Weekend Read 30 September 2023

Weekend Read 30 September 2023

Well, it’s the last day of September and as we roll into October, we do so with a deep sense of togetherness, understanding and enablement, which has always been so incredibly important to so many of us.  If we are to enable each other, we have to do so with the correct intent and that intent is to ensure that we are doing the very best we can to support each other.  This has always been our modus operandi and as I was watching a documentary on longevity recently, ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones’, I totally related to the Japanese tradition of ‘Moai’ and the parallels we can draw in all that we do together.

It is tremendously humbling in simplicity, but essentially Moai is a group of lifelong friends and social support groups that form in order to provide varying support from social, financial, health or spiritual interests.  It has long been known that the Japanese Okinawan people live longer and better than almost anyone else in the world, but there are other regions, such as Ogliastra in Sardinia, where this is also true.  These regions are called ‘Blue Zones’, which is a non-scientific term given to geographic regions that are home to some of the world’s oldest and happiest people and being happy is where I want to throw the focus.

There is some interesting research on this subject and Professor Lisa Berkman of Harvard University, an expert in social connectedness and longevity, published one study where it was thought that loneliness can decrease your life expectancy by up to eight years.  In Okinawa, members of the Moai experience the security of knowing that there is always somebody there for them, and further research indicates that this can lower stress levels by some margin.  The study also found that the type of connection was irrelevant, as long as similar values were upheld, which makes total sense to me.

I believe that in many ways we have created a Moai experience together and however emotional that makes me feel, and it really does, this is such a vital aspect of who and what we all are.  It enables us on so many levels, but most specifically because we have a safe space to share, a non-judgemental space that supports us, often when we need it the most.  There is a purpose in all that we do, and the purpose of these words is to acknowledge and demonstrate the importance of belonging and, in and of itself, the comfort of knowing that we are walking together, no matter what.

On from this, I think we need to put all things into perspective and not for one moment am I suggesting that we are going to become centenarians together, we need to stay real, but optimum health and wellbeing crosses many divides, which is why we must always explore those divides.  Most obviously research, development and clinicals play an extensive and important role in our health and wellbeing, which is why I have been writing about the excellence of NAD+ Generator for the past few weeks.

The longevity debate has been ongoing for many years, but I think it is important to say that our levels of NAD+ decline with age and because this has been linked to numerous age-related disorders and diseases, we believe we should all be taking preventative supplementation, if we can.  Honestly, I don’t want to be writing these newsletters when I am 100, which I promise you is never going to happen, but if NAD+ Generator contributes to the Moai health experience, then I am most definitely up for that.  And I’m most definitely up for the Moai financial aspect of the equation, so I’m taking the price of NAD+ Generator down from £32 to £29, across the weekend.
VH Editorial: Are NAD Supplements Beneficial; NAD+ Generator £29 for 30 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 1 October)

Staying with the financial aspect of Moai, I know how important it is to lower prices wherever we can in order to support you as best we can.  I have always believed that we must share, which is not always easy because there are so many factors involved and it can be quite complex.  There are occasions when we are supported by brands, but there are far more occasions when we are not supported by brands and in this circumstance we choose to share our margin with you. 

I write this in total transparency mostly because it allows enablement, where enablement may be difficult, but I also need to acknowledge your ongoing support and loyalty, which is something money cannot buy.  I have always recognised that, and I think most of you know that I am not seeking market share to bolster our bottom line, because we are never going to achieve that, but what we can achieve together is to continue to recommend best-in-class supplementation.  And staying true to all I believe in, I am dropping the price of Ionicell down from £22 to £19 because Ionicell belongs to each of us and its brilliance for hair, skin and nails is rather renowned.
Ionicell For Women £19 for 60 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 1 October)

With two new launches to write about, I need to acknowledge the importance of relationships before anything else.  It has never been enough to just list brands on our site, anybody can do that and I’m not sure what that achieves in the long-term, other than mixed messages and confusion.  There are of course exceptions, but primarily there needs to be intent, integrity and honesty in our messaging and these next two launches are led by people who have demonstrated profound statements of intent in the work that they do and all they achieve in helping those who need it the most.  Staying with the tradition of Moai, this is where philanthropy and spiritual beliefs become as one.

First and foremost, I will tell you that I spent last weekend with my iS Clinical boys, Bryan Johns and Alec Call.  We haven’t seen each other since before the pandemic, but as is the case with most significant relationships, it really didn’t matter, love and respect transcends time and space.  I have often written about the iS Clinical Cancer Care programme, which is designed to assist with both the physical and emotional challenges of patients dealing with cancer, but there is more to say across this because Alec has just been appointed as Chair of the NBCC Fund Board of Trustees and Bryan is a Trustee.  This is such good news.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (NBCC) is a US based organisation focused on research collaborations, education and training which is governed by a Board of Trustees who generate support for NBCC’s mission to end breast cancer.  Research and development is ongoing and that research includes a vaccine which is generating much interest stemming from early and significant results based upon pioneering research. Because of their sheer determination, I have no doubt in my mind that the mission to end breast cancer will be accomplished.  Of course, nobody knows when that will be, but the boys have promised to stay close with updates.

Having told you one side of the story, here comes the other side and this is where I launch a new product from iS Clinical.  I really don’t need to declare how much I love the iS Clinical products, because I have been doing that for more than twenty years, so of course whenever a new product is launched you absolutely know that it will conform to the highest standards of efficacy.  This is clinically backed, result-driven cosmeceutical skincare at its very best, so please allow me to introduce you to Retinol+ Emulsion 0.3, which I have been testing and using for several weeks.  And all this from somebody (me) who really, really dislikes retinol.

But this is not just any retinol product, it is the first retinol product launched by iS Clinical and that is quite something after all these years.  My initial reaction was one of total horror because of my views on retinoids, so I needed to calm down in order to gain an intense understanding of the difference between iS Clinical’s Retinol+ and others.  And now that I have, I will tell you that the boys have spent several years identifying botanical ingredients that deliver the youth-boosting results of a retinol, while combating dehydration, free radicals and radiation, and the best thing to do here is to let Bryan and Alec do the launch speech:

‘When we set out to create a new retinol-based product, we knew it had to be completely different from anything on the market by not only offering boosted performance in several areas, but the formula also had to effectively address skin concerns in a way that had not been seen before.  In short, we have created an ultra-high performance formula that is clinically proven to effectively address the signs of ageing, while also offering hydration and protection from free radicals’.  Retinol+ Emulsion 0.3 has already launched in the US and the boys tell me the response has been staggering and far above their expectations.  Not surprised. 

As with all retinoid products, it is better to ease your way into this formulation, most especially if you haven’t used retinoids before.  I did this by using two or three pumps three times a week for the first couple of weeks and I have stayed with that, but you can of course increase your application if you so wish.  It is recommended that for optimum benefit Retinol+ Emulsion 0.3 should only be applied at night, with a recommendation to use SPF the following day.  So, perhaps I am eating a bit of humble pie, but this really doesn’t resemble any other retinol product I have tried and that’s enough for me.  It’s certainly not enough for me that the US launched before we did. So I told them, them being Bryan and Alec.
Retinol+ Emulsion 0.3 by iS Clinical £125 for 30 grams; Extreme Protect SPF 40 Translucent £80 for 100 grams

There are moments in each of our lives when we absolutely know that we have met somebody who will help make a difference to others, a difference that will offer solutions to enhance our health and wellbeing.  This happened when I was introduced to Ross J. Barr, there were no products to talk about, nothing to launch, but we both knew we would do something together which would help change the lives of those we could reach. That was the beginning.  The products would come later.  And it all began with the Healing Patch and now the story continues as we launch Ross J. Barr’s Period Patch, inspired by the feedback and success of the Healing Patch.

Covering acupuncture points that have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to treat blood stagnation, inflammation and pain, the Period Patch combines a special selection of herbs to help support discomfort associated with menstruation, such as aches, pains and cramps.  The Period Patch is larger than the Healing Patch and it has been shaped to fit the contours of your lower back or stomach with a slightly gentler adhesive than the Healing Patch for comfort.  For best results, It is recommended that you apply the patch when you feel your stomach cramping, yes that familiar cramp that often heralds the onset of a period.  But there is an innovative and simple solution.  At last.

Although the Period Patch has been specifically formulated to help treat period symptoms, the patch can also be used for lower back pain and because these patches are quite big, they are able to treat larger areas of pain and discomfort.  Returning to period pain, Ross has also developed a supplement that sits alongside the Period Patch.

Blood Support Formula is a food-state supplement to help support the production and health of red blood cells and haemoglobin.  Sitting alongside the Period Patch, this is a gentle, yet effective, supplement which will not cause constipation.  And that’s important.  Actually, it’s all important if we want to heal our discomfort. Naturally.
The Period Patch by Ross J. Barr £20 for Seven Patches; Blood Support Formula by Ross J. Barr £16 for 60 Capsules

I have been writing about oral health for the past couple of weeks, so by way of continuation I will just tell you that Clinisept+ Mouthwash is by far our bestselling product in this genre.  I think most of you will know that, essentially because most of you use it, so let’s take the price of Clinisept+ Mouthwash down from £7.95 to £6. Also, last weekend I wrote about Georganics Dental Floss, so just to say that this Dental Floss is PFAS free.  PFAS is the same material found in Teflon, which is used to coat non-stick frying pans, but apparently it makes floss glide easily, which is why it is found in many dental flosses.  Leaving it there, but Georganics Dental Floss is now back in stock.
Clinisept+ Mouthwash £6 for 400 ml (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 1 October); Dental Floss – Spearmint by Georganics £4.90 for 50 metres

Returning to Japanese traditions, I want to talk about Japanese bath powders because these therapeutic powders are truly wonderful.  There are four bathing powders to choose from, each of which addresses specific needs such as aches, pains and inflamed skin conditions.  I really don’t have the space to write about each of them in detail, so I have linked them all below, although I have to say that the Yunohana Natural Hot Spring Bath Powder is my favourite. I have been using Yunohana since I discovered it over twenty years ago, so as we are celebrating Japanese traditions, I am lowering the price of each of these bathing powders from £18 to £16.
Japanese Bathing Powders by Tribe Skincare

Right, let’s talk about last weekend and let me just say that I am so relieved we went early with Temple Spa’s Truffle Treat, which meant we could fulfil all orders placed even though it rolled into a pre-order status as I thought it would.  The reason I went early is because most of the seasonal gifts I have been writing about, and will be writing about, are limited editions, so once they gone, they really are gone.  So, this is just to say that Truffle Treat is now back in stock and I will do my very best to keep it in stock as long as I possibly can.  And the same applies to Restitude.
Truffle Treat by Temple Spa £12; Restitude Relax & Unwind Shower & Bath Luxe by Temple Spa £20 for 300 ml

So, let’s continue with those seasonal gifts and because I like to be neat, this next gift also comes from Temple Spa and it continues the Truffle story.  Absolute Truffle is a collection of five Temple Spa Truffle products, which include Skin Truffle, Truffle Noir, Eye Truffle, Trufflelixir and Body Truffle.  Each are enriched with black summer truffles, champagne and strawberry extracts, boosted with antioxidants and peptides.  Full details and sizes are on the product page, so all that is left here is for me to tell you that Absolute Truffle is £65 and it has a product value of £145, so you may wish to indulge, if you can.  And 'if you can' is the caveat.
Absolute Truffle by Temple Spa £65

In mode and staying with Temple Spa, this next gift is very cute and having written about stocking fillers last weekend, we may as well continue with the Temple Spa Spa Mini Break set.  The Spa Mini Break collection includes four miniatures from Temple Spa, each 30 ml in size and those miniatures are Good Hair Day, In Good Condition, La La Lagoon and Peace Be Still.  Nothing more to say other than the artwork on all of the Temple Spa seasonal gifts is completely stunning and it blew me away when I first saw it.  I never comment on packaging, but I am making an exception here because it is really beautiful and it deserves a mention.
Spa Mini Break by Temple Spa £10

Finally, a tea, a Ginger Tea to be precise.  Ginger tea has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to relieve a variety of conditions.  It is an aromatic bitter and as such it helps increase the production of digestive enzymes, helping to break food down more efficiently and ease indigestion, flatulence and bloating.  Studies have also shown that it can help alleviate nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.  Containing only pure Ginger Root, Bravo Tea’s Absolute Ginger Tea is rather wonderful according to Shabir, who also recommends it for boosting circulation to help relieve arthritic symptoms.  Sounds amazing if you like Ginger.  I don’t.
Absolute Ginger Tea by Bravo Tea £7.50 for Twenty Tea Bags 

And into the Saturday only treat we go and with every order placed for £35 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically include a body wash (100 ml) from Faith In Nature.  There are three different body washes, Grapefruit & Orange, Lavender & Geranium and Coconut and as I often write, we are unable to receive specific requests because these gifts are computer generated, which is just as well really.  Product details listed below.
Body Washes by Faith In Nature

As we come to the end of another newsletter, I have always tried to surround myself with the people and the brands who have a strong heartbeat and as their hearts beat with the correct intent for our health and wellbeing, we share that heartbeat in order that we may heal and belong.  By this very association, we gain a purpose and an indomitable belief that we can achieve incredible outcomes together, no matter who we are, no matter where we are.  There is a wonderful Buddhist saying, which I would like to share with you and I quote: ‘hope is the one thing that is stronger than fear’ and perhaps this should be our mantra.  For life.

I think I have said all that I want to say, so I will leave you with this song.  I know that it is already on the VH Playlist, but it reflects my thoughts and feelings at the end of a rather long newsletter.
You’ve Got A Friend by James Taylor; 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.