Author Archives: beautyhaven

  1. Everything you need to know about Retinol.

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    What is Retinol?

    Retinol is a topical derivative of vitamin A that exfoliates the skin, regenerates cell production, and boosts collagen production over a matter of hours. This multitasking saviour will also help your skin better absorb any other products you apply afterwards such as serums, night creams and overnight masks.

    Why should I use it? 

    Retinol is known to:

    • Promote a healthy dermis and epidermis.
    • Assist with collagen and elastin production.
    • Help strengthen the skin barrier.
    • Minimise the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation.
    • Improve the appearance of breakout-prone skin.

    If improving acne scarring is high on your skincare agenda, using retinol will speed up cell turnover to help heal the skin, whilst exfoliating the outer layers, preventing pores from clogging, and reducing breakouts. If you are concerned about skin ageing, Retinol helps with that, too – it stimulates collagen and blood vessel production, helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation spots.

    How do I use it?

    Environ’s philosophy is to ‘start low and go slow’. If the skin is prepared with low doses of Vitamin A its less likely to react to a higher dose because the vitamin A receptors are restored and over time, can absorb very high levels of Vitamin A safely. Once the skin is comfortable on medium to high levels of Vitamin A Retinol 1 can be introduced, moving on over time to Retinol 2 and then Retinol 3.

    Retinol should only be used during your night-time routine, a couple of times a week (increasing to every other day, if needed, once acclimatised). Start by applying a pea-size amount all over the face, followed by your moisturiser.

    Remember to apply an SPF each morning as retinol can cause photosensitivity and harshen the impact of UV on your skin. The effects of retinol build over time and take roughly three months to start working, (keep the faith if you don’t notice results straight away).

  2. Vitamin D, the sunshine Vitamin.

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    Vitamin D is essential for the formation and maintenance of strong bones, teeth and muscles as it assists the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. Vitamin D is produced under the skin, it is a fatty substance called ergosterol and occurs when we are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is our sunshine vitamin because Vitamin D production is stimulated by the ultraviolet light our skin receives from the sun. Almost a quarter of the UK population will have low levels of Vitamin D during the months between October and March.

    Therefore it is vitally important during these months to top on our food rich in Vitamin D.

    Eat up on your Vitamin D foods.

    • Oily Fish, salmon, sardines, pilchards, kippers, herring and trout
    • Cod liver Oil (check first with doctor if you are pregnant)
    • Some breakfast cereals, infant formula milk and some yoghurts have added or are fortified with Vitamin D
    • Egg yolk, meat, offal and milk
    • Kelp or seaweed

    However you may not get enough Vitamin D from the sun if you use too much sunscreen or sit in the shade. We need to expose our bare skin to the sun for short periods of time. I like to walk my dog in the early morning sun for 30 mins only, for me that is my daily sunshine vitamin.

    The amount of Vitamin D made in the skin depends on how strong the sun is. You will make more during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. But saying that, strong sun does burn the skin, therefore ir is very important to find the balance between making Vitamin D and staying dafe in the sun. Take care not to let the skin go red or burn. Either cover up or use a screen.

    What are the true benefits of Vitamin D

    Vitamin D helps the immune system to fight infections.

    Vitamin D encourages cell differentiation and slows down the rate at which cells multiply, or proliferate.

    Vitamin D is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which may also contribute to its effectiveness in reducing some types of muscular pain.

    Optimum levels of vitamin D protect against diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Diabetes is usually associated with very low levels of vitamin D.

    The pancreas also needs sufficient vitamin D in order to make and secrete insulin.

    Getting enough vitamin D helps blood sugar control. It may also help prevent serious diabetic complications.


    A lack of vitamin D, known as vitamin D deficiency causes the bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities. Vitamin D is essential in bone growth. Its main role in the body is to increase the flow of calcium into the bloodstream. It does this by promoting absorption of calcium from food. Without vitamin D, calcium would not be absorbed into the body.

    The main symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are aching bones, weak muscles, high blood pressure, tiredness and depression.

    Interesting facts! Did you know the amount of Vitamin D your body requires is different for certain groups of people, meaning some require more Vitamin D than others?

    For example:

    • Pregnancy
    • Darker skin – the darker the skin the more sun is needed to receive the same amount of Vitamin D as fair skin.
    • Elderly people have thinner skin and so the skin cannot produce enough Vitamin D
    • Housebound and people who work nights and sleep during the day will be deficient in Vitamin D.

    Do we need Vitamin D supplements?

    All babies under one should be given a daily supplement. Children over one and all adults should consider taking a daily supplement of 10 micrograms, especially during the Autumn and Winter months. During these months we receive Vitamin D from our bodies stores and from food sources but the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) report says these are insufficient to keep up Vitamin D levels and they recommend the only way to ensure a healthy Vitamin D status is to take supplements.

    A Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D per day throughout the year, for everyone aged 4 years and above. Although further in the report from SACN they did not take into account any sunlight exposure whilst making recommendations due to the number and complexity of factors that affect skin synthesis of Vitamin D.

  3. What is in my Makeup Bag Right Now?

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    Hello lovely readers! What is in my makeup bag? I’m glad you asked. Of course I use a range of skin care products, that have been discussed in pervious blogs, but this post is focussing on makeup. Everyone has their favourite brands and types of makeup, liquid or powder foundation, cream or pressed powder blush, all I ask is that you won’t judge me too harshly if mine aren’t the same as yours. These are my staple pieces that I go to time and time again. Maybe you’ll even get some ideas to try news brands or styles yourself!

    Let’s start with the base: foundation. It’s important to find what works best for you and your skin type. My personal preference for foundation is liquid- I find that powders don’t work for me at all! For my skin type- oily/combination- to find an oil free foundation is a big deal for me and my face. Do not worry, I have found THE foundation. Nars’ Velvet Matte Skin Tint Foundation has it all: it’s oil free, minimises the appearance of pores and imperfections and has shine controlling components! It glides on like a dream and feels so light on the skin. It’s the bees knees. This range is worth looking into if you want a soft to the touch, airy but long lasting foundation.

    Next up, a reliable blush. Stay with me on this one, it may seem weird as I explain but trust me, you need this! The blush living in my makeup bag as I type this, is Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince blush. Some of you may have heard of this, their Frog Prince lipstick took the internet by storm last year. The rest of you may be asking “why is it called Frog Prince?”, well allow me to tell you. Basically, it’s green. Remember when I said stay with me? Much like the Frog Prince in all of the stories, this blush transforms from its natural deep green into a custom pink especially for you! This creamy blush reacts to your skin’s pH and adapts to a shade of pink that suits you. Pretty cool, right? It feels great on as well and gives you a really natural, dewy finish. It’s actual fairy tale makeup- can it get better?!

    Now for the eyes. I have Urban Decay’s Shadow Box in my makeup bag at the minute, it has such a great mix of shades. I really enjoy trying out different combinations with some of the more vibrant colours in this palette. For my everyday look I blend Sin, Baked Cowboy and Smog, to get a natural look with some shimmer to give it that extra oomf! There are great jewel tones in this palette, emerald greens and deep purples- some of the jewelled shades may need to be built up to get a really striking colour but it’s worth the effort. This is a great palette if you’re trying to dip your toe into Urban Decay’s makeup scene.

    Mascara can make or break your look, if it’s done right then it accentuates all of the right things but if it goes wrong, it can look a little spidery and messy. Chatecaille’s Faux Cils mascara is saving me from spidery lashes! This mascara isn’t heavy or overbearing, it highlights the length of my lashes and makes me seem that 10% more awake than I usually am at 8am.

    My makeup is usually pretty basic, I don’t get fancy with contouring, I don’t “bake”, but I am a sucker for a good highlighter. Benefit’s Dandelion Shy Beam is perfect for me. It isn’t a big flashy highlighter; with it’s nude pink sheen, it gives me that extra glow where I need it without being over the top for every day. It also has that amazing “Dandy Dandelion” scent from that benefit range: bonus!

    I’ve saved my favourite until the end: eyeliner. I’m currently using Jane Iredale’s Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner and I love it . Jane Iredale know their stuff, it’s amazing- so silky smooth and goes on like a dream! Once it’s on it stays where you put it, no smudging and it looks fabulous with a sparkly eye for a night out. Sometimes I use it on its own for a day to day look, if I want to feel a little more put together. Now if only I could get that perfect flick…

    That’s all folks. The entire summary of my little makeup family living in my makeup bag. If you decide to try any of the makeup that I use, let us know in the comments! Happy shopping everyone!

  4. Don’t limit powerful anti-ageing ingredients to your face.

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    Did you know Vitamin A/ retinol works wonders for the skin on the body as well as the face?

    Retinol is more than just a skincare trend. It is Environ’s cornerstone ingredient. When applied on the body, retinol body lotions can even out skin tone, moisturise, and address crepe-iness. 

    When you start using retinol-containing products, begin with every other day or two.Retinol thickens the lower skin layers, but does thin out the stratum corneum ( the outer skin layer) this gives the skin a dewy glow, but can also increases the risk of sunburn, so it is even more important to use an SPF daily.

    When seeking out body products containing retinol look for products with hydrating ingredients such as coconut oil, argan oil, and/or hyaluronic acid to offset the dryness.

    Environ A,C & E Body oil contains the high concentration of Vitamin A / Retinol as well as vital antioxidant vitamins. This is a light, dry oil that absorbs and nourishes deep into the skin. leaving it feeling silky smooth.

    *I’d recommend this product for dry, premature ageing and sun damaged skin.

  5. Clear Start – Great Skin Should Run In The Family

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    Clear start is a skin care line for teens and young adults developed to both prevent and treat symptoms of mild to moderate breakouts and acne.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin concern in the USA, affecting 40 to 50 million Americans.  For many people, acne begins during the teen years: the AAD states that by the mid teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne, often severe enough to require medical attention.  Acne is broadly defined as one or more recurring acneic skin blemishes per month.

    Clear Start now replaces Dermalogica’s previous product line in the teen category, Clean Start.  The new acne line addresses teen skin and young adult breakouts more directly than the prior concept, with more explicit product-names and product reformulations of the entire line-up.

    Created by Dermalogica, the number one skin care brand worldwide, to treat younger, break-out prone skin.  Potent active ingredients and gentle botanicals deliver your clearest, healthiest skin ever.

    Clear Start takes a three-level approach to clearing breakouts through combination therapy, combining the best of nature’s botanicals and the science of skin care.

    1. unclogs pores

    2. break up bacteria

    3. control oil

    These products deliver real results.  And those results speak for themselves.

    Be nice to your skin today, and it will behave better in the future.  With Clear Start, the future can start as soon as NOW!

  6. Skin changes during the menopause.

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    From puberty to pregnancy, we are aware of the effects of hormones on our skin. Skin changes during menopause include dryness, increased UV sensitivity, hormonal breakouts, pigmentation spots and dull, exhausted-looking skin are just a few of the effects fluctuating hormones may have on our complexion as we journey through perimenopause – the phase which may last for months or years leading up to the time when periods eventually cease.

    Every woman’s menopause experience is entirely unique (from hot flashes to insomnia, anxiety to joint pains and mood swings…) so the way your skin reacts will be too.

    Taking care of your skin during menopause is really all about hydration and reintroducing ingredients to boost collagen production. As you age, it’s important to adapt your skincare routine to suit your skin needs

    Top Tips

    Vitamin A repairs skin and stimulates collagen production. It’s safe, and as long as the treatment you choose doesn’t dry you out, it’s fine to use it for an extended period of time. Hyperpigmentation can sometimes be more of an issue during menopause because skin is thinner, and you’ve had more chronic sun exposure at this point. You might have had lots of tans or burns in the past, so you have a lot of melanin in your skin and get darker more easily. Vitamin A can help with this, too.

    Use a really good, rich moisturiser. Something with hyaluronic acid will be particularly helpful at easing the dryness that many women experience with menopause.

    It’s a good idea to do a gentle at-home peel twice a week to remove dead skin cells, brighten, and allow products to penetrate the skin more easily.

    Unfortunately, facial hair can start to appear due to the imbalance of oestrogen and testosterone. Electrolysis is the best treatment for this.

    Vitamin D is a very important supplement, and we often underuse it. It is important for keeping the skin firm, supporting its repair mechanisms, and activating its anti-microbial systems.

    For Advice on Environ Vitamin A Products or ANP supplements please get in touch or book a virtual consultation via our home page.