March Newsletter 2011
Welcome to the March newsletter where we take a look at several new product launches, I tell you about a new supplement that I am taking (am in ‘over-excitement’ mode) and there are surprising happenings on The Podium this month. Also, I really don’t want you to be jealous, but I’ve got my very own signed copy of the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, so news on that too. Additionally, I report on the very latest feedback from you, we follow the latest happenings from the VH editorial team and we can all wave to Ms Lanolips over in Sydney. Finally, I need to tell you that Twitter and Facebook are giving me stage fright, but with a lot of hand-holding I am slowly getting there, wherever ‘there’ is. So let’s begin and I’m going to start on a rather poignant note:
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Dr Jon Bragi recently died suddenly, aged 62, from a heart attack at his home in Iceland. A pioneer in skincare, Dr Bragi’s legacy includes many new formulations, which will be released over time. The brand will live on and in celebration of his life and his fabulous products, we wish to share a part of his greatness with each of you. As a testimony to his brilliance, Jo Fairley named The Dr Bragi Intensive Treatment Mask as one of the most ‘uber-effective’ face masks of all time and I certainly agree with her. So here is the celebration and I can only do this whilst stocks last, so please read carefully. If you buy an Intensive Treatment Mask, then we will send you another mask absolutely free for you to give to a friend. In doing this we can double the celebration and many more people can experience the wonder that still is Dr Bragi. We think he would have liked this very much.
Dr Bragi Intensive Treatment Mask £10 (we will automatically send you two masks, whilst stocks last)
When I read the research on Ceramide supplementation, I started screeching like a complete lunatic (most ladylike!) and demanded that Shabir found the best possible Ceramide supplement in the world for me (and you!) because I decided that my face might fall apart without taking this stuff. This is in addition to my HA habit it has to be said!
Ceramides are essential for preserving healthy-looking skin, which is why they are included in so many anti-ageing face creams. Elizabeth Arden were the pioneers in this field and today practically every major skincare company has invested massive amounts of research money in perfecting unique molecules called ceramides, which help revive and hydrate ageing skin.
The body’s production of ceramides declines with age and since ceramides make up approximately 35-40% of the binding matrix that maintains moisture balance and helps protect the skin’s surface, it is pretty critical that the ceramides lost to ageing are replaced. The ceramides that young skin naturally produces to retain its supple appearance are identical to those present in wheat. Wheat-derived oils have been used topically for centuries as a natural moisturiser, but unfortunately you can’t get enough ceramides from topically applied wheat oil to have a long-term impact on your skin’s appearance, which is why Shabir is recommending Skin Restoring Ceramides with Lipowheat.
Lipowheat ceramide supplementation has been available to Japanese women for the past decade and in one recent groundbreaking study, 200 mg per day of orally ingested ceramides, derived from wheat, completely restored hydration in 95% of participants suffering from dry, flaky, itchy skin. It was also noted that ceramides may effectively help combat bacterial infection of the skin such as dermatitis and eczema. It just gets better by the moment. So just released in America and now over here, I invite you to join me in taking Skin Restoring Ceramides, because we have dug deep and done the Ceramide research and this is THE one to take!
Skin Restoring Ceramides with LipoWheat by Life Extension £25 for 30 Liquid Capsules
The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible
I suppose the best way to describe this epic (love the word ‘epic’ … epic, epic, epic!) book is to say that it is the ultimate guide to growing older gorgeously and graciously. The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible reflects Sarah and Jo’s own philosophy that beauty is about what goes on inside, as well as what you apply to the surface, so you will find advice on how to love your life, how to eat well for an ‘inner glow’ plus infallible tips for a better night’s sleep, which is one of life’s great challenges as the years roll on. A key message in the book is ‘not fade away’, so you will find a whole load of insider advice, including ‘Drop-A-Decade’ make-up secrets; so it’s tiaras on girls (any excuse to plonk a tiara on our heads) because this is essential reading for all of us, whatever your age.
Now, I am extraordinarily lucky to be been given a signed advance edition of this book (actually if you want to know the absolute truth, I kind of stole one of Jo’s two pre-advance editions), so read this part very carefully because I am about to give you all a treat. You can now order The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible right here, in this very moment and you will receive a special signed edition. With an army of over 2400 real women testing products, nobody can tell the Beauty bible girls that anti-ageing creams don’t work and I’m just off to break the news to them that they are going to be signing piles upon piles of books. I’m praying that they don’t get RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in the process because I’ll never hear the end of it! To the VH Addict who tried really hard to find out the winner in the anti-ageing cream section because she knew I had the book, sorry, my lips are well and truly sealed, but you will discover the answer within the next few days!
The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible (Hardcover) £12.99 (Recommended Retail Price £19.99 – another treat!)
We are counting the days and not long to go before we release the wondrous Lemonaid Lip Aid, so to everybody who is sitting patiently on the wait list, we are 2-3 weeks away. Meanwhile news of the most exciting kind, Kirsten has morphed into a film star and with a big ‘tra-la-la’ I invite you to wave to her over in Sydney as you watch her talk about LemonAid and Lanolips 101 right here. Meanwhile, if you are not on the wait list, you can get on it now and with spring in the air, I’m thinking that the Lanolips Lip Collection is looking like a rather good investment for all of our lips. A girl has to have these things, it just makes us happy!
Lemonaid Lip Aid £8.99; Lanolips 101 £11; Lanolips Lip Collection £50
News & Feedback
Before we continue with the new launches, let’s take a look at some of your feedback. We have had a lot of requests and feedback this month, which always, always touches me and, as ever, I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to mail me. Here are some highlights:
From a VH Addict: ‘I am not sure if you are interested but I wanted you to know about a nail product that I have been using and it could be something you want to sell on your site. It’s called ‘Nail Magic’ and it really is magic, I have struggled growing my nails for years and for a while invested in nail extensions but found them costly and time consuming having to keep having them in-filled. Since I have been using Nail Magic, for about 6 months now, my nails are fantastic, they are long, strong and I get some many compliments on them. In fact I have to keep trimming them as they grow so fast. The product retails around £10 and it’s the best product I have ever purchased.’
Nail Magic £9.95
Eyes Wide Open
For some unknown reason (I know, let’s blame Shabir!) we spectacularly failed to list this amazing product from Temple Spa, so thank you to the customer who pointed this out to us. ‘Eyes Wide Open’ is a soothing eye care lotion with witch hazel, green tea, cornflower and eyebright. It has been specifically formulated as a refreshing solution for eyes that just won’t open, so I guess that’s most of us then! It brings relief to tired, puffy eyes and contains botanicals that help reduce inflammation and sensitivity, whilst toning and smoothing the skin. To use, just place a small amount onto two cotton pads and lay over each eye for five minutes to cool and rejuvenate. If you are in a rush, then you can just wipe over each eye for instant refreshment. For an extra cool blast, keep it in the fridge. I need to say that this is exactly what I need after a long haul flight (research trips!) so thank you Temple Spa for my latest must-pack-in-suitcase-product, I’m just loving this.
Eyes Wide Open £15 for 150 ml
Over on Facebook (more on that later!), we ran a competition and asked what your favourite VH product was and why? It was so difficult to pick two winners, but here are those two winners and you can read the rest of them on our Facebook wall.
‘After taking some pretty horrible meds, which had me losing my very luscious locks, I now have my hair back, almost to its former glory. Straighter now, but definitely thicker, Superior Hair is a miracle product for me. I can honestly say that it made such a difference to me at a very low period and I sing its praises continually. Thank you!’
Superior Hair £25 for 90 Capsules
Saffron Extract and D Lux 1000
‘My favourite product has to be Viridian Saffron Extract. Alongside the D Lux spray, it’s really kept the winter blues at bay despite the greyness of the past few months and stress associated with work upheavals and family illness. I’ve also noticed a definite reduction in monthly chocolate cravings since I’ve been taking it, which is a bonus. I only discovered VH last September, but I’m so happy I did as I’ve never even seen Saffron Extract mentioned anywhere else and wouldn’t be without it now!
Saffron Extract £15.65 for 30 Capsules; D Lux 1000 Spray £7.15 for 15 ml
More New Products
Whenever Temple Spa launch a new product, something zings in my head and I get a bit dizzy with anticipation. There is something about Temple Spa products that releases my ‘must-have-it-right-now-gene’ and Bosom Pal is no exception. I truly believe that a good bust/cleavage cream should be one of life’s essentials and I’m talking about a therapeutic blend of ingredients that will help enhance appearance and firmness. Loaded with active plant ingredients and vitamins, Bosom Pal should be massaged into the breast area with gentle, circular strokes morning and night. Temple Spa call it ‘Bra in a Jar’ and I am just going to say that it is pretty triumphant and with the promise of spring and lower necklines just around the corner, a new bust regime starts right here and now in my opinion. One final thing to add, where Bosom Pal stops (at the décolleté), Exalt firming neck gel starts, so if you haven’t already tried this award-winning product, I am going to include a pot of Exalt (worth £12) with every order of Bosom Pal, whilst stocks last of course!
Bosom Pal £40 (including a sample pot of Exalt worth £12); Exalt Bijoux £38
Yes To Tomatoes
We launched Yes To Tomatoes in the UK halfway through last year and it now has an incredible following, I suppose that would be because it works really well. This range has been formulated for oily and problematic skin such as acne and I have spent the last few months begging, on your behalf, for the bestselling (in America) Deep Cleansing Facial Pads to be launched in the UK. So with a wave of my magic wand, please allow me to invite you to say Yes To salicylic acid to help prevent imperfections and Yes To organic tomatoes for balance.
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables. Its anti-inflammatory properties encourage a balanced and clearer complexion, while the vitamins are useful in the control of sebum secretion. Salicylic works by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed properly. This helps prevent the pores of the skin from getting clogged up and being infected with bacteria.
Salicylic Acid aids in the process of exfoliation by eliminating surface skin cells and opening up pores and is also known to break down blackheads, whiteheads and other types of acne. All you need do is wipe a pad across your face and neck and enjoy clean, oil-free, face-the-world skin!
Deep Cleansing Facial Pads by Yes To Tomatoes £9.99 for 50 Pads
Yes To Carrots
The Yes To fairytale started with Carrots. These are the products that help nourish the skin, so if you have thirsty skin, this is the one for you and we have a new cleanser to tell you about. The Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser gently cleanses and helps nourish the skin and is made with organic carrots, aloe vera and shea butter. The Yes To boys think it is the ‘cream’ of the crop in facial cleansing luxury, so now you know!
Daily Cream Facial Cleanser by Yes To Carrots £9.99 for 200 ml
Yes To Baby Carrots
Say Yes to Baby Carrots because it has finally arrived in the UK! The range is 100% natural and these gorgeous products will help nurture, soothe and soften your baby’s skin:
Nourishing Baby Lotion: Loaded with Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Melons and Vitamin E, the Nourishing Baby Lotion is really fabulous to use. Melons are rich in antioxidants and packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Potassium to help protect and gently soften the skin, whilst Vitamin E helps soften and smooth tender skin.
Nourishing Baby Lotion £8.99 for 200 ml
Soothing Nappy Cream: The bestselling Baby Carrots product in America and has been blended with Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Pumpkin and Zinc Oxide. Pumpkins, like tomatoes, are packed with Beta-Carotene and help nourish and hydrate the skin in this very sensitive area. The Zinc Oxide provides a natural, gentle protective agent that creates the barrier between skin and moisture. It also acts as an anti-irritant, which helps soothe the skin.
Soothing Nappy Cream £7.99 for 80 ml
Fragrance-Free Shampoo & Body Wash: The unscented Shampoo & Body Wash is tear-free, 100% natural and is a great choice for parents who prefer fragrance-free wash. The formula combines carrots to nourish tender skin and Vitamin E to add a boost of softness. In my bathroom!
Fragrance-Free Shampoo & Body Wash £8.99 for 300 ml
Naturally Cleansing Bubble Bath: Yes to Baby Carrots 100% Naturally Cleansing Bubble Bath cleanses, nourishes and moisturizes your little one’s skin while keeping the bath filled with both bubbles and giggles! Formulated with Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Melons and Vitamin E, adults are also known to lounge in this bubble-perfect bubble bath!
Naturally Cleansing Bubble Bath £8.99 for 350 ml
This month, I am not putting a person onto the podium, bit I am putting onto the podium each and every supplement that I take. Now you may think it is an odd thing for me to do, but let me explain. In a moment of complete and utter madness, I stopped taking every single one of my supplements as an experiment. Somewhere in the depths of my obviously twisted brain, I needed to prove to myself that they were still working for me and in turn working for each of you too. I have a thing about telling it as it is and I would rather die than mislead any of you about the efficacy of a product, whilst of course acknowledging that not everything works for everybody.
And so I stopped. Cold-turkey. Not one single supplement went past my lips. The first few days I didn’t notice a thing, with the exception of my left ankle creaking, which always happens if I forget to take HA. Seven days in and my energy levels started to slump, nothing too drastic. I also started to have miniature stress attacks, but nothing too daunting. Ten days in and I began to look tired and I was getting ratty. Shabir will of course say that is an under-statement, I sensed my hormones were yelling ‘free reign’, but I persevered. Two weeks and it wasn’t looking or feeling cute. And then I got a spot! End of experiment!
Retrospectively, I’m glad I did it, even though it took me a few days to get back to normal, whatever normal is. It’s very easy to think that we become immune to certain supplements, but the reality of the matter is that we don’t and I am the living proof of that. Today I have even more respect for the research and development teams who strive for excellence and for the groundbreaking formulations that help ensure our health and wellbeing.
Flower Essences of Australia
I have a deep abiding love for flower essences because the correct blend can be extraordinarily powerful. They are also completely safe, they happily sit side by side with all forms of medicine and they can be taken by pregnant women, children and pets. Over the years I have introduced you to many different flower essences. I truly believe that each range has its moment in time when the potency of the blends reach their optimum and this is certainly true of the new Flower Essences of Australia range, just released in the UK. The range is pretty comprehensive, but here are three of my favourites:
Dynamic Recovery: I was halfway through a really manic week when this landed on my desk, but I felt a whole lot better just by looking at the name! If ever there was a hero product, this is the one. It gives an energy boost for exhaustion and is particularly effective after stress and illness. There is so much going on at VH at the moment, so I am particularly grateful that I can self-medicate and give myself several shots during the day. Anything with the word ‘dynamic’ in it is good with me, especially when it does what it says on the bottle. The added bonus is that it includes ECOCERT organic Cognac, which helps brighten up the day somewhat!
Dynamic Recovery by Flower Essences of Australia £8.50 for 25 ml
Woman Balance: I have always maintained that despite the supplements we take to help keep our hormones in check, we should all be taking a powerful flower essence alongside. I really believe that taking a dedicated essence makes the world of difference, so for me it is all about Sage Complex and Woman Balance. It is very clear, and well documented, that hormone parties tend to send the emotions all over the place, which is why a few drops under the tongue each day will help balance PMS, mood swings, menopausal symptoms and hot flushes. Taken together, the two products are a marriage made in heaven.
Woman Balance by Flower Essences of Australia £8.50 for 25 ml; Sage Complex £23.95 for 90 Capsules
Confidence Boost: Many of the emails we receive are about lack of confidence, loss of self-esteem and bouts of self-doubt. All of us have experienced moments where we just lose who and what we are and it’s not a cute place to be. So this is the essence that helps give support to the emotional mind, that place where the incessant chat of ‘not being good enough’ resides. This remarkable essence will, over time, help many of you and that really is the most important thing.
Confidence Boost by Flower Essences of Australia £8.50
Many of you are aware of the brilliance of the Alida foot file (we call it the best foot file in the world), La-Tweez Illuminating Tweezers and the Flo Easy Fill Atomiser. These three products, together with six other essential beauty tools, have been put together in one new collection called ‘Beauty Heroes’. And heroes they are, as buying each of these products will help fight breast cancer and a donation will be made to the Pink Ribbon Foundation, so if you have been dreaming about a foot file with a pink handle, check these out.
The other six products in the range include manicure scissors, high shine nail glossers, slanted tweezers, a crystal nail file, eyelash curlers. The ninth product, nail clippers, will be released in a couple of weeks time. They are packaged gorgeously, so each of them will make a great gift. Within the next few days, I will be putting a competition on our Facebook page and one of you will win the entire collection. Get ready!
A recent report highlighted the dramatic increase in brittle-bone diseases forecast to hit a generation of women. Clinicians report increasing numbers of younger women are found to be suffering low bone density, exposing them to a higher risk of developing the porous bone disease, osteoporosis, in later life. The article further reported that lifestyle issues such as dieting, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, smoking, contraceptive injections and high-factor sun blocks are being considered as contributing to a significant increase in the risk of contracting osteoporosis.
It makes uncomfortable reading, but facts are facts and I am well aware that this could happen to any one of us at any time, but its prevalence is most noted in post-menopausal women. Bone Restore contains a broad spectrum of nourishment to help support bone health as the formula includes highly absorbable forms of calcium, a potent form of boron, together with Vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, manganese and silicon. I am not saying that by taking this supplement you will help prevent osteoporosis, nobody in their right mind would say that, but if you want to take bone boosting nutrients, then this is the one we recommend.
Bone Restore by Life Extension £22 for 150 Capsules
The VH Editorial Team
Right, let’s take a look at what all the girls have been up to, although I won’t be able to say that for much longer as we have a new member of the editorial team joining us very soon and he is a boy (no, no, it’s not Shabir!). So before I get side-tracked, let me just tell you that over at Beauty Bible, Jo is having a cadenza of excitement over the Konjac Sponges and Sarah is rather besotted with Calm & Relax, one of the new flower essences from the range mentioned above.
The Legologist (Kate Shapland) is having just a tiny bit of a rant about cellulite products. You can read her thoughts on why our appetite for hyped up products is nose-diving and she will also reveal her three favourite leg products. Of course these will be the ones that actually do what they say on the bottle, and Kate knows, she has road-tested most of the creams, potions and lotions on the market.
I’ve taken to calling the wise and wonderful Shelley von Strunckel my personal astrologer, just because I can and just because she taught me how to meditate for moments when the going gets tough. Being kind, I am happy to share her with you and so in March Health Stars, Shelley writes about a period of growth for each of us, so do read what she has to say as we enter spring and the first sign of the zodiac, Aries. I have written about Shelley’s meditation classes before, but if you missed it, then you will find details for contacting Shelley in this section.
Focus on: Complete Fiber Cleanse
I am a great believer that if you are going to do a detox, then it should be done at the beginning of each season and not in January as that makes little sense to me. I wrote about this product on the last newsletter, but I make no apology for mentioning it again because if you want to give your body a spring clean, then this is one of the best products to do it with.
Complete Fiber Cleanse helps to cleanse the colon gently, but effectively, it helps alleviate constipation, helps scrape the gut of plaque that hinders the absorption of nutrients and also helps to rebalance the microflora within the gut, which in turn helps to alleviate gastro-intestinal disorders, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We recommend cleansing the intestines on a seasonal basis because as we eat, the combination of enzymes, fibers and food results in a thick brown substance called mucoid plaque, which adheres to the cell walls impairing the absorption of nutrients, whilst harbouring bad bacteria and parasites. One course of Complete Fiber Cleanse at the start of each season should do it.
Complete Fiber Cleanse £17.95
Focus On: Raised Blood Pressure
A close friend recently called me after she had gone for a general health check and she was told that her blood pressure was sky rocket high. Shabir recommended that she should try Hawthorn Berry, give it three or four weeks and then go back and get it checked again, which she did, after three weeks at which time it was at the ‘high end’ of normal, but dropping.
Coincidentally, or otherwise three days later the April edition of Woman & Home landed on my desk, which featured Shabir giving his expert advice on raised blood pressure. You can read the article here, but just so that you know he did of course recommend Hawthorn Berry, but he also recommended Hyper Tens Tea, which includes a blend of Chinese herbs known to help healthy blood pressure function. Now I feel bad. Really bad. I should have sent ‘said friend’ the tea as well, but I didn’t. Hope she’s doesn’t read this part of the newsletter, but I have a real sinking feeling that she will.
Hawthorn Berry by Lamberts £9.14 for 60 Tablets; Hyper Tens Tea by Triple Leaf £5 for 20 Bags
I am currently on a crash course to somewhere, I don’t quite know where at this point, but let us just say that I am in semi-flow across our Twitter and Facebook accounts. So here’s the thing, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with writing this newsletter, even though I know it is read across the world by thousands, if not millions (that’s the wishful thinking side of me!) of people, but Twitter and Facebook are giving me severe stage fright, but then I’ve only been doing it for about five weeks.
One of these days I will get over it, but at the time of writing this, we have over 11,000 followers across both our Twitter accounts, so if you watched me put a couple of wrong links and respond publically to a tweet instead of privately, I’m sorry but it’s like learning ABC and I am not on ‘B’ yet. As for Facebook, that is slightly easier for me to understand, although I must really be the last person on the planet to join Facebook. I’m getting into the swing of posting Facebook only treats and competitions, so please follow as I stumble my way through the social media maze to some unknown destination where it just all might make sense one of these days!
www.twitter.com/vh_health; www.twitter.com/vh_beauty; www.facebook.com/victoriahealth
The Final Bit
Meant to tell everybody that because Lemon Oil has anti-viral qualities we think it is going to be excellent for cold sores, especially those horrid summer cold sores. Now you know.
Lemonaid Lip Aid £8.99
I know I have written this over the past couple of newsletters, but I am astounded by the response to Lash Extender. Actually I was so astounded that I sent out a tweet (see, see, I’m getting the lingo!) saying how amazing it was that a 30 year old product suddenly becomes a bestseller. Just in case you didn’t know it has a sister, Brow Extender!
Lash Extender £24.50; Brow Extender £25.70
If you decide that you can’t live without Skin Restoring Ceramides, as mentioned at the beginning of the newsletter, then here is a little trick. Cleanse your face, split open one of the capsules and massage the contents onto your skin. Once a week, whilst drifting in a gorgeous bath, would be good. Twice a week would just be plain indulgence, which is why THAT is on my agenda.
Skin Restoring Ceramides with LipoWheat by Life Extension £25 for 30 Liquid Capsules
Do so hope there are adequate supplies of magnesium flakes left in the world. There are just too many of us who cannot and will not live without this therapeutic bathing miracle. Just saying.
Magnesium Oil Original Flakes £9.95
Finally, 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 ongoing loyalty and support.
Have a wonderful March.