World Mental Health Day!

In support of the World Mental Health Day, it is important to reiterate what mental health is and who suffers from it. Everyone has mental health and needs to take care of it. Good mental health is feeling and reacting in the ways you need and want; bad mental health is difficult or at times makes it seem impossible to react and feel in the way that you want. Without support, bad mental health evolves, and can eventually become depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and/or many other mental disorders.


   Whilst we, we need everyone to be at least aware that within their environment everyone has a mental issue, the only difference being, others can cope and others can’t. Since that is the case, it is vital we eradicate the suffering, this can be done by showing concern to our family, friends as well as our work colleagues. We can show concern by listening to why someone’s behaviour has changed, why someone is suddenly sad all the time, isolated, always angry, eating less or depressed, generally feeling or reacting in a negative manner.


    In our clinic health questionnaires, we tend to dig in for more information beyond the reported problem, to try to uncover the underlying cause of their problem. At the time of the consultations, we tend to ask further questions which usually unmask information which is vital and at times ignored as it may seem irrelevant to the patient’s reported problem. In the time we have with the patient, it is important for us to build a rapport and allow the patient to give us their health history, including their psychological issues, which isn’t always the easiest information to gather from a patient.


    Questions asking the severity of sleeping problems, irritability, nervousness, depressive mood, low motivation, lack of energy etc. are important for us to know, to help support overall health.


    When patients walk in and come in with a complaint of chronic fatigue, their primary concern could be frequent headaches, disturbed sleep patterns, muscle and joint pains, and want these symptoms immediately reversed, however, it is vital that they are aware that we know and care they deliver their mental state history. We may not be Psychologists/Psychotherapists/Psychiatrists but we certainly refer to these experts if needed, but most importantly we care and listen. After all, your mental health can directly affect your physical health.



Mental health support does not necessarily need to be clinically treated, it is important that if you or someone else needs help, talk to someone you feel comfortable talking to about it. In a clinic setting, one should feel much more comfortable to talk to clinician as it is our role to support patients’ wellbeing.


For further information or if in need of mental health support please follow the link below:


https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/

Bridal skincare, create your 6 month plan

 
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It seems we can’t turn anywhere without seeing the gorgeous, glowing, happy face of Ms Megan Markle. With her wedding date set, plans are well and truly in full swing to make sure the big day runs smoothly for the Worlds eyes to see and we’re pretty sure that Megan’s skin is at the top of the list.

Brides all over the nation waited with baited breath for someone to leak news on Megan’s skincare routine before the big day and when her facialist revealed tips on what to do we suddenly saw a surge in client questions about acid peels, microdermabrasion and facial yoga. So here we incorporate frequently asked questions and advice you on when to pencil it into your diary.

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This is the time to get any invasive treatments out of the way giving enough time for your skin to heal and allowing long term results to show, this means fillers, botox, chemical peels etc. Don’t forget, some treatments don’t show optimal results immediately, rather it takes up to 3-9 months to see the best results. A perfect example of this is RF, although you do see some immediate results such as brighter and smoother skin, radio frequency is a treatment which constantly works over time, boosting collagen growth and in turn tightening and lifting the face or body.

If you suffer from acne, you’ll know this is something that can flare-up at the worst of times. Acne can be caused by many things, from congestion, pollution or excessive oil secretion to stress and raging hormones. For those who have tried everything and hit a wall, you should consider a hormonal skin consultation with a doctor to get to the bottom of the flare-ups, sometimes a cream or facial just won't do it, you may need a prescription.

You should also start to consider taking supplements such as Biotin B7 and food rich in vitamin A, not only do they play a role in giving you energy for physical activity but it also helps to give healthy hair, skin and nails. At the clinic, we call B7 the “H” vitamin, stemming from the German term “haar and haut”, which means “hair and skin” and is a staple addition in our IV cocktails. Consider your supplements well in advance of your wedding, at least 6-8 months early or as soon as you can - something is better than nothing.

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You are what you eat, so try to stay away from processed foods or takeaways. You’ve probably heard this a million times but eating the right food before and after a workout can make a massive difference to how your body uses and stores energy. At the clinic, we don’t believe in low fat, calorie constricting or fad diets. We should all be eating like our ancestors, a paleo lifestyle which is balanced and sustainable. With will power and consistency, 5 months is enough time for anyone to get their body into a much better condition. Do not crash diet or workout excessively at the gym it can have the opposite effect, keep your mind and body healthy by eating good fats, doing low intensity, endurance and strength training to tone and sculpt.

Now is the time to banish chicken skin (keratosis pilaris), stretch marks and cellulite. There are so many treatments out there to help with all your body woes. Two of our favourites are the Body Buff and Peel and Secret RF needling with radio frequency. The body buff and peel is exactly what it says on the tin, your body is dry brushed and then using glycolic peel all the dead skin is removed. This is especially wonderful for brides who’ll be applying henna on hands, legs and feel. The peel does not requires prep and ideally it should be done once a month before your wedding, 5 treatments later the skin on your body will be in a much better place.  Secret RF is the creme-de-la-creme of treatments, it works with monopolar radio frequency

+ two dozen needles to treat everything from sagging skin to stretch marks and can be used anywhere on the face or body. Results for Secret RF, much like the RF only improves over time and had a week of downtime so best to do it in advance.

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Please do not shave! Whatever your option (waxing, IPL etc) make sure you look after the skin pre and post treatment with healing products and following all of your practitioners home care rules. Hair removal has a knack of causing ingrown hairs, pigmentation and scars so we recommend always keeping a Healgel Intensive at hand. Removing hair is a necessary evil, so make sure you’ve pre-booked all your appointments to ensure a hair-free-honeymoon. 

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Now that you’re well underway with correctional treatments, some of which should already be making a huge difference to your skin. Speak to your therapist about creating a protocol of calming and hydrating facials for the next 3 months. Hydration is the key to beautiful skin, with or without makeup it’ll show. Not only do you want to look great on your big day, you also want to look great during your honeymoon and limit time wasted applying makeup. Your therapist should look at your bare skin under a magnifying glass before they recommend a protocol and it should be tailored to your skin needs. The best way to make your facials last longer is to follow up with good products at home, our therapists always recommend using the very best quality serum you can afford, it is the most powerful product and the one thing you should spend good money on.

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It is highly likely that you would have already booked your makeup artist, but if you intend to do your own makeup as Kate Middleton famously did on her wedding day, make sure you have the right stash of products. Thanks to all the beautifying procedures you've carried out your skin will probably not require any super heavy concealers or foundations on the day. 

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Now you genuinely need to start unwinding, let your bridesmaids do all the running around whilst you figure our the best brow shape, kick back and enjoy a Pedicure Plus that'll remove everything and keep it off for a month. This is an upgrade on the usual pedicure, it doesn't compete with nail bars or chiropodists but it's an in-between option.

PRP Therapy - not just a fad facial.

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PRP has a long history within the medical field, it was first introduced in the 1970's for sports medicine, orthopaedics and dermatology to heal muscle, tissue and skin damage and even in the present day, it has been reported that Rafa Nadal used PRP to repair his knee injury. It has since been used by some of the worlds most beautiful people, to stop age in its tracks. However, it was thrust into the spotlight by non other than Kim Kardashian when she took her famous selfie lying on a bed, face covered in blood (we'll get to this part later) and there has been a buzz around this intriguing facial ever since. Kardashian, along with Rupert Everette and Bar Rafaeli are all reported to big big fans of the treatment and all have remarkably smooth, youthful skin. 

Not known for the faint hearted mainly because it requires blood being drawn and injected back into your skin, it is certainly not a fad and certainly for those serious about their skincare.
The most comforting fact is knowing that chemicals or synthetic substances aren't being injected into your skin, on the contrary, this technique relies on your own blood; packed with rich platelet cells, growth hormones and a number of proteins such as cytokines along with other bioactive factors which have healing components to repair damage in the body. What better way to improve your flaws, naturally?  

To put the science plainly, blood is drawn from your arm, spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the rich platelet. The rich platelet is then extracted and subdermal injections are made into the area of concern or used with microneedling for doubly whammy rejuvenation. Once the PRP enters the area in need of healing, it clots and begins to regenerate bringing with it all the benefits of anti-ageing - stimulating the growth of collagen and healthy skin cells.  When combined with microneedling, hundreds of micro sized injuries are made to the skin, the aim here is to kick start your skins healing process on the surface and at the same time the rich platelet is smothered over the area to sink deeper and cover more surface. 

Our verdict? If you're squeamish about what you've read so far, you'd be forgiven for not including this strange method in your skincare regime, but take it from us, it's not as painful as it looks and considering the benefits it will be worth biting the bullet for. Clients see a significant improvement in skin tone after just one session, for more complex concerns such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, acne scarring and hair loss you would benefit more from 3 or more consecutive sessions. If you do decide to have this treatment, our best advise is to be patient as some of the results can take a couple of sessions over a period of weeks, so don't be disheartened if you don't see the desired immediate results.

 

Spotlight: Men's Grooming

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If your significant other is helping himself to your moisturiser with annoying regularity, its time to get him educated. Send a link of this piece so he can read it - its for his own good.

Men are getting into skincare in a big way, and thats why there is a sudden fluctuation of tremendously fresh, glowing men bouncing around the City. This could be for various reasons, maybe its the amount of advertising being bombarded on them recently, maybe it's the rise of the 'selfie' or maybe they're just born with it. Who knows?

What 's true is that while some men are confident enough to buy their own products, others are more than happy just to use their partners. You may be wondering, why not? Well, women's products are designed for women - and spoiler alert guys, your skin is not the same as a girl. 

Dr Harpal explains: 

First of all, men have more testosterone so this contributes towards oilier skin which has some positives. The plus sides of oily skin is the ageing skin manifests longer than it does in women, the off side is that they'll be more prone to acne and during adolus and hormonal surge we'll see acne resulting in pitted scaring. We see quiet a lot of men with pitted scarring at our clinic than women. Also note, their skin is thicker, they have hair growth on the skin which causes excessive irritation and damage. They can get folliculitis from poor shaving habits similar to when women shave the bikini line. 

Although something is better than nothing, your complexion needs its own formula. But, we understand that you'd rather be watching the FA Cup Final, so we've got you covered. 

Get a bi-monthly facial

The 'steam facial' usually seen at the barbers only has 3 steps, all too often this is comprised of steam, extract, moisturise. Whereas in a 'true' facial, the whole process has 7 steps: cleanse, steam, extract, mask, massage, tone, moisturise. Every step is essential and has its purpose to ensure you have instant yet long lasting results. We like to keep things as simple as possible and for this reason we have 3 staple facials:

1. Detox Lymphatic Facial.
Ideal for: everyone, especially those who shave a lot, spotty, large pores, dull skin. 
(30 min or 60 min) a hard working treatment to unclog every single pore, the therapist will even show you how much gunk she extracts from your face!
2. Oxygen Facial
Ideal for: just before a big event, this is the full works and suitable for all skin types. 
(45min) with luxury in mind this facial hydrates, plumps and leaves you glowing for up to a week. Best just before an important event.
3. Anti-Ageing Facial
Ideal for: early 30's-mature skin. Targets all signs of ageing.
(60min) this one turns back the hands of time and restores your factory settings. Powerful ingredients to banish fine lines and sagging. Ideal for 

Our facials are as bespoke as a suit from Saville Row, we understand that your skin can change from time-to-time and so, we have created mini-enhancements to add to your facial for maximum results. Check our facial page for more info on enhancements.

Keep these staple products in your bathroom

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NeoStrata Exfoliating Wash. Good for: ingrowing facial hairs, dull, oily, acne

This lightly exfoliating wash helps enhance exfoliation and prepares the skin for treatment. 

The key ingredient is Polyhydroxy acid to enhance exfoliation and remove debris from pores. This uber simple wash doesn't dry the face and is suitable for all skin types.

 

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Healgel Intensive (the green one)
Good for: post shaving, reduces ingrowing hairs, wound healing

Keep this next to your shaving kit. Healgel products have been designed by British plastic surgeons for wound healing, so it's perfect post shave. Soothes, repairs and protects the skin and can help with a wide range of skin care concerns including scars and eczema so feel free to use it on the body too.

Healgel Face (the pink one)
Good for: lazy days, slap it on all over the face and you're good to go
Packed with naturally derived minerals and omega oils to help "rescue" skin from the daily rough and tumble. Don't mistake this with Healgel Intensive, whereas the green one targets specific problem areas, the pink one is a lightweight formula for all-over-use. 

Healgel Eye (the blue one)
Good for: the morning after the night before, bags, dark circle

Whether you're working too hard or partying too hard, the results can often show around your eyes. This gel-like formula cools, lifts, brightens and hydrates the skin around the eyes for that instant "awake look".

If all else fails, get an IV drip!

The Gluten Free Guinea Pig Column: Choc-banana bread

 photo by denieca o'neill

photo by denieca o'neill

Following on from our recent blog about your gluten free diet and what happens when you consume gluten, I thought it best to write something to let those who are GF know that all is not lost. 

I have been gluten free since December and I can tell you it is hard work! I love pasta, pizza, croissants etc and it has been so difficult to cut things about because the GF substitutes in shops such as the Genius Bread or Madeira loaf are just not the same and then I ultimately slip up and have a cookie. 

I like to keep my eye out for gluten free recipes and see what options I have for when I need a sweet treat. This weekend just past I found a recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread, so I thought why not give it a go and I'm so happy I did. The bread stayed really moist, you could taste both the chocolate and banana and it was simply divine (if I do say so myself). I had friends over that same night and didn't tell any of them it was gluten free and they honestly could not tell the difference. I would definitely recommend to any of those who want to make something nice and easy.

Full recipe:

  • 3 Bananas (mashed)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 cup of Dark Chocolate

Simple Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together as above until you have a paste (except the chocolate)
  2. Cut chocolate into little squares, and melt, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour in a small amount of the banana mixture with the chocolate and mix throughly.
  3. Pour in half of the banana mixture into a greased loaf pan, then pour in half of the chocolate mixture. Pour the rest of the banana mixture then the rest of the chocolate on top.
  4. Use a knife to slightly mix the two together to create a swirl. Bake for 45 minutes on 150 degrees.

See below link to site for direct instructions ** remember to exchange the flour for gluten free flour.

https://www.facebook.com/officialgoodful/videos/1732756990128093/

please note: this is a personal recipe and may not cater to everyones taste or dietary requirements.

City Skin Defence

Suddenly, everybody is talking about nitrogen dioxide and free radicals in the air and the direct effect it has on our skin. I, for one work in the City of London where the air is thick with harmful pollutants and I do worry about the how it can have a significant impact on my skin, not just on the surface.
The tipping point was in January 2017, when pollution readings taken from Brixton, Oxford Circus, Kings Road, Chelsea and Kensington High Street showed that nitrogen dioxide levels had breached the EU annual limit for an entire year - in just five days. Since then, MP's called the crisis a "public health emergency" whilst the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics have reported around 40,000 deaths each year are due to the exposure of pollution.

Something that is becoming harder to miss is the effect it is having on our skin, although pollution particles cannot be seen or smelt, women living in urban and built-up areas are seeing more visible signs of ageing, higher rates of dark spots, pigmentation, imbalance in pH levels and adult acne. According to the Journal of Dermatology, environmental pollutants increase age spots by 25% around the cheek area as a direct result of nitrogen dioxide concentrations. So with all this bad news in mind, we now know that air pollutants can deplete antioxidant defences and perhaps even degrade proteins in the skin. 

While politicians debate and universities research about how to clean up the air, there are some everyday simple things we can do to protect ourselves, on the surface and from within. Here's our breakdown of treatments and products available to help defend your skin against the baddies in the air. 

1. Antioxidant Defence Serum by NeoStrata

  • Concentrated SynerG Formula containing 8 powerful multi action antioxidants is designed to combat oxidative damage and protect the skin from premature ageing
  • Patented Bionic and Polyhydroxy Acids trap oxidation promoting metals and help prevent sun-induced cellular damage
  • Citric Acid, Lilac, Green Tea, and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extracts work together to neutralise free radicals and help preserve healthy DNA, lipids, and cellular membranes.

2. Antioxidant Booster Serum by Intraceuticals

  • Revitalises and balances dull, stressed skin with exceptionally powerful natural antioxidants sourced from the Australian Rainforest.
  • Clarifies and refines the appearance of skin prone to blemishes, visible pores, sun damage, uneven texture or deep wrinkles.
  • As a booster serum, it can be used in conjunction with your own daily serum or as a stand alone. It's also very pocket friendly.

3. Glutathione supplements or intramuscular shots

  • This works from the inside, if you're taking injections you'll only need it once fortnightly/monthly depending on what your practitioner tells you. Or opt for supplements.
  • Plays an important role in detoxificationreactions, protecting the cells from harmful effects of unwanted chemical substances, such as free radicals.
  • With high cysteine concentrations in the cells, explaining the protective effect against unwanted foreign chemical substances.
  • It helps with cell growth, wound healing and immune function.
  • Plays pac man and eats up free radicals which are created during exposure to hot and cold environmental temperatures and UV light from the sun or toxicity. There are others factors such as exhaust fumes, pollutants for those in the City and for those who travel a lot by trains or planes where cabin fever can effect the air (re-circulated air).

4. Harpal skinCity Detox Lymphatic Facial 30 & 60 minutes

  • The lymphatic system is designed to remove waste products and toxins in the body. 
  • We use a lymphatic drainage suction devise to draw out impurities. 
  • Deep cleanse, steam, extraction and mask with the full hour facial.
  • Your therapist will even show you the suction devise at the end to prove how much grime can build up in your pores! This is a very satisfying facial, consider your skin well and truly cleansed.

5. Heliocare 360 Fluid Cream SPF 50+

  • Protect, protect, protect with spf
  • Very high photoimmunoprotection with an innovative ulra-light fluid cream texture. 
  • Its exclusive combination of advance filters and BioShield System provides broad spectrum protection against UVA, UVB, IR-A and Visible Light.
  • Enriched with Fernblock FC for powerful antioxidant activity, and actives which repair sun dama

6. NeoStrata Resurface Ultra Daytime Smoothing Cream SPF15 10 AHA

  • Correct the visual signs of photo-ageing and prevent future damage with a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen in this antioxidant-rich day cream.
  • Ideal daytime exfoliating moisturiser helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • It contains three potent antioxidants, including MMP inhibitor Lactobionic Acid, plus broad spectrum sunscreen, to help preserve collagen and maximise protection against oxidative damage. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) exfoliate to visibly smooth skin. 

7. Intraceuticals Bespoke Facial with Antioxidant Booster

  • There is no greater satisfaction than having serum sprayed onto your face with pure oxygen, truly the essence of a city smart facial. The Antioxidant Booster will bubble wrap your face against the elements, smooth, brighten, refine.
  • Low molecular hyaluronic acid is infused with an antioxidant booster to leave you looking and feeling clean and radiant for up to a week.