Weekend Read 25 June 2022

Weekend Read 25 June 2022

As I welcome you to another Weekend Read, it is increasingly obvious that the turbulence and difficulties continue across all aspects of this world and, it would seem, nobody is immune.  With specific regard to the health and beauty industry, I often write about the plight of niche brands as they fight for survival, but with Revlon recently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the overriding issues here appear to be mounting debt and the inability to fulfil demand for products due to an inability to source a sufficient and regular supply of raw materials.

The raw material difficulties are not going to go away anytime soon for any of us, but this is compounded by the astronomical rise in shipping costs, which are becoming almost impossible to absorb.  Starting in 1932 as a small nail polish business, Revlon went on to become one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world and although this news has obviously sent shock-waves throughout the beauty industry, the conglomerates are, in most cases, able to re-structure, but most niche brands do not have that opportunity, unless they are bought out by a conglomerate, which in and of itself presents another set of issues, too numerous to mention. 

I really don’t know where all of this will lead, but what I do know is that we must continue to fight the fight, the good fight, for the recognition and acknowledgement of the brands and products which truly do make a positive difference to our lives, of which there are many.  So let’s continue to do what we do and I am going to begin by acknowledging the importance, and versatility, of Turmeric.  I often write about Turmeric, the spice with health benefits, because the research is extensive, but that research is specifically based upon the extensive healing properties of the active ingredient, Curcumin, which needs to be presented in a form that protects it from the digestive system.

Turmeric is known to be an anti-inflammatory, a natural antiseptic and a powerful antioxidant, but its role in the common and debilitating gastrointestinal disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), is what I want to talk about here.  Although it affects people differently, the typical symptoms of IBS include chronic abdominal pain, bloating and varying bouts of constipation and diarrhoea.  And it mainly affects women.

Inflammation in the GI tract is the single biggest factor for IBS and since the cells lining the intestines are inflamed, nutrient uptake is diminished, which can often result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies within the body.  Research indicates that the single most important herb to help alleviate soft tissue inflammation is Turmeric, which would explain its frequent use for many gastrointestinal concerns and, changing tact, its use for skin eruptions such as acne, rosacea and eczema.  Thus, the versatility.

Continuing our stance of only recommending the products we believe to be best-in-class, Curcumin Elite is the supplement that helps to offer protection from the digestive system, which is so important, as it helps calm all forms of inflammation, as well as the build-up of toxins that are responsible for most inflammatory concerns.  So two of Shabir’s articles are linked below, which I hope will give you a further understanding of the importance of Turmeric, and all that is left is for me to take the price of Curcumin Elite down from £29.50 to £25.  Across the weekend.
VH Editorial: Turmeric: The Spice With Health Benefits; Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What Causes It And How To Control IBS; Curcumin Elite by Life Extension £25 for 60 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 26 June)

More or less staying on subject, in a defined kind of way, it is known that stress disturbs the digestive system.  Ongoing research indicates that chemical changes in the brain, brought on by stressful situations, can affect the way food moves through the digestive system, and although it is not fully understood, we have mostly experienced nausea or an upset stomach when we are nervous or anxious.  On from that, the adrenals, the body’s main glands for the production of stress and energising hormones, produce the stress hormone cortisol, which is an inflammatory hormone, and is the reason why so many inflammatory concerns are linked with stress.

Magnolia Rhodiola Complex works to help reduce elevated inflammatory cortisol, but it also works to help elevate serotonin uptake in the body.  Serotonin is the mood elevating and nerve calming chemical in the brain, and approximately 95% of Serotonin receptors are located in the intestines, thus linking IBS and other inflammatory concerns to stress levels, often making the condition worse. 

Magnolia Rhodiola Complex is a bit of a superstar supplement because although I have thrown the focus on inflammatory concerns, it is our bestselling supplement for all forms of stress and anxiety and as such, I am dropping the price of Magnolia Rhodiola Complex from £28 to £23, also across the weekend, as I further link two more editorials.  From Shabir.  For awareness and understanding.   
VH Editorial: How To Combat Stress Effectively; Adrenal Stress; Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £23 for 60 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 26 June)

Let’s talk about summer products, and most specifically I want to talk about Lyme Disease, which I do each year because it is so important.  Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a specific bacteria, which is transferred into the human body by ticks when they bite into skin.  These blood sucking ticks are capable of spreading many diseases, including Lyme Disease.  The first few symptoms of Lyme Disease include a rash, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, fever and chills, and it is imperative that ticks are removed as soon as possible. 

It normally takes about 24 hours for the bacteria to transmit within the body, which is why we recommend carrying the Tick Remover Card with you in the summer months.  The Tick Remover Card contains two different size tools for different size ticks and a magnifying lens to ensure the proper removal of the tick.  If not detected early, Lyme Disease can result in many health concerns, such as memory loss and sleep disorders, and although these symptoms usually appear months after the original tick bite, the Tick Remover Card will help prevent the onset of this debilitating disease for both humans and dogs.
VH Editorial: Lyme Disease And The Tick Remover Card; Tick Remover Card £4.49

Staying with summer products, I don’t really classify Sheald Recovery Balm as a summer product, but suffice it to say that I always pack this product into my suitcase whenever I travel.  This is the powerful reparative cream which was formulated to help reduce scars and wounds, and it was the first cream of its type that could be used on open wounds, including post-operative scarring.  But being an all-singing and all-dancing product, it can also calm inflamed skin concerns, such as prickly heat and rosacea, as well as helping to heal cuts and grazes.  Such an epic product and it remains one of the most important products we have ever launched.  And probably always will be.
Sheald Recovery Balm by iS Clinical £26 for 15 grams; Sheald Recovery Balm by iS Clinical £60 for 60 grams

And onto legs we go, and most specifically leg ulcers.  Leg ulcers are open sores on the foot that look like red craters on the skin.  These breaks in the skin fail to heal by themselves and may be accompanied by inflammation.  Some of the common causes for leg ulcers include circulatory problems, Diabetes and Peripheral neuropathy, a condition where nerve damage occurs in the legs and feet.  If leg ulcers are not treated quickly, they can easily get infected and develop into an abscess, which in extreme cases can lead to gangrene.

Honey has been used as a wound dressing for hundreds of year, but recently it has been of scientific interest because of its antiseptic properties.  Obviously our advice would be to consult with your GP if you have leg ulcers, but you can treat leg ulcers at home using a medical-grade honey such as Antiseptic Honey, which is derived from the rainforest in Chile and has a very high antiseptic rating, also making it ideal for sores, venous ulcers and sunburn.  For ease, use Antiseptic Honey directly onto the ulcer, or sunburn, and cover with a plain dressing, re-dressing in the morning and evening for best results. 
VH Editorial: Causes And Treatment For Leg Ulcers; Antiseptic Honey by The Active Honey Company £7.25 for 30 grams

Right, let’s do a new product launch and it’s another new product from Dermelect Cosmeceuticals.  OutCrease Retinol Trifecta Serum is specifically formulated with three types of active Retinol to effectively target the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, thick skin and sun damage.  The three forms are Retinol, which is pure Vitamin A, Retinol Palmitate, which is an effective combination of Retinol and Palmitic Acid, known for its antioxidant and protective properties, and Retinol Acetate, a natural form of Vitamin A which helps to stimulate collagen.

I do recognise that as far as Retinol serums go, this is an outstanding serum, but I don’t like using acids on my skin, so whilst it is untested by me, my testing team are really impressed.  I absolutely know that it is not an ideal way to launch a product, but all I will say is that I fully expect its efficacy to be in line with all the other Dermelect products, which are exceptional.  And a tip on BounceBack whilst I’m on the subject of Dermelect, it’s easier to put the product into the palm of your hand rather than trying to apply it straight from the jar as it tends to fall off your face.  Used as a primer, it seriously looks like your skin has been air-brushed.  Fabulous.
OutCrease Retinol Trifecta Serum by Dermelect Cosmeceuticals £39 for 30 ml; BounceBack Forehead Line Treatment £78 for 30 ml

And now I have something from LixirSkin to share with you.  Many of you will have bought the Good Skin Mini Trio in the past, but it makes a re-appearance here, with a twist.  And the twist is that Colette, that would be Dr Colette Haydon founder of LixirSkin, has created her own specific go-to skincare regimen and we are calling it the ‘Colette Facial’.   The Good Skin Trio includes three LixirSkin heroes, Electrogel Cleanser (30 ml), Vitamin C Paste (30 ml) and Universal Emulsion (30 ml), and they are joined by three Ionic Shot sachets and three Peel Express sachets.

So this is how it works, in Colette’s words.  ‘First I mix one sachet of Ionic Shot with Electrogel Cleanser in my palm to develop a luxurious mousse that I apply all over my face, massage thoroughly and leave for five minutes.  This magically lifts congestion to clear my pores and refines and tones my skin beautifully.  I also find it wonderfully de-puffing, which is something that I struggle with when I’m feeling tired.  It mimics the deep cleansing de-incrustation phase of a galvanic facial.  Then I massage Peel Express into my skin until it turns white, and leave it on for twenty minutes.  It is quite a strong peel, but it doesn’t irritate the skin’.  Two more stages. 

‘I then massage Vitamin C Paste onto my face with damp fingers to activate the Ascorbic Acid and leave for a few minutes.  This hero product brightens my skin by reducing any dull, grey tones as it simply reveals my skin’s true colours.  Finally, I use Universal Emulsion.  It is light, but intensely moisturising for both day and night and can be used all over the face and body.  Even better, it provides natural UV protection of SPF 10 with no added sunscreens’.  Voila.  ‘Colette’s Facial’ will arrive in the Good Skin Trio box, but I’m calling it ‘Colette’s Facial’ in order to differentiate.  Colette’s Facial is £29.  The Good Skin Trio is £34.  More is less.   Happiness.
Colette’s Facial by LixirSkin £29 (Limited Edition offer)

Leaving products aside for the moment, many of you may be aware of the College of Medicine's Beyond Pills Campaign, which has just launched, as it has been extensively covered in the media.  The Beyond Pills Campaign follows on from the National Overprescribing Review commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care.  The Beyond Pills Campaign is supported by leading doctors, professionals and senior politicians with the aim of reducing the prescription of unnecessary or harmful drugs and expanding social prescribing.

Like Sarah, I totally believe in integrated medicine as there are so many instances where prescribed medication is an absolute, but many drugs do have side-effects and seem to be prescribed unnecessarily, or inappropriately.  This campaign addresses these issues, which are of course concerning.  The author of the Review, Dr Keith Ridge CBE, former Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, believes that tackling overprescribing could improve the health of millions, so please do take time to read this article as it helps raise the awareness of an inherent problem, which affects so many of us.
Beyond Pills Campaign by Sarah Stacey

Back to it and I want to talk about Niacinamide, actually Shabir will do the talking about Niacinamide in his article linked below.  All I want to say is that Shabir considers Niacinamide to be a ‘Herculean Multitasker’ and he explains the reasons why in his article.  It really used to bother me when I found myself writing about several different skincare products on one newsletter, but I got over that because we are all different and we all have different needs, which includes price points.  Anyway, with that said, when you buy Niacinamide, we will automatically include a pot of Pore Cleaning Powder worth £12.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I am obsessed with Pore Cleaning Powder.  That’s all.
VH Editorial: Should You Introduce Niacinamide Serum Into Your Skincare Routine; Niacinamide Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £10 for 30 ml + Pore Cleaning Powder (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 26 June – only one gift per customer)

Let’s do the feedback.  Whenever we launch a new product, or brand, we never really know what the response will be.  There are always those products that you hope will receive the recognition they so richly deserve, and these are the products where the intent is correct and the mission is one of empathy and care.  So having written that I thought Nilaqua’s Skin Cleansing Foam (Get Washed Without Water) was totally brilliant, your response was beyond amazing for this product which was primarily formulated for the healthcare industry.  Helping to provide essential care with dignity, I want to thank you for recognising and supporting the importance of this product.   
Skin Cleansing Foam by Nilaqua £2.10 for 70 ml; Skin Cleansing Foam by Nilaqua £4.25 for 200 ml; Skin Cleansing Foam by Nilaqua £6.99 for 500 ml

Glory Hallelujah.  Vizulize Eye Wash is back in stock, for the moment.  I think this may be right up there as one of our bestselling products over the past few weeks, basically because it really helps soothe irritated eyes, which so many of us are suffering from.  You can’t keep a good product down, but I also know that the manufacturers are struggling to keep with demand, so I'm fully expecting another wait list to appear on the horizon imminently.  
Vizulize Eye Wash £4.20 for 300 ml (includes eye bath)

Into the Saturday only treat we go, and with every order placed for £30 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically include Stress Check Kind Hands (10 ml) by This Works.  Loaded with Vitamin E and Shea Butter, This Works recommend that in moments of stress you apply the hand cream to create a sense of calm with its natural stress relieving fragrance.  Apply to hands, cup together and breathe in the fragrance.  Further product details below.
Stress Check Kind Hands by This Works £10 for 75 ml

As we come to the end of another Weekend Read, I would just like to refer to some of my comments in my opening paragraphs.  There is no doubt that costs have risen considerably and in each and every moment we are receiving communications from brands informing us of an increase in the price of their products and as such we have to pass on some of these higher costs.  In full transparency there are far too many increases to write about individually, so please forgive me for not listing them as they happen, some things are out of my control.

However, I am in control of my own thoughts and attitude to some of these price increases and I absolutely promise you that I will do all I can to help support and absorb costs wherever we can.  Of course so many brands could do far more, despite increasing costs, but they choose not to.  Behind the scenes I am constantly fighting these brands and I really struggle to come to terms with their abject refusal to recognise those of us who have supported their products, yet they are perfectly prepared to pay untold sums of money for editorial and influencer marketing.  Would it be so difficult to use some of those monies to support us, the consumers.  Apparently so.

Anyway, as I wrote earlier, we will fight the good fight, and if brands can’t, or won’t, respect each and every one of us, then I know what I have to do. That’s all I have to say for the moment, except I will leave you with a song.  I feel we’re better when we sing together.  
Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin by Heart; The VH Playlist

With love

Gill x