beauty-resolutions

sun protection

I Will Wear SPF Every Day All Year Round

We may not have the sunniest weather here in the UK, but wearing an SPF is still essential to prevent premature ageing of the skin. In fact, UV rays are believed to be the single largest contributor to skin ageing. Consequences of UV damage include sunspots, spider veins, redness, dry skin and wrinkle formation. Unfortunately, the damage to the ozone layer means that the harmful UVA and UVB rays are penetrating through more easily, and this happens even in winter when the sun isn’t shining. A minimum of SPF 30 should therefore be worn every day of the year to keep your skin looking young and healthy.

I Will Detox my Products

Like food, cosmetics and beauty products have use-by-dates and keeping them beyond this means they won’t be as effective and may even be harmful. Check the packaging and replace anything that has passed its recommended lifespan, this is especially important for face creams and anything that touches your eyes such as eye creams and mascaras. Anything that smells, has separated or changed colour should also go. Don’t forget to regularly wash your make-up brushes as well. Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, and you will be spreading these all over your face every time you use them! Ideally they should be washed in warm water with a gentle washing solution every couple of weeks and then left to dry naturally. Facecloths should also be washed daily as these will contain bacteria and fungus, which thrive in damp conditions.

radiance bag

facial cleansing

I Will Not Sleep in My Make-Up

One in four women sleep in their make-up, which leads to pores becoming clogged and clogged pores can easily become inflamed causing breakouts. In addition, not washing your face before bed means that bacteria and harmful pollutants will be left on your face overnight. Disposable face wipes are not much better as they will only remove half the dirt, so save these for emergencies only. Instead use either a cleanser or face wash suitable for your skin type and a muslin facecloth, which is excellent for removing dirt and gently exfoliating your skin at the same time. Once your face is clean, run a muslin cloth under very hot water to open up the pores and give your face a mini-steam – it feels extra clean after doing this. Its good to then run your cloth under cold water and gently blot your face to close the pores again.

 I Will Exfoliate Regularly

Twice weekly exfoliation is one of the best ways to brighten your complexion, sloughing off dead cells to reveal radiant skin beneath. The top layer of cells of our skin are constantly being shed and replaced by new ones. New skin cells are made at the bottom of the epidermis and travel upwards to replace the old ones, as they are shed from the surface. Exfoliation will speed up this process by getting rid of the old cells, so they can be replaced by brand new ones. Over exfoliation on the other hand is damaging to skin, so choose gentle products with fine exfoliating particles or fruit enzymes if you have sensitive skin, which remove the dead cells by dissolving them.

weekly-exfoliation2

soft spring makeup

 I Will Update my Make-Up for Spring

Heavy foundations may be useful in winter, but a lighter approach is better for spring, so switching to a tinted moisturiser or BB cream is perfect at this time of year to achieve a more natural look. The ‘barely there’ look is in this season for make-up, but does involve applying make-up cleverly so it looks like you are not wearing any! A light cream blush swept over cheeks will give you that natural rosy glow and highlighting products are also useful for this look. A slick of clear or tinted lip-gloss finishes the look. A spring shade of colour on your nails will give your look an instant boost. Springs hottest shades are neutrals like beige and peach, metallics such as rose gold or silver and pale greens.

 I Will Drink More Water

Your skin needs moisture to function properly and to feel and look healthy. In fact, if skin doesn’t get enough water it can produce more oil to try and compensate, which can lead to breakouts. Dehydrated skin also tends to be dull looking and wrinkles appear much worse when the skin is dry. Staying well hydrated helps your skin look radiant, helps prevent acne and helps the body to flush out any toxins. When we drink plenty of water, it also helps the body rid itself of excess sodium and ironically reduces water retention. Fluid retention actually occurs when the body is short on fluids, as it hangs on to the precious water it does have – this can make your skin look puffy and can make you feel bloated.  Aim for 1.5-2 litres per day plus plenty of high water fruits and vegetables.

dirnking water

facial massage

I Will do Daily Facial Massage

Facial massage increases circulation to the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage to help flush out toxins. This can help reduce puffiness, especially around the eye area. It can also improve skin condition by helping to smooth out fine lines and make skin look tighter. It will ensure your products are absorbed well and penetrate more deeply into your skin. Facial massage is also a great way to de-stress and help you wind down before bed. After cleansing, you can use your usual night cream, a serum or a facial oil to massage into your skin. Be gentle but firm, never pull or stretch the skin and be extra careful around the eye area where skin is delicate. Start with your neck as this is where the lymph nodes are located, so you will encourage lymphatic drainage by massaging here. Next massage your cheeks, around the nose, your forehead and temples, and finish with your eye area. If you don’t have time to do this every day, a few times a week will still give benefits.

I Will Look After My Hair

The condition of our hair has a big impact on how healthy we look and also how old we look. Healthy, shiny hair can take years off your appearance while nothing is more ageing than dull, dry looking hair. Avoiding using harsh chemicals on your hair is important to preserve its natural beauty. Most shampoos contain sulphates to make them lather, but these strip the hair and scalp of the natural oils that keep hair healthy. Instead opt for gentle, sulphate-free shampoos to preserve those protective oils. Avoid washing hair every day if possible, as this will have the same effect. Blow drying is another cause of damage to hair, so if you can allow hair to dry naturally then do, and stay away from straighteners and curling tongs which frazzle hair.

drying-hair

sugar

I Will Quit the White Stuff

Sugar is one of the most ageing foods out there. Naturally occurring sugars found fruit are fine, it is the refined, processed sugars that should be avoided found in fizzy drinks and processed foods. Refined sugar raises blood sugar levels, which increases the formation of aptly named AGEs (advanced glycation end products). They are formed in the body when glucose (sugar) reacts with body tissues, including collagen and elastin, causing cells to become stiff, lose elasticity and be more prone to damage and premature ageing. A high sugar diet has also been shown to increase oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which contribute to ageing and disease. In addition, sugar provides no nutrients, just pure energy or ‘empty calories’. Either cut right back or go sugar free if you can.

 I will Feed My Skin from the Inside

A diet based on plenty of fruits, vegetables and other plant foods will provide antioxidants to protect your skin against environmental damage. Oily fish provide anti-inflammatory and moisturising omega-3 fats, while nuts, seeds and avocadoes will provide further healthy fats and plenty of skin saviour vitamin E. To give your skin and body an extra boost of nutrients that cannot be obtained from your usual diet, include 1 Beauty & Go beauty drink as part of your skincare regime.  Beauty & Go contain collagen and hyaluronic acid to help combat signs of skin ageing, along with MacroAntioxidants which provide extra powerful and longer lasting protection against free radical damage. In addition, each drink contains a specific combination of superfoods, herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals to address your individual skincare requirements.

beauty-and-go-ice

bye-bye-cellulitis

Cellulite affects a staggering 80-90% of women. It affects the slim, as well as the overweight, most commonly appearing on the thighs and buttocks, and sometimes on the stomach, breasts and arms. It’s no threat to health, but is certainly upsetting and embarrassing and may be an indication that your lifestyle could be healthier. Unfortunately, there are no miracle creams or treatments that will shift it, but making some positive changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a big difference. Now is the perfect time to start making these changes if you want to be dimple-free by summer.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is simply fat which looks different because of the way it is arranged. It occurs when fat cells under the skin expand and begin to protrude through the layers of connective tissue that lie on top of them. What happens is the enlarged fat cells push upwards and at the same time the long strands of connective tissue pull down, creating an uneven surface, with the fat cells bulging out like stuffing in a mattress. This leads to the characteristic ‘orange peel’ dimpling of the skin.

legs-cellulitis

Causes

The causes of cellulite are complex, being down to mixture of many factors. Some of these we cannot alter like our genes and age, but others we can modify such as diet and exercise.

  • Being female is the single biggest risk factor, with only 10% of men getting cellulite vs. 80-90% of women! This is because men’s connective tissues and fat cells are arranged differently; they have a kind of ‘scaffolding’ holding everything in place.
  • Ageing is next, as the strands of connective tissue become thicker and less elastic as we get older, and at the same time the skin gets thinner making cellulite more noticeable. Body fat percentage also rises with age.
  • Genes play a role, with cellulite severity running in families. If your Mum suffered, it is more likely that you will.
  • Hormones are believed to affect the development of cellulite, especially the female hormone oestrogen.
  • Gaining weight tends to make cellulite worse, although slim people can still be affected.
  • Inactive lifestyles and lack of muscle tone will increase cellulite and also make it appear worse.
  • Poor circulation and inadequate drainage are thought to be involved, so anything that prevents this such as tight fitting clothes won’t help and anything that encourages drainage such as movement and drinking plenty of water should help.
  • Stress is believed to make cellulite worse and is known to lead to the breakdown of connective tissue.

Your 5-Step Cellulite Busting Plan

melon-juice

1) Diet

In terms of diet, losing any excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise will have the biggest impact on cellulite. This will usually reduce the appearance of cellulite in most people, but may not get rid of it completely.

Melon juice extract was found in a recent French study to reduce cellulite on the thighs. 40 Healthy women aged 31 to 50 were given melon juice extract for 56 days, and a significant reduction in cellulite on the thighs was observed, as scored by a physician. Although this study used a concentrated extract, it certainly won’t hurt to include some melon in your regular diet (2).

In addition, cutting out or down on sugar and processed foods and limiting salt intake are all sensible measures you can take. Base your diet around whole foods with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables; forget 5-a-day and aim for a minimum of 7 servings. Also include wholegrains, nuts, seeds, pulses and good quality proteins such as eggs, fish and poultry in moderation. Eating a plant-heavy diet can also reduce inflammation in the body, which is believed to make cellulite worse.

drink-water-hydration

2) Hydration

Staying hydrated by drinking water and eating foods with high water content will help. Aim to eat more high water fruit and vegetables such as cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, lettuce and spinach. Also include vegetables with a diuretic effect such as asparagus, fennel, beetroot and artichokes.

As well as being good for drainage and flushing out toxins, water can help you lose weight! Simply drinking 500ml of water half an hour before meals helped dieters lose an extra 1.3kg in 12 weeks in a 2015 study (1). This is also much better than drinking water with meals, which can dilute digestive juices, making them less effective, so we don’t digest our food as well.

keep-in-fit

3) Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best weapons in the fight against cellulite. It cannot necessarily cure it, but can reduce its appearance. Resistance leg exercises, such as squats and lunges are especially good. Cellulite forms in between muscles, so by building more muscle there is less space for it to take hold. These exercises will tone up these areas as well, making the skin look firmer and tighter. Exercise also boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage. Anything that increases circulation in the legs and thighs is good such as power walking, running, swimming, cycling or yoga.

body-brushing

4) Body Brushing

Dedicating just five minutes per day to dry skin brushing can make a noticeable difference to the appearance of cellulite. Skin brushing boosts lymphatic drainage and stimulates detoxification, plus it gets rid of dead skin cells. Using a natural bristle brush, before your morning shower, work in long strokes towards the heart. Start with the feet and work up the legs and thighs and bottom. Then brush the hips, tummy and finally arms, again towards the heart. After your shower massage a body oil or lotion into your skin and give any problem areas a good pummel, to boost circulation even more. This works better than most creams and is a lot less expensive.

gym-detox

5) Collagen

A recently published study found that collagen peptides can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, by helping to restore the normal structure of the skin. Women aged 25-50 receiving collagen peptides daily for 6 months, experienced a reduction in cellulite scores of 9%. (3)

Including 1 daily Beauty & Go drink will provide collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid, which help improve connective tissue strength and elasticity. Beauty & Go Detox also includes a range of purifying ingredients to support natural detoxification processes in the body and reduce water retention including cucumber, dandelion, spirulina and artichoke. Other ingredients include broccoli, spinach, apple, mint, nettle, olive fruit and resveratrol from grapes.

References
  1. B. Lemaire , S. Le Quéré, G. Simoneau, D. Lacan Étude clinique d’une SuperOxide Dismutase de melon naturelle et bioactive (SOD B Dimpless®) sur la cellulite. Phytothérapie. 2016,14:23-28
  2. Parretti HM1, Aveyard P2, Blannin A3, Clifford SJ1, Coleman SJ3, Roalfe A1, Daley AJ1. Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep;23(9):1785-91
  3. Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. Dietary Supplementation with specific collagen peptides has a body mass index-dependent beneficial effect on cellulite morphology. 2016. J of Med Food. Epub.

bloating-balloon

Bloating is one of the most common digestive complaints, and all of us will have experienced it at some point. As opposed to simply feeling full after eating a large meal, with bloating your tummy feels very full, distended, tight and uncomfortable and it can be accompanied by tummy ache. The way it feels and looks is distressing if you suffer regularly and it may be an indication of an underlying imbalance or the need to improve your diet. Here we look at the most common causes of bloating and next week in PART 2 of this special post, we will look at the perfect solutions.

Common Causes of Bloating

1. STRESS

When we are under stress our body diverts its energy towards dealing with the perceived threat or cause of that stress. Traditionally, for our ancestors this would have involved something like an attack from a wild animal. The body therefore primes us for fight or flight (to fight the animal or flee to safety), diverting energy towards the muscles so you can run, the heart to pump more blood around the body and so on. It has to get this extra energy from somewhere and so it shuts down what it deems to be any non-essential functions for the time being. This includes the digestion (and the immune system, which is why we are more likely to get ill when under stress).

This may have been advantageous when stress was short-term event, but nowadays with stress often a part of our every day lives, we can end up with an under functioning digestive system. This can result in not absorbing as many nutrients from our food, not digesting food thoroughly and you guessed it niggling complaints such a bloating, and even IBS (Irritable bowel sindrome).

eating

2. SLOW DIGESTION

When things are not moving through as quickly as they should be, it will almost definitely cause bloating, possibly accompanied by headaches, fatigue and general feeling of toxicity. Common causes are simply not getting enough fibre in your diet and dehydration. Another cause is poor gut motility, which is when the muscles of the colon are not contracting well to push everything through. Lack of activity will make this worse as movement helps the muscles contract.

egg-meat

3. LOW STOMACH ACID

If you feel full after eating only a small amount of food and find your food is ‘repeating on you’ in the form of burping, you may not be producing enough stomach acid. Stomach acid is vital for digesting protein, so another clue is finding animal protein like meat and eggs difficult to digest. If we don’t produce enough stomach acid, we get incompletely digested protein passing into the intestines where it ferments producing gas and causing bloating, inflammation and pain.

4. LOW DIGESTIVE ENZYMES

Enzymes are produced by the cells lining the stomach and intestines and are another essential part of the digestive process, breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Stress, infections and food intolerances can all contribute to low levels of enzymes and the consequences are similar to that of low stomach acid – incompletely digested food particles (this time fat and carbs as well as protein) passing into the large intestine. Here, once again they cause irritation, fermentation and bloating.

guten

5. FOOD INTOLERANCES

Food intolerances are not as common as widely believed, but there are some people who do genuinely suffer. Most people from Asian descent for example, lack the enzyme needed to digest lactose in milk. An intolerance is not the same as a food allergy, when a serious and immediate reaction occurs after eating problem foods. With an intolerance, it can take up to 48 hours to feel the symptoms which are more insidious, including things like fatigue, bloating and headaches. The most common food intolerances are to wheat, gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) and dairy.

stomach-hurt

6. IMBALANCE IN GUT BACTERIA

A healthy colon is populated with billions of bacteria, which are support our health and digestion. When these bacteria become out of balance and harmful bacteria are allowed to thrive, we get problems. This is another top cause of bloating, which in this case will occur especially after eating. Your chances of a bacterial imbalance are increased if you have taken antibiotics, which unfortunately kill the good bacteria as well as the bad ones.

Wedding reception

7. OVERINDULGED?

Simply eating and drinking too much can lead to a bloated uncomfortable stomach the next day. Although this is not a health problem in itself, it can still feel unpleasant and is good to get back on track as quickly as possible. Next week will include my simple recovery plan for the ‘day after’, to help you do just that.

Next up: how to reduce bloating and get a healthy, happy, flat tummy back.

The health of your skin is very much dependent on the nutrients it receives and feeding your skin from within is one of the most effective beauty ‘treatments’ you can do! A healthy, balanced diet based on whole, unprocessed foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, nuts and seeds, beans, eggs and fish […]

This week I am going to give you some great advice about how to detox for great health and beautiful, clean and clear skin. First, let’s begin with some background information on what detoxing really means and how it can benefit, you, your skin and your health. It has been estimated that humans consume more […]