Sodium laurel sulphate
(SLS), a detergent used in personal care products including some eczema emollient creams, is a known skin irritant. It is routinely included in toothpastes and linked to mouth ulcers. Several readers have said that their ulcers healed once they used sulphate-free toothpastes. Organic brand Green People offers a range free from sulphate, fluoride and artificial sweeteners, £3.50 a tube. In the Sensodyne range, Original, £3.20, is SLS- and fluoride-free; Pronamel and Repair & Protect are sulphatefree but contain fluoride; both £4.20, boots.com.
3 of the best TOPICAL PAIN RELIEVERS
- Magnesium Oil Joint Spray, £12.30 for 100ml.
Magnesium helps to relax muscles and ease joint pain, plus topical application is absorbed five times faster than oral supplements.
- Deep Heat Patches, £6.25 for four, lloydspharmacy.com;
two double-sized patches for £4.59, boots.com. These heat when opened, warming muscles and reducing pain and stiffness for up to eight hours.
- Vitabiotics Jointace Gel, £8.20 for 75ml.
Contains glucosamine and chondroitin, plus oils of ginger, lavender, eucalyptus and clove bud to give instant relief for aches and pains.
pucker up to help a worthy cause
From the age of nine months, Carmel Allen’s daughter Josephine (above) was silent for almost a year. ‘I would see tears rolling down her baby cheeks, but no sound came from her mouth. It was so distressing,’ remembers Carmel. Jojo, as she is known, had a stage 3 neuroblastoma tumour squashed against her windpipe, obstructing her breathing. To increase the oxygen supply, she was given a tracheostomy at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH ), in which EN T surgeon Ben Hartley inserted a tube at the front of her windpipe.
That was in September 2002. In December, after two rounds of chemotherapy, Hartley and cardiac surgeon Martin Elliott worked for eight hours to remove the tumour. The ‘trache tube’ was taken out the following summer. Today Jojo, now 11, is fully recovered.
In 2004, Carmel set up the Kiss It Better appeal to raise funds for research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer: ‘I called it that because throughout Jojo’s silent months I continued talking to her, and whenever she was visibly upset I’d say, “kiss it better,”‘ says Carmel.
One child in 600 under the age of 15 is diagnosed with some form of cancer, but there are relatively few cases of each kind, so to give children the best chance of a cure GOSH runs clinical trials with other centres. These have enormously increased survival rates. For instance, all forms of childhood leukaemia used to be fatal; now over 80 per cent of children are cured. The money raised by Kiss It Better currently goes towards training specialist research nurses and support staff who are crucial to these trials.
For the sixth year running, Clinique has partnered Kiss It Better to create a limited-edition Kisses from Clinique set, with the six bestselling shades of iconic Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss. It will be sold exclusively in House of Fraser stores nationwide and at clinique.co.uk this month, with half the £24 purchase price going to Kiss It Better. Clinique and House of Fraser will also donate £2 for each Clinique lipstick or lipgloss sold at House of Fraser stores.
You can also buy Valentine cards from the Almanac Gallery, including this one, left, designed by Jojo Allen, called ‘Free Love’. Almanac donates
30p for each card sold to Kiss It Better. Look under the ‘Get Involved’ section of the website, gosh.org/gen/kiss-it-better
Book of the Week: Every Teacher Matters*
Former deputy head teacher Kath Dunning highly recommends this book by emotional resilience specialist Kathryn Lovewell. Her mission is to reduce
stress in schools and promote wellbeing through mindfulness, a way of paying attention to what is going on in the moment, both in the teacher’s life and their teaching. Much of it is as simple as giving yourself ten minutes of daily ‘head space': ‘In a busy life we often forget this,’ says Kath.