With schools breaking up shortly, prep for holiday health with the St John Ambulance Universal Plus First Aid Kit – everything you need for common accidents, plus a first aid leaflet, £16.80 from stjohnsupplies.co.uk. And here are my tried and trusted products for trips near and far:
- Derma E Hydrating Facial Wipes, £9 for 25: one-stop cleansing and softening wipes, based on plant ingredients; they’re plastic-free and 100 percent compostable with recyclable packaging. Also: Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Buds, £2.25 for 200, with biodegradable stems.
- Compeed Blister Mix Plasters, £4.39: a must for sore heels, toes or corns. Available nationwide.
- Sea-Band, £8.74 for a pack of two wristbands to help nausea and vomiting: position the band’s stud on an acupressure point on your inside wrist. For adults and children. Sea-Band Mama! Ginger Lozenges with Folic Acid, £4.60, may help to alleviate morning sickness.
- Viridian Nutrition Travel Biotic, £24.95 for 30 capsules: contains a probiotic shown to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea and stomach upsets. Take one daily for five days before travelling then during your trip.
- Dr Scurr’s Zinopin Long Haul, £24.50 for ten capsules (for each return flight): this natural supplement formulated by a consultant surgeon helps reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and puffy ankles on flights over two hours.
- De Mamiel Altitude Oil, £28 for 10ml: a blend of antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic herbs to help clear your head and protect your immune system on germ-friendly planes and public transport.
- Fire Angel Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm, £24.99: this portable device detects poisonous gas, which has no smell or taste. Inhaling CO can cause chronic ill health. High levels can be deadly, with deaths from faulty appliances recorded in hotels and rentals. (See nhs.uk for symptoms.)
- Better You Magnesium Gel, £11.95: fast-acting gel for joint and muscle aches and pains or post-flight stiffness.
- Terranova Avena Sativa & Tart Cherry, £16.80: natural remedy that may help jet lag, tension and insomnia.
- iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm, £43 for 60ml: brilliant for sunburn – a father whose small son was very sunburnt was astonished at its almost instant calming and healing effect. (If you have nothing else, apply cold milk.)
Being ‘hangry’ – hungry and angry – is a real phenomenon, experts agree.
When blood sugar levels drop, you’re more likely to snap at people. Stress related hormones are released along with neuropeptide Y, a chemical that can make people more aggressive. Nutritionist Ian Marber (ianmarber.com) told me many years ago that blood sugar levels start to drop two to three hours after eating, which explained why I would feel faint, shaky and irritable if I didn’t refuel. Ever since then I always carry some nuts in my bag or – a new discovery – a Bounce Protein Energy Ball. These filling, gluten-free, vegetarian bites tide me over nicely. My favourites from the range of 12 are Cacao Mint and Almond, £2 each at Waitrose.
If footwear could win an Oscar, my colleague Rosalind and I would vote for FitFlops, the genius brand pioneered by entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore. Actress Uma Thurman loves them so much she has her own FitFlop Edit, #Forsuperwomen. Like millions of others, we are devotees of these brilliantly designed sandals, shoes and boots, which take you anywhere in style and (hallelujah!) comfort. I wore the Superchic Woven Ballerinas, £90, to a glam dinner and skipped home at the end. Rosalind’s vote goes to the ‘light and airy’ Lulu Mirror Cross Slide Sandals, £59.95. For trotting round town, we’re both wedded to our F-Sporty Uberknit Crystal Sneakers, £89.95 – lace-ups you can pull on. Your feet will thank you. fitflop.com
I’m on my roof in Soho, lurking behind a big tree, minding my own business until it’s time for Peeling Solution to come off when Crazy K calls begging for help. Again. She’s accidentally attached a bum selfie to her contacts’ list. Now everyone who gets a message from her is treated to a view of her recently waxed rear, she apologises just as ‘My Bum’ appears on my screen.
There are no compromises in backsides these days. They are either fatties or flatties. But in this pic Crazy K’s bum looks like two demented satsumas with scary sunburn. Funny I’ve never noticed the creepy rubbery texture before; ‘You’re looking at the wrong bum,’ she explains. ‘That’s the one I bought in Selfridges.’ She’d bought a blow-up bum when her boyfriend told her he likes a fatty but it turned out to be more of a farty and kept falling off so she gifted it to her mum. Read More…
It has been a whirlwind month since I officially joined the VH inner sanctum and I still can’t get over it. One of the reasons this new role is so special to me is because Victoria Health saved my life and not figuratively, I mean that literally. Gill, Shabir and the dearly missed Sally Brampton helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life and their collective help, knowledge and support changed me in so many ways. Without them I wouldn’t have a blog, wouldn’t be as passionate about skincare and certainly wouldn’t be here writing this. I know many of you will have only just discovered me through the articles I’ve written on here or from my blog or Instagram, but I have been here with you as a fellow VH Addict for years, and today I want to share my journey with you.
We have all heard the cliché adage regarding health, wellness and skin, how it’s all connected and that you can’t have one without the other, but for me that was never true. For most of my life I existed in the realm of “generally” – generally good health, generally good skin and generally active (but not really), all while eating whatever I wanted and generally looking very well. Read More…
Q. I tripped recently and tore a layer of skin off both my knees. I realised that I didn’t know the protocol for dealing with this small but painful injury. What should I do next time?
A. Most cuts and grazes are minor and can easily be treated at home, according to NHS Choices (nhs.uk). Here is a guide:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Stop any bleeding Apply pressure using a clean, dry, absorbent material (eg, a flannel, hanky or piece of bandage) for several minutes. If the cut is on your hand or arm, raise it above your head; if to a lower limb, lie down and raise the affected area above the level of your heart.
- Clean the wound under running tap water (if you are abroad, ensure it is drinking quality). Don’t use antiseptic as it may damage the skin and slow healing. If there are any residual fragments of grit, remove them with tweezers.
- Pat the area dry with a clean towel and apply a sterile adhesive dressing, eg, a plaster (waterproof plasters mean you can take a shower). Change the dressing daily if possible.
- Encourage faster healing with a specific product such as Sheald Recovery Balm (£43), which can be applied to open wounds.
- Go to your GP or minor injuries unit if you think your wound is, or could become, infected. Go to your nearest A&E if you cannot stop the bleeding or if the wound is large – particularly if it is on your face or the palm of your hand. Check with NHS 111 if you need further medical advice.
People think Lupus is very rare, but one in 3,500 people in the UK , most commonly young women between 18 and 45, are thought to be affected by some form of the condition. Lupus occurs when the immune system goes into overdrive and produces too many antibodies. Researchers have not yet identified the cause and there is no cure, but it runs in families. It can be controlled with drugs in most patients.
The first big hurdle was getting a correct diagnosis. There is no single test and the symptoms can mimic other conditions. I had lesions on my face and scalp, in my nose and on my arms and legs, plus mouth ulcers and arthritic symptoms. Doctors said I might have HIV or hepatitis C, the mouth ulcers could be gingivitis, the aches and pains down to sleeping badly and so on. Read More…