Weekend Read 2 July 2022

Weekend Read 2 July 2022

If I may, I would like to begin this Weekend Read by following through on my thoughts and feelings about campaigning.  I absolutely know that we can’t change the world, or most specifically the health and beauty industry overnight, but we can, and will, continue to talk about the issues that we strongly and passionately believe in.  We do so because I believe it puts things into some form of perspective, but it also helps give an understanding of differing situations, which so many of us struggle with, such as bullying and abuse.

I have always understood, with gratitude, the importance of having a platform where we are able to discuss the issues that need to be discussed.  With a focus on our health and wellbeing, I am also tremendously aware of the financial implications which are affecting so many of us.  And in some way, shape or form, I find the duping of consumers completely offensive on this subject alone, which is why I write about it so often.  There can be no fear when you stand in the truth, and there can be no fear of losing market share, because I’m not striving to achieve that.  I know my place.

So, I’m going to do some straight talking here about a campaign.  Together with Sarah Stacey, I have been campaigning for over thirteen years about the use of synthetic prostaglandin hormones which are present in most bestselling lash and brow serums.  I wrote extensively about the whole subject several weeks ago, and in a really important and far-reaching article, linked below, Sarah wrote about the history, and potential dangers, of the use of these hormones in cosmetic products.

Some of the known side-effects of synthetic prostaglandin analogs, at even the tiniest percentage, include skin or iris pigmentation changes, conjunctival hyperemia (red rims to the eyes), lowered intra-ocular pressure and macular oedema (swelling).  It has always been very clear to both Sarah and myself that, as in other countries, the lash and brow serums containing prostaglandin hormones should be banned in the UK.  And yet they are not. 

What I find most offensive is that far from being banned, these products are still being glorified across the media and other channels, and we all know the reasons why.  I read one such article a week or so ago and thumped my fist so hard on my desk, I thought I had broken some bones.  I hadn’t broken anything, but what is broken is the trust and belief in all those who have, perhaps, failed to do their research, and that’s being kind.  What’s even worse, if anything could be, is that most health and beauty websites, and stores on the High Street, sell these lash and brow brands.  I’ll leave that one hanging.

I could of course carry on, because there is much still to be said, but most specifically after so many years of campaigning, our stance was backed-up by an influx of emails about your own experiences, with many of you asking if you could testify about the potential dangers of these products.  I am keeping those emails on file, but what I am also doing here is taking down the price of Natucain’s Lash and Brow Serums, which Sarah and I both endorse.  Its only taken us thirteen years to find two safe and efficacious products in this genre, so Natucain’s Lash and Brow Serums drop respectively from £59 to £50 in celebration.  And with Shabir endorsing them too, that would equate to over one hundred years of health and beauty experience between the three of us.  And I’m not the baby here, Shabir is.  But only by two years.  I’ll live with that.
The Natural Eyelash Growth Enhancer That’s Safe And Really Works by Sarah Stacey; Lash Serum by Natucain £50 for 3.9 ml; Brow Serum by Natucain £50 for 6.2 ml (offers end at midnight BST, Friday 8 July)

Moving on, let’s take a look at some health issues and I’m going to begin by talking about Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  I haven’t written about CoQ10 for quite some time, but CoQ10 is required by every single cell within our bodies, with one of the most important benefits being its ability to help enhance energy production and it is important for the optimal function of the body on a daily basis.  The reason why it is required by each cell is because it is utilised to make the energy molecule ATP and it helps cells to take up fats and other nutrients, converting these into usable energy.

Whilst CoQ10 is known to support each of our cells, as above, is has also been shown to help mental alertness, with studies indicating a 56% increase in cellular energy production by the brain when supplementing with this nutrient.  Another interesting aspect is that our lungs, like our heart, are very active organs and they require a vast amount of CoQ10 to function properly.  It has been found that those supplementing with CoQ10 often find that their breathing improves, but then this would make total sense because like so many other nutrients, and that would include HA, our levels of CoQ10 drop as we age.

It is thought that by the time we have reached our forties, our levels of CoQ10 will have dropped by approximately 50%, thus the importance of supplementing, yet of course not all CoQ10 products work in the same way.  Shabir always recommends Super Ubiquinol Co-Enzyme Q10 because it uses the most active form of ubiquinone, which is ubiquinol and that’s really important.  It also needs to be said that with the widespread use of Statins, it is recommended that you supplement with CoQ10 because CoQ10 is required by the heart muscle tissue for optimal function. Unfortunately, it is a well-known fact that prescribed cholesterol medication reduces the production of CoQ10.

You can read more about this entire subject on Shabir’s article, linked below, but although Super Ubiquinol is available in two strengths, I think we are mostly over the age of 25, so it is the higher strength Super Ubiquinol (100 mg) that we tend to recommend and as such I am dropping the price of Super Ubiquinol Co-Enzyme CoQ10 from £45 to £40 across the weekend.  I have always believed that if you are going to do something, do it properly, if you can, because it is a complete waste of time and money to take a supplement that is woeful in its efficacy.  And before you ask, Shabir and I both take Super Ubiquinol.  And we have done for several years.
VH Editorial: Choosing The Right Co-Enzyme Q10; Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 With Enhanced Mitochondrial Support by Life Extension £40 for 60 Softgels (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 3 July); Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength £35 for 30 Capsules

I just want to say here that although I could take any number of supplements, I actually don’t.  We are each different and of course there are those supplements which are specifically targeted, such as Superior Joints, which Shabir takes and I don’t.  And very briefly on the subject of Superior Joints, I would just like to thank you for your amazing support when I wrote about this supplement a couple of weeks ago.  I have never, and would never, state that any given supplementation will work for everybody, but Superior Joints is so very close to achieving that status and that is what really matters.  Over and above all else.
Superior Joints £30 for 60 Capsules

At this point, I would like to talk about Bone Restore with Vitamin K2, which is so often taken in conjunction with Superior Joints.  They are two completely different supplements, so whilst Superior Joints offers pain relief for concerns such as arthritis and knee pain, we believe that Bone Restore provides the most complete, bioavailable calcium complex, together with the most active form of Vitamin K2, which is vital for building healthy bone tissue.

As Shabir discusses in his article, linked below, a problem often overlooked by doctors is that loss of bone density is associated with deficiencies of not just calcium, but a host of other nutrients including magnesium and Vitamin D3.  In order for calcium to help prevent bone loss, adequate amounts of D3, manganese and other nutrients should be available so that calcium, magnesium and phosphorus can be incorporated into the bone matrix.  Another issue is that many forms of calcium do not absorb particularly well, so it is important to take calcium in an absorbable form otherwise it just goes to waste, offering little, if any, support for the lack of bone density.

The term Osteopenia is defined as low bone density or low bone mass, a condition in which a decrease in bone structure is noted, which is greater than one would expect at any relevant age.  If left unchecked, Osteopenia can lead to Osteoporosis, which is far more serious as bone density will have deteriorated to such an extent that it increases the risk of breaking or fracturing bones.  Osteopenia is far more common than Osteoporosis and Shabir lists the causes of Osteopenia in his article, of which there are several.  I think this is an important article to read, so as you do that, I will drop the price of Bone Restore from £23 to £20, with a specific note that Osteopenia mainly affects women.  How thrilling for us.
VH Editorial: Osteopenia; Bone Restore With Vitamin K2 by Life Extension £20 for 120 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 3 July)

If you have a squeamish disposition, I suggest you skip this section.  If you are still with me, then I will report that I opened a packet of raspberries last week and saw a worm squiggling around inside the packet.  I am not good with these kind of things, so although this packet went straight into the bin, together with another two packets which were residing in my fridge, I had a bit of a moment and because my brain works in a weird kind of way, I immediately thought about the parasites that reside inside our bodies.  And we all have them.

I’m not entirely sure how much I really want to write about this subject, so I’m pretty thankful that Shabir has written an in-depth article about intestinal parasites.  I will just say that he recommends that we should consider using Viridian’s Clove & Oregano Complex at least once a year to ensure that we cleanse and eliminate parasites from our bodies.  Clove & Oregano Complex also contains Basil and Rosemary, which are also known for their varying roles in the eradication of parasites, alongside other pathogens in the gut.  That’s it, I’m done, other than to say I just can’t look at raspberries without thinking of the worm, and I’m doing a course of Clove & Oregano.  Right now.
VH Editorial: Most Of Us Have Internal Parasites; Clove & Oregano Complex by Viridian Nutrition £19 for 60 Capsules (drops from £21.85 until midnight BST, Sunday 3 July)

I think I need a slight gap before I go back to writing about products, and in this gap I would just like to follow through on Sarah’s article about the College of Medicine’s Beyond Pills Campaign, which I wrote about last week.  Interestingly, although not surprisingly, in nearly 100 interviews carried out with patients for the NHS England National Overprescribing Review, the key thing that patients wanted was to feel they were ‘being listened to’ by health professionals, according to Dr Keith Ridge, former Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, and the author of the Review.

And that’s the thing really, with so many societal changes, nobody really listens anymore and it’s a damning indictment of life in general.  I find it utterly appalling, but at this point I will abdicate to Sarah who explains why listening well is so important, and how hurtful it can be when we feel we are not being listened to. 
Learning To Listen by Sarah Stacey

Back to it, and a few years ago Aurelia launched their Botanical Cream Deodorant.  I remember it well because just after it launched it sold out and the wait list was mammoth and spanned several months.  That was then, and this is now and this Aluminium-free, cream-to-powder deodorant remains one of Aurelia’s bestselling products.  Lightly scented with Lavender and Bergamot, it helps inhibit bacteria, delivering lasting freshness.  And I’m about to deliver a treat.  Botanical Cream Deodorant is £18 for 50 grams, but whilst stock lasts, we are offering two Botanical Cream Deodorants (50 grams each) for £20.  So that’s a saving of £16.  Put plainly.
Deo Duo by Aurelia London £20 (2 x Botanical Cream Deodorant 50 grams each)

I now want to talk about This Works.  And I want to tell you that they have just launched their Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum, which is a plumping 2% Hyaluronic Acid Complex with Vitamin C.  It is called ‘Morning Expert’ because it has been specifically formulated for morning faces, and we know all about morning faces.  Anyway, you will have guessed that a treat is about to happen, so with any This Works product bought, we will automatically include Morning Expert Hyaluronic Acid Serum (15 ml), which is worth £18.  And just to add, the three bestselling products from This Works are Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, Perfect Legs Skin Miracle and In Transit No Traces Pads.
This Works; Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum by This Works £37 for 30 ml (Limited Time Offer; Only One Gift Per Customer)

We are on the treat trail, so let’s continue with another one of those oversized serums from Garden of Wisdom.  This time it’s C-Deep Vitamin C Serum.  This powerful Vitamin C Serum penetrates deeper than most and Shabir explains why in his article below.  This is also the only Vitamin C I can use because my sensitive skin reacts horribly to most Vitamin C formulations, but I’m safe with this.  If you think Shabir formulated this specifically for me, I need to tell you that he didn’t, but nevertheless we think it is good to offer a choice in the Garden of Wisdom range.  And so that’s what we have done and oversize means you will receive 45 ml for the price 30 ml, which is £18.
VH Editorial: Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C Serum; C-Deep Vitamin C Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £18 for 45 ml (whilst stock lasts)

One more thing before we head into the Saturday only treat.  There is no doubt that we are facing challenging times, so just to end this section, I want to talk about Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates.  This is a classic from Aromatherapy Associates and I have often gifted this to friends who are struggling with their own emotions, often following a bereavement.  Blended with Clary Sage, Frankincense and Cardamom, this will help uplift and offers emotional resilience when it is needed the most.  And staying with it, with every Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil bought, we will automatically include a 9 ml De-Stress Muscle & Bath Shower Oil. 
Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates £49 for 55 ml + Free De-Stress Muscle & Bath Shower Oil 9 ml

And here it is, the Saturday only treat.  So with every order placed for £30 and over, excluding p&p, we will automatically include a single Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask*.  Initially developed for use in Sarah Chapman’s clinical treatments, this bio-cellulose mask envelops that face like a second skin to instantly hydrate, soothe and plump.  Full product details are listed below.
Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion

Just a few more things to say here.  I have always believed that music helps to heal troubled minds, which is why throughout the darkest days of the pandemic I shared differing forms of music on each Weekend Read.  So much of this music touched our souls and somehow or other we got through, although of course we are still experiencing numerous repercussions, which are still incredibly difficult to bear.

I’m not sure how many of you watched Paul McCartney at Glastonbury, but if you missed it, it is available on BBC iPlayer, which is a considerable improvement on the ‘live’, which wasn’t a live, last Saturday night.  Anyway, all I really want to say here is that if you have the time, do watch this concert if you haven’t already done so, because it’s epic and the nostalgia really hits in deep for just under three hours.  I thought my heart might stop beating when Bruce made a guest appearance, but the night belonged to Paul McCartney.  So for a moment in time, let us come together once more as we sing:  And In The End.  The Love You Take. Is Equal To The Love You Make.
Golden Slumbers by Paul McCartney: Live At The Royal Albert Hall 1997

All the 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.