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You’re not going mad – 9 simple steps you can take now to help you heal

This week here in the UK, we’ve seen the important topic of mental health being brought to light by Prince William and Harry.  The Heads Together Charity was the London Marathon 2017 charity of the year. Many of us have experienced, or know someone close to us who has struggled with their mental health in varying forms. I personally think the Royals did an amazing job in helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, by opening up about their own battles following the loss of their mother, whilst being under the scrutiny of the public eye. People are often afraid of opening up when struggling mentally, through fear of judgement, stigma and prejudice. I truly believe we all need to encourage each other to talk openly about how we’re feeling, men, women and our children. Once we begin to open up the conversation, we often find that someone else feels, or has felt the exact same way.  Just knowing this makes us realise we’re actually more than normal and not alone. Not opening up can lead to fear that we’re the only ones who have ever felt this way.  This feeling of isolation and being left alone with our thoughts can cause them to compound.  Thoughts such as: Why do I feel like this? Am I abnormal for feeling like this? Am I going mad? What if they lock me up and throw away the key? What if I never get better or feel normal again? People will laugh at me if they know my thoughts I might not be accepted if I tell people how I feel...

Give Yourself the Gift of Feeling Good

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR 4 WEEK STRALA YOGA CLASS   We all want to feel good and I truly believe, as humans we’re meant to. Life is meant to be an amazing experience and adventure. When we’re happy and relaxed, there’s no better feeling. We’re inspired, creative and intuitive. Opportunities present themselves and life seems to flow with more ease and joy. In today’s society, many of us have become trapped in the mindset that life must be hard to achieve success, or anything meaningful. We’re taught to struggle and push on through to the other side. Many of us wind up burnt out, exhausted, unhappy and disillusioned. As a self-confessed perfectionist, much to my own detriment, I’ve been on the receiving end of severe burn-out coupled with anxiety on three occasions. Each time was gradually a little scarier than the last.  My first episode was in 2002 following emergency surgery and this was when I first began my personal development / spiritual journey. I would devour every book I could read and sample and experience different healing modalities.  I truly think it’s a life long journey.  Who doesn’t want to experience life as fully and joyously as possible? living to their full potential. In 2015 I experienced my third burn-out and this is when I had my biggest lightbulb moment to date. I discovered Strala Yoga and it changed EVERYTHING for me. My biggest revelation was learning that to feel good and achieve success and fulfilment, it actually works the opposite way. We do our best work when we’re relaxed and feel good. We’re more creative, intuitive...

Winter skin saviour recipes

In winter I find soups a great add on or alternative to juicing.  They’re quick and easy to make and can be batch cooked to use for lunch or dinner for the coming week ahead. Soups can be power packed with nutrients and antioxidants, which help the body and mind function to optimum capacity.  The right ingredients can be tremendous in helping the skin cells to function correctly, resulting in brighter, smoother younger looking skin. There is sufficient evidence available now that supports the health benefits of consuming plant based foods.  Juicing and soup making is a great easy way yo incorporate this in to your diet. Below are two really simple go to soup and juice recipes.  Ideal if you’re feeling sluggish, nutrient deprived and your skin is dull, needing a pick me up boost. The soup is packed with good fats, vitamins B, C & E along with anti inflammatory ingredients and minerals.  All essential for great looking skin.  This one in particular was inspired by my yoga mentor and friend Tara Stiles.  If possible try to buy organic ingredients to avoid the consumption of pesticides. Vegetable soup with a kick   Ingredients 1 red onion 2 – 3 sweet potatoes Large head of broccoli 1 can of coconut milk (full fat version) Red chilli flakes Turmeric Salt 1 tbs olive oil Method 1. Slice and Chop the onion. Peel the sweet potatoes & chop into chunks. Chop the head of the broccoli into chunks. 2.  Heat the pan, drop in the oil and fry the onions until softened. 3.  Add the sweet potato and broccoli into the pan....

Begin to create your 2017 the way you want it

At Christmas time I always treat myself to a new journal.  The aim being to set clear intentions and goals for the year ahead.  I found this beauty in a small department stall in my local town and i’m in love with the cover. The strange thing was, a few days  before I stumbled across the journal, the image of the sun in the middle came to me really clearly during my morning meditation. As 2016 draws to a close, I encourage you to take time to reflect on your year. Today is also the new moon (a time to set new intentions) So it’s the perfect opportunity to go somewhere quiet, maybe light a candle, reflect and think about what you desire for the year ahead. 2015 was a pretty rough year feeling wise.  So In January 2016, I set a personal intention to give myself the gift of feeling happy, content and carefree and to experience more freedom & adventure. I also decided to let go of and release what was no longer serving me – worry and anxiety. Looking back it’s being an amazing year.  I’ve achieved most, not everything that I set out to and I feel much more reconnected to who I truly am. Here’s few tips to help you get started in your journal and start creating 2017 the way you want it.  Try not to do this exercise once.  Today is just a great time to start.  Try to implement this practice daily, as you get more specific and begin to chunk down each area of your life. •What dreams came true...

What is Mesotherapy?

I’m often asked, what is Mesotherapy? The term Mesotherapy is also referred to as skin boosting.  It’s where micro droplet injections of Hyaluronic Acid, infused with vitamins and minerals are injected into the dermis of the skin.  This infuses the skin with moister at a cellular level. The results are skin that appears more dewy, luminous, hydrated, firm and radiant.  I like to think of it as putting your active moisturising ingredients under your skin. What kind of skin would benefit? In my experience Mesotherapy is a great skin boosting treatment for everyone.  It’s also particularly great for skin that is looking dull, crepy, dehydrated and sallow. Does it hurt? The procedure is reported to be comfortable.  The needle is only very small and fine and injected superficially. The skin is also prepped with a topical anaesthetic for 20 mins prior to procedure, for added comfort. What is the downtime? The skin can appear red, with very small visible bumps for 12-24 hours. As with any needling procedure there is always the risk of small bruising.  Should this occur concealer can be worn. Results should be visible after 1 week. How often should you have treatment? There are no rules. It also depends if a course of treatments have been carried out or a one off treatment. Following a course of three treatments, results are expected to  last between 3 to 4 months. Which areas can be treated? Face, neck, decollate and hands.  The price of treatment is for one area choice only.  Should you wish to have multiple areas treated, more product is required, which incurs an extra...

My Story – Coming Out of The Spiritual Closet

I’m not sure if you remember? Around three months ago I sent out a quick video blog, talking about the changes I’d decided to make this year and the surprising, yet positive way it had begun to impact on other areas of my life. I was so amazed that at the time I wanted to share it with everyone. Last year from the outside everything looked great. I had a beautiful clinic, my business was growing steadily, I had two healthy children, a loving and supportive husband, but internally I felt terrible! I actually didn’t realise how bad I felt, until one day at work, as I was about to perform a procedure I’d carried out hundreds of times, I thought, I can’t do this anymore! My whole body started to shake and I wanted to sprint home there and then, pull the duvet over my head and cry! The best way I can describe it was like an intense flight or flight moment, only this time there was no tiger chasing me! The whole experience came completely out of the blue and unexpected. Luckily at the time, I was with one of my long-term clients, who I now class as a friend.  She helped calm me down and as she left, I somehow got through the rest of my day. With a full diary of clients booked in for the foreseeable future, I made an appointment with my GP. He advised it was anxiety through stress and offered me medication.  I didn’t take it (but more on that later).  He also decided to run a thyroid function test,...

4 Simple Skincare Steps to Age Proof Your Skin

The most common question I get asked daily is: ‘ I’m confused! What should I be using on my skin to ensure I age well?’ I completely get why people are so confused! Knowing what I know it frustrates me that there are so many mixed messages out there and I completely get that it’s hard to know who or what to believe. Let me make it super simple for you in 4 quick steps. Step 1 – Removing Makeup and Dirt Remove your makeup at the end of the day only. Many people are over cleansing their skin! Over cleansing = over stripping, which causes a break down in the skins barrier and protective mechanisms. This breakdown results in sensitivity, ruddy complexions, skin that becomes confused, for instance too oily or too dry. This can result in outbreaks and premature ageing. You should choose a cleanser that’s helpful to the skin. A cleanser that’s formulated to removes makeup and grime safely, without causing harm. Avoid ingredients that contain mineral oil, fragrance, alcohol and emulsifiers. This can be difficult but my top pick is Dermaviduals cleansing milk. So gentle and supports the health of the skin Your skin should still be clean when you wake in the morning. No need to repeat cleanse, just rinse with plain water to freshen up. Step 2 – Protect This should be your first and one and only step for the day ahead, regardless of the weather. I recommend the use of a broad spectrum UVA UVB protector with an SPF rating 20 to 50. This should be applied to clean dry skin....

Change your morning, Change your life.

    Last week was Mental Health awareness week!  A subject close to my heart. Some of you may know, I’ve been on the receiving end of anxiety and recovery from burnout. I guess triggers are different for everyone and sometimes there’s no trigger or explanation for how you feel. I could sit and list several reasons that I feel sparked my anxiety, but one of the biggest revelations and I believe THE most important first step in overcoming anxiety is to stop analysing and questioning why you feel like you feel and to just let it be. When you’re in the throws of anxiety, it can feel like a scary place.  I used to feel complete overwhelm, more vulnerable, see dips in my confidence, sometimes coupled with a racing heart and shaking. If i ever feel symptoms returning, Instead of being scared, I’ve slowly learned to relax and listen to what my bodies trying to tell me.  Usually it’s slow down, stop thinking so much, have some fun and get some balance! I’ve come to know and accept that it’s ok to not be perfect.  It’s more than ok to take my foot off the gas.  My work won’t fall apart, nothing bad is going to happen if i don’t respond straight away to calls or emails and It’s ok to say no to things I don’t want to do. I’ve realised the importance of connecting face to face with those I love, taking time away from my phone. We’re human beings! We’re meant to be outside in nature amongst the trees, feeling the sun on our skin. We’re...

Are your vulnerabilities being exploited?

I want to share with you four recent stories and how their impact caused me to examine my beliefs and ethics around my work. My client works in a bar. Recently one of the regular punters shouted in front of the whole bar ‘She looks 20 from behind, but just wait till she turns around, it’s a different story!’ I can only imagine how she felt. Relaying her story back, the lady went on to tell me she’s now booked to see a surgeon to discuss having a facelift. This has made me sad, really sad! I could actually fill up whilst writing this. I physically want to hunt this low life down and tell him, she’s not 20! She doesn’t want to be 20! She’s 45 and looks bloody amazing for it! This lady really is beautiful, both inside and out and at 45, in my opinion looks absolutely amazing. I just hope the surgeon sets her straight and sends her home. When someone is happy, outgoing and confident, why do those who feel insecure, or have low self-esteem issues try to make someone else feel the same? The world would be a better place, if instead they could work on their own internal issues, before trying to hurt another. Still the power of his negative words affected her. Then there’s the lady whose husband has had an affair with a woman who happened to be younger. This woman is stunningly beautiful. The affair should never question her beauty, but it does! It’s the first thing most women will question. Lets think about it, film stars who are referred...

Introducing The Perfect C and Perfect Cleanser

In a recent blog, I talked about the Perfect A and its amazing benefits for ageing. click here to read. During the past couple of weeks, several clients and I have been road testing two new products from the Perfect range, The Perfect Cleanser and The Perfect C serum. So far they’re both getting a big thumbs up! But first here’s the low down on The Perfect Cleanser The Perfect Cleanser claims to deep cleanse without irritation, smoothing imperfections, exfoliating and boosting the complexions ability to renew itself, neutralising bacteria and free radicals. I particularly wanted to test this fact, as I’ve always been prone to skin that can easily become congested, suffering terribly in my younger years with acne. My skin can be on the oily side, so if I use a product too emulsifying, my pores can easily become clogged. To this day I always benefit from the light acids in varying skin peels. So how does the cleanser achieve what it claims? The cleanser contains an expert blend of acid and antioxidants. Azelaic acid found in the Cleanser is a naturally occurring acid, particularly useful in helping the skin to renew itself more quickly and reducing bacteria that cause pimples, blackheads and rosacea. The ingredient Willow bark, contains salicylic acid and BHA, a natural exfoliant, helping the skin to shed the build up of dead skin cells, keeping the pore clear. Antioxidants such as green tea, sugar cane, fruit extracts, vitamin E and aloe vera are useful in fighting free radical damage and inflammation, whilst helping to brighten and soothe the skin. I personally love the fact that...

Bringing you the best advanced techniques

Last week I was invited by the global pharmaceutical company Allergan to a two day master class in London. For those of you who don’t know, Allergan are the manufacturers of Botox and Juvederm Dermal Fillers, amongst other areas of specialism.   So why was this such a big deal? I don’t normally blow my own trumpet but it was a real confidence boost to know that out of the UK’s 3500 practitioners who use Allergan products, that I fell into the top 10% of elite injectors who were invited. Like any industry, there are certain people who you admire and look up to. Individuals who are thought leaders and industry pioneers, dedicated to their craft. These people help lead the way, shining the light for others in terms of skills, knowledge and best practice. In the world of cosmetics for me and countless others that pioneer is Dr Mauricio De Maio. Mauricio is a plastic surgeon originating from Brazil, who for the past 20 years has specialised in the treatment and education of non-surgical injectables. He helps other practitioners within the industry by lecturing around the world on techniques for best practice. To be given the opportunity to attend 2 days mastery with him was a big deal. I was fortunate to attend his two-day class last year, so this year was an in-depth follow up. So what did the 2 days involve? Over the 2 days we were introduced to five models ranging in age from mid thirties to mid sixties, all with different facial concerns and needs. We were taught different approaches in facial rejuvenation techniques and...

Introducing The Perfect A

As you probably know by now, I only entertain the use of products on my clients with superior, quality ingredients, that are researched and proven for their effectiveness. With skincare, it’s vital to understand that all skins differ, so what suits one, may not suit another. Some skins are sensitive, others extremely dry or oily. Then there’s acne / congestion prone skin,  skin that’s showing severe signs of ageing, or people with a combination of everything. Today i want to focus on skin that’s aged, showing visible signs of lines, sagging and sun damage. For people with these skin concerns the use of Vitamin A and Vitamin C is a must. The Perfect A cream is superior as it combines both. I want to highlight that Vitamin A comes in various forms and strengths. For instance the cream in your high street, advertising that it containing vitamin A, will be a lot less potent than one bought through a medical skin specialist. Then to take it a step further, one that your medical skin specialist stocks, will be slightly less potent than a Vitamin A they obtain on prescription for you.   Here’s a list of the different Vitamin A derivatives, starting with the most to least potent. Tretinoin, also known as retinoic acid – Obtained on prescription only Retinol – One step down. Often the most potent percentages stocked through a medical skin specialist. Still great but if the preperation is poor quality, then it can become unstable and less effective. Retinyl Palimate. The next stage down, so will take much longer to see results. Often used in creams...

Recipes to get you though winter

As you know, i’m a huge fan of Juices and smoothies for the skin.  They’re a quick and easy way to get a blast of nutrients fast, when on the go.  But when it comes to winter, we all crave warmth and comfort, so i often swap juices for nourishing soups.  Soups are so easy to make and a great alternative to take to work for lunch, or as a quick and easy dinner after work. This week Katie, our talented team member, has put together a soup and two other recipes that she loves making, for you to enjoy! BAKED TOMATOES AND EGGS This recipe is great for Breakfast (if you have a bit of extra time to spare), Lunch, or Dinner. Quick and easy meal with lots of skin friendly ingredients for tea – Spicy tomato baked eggs with pitta bread to dip in! All round great recipe. 1 chopped onion 1 handful of spinach 1/2 handful of basil 1 clove of garlic 1 chopped chilli (optional) 1 tbsp olive oil 4 eggs 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes Sprinkling of feta cheese -Place the olive oil in a frying pan with a lid to soften the onion, basil, garlic and chilli for about 5 minutes and then add the spinach and the chopped tomatoes and simmer until thick. Make 4 slight holes in the dish and crack the eggs into them. Replace the lid on top of the pan and leave to simmer until your eggs are cooked to how you want them. Serve with crusty bread or pitta bread, and enjoy! Tomatoes – Rich in vitamin C & selenium, a powerful skin protector from UV rays. Eggs – Contain vitamins...

Skin Hydration & Glow Juices

I’m still shocked when I come across those who believe that what we fuel our body with, has no correlation with how we look on the outside, and more importantly, how we think and feel on the inside. Every single cell in our body needs to be given the right nutrients to do its job properly, skin cells included! We’ve been born into a world where nature supplies these vital nutrients in abundance all around us. As a skin and health specialist I believe it’s my duty to help you uncover all ways possible to look and feel your best and gain the maximum benefit from your treatments. The treatments I perform are a small part of the process of looking your best. I like to think of them as the final finishing touches, the same way a painter creates a work of art. With my experience I regularly help clients focus on making a shift with their lifestyle.  We all need a little support and guidance from time to time.  For instance, there may be the client who exercises and eats exceptionally well, but battles with stress and anxiety (extremely ageing).  Or the stressed out working mum, who has no time for herself. Self care, really makes THE BIGGEST difference! Everyone will want to know your secret and most importantly, you will look and feel amazing! This week I’m sharing two very simple juice recipes, that literally take 5 minutes to prepare.  For me juicing has always been a great way to get a hit of nutrients, quickly and conveniently, around the million things I have to do....

Struggling to find the right products to get rid of ageing brown spots? You may be making this one common mistake.

Welcome to part 2 on tackling pigmentation. For those who missed part 1 here’s the link covering: What’s pigmentation? Why it happens How to prevent it from happening in the future What clinical skin treatments are available in my clinic. This week I want to show you my top rated products, that, when used in combination with treatments, or on their own, deliver results. The most common mistake people make when buying skincare to tackle pigmentation, is opting for over the counter products as opposed to medical and here’s why! Medical skincare contains ingredients that are way more potent than department store products. This applies to designer high-end brands and regular high street products. Medical strength means the ingredients can penetrate deeper into the skin to bring about change and results. The high concentration of ingredients means that medical skincare can only be sold through a trained medical professional or issued on prescription. The results from medical skin care studies must also demonstrate safety, along with proven results. Over the counter products smell nice, feel great to apply and the packaging is fancy, but that my friends is where it all ends. So lets have a look at my two top medical skincare picks, which cut the mustard when it comes to reducing brown spots. Neoretin. Click here to purchase The Neoretin set consist of two products, a serum and gel cream. How it works The products contain a blend of medical strength retinol, skin lighteners and anti-inflammatories, along with advanced UV protection and moisturisation. This ensures all parts of the melanin production cycle are targeted. The clinical results...

Are Stubborn brown marks and an uneven skin tone ageing you?

Discover what’s gone wrong and how to rectify it. Part 1 Often the first images that spring to mind in an aged skin are wrinkles and sagging, but when the colour and evenness of our skin’s disrupted, it can actually be just,  if not more ageing. Healthy skin should appear even in tone and colour, feeling strong and plump to the touch. This luxury isn’t just confined to our youth. If we care for ourselves properly, healthy looking skin can be attainable through to advanced age. I’ve developed brown marks on my skin, what’s happening? To understand the answer it’s important to understand the vital role pigmentation plays in our skin. Very briefly, the skin cell responsible for pigment is called the Melanocyte. Under a microscope it looks like very much like an octopus. The pigment granule is known as melanin, which is partially responsible for determining our skin colour, whilst serving as a vital part of our skin barrier defence. Melanin production is ENTIRELY dependent on UVR exposure. UV Exposure sets off a chain reaction, stimulating the pituitary gland in our brain to produce a hormone that stimulates melanin. UV Light is energy and melanin in the skin either absorbs or neutralises it to reduce damage. Brown spots basically show us the response UVR exposure is creating on our skin and their appearance can mean too much damage too late. Once the damage is done disorganised chaos begins within the skin cells and normal melanin control is lost. The melanocyte begins to deposit more and more melanin, often passing pigment on to the wrong cells, cells which are...

The 5 Most Common Botox® Misconceptions

1. I’ve had Botox ® but you can still see a line. Gemma’s explanation :  Botox® injections will only work on wrinkles in motion. In other words, lines that appear when you frown, smile, or raise your eyebrows. If you look in the mirror and can see visible lines when your face is rested and not expressing, then you have static lines.  Botox® will not get rid of these type of lines, only at best soften. Gemma’s solution : I’m clear about setting expectations with clients during consultation. This means highlighting static lines, poor skin quality and Botox® limitations. Also the fact that the client may still be able to see the lines after treatment. The key is complete honesty forming a relationship with clients going forward. This means working out a clear treatment strategy going forward. For instance, I may be able to treat these stubborn lines of concern with additional or combinations of other treatments along with medical skincare regimes. Sometimes after having Botox ® treatments over several sessions, static lines soften fantastically. This is where the term ‘I’m having treatment for prevention’ came from. Whilst I don’t advocate treatment at a very young age, treating with lower doses and sensible time frames between each treatment, is an option for those starting in their 30’s. 2. I want to get rid of my lines but don’t want to be frozen. Gemma’s explanation : To soften or erase lines with Botox ®, there has to be some restriction in movement, that’s simply how Botox® works. Although it must be said that Botox® doesn’t actually freeze the muscle. It...

Introducing Our New Skincare Programs

Our new skincare programs bring together our entire range of handpicked favorite products into specific step-by-step home care programmes specifically aimed at delivering visible results when treating your skin concern. These structured prgrammes treat the following concerns: Skin ageing Pigmentation Acne Book in for your FREE skin analysis between the 20th of August 2015 and September 3rd 2015 and receive 10% off all our skin programme prices. Skin Regeneration Programme   The first step in skin regeneration. This programme is clinically proven to deliver significant skin rejuvenation in as little as 12 weeks. Targeting the signs of sundamage and skin ageing. This pack contains the following 3 products, with step by step daily instructions: Endocare Tensage concentrate serum x1 pack (10 vials) 50% SCA snail derived growth factor repair technology. To give the skin an intense rejuvenating boost Retriderm 0.5% x1 An advanced Vitamin A for skin regeneration Endocare Tensage cream x 1 A rich non-oily cream, containing snail derived SCA growth factor repair ingredients. Pigmentation Control Programme Clinically proven to reduce pigmentation in as little as 12 weeks. The ingredients in this programme work together to clear and brighten skin, giving a more even complexion. Working specifically on the melanin cycle, Melanin is what’s responsible for pigmenting the skin. This pack contains the following 3 products, with clear step by step instructions: Neoretin gel cream x 1 A cream gel containing ingredients which tackle pigmentation, as well as high level broad spectrum UVA /UVB protectant. Neoretin serum X 2 A high intensity serum with optimum levels of clinically proven, pigmentation control ingredients. BiRetix spot control programme A 24...

Light Medical Skin Peels

This week I want to show you a video of one of my lovely clients undertaking a light medical skin peel. Light peels are a great way to freshen up the skin, improving radiance, tone and texture. I like to think of them as an essential part of skin maintenance, the same way you would a facial. This is because these type of peels can be undertaken frequently throughout the year. They’re also fabulous for skin that’s prone to congestion, blackheads and spots. Combining light peels with an individualised medical grade skin care routine, will help you to age well for your years. Your makeup will look better when sitting on a smooth fresh complexion and people will comment that you’re looking well. The best thing about light peels is that they have very little down time. Makeup can be applied as normal the day after, yet they still deliver RESULTS! Optimal results show around 4 to 5 weeks post peel, although the skin will look brighter before. I tell my clients to ditch the over the counter exfoliants as they only move the dead skin cell build up around the face, without removing adequately. The link to the video is below, if you feel it would be of benefit to a friend, please feel free to...