Press London Celery Juice Challenge 

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If you have been on Instagram or recently gone to your local juice spot, then you know all about the celery juice movement. Prior to this new health craze, I only saw celery as a natural stir stick for my Bloody Mary’s and a healthy crisp replacement for my hummus habit. But now celery has been rebranded, and is said to help reduce inflammation in the body, oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and bloating.   

How did this come about? 

The celery juice movement rose to the stardom over the past couple of years, and apparently began with Anthony William, of @MedicalMedium. William has been seen canoodling with stars like Miranda Kerr & Kim Kardashian, who jumped on board with this fad supporting William’s claims of the juice being ‘life changing’. (source)  Although William is not a medical doctor, he claims that the ‘miracle juice’ can help with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.  Williams advises his 1.9 Instagram followers, to drink fresh pressed celery juice every morning on an empty stomach for the best results. 

Should we believe it?

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. There are several doctors and nutritionists that dispute big claims made by celery activists, and warn consumers not to get their hopes up! (source) According to Dr. Liz Cruz, who is Board Certified in Gastroenterology, “…as is with a lot of nutritional type medicine, sometimes studies haven't been done in human[s]…There’s got to be some caution taken with stuff you read”. (source

Harley Street Nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert, expresses her concern in an Evening Standard article, “We don’t really have any evidence to prove these magical claims to celery juice. A lot of the stuff out there is purely anecdotal.” With that said, she also told the Evening Standard that there definitely are pros to the juice, one being hydration. She adds, “…if people are enjoying it, there's no harm in adding a little extra nutrition in the morning."

What are my thoughts?

I personally am sceptical that the celery juice fad is just that, a fad! But more importantly, I also am too lazy to buy stockpiles of celery and wake up earlier than I have to in order to blend the juice and clean the blender. Yep, that is honestly my level of laziness! I also did attempt to drink celery juice once when my very healthy friend Claire insisted, and let’s just say it was a waste of £6.50. With all that said, when Press London  asked me if I would like to take part in their 30 day trial, I did still jump on it! 

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Why have I decided to take part in the celery juice challenge even though the thought of this juice makes me gag a little bit?

There are a few reasons why, given my scepticism, I am still keen to test the benefits for celery juice. The first is out of curiosity! I do have friends (Ksenia being one of them), that truly believe drinking celery juice in the morning has really helped with their energy levels, skin, and bloating. I am also a sucker for marketing, and whether or not it is true, the celery hashtags have had an impact on me. I want in…I want to glow…I want to not look 6 months pregnant at the end of the day from bloating! 

Not to mention, Press London has incredible juices, and even managed to make beetroot taste good (not an easy task in my opinion). So, if there was one brand I would trust to make celery drinkable, it’s them.  They kindly asked both myself and my housemate to try the juices for 30 days. Their instructions were very easy to follow; drink the juice every morning, 30 minutes before drinking or eating anything else. For someone who is not a morning person, even I can do that.I started drinking the juices Friday 31st May, so I haven’t been using them long enough to give any real feedback. But what I can say is: 

1. They taste good for the first few sips when it’s cold, then as the juice gets a little bit warmer (because I am the slowest drinker of all time) it gets harder to drink. 

2. I do look forward to drinking them in the morning, because I walk out the door feeling like I have done something good for my health. 

3. They help with monumental hangovers like the one I had on Sunday, and that is life changing enough for me—shhh don’t tell Miranda Kerr.

4. Celery juice stains on your shirt are more difficult to explain to clients than coffee stains. I have been walking around with drips of the juice on my white shirt for nearly 2 weeks now. 

The verdict is still out, so keep an eye out for my post at the end of June, with an update on how my 30 days drinking celery juice went and my final thoughts! +my roommate Harry’s honest male review! 



Sources : https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/celery-juice-benefits

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/wellness/celery-juice-medical-medium-anthony-william-a4064821.html











Skincare Routine for Pigmentation

We have now explained the most common pigmentation conditions! Now it’s time to discuss the most appropriate skincare routine.

If you have pigmentation irregularities, and want to control them, the best ingredients to look at are Retinol, SPF, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Azelaic Acid & Niacinamide. These ingredients target hyperpigmentation and help stimulate cellular regeneration so that new skin cells take the place of old ones. Activating this process, will help to fade skin discolouration as much as topical ingredients can.

Don’t go crazy with too many ingredients, as they can over-strip your skin and compromise its barrier function. It is really important to focus on one treatment, and use it religiously in order to see if it is benefitting your skin. Remember, that every skin is unique, and therefore something might work for someone else and not you.

MORNING ROUTINE

  • Cleanser - The cleanser here should be chosen depending on the skin type. Something soothing and hydrating if your skin is dry or sensitive, gentle foaming if your skin is oily or combination.

  • Antioxidant - Antioxidants protect skin from free radicals, but also improve the signs of ageing like lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. In fact, Vitamin C is also considered to be a great treatment for pigmentation:  “It interacts with copper ions at the tyrosinase-active site and inhibits action of the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby decreasing the melanin formation” (source). However, bare in mind that you choose an antioxidant that contains magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) rather than ascorbic acid. In fact, its acidity and short shelf life might be irritating for problematic skins.  To make sure that it works properly for pigmentation issues, it has to be combined with liquorice for example.

  • Moisturiser - To make sure that the vitamin C is highlighted, search for a moisturiser that contains liquorice and/or niacinamide. They are great ingredients to fight brown spots. Niacinamide works by slowing down the transfer of the melanin granule to the keratinocyte meaning inhibiting melanogenesis while liquorice “ improves hyperpigmentation by dispersing the melanin, inhibition of melanin biosynthesis and inhibition of cyclooxygenase activity thereby decreasing free radical production”(source).

  • SPF - Often , pigmentation = sun exposure. Therefore, it is essential to protect skin at all times with a high SPF factor that fights UVA and UVB rays. In addition, skin that is more prone to pigmentation should have a top-up SPF like a mist to apply throughout the day. Remember that if the DNA has been damaged, then melanocyte will produce more melanosomes and pigment! (and wear a hat!)

NIGHT ROUTINE

  • Cleanser -  The cleanser here should be chosen depending on the skin type. Something soothing and hydrating if your skin is dry or sensitive, foaming if your skin is oily or combination.

  • Exfoliant - When treating pigmentation is is better to avoid chemical exfoliants (or used only as advised by your dermatologist) as again, depending on the root of the problem, it can either enhance the condition or cause hypo-pigmentations.

  • Retinol or pigmentation treatment (3-4 times per week) - Most pigmentation treatments will contain retinol, as it is an amazing ingredients to manage this condition. Retinol helps to stimulate skin-cell turnover, so dead cells fall off and new skin will rise to the surface. They also help to disperse the melanin in the epidermis, making the pigment less visible over time. Long term, they decrease melanin and dramatically improve skin tone.

  • Another ingredient to look at for pigmentation treatment is azelaic acid. It reduces inflammation and also helps to reduce pigmentation. Azelaic acid is suitable for photo types 4-6, they slow down the formation of melanosomes without any side effects! However, bare in mind that azelaic acid will not help with pigmented skin that shows as freckles, moles etc., but only with post-inflammatory pigmentation especially on acne skin.

  • Hydrating Serum - When using several treatments to treat a certain skin condition, it is important to have a soothing step that will allow skin to rest. This is why including a Hyaluronic acid serum in pigmentation-prone skin is important as it will keep a healthy skin balance and make sure that the enzymatic activity is not impaired.

  • Moisturiser - The night moisturiser will depend on what you are using in the morning and if you included a retinol in your night routine. If your routine includes different active ingredients, it is better to have a simple moisturiser with peptides for examples that will focus on strengthening your barrier function and deliver the right nutrients to the skin. If your morning routine is very simple and you’re not using any retinol or pigmentation treatment, maybe you could include something with niacinamide or azelaic acid in this step!


What's Causing Pigmentation?

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The problem with pigmentation irregularities, is that it is really difficult to find the root of the problem 🕵🏻‍♀️. It can be related to hormonal imbalances, the contraceptive pill, medication, stress, and/or UV damage ☀️ . It could also come from a post procedural treatment such as laser, derma rolling or injections 💉.

Before trying to remove your pigmentation, it is very important to find the root of the problem as it can dramatically help your skin tone🔑. Chloasma  for example (which we will discuss further down), can often fade after pregnancy or when the contraceptive pill is discontinued. This is why before buying multiple whitening and anti-pigmentation treatments try to find out what caused it💡!

Note: the answer might also hide behind your skincare products. The most commonly found and known photo-sensitisers are:

⚡️Fragrances

⚡️Essential Oils (absolutes) : Jasmine, Lavendar, Ylang Ylang oil, bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, juniper, tee trea.

⚡️Antiseptics

⚡️Sun screen (yes you heard us correctly, some chemical sunscreens such as Glyceryl-paminobenzoate are photo-sensitising and cause allergic reactions such as dermatitis).

⚡️Topical acne medication: benzoyl peroxide or isotretinoin

If you are using any of the above products, make sure to use them at night and wash them off in the morning as well as apply a 50SPF sunscreen. The golden rule is to never have them on your skin when stepping out of your house 🏠 - can create unwanted pigmentations, especially if your skin is already sensitised by the sun or is of a sensitive type 🥀 !

Chloasma

or Melasma, your sexy Summer Mustache👨🏻‍💼

  • Origin: Hormonal pigmentation commonly caused by pregnancy, ovarian dysfunction, contraceptive pill and other types of medications.

  • Face: Appears frequently on the upper area of the lip. 

  • Good to know: Those with this skin concern, may be genetically predisposed, as our genets play a major part in the development of melasma. 

  • Top tips: Find the root of the problem. By targeting the root issue rather than the symptoms, this can  dramatically improve the pigmentation. Also, protect skin everyday from the sun. 

With so many amazing SPF ☀️ options today, there is no excuse. Bare in mind, you need to boost your morning sunscreen throughout the day (especially if you are spending time outdoors). Applying sunscreen in the morning is the first step 👏🏻, the second is topping it up until the sun goes to sleep👏🏻👏🏻. Some of our favourite products are SPF mists💨, that help to keep the skin not only hydrated💦, but fully protected 🛡 !

Another great product to have on hand is an SPF Lip Balm 💄 ! They are so important to protect our delicate lips. and also prevent pigmentations from appearing. For those prone to Chloasma and Melasma, we recommend you purchase a simple uncoloured balm and apply it evenly on the upper lip area. Follow with a matifying powder - all hidden without a trace 🕵🏻‍♀️!

SOLAR LENTIGINES

or Irregular Pigmented Patches 🐄 

  • Origin: Repeated sun exposure.

  • Location: They appear in the most sun exposed areas such as the hands, décolleté and face. Don’t think that they will stay as light as they are right now - they tend to turn much darker with age.

  • Good to know: Solar lentigines are most often found in 40-50 years olds, but are more and more present in younger skins due to the increased exposure to the sun.

  • What to do: Prevent them by applying sunscreen everyday.

Warning ⚠️ ! Don’t forget to protect your hands 🤲🏻! This is one of the first parts of the body to show any signs of ageing. We love Shanni Darden’s advice to treat hands like you treat your face✨. She recommends exfoliating this area (Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels are perfect) and protect them with sunscreen ☀️ !

Freckles

 Freckles AKA Ksenia’s Face

  • Origin: Genetics, they are more common in fair-skinned, red or blond-haired caucasians. They are caused by the sun but are not sun damage ! This is why they tend to intensify in summer and fade in winter.

  • Location: Depends on the person. For me, they are all over my most vulnerable sun exposed areas such as my face, shoulders, arms, even my ears.

  • Good to know: If you had freckles when you were younger, we are able to see them in the Complexion Analysis light of the OBSERV - so if you want a little TBT of your skin book a consultation with us. More seriously, those who have freckles are more susceptible to skin cancer and pigmentation grouping on the face.

  • Best thing to do: Protect your skin. Sunny? Sunscreen. Cloudy? Sunscreen. Winter? Summer? Sunscreen!

Eminence Blueberry Soy Repair Masque

If you had to ask me before my switch to natural products what the natural brand that I couldn’t live without was, it would be Eminence. Their products are organic, natural, sustainable & cruelty-free plus have the added benefit of being free of parabens, phtalates, sodium lauryl sulfate & propylene glycol. While you  might think “ugh sounds a little bit too intense for me“, I would encourage you to have a look at their products, especially their masks.

Lifespace Healing x Lion/ne

Are you ready to scale back your 10-step skincare routine?

We are popping up at Lifespace Healing on Talbot Road this May 18th & 19th from 11am - 9pm for a unique 1:1 skin consultation to get your skin ready to glow this summer. This is the perfect time to update your regime and replace those old products that are running low. 

Megan's Rosacea Journey

I have finally managed to find a routine that works for my skin, and although my job requires me to try products frequently, I do so very slowly and one at a time because new products (almost always) tend to trigger my rosacea. Check out this post to find out my essential rosacea products!