Inspirational Women

Nanny James is one of those quiet, unassuming ladies.  She wears no makeup and has always dresses simply but she is a total force of nature.  Whatever she turns her hand to she has done to the best of her ability and often becomes an expert.  One of eight born, she grew up during the First World War.  Her father was a military man so spent many years as a child travelling with her family.  After the death of her father, when she was still young and being one of the eldest children, she helped bring up her younger siblings in a bohemian, Birmingham, working class household.  Their mother Nan Evans wheeled and dealed on the local market stall selling clothes and rags to bring in what she could.  My Nan took to the stage as a contortionist, where she met my grandfather.  They married and while he spent time away during the Second World War, brought up three young babies in not much more than a bedsit, she became a wiz at the art of being thrifty, granddads old trousers would make 2 perfect skirts for the girls! 

She has experienced life with all its ups and downs.  They started a small fishmongers business and through shear hard work and determination grew that business into a very successful and well-known local trade.  She was behind the scenes, at the business helm, keeping a tight reign on things.  She is non-judgmental, a fantastic listener and has always provided wise practical advice.  For me a great ear and support when I was juggling my young family and suffering from postnatal depression.  As a life-long committed vegetarian her ethos was always to seek out health food shops and often would take her grand children with her.  Her nut roasts and cake baking are legendary.  As a keen knitter she was prolific but did not always produce the most wearable or desirable items for a teenager - lemon coloured tank tops are difficult to pull off by any standards.  Her interests and skills seem endless…crocheting, jam making, an accomplished painter, sculpture, bee keeping and rearing and farming chickens, grew fruit and vegetables to name a few.  If she wanted a cupboard making she went to night school so she could do it herself.  

There has been or will be a “cant”, rather a “you just watch me”.  

One of the worlds Little Red Hens and my most Inspirational Woman by far.

How to get glowing skin at home

Glowing, fresh skin is something we would all love to have, its one of the most common requests I get within my treatment room.  I hear a lot of comments such as. "My skin feels dull, I look tired all the time, I would just like to look fresh." Here are some of my top tips to help you achieve this at home and whats best to leave to the treatment room. 

Top tips to get glowing skin at home

The holy grail of glowing skin is to cleanse morning and night. Throw out the face wipes and use a proper facial cleanser! Double cleansing in the evening, the first to remove makeup, the second cleanse is to massage the facial muscles and work the cleanser. 

Add in your Vitamins to your skincare via serums - serums are super charged products that can enable key ingredients to be in formulas which can penetrate further and have more of an impact. Vitamin C is vital for skin health and glow and if you’re not pregnant Vitamin A also available from plant form will brighten a improve skin cell turnover

Face Masks - the power house of your at home routine, fruit acids, enzymes, witch hazel, white clay will all bring a glow and radiance to the complexion. I would recommend using a face mask twice a week on most complexions and apply while in the bath or after a hot shower when the pores are open

Ditch the latte’s, that much caffeine and milk in one almost pint size cup, just not good to get that glow!

Add in a green juice daily, not necessarily a detox but a daily part of your life routine 

We like it hot but the skin likes it cold too. Switching the water temperature to cold in the shower or after you’ve cleansed your face has so many skin radiance benefits, fresh blood flow, therefore fresh nutrients feeding the skin, and warm water on its own is just drying to the skin.

Leave it to the Pros 

Peels - these can be skin changers; peels can be scary yes some of down time and increase the level of skin peeling but this is for rejuvenation, they stimulate your natural water production, cell turnover, balance pigments, sebum production, calm inflammation. The benefits of the correct peel can be fabulous. 

Nutrition advice- yes read blogs, magazines and books, but if you’re suffering from more specific skin, health, gut, hormonal concerns get some professional advice and guidance. I regularly see clients with skin issues who I then may refer to a nutritionist, it can be life changing for not just a glowing skin but radiant whole health.

Technical facials - the benefits of combining some technology can be face changers, stimulating skin cells, muscles, collagen production in a way you just can’t recreate at home. 

Massage like a pro- yes please massage your skin at home to get more out of your at home routine. If you book in for a for facial the massage a well trained therapist will be able to carry out should be totally tailored and suited to your skin and facial needs to make a huge difference, supporting the lymphatic system for extra detox and drainage for radiant skin to natal face lift techniques. 

What is a moisturiser

Most of us have one, or use one but what exactly is a moisturiser and why do we need one?

A moisturiser is an ointment, cream, lotion or serum designed to prevent dryness, to maintain oil and water levels in the skin. Some studies have shown that those who have moisturised daily over 8 years did actually age less than those who didn’t! 

Why do we need a moisturiser? 
A little bit of technical talk about your skin 
The outer layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum, its about 15 layers of cells thick, a little bit like a brick wall, with lipids, amino acids, lactic acid and urea making up the cement between the keratinocytes which make up the bricks. This outer layer has natural Moisturising factors NMF which help to maintain hydrated even when the environment is dry, it helps along with other things prevent bacteria entering the skin. Also sebum production is really important in maintaining out skin hydration. So applying a moisturiser will help maintain this balance of hydration and protect the skin. 

keeping the outer layer of the skin  (Stratum corneum) hydrated is vital for healthy, hydrated, comfortable flexy skin. 
Things to avoid - Hot showers, foaming cleansers, bath soaks, shower gels, soap and detergents wash away this barrier. So the use of a moisturiser to help restore this is vital not just for hydration but our total barrier. 

Whats your moisturiser made up from?
Your moisturiser is usually made up of a balance of three types of ingredients. They all have different concentrations of each of these types of ingredients which make it suitable for different skin conditions. So using a moisturiser which is too top heavy in one aspect may cause your skin to become overly oil, so selection is key for the best results for your skin. 

1. Occlusives, this is like a full barrier, the oil part such as castor and jojoba oil
2. Emollients are softening, soothing and smoothing by filling in the gaps 
3. Humectants, these protect and maintain moisture by drawing water from its environment, such as glycerol and hylauronic acid. They are all intended to increase moisture in the skin, increase our natural Moisturising Factor and help maintain the skin barrier. but they achieve this in very different ways. 

DIY Goats Milk face mask

Aside from being the internationally celebrated human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney has cultivated her own personal style and identity long before meeting her husband and to top things off she has flawless skin to which Amal gives thanks to her Lebanese roots. 

Many think that the Lebanese secret to dewy skin lies with the use of DIY Goats milk face masks! The lactic acid in goats milk works as a gentle exfoliator and it’s also packed with essential fatty acids, which makes it super-moisturising and a potent weapon against skin inflammation. Then there are the precious skin minerals and vitamins, including vitamin A – essential for repairing damaged tissues and preventing premature ageing. Finally it has strong anti-bacterial properties that make it great for controlling acne.

Goat’s milk is favoured over the use of cow’s milk because the former has a unique pH that’s very similar to the pH of the human body, which means it’s less irritating and more easily absorbed by our skin. With in a professional facial using a lactic acid mask or peel can be a skin changer and restore hydration and radiance. 

For those who are intrigued with the goats milk.. Try the following at home 

Lebanese apple & goat milk face mask

1 green apple
1/3 cup goat’s milk

1. Mash the apple, then blend it with goat milk to form a paste.
2. Apply this paste all over your face and neck; let it sit for half an hour, then wash off with plain water.
3. Follow with your regular moisturiser.
4. Glow.

After a few uses of the above you may notice your skin look notably smooth brighter and sexy. 

Good Moringa

As a superfood, Morninga encompasses a plethora of high level essential skin benefiting properties, including mega antioxidant levels, and a huge number of essential vitamins and minerals not often found in one supplement.
Vitamin A which is absolutely key to anti-ageing, healthy cell turnover and skin health,
Vitamin E, essential for retaining moisture and protects against free radical damage, so a great protector in UV damage ideal to take as a regular daily supplement as a sun damage preventer.
B3 Niacin key for the skins healthy barrier protection, keeping moisture in and irritants out. Its been known to be helpful in the treatment of sensitive skins and rosacea, and also help minimise dark spots
B2 Riboflavin is essential for normal healthy cell growth and repair so healing and helping reduce scaring in the skin and known to be good for eczema conditions.
Zinc is essential in wound healing and healthy cell renewal, a key aspect nutritionally for acne sufferers who are often deficient in this.
25% protein including all nine of the essential amino acids, makes Moringa an amazing skin nutrients. Amino acids are essential for the connective tissues and keep the skin smooth,  elastic and strong, they are the building blocks,  the part of the cells which gives it its structure. With 20% of the human body being made of protein this level of amino acids in Moringa is fantastic for the skin. Amino acids are essential t wound healing, so cell turnover, and tissue repair as well as the removal of waste deposits so key in keeping the skin fresh and clear.

Add to your juice or smoothies for extra skin support or sprinkle on your morning breakfast. 

To Try - Moringa & Avocado noodles 

This can be eaten raw because of the courgette in place of pasta or sautéed if you want something warmer. 


1/2 tsp Moringa Green Powder 
2 courgettes 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 1 avocado Juice of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil

With a spiraliser, spiral your zucchini into noodles. If you do not have a spiralizer then peal the courgette using a vegetable peeler into fettucini strips. 
To make the sauce blend all ingredients together until smooth. Mix with the courgettes and pomegranate. You can also add some crushed walnuts or pinenuts 

Avocado for skin (Abigail James SkinFood)

These green bulbous creamy textured fruit might just be the ultimate skin friendly nutritious treat. When included in your diet as part of your regular meals it can do wonders for the complexion. 
They contain over 25 vital nutrients including vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K) and
minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.A great source of antioxidant carotenoids such as alpha carotene, beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. These free radical quenching compounds protect your skin from environmental damage that leads to the visible effects of premature ageing. Vitamin E is another mega skin antioxidant which is fat soluble so used by the body in a different way, It is great at assisting the healing process and research has shown vitamin E can reduce the effects of UVA and UVB radiation from sun exposure on skin.

One of the main avocado skin super benefits comes from their high oil content This monounsaturated fatty acid maintains moisture in the epidermal layer of your skin, helping to make it soft and hydrated. Omega-9 is key in regenerating damaged skin cells and reducing facial redness and irritation and one of the building blocks of healthy skin. 

I personally love adding to juices and smoothies for a natural creamy taste and texture, or simply smooshing up with a fork adding some lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper and spreading on raw crackers or corn thins for breakfast 

Facial Fitness

One of the most common requests I get from clients is “I want to look good for my age, not fake but healthy looking” Along side your home care and regular facials another addition to looking healthy and great for your age is facial fitness, also called Face yoga and facial fitness, loved by a number of celebrities.
This is a set of exercises, stretches and massage moves to help improve facial contour keeping the muscles firm, toned, and healthy as we would the muscles below the neck. The muscles on our face are no different to the muscles on our body, gravity and age are all going to have an impact as well as lifestyle. The face has the addition of holding so many emotions and expressions, you can look at someone and immediately see if they are stressed, angry, happy. 

Facial fitness can easily be fitted into your daily routine, whir your cleansing or in the shower or bath. It may take a little practise but over time the benefits can be felt and seen. Its good to start in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing, 
Its not a magical cure to prevent ageing, but you can over time achieve a smoother, firmer facial contour, it can also improve your mood and energy levels. Don’t expect miracles, you don't go to the gym once and expect the body of a goddess and rresults are not instant, but stay with it, after a few months you should be able to see a difference.