Beauty A-Z: What Is Niacinamide?

In this edition of Hip & Healthy’s Beauty School series, we’re shining a spotlight on niacinamide. A.k.a. vitamin B3 – one of the most popular ingredients in beauty thanks to its ability to do pretty much everything (yes really, you’ll see why in a moment) and the fact all skin types can use it. As Dr. Sam Bunting tells us, “Niacinamide makes the skin that little bit more resilient, so it’s amazingly helpful in winter as it ensures that the skin barrier is retaining moisturiser and defending against irritants.”

But what exactly is niacinamide and how should we be using it? We tapped Dr. Bunting and The Ordinary’s Chief Scientific Officer, Prudvi Mohan Kaka, to find out everything you need to know. So, get ready to swot up on this must-have beauty ingredient and bag yourself an A+ when it comes to all things niacinamide.

So, what exactly is niacinamide?

“Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a multifaceted active ingredient renowned for its multiple benefits on the skin. It is a well-studied ingredient that’s been around for many years”, Kaka tells us. “It’s a renowned brightening agent and its inclusion imparts a visibly brightening effect, allowing it to address uneven skin tone”.

“Niacinamide is one of the most versatile ingredients in your skincare toolkit”, adds Dr. Bunting. “It has the unique ability to provide a balanced effect of anti-inflammatory and ceramide-building properties and is a fantastic all-rounder with a myriad of benefits from calming blemish-prone skin, improving both the appearance of fine lines, and increasing skin radiance, to improving pigmentation and bolstering barrier function by boosting skin ceramide production”.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using It?

“Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that targets multiple skin concerns at once, including dryness/dehydration, dullness, and uneven skin texture and tone. This makes it a great option for a multitude of skin types. It is also easy to incorporate into a routine, as it can be used morning and evening, twice a day”, says Kaka. “Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is fundamental as barrier compromise can often heighten skin discomfort. Niacinamide contributes to an improved barrier by supporting components that are essential to the integrity and support of the epidermal layer, such as ceramides and fatty acids. By doing this, it helps to reduce transepidermal water loss, thus improving skin hydration”.

Dr. Bunting agrees, telling us, “There are multiple benefits to using niacinamide, and it is particularly helpful when you have an overlap of different skin concerns. It has anti-acne benefits, thanks to is sebum-regulating properties and anti-inflammatory action, which is essential for clearing blemishes. It reduces the papules and pustules seen in acne, plus there’s no risk of antibiotic resistance to it, making it a good alternative option to tackling acne with antibiotics.” 

Can All Skin Types Benefit from It?

“Yes!”, exclaims Dr. Bunting “It’s brilliantly well-tolerated so most people can benefit from it, and it’s very low irritancy – I’ve not seen any patients have problems using it. Niacinamide is my sensitive skin hero, it’s gentle enough to be used on even the most delicate areas, making it perfect for use around the eyes and on the sensitive neck. It’s tolerated well by both sensitive and redness-prone skin. It’s suitable for all ages – from teens through to those with mature skin – and it’s safe to use in pregnancy and during breastfeeding”.

What’s the Best Way to Incorporate It into a Skincare Routine?

“Niacinamide has to be one of the easiest ingredients to build into a skincare routine, it’s very versatile and is for everyday use”, Dr. Bunting explains. “It can be used at any time of the day and can be built into sunscreen in the morning and used in a serum format at night. Thanks to the way it acts in the skin, it helps to prepare skin for stronger ingredients to come. It will play well with pretty much every other ingredient in your routine. It can also be layered in multiple products to max out the benefits! Look for products with 5-10% niacinamide”.

If your skin sometimes reacts to new ingredients, Kaka recommends testing it first, just to be on the extra safe side. “If you are prone to experiencing breakouts when introducing new products to your routine, the best course of action is prevention; to reduce the likelihood of skin reactions, we recommend performing a patch test on a small area of the skin for 7-10 days”.

But what if I use vitamin C too?

“Contrary to popular belief, niacinamide and vitamin C can work very well together”, Dr. Bunting says. “The whole story around niacinamide and vitamin C not sitting well together is a slight misrepresentation given where modern chemistry is now, so have no qualms about using them in the same routine. They are particularly useful layered together if you’re worried about sun damage”.

And what about using it with retinol?

“Niacinamide comes into its very strong position when partnered with retinoids”, explains Dr. Bunting. ‘It has the added bonus of increasing tolerance to topical retinoids through its ability to increase skin lipids. It’s worth using niacinamide before you start a retinoid if you have sensitive or dry skin, as it helps the skin to stay hydrated for longer”.

What’s the biggest misconception about niacinamide?

“That you will experience skin purging when first using products containing niacinamide”, says Kaka. “Many factors can lead to breakouts, and most are intrinsic (due to imbalances within the body unrelated to any controllable lifestyle factors). For this reason, the appearance of blemishes can simply coincide with the use of a new product, without being correlated to the product itself”.

SHOP

words by Frankie Rozwadowska


30 Chic Ski Outfits For Looking Stylish On The Slopes

The ski season is well underway and if you’re heading to the mountains, you’re going to need some gear to not only protect you and keep you warm but also show off a little flare of style! Below are 30 chic ski outfits so you can look skilled (and stylish) on the slopes this year!


Are LED Masks Worth the Hype? Hip & Healthy Investigates…

When it comes to this season’s must-have accessory, you can forget about the latest it bag or statement shoe, because anyone who’s anyone has been spotted rocking an LED face mask. We’re talking Jessica Alba, Victoria Beckham, Kate Hudson, and Kate Moss. And the entire Kardashian-Jenner klan, of course. The secret to superstar skin, these futuristic face fixers boast major beauty powers and can literally do everything, from boosting collagen production to calming redness and clearing blemishes. 

“LED masks are an incredible at-home tool to help rejuvenate skin, improve acne and calm skin”, says Dr. Maryam Zamani, leading oculoplastic surgeon and founder of MZ Skin. “Red/ir led light helps promote collagen and elastin production and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, while blue/ir light can be used to help diminish p acne skin which contributes to the formation of acne. It’s safe to use on all skin types and the at-home devices can be used all year round!”. Not to mention they work in a matter of minutes, they help reduce cortisol levels, and they’re totally safe and pain-free. Even if you do look like something out of a sci-fi film when using one…

Sound too good to be true? Hip & Healthy tapped Hannah Measures and Laura Ferguson, founders of The Light Salon (which specialises in all things LED facials, FYI) , to find out everything you need to know about LED masks and if they’re worth the hype. Listen in.

What exactly is LED and why is it having such a big moment in beauty?

LED stands for light emitting diode. The benefits are a result of the light, which emits therapeutic wavelengths of light energy into the skin to encourage cells to behave more youthfully, stimulating circulation and the production of everything from elastin to collagen. Red 633nm and near-infrared 830nm are clinically proven to be optimal wavelengths for skin health and rejuvenation, with 830nm achieving the quickest results and greatest levels of customer satisfaction.  

It’s the skincare results that draw most people to LED, and for good reason, with wrinkle reduction, breakout control and skin radiance among a long list of benefits! But just as powerful for us is the sense of wellbeing we feel from that daily dose of light.

What’s the biggest misconception about LED?

LED results depend on quality, power (energy), and wavelength accuracy and consistency, as opposed to the number of bulbs used. Whether you have 99 bulbs or 199 bulbs in a device, if the wavelength is inaccurate or inconsistent, the light will not hit the targeted area and in turn won’t have the desired effect on the skin and body. Longer wavelengths such as red 633nm and near-infrared 830nm do penetrate well, reach the dermis, and are clinically proven to be optimal wavelengths for skin health and rejuvenation, with 830nm achieving the quickest results and greatest levels of customer satisfaction. 

We work with red 633nm and near-infrared 830nm wavelengths for precisely this reason – not only do they stimulate collagen and elastin production (rejuvenating the complexion), they also penetrate deep into the body, reaching muscles, nerves, and bone, to increase blood flow and target inflammation whilst supporting cellular regrowth and regeneration to help reduce pain and heal injuries.

What are the different colours and what do they do?

Blue (415nm)

Targets and destroys acne bacteria found in the sebaceous glands, which reduces bacteria and the forming of blemishes or pustules. It also regulates oil production, balancing oily skin or t-zone, and increases blood circulation, which helps to eliminate toxins and provide nutrients to the skin. Blue (415nm) light has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, which reduces healing time and also prevents post-inflammatory scarring.

Red (633nm)

Stimulates collagen and elastin within the dermis and increases blood flow and oxygenation to the skin, all while delivering nutrients and antioxidants to repair. Increases regeneration so that skin looks and feels plumper, and brighter, with improved density in the dermis to support the ageing process.

Near-Infrared (830nm)

Penetrates deep into the skin and can reach the bone, increasing cellular activity so that cells behave in a more responsive manner. Increases the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid to maintain the skin’s structure for a more youthful appearance. Near-Infrared (830nm) also reduces inflammation and pain by increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation, supporting cellular health and repairing damage. In terms of skin tone, it regulates the production of melanin and increases antioxidants and nutrients within the skin. It also balances hormones such as cortisol (the stress hormone), serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and melatonin (our sleep hormone).

What should I know before booking an LED treatment or using an at-home mask?

Preparation of the skin is essential for optimal light absorption and will enhance results. So, whether you’re in-salon or at home, cleanse skin properly.  We suggest using our ‘Enzymatic Cleanser & Mask’ and to seal results with the ‘Hydrating Peptide Serum’.

Consistency is also key. LED therapy is like exercise, the more you do the more you gain! Invest in a device or have multiple facials to see real long-lasting and long-term results.

words by Frankie Rozwadowska


The Gut Reset: A Note From El

There’s a reason they say ‘go with your gut’ given that your gut not only plays a part in digestion but is also responsible for immune function, skin health, hormone regulation and mental health. All of which are factors that we start to notice symptoms flaring up. From the breakouts, the moodiness and the sniffles that come following the festive period. 

With more and more health conditions being linked to an imbalance of the microbiome, we are starting to understand the reason why it is so important to keep our gut in tip-top condition. 

The recipes for week 4’s “The Gut Reset”, are all about building up beneficial gut bacteria in our microbiome whilst also promoting smooth, regular and comfortable digestion. Accompanied by regular movement from your Silver Linings workouts, mindful activities and your excitement of what’s ahead this year – your digestive system is imperative to our overall health.

Getting to the bottom of your digestive imbalances can be so fascinating. Digestive health goes beyond bowel movements – in my clinic my clients will often choose to undergo functional testing where we can get to the nitty gritty uncovering potential imbalances in bacteria or problematic pathogens that are driving symptoms.


Gut-Loving Kitchari

Inspired by Ayurvedic principles and evidence-based research, this Gut-Loving Kitchari is my go-to when I am looking to show my gut some TLC and is the reason it appears regularly on my meal planner. The dal-like texture of rice and yellow peas is cooked until just short of a mush, making it easier to absorb the powerful healing nutrients. The chosen spices fire up our digestion whilst the ghee (or coconut oil) helps to ‘lube up’ your intestines to keep things moving in the right direction whilst increasing absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 4

1 cup dried yellow split peas
1/2 cup brown rice
3 Organic Ghee or Coconut Oil
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 cups of Organic Bone Broth/vegetable stock
1 crown broccoli chopped
1 courgette (chopped)
1 cup packed baby spinach roughly chopped
1/4 frozen peas
Chopped Coriander
Plain natural Coconut Yoghurt

METHOD

In a large lidded saucepan heat ghee and add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek, and turmeric. Cook until fragrant.

Add the split peas & rice and coat in the spices. Pour in bone broth/stock. Bring to a boil & cover then reduce to a low heat to simmer for 35-45 minutes and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (You may need to add more water if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan)

Stir in your veggies & cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Serve warm sprinkled with coriander and a dollop of Coconut Yoghurt & Pepper or store in the fridge for up to 5 days to enjoy as lunch.

Recipe created by Nutritional Therapist, Eleanor Hoath for Hip & Healthy’s “Back To Wellness” campaign.


Green Shakshuka

Green Shakshuka

Kimchi Fried Rice

Show your gut bugs some love with the ultimate bowl of comfort! This Kimchi Fried rice has been designed and inspired by the flavours of Asia with a gut health twist that nourishes the digestive system.

INGREDIENTS

1 Red Onion
1 red pepper
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups spinach
1 garlic clove
1 cup of brown basmati rice
200g firm tofu
2 tablespoons of kimchi (I use Cultured Collective)
1/2 cup cashews
1 tablespoon liquid aminos/soy sauce
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

METHOD

Cook your rice as per instructions.

Chop your veggies into long strips and your tofu into cubes.

In a large frying pan, sautee your onion, red pepper, mushroom and tofu in a splash of coconut oil and your chopped/minced garlic clove

Once soft, add 2 tablespoons of kimchi and stir through.

Add your frozen peas, spinach, liquid aminos, turmeric and black pepper and stir through to coat the ingredients in flavour.

Once cooked, add your rice and stir through

Serve with a sprinkling of cashews and an additional splash of liquid aminos or soy.

Recipe created by Nutritional Therapist, Eleanor Hoath for Hip & Healthy’s “Back To Wellness” campaign.


Cauli & Squash Traybake

Cauli & Squash Traybake

Sweet Potato Toasts

Taking away foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar can be incredibly beneficial in the healing process of gut repair. With many different options for gluten-free bread on the market, it’s difficult to determine which one might work best for us… but I was being inventive when creating this Sweet Potato Toasts combo and it definitely didn’t disappoint. With the additional fibres of the sweet potato skin and the rich Vitamin A content, this makes a perfect breakfast in the morning or a snack after work…

INGREDIENTS – Serves 1

1 large sweet potato
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon Broccoli Sprouts
1 tablespoon tahini
Juice of 1/2 like
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

METHOD

Slice your sweet potato into thin slices and put it in the toaster like you would with bread.

Slice your Avocado and in a bowl, smash with salsa, chilli flakes and salsa.

Once the sweet potato has popped, top with your smashed avo and choice of toppings – I love broccoli sprouts, tahini and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Recipe created by Nutritional Therapist, Eleanor Hoath for Hip & Healthy’s “Back To Wellness” campaign.


Raspberry & Beetroot Energy Balls

Raspberry and Beetroot Energy Balls

A Nutritional Therapist Shares Her Gut-Loving Shopping List

It’s the final week of our “Back To Wellness” campaign and for week 4, our in-house nutritional therapist, El is talking all things gut. Below she’s sharing her gut-loving shopping list so you can stock up on all the goodness your gut deserves on your next shopping trip.

Bitter ingredients  – rocket, watercress, dandelion, artichoke hearts, cacao nibs. Starting every meal with something bitter (especially if it’s green) is a great way to naturally stimulate our digestive juices to ensure that our digestive enzymes are flowing!

Cruciferous Vegetables – these are your fibrous veggies such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These work to bulk up our bowel movements and keep things moving along – but importantly, they also contain a key liver-supporting compound called Indole-3-Carbinole which supports the 2nd phase of the liver detox system. 

Grains – think brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, oats and millet, these are all wonderful sources of soluble fibre which keep our digestion regular but also a source of prebiotic fibres to lay the foundation of good gut health. 

Yoghurt – I personally avoid dairy, it doesn’t sit well with me, so I really enjoy Coco’s Coconut Yoghurt for this reason as its naturally rich in probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus which is like a warm hug for our gut with increasing research on its benefits for skin conditions too. BUT for those who can tolerate dairy, opting for full-fat Greek yoghurt is a perfect staple. I use yoghurt for breakfasts, to make a smoothie that extra bit creamier, or as an alternative to ice cream when I fancy something a little less sweet in the evening!

Nuts and Seeds – Nuts such as Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts all count towards your plant points for the week whilst being nourishing to the body providing essential proteins, fats and minerals. Research has even shown that including a handful of good quality Brazil nuts can provide your body with its daily requirement of selenium for the day, an essential mineral for our reproductive system, metabolism and hair, skin and nails. Similarly seeds such as chia, and flax naturally keep digestion regular by drawing water to the colon.

Active Probiotics – Probiotics are the ingredients that feed our healthy gut bacteria and therefore contribute to the strengthening of our gut lining and optimisation of our digestive function. Foods such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso and Tempeh are all fantastic sources of fermented foods as well as eating products that are enriched with live cultures such as yoghurts, probiotic drinks and spreads. I really like using the Cultured Collective products.

Dark Chocolate – I love to have a few squares of dark chocolate every day! It’s a treat for my tastebuds BUT it’s also rich in magnesium which is totally needed for our nervous system, digestion, hormonal health and beyond! Research has even shown that 85% dark chocolate has a probiotic action too which means it’s good for the gut too! – but just be careful if it’s above 70% in the late afternoon, dark chocolate does contain caffeine, remember.


Editor’s Notes: What To Buy DIY & Try In Wellness Right Now

Nothing better than a fresh start to a new year… am I right? It’s like a clean slate that you can adorn with new goals, new opportunities and exciting plans for the year ahead. As I’m writing this I can see the foliage of the spring bulbs I planted in November last year sprouting out of the ground and that’s providing me with lots of hope and anticipation for Spring. I’m basically trying to block out any negative energy that January is the darkest, gloomiest month of all and instead, focus on self-care and positivity. In this column, each month I share what to buy, DIY and try in the world of wellness right now and here’s what I’ve been loving recently.

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

This has been a total game-changer for my hair. Very late to the Olaplex bandwagon, I know, and after trying (and really not rating) their No.3 Hair Perfector Mask, I was recommended the bonding oil by my BFF and wow my hair has never been so transformed by a single product. I won’t go into the science of Olaplex here (I’m not sure I entirely understand it myself) but a few drops of this on damp hair and the blow dried, my locks look shiny, glossy, smooth and feel so much more healthy. I have fine, highlighted hair that dries out and gets tangled easily and for me, this is now a must-have. I’ve got so many more compliments on my hair, particularly asking if I’ve recently had highlights done (which I haven’t recently) and I think it’s enhancing my colour too!

Bramley Plastic-Free Compostable Refill Pouches

One little pleasure I treat myself to is lovely hand soap for our kitchen sink area. I always like to spend a little more and get something that feels luxurious and nourishing. One of my favourites is Bramley’s Lavender, Geranium & Petitgrain hand wash and to my delight, they now offer plastic-free, compostable refill pouches which removes the need to buy a new bottle each time. I love this eco-innovation because it means you can get your favourite products in a much more sustainable way. They also offer their Digby Dog Wash in the eco refills so I will definitely be giving that a go on my spaniel Rosie!

Lululemon Leggings “Heatless Curl” Hack 

If you’re on Tik Tok, you may have seen this trend floating around whereby you use your lululemon leggings as a way to curl your hair overnight. It sounds a bit bonkers but if you’re looking for a way to add volume and curl to your hair without heat then give this a go! You essentially split your hair into two sections and wrap each side on one leg of your leggings. Roll the waistband over your head and voila! Many heatless curl devices are often so uncomfortable to sleep in but this is by far the most comfortable option and you wake up the next morning with gentle waves in your hair like you’ve just spent an hour blow-drying! 

Self Love & Rose Quartz Bracelet Making Workshop

I’m naturally a creative person and I love finding ways to nurture that side of myself. If you’re looking for a fun workshop to do with your best girlies ahead of valentine’s day (or should I say gal-entine’s!) then why not book yourself onto a Self Love & Rose Quartz Bracelet Making Workshop? Hosted by Georgia Devon-Spick, you’ll be given some background behind the rose quartz stone and the corresponding heart chakra. You’ll then discuss how to help balance or open the heart chakra, cultivate feelings of self-love and bring certain small habits and affirmations into our daily routine. You’ll then proceed to make your own bespoke Seven Collective rose quartz bracelet, where each bracelet can be customised with words and charms. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have your very own rose quartz bracelet and a goody bag including special self-care gifts.

CRÉME Vegan Cookie Delivery

Instagram made CRÉME famous for their gooey, mouth-watering cookies and they’ve recently launched a variety of vegan cookies and a “Cookies on Demand” home delivery service which is just too good not to share! Are they “healthy”? No. But if you’re plant-based or doing Veganuary and you want to treat yourself (because we’re all about balance here) then here’s your ticket! There’s not much more to say other than their vegan double chocolate cookie is what dreams are made of! 

Train Like A Formula 1 Driver

Fun fact about me… I’m mad about Formula 1 so when I heard about this new fitness program I was very excited! Baur au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland has teamed up with world-renowned British Formula 1 performance coach, Mark Arnall, who channels 25 years of health and fitness knowledge and experience into an exclusive and carefully curated ‘TRAVEL F1T’ programme, designed to help guests maintain peak wellbeing during their travels. Mark began his career in Formula 1 in 1997 as the performance coach of Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard. In 2002, Mark started working with Kimi Räikkönen and up until recently, Mark has been working with Sebastian Vettel. In line with the British trainer’s holistic mindset, Baur au Lac’s ‘TRAVEL F1T’ concept extends from pre-arrival travel-related recommendations via video and Mark Arnall’s e-book travel guide to training and recovery programmes at the hotel. The hotel’s incredible top-floor state-of-the-art fitness centre, with breathtaking views across Lake Zurich, provides a perfect environment for this balanced programme. Guests who prefer to train in the comfort of their own room will find all the equipment they need ready and waiting for them, with training and recovery videos instructed by Mark Arnall accessible on all guest TVs and in-room tablets. Mark has also worked closely with leading sports nutritionists and Baur au Lac’s award-winning chefs to specially develop exclusive nutritious dishes to complement the programme. 

words by Molly Jennings


MOCKTAIL RECIPE: Grapefruit & Thyme fizz

Inspired by a traditional fizz, this typically acidic drink gets a smooth makeover. ZEN’s lemongrass meets the citrussy grapefruit notes halfway, perfectly balancing out the tangier tones. The light mix is softly grounded with a hint of thyme and makes the perfect mocktail recipe for dry January!

INGREDIENTS 

1x waterdrop® ZEN (Starfruit – Lemongrass – White Tea)

250ml sparkling water

Thyme sprigs

Juice of ½ grapefruit

Juice of ½ lime

Ice cubes

Garnish: Thyme sprigs

Equipment needed

Muddler

Strainer

METHOD

Dissolve a waterdrop® ZEN into 250ml sparkling water and put aside.

Muddle 2 sprigs of thyme with the grapefruit and lime juices, then strain into a glass filled with ice cubes.

Add your dissolved ZEN and garnish with a few thyme sprigs.


READ MORE: 3 Great Gut-Friendly Recipes To Try This Week

3 Great Gut-Friendly Recipes To Try This Week

Sadie’s January Wellness Must-Haves

I know that there is a lot of backlash around New Year’s resolutions – and I certainly don’t advocate the whole idea of New Year, New You, however, I love the new beginnings that entering a new lunar year brings. It just is such a good opportunity to try and reach missed goals or add in something brilliant and healthy that could be beneficial to your overall wellbeing. I thought I’d share mine with you all in my January wellness must-haves.

More Mushrooms
I have long been a fan of the humble mushroom. Hailed as the vegetable of 2023 – I am sure we will be seeing big things for mushrooms when it comes to wellness this year. Their benefits are plentiful; high in vitamin D (Tim Spector says to leave them out in the sun to maximise this), said to support gut health, heart health and pretty much everything in between, I cannot get enough of them and am going to be consuming a lot of them over the next 12 months. I have become obsessed with Phyto Nectars I AM RESTED drink – it’s like a hot chocolate but healthy. Packed full of delicious mushrooms such as Reishi and Lions Mane and added magnesium to aid normal function of the nervous system and aid a good night’s sleep. A cup of this before bed is one of my new favourite evening rituals.

Meditation
Nearly every holistic and traditional doctor I have seen over the past year has told me that meditation would be really beneficial for me. Apparently, when I breathe, my body hardly moves and my breath is shallow and quick – like I am constantly in fight or flight mode (which I am!). I have ignored this advice countless times – I mean who really feels like they have the time to meditate? I certainly didn’t – but I have recently realised that just like with ALL things – it is a matter of prioritisation. My stress levels are high and I just can’t seem to run, eat or drink my way out of this one. I have to sit. So thank god for Silver Linings LIVE and the amazing Catherine Turner, who has a whole collection of meditations at lots of different lengths to help me chill and regain my breath again. It is my mission to make it an absolute priority that I do at least 10 minutes a day – probably about a fifth of the length of time I spend scrolling Instagram. I think it really would do me the world of good to start looking inward instead of constantly outwards.

Skincare from the Inside Out 
We get very excited here at Hip & Healthy when a skincare brand embraces both the internal aspects as well as the topical aspects of skin health. For years I have been focusing on what I put on my skin rather than supplementing for skin health but a brand that changed that for me is Forest Spa Finland, an adaptogen-based skincare product that includes an active serum as well as supplements that help heal your skin from the inside out. Using ingredients from Finnish nature, Forest Spa Finland set out to create products that help your body build immunity to stress and boost your vitality. This, they say, is an inside job. Their Nordic Adaptogen Supplement uses incredible skin-enhancing extracts all sourced from some of the most powerful plants found in the Nordic Forest, such as Chaga Mushroom which have the highest ORAC score (a way of measuring how they absorb and remove free radicals) ever recorded in natural food. Hip & Healthy Readers can get 20% OFF Forest Spa Finland using code “SKINWELLNESS20” at checkout. Visit forestspafinland.com for more information and to buy.

Is This Digital Service the Answer to Long GP Waiting Times?

Taking My Health Into My Own Hands 
Going to the doctor is without doubt just a part of everyone’s routine life, and if you have a busy personal life, the long wait times for appointments at GP surgeries for common health issues you wish your pharmacy could deal with can be frustrating.

This is where Rightdose Online Doctor could help – it takes the stress out of waiting for an appointment at your local GP and can provide private prescriptions that you need quickly, delivered discreetly to your front door. 

While some ailments may require you to see a doctor face-to-face, there are many that don’t require this level of contact such as women’s health issues including Thrush or Cystitis. You can also get online prescriptions for skin conditions, travel health and more. Online Doctor consultations are with UK-based private GP’s who are qualified to review and prescribe medication based on a confidential assessment which is carried out on their website. So, stop putting off those little things that you can’t bear to wait in line for and just get your health sorted.

Sorting Out My Back + Shoulder I had never experienced anything quite like Osteopathy before and can honestly say that Amberin, Founder of The Vital Practice (in the heart of London near Oxford Street) allowed me to feel fully comfortable in her hands. My posture is shocking. I am the sort of person who only has to read the word “Posture” and it will manoeuvre me from my hunched-over position into a straight pencil in seconds only to let it all go again. Over the course of her 25-year osteopathic career, Amberin has found a wider holistic approach to be crucial in the pursuit of optimum health. Having relied upon quality laboratory testing and new developing technology at her own clinics, Amberin identified the need to house multiple lifestyle medicine treatments in a single physical space, to offer clients a seamless, connected and transparent treatment journey. Osteopathy is often simplified into a hands-on approach – however, the solutions-focused way she treats is much broader. She sees osteopathy as so much more than manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. This cohesive, preventative system is central to her ethos and reflected in her clinic and collaborations with experts. Within minutes Amberin was telling me things about myself that I knew were true but not even I had fully understood yet. She gave me a roadmap for how to continue the good work she started in her clinic. And I have of course booked another appointment with her in the new year!


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Plato said “The beginning is the most important part of the work” – so start as you mean to go on this year.


The Skincare I am Lusting After this Month

Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost, 50ml, £93

Very little else seems to keep my wrinkles at bay. I am addicted to this stuff and it is totally worth the price tag in my view.

Cerave SA Smoothing Cleanser, 263ml, £12

This affordable skincare range is having a cult moment and for a good reason. This cleanser gently exfoliates deep within your pores so that spots don’t even have a chance to build up.

MZ Skin Hydra-Bright Gold Eye Masks, £75

I am obsessed with these award-winning under-eye skincare patches. A staple for party season as they instantly take down puffiness but also perfect for just looking your best! And rested!

Murad Retinol Youth Serum, 15ml, £43

This is basically “turn back time” in a bottle. Dr Murad, often at the forefront of skincare innovation, has done it again with this effective serum.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter, 50ml, £6

Iconic for many reasons but perhaps most notably for their incredible scents – no one does Shea Body Butter like The Body Shop and it’s mega affordable. Great for dry skin.


Hip & Healthy Wellness Awards 2023

We couldn’t be more excited to share the winners of Hip & Healthy’s annual Wellness Awards! We’d like to think we’re experts in all things health and wellbeing and as you’ll know, we’re passionate about sharing the latest and greatest in this amazing industry.

Below are 2023’s Wellness Awards Winners, which we spent a long time deliberating over. While it was incredibly difficult to narrow the list down to the final winners, we feel the brands and products below are worthy of their titles and we hope you might discover some new brands that can help you on your way to feeling your best self this year.

Best Liquid SupplementLove Liposomal

If you hate taking tablets or overly large supplements then a good liquid supplement must be on your hit list! A new discovery is Love Liposomal and they tick so many boxes. Gorgeous packaging (ok not an essential but if you’re aesthetically-minded then it’s a bonus!), delicious tasting which is hard to come by, high-quality ingredients and excellent bioavailability. We love the Vitamin C & Zinc… you honestly can’t ask for a better winter immunity-boosting supplement.

Best UK GetawayThe Fox

If you’re a fan of Daylesford Organic (who isn’t?) and its equally lovely sibling, The Wild Rabbit, then you must check out the newest addition to the portfolio, The Fox. Lady Carole Bamford has done it again with her second hotel offering featuring sublime interiors, picturesque location and food to make your mouth water. Everything you come to expect from her and her team. Nestled in the small village of Oddington, just a stone’s throw away from Daylesford, definitely book your room early for a wonderful spring getaway. 

Best Wellness BookThe Book Of Rituals 

This would honestly make the most spectacular gift for yourself (why not?) or a loved one into wellness. The presentation is truly stunning but the book itself is even more magical. “The Book of Rituals is your guide to our wellbeing philosophy: The Art of Soulful Living. More than just a coffee table book, The Book of Rituals is designed to showcase the beauty of life.” Aiming to inspire you with ancient pearls of wisdom, inspirational people and poems, plus practical exercises, recipes, and so much more. With pages dipped in gold, this will be a real show-stopper of a book on your coffee table.

Best Wellness Brand for SkinAurelia

Aurelia is renowned in the skincare realm for their probiotic-packed natural formulas that are not only scientifically proven but also have the H&H stamp of approval. Over the years, the product line has grown and Aurelia has managed to maintain their tight nip exceptional quality. It’s always a bonus when your skincare doubles as a beautiful aesthetic display, which Aurelia’s blush pink branding certainly does!

Best Fitness StudioRumble

Rumble’s clever concept is the most convenient studio I’ve trained at. If you’re a class-goer but struggle with the timetable, Rumble is the studio for you. Starting every 10 minutes, you can jump in at any time during the day and complete their signature RE.HIIT CIRCUIT of the day which takes just 40 minutes. Switching up on a daily basis, the circuit includes a mix of cardio, strength and conditioning for an efficient full-body burn.

Best Supplement BrandIndi

With a focus on prevention rather than cure, Indi came into the market to make taking a range of different supplements, each with its own unique health benefits, easy and efficient. Add their delicious nutrition-packed powders to your smoothie, or just add water or oat milk. The ingredients are super high quality and derived from real whole foods allowing the body to recognise them and absorb them properly. Plus, they are delivered in effective doses with no bulking agents, artificial additives, or chemical preservatives and are 100% plant-based. Starting off your day with one of their products really does set you up for feeling your best.

Best Natural DeodorantDr. Hauschka Deodorant

A roll-on with no aluminium salts that actually works. Dr. Hauschka’s Deodorant provides reliable protection while respecting the skin’s natural flora. The low-alcohol formulation of this roll-on deodorant works entirely without aluminium salts. It helps prevent the formation of odours without constricting your pores or staining your clothes and it smells divine! 

Best Activewear BrandVuori

Vuori is one of the best activewear discoveries I’ve made! The cool Cali-based brand has been gaining momentum in the UK with its premium performance apparel that integrates all forms of fitness and lifestyle. The styles and quality are unrivalled and work well as hybrid dressing, ie. working from home straight to a yoga class or morning workout followed by breakfast. With 99% of gym-goers wearing the same old brands, it’s nice to be the one wearing something different, stylish and functional.

Best Healthy RestaurantMildreds

Plant-based pioneers Mildreds have been serving internationally inspired, colourful food since 1988, meaning they know a thing or two about getting the best out of veggies. The fine-tuned menu has an array of mouth-wateringly good dishes, one, in particular, I can’t get enough of is the amba chick’n* kebabs, marinated in mango served with butternut cranberry red rice with a smearing of tahini and tomato shaata to good measure. My reasoning for selecting Mildreds is of course that it’s a healthy eatery as the category suggests, but ultimately that isn’t the rationale behind my repeat visits, it’s because the food is hands down amazing and never disappoints.

Best Innovative Food & Drink BrandPlenish
Plenish has been on my radar for a while but recently they keep cropping up as the brand to buy, especially when it comes to nut milks! H&H resident nutritionist swears by Plenish, in terms of nutritional value they score high and do not cut corners when it comes to their short list of organic ingredients. No flavourings, no preservatives, no additives…no nasties whatsoever and most importantly they don’t compromise on the great taste. Aside from their milks which line the supermarket aisles, Plenish offer extensive juice plans which you can order online, ideal for when you need to hit the reset button.

Best Kids’ Wellness ProductWelleCo

Getting vitamins and minerals into your kids has just been made easier with WelleCo’s Super Kids Elixir + Protein shake. Packed full of real veggies, fruits and superfoods as well as vitamins and protein, this very healthy drink is disguised as a chocolate milkshake – genius! For kids aged 4-16, this all-in-one daily superfood powder is a great way to make sure your kids are getting the nutrients they need.

Best Wellness HubBXR

From their adrenaline-fuelled Versaclimber sessions and expert-led boxing sessions to the other end of the spectrum, with mindful yoga and Pilates, BXR has solidified itself as the most superior of wellness hubs. Constantly evolving to improve their services, BXR has branched out with their clinic, offering the highest level of care in the form of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, their incredible retreats at Daios Cove, not to mention the opening of BXR Battersea Power Station later this year. The facilities are state of the art, from the gym floor to the changing rooms. If you haven’t yet, check out this all-encompassing wellness hub.

Best Sleep Product Better You

Better You has a whole category dedicated to sleep full of effective award-winning products, but it is their Sleep Bundle that I have totally fallen in love with over this past year. Featuring their Lights Out Oral Spray, Magnesium Bath Flakes and Magnesium Body Lotion, this potent collection packs a punch when it comes to pressing the reset button and allowing your body to feel deeply relaxed and ready for bed. They also do Magnesium bath flakes for kids which my children totally love and really help calm them down after a busy day. 

Best Women’s Health ProductWe Are Jude

Bladder care was not something I thought I was going to have to worry about until much, much later in life. However, two kids later and trampolines are out of the question and don’t you dare make me laugh till I cry (IYKYK). So, we are where we are and boy am I glad We Are Jude exists to support me and many others like me. Hailed as the healthcare company here to smash bladder taboos, open up conversations about incontinence and help you get on with life, leak-free, We Are Jude has everything from supplements to underwear, pads to liners that support your bladder issues. And they really do make a woman like me feel totally seen in a way that has not been possible in the past.

credit: Jake Eastham

Best Wellness DestinationLimewood

Based in the New Forest, Limewood draws from nature to offer guests treatments that will last long after they leave the spa. Working with experts in their fields and companies you’ll know and love to create a memorable experience, their Herb House Spa offers everything from bespoke personal training, rooftop yoga, body and face treatments with Sarah Chapman and Bamford products and of course use of the pools, sauna and steam rooms. Why not sign on to one of their Rewild Yourself one-day Retreats? Or if you have more time Amelia Freer offers a three-day retreat there too. Plus their healthy food cafe, Raw and Cured, is a great place for a post-workout smoothie or calming cup of tea.

Best NewcomerForest Spa Finland

We have been so impressed with the products that Forest Spa Finland have created that it was easy for us to choose the winner of this category. A brand dedicated to helping our bodies become more adaptive and immune to the effects of stress, Forest Spa Finland draws on Nordic ingredients and traditions that will help your body to become more resilient and in turn – happier and healthier, and this is also evident when it comes to our skin too. They recently just released their Nordic Adaptogen Serum which works in tandem with their supplements to help you get your glow back. The founder Daniel has a wealth of experience under his belt and is perfectly positioned to help us all find our best skin yet. We cannot wait to see what comes next from them.

Best for Mental HealthThe Soke

When it comes to private mental healthcare, no one does it better than The Soke. Working from their South Kensington premises, their leading practitioners cover everything from depression, anxiety and OCD to more specialised situations such as eating disorders, addictions and the breadth of child & adolescent mental health issues. Patients are directly involved with their treatment plan, allowing the best type of care to be carved out for each individual. The Soke really is the gold standard for mental healthcare.

Best Probiotic Symprove

Your gut is an incredible thing. And when you look after it, it looks after you. Symprove was founded on the principle that restoring and maintaining a healthy gut balance can help you live a fuller life. Fast-forward to today and they’ve created a product that has helped thousands upon thousands of customers achieve just that. Symprove’s water-based formula works to help feed and nourish the good bacteria in your gut, it’s entirely vegan, gluten- and dairy-free and has had numerous scientific studies conducted on it to prove its efficacy. 

Best Home Wellness BrandRituals

Transform your house into a home with the comforting, uplifting and balancing power of fragrance. Rituals do more than pamper your body. The first company to combine body and beauty products with gorgeous reed diffusers, scented candles, room sprays and more will bring sanctuary to wherever you live. After all, it’s a hectic world out there and we believe home should always be a welcoming and restful place to be. Come home and enjoy relaxing with Rituals.

Best At-Home Spa ProductNeom, Real Luxury Intensive Skin Treatment Candle 

Neom’s skin treatment candle just got even better with their new blend including baobab and jojoba oil. The magic four (rapeseed oil, soybean oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter) has been expertly re-whipped up to be even more intensely nourishing and is now the magic 6! This is the perfect winter companion for all your wellness needs to keep your skin feeling nourished along with perfectly chosen natural essential oils, to help bring a feeling of calm.

Best At-Home Workout Silver Linings LIVE

It’s no secret that we’re advocates of the digital wellness platform, Silver Linings LIVE. Offering over 10 disciplines including Barre, Yoga, Pilates, Meditation and more, the workouts are ideal to perform from the comfort of your own home. With daily live sessions and catch-up features, SL LIVE has brought community to their online space, transporting you to their studio without the hassle of having to leave the house.

Best Health SnackSuperzeros

Don’t let anyone tell you cereal doesn’t count as a snack! They are wrong! We’ve all been there, late-night munchies beckoning a bowl of your favourite cereal before bed… Well, Superzeros revolutionary, protein-rich, low-carb cereal is your new BFF that tastes delicious and won’t cause a sugar rush either. We love the Apple & Cinnamon and Chocolate flavours!

Best Supplement for HydrationHUX Hydration

When I first started trying Hux Hydration during the hotter summer months I found it amazing for post-workout recovery. The effervescent tablet that you add to water is carefully formulated with electrolytes and minerals designed to support optimum hydration and muscle function. But they are also great for a couple of other essentials too – they were an absolute lifesaver post stomach bug for my husband, and they also make the most wonderful hangover cure – you can thank me later!

Best Immunity SupplementVitabiotics Immunace

Give your body the best chance this winter with a helping hand from Vitabiotics Immunace products. I like the Extra Protection pill, whereas my husband prefers the effervescent tablets – it’s a matter of preference. Formulated to bring you the highest level of nutritional support, the supplements include additional vitamin D, a comprehensive multivitamin and lycopene extract and resveratrol.

Best Female Health BrandOra Organics

Proving their well-deserved place in the Female Health category, Ora Organics have formulated a range of supplements that are specifically designed to support women’s needs. Much like the intricacy of the female body, the various supplements contain carefully selected, expert-backed ingredients to tackle specific issues such as vaginal health and hormone imbalances.

Best At-Home Health TestRandox

Randox became a household name during the pandemic as one of the government’s partners in testing. As pioneers in diagnostic health testing Randox have taken their clinics to the high street and expanded all over the UK, making them truly accessible. Health testing is one of the key components to preventive health, and whilst the science of testing is complicated the actual doing it could not be easier and it really allows us all to put our health back into our own hands. 

Best Fitness TechFiit 

After skyrocketing success throughout COVID, Fiit has only grown stronger post-pandemic with its constantly evolving offering and classes that take you from home to the gym. Think of Fiit as the little PT in your pocket, with plans that will help you to keep on track and create the ideal training split to drive results, including their new Total Fiit, the first collection of hybrid training plans to suit those who mix between at-home and in the gym. Fiit covers strength, cardio and rebalance, with endless options within each category run by expert trainers that will get the most out of you. To get the absolute most out of Fiit, you can pair your device with the Fiit tracker which monitors your heart rate, counts your reps and gives you real-time stats as you train.

Best Protein PowderAwesome Plant-Based Protein Powder

I’ve dabbled with just about all the protein powders on the market, and this year the award goes to Awesome. There’s a certain criterion I look for in a protein powder, A, the ingredient list is short with no nasties included, B, the texture blends well and C, it tastes good…Awesome’s plant-based blend meets all three! The salted caramel is arguably the most sublime tasting I’ve come across to date.