Beginning 2018 on a healthier note is less challenging when you have the right advice. ORLA NELIGAN meets the health and wellbeing pros who share their knowledge and wisdom to support, educate and empower you to pursue a healthy new year.
THE SKIN EXPERT: Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd
“We’re working our way through the four-year waiting list as quickly as we can,” notes Jennifer Rock, who launched online consultancy, The Skin Nerd in July 2017. If you’re lucky enough to have been top of that waiting list, chances are you’ll already know Jennifer and her team of “Nerdettes” are some of the most sought-after skin specialists, with a client list that spans the globe, all of whom tune in via Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime to get her advice. Her “do it properly or don’t bother at all” premise extends to her Cleanse Off make-up removal mitt, which launched a year ago and is now stocked nationwide. Jennifer has won countless accolades and lectured across the world. “We respect the simple fact that the skin is an organ. Your skin is a jigsaw puzzle and your skincare should address that, by working on it from the inside, outside and from the top.”
Be a dreamer and a doer. If you find something you’re passionate about, go for it; it’ll feed your soul. I try to be grateful for everything I have, especially team nerd.
Jennifer’s Wellness Rules
The Skin Is An Organ
It needs care, attention, protection and sometimes medication.
Bin The Wipes
Due to alcohol and fragrances, they dry out the skin, which accelerates the ageing process, and they don’t cleanse skin properly.
Education Is Key
Skin health is achieved by treating from the inside with supplements, on the outside with skincare, and on top with the best make up, and it is paramount that you understand why you’re doing each step. I believe the only way to start working towards changing the skin is through a consult.
Clean Up Your Act
Quit smoking, cut out as much sugar as you can, wear SPF every day, avoid skin-sensitising products, never self-diagnose, and reduce stress.
Feed The Skin From Within
It’s not only about what you’re applying topically, it’s also about getting omegas, vitamins and other nutrients into you.
3 Things Jennifer Can’t Live Without
Seoulista Instant Facial, €8.99 It has literally saved my skin’s life.
Image MD Restoring Overnight Retinol Mask, €109 Results and hydration in one.
Walking the beach, I try to do this every day – it helps my head and is my time for daily gratitude.
THE SPA GURU: Kate O’Brien, Dietitian and Journalist
In her career as a qualified dietitian, cosmetic scientist and journalist Kate O’Brien has enjoyed many years in the health, beauty and spa industries in London, Dublin, Singapore and Hong Kong, and is an established writer on lifestyle and spa culture. She is the author of seven lifestyle books and writes for AsiaSpa Magazine and Australian Signature Spa Magazine, among many others. “I have been fortunate to experience and research some of the best therapies and therapists in the business in some of the most off-the-radar locations, with few (hot or cold) stones left untouched, in my quest for the best.” Kate’s latest book, GLOW: 4 Weeks to Radiant Skin will be out early 2018.
What goes around comes around – be kind and it’ll come back to you. And, when times get tough, a saying by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu resonates: “this too shall pass”.
Kate’s Wellness Rules
Start the Day with a Turmeric Elixir
A blend of finely chopped turmeric and a slice of lime in hot water preps the digestive system.
Have a Deep Tissue or Ayurvedic Massage
They’re brilliant for your body, especially if you exercise a lot. Aside from its nourishing values, it pacifies your dosha (constitution), relieves fatigue, and enhances sleep, stamina and skin lustre.
Start Your Ritual Early
The earlier skin is prepped for nightime repair, the better. I swear by good cleansing, facial oils and spritzing your face with natural toner or water. An active serum rich in hyaluronic acid and vitamins will aid restoration.
I love Kundalini yoga, aka Laya yoga – a practice that blends the spiritual and physical. It’s an important part of my everyday life. Whatever your age or ability, yoga can do wonders for your body and mind.
3 Things Kate Can’t Live Without
Pure facial oil, I use pure oils such as argan, pure rose, prickly pear and rose hip to deeply nourish my skin.
Quality sleep, you can eat all the right foods and use all the right products, but if you’re not getting quality sleep, you lose the benefits.
Coffee, I do love my herbal teas and homemade tonics, but I can’t live without a large flat white coffee once a day.
THE HERBALIST: Dr Dilis Clare, GP and Medical Herbalist
Herbs are garnering widespread appeal. St John’s wort, elderflower and Siberian ginseng are now ubiquitous, popular for their beneficial properties. “Used properly, herbs are a system of medicine in themselves,” notes Dr Dilis Clare, a qualified medical herbalist and GP, and the leading authority on herbal medicine in Europe. After working as a GP in London for 20 years, she returned to Ireland and set up the Dr Clare Apothecary in Galway, a collaborative practice with a herbal dispensary and complementary medicine clinic. “I’ve always found herbs to be useful for my patients in the context of good nutrition and harmonising physiology as a basis for resolving health complaints. Every patient is different, and each one has a story – that’s so interesting for me. I have to use my knowledge, brain and wit to help them.” Dilis is currently on a six-month sabbatical to write her book, Grasp the Nettle, and runs courses from her Academy of Herbal Medicine.
Symptoms are not our enemies; they are signs that your body needs help and are opportunities to redress an imbalance.
Dilis' Wellness Rules
Eat Well During the Day
We use most of our energy during the day and our eating habits should support and reflect that. We don’t need a lot of fuel at night when we sleep.
At the first sign you’re getting sick, treat instantly with a high dose of “adaptogen” herbs. Cayenne, ginger, turmeric, oregano, astragals, Echinacea, licorice, ginseng, sage, onion and garlic are all wonderful for boosting immune resilience and combating microbes.
I keep “store cupboard essential” herbs to treat symptoms immediately. These can also be used, on advice, in conjunction with pharma medicines.
Fresh air is important for maintaining good health. Nature therapy supports the immune system.
We are living in a sleep-deprived bubble and underestimate the effect this can have on our bodies and immune systems.
3 Things Dilis Can’t Live Without
Morning porridge and barley blend, I sprinkle it with cinnamon and add whatever I have in the cupboard.
Walking, I live on the Prom in Galway, and walk it to work every day.
Winter tea blend, A mix of cinnamon, elderflowers and hawthorn – add hot water and drink throughout the day.