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It is rare that I write a post in the first person or, for that matter, reference my own convoluted dermatological woes. But given that this is a blog, and blogs are designed for confessional writing, I should probably tell you about my chronic allergies – the kind of sensitivities that trigger eczema, angry flare ups and the occasional rash on my face. Not a strong look. Especially for someone that’s supposed to be a health and grooming editor on glossy magazines.

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As the health and beauty industries start to merge, it’s no surprise that skincare now comes in pill form. Formally known as ‘nutricosmetics’, these pills and potions play on the idea of beauty from within. Anti-ageing drinks such as Gold Collagen, Fountain and Pure HA have taken the UK by storm.

As part of the ‘Skincare & Dermatology’ report in today’s edition of The Times, I explore the gut-skin connection, the nutricosmetics market and question whether supplementing has any effect on the skin at all.  You can read the full article online here.

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Earth Day. Our planet needs help.

In spite of some very convincing greenwashing, many of the larger cosmetic manufacturers don’t have verifiable eco credentials or a long-term corporate responsibility plan.

Last year Unilever’s Indian arm, Hindustan Unilever, was accused of dumping toxic mercury from a now defunct thermometer factory in the forest near Kodaikanal, an act  made public by, Kodaikanal Won’t, a youtube video that went viral. Episodes like these, along with an increasing amount of public awareness around carcinogens and toxins in personal care products, are forcing the industry to clean up its act. The most recent industry-wide reform came about when activists campaigned to ban the minute polyethylene microbeads that are found in most big brand face scrubs, toothpastes, body washes and other grooming products.

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Miracle ingredients are a dime a dozen in the grooming industry. And while impossible promises are par for the course in an industry hell bent on making sales, there are a few occasions when a piece of bona fide science rises to the surface, clinical evidence in tact.

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In my latest contribution to Mr Porter, I unpack the most common age-related obstacles for men from bone degeneration and crows feet to follicular mutiny.  Click here for the full article or on the image above and discover five guaranteed ways to look and feel younger for longer.

Women are schooled in the art of stalling time. Given their delicate features and thinner skin, they’re well aware that signs of wear and tear invariably show up earlier for them than they do for men. Our biological points of difference – thicker, oilier skin and a more resilient body – mean that many lucky men enjoy an ageless grace period that lasts up until our thirties.

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Come December ‘how to cure your hangover’ features are par for the course. My latest contribution to Mr Porter goes above and beyond the usual advice, citing everything from cosmetic quick fixes to pre-tox cocktails that will make your liver invincible. Click here for the full article or read an excerpt below.

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Mr Albert Einstein’s most famous theory posited that time is a relative concept, a phenomenon that depends entirely on the perspective of the observer. Time flies when we’re on holiday, but it crawls to a snail’s pace when we’re faced with the task of filing expenses. Ageing, too, is little more than an expression of our personal relationship (psychological, physiological, emotional) with a ticking clock.

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Had you picked up a gossip rag in the last three years, chances are you would have read something about intravenous therapy, the celebrity fad that had, quite literally, penetrated every accessible vein Hollywood.

Performers, athletes and movie executives – the kind of alpha personalities who simply couldn’t afford to fall ill – were reported to have gained extra energy and a bulletproof immune system by way of vitamin cocktails drip-fed straight into their blood system. The practice had become something of a fashion statement, a rather extreme but high-tech way of sustaining the super-human levels of energy that their jobs required.

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Free radicals are one of the primary causes of internal and external ageing. And there’s no way to dodge their production; everything from being good and working out to partying hard t will cause the little blighters to run rampage in your body. Pretty much everything will cause a free radical response of description.

Antioxidants are a great way to stop free radicals  in their tracks..but not all antioxidant supplements are created equal. The advertised  ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) on a product isn’t  a reliable guideline since most trials overlook bioavailability (ingredients are often tested in vitro) and don’t take into account the different kinds of free radicals that need to be zapped.

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It is around this time of year when the guilt of a gluttonous December begins to set in. Pacts are made in an effort to atone for seasonal indiscretions, for the puffy skin, breakouts, bloating and lethargy. We will work out more often, drink less, give up some abhorrent vice or another. Today we are met with the option to ‘detox’ or cleanse – words that were absent from public consciousness five years ago, unless you were undergoing rehabilitation from drug or alcohol addiction.

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On demand services, you may have noticed, are a hot trend in the app world. In an age of instant gratification, we can get anything from a chauffeur to a Chinese meal with little more than couple of swipes. Enter PRIV, an app that brings masseurs, stylists, personal trainers and beauty therapists right to your doorstep / deskside. An ideal solution for the time poor and / or infinitely lazy, the on-demand app (an abbreviation of the word ‘privileged’) sources the best wellness professionals in the business, and allows you to book them by their bio, ratings or availability. The app is currently operating in New York, Los Angeles and now London.

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Screenshot 2014-11-10 19.15.07My latest contribution to Mr Porter is now live! To read the full feature, click here.

Whichever way the precarious life-work scales tip, it’s sleep that always seems to get the boot. We are designed to spend a third of our lives sleeping and yet 43% of the American workforce say they “rarely or never” get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. Thirty per cent of Brits claim they are sleep deprived or verging on insomnia, which suggests that some 19 million of us are not getting to sleep, or, if we are, we’re certainly not staying that way for long.

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jawbone-resized8_redIn a bid to promote a healthier lifestyle – and thus better-looking skin – Lab Series have teamed up with Jawbone, makers of the UP24 band. The Lab Series x Up Challenge, which runs until the end of November, encourages men to monitor their lifestyle choices (sleep, hydration, food choices etc.) via the intelligent UP app. In doing so, Lab series will offer users personaliSed lifestyle tips in return. Countries will be rallied against each other by the UP system, with the most invincible and least sleep-deprived land being the winner.

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