January Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to 2018 and the January newsletter; I was ever so tempted to make this the first-ever non-product related newsletter because there are so many things that I want to write about other than products. So this is what we are going to do; I am mostly going to write about health issues (actually Shabir is doing nearly all of that) and in between I will have a few soapbox moments, do some feedback, introduce you to new members of our team (exciting!) and somewhere amongst all of this there are a couple of treats and of course the feature articles, which are pretty profound this month.

As the new year begins, the buzz phase is self-care; it is everywhere you look. The New York Times (and as reported in Grazia) has declared that ‘self-care is the new going out’. We are notoriously bad in the UK at doing self-care and I am no exception. We feel guilty about nurturing ourselves and our needs, but in this brave new self-care world I actually ran away (far away) just before Christmas and for the first time ever I didn’t plug my laptop in and I turned my phone off. Life continued. Read More…

Beauty supplements to boost your skin

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Skin ageing is a multi-faceted process, which is impacted by lifestyle, dietary choices and genetics. As the skincare and wellness industries become more and more intertwined, we have seen a rise in beauty supplements or ingestible beauty products. In America, the industry was thought to be worth $13.1 million and one in five supplement takers do so for skin benefits. Yet with so many options available, promising everything from improving the quality of your skin to preventing lines and wrinkles, it can be a minefield. Here is a guide to help you make the decision…

How does skin age?

Skin is like any other organ in the body and it ages over a period of time. Unlike the liver, kidneys and other organs, skin actually ages more rapidly because it is not only exposed to internal aggressors and toxins, but it also has to cope with the external pollutants, radiation et cetera.

In order to understand the ageing of skin, we need to look at the outermost layer, the stratum corneum. It is composed of flattened, hard, dead skin cells that resemble overlapping bricks. These start as living cells in the lower skin layer,  but as they are pushed closer to the surface, they flatten out and die, forming in a thin but very tough barrier. Read More…

Astaxanthin: The Powerful Age-Defying Antioxidant

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What is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin, also known as vitamin X, is a member of the carotenoid family of powerful antioxidants. There are over 700 naturally occurring carotenoids and most people may have heard of beta-carotene from carrots and other food sources. However astaxanthin is challenging to obtain from the diet. Astaxanthin is present in a microalgae called Haematococcus Pluvialis and is what gives salmon and krill their distinctive pinkish colour. The reason this antioxidant is found in many animals, and especially in marine animals, is that they ingest this microalgae, digest it and thereby get this into their bodies. The best foods for this impressive antioxidant would be salmon, trout, shrimps and other sea foods, but unfortunately one would have to consume approximately two pounds of wild salmon daily, which is simply impractical for the majority, aside from increasing the risks of ingesting heavy metals.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect the skin and the body’s glands, including every single cell, from unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals come from a variety of sources including environmental pollution, cigarette smoke and even by the mere fact that the body breaks down foods to obtain energy releasing these damaging molecules into the bloodstream. Antioxidants are categorised into two groups, those that are water soluble (hydrophilic) and those that are oil-soluble (lipophilic). Your body requires both types since each one targets different types of cells and tissues, for example the lungs and blood work in a ‘water’ environment and the liver and all the cell membranes, which protect the cells from destructive elements, work in an ‘oil’ environment. Many of the body’s enzymes, which are catalysts for every cell and body process, are also oil based. Examples of water soluble antioxidants include vitamin C and glutathione, whilst oil soluble examples include vitamins A & E. The bottom line is that the body requires both types of these antioxidants for protection against free radicals. Read More…