Weekend Read 29 January 2022

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Weekend Read 29 January 2022

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As I welcome you to the Weekend Read, my thoughts go back over twenty years ago to when Bryan Johns, co-founder of iS Clinical, sat me down and gave me a valuable lesson about skincare.  I listened with great fascination as he informed me that before iS Clinical was launched, he had taken over 200 existing skincare products into the lab and reverse-engineered them.  The purpose of this exercise was to gain an insight into the validity and efficacy of each of those products with regard to several issues, which included the percentage of actives used and the claims that were being made about said ingredients.  The integrity and founding principles of the iS Clinical products were based upon this, and other, extensive research.

Needless to say, there were very few products which emerged unscathed, and in some way that has been my guiding light whenever I do a skincare launch, which is not that often.  Of course research and development are key, and that leads me to talk to you about Oodee Allergen Neutral Skincare, which we launched on Wednesday.  As I was reading through Oodee’s five years of research into the incidences of allergic reactions to skincare, I realised that there were several similarities to the iS Clinical research and development, and you all know how much trust and belief I have in iS Clinical, which has never wavered, and I’ll throw Non Gender Specific into that equation also.

I think many of you read my launch email, but just in case you missed it, we are talking here about the world’s first skincare brand created to call out food and fragrance allergens.  I will of course link that email below, where you will read that I believe this to be one of the most important skincare launches I have ever done and I’ve done rather a lot.  On that email I wrote about the three launch products, so having done that I would like to throw the focus on the awareness campaign for those of us with sensitive skin.  And most of you know that I’m one of them, which is why I am so incredibly passionate about the findings of Oodee’s extensive research.

In a similar vein to iS Clinical, Oodee highlights a study in which 283 cosmetic products were examined.  Of those products studied, 50-60% of commercial cosmetics had allergenic ingredients and concern was expressed by the authors of the study about the ‘cocktail effect’ arising from the use of multiple cosmetic products and also about the ‘additive effect’ in single products arising from multiple ingredients containing the same harmful ingredients.  These were shown to exceed safety levels.  Which is somewhat worrying because skin health is, and has always been, paramount.

Furthermore, the results from a Skin Sensitivity Survey, independently conducted amongst 1564 respondents, indicated the need for a greater transparency in skincare, together with a genuine demand for skincare that is free from food and fragrance allergens.  Some of the staggering stats that emerged from this survey showed that 97% of respondents felt that skincare products should label all allergens on their packaging, in the same way as food products do, and 86% of respondents stated that they were more likely to buy a skincare brand that is allergen neutral.  And it’s that very lack of transparency in skincare products that I want to talk about next.

As consumers, we are all used to skincare claims, but significantly it has to be noted that products which claim to be ‘natural’ or ‘ecological’ are more likely to contain food allergens than those that are not.  This is of course based on extensive research, but I am minded of an incident many years ago when a skincare product was launched stating proudly that it had used a ‘natural’ preservative in its formulation, except said natural preservative contained several known allergens and created extensive skin flare-ups.  It was recalled and taken off the market.  So please don’t talk to me about ‘clean beauty’ because the whole notion is totally ridiculous.  In my humble opinion.

I want to end this section by telling you about some further research carried out in Belgium, where reactions arising from cosmetic products have been studied.  Nearly one in four patients seeking medical help in a contact allergy unit had an allergic reaction arising from cosmetic products.  I absolutely know that I am talking here about those who are having issues with skincare reactions, but the incidence rate is rising exponentially and if we are to continue talking about skincare truths, as we must, then this awareness campaign is one of great importance and magnitude.   And the products are, of course, transformational for those unable to tolerate most skincare products.  More next week.  I am far from finished on this subject matter.
Oodee Launch Email; 3-Step Phenomenal Skin Edit by Oodee £105 (Halo Foaming Cleanser, Aurora Perfecting Serum; Nova Illuminating Moisturiser); Halo Foaming Cleanser £24 for 150 ml; Aurora Perfecting Serum £65 for 50 ml; Nova Illuminating Moisturiser £55 for 50 ml

And I’m not finished writing about my Fulvic mission either.  The fact is that I will probably never stop writing about Fulvic, but because I am on a specific mission to share the brilliance of Fulvic, I am going to talk about Ionicell today.  Ionicell contains Ioniplex, a Fulvic ionic mineral formulated, and clinically proven, to help our bodies generate collagen and re-hydrate cells.  When we launched Ionicell, I stated that it was a second-generation hair, skin and nail supplement, but of course it does far more than that, and alongside Fulvic Acid Elixir, it has remained one of my must-take supplements, together with HA capsules and a few others.

For clarity, you really don’t need to take Ionicell and Fulvic Acid Elixir, it is a straight choice between taking capsules or using the liquid version, they are one of the same.  I do take both, but I am thoroughly addicted to all things Fulvic.  The thing that makes me smile is that every year when I do the VH awards, it is a straight fight between Ionicell, Fulvic Acid Elixir and HA Capsules for the bestselling supplement award.  Last year Fulvic Acid Elixir won, but notwithstanding that it was a tremendously close run thing, and with those words, I am taking the price of Ionicell down from £20 to £16 across the weekend.  Further information, including a White Paper on Ioniplex, is on the product page.  As ever.
Ionicell For Women £16 for 60 VegiCaps (Offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 30 January)

Just a line or two here about Hyaluronic Acid Capsules, since Shabir increased the therapeutic dosage, HA has appeared on each Weekend Read.  I don’t want it to feel left out, so all I want to do here is refer you to Shabir’s article about Eye Floaters and Flashes.  At some point most of us will probably experience the mild symptoms of seeing tiny spots floating around in our vision.  These floaters are generally harmless, but they can be annoying, so Shabir takes a look at floaters and flashes, together with the structure of the eye.  This is, in most cases, age related, but never mind that because salvation may well arrive in the shape of Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength and Nutrof Total.
VH Editorial: Eye Floaters and Flashes; Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength £35 for 30 Capsules; Nutrof Total £14.99 for 30 Capsules

When we launched Intimate Wash a couple of weeks ago, the demand for this product was extraordinarily high.  I wrote then that I believed Intimate Wash to be best-in-class in its category, so leading on from that I just want to talk about vaginal dryness, a subject I have written about on many occasions, but with one in four women experiencing vaginal dryness before, during and beyond menopause, we have to continue talking about it.  And we also need to talk about the products that we believe can help make a difference.

Typical symptoms of vaginal dryness include itching, painful intercourse and in some cases, urinary discomfort.  There are many remedies available to treat vaginal dryness, including HRT, but I think it is sensible to discuss various options, which Shabir does in his article listed below.  Since declining oestrogen levels are responsible for this condition, Shabir’s recommendations include Sage Complex, Curcumin Elite and Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil by Sibu.  And with that said, I am dropping the price of Sage Complex from £25 to £20 for one more weekend and in addition I am dropping the price of Omega 7 from £19.99 to £17.
VH Editorial: Overcoming Menopausal Vaginal Dryness; Intimate Wash by WeTwo Prescriptives £18 for 200 ml; Sage Complex £20 for 90 Capsules; Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil by Sibu £17 for 60 Softgels (Offers end at midnight GMT, Sunday 30 January)

Right, let’s do two more product launches, the first one is from Viridian Nutrition and it’s a supplement called Andrographis Complex.  In the early days of the pandemic this ingredient was much in demand as Andrographis is considered to be a natural immunity enhancer, helping to keep coughs and sore throats at bay.  This product goes further by combining Andrographis paniculata leaf extract with Vitamin C and Zinc.  Thankfully the dark days of the pandemic appear to be behind us, but the need to bolster our immune system remains of great importance, as it does each and every year. 

I have so much respect for Ayurvedic medicine, and so does Shabir.  So with that said, I am dropping the price of Andrographis Complex from £24.10 to £21, because we have to get through February, which is almost upon us.  Thankfully there are only 28 days in February, not that I’m wishing my life away, although heaven knows I still think I’m 29.  Except very obviously I’m not, because I promise you that I didn’t start writing the VH newsletters before I was nine years old and Shabir didn’t qualify as a pharmacist when he was seven.  I think I’ve said enough.  I have another launch to do.
Andrographis Complex by Viridian Nutrition £21 for 60 Capsules (Offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 30 January)

And that launch is from Aduna.  One launch, a duo of products, and a new direction for Aduna as they extend their product range of sustainably sourced African superfood powders, grains, capsules and teas, to a duo of organic beauty oils made from the cold-pressed seeds of renowned African superfood ingredients, Baobab and Moringa.  Used in traditional remedies for centuries, Baobab and Moringa seed oils are the active ingredients behind many cosmetic products.  Abundant in emollients and antioxidants, they both hydrate and seal in moisture to the skin, hair and nails. 

Baobab Oil is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, linoleic (omega 6) and oleic (omega 9); it passes through the epidermis, restoring and repairing the skin membrane aiding the regeneration of skin tissue, mimicking the skin’s hydration mechanism.  Cold pressed from the organic seeds of the Moringa tree, known as ‘The Miracle Tree’ in Africa, Moringa oil is also rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, including up to 75% oleic acid (omega 9) and palmitic acids (omega 7).  Antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory by nature, Moringa protects against environmental stressors and you may wish to use it to treat compromised skin conditions as it can help reduce redness.

Both oils can be used on their own or they can be mixed into existing skin, hair, bath and body products, which is rather fun.  Perhaps we can all become alchemists if we choose to create differing blends with multi-use solutions.  But even if you use them as stand-alone, which I guess most of you will do, they really are fabulous and I know that because the oils are pure, with nothing added to either of them.  I can rarely use oils because of my allergies, so it is the biggest treat to be able to use an oil and write from experience, when so often I can’t.  I am so happy to have these both on our site and in my bathroom.  Which resembles an apothecary.
Aduna Baobab Oil £14.99 for 100 ml; Aduna Moringa Oil £16.99 for 100 ml; All Aduna Products

With all the launches done, let’s do a couple of beauty treats and we will start with Aurelia’s Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream.  Created to help reduce the appearance of age spots and pigmentation, this hand cream has been formulated using Sea Daffodil to help reduce pigmentation, Red Algae extracts, to help protect chapped hands, and Cassia Senna, which mimics Hyaluronic Acid to boost hydration.  It is also loaded with omega-rich Baobab and Kigelia Africana to help nourish and firm the skin and in a very limited offer I am dropping the price of Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream from £28 to £18, a saving of £10.  And once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream by Aurelia London £18 for 75 ml

When I did this treat a few months ago, it barely lasted an hour.  I promised that I would try and do it again, and so that’s exactly what I’m about to do.  The brand is Weleda, the product is Skin Food Body Butter.  I know that many of you are devoted to Weleda’s Skin Food range, so for a moment in time, because I doubt it will last very long, I am taking the price down of Skin Food Body Butter from £19.75 to £10.  And in one of those rare moments, I really don’t need to write anything about the product, because its reputation goes before anything that I would write.  So in transparency, if it fails to go into your basket, the offer will be over. 
Skin Food Body Butter by Weleda £10 for 150 ml

I have a few more things to tell you, so I think it best if we do the Saturday only treat now.  For those of you who watched Trinny & Shabir last week, there was a moment when Trinny put on a Spacemask and put her head on Shabir’s shoulder.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the look on Shabir’s face and I knew in that moment that I had to gift you a Spacemask*.  And that’s exactly what I’m doing, so with every order placed for £30 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically send you a Spacemask.  I’m sure you all know about Spacemasks, but I’m putting the product link below, together with the link to the video, in case you missed it last week.  More fun.
Spacemasks £16.50 for Five Masks; Trinny & Shabir Live

I wrote last week about a survey which we carried out on our site over a two week period.  I also told you that I was the last one to know and by the time I did know, it was virtually over.  Having been left out, I was determined to be included in the meeting where your thoughts were discussed.  Obviously we have taken all of your comments on board and we will action many of them as soon as we can.  These things take time, but many of you requested that we put a link on the Weekend Read so that you could shop all the products mentioned, instead of going in and out of the WR.  And we have done it.  It’s at the top, and I hope this makes life easier for you.

The Weekend Reads have become somewhat of a ritualistic process and I often begin writing them each Sunday morning, and continue on from there.  As such I wrote all the above before Lisa Armstrong’s article about Oodee was published in The Telegraph on Wednesday.  It coincided with my email about the Oodee launch, so I would just like to thank Lisa for standing by my side and for her depth of understanding regarding allergies and the work we are doing in this respect.  I am linking her article below, but I would also like to thank the fabulous Telegraph reader for her supportive comment.  No names, just a heartfelt acknowledgement.  It touched me.
Finally, Allergy-Friendly Skincare That Really Works by Lisa Armstrong

And, finally, the Saturday song.  No more words needed.    
Let It Be by The Beatles; The VH Playlist

My love and gratitude to each of you.

Gill x


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Prices and products advertised at times of sending and publishing are subject to change and availability. 

*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.