Weekend Read 3 September 2022

Weekend Read 3 September 2022

September.  And as we head into the Autumn term, we do so by upholding the trust and optimism we have always shared with each other.  As the cycle of life continues, Autumn symbolises a time of abundance, a time of harvesting and a time of plenty.  And in the coming weeks, this is where I want to throw our focus. So my message today is one of abundance, an abundant understanding that because we have each other we are enriched and nourished by the plentiful love and support we continue to share as we strive to be the very best we can in any given circumstance.   And there are a lot of circumstances.

So please let me say this.  Life is uncertain, but actually life has always been uncertain, so whatever adversities we are now facing, we will face them together. There must always be a balance and it is that very balance that enabled us to get through the pandemic and lockdowns together. So let us be that balance, as we have a duty and responsibility to support your health and wellbeing.  And we will do so with sustained compassion, hope and understanding.  With our feet firmly on the ground.

And my feet are certainly on the ground as I begin this section of the newsletter by talking about skin health.  In a way I am following through from last weekend where I wrote that our curation of supplementation is very tight, and I will say the same about our curation of skincare products.  In each and every moment there is another skincare launch, but of course the stakes are very high as this is a multi-billion pound industry.  I think we all know that there is no such thing as a level-playing field in the beauty industry as the conglomerates continue to either buy niche brands, or they attempt to destroy them.  They don’t care which way it falls.  That much I know.

Of course this is challenging, I am not going to tell you otherwise, but I remain totally committed to supporting and protecting the niche skincare brands we list on our site, and that includes our own brands, because there is one thing that money cannot buy, and that is efficacy.  And efficacy is determined by proven results, which is why it is so important to uphold the trust we have in the ongoing research and development of the skincare ingredients that will help make a positive difference to the health of our skin.  And wherever we feel it appropriate, we include such ingredients in our own formulations, and in this instance I am talking about the Garden of Wisdom products.

Each of the Garden of Wisdom products have been formulated by Shabir with an innate understanding that our skin constantly changes dependent upon varying factors, such as seasonal changes, age and stress.  The overall philosophy is one of formulating skincare products which promote skin balance and stability and in order to achieve this Shabir incorporates the least number of inactive ingredients in each formulation, which subsequently allows the therapeutic strength of the actives to work more effectively.  This is really important and it can be demonstrated with one of my favourite serums, Neurophroline, which significantly lowers cortisol levels in our skin. Cortisol being the stress hormone.

There are currently twenty-seven products in the Garden of Wisdom range, but this is an ever-evolving brand which is the way we like it, because nothing should ever be static in life, most especially when new novel ingredients come to the fore, and there are a few on the horizon as I write this.  But we are not there yet and of course I will let you know when we are.  And if one of them passes the stringent testing to determine efficacy, I will be screaming about it, because I believe it will lead the way in a new approach to skin health, just as Neurophroline did several years ago.

Right, so with all of that said, I am going to do what I did with the VH supplements last weekend as I lower the price of each of the Garden of Wisdom products by 15% across the weekend.  And with Vitamin C 23% + Ferulic Acid being the bestselling product in the range, I am fascinated to know whether it will remain so across the weekend.  I'll let you know.
Garden of Wisdom for VH (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 4 September)

I want to stay with skin health for the moment, but from a different perspective, as we take a look at Vitamin A, the nutrient that is often recommended for compromised skin conditions, such as acne.  As ever, nothing is straightforward in the world of supplementation and there are distinct differences in Vitamin A, namely provitamin A and preformed Vitamin A.  Shabir explains the difference in his article linked below where you will note that he recommends the preformed Vitamin A, which is the active form of Vitamin A.

It is generally accepted that the therapeutic dose of Vitamin A for skin concerns should be 1500 mcg per daily dose and as such we recommend Liposomal Vitamin A, as the liposomal delivery system ensures optimum absorption into the bloodstream.  So once again it is all about efficacy because although Vitamin A can be obtained through food sources, it is really difficult to obtain the daily requirement through diet alone, which is why supplementation, together with topicals, play such an important role in skin health.  A cautionary note here, too much Vitamin A can be detrimental to the body, and it contra-indicates with anticoagulant medication and prescription retinoids.
VH Editorial: Vitamin A For Acne; Liposomal Vitamin A by DaVinci Laboratories Of Vermont £15 for 30 ml

I’m not quite finished on this subject yet.  As I’ve often written, I just don’t think it’s good enough to recommend products without backing it up with the knowledge required to make a considered choice, which includes clinicals and studies wherever possible.  So drilling down specifically, I want to refer you to Shabir’s article entitled ‘Take Control Of Your Acne’.  This is a long read, but it is an in-depth analysis and may well help to give a further understanding about acne, including debunking acne myths.  It also includes several topical recommendations, including some Garden of Wisdom products, which is rather neat bearing in mind they are currently discounted.
VH Editorial: Take Control Of Your Acne

Let’s continue with health concerns.  It has been several decades since researchers first noticed a link between magnesium and stress. Scientists have since discovered that many of the frequently reported symptoms of stress, which include fatigue, irritability, anxiety and headaches are commonly found in patients with magnesium deficiencies, and we are mostly magnesium deficient.  But that’s just one part of the story.  And here comes the next part.

In a report released this year, the American Psychological Association noted that over 73% of US adults say they feel ‘overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world right now’. Chronic stress has been linked to anxiety and depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity, menstrual problems, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems and hair and skin conditions. In a follow-up analysis of this clinical study, it was found that approximately 44% of participants screened for stress were magnesium deficient.  And they named it the Magnesium-Stress Connection.

I really can’t remember how many years I have been writing about the importance of magnesium and, over the years, Shabir has written several articles about magnesium. Perhaps the most relevant article today, given the above, is about preventing and treating stress headaches, where Neuro-Mag is the supplement recommended.  But Neuro-Mag isn’t just for stress headaches, it is the magnesium supplement we recommend to help counter magnesium deficiencies, and it is delivered using Magnesium L-Threonate, an ultra-absorbable form of magnesium, which also helps to support cognitive health and mood. And that’s really important. 
VH Editorial: Preventing and Treating Stress Headaches; Neuro-Mag by Life Extension £29 for 90 Capsules (drops from £32) (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 4 September)

Often labelled as the ‘forgotten vitamin’, Vitamin K2 was discovered in 1929 by the Danish Scientist, Dr Henrik Dam.  The ‘K’ stands for koagulation, meaning essential for blood clotting. As with Magnesium, it is thought that we are mostly K2 deficient, so Shabir takes an in-depth look at why we are deficient and why K2 is so important. There are three main forms of Vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3, but K3 is the synthetic variant which we need to avoid.  That’s all I want to say, so it’s over to Shabir for the facts and I will take down the price of Super K, which is formulated with K2 and K1, from £22 to £19. 
VH Editorial: It Is Estimated That Nearly 99% Of Us Could Be Deficient In This Vital NutrientSuper K by Life Extension £19 for 90 Softgels (offer ends at midnight BST, Friday 9 September)

I often write about hair loss and we mostly recommend Superior Hair, which helps to address hormonal hair loss.  But sitting alongside Superior Hair there is another supplement which Shabir often recommends and that is Hairjelly Protein Capsules.  Hairjelly contains a rich source of essential amino acids that are the building blocks of keratin, the protein that is essential to hair. These protein nutrients are absorbed by the body and enter the hair follicles via the digestion process during the Anagen (growing) phase of the hair cycle.

Whenever I write about hair loss, I always have to caveat my words because addressing hair loss is notoriously difficult.  Results will vary, but there is no quick fix and we estimate it will take at least three or four months to start seeing the benefit if supplementation is taken regularly.  There have been several studies on the benefits of Gelatin, so in his article, linked below, Shabir takes a look at the history of Gelatin and its properties, which are not only aligned to hair loss, so you may find this article quite interesting.  I also need to say that Hairjelly Protein Capsules are suitable for vegetarians and that I’m dropping the price down from £29.95 to £26.95.
VH Editorial: Gelatin Capsules For Hair Loss; Hairjelly Protein Capsules by HairMedic £26.95 for 60 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Friday 9 September)

As so many of you know, I have an extraordinarily close relationship with Ross J. Barr.  I have always believed that the very best way we can support you is by having an in-depth understanding of how life is affecting each of us at any given time.  From my side I know that emotional stress has almost become an epidemic, and Ross is telling me that the same is true with the patients he treats in clinic.  We both know that this is fear-based and we both understand how and why this is happening, so I promise you that we will continue to have these discussions throughout the coming months, which I will of course share with you.

And as I write these words, I am remembering all the thoughts Ross and I shared before launching the Calm Patches.  We had already launched the Healing Patches and we both knew that we wanted to create a collection of patches.  We also knew that stress was a major factor in people’s lives and we wanted to help mitigate stress, if we could.  The rest is history, the Calm Patches have helped so many of you, so I now have something else to share with you.  And that something else is that I am taking 15% off all the Ross J. Barr products, and that includes all his fertility supplements, Stomach Support and Adrenal Calm. Whilst stock lasts. 
Ross J. Barr Products (offer ends at midnight BST, Friday 9 September)

Moving on, I need to report back on a few things, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve just done a paragraph count and I’m nowhere near finished.  But never mind that because I need to tell you that another famine has occurred. It’s a KateMoth famine, but it’s only half a famine, for which I’m grateful because although we still have stock of the KateMoth Drawer Liners, the KateMoth Sachets have all flown away.  I don’t have a confirmed date for their return, but I am currently musing about moths loving cashmere as we head into the Autumn months.  Actually it’s not only cashmere they love.  They seem to love T-shirts too.  They won’t be loving mine.  Thanks to Kate.
KateMoth Moth Deterrent Drawer Liners £18 for 6 Drawer Liners

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Fulvic Face Cream.  At that time I offered the Travel Size Fulvic Face Cream (30 ml) primarily because I knew that it would be a big ask to buy the full size if you hadn’t used it before.  I honestly didn’t know what would happen, but I did say that I would report back, which I am about to do.  And your response was amazing, beyond amazing actually, which tells me everything I need to know about your needs.  And obviously I can’t write these words without maintaining that offer, so Fulvic Face Cream (30 ml) still stays at £10, which is a drop from £15.
Fulvic Face Cream £10 for 30 ml (offer ends at midnight BST, Friday 9 September)

A new product launch, it’s from Aromatherapy Associates and it follows through on their Forest Therapy theme.  So please allow me to introduce you to the evergreen Forest Therapy Candle, which has been infused with fruity Pink Pepper, fresh Juniper Berry and Cypress, blended to reconnect you with nature.  This candle contains natural wax and its soothing scent will fill your space for over 40 hours.  To celebrate this launch, I am going to drop the price of this candle down from £48 to £40 and I will also include the 9 ml Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil with each candle sold.  Bringing the outside inside.  To our bathrooms.
Forest Therapy Candle by Aromatherapy Associates £40 + Forest Therapy Bath & Shower Oil 9 ml (whilst stock lasts)

I think we need to do another Aurelia treat after we sold out of last weekend’s Aurelia offer within an hour of the Weekend Read being published.  I sincerely hope that this treat will last a bit longer, but it is still a limited edition offer.  So let’s do it as I tell you that Aurelia’s Heroes Duo includes two of their high-performance formulations, Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser (30 ml) and The Probiotic Concentrate (10 ml).  Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser contains omega-rich Baobab and Borage Oil to help lock in moisture and The Probiotic Concentrate targets hyperpigmentation, loss of elasticity and hormonal breakouts.  With a value of £70, we are offering Heroes Duo to you for £35.  And I'm making no further comment.
Heroes Duo by Aurelia London £35 (whilst stock lasts)

One last thing before we head into the Saturday only treat.  Derma E have a hair product, it’s called Styling Repair Hair Oil and having realised that I have never written about it, I’ll write about it now.  Rich in Argan Oil, Styling Repair Hair Oil helps boost shine, it will help to combat frizz and it is formulated with a lightweight blend of Vitamin E, Chaga Mushroom, Jojoba Protein, together with nourishing Amla, Coconut and Mongongo Oils.  It will help prevent split ends, dryness and breakage while supporting hair growth, and it will also help to boost colour vibrancy. With a gloss. That’s it.  I’m done.
Styling Repair Hair Oil by Derma E £14 for 30 ml

There are any number of gifts that I want to share with you as the Saturday only treat*, so I am putting them all together and with every order placed for £30 and over, excluding p&p, we will include one of these treats for you.  As ever, these gifts are computer generated so we are unable to fulfil any personal requests, but I will tell you that they span a few brands.

I would just like to end this Weekend Read by saying that we will absolutely hold it together, no matter what life throws at us, and we will stay as close as we ever have been.  We will continue to drink coffee (or tea) together each Saturday morning and I will continue to offer a safe space for those who feel so alone. Having referred to the pandemic and lockdowns in my opening paragraphs, there is one thing that I didn’t write and that is that we sung our way through those awful times. 

Music is a great healer and I absolutely know that many of the songs on our playlist brought a sense of comfort, if only momentarily.  Some of those songs were my choices, some were yours, but together they form the story of our lives over that period of time, so I really think we need to start singing again each week, and if not singing then listening to music that calms our minds. It is a very small thing, but it’s the small things that are often the most important and mean so very much.  We have sung this song before, but can we please sing it together again.  Because ‘God Only Knows What I’d Be Without You’.  From me. To you.  And thank you. 
God Only Knows by The Beach Boys; The VH Playlist

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.