Weekend Read 19 February 2022

Weekend Read 19 February 2022

If I may, I would like to open this Weekend Read by talking about the societal shift so many of us are experiencing, if not witnessing. This seismic shift seems to have taken us to a place where aggression, abuse and bullying appears to have become the norm. Campaigns which are specifically and appallingly designed for destruction are rife, so it is unsurprising that so many of us are sent reeling by the actions of those whose moral conscience has been eroded in the unrelenting chase for power and money, often fuelled by like-minded investors. In many instances, I actually wonder if such a conscience ever existed. And from my own observations, that’s doubtful.

Although my words are based upon a global perspective, they do have a bearing on the challenges we are constantly facing in order to uphold the values which I believe are fundamental to, and for, our relationship with each other. It is for this very reason that I will so often write transparently about the health and beauty industry. And I will not let it go because it has become way too ugly to ignore. I will close this newsletter on that subject, but in the meantime I have products to write about, and as ever these are primarily from the niche brands we love and support. And of course, that includes our own brands.

So that’s where I’m going to start. And in fact it’s not only one of our brands I am going to talk about, it’s two of them as they come together in celebration, and efficacy, of the health and beauty crossover. There are many reasons why so many of us take Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength, and to get an overview I will refer you to the verified reviews on this product where you will read that so many are taking it because it helps ease joint pain. The importance of which cannot be under-estimated.

I wrote a few weeks ago, when Shabir increased the therapeutic dosage to 300 mg, that we launched HA based upon extensive research about its ability to help plump up our skin as the levels of naturally-occurring HA decreases with age, thus the need to supplement. It is this aspect of HA that I am referring to today as I put together the travel size Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules, with one of our bestselling serums in the Garden of Wisdom range, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which is free from alcohol and silicones. We wanted it that way.

Perhaps this treat is for those who have yet to try either of the two products, but that aside I will always applaud and share the products which we believe will make a discernible difference, either side of the health and beauty equation, although increasingly I am launching beauty products on a health platform. Skin health is paramount and with that said, here comes the treat. 

With every travel size of Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules sold, we will automatically add a free full-size bottle of our Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which is worth £10, to your basket whilst stock lasts. I think we have enough stock to cover us over the weekend, but that’s not an absolute. And as such, and in order to share as equally as we can, there is only one treat per customer. As we walk into the unknown.
Travel Size Hyaluronic Acid High Strength Capsules £17.50 for Fifteen Capsules + Free Hyaluronic Acid Serum (30 ml) by Garden of Wisdom for VH (worth £10) (Whilst stock lasts)

The known is far easier of course, but that known can only be known because of the constant and valuable feedback we receive from you. Of course this doesn’t only relate to the products we recommend, it is far more than that, but if we are talking about products, then I really do have to follow through with some words about Superior Joints. Superior Joints is the supplement which is formulated with Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM) and it helps provide pain relief for arthritis, knee pain, muscle pain, backache and shoulder pain relief. As such it is often taken in conjunction with Hyaluronic Acid, so a few more things to say here.

I am linking Shabir’s article on Superior Joints below, but I think it is important to say that NEM has been the subject of two open-label human clinical studies. In conclusion both studies state that supplementation with 500 mg of NEM on a daily basis, significantly reduced pain, both rapidly (seven days) and continuously (30 days). I have always believed it to be crucial that you are supported with facts rather than fairy tales (I’m on one today!), so you can read both clinical studies, which are, in turn, linked on Shabir’s article. As I take the price of Superior Joints down from £30 to £27 across the weekend. Because support has several meanings.
VH Editorial: Read This If You Are Taking Glucosamine And Suffer From Painful Joints; Superior Joints £27 for 60 Capsules (Offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 20 February)

Following through, I would like to talk about skincare. The choices we make are based upon several different factors, but perhaps one of the most important factors is the pricing structure, closely followed by efficacy. The cost differential is based on several different things, and I’m not really talking about single ingredient products here, although it needs to be said that it is preferable to use gold-standard ingredients wherever possible. An example of that would be Bakuchiol, where the gold-standard is the clinically validated Sytenol A, which has also gone through extensive safety testing. An important point because not all Bakuchiol products are created equally. Far from it.

I slightly deviated there, but I want to talk about why some, and it is only some, high-end products are the price they are. And it’s all to do with the quality of the ingredients and which part of that ingredient is used in any given formulation. If you visualise a triangle, sitting at the base of this triangle is an ingredient in its most basic form, the cost of which is often negligible. As you climb up the sides of this triangle, the ingredient becomes more active and the cost increases exponentially, until you reach the very top of the triangle where the ingredient is at its most active and expensive form.

Taking this further, it goes without saying that when high-end skincare is duped, the ingredients in any given formulation may be identical, but the far-lesser priced product won’t even come close in efficacy because more often than not, the ingredients used will be from the base of the triangle. And I’m going to use iS Clinical as an example here for two reasons. The first is because I was taught that lesson by Bryan Johns and Alec Call, the co-founders of iS Clinical over twenty years ago. And the second reason is obvious, all their ingredients come from the very top of the triangle. My skin knows the difference. It always has done. And I love their Copper Firming Mist. For example.
Copper Firming Mist by iS Clinical £32 for 75 ml

Deviating back to my deviation above, I will now link you to Shabir’s article on Bakuchiol, where my comments are explained in fuller detail. So if I’m backing up my words, then I suppose I should really align that with a Bakuchiol treat. As I take the price of Super Bakuchiol Serum down from £15 to £12, I will do so by saying that Super Bakuchiol Serum is a natural, non-irritating, effective alternative to Vitamin A, Retinol and Retinoids. And once again, alcohol and silicones are not used in this formulation. I’m sounding like a broken record. Forgive me.
VH Editorial: Bakuchiol: A Natural Alternative to Retinol; Super Bakuchiol Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £12 for 30 ml (Offer ends at midnight GMT tonight, Saturday 19 February, or whilst stock lasts)

Let’s continue now with my Fulvic mission, and by deduction you will have probably realised that we have now come to Fulvic Acid Nail Cream. All I really need to say here is that it is our bestselling Fulvic product and although it was specifically created as a breakthrough formulation to help promote nail growth, it has a myriad of other uses, too numerous to mention. And so I won’t be running through that list, but I will tell you that I am dropping the price of Fulvic Acid Nail Cream, across the weekend, from £12 to £10. But I’m not finished yet because with every Fulvic Acid Nail Cream sold, I will automatically include the 60 ml size of Fulvic Hair Conditioner. Mission accomplished. Nearly.
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml + Free Fulvic Acid Conditioner 60 ml (Offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 20 February, or whilst stocks last)

A new article from Shabir. Uric acid is a waste product, which is a result of the body breaking down purines from foods, but quite honestly most of us don’t worry about our uric acid levels. Most uric acid dissolves in blood and is taken back to the kidneys for its elimination through urine. However, high uric acid levels can cause crystals to form which can settle in our joints causing gout, a form of arthritis which can cause severe pain. Additionally these crystals may also settle in the kidneys resulting in the formation of kidney stones.

These are just two common concerns associated with high uric acid levels, so in his article linked below, Shabir takes an in-depth look at the issues that can arise if you have elevated levels of uric acid, together with some dietary recommendations, which may help. Included in these considerations is a supplement named Uric Acid Control. This supplement contains Terminalia bellerica and it works by helping to control uric acid levels to within a healthy range.
VH Editorial:  How To Control Uric Acid; Uric Acid Control by Life Extension £20 for 60 Capsules

Staying with health concerns, I have been writing rather a lot recently about Dry Eye Syndrome and other eye-related issues. So I will continue. Blepharitis is a chronic long-term inflammatory condition affecting the eyelids and the skin surround the eyes, which can cause a lot of discomfort. There are two types of blepharitis, anterior blepharitis, which affects the outer edge of the eyelids, where the eyelashes are found, and posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner edge of the eyelids where the eyelid comes into contact with the eyeball. Sufferers of blepharitis are also more prone to eye infections, particularly styes.

I think it is important to say here that we are constantly updating all of our health articles as and when further research dictates us to do so. And the same obviously goes for the products we endorse and recommend. I think this is about the fifth version of Shabir’s article about blepharitis and there may be more yet, but at this given time we just felt it was really important to include both the Heated Eye Wand, which is particularly beneficial for posterior blepharitis, and the Hydrating Portable Humidifier in the treatment section of this article. We launched the Hydrating Portable Humidifier last weekend, so I want to thank you for your support and appreciation of this very important product.
VH Editorial: Treatment For Blepharitis; Hydrating Portable Humidifier by Peep Club £55; Heated Eye Wand by Peep Club £60

And if we are talking about product launches from last weekend, I would also like to thank you for your support and appreciation of Awesome Arnica Balm, the latest product to launch from Spots & Stripes. It goes without saying that it is an amazing product, I wouldn’t have launched it if it wasn’t, but there is more. And the more is that this is a small niche brand. The odds are always stacked against the survival of niche brands, which is why it is so important to recognise and acknowledge the creation of those products that stand out in the crowd. Awesome Arnica Balm is one such product.  As are Super Balm For Girls and Super Balm For Boys. Products with purpose.
Awesome Arnica Balm by Spots & Stripes £16 for 50 grams; Super Balm For Girls by Spots & Stripes £14 for 14.5 grams; Super Balm For Boys by Spots & Stripes £14 for 14.5 grams

One more health concern to write about today and so we are going to talk about stomach problems. Stomach problems are extraordinarily common and if you suffer from heartburn constantly, have abdominal pain, or have a very sensitive stomach, then the chances are that you may be suffering from gastritis. Gastritis is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach and there are many causes of gastritis, which Shabir explains in his article linked below, but the most common cause of gastritis is an infection of the organism Helicobacter pylori. So with the article linked, I am dropping the price of Shabir’s product recommendation, Gastro-Ease from £35 to £32. That’s it.
VH Editorial: A Natural Solution To Chronic Stomach Problems; Gastro-Ease by Life Extension £32 for 60 Capsules (Offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 20 February, or whilst stocks last)

Let’s do another beauty treat. And it is the hero product from Aurelia. It has always been their bestselling product, although their Botanical Cream Deodorant has had a moment or two. The hero product is of course Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser and I’m talking here about the 50 ml size of Miracle Cleanser. With a price drop from £22 to £11, this is another one of those limited edition offers, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. And you will know when it’s over because you won’t be able to put the product into your basket. And whilst I’m at it, I might as well drop the price of the Botanical Cream Deodorant, from £18 to £15, with the same caveat. Over is over.
Miracle Cleanser by Aurelia London £11 for 50 ml; Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia London £15 for 50 grams

And into the Saturday only treat we go and with every order placed for £30 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically include De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil* (9 ml) from Aromatherapy Associates. Containing therapeutic levels of Lavender, Rosemary and Ginger, it will help ease stress levels and will also help relieve the heaviness of weary limbs and stiff joints. Full product details listed below.
De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates £49 for 55 ml

The end bit. As most of you know, I believe in total transparency and as such, I need to say a few things here, which I hope gives you a deeper understanding of the necessity to stay independent in order that we may share the things that really matter to us. I have often written that VH is the tiniest speck in the health and beauty arena, but I like it that way because it allows me to share my thoughts and emotions with you without being answerable to anything or anybody outside of the closeness of our small community.

And because I have a responsibility to be answerable to each of you, many things have taken place recently which have pushed all of my buttons. Over the years, I have de-listed many brands from our site because of their appalling behaviour, together with a total lack of respect for the love and support we have collectively given them. And I want to be very clear on this because I will not tolerate treacherous bullying. And I will not tolerate being lied to. Not on my money and certainly not on yours. I want to leave it there for the moment, but I will tell you that I am looking at the ethics of three brands as of this moment and if they go, they go, I really don’t care. 

But that’s the thing really, the ethics of the health and beauty industry are so questionable, it often sends me reeling and of course you all know that I often write from my own torrid experiences, some of which you know, and others I am yet to write about. The challenge here is to overcome adversity and there is such a great strength in supporting each other. And however small we are, we do have a voice and that voice needs to be heard, which is why some time ago I made representations, via Dame Teresa Graham DBE, directly to the Cabinet Office with evidence of some of these shameful incidences, which I believe are verging on criminality. I will not roll over.

All wrapped up in this is the Online Harms Bill, which I have written about before. I am following this cross-party initiative very closely for obvious reasons, and I think it is of great importance that we are all aware of the recent report, Tackling Online Abuse, which was published on 1 February 2022. It came with the following statement: ‘Online abuse can have a devastating impact on those who are exposed to it and we are alarmed at evidence suggesting the problem has worsened since the Covid-19 pandemic began’. And as I link that report below, I wonder whether retrospective bullying and abuse will be considered. For the balance and accountability that is so sorely needed. For so many of us.
Tackling Online Abuse Ordered by The House of Commons

I think I’ve said enough for today. Let’s stay close.

With love

Gill x


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*Free gifts will only be granted if the items purchased are physical products and your total basket value exceeds the required amount noted.  Saturday only treats are subject to change should the specified gift run out prior to your purchase and are only included in orders placed between 7.45am (GMT) and Midnight (GMT) on the Saturday the Weekend Read is sent.  VH Addicts membership is a digital product and therefore will be excluded from the basket value.  Some gifts are blocked from international shipping due to local limitations imposed based on the country destination.  If this is the case, we will replace the gift with one that is able to be shipped to your destination.