April Newsletter

April Newsletter

Welcome to the April newsletter where it would appear to be award season, which of course makes me extraordinarily happy; Brandon and I danced the dance of all dances when NIOD won a rather prestigious award, but I’ll write about that soon and then other award-winners later in the newsletter. As we head into the newsletter I will introduce you to Wrinkles Schminkles, a new brand from Australia (love the name!), we launch a couple of superstar supplements and as ever we take a look at some common health concerns, this month we do vaginal thrush and intestinal parasites.

We will also look at all the news and feedback, we welcome Dr Nigma Talib and Wayne Goss into the VH family and I have some rather surprising news to tell you about somewhere in the middle of all of this. But before anything, my love and deepest gratitude to India Knight for her spectacular article on NIOD in The Sunday Times and this is where I am going to begin, so let’s do it:


When I said this is where we were going to begin, I’m actually trying to think where on earth to start because there is so much to tell that I am really going to have to be strict with myself and give this a good edit otherwise I will be writing about NIOD forever and I need to write about other things too! Actually I probably will be writing about NIOD forever because I know what’s coming and the products are so groundbreaking that I fell on the floor when I went through them with Brandon, so at this point I don’t need you to do the same because I’d quite like you to stay with me for the moment. Just make sure you read ALL of this section if you love NIOD!

We’ll do Flavanone Mud first. India wrote about Flavanone Mud. She wrote about it because she loves it. Everybody loves it. When I wrote on last month’s newsletter that I was using it every night as part of my NIOD regimen because I was addicted to the fact that it took down all inflammation, news reaches me that I have been beaten in the addiction stakes as it would seem quite a lot of you are using it every morning as well. Me too then, I’m not being left out!

So the thing is, when we launched FM, I honestly thought I was writing about a stand-alone product, but now it appears it’s not as it instantly morphed into being an integral part of the NIOD regimen. Notwithstanding that, let’s go back to India because she also wrote about CAIS 5% and MMHC. The easiest thing for me to do here is to link you to her article and you can read it for yourself (here), so that done and now that you know that CAIS 5% is the single most effective thing she puts on her skin, I want to say a few things about CAIS 5%.

As most of you know, we launched NIOD with its two core products, CAIS and MMHC. We all started on CAIS 1% (yes, even me!) and it blew us away. When we released 5%, I wrote at the time that it was specifically formulated if you wanted a power-surge of CAIS. I know it’s expensive, but I suggested that perhaps it should be alternated with 1% as and when you felt your skin needed a real blast of the stuff and oh boy, does it blast, I’m with India.

At the risk of repeating myself and/or if you are new to VH/NIOD (hello ST readers!), please, please do not be tempted to mix CAIS 1% with CAIS 5% in order to make 5% go further. You will wreck the formulation and it won’t work, which would be an utter tragedy on many different levels. That said, now the award:

If there was ever a moment when I could have died and gone to heaven, my happiness was compounded on a dull Monday morning when I discovered that CAIS 5% won Best Serum in The Tatler Beauty Awards 2016; knowing how heavy the competition is in that sector of the beauty industry, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, sing or dance, so I danced – it felt like the right option. To everybody at Tatler, and most especially Francesca White, thank you for recognizing us, we are literally over-the-moon to have such a prestigious accolade bestowed upon us. I say ‘we’, there are times I forget that NIOD doesn’t actually belong to me – oh!!

To wrap, if you are a NIOD devotee, then you will absolutely not want to miss the May newsletter. All I am prepared to say at this point is that you really need to read it on the day of release, which is scheduled for Tuesday 26 April at 9.30 am (unless I get abducted or something!). And that is the end of that, except to replicate India’s profound words on NIOD: ‘As far as I’m concerned, the serum’s the Father, the hyaluronic’s the Son, and the mud’s the Holy Ghost’. Amen to that.
Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS) 5% £130 for 15 ml; Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS) 1% £38 for 15 ml; Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC) £38 for 30 ml; Flavanone Mud (FM) £28 for 50 ml

Dr Nigma Talib – Healthy Flora

A very long time ago, I had a vision that if the sun shone upon us, VH would be a gathering of like-minded people, with one common mission, to help make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing to each of you. VH is a journey, from one day to the next, I don’t really know what is going to happen, but life rolls that way and it is on that note I wish to announce that we have a new member of the VH family and I feel completely honoured that we will be working together.

I know you are going to love her, her name is Nigma Talib, she is a world-renowned naturopathic doctor who has been solving skin problems and answering the million dollar question, ‘what can I do to look younger and feel better’. I’m not going to reel off the list of high profile people Nigma looks after because that’s not what I do, but instead I will tell you that they have all seen the powerful results of her inside-out approach that starts with the gut because really, it is all about the gut (gut, gut, gut!).

Just because she is a bit of a superstar, Nigma has been awarded by the Princeton Global Professional and Business Leaders in recognition of her work as ‘a pioneer and leader to the Naturopathic medical profession and to have provided immeasurable contributions to healthcare’. And if ever it was a small world, she adores iS Clinical and mentions it in her new book, Reverse the Signs of Ageing, which has become a UK bestseller. Her book was published in the US last month, titled Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, and guess who hosted her LA launch party a week ago – yes my LA boyfriends, Bryan Johns and Alec Call of iS Clinical. Those boys know how to throw a party and I was in LA (working!), but I had to come home and so I missed it by a few days. Felt a bit like Cinderella.

So let’s talk about Nigma’s new supplement, Healthy Flora. It is the supplement that all her clients take and now we can take it too. It provides a premium blend of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 strain, one of the most heavily studied probiotics (50 years of research and counting) It also contains a special blend of high quality bifidobacteria, which are one of the most important species of gut bacteria for digestive and overall health.

Grape seed extract, included in the formulation, improves digestive and skin health; proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract has also been shown to have probiotic effects, significantly increasing bifidobacteria and helping to decrease bad bacteria, toxic compounds and faecal odour within two weeks. Grape seed extract is also an excellent antioxidant and it can help prevent UVB skin damage, a major factor in skin ageing.

So, we have a new superstar of a supplement equal to the status of its creator. If you want to read more about Nigma then go and take a look at her website www.healthydoc.com – check out those testimonials at the same time. I will just say that she has a wait list for new clients which is longer than the FM wait list was, and that’s saying something, so you may wish to invest in her book, which is listed on her site, the next best thing. Nigma, a big hug and welcome.
Healthy Flora £47 for 30 Capsules

Wrinkles Schminkles – Wrinkle Relieving Silicone Pads

Hands up – it was the name of these products that made me sit up and take notice; so the research began and having come out the other side of that, which of course involved some rather heavy testing, I will now tell you the story (we love stories) of this new Australian brand and then I’ll write about the products.

Founded by Gabrielle Requena, the short version is that she saw a problem, she found a solution and the rest is history as it has become one of Australia’s bestselling beauty products. Basically this is all about a range of products of medical grade, re-usable, hypoallergenic silicone pads that can help wrinkles and stretch marks while you are sleeping. We will begin with the Australian #1 and I’m kind of guessing it will also be the hero product here, not least because it really does work:

Chest & Décolletage Smoothing Kit: Chest and décolletage wrinkles can be caused by ageing, sun damage and sleeping on your side (eeek, that’s me). While wrinkles are pretty inevitable, these medical grade silicone pads have been proven to help smooth out chest wrinkles while you sleep. The pad is clear (heart shaped – cute), self-adhesive and is re-usable up to 20-30 times, dependent on how you treat it – with care is what I say, but more on that in a moment, as we first look at how to use them:

All you do is thoroughly wash and dry your skin, keeping it free of moisturisers to enable the silicone pad to adhere properly; if you don’t want to sleep with it on, they are discreet enough to be worn during the day, the choice is yours. I tested both ways and I have to say I was slightly dubious about its ability to stay put throughout the night, but it did and I was amazed at the result after just one use and I started to get really happy as the results are cumulative with continued use.

But of course it’s not only about age and wrinkles, when you sleep on your side you do sometimes wake up with chest creases and over time it is pretty inevitable that these will deepen, so basically, no creases equals no crease-wrinkles, it really is that simple. So a great big tick of approval from me, most especially because soon it will be warmer, the necklines will be dipping and actually it’s all about off the shoulder this summer (with a special thank you to Ms Asome – our resident fashion guru).
Chest & Décolletage Smoothing Kit £21 (20-30 uses)

There are three other kits in this range, the Forehead and Eye Smoothing Kit, the Neck Smoothing Kit and the Mouth Smoothing Kit; you can find full details on our site, but basically they all follow the same principle; silicone rules and you know those moments when you wish you could wave a magic wand and make everything look better for the night – these help to do that thing.
Forehead and Eye Smoothing Kit £21; Neck Smoothing Kit £21; Mouth Smoothing Kit £21

Two more products to tell you about from Wrinkles Schminkles; the first is their Silicone Pad Cleaning Solution; you don’t have to use this, but it will help prolong the life of your pads if you do. Because the silicone pads use an adhesive to hold them in place on your skin while you sleep, a build-up of dead skin cells and particles can occur. Cleaning your pad with the cleaning solution approximately once a week and storing as directed on the packaging, will help increase the longevity of use.
Silicone Pad Cleaning Solution £15 for 125 ml

Morning After Glow Serum: This is a powerful blend of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants and essential fatty acids designed to infuse the delicate skin of your décolletage area to help nourish and plump your skin. Because the Wrinkles Schminkles pads do their most effective work on moisture-free skin, Morning After Glow was created to penetrate and hydrate the skin after overnight use of the pads and ingredients include vitamins A and B3, Resveratrol, Willow Bark, Aloe Vera and Green Tea. I have a feeling you are going to like this very, very much and of course it can be used as a stand-alone product. Let us glow!
Morning After Glow Serum £23 for 50 ml

Mrs White’s

When we launched Mrs White’s on last month’s newsletter, I knew that so many of you would love the products and your response was amazing, most especially to Mrs White’s Unstung Hero, Mrs White’s Legs Eleven and Mrs White’s Legs In The Air. So three new products to add to that list and if you missed what I wrote on last month’s newsletter you can click here to read all about them:

Mrs White’s Old Soak Finest English Bath Salts – A La Lavande

Using only mineral rich English sea salt, the natural benefits of mineral baths were no secret to our ancestors, and ‘taking the waters’ was very popular, which is where the inspiration has been drawn for these bath salts. English sea salt is particularly good at drawing toxins from tissue and it can also be used as a pre-bath exfoliator, simply by rubbing a little of the blend with a wet palm to help remove dry skin and aid circulation. These bath salts contain essential oils of lavender and are perfect for aiding sleep and easing tired muscles.
Mrs White’s Old Soak Finest English Bath Salts – A La Lavande £15 or 600 grams

Mrs White’s Beerd Oil

For the boys! Mrs White’s Beerd Oil is a luxury beard care oil which is packed full of fragrant natural oils that help to condition and soften bristles. Made with scented Kentish hops and geranium essential oil, just apply the oil to your fingertips and work into the skin around the hair follicles – six to eight drops should do it!
Mrs White’s Beerd Oil £20 for 50 ml

Mrs White’s Shaving Serum

Mrs White’s Shaving Serum with rosehip, raspberry and calming Haitian amyris, contains all the ingredients for a perfect shave. Made from a premium blend of natural oils, this shaving serum provides a soothing protective barrier that will help nourish the skin around the face.
Mrs White’s Shaving Serum £20 for 50 ml

Let’s do health; as you will have read above, this month we are taking a look at vaginal thrush and intestinal parasites. Shabir has written both of these articles and for the purposes of the newsletter I am going to précis them; the actual articles are pretty in-depth, so do take the time to read them in full:

Vaginal Thrush

Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection caused generally by the fungus Candida, resulting in a range of uncomfortable symptoms. With an estimated three out of four women likely to suffer from vaginal thrush during their lives, there are a lot of myths surrounding this condition also known as candidiasis.

The yeast organism, Candida, when left unchecked in the body, begins to multiply and eventually this develops into the condition thrush. The candida organism is always present both on and inside our body and they usually reside in our gut, vaginal and genital areas, under armpits and anywhere where it is warm and moist. These Candida are generally kept in check by friendly bacteria, however if the balance is disturbed then thrush can develop.

The most common symptoms of vaginal thrush include itching, swelling, soreness, burning and irritation of the vagina. For some women a creamy cheese-like discharge often accompanies the above symptoms and urination can be painful as can sexual intercourse.

Usually there does not appear to be one single cause that would pinpoint the reason for developing vaginal thrush. It often develops due to a multitude of factors which can include a weak immune system that allows Candida to thrive; antibiotic usage can diminish levels of friendly bacteria that keep Candida in check; during menstruation as imbalances in the sex hormones can make the yeast organism thrive and certain drugs which suppress immunity.

When an infection recurs more than four times a year, this is known as complicated thrush and we always recommend Horopito and Aniseed capsules for all forms of thrush. Horopito is an ancient herb used by the Maori people of New Zealand; they would chew the leaves of the Horopito plant and then spit the juice onto infected skin. Early European settlers also found benefits in the use of Horopito leaves as a tea for digestion and infections.

Analysis of the Horopito leaves shows that it is rich in a compound called polygodial. In 1982 scientists at the University of Canterbury discovered that polygodial was faster-acting and stronger in its action at destroying Candida albicans than the powerful pharmaceutical anti-Candida drug, Amphotericin B.

We also recommend using Kolorex Intimate Care Cream. This cream contains the extracts of horopito, mentioned above for its anti-fungal properties, but crucially it also contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is the compound that inhibits yeast and other harmful microorganisms from thriving in any part of the body, including the vagina, so its inclusion not only helps in reducing the numbers of Candida, but also inhibits them from thriving, which is really important. Finally, do remember to keep your immune system in check and we recommend Daily Immunity for this condition.
VH Editorial: Vaginal ThrushHoropito and Aniseed £22 for 60 Capsules; Kolorex Intimate Care Cream £14.95 for 50 grams; Daily Immunity £25.50 for 60 Capsules

Intestinal Parasites

This subject is absolutely huge and it is estimated that around 80% of adults and children have parasites in their gut, so although it’s not the sexiest topic in the world, it is really important that we understand how intestinal parasites can affect our health.

Intestinal parasites are usually microscopic organisms that invade the gastrointestinal tract in humans where they live alongside a host of other good and bad bacteria and fungi. In medical terms, a parasite is a life form that lives and thrives within the host’s body and does more harm than good to the host.

Most parasites are microscopic in nature, however there are some which are large enough to see with the naked eye. There are some 3200 species of parasites, which can be found everywhere in our environment, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink and in the food we eat. These parasites feed on nutrients thereby increasing the chances of nutrient deficiencies and many of them carry diseases.

People can be infected with these parasites in a number of ways; the most common route is through the faecal oral route and there are four common types of parasites, round worms, pin worms, hook worms and thread worms.

Round worms usually enter the body through contaminated or undercooked food; pin worms live inside the intestines and lungs and these small white worms often appear at night around the anus to lay eggs, which subsequently hatch and the small worms then re-enter through the anus. Hook and thread worms are usually found in contaminated water, although they can also enter the body through the soles of bare feet. These worms are unique because they have a lifespan of several years and can incubate in the intestines for up to ten years.

Although some people do not display the symptoms of being infected by intestinal parasites, symptoms can include abdominal cramping, repeated diarrhoea, indigestion, bloating, multiple food allergies and unexplained dizziness and weakness.

Of the 3200 species of parasites, over 1000 can live in the human body; unfortunately testing is only available for approximately 50-60 species, which means that the vast majority of parasites can remain undetected and scientists estimate that we play host to around 100 parasites.

Clove buds are one of the key herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal infections and for worms, with a recorded use that spans thousands of years. Cloves contain a powerful oil, eugenol, which has been studied and found to help in the eradication of numerous pathogens in the gut. Clove oil has been found to help dissolve the eggs left behind by worms and it is believed to be the only oil that can destroy almost all parasite eggs.

Pumpkin seeds contain a powerful anti-parasitic compound called curcubitin. The seeds themselves do not kill the parasites, but it is thought that curcubitin paralyses the parasites so that they cannot hold onto the walls of the intestine. Thyme, containing natural volatile oils, can also help to alleviate intestinal cramping often associated with parasite infection.

So that is the lowdown on intestinal parasites and whilst many practitioners advocate the regular use of anti-parasitic supplements, Shabir has now become obsessed with Clove Bud Complex. It contains all three key herbs mentioned above and it also contains caprylic acid, basil and rosemary, all known for their varying roles in the eradication of parasites and also other pathogens in the gut. He is recommending that we should all consider using Clove Bud Complex at least once a year and I’m actually going to agree with him. It’s kind of important and one more thing, it’s great for food poisoning too.
VH Editorial: Most Of Us Have Intestinal ParasitesClove Bud Complex £14.80 by Viridian Nutrition for 90 Capsules

Right, let’s have a touch of lightness following that, so we are going to do some more awards and I will then jump on the Podium with some surprising news, but first the awards:

Awards, Awards, Awards

Back to the Tatler Beauty Awards; I have already written about the Best Serum award for NIOD, but I’m going to include it again here because I didn’t include the comments made about CAIS 5%, which I am about to do now. I will follow through with other award winners keeping the same format. Our congratulations to each of you for creating the products we all love; so in the words of Tatler:

Serum: Winner: NIOD: A stonkingly effective range, NIOD has everyone talking right now. That’s because products like their snazzy Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5% puts skin in a constant state of repair, revving up lots of lovely collagen and making it all plump and juicy. More than a little bit clever.
Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5% (CAIS) £130 for 15 ml

The SPF: Winner: Sarah Chapman: What goes on sheer protects against UV, makes skin look flawless AND helps make-up glide on easily? Why, Skin Insurance SPF 30 of course. The best thing we’ve used in yonks.
Skin Insurance SPF 30 £44 for 30 ml

The Innovation: Winner: This Works: Here’s what you do. You mist your hair (liberally) with This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir and you promptly pass out (the lavender will do that to you). Then you (and your hair) wake the next morning looking (and feeling) perkier than ever. Basically the dream.
Sleep Plus Hair Elixir by This Works £25 for 80 ml

The Tool: Winner: Margaret Dabbs: If Philippe Starck designed a foot file, it would probably look like the Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File. The best bit? Sticky filing ‘pads’ that you can replace post-sole-sanding. Genius.
Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File £24

SPF Men’s: Winner: Ultrasun: Not only is Ultrasun Sports Transparent Spray ridiculously straightforward to apply (a clear spray that doesn’t wreak havoc on hairy arms) but it properly sinks in so you only have to apply it once during the day. The Ministry of Defence use it – and those chaps know what’s what.
Sports Transparent Spray by Ultrasun SPF 30 £26 for 150 ml

The Cleanser: Highly Commended: De Mamiel: Don’t be sidetracked by the oiliness of this herby Restorative Cleansing Balm. Instead crack on and massage it in – then watch in (horrified) wonder as the day’s grime comes off on your muslin.
Restorative Cleansing Balm by De Mamiel £54 for 100 ml

At-Home Colour: Highly Commended: Color Wow: When you can’t get to the salon, Color Wow’s clever little Root Cover Up is your salvation. Undetectable and stays put. We won’t tell ……
Root Cover-Up by Color Wow £28.50

Finally, the Fragrance Foundation’s Jasmine Awards are often called the ‘Oscars’ of the fragrance-writing world; these awards are highly coveted, to win one is amazing, to win two is incredible and to win three is beyond magnificent. Congratulations to The Perfume Society and my very special friend, Jo Fairley, for scooping three of these awards. She is a very clever girl and richly deserves the recognition. Bravo Ms Fairley!

The Podium

This may well surprise you after I had a complete rant about social media on a recent newsletter, but we are now on Instagram. I did say at the time that we would do something and let me tell you I was literally forced into it. Several people, who shall remain nameless, all ganged up on me and sent emails on the hour, every hour until I finally said ‘yes’. So here we are and there we are, I would love that you follow us, mostly because anything can happen on there and it probably will.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Wayne Goss, the internationally acclaimed make-up artist and vlogger, to the VH family; he is extraordinarily funny, extremely talented and we can certainly rock an email or two between us. He is one of us, he tells it as it is and we like that rather a lot because we think it is really important. But more than that, he made our first days on Instagram a warm and happy place to be as he showered us with love and support. He loves NIOD and I love him for that. The man has style, so do go and take a look at him here. Hugs Wayne x

Liposomal Prostate Formula

I first wrote about the two new Liposomal products, Liposomal C and Liposomal D a couple of months ago; the feedback we have received has been amazing, see below for one customer’s feedback, but first I want to tell you about the latest product to be released, Liposomal Prostate Formula.

Liposomal Prostate Formula contains liposomally encapsulated saw palmetto and beta sitosterol in a formulation designed to help support healthy prostate function. Liposomal encapsulation is an advanced system designed to protect the nutrients from breakdown by the digestive system and delivers the nutrients in a highly absorbable form through the cell wall.

The ingredients include Saw Palmetto berry extract, clinically proven to help treat an enlarged prostate and its associated symptoms such as frequent urination or pain when passing urine; Virgin Pumpkin seed oil, which can help reduce prostate enlargement, Green tea extract, Red maca root extract and Beta-Sitosterol, which is soya-free and derived from Pine bark extract. This is the supplement Shabir is currently recommending for this health concern.
VH Editorial: Benign Prostate Enlargement; Liposomal Prostate Formula £26 for 225 ml

Liposomal C and Liposomal D

This from a customer: ‘Just wanted to say that having tried all the energy supplements and found very little did it for me, I began taking the Liposomal C and D about ten days ago. I am now waking early, calm and refreshed even when I have been to bed late or overdone it the night before. I have been prescribed Vitamin D for years by the doctors, but I think they were giving me pure chalk which was just making me feel sick. Also, and this is a real bonus, I am far more clear thinking. It really works!’
VH Editorial: What Are Liposomal Encapsulated VitaminsLiposomal C £20 for 225 ml; Liposomal D £15 for 225 ml

VH Editorial

This month, Jo Fairley requests that we be nice to our knees, Catherine Turner asks if we are all too busy being busy, the Beauty Bible girls are saying that everything is coming up roses and our fashion guru, Carolyn Asome offers some advice for our spring wardrobes – it’s all about off the shoulders girls! Hope you enjoy.

News and Feedback

Lanolips: Wow! In with the new branding, in with some new products and guess what went marching out the door – Tinted Balm Perfect Nude SPF 30 – set to be a classic; we have sold out three times; it’s going to be THE lip of the summer.
Tinted Balm Perfect Nude SPF 30 £7.99

In Good Spirits: A new product from Temple Spa is always an occasion and this is no exception. In Good Spirits is an energizing bathing and massage oil with an invigorating blend of over 30 Mediterranean essential oils, including Lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, bergamot, ginger and peppermint working synergistically to help hydrate your skin and elevate your mood. Temple Spa call it a top to toe revival in a bottle, which sounds pretty good to me. Add into this a little treat; with every purchase of In Good Spirits we will include ‘Light My Fire’, a gorgeous votive candle for you to enjoy. This will not be shown on your invoice, but will automatically be included with your order – while stocks last of course.
In Good Spirits by Temple Spa £24 for 100 ml

Hydration Vaccine: ‘I cannot praise NIOD’s Hydration Vaccine enough for the miraculous effect it has had on frown lines between the eyes. In addition, I found today when I came to the end of the current jar and scraped it out with my fingers, that it is amazing on my hands. I get painful splits around my thumbs in the colder months and the HV seems to act as a barrier. And another triumph!’
Hydration Vaccine by NIOD £35 for 50 ml

And so we come to the end of another newsletter and together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and support. I don’t really want to wish our lives away, but it won’t be that long until the May newsletter!

If you are travelling, be safe.

With love

Gill x