April Newsletter

Vice Reversa

Hello and welcome to the April newsletter where we do the exclusive UK launch of a new brand, Vice Reversa, which also heralds a new era of an emerging category in all things bright and beautiful. That would be bright and beautiful skin. Additionally I tell you about the latest product from LixirSkin and my obsession with a new must-have (in my humble opinion) from Sarah Chapman.

And then we do health. Liposomals, Nootropics (again) and a stunning new supplement which helps turn off the pain signal. Aculief has more than a moment in the spotlight and this month we have some really powerful feature articles, so much so that I am going to leap onto The Podium with Victoria to write about abuse (because I can and because I will), but more of that later. Let’s do it:

Vice Reversa

With a tag-line of ‘helping undo what life does’, I invite you to meet Vice Reversa, the new generation of micro-needling patches, which are smart, which are simple and which epitomise the very latest in modern skincare for age old skin issues. And this is just the beginning.

The story: One email to me. One response from me and within the space of three minutes I knew what I had to do. I knew that I was looking at groundbreaking products from a groundbreaking company. Their ethos was in line with my own. Their mission statement and their innovative stance on skincare confirmed that. And I hadn’t even tested the products. Sometimes you know.

Launched across Australia at the end of last year, it is now our turn to experience these micro-needling skin fix patches, aka wrinkle wranglers, aka zit zappers. Each patch contains thousands of microscopic ingredients made from crystallised active ingredients formed into micro-fine needles that dissolve into your skin and penetrate the epidermis, where the ingredients really have effect, nourishing and replenishing cells.

This pioneering science utilizes a unique and groundbreaking (count the number of times I write the word ‘groundbreaking’!) delivery system to target and transport these ultra-fine molecules. With a global patent across these micro-pyramid patches, Vice Reversa patches go where we need them to go and they go in deep.

This much I know, because I have been testing them every which way over several weeks and in line with Vice Reversa, we believe in personalized, adaptive routines and effective solutions because skin changes and skincare should adapt. Collectively we believe that everyone deserves good skin.

We launch with two transdermal patches, Plumping Patches and Pimple Patches:

Vice Reversa Plumping Patches: Because you’re not prepared to co-exist with fine lines and wrinkles. If life is giving you wrinkles and your frown lines are giving you frown lines, use these dissolvable micro-needle plumping patches. Loaded with Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Adenosine, Madecassoside and three types of peptides, each patch contains 2500 needles and can be used along your forehead, under your eyes and around your mouth.

This medical grade hydrocolloid patch creates a perfect seal to ensure the cocktail of plumping ingredients are absorbed during use. A close friend swears they are responsible for easing the ‘crepiness’ on her neck. I’ll take that.

The patches work best when they are applied overnight, but they don’t have to be used overnight. As long as the patch is in place for 2+ hours it will be effective. At this point I need to say that these patches are not an alternative to injectables such as Botox. In Victoria’s interview with Annie Shortall, the woman behind the brand. Annie states that she wanted to bring something new to the market that intrigued women (and men too), spoke to their intelligence and allowed them to have a bit of fun making life (and skin) brighter and better.

We recommend using these patches twice a week. The magic starts to work when you push the patch onto your skin. The initial sensation is a bit weird (weird makes me happy), but not at all uncomfortable. Actually I love giving them a few pushes (never rub them) every now and again because I’m feeling and visualizing the needles melting, which excites me rather a lot.

The thought of pushing these needles onto every part of my body thrills me, but I haven’t done that yet, surprisingly. And before any of you ask, I’m there before you; I’ve already asked if a full face of needles would be possible and the answer is no. Damn the expense I thought, but for reasons I am not really understanding, it is technically impossible. Shame. Another vision crushed.

Rather than write reams more, which I could easily do, at this point I will refer you to Victoria’s interview with Annie. Annie talks about her background, the inspiration behind Vice Reversa and the burning question, should we get rid of our derma-rollers?
VH Editorial: Meet The Woman Behind Vice Reversa by Victoria Hall; Vice Reversa Micro-Needling Plumping Patches £34.95 for Eight Patches

Vice Reversa Pimple Patches: Because the Gods gave you good looks and a sparking personality but balanced it out with the occasional pimple outbreak. Micro-needling Pimple Patches aka Blemish Blasters, aka Zit Zappers.

Excitement. The almost-immediate eradication of sore, red blemishes. Put to the test, the efficacy of these patches is pretty astounding. This will be music to the ears to anybody who suffers from regular breakouts or the occasional spot here and there. Spots suck, Vice Reversa patches do not (their words, but we agree), instead they painlessly penetrate the outer layer of skin delivering ingredients to source. The spot.

Using the same technology and transdermal delivery system, these clever pimple patches promise to treat and soothe sore, inflamed breakouts. While Totarol and Salicylic Acid help to unclog pores, slough away dead skin cells and rebalance sebum production, Hyaluronic Acid hydrates your skin.

Madecassoside and EGCG (Green Tea Extract – a powerful antioxidant thought to be over 60% more potent to Vitamin C) help to soothe the area and ease sensitivity.

Each Pimple Patch has 380 needles made from the crystallised serum, which are attached to the hydrocolloid material to keep the area clean and sealed. Just imagine, 380 needles melting into your spot and I think I’ll leave it there before getting way too graphic.

Victoria tested these when a stress spot appeared on her face (and the stress had nothing whatsoever to do with me). It takes an awful lot to impress Victoria, but she was impressed and I’ve seen some pretty impressive testimonials from Australia too, including a YouTube video of a disappearing spot which went viral. The video obviously, not the spot. Who needs viral spots. God help us!

To use, please cleanse your face and dry thoroughly. Open the blister pack and remove one patch. Holding the patch carefully by the edges, carefully remove the protective film, making sure not to touch the micro-needles in the centre. Apply the patch immediately and gently press down to adhere it to the skin. For best results, please keep the patch on for 8+ hours, so overnight would be good.

Before moving on, I would like to say a personal thank you to Annie Shortall for the love, belief, support and all her prolific emails, which were more than a match to mine. As I have previously said, this is just the beginning of the Vice Reversa journey. And somewhere in the future there may well be a world-first, which I would love to tell you about, but I can’t because it is still in research and development in Korea.

Thoughts of raiding the lab enter my head, but quickly disappear when I think of the consequences. God help them if they don’t give me the exclusive. That’s all. Hello Arthur Mitroulas. Ahem.
Vice Reversa Pimple Patches £ 19.95 for Eight Patches

Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin

The latest impeccable skincare product created by Dr Colette Haydon in her inimitable skincare range, LixirSkin. I need to tell you that I have been using Good Skin Day Shaker for several months after I stole it from Colette’s handbag. Well, I didn’t exactly steal it, Colette took it out of her bag to show me and it just didn’t go back in her bag, but it came home with me instead.

And how happy am I that it did. Creatively Colette views Good Skin Day Shaker as a tool, working for the skin and asking no work in return from the skin. She blended it for anybody whose skin is showing signs of tiredness and for more mature skin that needs an everyday pick-me-up (my brain now has an everyday pick-me-up thanks to Nootropics).

The product is a contradictory conundrum. How to simultaneously fill-in and de-puff. The solution is a bi-phasic formula that once shaken does it all. The top phase is a juice of Hyaluronans combined with algae-derived minerals that help keep cells tightly together in one action and in the second boosts micro-circulation to help with drainage and de-puffing issues.

The bottom phase consist of perfluorocarbons gas carriers, which help retain oxygen to boost cell respiration and radiance, while helping to increase epidermal volume.

That’s the science bit over. The most important thing you need to know is how this feels on the skin, and it feels rather fabulous, but then I would expect nothing less from Colette who is a formulator extraordinaire as many of you know from using the basic LixirSkin products. Her Vitamin C Paste remains the iconic hero-product of the brand and has been since launch. I’m wondering whether Good Skin Day Shaker will topple the paste; it could, it really could, it is that good.

Good Skin Day Shaker should be used after moisturizer. After shaking well, gently press two pumps into the skin. If you prefer, it can also be applied on top of make-up if you feel your complexion needs a lift during the day and the bottle is small enough to carry round in your handbag. I know you are not going to do this, but I have one in my bathroom and one in my handbag. I just like having the ‘ooh-la-la’ energy of Colette around me. And I love having this on my skin. I think you will too. It stands alone and it can stand alone. Merci, Colette, merci.
Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin £36 for 15 ml

Aculief

In 2014, Aculief was awarded ‘Best New Product’ at Expo West in California, one of the largest health exhibitions in the world. Shabir has used it ever since and it sits on his desk. I have always maintained that you can’t keep a good product down and you can’t. Read on:

Aculief is a wearable acupressure device to help ease tension, headaches and pain.  It uses acupressure to relieve blockage in your energy flow (in Chinese medicine this as known as ‘Qi’) and helps enhance natural circulation throughout the body.  And it works.  And then something happened and we didn’t know what had happened, where it happened or how it happened, but suddenly we had an avalanche of orders for the Aculief and at the time of writing, this has gone on for nearly three weeks with no signs of abating.

And then we discovered what had happened.  Somebody in America had put the following post on Facebook and tagged us.  She isn’t a blogger, she isn’t a journalist, she just believed and her belief went viral:

‘This chip clip saved my life tonight.  I had a migraine start almost twelve hours ago and about an hour ago it was at an unbearable limit.  I had exhausted all of my drugs and tricks I usually use to ease my migraines to no avail.  I googled fast relief for migraines and it pulled up something called Aculief.  I glanced at the counter and saw this chip clip and decided it would do the same thing.  Within one minute I had some relief and within twenty my pain was reduced by half.  I decided to order the real thing and just wanted to share this with everyone, as I know many of you suffer from migraines also’.

The moral of this story is that it’s not always about new products and there are some things in life that can rarely be bettered.  This is one of them.
Aculief £19.95

The Podium

A close friend is training to be a Samaritan; it is rigorous training and you need to jump through several thousand hoops before you are allowed on the phone lines, quite rightly so because it is harrowing.  By far, the majority of calls are about abuse on so many different levels, including the ever-increasing rise of bullying on social media.  The currency of an abuser is often humiliation, which in and of itself is beyond the realms of acceptability.

I wrote at the top of this newsletter that there were some very powerful articles this month, which I will get to later, but almost without exception they refer to the intolerable and unacceptable aspects of social media.

I don’t have personal social accounts; the thought appalls me. I don’t care, repeat, I don’t care how many followers we do or don’t have.  Social media does not define me, social media does not define VH.  But it defines those who are abused, vilified and bullied.  For so many of these people the silence is deafening as the incessant onslaught is allowed to continue, which, in turn, questions the moral compass of society. How many more suicides?

With over 300 million people across the world battling with some form of depression, the latest term to make the headlines has been ‘smiling depression’. Victoria investigates the meaning of smiling depression and the ways you can identify it, one of which is ‘the social media effect’, which is backed up by numerous studies. Last year, the NHS opened its first addiction clinic dedicated entirely to digital addiction. No more words.
Smiling Depression by Victoria Hall; Samaritans 116 123 (UK)

PEA Discomfort Relief

I always know when Shabir is having a moment with a new supplement. He walks round the office holding it and thrusts it in front of my face several times a day, extolling its virtues. PEA Discomfort Relief is the latest supplement to receive this treatment.

So what is PEA? Otherwise known as Palmitoylethanolamide (we’ll stick to PEA if you don’t mind), PEA is a fatty acid compound naturally found in the body that helps target the underlying cause of pain. It works at the pain site to turn off the pain signal, but more importantly by working at the site of the original injury, it helps break the inflammatory pain cycle.

In clinical studies of PEA, noticeable reductions in pain were seen after 14-30 days of supplementation and in some cases in as little as seven days. Having established the validity of PEA, further studies were carried out and in a single-blind clinical study, researchers were able to assess the safety and efficacy of PEA in 20 sufferers of migraines who experienced severe pain as well as visual aura.

Each was given 1200 mg of PEA daily for 90 days and at 60 days patients experienced a vast improvement in reducing pain symptoms, which continued until the 90 day follow-up, where the group demonstrated a reduction in the number of migraine attacks per month without any adverse effects.

In separate studies, PEA demonstrated impressive results on patients with sciatica nerve pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).

PEA Discomfort Relief is a unique chewable supplement (berry-flavoured) that will help relieve occasional minor pain and discomfort. At times of pain, chew one or two tablets a day. Most importantly, they are non-addictive and non-habit forming.
PEA Discomfort Relief £26 for 60 Chewable Tablets (600 mg each)

The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman

I think steaming skin is a bit of a ‘marmite’ subject. You either love it or hate it, and I’m in the first camp and always have been. I can see no point whatsoever in having a regular facial without steam. This is a very personal perspective, but I would rather not have a facial if it doesn’t include steam and extraction.

I have often run into a salon and asked them just to steam my face because I don’t have time for a fuller treatment. And now, thank you Sarah Chapman, I don’t need to run anywhere except my bathroom because I am the proud new owner of The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer, which I see as an investment, not that I need to justify it to anybody (hello Shabir – please smile!).

I don’t think I need to explain steam to any of you, but for the sake of being neat this new advanced facial steamer emits nano-sized particles that deeply penetrate the skin to effectively cleanse, de-clog pores and hydrate the complexion. Powered by cutting-edge ionic and ultrasonic technology, the ultra-fine mist is charged with negative ions, ensuring the particles are more effective at penetrating the skin than regular steam.

Gone are the teenage angst days where I would sit with a towel over my head staring at boiling water in a big bowl (we all did that didn’t we!). How sophisticated life has become and it is suggested that you should incorporate steaming into your skincare regimen two to three times a week, for 5-10 minutes per session. And after all of that, the effectiveness of your skincare will increase. Time to pop on a patch perhaps. I think so.
The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman £119

The Tweakments Guide

If we are talking of facial treatments, which we were, there is nobody who knows more about non-surgical cosmetic procedures than Alice Hart-Davis, who has been reporting on the fast-moving world of aesthetics for over 20 years.

Her new book, The Tweakments Guide, is for any of us who have looked in the mirror and wondered what a tweakment might do to freshen up our looks. Alice is the expert who has tried them all and let me tell you, she is a braver girl than me, make that braver than most of us. In the words of the Beauty Bible girls:

‘We’re gripped, riveted and totally in awe of the colossal amount of work that has gone into creating this guide – key to add that it’s transparently honest. Also, given the deplorable lack of regulation in this arena, Alice has included an essential chapter on choosing the best practitioner and keeping safe’.

Alice is epic. Her research is epic. Her book is epic. And the thing that really matters is that Alice cares. She really cares about the work she does. I implore you to buy this book if you are thinking of having a tweakment because it could just make all the difference.
The Tweakments Guide: A Fresher Face by Alice Hart-Davis

The Trinny and Shabir Show

Shabir and I have just got back from LA, but before we crossed the Atlantic, Shabir was in Trinny’s bathroom once again.  They were talking about sleep and liposomal technology before they touched on acid reflux.  They did it live on IGTV, but if you missed it, you can watch it on the link below.

Trinny wore yellow and at some point she started sniffing Shabir (don’t even ask!); I was hiding in the bath reading the live comments, so I was a bit oblivious as to what they were doing. But never mind that, the feedback on liposomals was incredible and we went out of stock, of course we did, but with the exception of D3 (which may or may not be on pre-order as you read this) we are fully re-stocked.

I know exactly why we went out of stock because we saw Aurora Nutrascience at the exhibition in California, so obviously they weren’t sending out orders. Two more things, please take the time to read Shabir’s article on Liposomal technology, which kind of goes hand in hand with the video. And did we bring back any new products from LA? Yes we did, and I’ll start writing about them on the next newsletter.
Trinny and Shabir on IGTV; VH Editorial: What Are Liposomal Vitamins?

Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder problems are extremely common and each year thousands of people have to undertake Gallbladder removal due to pain and discomfort. Most expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much discomfort after the Gallbladder is removed.

After Gallbladder removal, many often complain of digestive discomfort, including frequent bowel movements, gas, bloating and liver problems. The risks of developing a fatty liver are also greatly increased.
Shabir takes a look at the function of the Gallbladder and the route to healthy digestion after Gallbladder removal.
VH Editorial: Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder RemovalMilk Thistle Complex £11.99 for 60 Tablets; Digestizyme by Lamberts £15.25 for 100 Capsules

DownDog by RoadScents

As many of you know, I adore Roadscents and I have them hanging all over the place, despite the fact that they were actually launched as luxury fragrances for cars, I decided that I didn’t want to restrict them to my car and I created a Roadscents tree, where they merrily hang out together and scent my bathroom.

Created by Tina Gaudoin, the former magazine editor, editorial contributor to VH and my friend (that last bit matters), I am happy to announce that Tina has developed a new product for dog lovers just in time for National Pet Month, which runs from 1 April.

With a warm masculine scent of Thyme, Patchouli and Cedarwood, Downdog, a deep, woody chypre was created in collaboration with French fragrance and flavours house, Grasse based, Robertet.

This latest scent joins GodSmell (my favourite), RoseRage and WakeUpCall. Inspired by her own experience, Tina set out to create Downdog to neutralize the pong of wet dogs everywhere (her words), including that of her Hungarian Vizslas.
RoadScentsDownDog £11

Nootropics

After the launch of four new Nootropics on the March newsletter, it seemed like we all wanted to hold hands and have a ‘Lucy In the Sky’ moment. If you are lost, then please click here to read what I wrote about them. Edge and Spark led the way, so in other words it was all about energy and memory.

We are such advocates of these innovative advanced brain health supplements and we now release ‘Shine’, which helps maintain a positive mood. It contains a bespoke Shine Bright Botanical Complex, which is an advanced blend of four natural botanical ingredients. These are Turmeric Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Ashwagandha Root Extract and Saffron Extract, each of which have demonstrated a positive impact on emotional balance and mood.
Shine £32.50 for 60 Capsules; Edge £25 for 60 Capsules; Spark £25 for 60 Capsules

How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you will have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of acid-based skincare products hitting the shelves. While scrubs might have been the tried and tested method of sloughing away dead skin a few years back, now it is all about the liquid exfoliator. So much so, Pinterest has seen a 58% increase in searches for liquid exfoliators.

Victoria takes a look at individual acids for individual skin concerns, adding in two products at the end for those who cannot live without a scrub. I fall into that category. I can’t help it, but I love Essence Noir Polish and Tri-Active Exfoliant.
How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin by Victoria Hall; Essence Noir Polish by Nannette de Gaspe £80 for 125 ml; Tri-Active Exfoliant by iS Clinical £68 for 50 ml

VH Editorials

‘In our selfie, self-obsessed society, there aren’t nearly enough manners to go round. And why we under-estimate the importance of good manners to navigate day to day life is beyond baffling’ writes Carolyn Asome. In Praise of Elegance takes a powerfully persuasive look at a return to elegance. ‘Elegance is such a loaded word, she writes, one could probably do with a crack PR team to imbue it with any sort of relevance in 2019. And yet, and yet, through the prism of nine squares, where so much of the tone on Instagram is dominated by a nauseating strand of self-love, there’s a growing curiosity to explore something different. Well at least I hope there is’. I hope so too.
In Praise of Elegance by Carolyn Asome

Losing things and finding ourselves in a desolate landscape – who hasn’t been there asks Jackie Annesley. It’s where crumbs of kindness are devoured. Cool To Be Kind examines what kindness really means and how love is our greatest success.
Cool To Be Kind by Jackie Annesley

‘There’s much talk of FOMO, nowadays. Fear of Missing Out. I blame Instagram’, says Jo Fairley, ‘so the other day, my heart did a little dance when I heard about FOMO’s (much saner) close relation, JOMO. It’s short for ‘Joy of Missing Out’ and I realise, I’ve pretty much been embracing this my whole life. Only now its got a name. (Or rather an acronym)’. With you JoJo x
Why JOMO Is The New FOMO by Jo Fairley

‘Whether you tuck an amethyst crystal in your bra every day or have an energy healer on speed dial, it’s clear that the popularity of spiritual wellbeing is on the rise. It’s unsurprising’ says Giselle La Pompe-Moore, ‘as wellness is now a staggering $4.2 trillion dollar global industry. One that’s infiltrated our local café menus, bookshelves and how we spend our Sunday nights. But why have we become so fixated by the pursuit of wellness’. Giselle does the lowdown.
The Stress Reducing Modern Wellness Trends To Know About by Giselle La Pompe-Moore

There is only one beauty action more important than any other this month, according to the Beauty Bible girls, exfoliate, exfoliate. In direct contrast to Victoria’s liquid exfoliators, Jo and Sarah extol the virtues of a scrub. Fact, I know the girls aren’t keen on liquid acids, so here is their take on the products they love to scrub with. I’m kind of with them, but you already know that. This is what happens when you beauty-grow-up-together. And we have. Daleks girls, really!!
Scrubs by Beauty Bible

The End Bits

And of course after launching the new Aloe Vera products, as predicted the Eye Contour went out of stock within a few hours. I knew it would, but thankfully it is now back in stock. Get it whilst you can, is what I think. It’s French and I’m not doing politics here, but at the time of writing, who knows what. Actually who knows anything, except that the products are all rather fabulous and the feedback has been amazing. Let’s leave it there.
Laboratoire du Haut-SegalaAloe Vera Eye Contour £17.90

A new product from CurlyEllie and a new addition to its award-winning collection for curly hair. Lasting Hold Styling Serum, which helps hold style for longer and forms a film on hair to coat and smooth curls while protecting against UV, wind and dry atmospheres. It will leave hair shiny and bouncy without feeling greasy or weighed down.
Styling Serum by CurlieEllie £9.95 for 125 ml

For the third year running we have been nominated as the Best Beauty Retailer and Etailer in The Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards 2019. The Style Beauty Awards are the largest consumer-voted beauty awards in the UK, with one-million consumer votes cast in 2018.

My thanks as ever go to Sarah Jossel, Beauty Director of Style, but as I wrote last year, I am pragmatic and I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground. I and we feel deeply privileged to have been nominated, which is more than enough for me.

We are not mass market, we do not have outside investment and we do not have a marketing budget to run a campaign. Additionally I am not a ‘vote for me’ person; in fact it would embarrass me hugely, so all I will say is that the voting opens on the 1 April and this is as much about the brands and each of you as it is about us.

Finally, and as ever, together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support and wish you a happy and healthy April.

With love

Gill x

 

Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal

Dandelion seeds on stem

Gallbladder problems are an extremely common occurrence in the adult population with thousands of people having to undertake gallbladder removal due to pain and discomfort. Most people expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much discomfort after the gall bladder is removed. Read More…

Shabir And Trinny On Body Cleansing

shabirandtrinny

Shabir and Trinny were in the bathroom discussing the importance of body cleansing. While you might think drinking a green smoothie regularly is enough to detox your body, Shabir isn’t convinced. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why should you cleanse?

Everyday your body is exposed to thousands of toxins and chemicals from cleaning agents, personal care products, pollution et cetera. Toxins cause inflammation within your body, which slows everything down, scars your tissues and exacerbates ageing. While you body is constantly regulating itself and detoxing, the average human still stores over 700 toxins in their body at one time.

Where should you start?

Shabir recommends starting with your intestines. Most of us don’t eat enough fibre and as a result it takes us longer to digest the food and overtime this can cause constipation, bloating and gas. Your gut is supposed to absorb the nutrients from food and then expel the waste once or twice a day. However, our low fibre diets slow this process down, which can lead to fermentation in the gut and more toxins being created.

Eventually parasites start to feed off of the build-up of food in our intestines and excrete waste. It’s thought that you could have over 300 different parasite species in your body feeding off your vital nutrients, so taking steps to eliminate them is essential.

Your colon contains billions of bacteria to breakdown the food and send signals to your brain to say you’re hungry or full and they’re maintaining your immune system.

How do you cleanse your intestines?

There are different ways to cleanse your colon, including colonics, enemas and laxatives. There is also a supplement called Complete Fibre Cleanse, which is a blend of insoluble and soluble fibres to help reduce constipation and regulate your bowel movement. This not only cleanses your colon but helps cleanse the whole length of the intestines scraping the gut of plaque and lodged pathogens.

Fibre isn’t for everyone, especially if you battle with IBS, colitis or inflammatory bowel conditions because you’re adding bulk to what is already there. Instead, they would be better using a blend of vitamin C and magnesium, such as Effervescent Vitamin C Magnesium Crystals. This supplement cleanses the colon and replenishes these two vital nutrients.

How do you cleanse you liver?

Your liver is your second biggest organ (skin is the largest) and has over 300 functions to support your body. It is responsible for regulating, processing and breaking down the different substances in your body. It works closely with your gall bladder, which stores bile required to breakdown fats and eliminate toxins from your gut.

Your liver is the only organ which has the ability to regenerate, but it is bombarded with toxins on a daily basis which hinders this process. Most things in excess with affect your liver, including alcohol, carbs and protein. For example, your liver breaks down protein to release amino acids, however this process releases ammonia which is toxic to the liver.

If you want to support and cleanse your liver or you’re following a high protein diet, it would be prudent to take a supplement such as Milk Thistle Complex. This supplement contains the trinity of liver cleansing and supporting herbs; Milk thistle, Dandelion and Artichoke Milk Thistle all known for their varying roles in helping to protect the liver and enhancing its function.

Can you cleanse your intestines and liver together?

Yes, you can take both Complete Fibre Cleanse and Milk Thistle Complex at the same time. However if you want to do one at a time, Shabir recommends starting with your intestines.

How do you do a sugar detox?

There has been plenty of health warnings about the amount of sugar that we’re consuming in the news recently. Why is it considered toxic? When your body metabolises sugar it is converted into energy. Any leftovers are then converted into glycogen (stored energy) and fat pockets which get deposited around your body (usually in your mid-drift area).

When you burn sugar for energy you create AGEs, a by-product which destroys the proteins in your body. The metabolism of sugar impacts every single structure within the body from your eyes to your joints and it is vital that we try to keep our sugar intake under control.

The best way to ‘detox’ is to control your sugar levels. Chromium is one of the best ways to do this as it keeps your insulin levels balanced, which could potentially ease any cravings for sugar. Taking a chromium supplement, such as 7-Day Sugar Detox, is a good place to start as it comes with a helpful guide.

My Skincare And Wellness Supplement Routine

small coloured powder piles

After last month’s article all about how I use supplements as part of my skincare routine (here), I decided it was time to share exactly what I use and why. Like skincare, I fully believe that supplemental therapy is very personal, but there are so many vitamins, minerals, herbs and plants to choose from that it can be very confusing and overwhelming. I wanted to explain my routine in the hopes that it will help anyone out there experiencing the same health issues or skin concerns that I am.

My supplement routine revolves around three key linked elements that I believe are essential for overall wellness and healthy skin. I aim to support the gut and liver, balance my hormones and reduce inflammation. Generally most women (and even men) could benefit from focusing on these three areas as modern life can really have an affect on all of them. Things like stress, an unbalanced diet, lack of sleep and not enough exercise have really been taking a toll on my health this year and the supplements I take have helped support my body from the inside out.

As I said in my previous article, one of the most important things to remember when choosing supplements is deciding which delivery method is right for you. For me, after many years of taking supplements in pill or capsule form and not liking the process one bit, I found that switching to liquids or powders has changed everything. It has made things quick, easy and painless and as a result, staying consistent is virtually effortless, which is paramount in order to get the most out of what you’re taking and to see tangible results.

For me, the gut is one of the most important organs in the body and how well it operates can affect our whole body, inside and out. Not only that, how well and how often we “eliminate” the waste from our bodies can make all the difference in our overall wellness and the health of our skin. I also think that without actively looking after your gut, taking vitamins could be a waste of time and money. An unbalanced and improperly functioning gut microbiome usually leads to poor digestion, which means the supplements won’t be absorbed making them useless.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes work to break down the different compounds in generally hard to digest foods like dairy, red meat and sugar helping them pass through the gut in the best way. They also help reduce inflammation and could help improve food sensitivities or intolerances. I choose a supplement that focused on my specific food issues and now I find that when I eat foods I previously didn’t digest well, I don’t experience the same negative side effects.

My supplement is a capsule (which I don’t mind in this case) and that is pretty standard for enzymes as many have to be taken around meal times. I keep some in my bag so if I happen to go out for lunch or dinner I won’t forget to take them. So far these are one of the best additions I have made to my supplement routine and I highly recommend trying these if you often experience food sensitivities, bloating, gas/belching or indigestion.

Probiotics
The main benefits of probiotics is their ability to boost the “good” bacteria that will help promote a healthy gut and improve digestion, but that is just the beginning. I have been taking them on and off for years, and now in conjunction with the enzymes I am seeing the best results. I have always had quite a sensitive stomach and probiotics have helped soothe and strengthen my gut microbiome. I have tried capsules, powder and liquid probiotics with different strains and strengths and it’s all about finding the right combination for you.

Glutamine
This is a relatively new supplement for me, but over the past few weeks alone it has made such a big difference. It supports the GI tract, boosts gut cell regeneration, improves gut barrier function and aids gut repair. This is so important for better digestion as well as proper absorption of vitamins from food or supplements. I would recommend starting with this to make sure your gut is healed and ready for everything else. Most glutamine comes in powder form and this is what I use.

Milk Thistle, Turmeric and Glutathione
For liver support my go-to supplements are milk thistle, turmeric and glutathione. These three help reduce inflammation, aid detoxification and support optimal functioning. Not only that, I saw the biggest improvement in my skin when I started supporting my liver and it’s because the body was now properly dealing with waste removal. All three supplements are good for the body and skin, but glutathione has the added benefit of reducing excess melanin production, so it is worth investing in. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your liver. It is the largest internal organ beyond the important “cleansing” role it plays, it also impacts our hormones, which brings me nicely to my next category.

Hormonal Support
Supporting and balancing hormone function has been a big priority for me over the past few years for a number of reasons. They function as the messengers relaying information all over the body, which means it is a big deal when they are imbalanced or disrupted. I started to have hormonal issues in my mid-twenties and even now it is still literally a balancing act (no pun intended) because daily stressors like diet, lack of exercise, sleep and stress can impact how well they function.

Agnus Castus
Known as vitex or chaste berry, this medicinal herb has been key in improving my PMS symptoms and I have recommended it to so many people. I used to take capsules of this for years, but I am currently testing out tinctures to further reduce my pill intake. I cannot recommend this enough and swear by it for better menstrual cycles as well as less hormonal breakouts.

Thyroid Complex
The thyroid is one of the largest hormonal glands and is actually linked to digestion because it “regulates how fast your intestines process food”. When it is not functioning properly you could experience issues like heavy periods, disturbed sleep, fatigue and dry hair. I take a capsule supplement which also contains a mix of nutrients and minerals like iodine, selenium, zinc and olive leaf to support optimal thyroid function and improve my general health.

Vitamin D
Technically more of a hormone than a vitamin, this is important due to the links between chronic illnesses, depression, immune function and cell mutation. When I was at my sickest, test results revealed extremely low levels of vitamin D, so now I use a quick and easy to administer oral spray and I have seen a big difference in my stress management.

Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins are another supplement that provide more than one health benefit. They are involved in the production of hormones, but also release energy from food and support overall health. For example, B2, B6 and B12 work with the liver, Niacin boosts skin health and estrogen metabolism, B5 aids production of steroid hormones and B9 can be mood boosting. I take a liquid form that goes in to water or juice and is quick and easy to swallow.

Magnolia Rhodiola
This adaptogen works on stress reduction by balancing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. Magnolia extract and rhodiola rosea work together to lower stress and promote a more calm/relaxed feeling. Reducing stress could help the skin a lot as cortisol can affect other hormones, possibly leading to acne. Not only that, in a roundabout way this supplement is excellent for inflammation because that isone of the effects stress can have on the body. I have been taking this as a capsule for years and it has made a big difference to my skin and mental health.

Inflammation Reduction
For many years I had no idea what inflammation really meant or why it was so important to reduce the levels in my body. When I used to think of inflammation I typically imagined angry red spots or back/head pain as seen in typical pain medicine ads. I never realised that inflammation could be occurring all over my body, affecting everything from digestion, menstrual issues and general wellness. I also never really paid attention to how the foods I ate either increased or decreased inflammation. Now I know better and believe that reducing inflammation is vitally important for long lasting great health and skin.

Omega 3
I have been taking some form of Omega 3 for years and can personally attest to how well they can work for the skin and general wellness. When I used to suffer from cystic or stubborn hormonal breakouts this supplement helped so much to calm everything down quickly. I saw my blemishes heal better and over time I actually stopped breaking out with the same level of severity and frequency. I am now taking a liquid Omega 3 form and if liquid oil supplements make you gag then opt for the traditional gel capsules. This is one of my top three vitamins that I recommend to everyone, especially for healthy skin.

Turmeric
This ancient Ayurvedic medicine has been used in India for many years as a fabric dye, in food and drinks and as a natural remedy to a variety of ailments, and I take it for the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits it provides the body. I feel like this just helps me to feel well and especially when it comes to my digestive system I find there is less uncomfortableness and pain. There are many ways you can incorporate this potent supplement depending on if you like the taste or how much you want to take. I have an oral spray and that works very well for me as turmeric isn’t my favourite spice.

This year I have finally found my “groove” with supplemental therapy and now actually enjoy this previously gag-inducing step in my routine. That alone is a very meaningful change to me because I genuinely feel good about what I am doing. I know this might seem like a lot to take, but for me my health is my number one priority that I would much rather invest in over topical products.

What I use is just a tiny tip of the iceberg and there are many more great ingredients out there and it’s all about finding what’s right for you. As always, please do your research and talk to a doctor before starting on any supplements. It’s what I did and I feel so much more informed and confident in my choices. Shabir is also a wealth of knowledge and besides having already written about every supplement here, he has also written about almost every health concern under the sun.

Of course, the most ideal way to take care of your skin and health is through a well rounded diet full of colourful, fibrous and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, while limiting inflammation causing and stomach upsetting (for some and most definitely me) foods like red meat, dairy, sugar and grains. Pretty straightforward in theory, but not always easy to stick to even with the best of intentions, which is where supplements like a good multi-vitamin (which I also take in liquid form) comes in.

I know that a full supplement routine can be expensive to maintain, but compromised health isn’t cheap either. If I was to recommend one area to start with I would say any of the digestive support supplements because the gut really does influence just about everything and a healthy gut can be the first step to overall wellness. There are lots of other things you can do too like get more sleep and exercise, work on your diet, drink plenty of water and practice self-care. Supplements are just one way to improve your health and skin.