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These days skin texture and luminosity is as important as getting rid of lines and sun damage so Glycolic Acid still has a place in our beauty routines….because it works. GA is an efficient exfoliator, which refines skin texture, improves skin tone and visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but up to now it was only the professional-strength GA which worked best.
However that’s all changed because Neostrata have introduced Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads, a GA peel which has been formulated for daily home use…10% glycolic acid along with amino acids delivered via patented system called Aminofill. Amino acids are the building blocks of collagen, so that clearer, brighter skin is now available for all of us.
And all in a neat little jar of pads onto which you empty the bottle of liquid, and then shake around to distribute so that the pads are saturated. Wipe one pad over your face in the evening after your usual cleansing routine, and follow up with a serum….I’ve been using HSSC Miracle Serum (harleystreetskincare.com) as it is power-packed with a cocktail of anti-oxidants, peptides and growth factor stimulators.
4 weeks in and I can definitely see a difference in skin tone.
Like most peels, your skin will need sun protection afterwards…but then we should all be wearing a daily SPF anyway!
Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads £50. 0207 436 4441
My husband rather tactfully suggested that I might look at incorporating a little gentle exercise into my brand new routine! He , of course, is an avid gym-goer, and boy does it show. He is really trim and has bags of energy, unlike me.
So, once I stop bristling I start to consider the idea. Going to a gym is not going to happen…not with my work schedule…but the thought of a personal trainer could work, after all, if it’s good enough for Gwynnie…..!
However, as I don’t have her on speed-dial, I ask a girl friend who is in good shape too….she recommends Despina Pilides, (07957 604745 email@example.com) who has an iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove approach to exercise and fitness ie she is gentle and relaxed, but gives you a good workout despite yourself! Plus she will come to your home which is a bonus for me.
She sounds perfect, so I get in touch and set up the first session.
Despina arrives at the crack of dawn..well 6.30am…and immediately gets to work. After a thorough assessment of my problems she says that she wants to sort out my mobility first. It seems that all that sitting at a desk, working on the computer is taking its toll on my shoulders and hips which seem to have set – concrete-like – into a form of the Sphinx!
These are really gentle exercises, but boy do they work and actually it is quite nice to feel as though I have achieved something. If you have the same problem this is the exercise she gave me:
Shoulder and Spine Rotations – Helps to give more mobility to the shoulder, scapula and thoracic (middle) section of the spine. Start by lying on your side on the floor. Position yourself with your top leg bent at a 90-dgree angle and resting on top of a foam roller (or cushion) to keep your pelvis neutral. Bottom arm lying flat on the floor out in front of you, with the other arm resting on top. With the top arm staring rotating the arm around above your head trying to keep your hand to the floor. Once you hit a point where it becomes difficult, hold it there until you feel you can carry on with the rotation. Once you get to your limit, take a deep breath and slowly bring the arm around to the starting position.
Band Windmills – This will help to open the chest and shoulders, while also rotating and strengthening and mobilizing your scapular. Holding a long band with each side in each hand. Stand up straight, keeping your core braced and glutes tight. Lift your arms in a rotational movement, keeping your arms as straight as possible throughout until you reach your sticking point. Once there hold for a second or two to feel the stretch and then slowly come back around keeping the arms straight still.
I feel incredibly virtuous at having a nutrition and exercise programme now that it is tempting to celebrate with a biscuit.
It is particularly hot at the moment, so if you are suffering from insomnia you might want to try taking Magnesium, as this mineral is vital for energy production as well as the metabolism of blood sugars and it has been found to help prevent depression, dizziness, PMS, headaches, migraines, cramping and insomnia.
Many of us are unknowingly deficient in magnesium so if you have symptoms of general aches and pains, restless legs and night cramps … things which keep you from getting a full night’s restorative sleep….then this can work as it helps to relax muscles as well as building bone density. And re bone density, take Calcium too as Magnesium helps the body to metabolise Calcium.
As most of you know from my Losing It! posts, I have been working with Angela Beecroft to help solve my gut problems and she recommends this one:
“ I always recommend he Allergy Research Magnesium Citrate, it’s easy to swallow and probably the best quality on the market. Taken1hour before bedtime it helps facilitate sleep, but it also helps to address constipation, particularly if taken with 1 tablespoon of Flax Seed Meal in food or a smoothie because it helps to soften the stool and help achieve a softer stool! https://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Magnesium_Citrate_90_s-4442-0.html And if you put in the code AB005 you will get a 5% discount. We all like discounts! “
Finally, a mineral-rich Epsom Salts bath will help restore magnesium and sulfate in your system because they can be absorbed through your skin. Try soaking three times per week for about 12 to 15 minutes. Just remember to rinse off any salt which remains on your skin, then apply a moisturiser to lock in the moisture and prevent it from evaporating and taking your skin’s natural oils with it.
Sweet dreams everyone.
Now this is a clever product!
We all know that we should be wearing sun protection all year round to ward off the damaging effects of solar rays, but how many people actually do it? Not as many as there should be because the temptation of a suntan still has a siren call.
So what if there was a product which had an SPF50 to protect against burning AND was an instant bronzer to even skin tone, disguise blemishes and age spots AND was a self-tan too? Would you use it then? I certain would…and in fact, I am because I have discovered a brilliant new product called Tancream which suits most skin types and is incredibly easy to use. It was developed by two resourceful ladies, Gillian Robson and Katy Foxcroft, when Gillian was diagnosed with aggressive skin cancer and she was unable to find an effective sun-protectant which also had some colour, because she, like most of us, found that a light tan makes you feel good and look a tad younger. It became clear that there was nothing on the market so she and Katy set about formulating one…Tancream is the result.
And a great result it is too. I have been using it for a few weeks now and can say that it is easy to use and gives a light, gentle tan…so good in fact that patients ask me why I have been sitting in the sun! I am stocking it in the Clinic so if you want one, get in touch. 020 7436 4441. 100ml tube costs £39.95
All info onTancream is on their website tancream.co.uk so take a look for yourself,
What clever girls!
Today is the first day of my new lifestyle diet.
I weigh 12stone 2 lbs.
That is going to change.
My new food plan from Angela removes Gluten, which is found in abundance in Wheat with smaller amounts found in Oats, Barley and Rye as well as some other grains like Spelt. Interestingly, on checking the list of ingredients on tins and packets, I see that wheat in some form or another is often included.
Seems that I can have free use of Rice, Buckwheat, Coconut and Chestnut flour. Plus I can have the following good fats…lots of Olive Oil, Coconut Oil – use Flaxseed Oil, Walnut, Avocado Oils or Toasted Sesame seed oil as a dressing only (not for cooking) try to have 20ml of good oils a day. Butter is ok. ..but in moderation.
I should be as organic as possible and eat protein every 3 hours to balance hormones and lower Cortisol levels.
Angela has given me some really interesting recipes and I am going to share a couple of the breakfast ones with you because breakfast is the most important meal of the day…right?
She really rates this bread recipe from Deliciously Ella…it’s gluten-free, vegan and is very easy to make. Check the recipe here
It is so good that the rest of the family keep swiping it!
And here’s a balanced smoothie…
120 ml of a mixture of coconut milk or any plant based milk, pomegranate juice and grape juice.
1/4 cup of blueberries or cherries
1 teaspoon of Nut butter (not peanut) Cashew or Almond
1 tablespoon of Flaxseed meal – you can buy this in Waitrose or Sainsburys or Aldi, it’s kind gently fibre.
1 tablespoon of Flaxseed oil.
You may add extra plant milk to get the required consistency. Put in blender and whizz.
One of my favourite treatments at the Clinic is Pellevé a radio-frequency skin-tightening process because it is completely relaxing and painless. I will often have this if I am going out to an event and really do want my skin to look brighter and plumper. It works brilliantly around the eyes and just seems to melt dark shadows and fine lines away completely …giving a luminous quality to your skin tone. And I have just tried it out on my hands and I am really impressed with the results as they look smoother and plumper and this was achieved without any pain at all…in fact it is so relaxing that I almost fell asleep!
The benefits work even after the initial treatment because it boosts your own collagen-production, so it’s a win-win situation. And did I mention that it’s painless? I can heartily recommend it…. it costs around £250 a treatment.
020 7436 4441
Plus I have found a neat device which can carry on the good work of collagen-regeneration, toning and tightening…it’s called the DermaWand which uses a radio-frequency which is suitable for home use. It, too, is painless and relaxing, and when used regularly can keep those pesky fine lines at bay along with improved skin tone and radiance. Available at Amazon.co.uk and Boots.com.
Back to Angela to get the results of the tests and it seems that my gut is shot to hell. Well that is how it sounded when she ran through the (very long) list of problems.
The blood tests showed I was quite healthy, a little arthritis, the urine and stool tests said I was fine, but the saliva DNA test showed I was a candidate for high blood pressure and a heart attack…not such good news!
I also needed more of some vitamins and minerals than other people and that I needed to eat 500 calories less a day than the average for my height and weight. I had an intolerance to lactose, gluten and couldn’t digest carbohydrates very well.
Another saliva test also showed my cortisol levels were very high, , hence I have a ‘fat pack’ under my breasts and on my upper abdomen.
But the good thing was I didn’t have the ‘fat gene’, so actually by adjusting my diet, exercise and food intake I could lose weight, but most importantly, have a better standard of life.
Best if let Angela explain:
“I suggested that Lesley cut out dairy as this is known to influence oestrogen levels, as well as Gluten which can damage the gut wall, and finally to remove yeast from her diet.
I designed a dietary program for her which excludes all these.
I proposed a special anti-microbial supplement which starts the job of killing the bad bugs in the gut. We also started the job of replacing the beneficial bacteria with lactobacillus GG at bedtime . Both of these cannot be bought over the counter…they are on prescription only.
She also took a specialist compound which helps to send the spent oestrogens down the correct pathway in the liver, to help the detoxification of oestrogen. Again this is prescription only.
And because her hormones needed to be balanced I suggested that Lesley ate brassicas every day…things like broccoli for instance, plus she began taking Flax Seed Meal as it is Gluten-free, low carb and has more fibre, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids than most grains.
Lesley’s cortisol levels were off the scale too…not surprising when you consider the day-to-day workload so, to combat her stress and possible adrenal fatigue, she began taking a supplement to support her adrenals.
She also took Beta TCP to stimulate the flow and aid detoxification…with the added benefit that this also helps to remove excess Uric Acid which is responsible for episodes of gout! “
So…I cleared out the fridge. Was ruthless!
Old friends are the best. They are reliable, always there in an emergency and support you whenever you need it, whatever the crisis.
Some beauty products are like that too..and for me, ghd Final Fix Hairspray is one. Reliable. Sorts hair emergencies in a trice and simply stays put until I brush it out. Gentle fragrance too..no chemical smell to fight with your perfume. And I love the fact that it is not pricy…costs around £8.50 for a big can which lasts a long time.
It’s my BFF!
Available at johnlewis.com
What is it with Mother Nature? All I ever wanted was a full, lustrous head of hair …glossy and swishing around my shoulders…and to be fair, most of the time she supplied it, but healthy hair growth came at a price because body hair grew too, so waxing and shaving became a regular feature of my beauty routine. I am reasonably lucky because I am blonde (well mostly!) so body hair was fine and controllable, but then along came the menopause and the game changed because hairs started sprouting in all sorts of different places. My chin for instance. And my upper lip…mind you mine were not as bad as a friend of mine whose lip hair almost qualified for Movember!
For a while I resorted to plucking the stray hairs, but because the texture of these hairs had become very wiry…yet another joy of the menopause….I found myself on constant whisker alert so when I was sent a nifty little gadget to try I was intrigued. Could it beat my current hair removal system?
Reader….it does. It’s the no!no! and I tested it pretty rigorously and it came up trumps. Really good on facial hair as well as underarms and leg hair….and if you want to whisk off any growth on the arms themselves then this works beautifully too. It doesn’t all come off in one go though, so be prepared to go over the area a few times until you get the result you want.
It’s easy to use…just plug in and go. Needs a little time for the battery to charge but once it is up and running all you need to do is gently roll the gadget over the area to be treated. It does make clicking sounds and there will be a slight smell of burning but that is just the Thermicon Technology at work. There was a little warming on the skin but nothing painful at all. Results were good….so good in fact that I lent it to a dark-haired friend who also reported that it worked well for her.
I met Angela Beecroft.
Never heard of her? Well, we should all have her on speed-dial because she is the queen of the microbiome. Balancing the gut is her speciality and it is fair to say that she is balancing mine!
I went in the door complaining about bloating, wind, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, hot flushes, history of fibroids, weight gain, stress , joint pain, occasional episodes of gout and brain fog in general.
I came out with the diagnosis that my gut issues were likely to be caused by an imbalance of the microbiome (which is the 2 kilos of bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract)
To put it simply the microbiome is now thought to “run the show” basically the ecosystem of beneficial bacteria constantly communicate with the immune system, the brain (producing a huge amount of brain chemicals) and assist with the detoxification of hormones in the gut. So having a gut in great shape and a gut wall which is healthy leads to good health.
Angela told me “ I suspected that stress and long term prescribed medication had destroyed much of your good bacteria which had allowed the opportunistic growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast. The job of the beneficial bacteria is to inhibit the growth of bugs which we all encounter on a daily basis in every mouthful of food. Most of the potentially harmful bugs are destroyed by the stomach acid, but a hardy few make it through, then the beneficial bacterial inhibit the growth of the pathogens and yeast, too little beneficial bacteria can’t inhibit the colonisation of harmful bacteria and the opportunistic growth of yeast so that’s how a major imbalance occurs. It’s a vicious circle.”
I was being bugged!
As soon as too many bugs have grown in the gut then symptoms such as wind and bloating occur as the bugs generate lots of toxic gasses which may also cause fatigue, brain fog, scrambled brain chemistry which in some people can lead to anxiety and low mood. Some of the toxins actually affect the liver detoxification pathways causing an individual to be extremely fatigued.
All my symptoms.
The bugs then damage the delicate gut wall by burrowing through allowing food proteins and pathogens into the blood stream, this as you can imagine causes the immune system to go onto red alert causing inflammation anywhere the individual is genetically programmed for such as joint pain, skin issues etc.
Angela explained that the imbalance in my gut was likely to be causing my abdominal discomfort, wind & bloating & fatigue because
there is an enzyme in the liver which is responsible for the detoxification of hormones. In many individuals this enzyme malfunctions which over stimulates hormone tissue, leading to high oestrogen levels. High oestrogen levels are responsible for fibroids, weight gain, hot flushes and the debilitating symptoms of the menopause….she suspected that I had issues with high oestrogen levels and low progesterone levels.
This problem is magnified by high stress levels as Cortisol the stress hormone, steals the DHEA which is the building blocks for hormone production during the menopause. This leads further to low progesterone levels leading to more unpleasant menopausal symptoms.
Angela organised blood tests, urine tests, stool tests (stop pulling a face…this is good for diagnostics!) and a saliva DNA test …all painless and quick.
Now to wait for the results.
And if you want to try Angela for yourself her details are: