left me a lethargic mess on my daughter’s bed.

I’ve finally accepted there’ll be no family holiday this year and little chance of seeing my eldest child any time soon. There’s the added guilt that these are all first world problems.

“Don’t worry mum,”  says our ever sunny 18-year-old. “I’ll make you tea all day long.”

How well she knows me.  Tea, glorious tea, has become the daily fix that keeps a nation going. I send a message to my WhatsApp Girls Night group. “If you had to choose tea or wine – what would be it be?”

Within seconds, the teacher replies “Tea!”.  The superstar mother: “Wine”, obvs. It’s tea for both our hero NHS obstetrician and online retailer, and the interiors queen  concurs, then posts a green tea martini recipe. Dream team. The potter is for wine and for the scriptwriter it’s gin – a conclusive 5:3 win for Britain’s most popular hot drink.

Stuck inside our four walls, Britain’s tea drinkers have become more obsessed.  General sales are up 41%. At the posh end, it’s much more. “We’ve seen a 1,000 percent increase in demand for our products,”  Sebastian Pole, founder of the  Pukka Teas told the New York Times recently.  “A cup of tea is a guaranteed good moment, isn’t it? And there aren’t many guaranteed good moments these days.”

Chasing those precious moments has also seen teapot sales up six percent. I too have ditched tea bags (plastic alert) and recently ordered half a kilo of Earl Grey loose tea from the suitably named merchants Good & Proper.  It cost me £20 which translates into 160 good moments at just 12.5p a pop. That’s practically free.

How can I sufficiently explain the pleasure I take from tea?

It follows an evolving rhythm, starting with that initial sip at the beginning of the day. This is undoubtedly the best,  and one that’s anticipated from the moment I wake up until the tea urge becomes too great and I pad downstairs to begin the ritual ceremony.

The freshly filtered water, a must, goes into the kettle, while a heaped teaspoon of the aforementioned loose tea, kept in an old Harvey Nichols tea caddy, goes into a deep tea strainer which perfectly fits my favourite mug. When 100 degrees of  boiling water hits the crispy leaves it produces a shrill hiss, followed by sonorous gurgling noises. Few things sound as sweet.

There’s a four minute wait while the tea steeps and the leaves turn into strands that look like tiny seaweed – not desiccated dust like that of mass produced tea.

After which it’s a dash of oat milk – I gave up the cow thing last year too – and either back to bed or on the sofa or into the garden because you really need to be seated to fully appreciate that first mouthful.

Who knows if it’s the flavonoids or the theanine or the caffeine it contains, but whatever the magic elixir, its malty flavour, oatmilky sweetness and hint of lemony bergamot makes for a heartening reprise to punctuate these lockdown days. Up to six times a day.

Because frankly there is nothing more upsetting than bad tea.

As George Orwell once wrote, tea-making is “the subject of violent disputes.” The New York Times article reproduced a spreadsheet used by its London office detailing the type of milk, mug and sugar its journalists required, plus – this is the best – a colour palette of the desired end product. Genius. I need to do this in our house, where tea requests so often end in disappointment.

Undisputed is the truth that Americans cannot make it.

The New York Times editor, London-born Mark Thompson told The Daily podcast earlier this month: “Quite honestly, one of the most disheartening things about American life is not the politics, not the incredible social division – it’s the way you make tea.” They believe a Lipton teabag in tepid water is the real deal.

My newly discovered supply from Good & Proper is the stuff of legitimate tea, and hailing from Sri Lanka, feels symbiotic.  Because tea always reminds me of my mother,  whose Irish ancestors survived off it,  and I have a picture of her in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, taken in the fifties looking like Audrey Hepburn on a hillside in the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya. I once went there in the Nineties and remember fields of tea pickers and the wood-lined interiors of the old tea estates, full of ghosts from its colonial past.

Despite my increasing tea snobbery,  there are random alternatives for which I’ll happily break my usual cuppa. Costco, home of bulk-buying loo paper, does a spectacular strong and milky Tetley breakfast tea in its food hall for about 80p, while the Indian restaurant chain Dishoon offers a warming mix of milky Darjeeling simmered with ginger, black peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and sugar.  Spicy chai tea in the afternoon with a slab of dark chocolate is a particular lockdown treat which had me recently purchasing two boxes of Twinnings Spicy Chai teabags online when it was out of stock everywhere else. (My quest for loose leaf chai tea continues.)

India is also where I was first introduced to restorative ginger tea, when in the Nineties we’d rent an old Portuguese villa in the mountains above Anjuna in Goa. I have a lasting image of everyone draped around the courtyard at dawn, having danced all night, being served sweet ginger tea by bemused staff while Aretha sings Say A Little Prayer.

That memory has been recently usurped by a friend’s 60th birthday at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons hotel in Oxfordshire where £10 cups of Earl Grey were sipped, recommended by a tea sommelier who refused to let us tarnish it with any milk at all.  I regularly long to return to that corner of England with its hot clear tea and heavenly sandwiches.

Throughout my life, tea has been there for me when grief and tragedy turned everything I ate to dust,  and it kept me going, along with Minstrels, during gruelling 15 hour days on newspapers.

With the world in chaos, it has again become an increasing source of comfort.  There are dozens of quotes that eulogize tea, from the likes of Rudyard Kipling to Agatha Christie and Douglas Adams. I’ll end on my favourite, from a former British Prime Minister who could well provide our present incumbent with a lesson in clarity.

“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.

William Gladstone 1809 – 1898

You Need To Know About Blood Clots

DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis vector graphic written on a post it note in multicolours and on blue background

This week’s headlines shouted about the increased risk of abnormal blood clotting – venous thromboembolism (VTE) – in the lungs of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. A key trigger seems to be the cytokine storm where the immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body. Widespread inflammation ensues which damages veins leading to clots. So COVID-19 patients in ICU are now routinely given an anticoagulant to thin the blood (low molecular weight heparin or LMWH). Together with much decreased use of mechanical ventilators in favour of less invasive Cpap machines (which blow air into the airways to help breathing), this appears to have significantly reduced the death rate.

In fact, all patients in ICU and in hospitals generally are known to be at risk for clots: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which usually occurs in the calf or thigh, and pulmonary embolism (PE), in the lungs. Underlying causes include physical trauma, surgery and prolonged immobility.

According to Thrombosis UK, blood clots account for more deaths than breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and AIDS combined, with one in four deaths due to blood clot-related causes. VTE is the main cause of preventable deaths in UK hospitals with up to 60 per cent of cases occurring during or in the 90 days following a stay in hospital.

But that still leaves some 40% of cases and, as I found recently, you don’t need to be infected with COVID-19 or in hospital to suffer from a DVT, which could progress to a life-threatening PE.

And you don’t need to have all the other usual risk factors, such as being overweight, smoking, having cancer, heart conditions or varicose veins, or taking HRT or the Pill.

In early December last year, I’d been away for a week, leaving my husband home alone. The first morning I was back, he brought me a cup of tea in bed and, almost simultaneously, lifted his right leg up in front of my face, asking me why there was a painful lump on the calf.

Coming to rather rapidly, I asked how long it had been like that and if he’d bumped it. About five days, he thought, and no. Whoa! And this is what’s REALLY IMPORTANT for everyone to read, mark and remember because it could be lifesaving.

I felt the painful area, which was about two by one inches, red and a bit purple, warm, distinctly swollen but, unlike most swellings, hard to the touch as well as sore when I pressed it lightly. And it was in one leg not both. A quick look on the NHS website confirmed these are the classic symptoms of a DVT. Although, confusingly, only in a minority of about 20% of people; 80% show no outward signs other than pain.

Every medical website tells people who suspect they have a DVT to go to a doctor immediately. That’s because, during the first few days after the clot forms and up to about four weeks on, part of the clot in your vein can break loose and travel through your bloodstream to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be life threatening. Estimates vary but about one in four patients with PE die.

Back to that Monday morning and I’m trying to be calm. Firstly, call the GP. No appointments for two days unless medical emergency. Husband refuses to ring back and say it might be an emergency (his mantra for most things is ‘it will be allright’ – I don’t think I screamed out loud). Secondly, go to Casualty. Last time he went it was a chaotic nightmare and he sat for four hours. So he refuses and goes off to make breakfast.

It’s 8.30 am and I’m really worried. That clot could be breaking up and travelling to his lungs while he munches his healthy bowl of mixed fruit, nuts ‘n seeds and natural bio yogurt. Thank goodness I have the mobile number of John Scurr, a leading expert in vascular medicine who’s helped me with articles over three decades. So, 8.35am and I ring John. He sounds slightly surprised but responds immediately when I tell him the reason. He reassures me it’s probably superficial but by 5.45 that afternoon, Alex has had an ultrasound scan and a diagnosis – I couldn’t be there but John texts me to say ‘you were right…’.

The NHS recommendation is that patients should have a scan within 24 hours if a doctor suspects a DVT, and possibly an X-ray of the vein (venogram). While the patient is waiting, they may be given an injection of a blood thinner (anticoagulant).

Alex was put immediately on a three-month course of anticoagulant tablets (rivaroxaban) and told to come back for a check up in two weeks. The clot, which was actually behind his knee, did start to dissipate over that time and disappeared within about a month (the average is two to six weeks).

Although Alex is on the lean side and didn’t have most of the usual risk factors, he was 68 and being over 60 is a risk. With me away, he was also free to sit at his desk for hours at a stretch without his wife nudging (okay, nagging) him to get up and walk about every hour. Immobility is a noted risk factor, as in being in hospital or on air, train or car journeys of three hours or longer – at your desk… I also suspected he was dehydrated (without me there to plonk glasses of water in front of him), which makes a DVT more likely.

Alex has recovered from that episode but I do shudder when I think what might have happened. It reminded me of Jasjmin Muller, then 37, a management consultant and super-fit endurance cyclist. She thought she was the embodiment of supreme health until she had a DVT, (which she had to fight to get scanned as her GP diagnosed cramp), and found she had several risk factors including being on the Pill, cycling and consequent dehydration, also compensating for lost work time by spending days sitting at her desk without moving.

So, please, don’t dismiss a pain in your leg even without other symptoms. Consult your GP as a possible emergency, or take a book and a flask to A&E and sit for as long as it takes – and, if necessary, make a fuss.

Weekend Read

ladder-into-clouds-wr-may-16

Another Saturday.  Another Weekend Read and I think it’s interesting how change is affecting each of us.  Mostly we are resistant to change, but we are being forced to embrace change and being the raging optimist that I am, I will always look for the positive in an increasingly difficult world. And somewhere, in the recesses of my brain, I remember a favourite book from childhood, The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  Many of you will of course be familiar with this book, but in summary this tree was positioned in The Enchanted Wood.  Basically if you climbed the tree and went up the ladder at the top of the tree, you would enter a different land, aka The Land of Goodies, The Land of Do-As-You-Please and The Land of Magic Medicines (wow, can we all climb the tree and go there for a vaccine perhaps).

On from that I think I have landed in The Land of Pandemic Time Zones.  I wake up and get up at 5 am and by 8 pm I can barely keep my eyes open.  I have banned my children from phoning me after that time and I don’t answer emails.  Actually, I can’t.  I’m sleeping.  On a more serious note, we are all in a different place, so in this ever-changing world it really is all we can do to accept the things that we cannot change with an open heart and mind. And so I’ve decided that we are going to transport ourselves to yet another land.  So please come with me as we climb that imaginary ladder to the Land of Wellbeing and Happiness.

Please follow the rules because in this land we hold virtual hands, we smile and we share.  And as we elevate, we know that we are stronger and happier together and that ‘we shall overcome’.  So let’s sing that song in full voice.  Led perhaps by Bruce Springsteen, which is my favourite version. So rock it with me because ‘deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome some day’. Take it away Bruce. We shall forever sing. We shall forever dance. We are not afraid.
We Shall Overcome: Bruce Springsteen

Whatever the land, old habits die hard and there are some aspects of VH that will never change because I rather like it like that.  I am talking about products and I am talking about scientific research and development.  Over the years I have always said that we are not biased in our choice of products and if a next-generation product came along which we felt was superior, we would change you all over to that product.  I am not loved by brands when I do this, but actually I don’t really care.  It’s not a matter of dissing a product, it’s a matter of responsibility and integrity.  So hold on, because I’m just about to do it again.

You will have read last week about how Citriodiol, the active anti-viral ingredient found in some insect repellents, was being tested by the Ministry of Defence to see if it could kill the strain of Covid-19.  Whilst of course we are far from a determination, the product mentioned across the media was Mosi-Guard, which is now out of stock for the foreseeable future.  We therefore suggested that you change over to Trek Natural.  I think it’s important to say here that this is not a knee-jerk or a flippant reaction from us.  We did our research. Thoroughly. Mosi-Guard contains 30% Citriodiol whereas Trek Natural contains 40% Citriodiol, which, we believe, makes this product more effective and longer lasting than anything else currently on the market. With respect.  All change.
Trek Natural £9.50 for 100 ml

Look, can I tell you that I feel bad about something.  And that something is Ionicell.  If a product had feelings (energetically they probably do), then Ionicell would be feeling isolated in lockdown because I haven’t really spoken about it over the past few weeks.  As most of you know, Ionicell is our bestselling supplement and it contains Ioniplex, a Fulvic ionic mineral which has been specifically formulated and clinically proven to help our bodies generate collagen and re-hydrate cells.  It is also, of course, a next-generation hair, nails and skin supplement, as is Fulvic Acid Elixir.

So in other words, Ionicell is the capsule and Fulvic Acid Elixir is the liquid supplement.  They are one of the same, it’s just dependent on your choice of the mode of delivery.  I know I have created confusion (as I walk myself to the naughty corner), but I take both; you don’t need to, although many of you do.  It’s just that I’m a full-on Fulvic junkie so I double-dose, which is perfectly safe.  Anyway, here it is, the Ionicell treat.  We have created an Ionicell Twin Pack which is £30.  This means you save £10 as Ionicell is normally £20 for 60 vegicaps.  This is a weekend only offer and will end at midnight GMT on Sunday 17 May or whilst stock lasts.  Go bash that keyboard in all your full Saturday morning glory using the link below.
Ionicell Twin Pack £30

As we continue to walk together through this strange phase of life, there are many of you who have had the Covid-19 virus and are, thankfully, now recovering.  One of the most debilitating concerns post-virus is a lack of strength and energy, which is often accompanied by weight loss.  Sustenance is vital as many of you are telling us that an appetite loss has also played a detrimental role on the road to recovery, which is perfectly understandable.  In these circumstances we are recommending Life Drink.  I have written about it before, but just to recap Life Drink provides an impressive array of naturally-occurring phytonutrients, micronutrients, balanced protein, enzymes, probiotics and essential fatty acids.  It makes an ideal nutritional foundation for post-viral recovery.
Life Drink by Terranova £28.65 for 227 grams; Life Drink £49 for 454 grams; Life Drink Sachets £28.65 for 15 Sachets

Over the years I have heaped a monumental volume of praise onto Enterosgel.  Guided by your feedback, we know that diarrhoea is prevalent across those who have had the Covid-19 virus, even in its mildest form.  With 30 years of clinical research, Enterosgel is a remedy to help treat severe indigestion, diarrhoea, food poisoning and IBS.  It was developed for helping to bind toxins, viruses, allergens, pathogens and other harmful substances in the GI tract and removing them from the body.   Giving fast relief, Enterosgel is one of those products that deserves heroic status.  And so it shall be.  Herewith bequeathed.
Enterosgel Sachets £20.80 for Ten Sachets

Last week I mentioned that I would be writing about emerging heroes today, which I am about to do.  They are of course the products that have been given heroic status over the past few weeks as chosen by Shabir, and I’ll follow through (never wanting to be left out).  I think it goes without saying that it was extraordinarily difficult to choose three products, and I actually can’t keep it to three.  So Shabir gets three and I get five.  I mean I’m writing this thing.  Veni, Vidi, Vici.

I think Shabir’s three heroes are pretty obvious, and I suppose mine will be too, but Daily Immunity heads his list because according to Shabir, it is the most complete supplement for the present time, a time when we all have to protect our immune system.  Secondly, it’s Mega Probiotic ND and whilst Daily Immunity does contain probiotics, the manufacture of antibodies is crucial, so it’s important to keep our levels sustained.  Finally, and although there is some controversy about the need for Vitamin C supplementation, we believe, along with numerous experts in the field, that Vitamin C remains a vital supplement because we just don’t get enough in our diet and it plays an important role in shortening the duration of infections. And more.
Daily Immunity £26 for 60 Capsules; Mega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules; Liposomal Vitamin C by YourZooki £39.99 for 30 x 15 ml Sachets

For every clinical, for every study, for every inch of campaigning with Andy Thomas, Founder of Better You, about the dangers of a Vitamin D deficiency over the past ten years, DLux 3000 and DLux+Vitamin D+K2 are my ultimate heroes of the moment.  Receiving global recognition and of course now the subject of two major international clinical studies being undertaken investigating Vitamin D3’s role in the resistance of Covid-19, the two D3 versions become one, which means I have four products left.  With thanks to Andy for keeping us supplied.  Actually he had no choice.  I told him I was going to dedicate the song ‘Nowhere Man’ to him if he didn’t.  He likes The Beatles.  I like my shelves stacked.
DLux+Vitamin D+K2 Spray by Better You £9.95 for 12 ml; DLux 3000 by Better You £7.95 for 15 ml

Four to go, and in no particular order, The Foot File.  It has to be.  The experts will tell you to file your feet when they are dry.  I will tell you otherwise.  Soak your feet for about 15-20 minutes, grab the foot file and watch that damp excess skin fall off into the bowl.  The pleasure is immeasurable.  Next up, The Tweezy because in its resurrected glory, it has been a godsend (make that an essential godsend) in removing dark, unwanted facial hair.  Then, Fulvic Acid Nail Cream.  No need to say much.  I’ve still kept the price down and with each passing week, our naked nails are getting stronger.  And finally it’s C-Deep with the discovery that Vitamin C serums don’t have to aggravate your skin.  It is ever so wanted.  I think it’s cool to be wanted.  What do you think Shabir?  This. Ends. Now.
Foot File by Alida £11.95; Tweezy Facial Hair Remover £10; Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml; C-Deep Vitamin C Serum by GoW for VH £18 for 30 ml

Let’s do a little treat.  A few months ago, I told you that Kneipp were pulling out of the UK market and that I was bereft because I loved the brand.  I still haven’t got to the bottom of why they have chosen to do this, but never mind that, let’s have one last fling.  In a moment of supreme joy, I have bought every single bottle of the Kneipp herbal bath oils that were still in stock. I felt like I was trading on the stock exchange, seriously.  Anyway there are three different types, Eucalyptus, Sweet Dreams and Lavender, they are single bath sizes (20 ml) and with caveats, I will throw in one bottle with every order placed for £15 and above.

It doesn’t matter which products you order, there is only one gift per customer and I cannot determine which of the three you will receive, so please don’t mail me (I will be under my desk) because we are unable to specifically select one for you.  We do have a large volume, but I doubt we will make it across the weekend, so this is a Saturday only treat, which will end tonight at midnight GMT (16 May) or whilst stock lasts.  This will not show up on your order confirmation.  Happy Kneipp bathing.  With love.
Kneipp

Last week I told the world (and its friend) that Shabir has RSI (repetitive strain injury) and that he is rather attached to Aculief, a wearable acupressure device.  So I thought we should take a look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is one of the many disorders listed under the general term of RSI.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often develops over a number of years with no noticeable symptoms, but when these do appear, they include a burning or tingling sensation in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to grasp objects properly and a general weakness of the hands.  In his article linked below, Shabir takes a look at the symptoms and his recommendations for the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  I wrote last week that he blamed me for his RSI, but actually I secretly (not such a secret now) know it was because of gaming controllers.  Look, he’s only a man.  After all.
VH Editorial: Treating Carpal Tunnel SyndromeAculief £19.95; Bromelain by Viridian Nutrition £27.35 for 90 Capsules; Pure Magnesium Oil Spray by Life-Flo £12 for 236 ml

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the Western Hemisphere and whilst of course the world focuses on Covid-19, we cannot and must not neglect other serious health concerns.  I think it is therefore important to talk about cardiovascular disease and how supplementation and natural solutions may help.  As most of you know, there are two types of cholesterol, LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol).  For the differential, and further understanding, please do take a moment to read Shabir’s article.  Once again from the archives.  Thank goodness for archives.
VH Editorial:  How To Lower Cholesterol NaturallyCholestsafe £25 for 90 Capsules

I am having a bit of a nostalgic moment, so please allow me to share.  Over the past couple of weeks I have written about Gloves In A Bottle.  As so many of you know, we looked after the health and wellbeing of The Mail on Sunday YOU magazine readers for over a decade.  Together we were the YOU magazine girls and although those days have long passed, our friendship remains as strong as it ever was. We are still the girls.  We always will be.  So many memories, which would include how many times Sarah, as health editor, would put Gloves on the health pages of the magazine because it really helped those with eczema and psoriasis. All we cared about was looking after the readers in the very best way we could and Gloves did just that, without a commercial collaboration anywhere in sight.

For many different reasons, Sarah felt she wanted to write about Gloves again.  And so she has.  The article is linked below, which I hope you enjoy because it also outlines the history of Gloves.  It remains our privilege to have launched so many epic brands and products over the years, so if I may, I would like to dedicate Sarah’s article to the late Norman Lowe.  Norman was the father of Rosalind Lowe, YOU magazine’s former features editor and he was one of the first people to test Gloves for us.  From that moment he became besotted.  In his last months, the only product he wanted at his bedside was his bottle of Gloves.  Somewhere in the sky above, I think he may still be using it as he watches over us.  God bless you sweetheart and God bless Gloves. Forever.
Helping Hands With Gloves In A Bottle by Sarah Stacey; Gloves In A Bottle £10.50 for 240 ml; Gloves In A Bottle Handbag Size £5.15 for 60 ml

I feel slightly awkward about having to say this, but I am perplexed.  Very perplexed.  At the beginning of this week, two huge boxes of chocolate arrived for us to share.  As you can imagine it was a huge moment of happiness, except I have no idea who sent it.  There was no paperwork with the chocolate and no card.  I am not going to name the company who sent it because heaven knows we are all under extraordinary pressure, but we did call and we did email, but to no avail.  It remains a mystery who it came from.  My children will tell you that from the moment they could hold a pencil, I made them write ‘thank you’ notes, as I’m really big on acknowledgement.  My one hope is that whoever did send it is reading this and perhaps they can mail me, so I can personally and privately thank them.

The Beauty Bible girls lead our editorial team this week by welcoming you to the Age of Imperfection.  Every cloud has a silver lining, they say, and let me tell you I am at one with Jo and Sarah on this.  A romp through the tricks of supermodels, Botox, filters and heaven knows what else, the girls request that perhaps we can rise above all that is fake and allow ourselves to be real.  We certainly hope so.  And it’s long overdue.  Nobody’s perfect.  Least of all us.
Nobody’s Perfect by Beauty Bible

Finally, together with Shabir, Lara and the entire VH team, I hope that each of you have a restful weekend.
My personal thanks for all your emails of love and support; they sustain each of us.
A new product launch next week perhaps!

With love

Gill x