Thursday 30 Oct 2014
The Industry's No.1 Business Guide

advice

spa verses mobile therapy

Alison Gibbs balances the pros and cons of the different fields of trading as a therapist

From my years of experience as a therapist, my ethos in all areas has been ‘client care’ – with the aim of leaving a client feeling better about themselves in accordance with their treatment or environment. This allows a personal approach and ultimately a relationship to build over time.

Working in a hotel spa, I found I could introduce indigenous treatments and give a taster of what other countries offer, which gave more of a ‘wow’ factor. Some of which were hard to produce in a salon environment, such as outdoor experiences. Often clients would have more time, so rituals of 2-4 hours could easily be sold. I find spas and hotels are very transient, so if you like the turnover of new faces this is the perfect environment for you. If you prefer building relationships then it is better to look for places that offer a stable clientele and membership opportunity.

In a spa environment you can keep your relationship very professional and specific to an appointment time. Clients may still be reserved with the information they share and consultations may be on a tight time scale. I therefore find the therapy approach is limited and the whole holistic approach may have to be tailored. Sales after a treatment are easily taken when you have a display and stock to hand, so retailing is much easier in a fixed location and, of course, if you have a shop front then the location is key for generating new trade and interest. The marketing of a fixed venue is much easier and rewarding as your image can easily be seen and portrayed. The downside is committing to a fixed venue with all the overheads.  It’s therefore important to have a guaranteed target market and location and you must seriously consider your demographics and look at values like house prices and shops in your area, which will give you a good indication of the disposable income.  Some locations have a high premium but it is quite often a better guarantee of a captive audience.

The rewards of mobile therapy are great, but you must be disciplined with your time and location. Planning is key when you are on the road so you can link clients together. I ran my own business mobile for seven years and I was really successful. Running a mobile therapy business takes a lot of hard work and unsociable hours, as many clients prefer evening appointments. You will be booked in advance for these slots, which limits your social life. An advantage though is the personal approach I could provide from being in their home. I managed to gain a deeper holistic approach to my therapy with much longer consultation times and tailored treatments for better results, as clients seemed open to talking on a more personal level.

The challenge was the travel time, so allow this in your daily planning. I kept a professional image at all times; I wore a uniform and had everything portable so as to maintain this, allowing me also to keep the price point high. There is this illusion that mobile treatments are cheaper but you are giving them the convenience of the home treatment out of most office hours, so there should naturally be a premium on this. If you deliver professionally they will not question the price point.   The equipment is a challenge to carry around and can potentially cause problems with securing stock in the back of your car i.e. wax points need to be secure as it gets very messy if they tip over.

Sales can be more challenging but if the trust is there, the sales became easier, and you have to be very disciplined to remember to add a sale on.

Promoting yourself is difficult and you will need to be proactive with demonstrations to groups, organisations and targeting networking groups for link sales and advice. Keep linked in to other therapists and training, as this can easily be forgotten and it’s important to have the interaction with other professionals so you stay up-to-date with latest trends. Lava Shells was set up with mobile therapists as the main capture because it is ideal for transporting around and offers a lovely portable heat therapy, with seconds to prep and seconds to clean.

I will always remember my days and the challenges I faced both working in hotels and as a mobile therapist but most importantly what stays with me more than anything are the amazing clients I got to know.

chilli

Karen Watins shares knowledge on foods to create inner warmth during the chilly months

With chilly mornings and evenings, lots of us are pulling on jumpers and jackets to keep warm. In addition to these extra layers, there are a few dietary tips that can help boost circulation and prepare for the cold months ahead.

Chillies There are some ‘super-foods’ that really can enhance circulation. Top of the list would have to be cayenne pepper or chilli powder, which is a wonderful addition for stimulating the circulation. (I had a grandmother who insisted that sprinkling chilli powder inside socks was a remedy for chilblains, but I’m not sure I’d actually want to try it, as it seems somewhat messy to me!). The warming properties come from the chemical called capsaicin, which is what gives the peppers their heat, the more capsaicin a chilli contains, the hotter it will be and the more it will stimulate the circulation. You are bound to have seen someone become flushed when eating a curry or an extra hot chilli, and this flushing effect is caused by a boost in circulation, so, adding chillies to the diet on a regular basis has to be worth trying.

Ginger Another useful spice would be ginger, and on a cold afternoon a cup of ginger tea is a delightful way to take the chill out of any damp winter day. To make, simply steep a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a cup of hot water for five to ten minutes before drinking. Or, for added flavour, simmer the ginger for a few minutes with some orange slices.  In addition to flavouring the ginger tea, oranges and in fact all citrus fruits offer a good dose of vitamin C, which can also help strengthen blood capillary walls and may help to prevent a build-up of plaque, which can slow down blood flow.

Veg Adding in all types of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to clear an excess of cholesterol. Particularly useful winter vegetables, like leeks and cabbage and potatoes, all provide plenty of potassium, which can be beneficial for the circulatory system.

Garlic Alongside this, garlic can aid the health of the arteries and make platelets less likely to clump together. A useful winter drink in our house is lemon juice, minced garlic and grated ginger, perhaps flavoured with a little honey.  A morale booster, a cold fighter and a boost to circulation all in one!

Fruit A few issues back, I wrote an article on berries and talked about the antioxidant lycopene and this one has been linked to improving circulation. So adding in tomatoes (perhaps to winter warming stews) along with other foods like pink grapefruits, watermelon, berries, and apricots will help to boost lycopene in the diet.

Fish Avoiding saturated fats and increasing essential fatty acids in the diet, so adding a few winter meals of oily fish like herring, sardines, pilchards, mackerel and salmon can be benefical. Additional sources of fatty acids that can be helpful include nuts and seeds, all of which make great snacks on busy days.

Chocolate Finally, this article would not be complete without mention of chocolate!  Cocoa contains flavonoids, which can help with circulation, but make sure it is dark chocolate.

communication

This article has previously been published in a past print issue of Holistic Therapist Magazine, it is such valued advice, that we wish for our online readers to benefit from the expertise of the Managing Director of Balens Ltd, David Balen, who provides advice on overcoming issues with client relationships

How you verbally communicate directly with your clients will have an impact upon the success or otherwise of your business.  Most therapists and Natural Health-Professionals tend to run small business environments, which revolve around them personally and so the importance of happy clients (or employees and collaborators) based on good quality communication and listening skills is all-important.  So many complaints and claims we see arise from misunderstandings, which can lead to an inadequate client relationship.  Of course we don’t just communicate with our clients. There are regulators, educators, suppliers, colleagues and peers, the media, social and family circles.

The rapid fire communication environment of social and online media poses particular problems. Responses to texting and emails can pressurise us into making ill-considered comments all too quickly, and sometimes too publicly!  Boundary issues between client and friend can be blurred if a therapist is over familiar, friendly and too much personal information is shared.  If things do not go well, it is so easy these days to spread bad publicity or negativity through blogs, forums, and websites etc., potentially causing reputational damage.

So It is important to reflect on and revise where helpful, your own style of communication.  If you are not confident, maybe consider doing some inner work alone or with someone- a counsellor, mentor or professional helper etc. There are various courses and workshops to attend and you may be able to claim the expenses as CPD.

It is important to recognised that communication is not just in the language and words we use, but in our tone and perhaps more importantly for any business, in our non-verbal communication. All this is fed into by our various personality traits and tendencies, our life experiences, cultural and family habits and much more; so the drivers and underpins to our behaviour are enormously varied.

As a brief example we could consider Jung’s definitions of the four main psychological types: Sensation (practical, tangible world-people), Intuition (ideas and inspiration,) Feeling (expressing through the emotions and desires) and Thinking (using a rational approach, categorising and analysing). Of course no one is usually only one type or another but a mixture. There are countless other models one could consider, but they all colour the way we communicate.  A mainly “thinking” focussed person trying to communicate with a mainly “Feeling” focussed person, may sometimes sound like both parties are talking a different language even though they are speaking in English! Although opposites can complement one another they can also rub each other up the wrong way!  It is important to understand what levels your clients operate on and adjust your style accordingly.

For you as a Health Professional non-verbal communication is not just about your body language, you communicate in other areas, for example…

  • Presentation – choice of dress and appearance
  • Place of business – cleanliness, upkeep, décor, contents
  • Advertising and promotional material – clarity, style, choice of images
  • Web presence – Website and social media, ease of navigation of the size, how regularly is the information updated, general ‘look’
  • Administration systems – speed of response to enquiries, complaints or compliments, how you maintain contact when not seeing them

People often judge others very quickly, often on superficial criteria, sometimes on a “gut” or intuitive sense, so any way you can improve and be ahead of the game in how you relate and communicate to the outside world is to be encouraged.

As I’m sure you are aware, clients tend to vote with their feet and whilst they can have numerous reasons for not continuing the relationship, it is unlikely that you will know why unless you specifically ask. Although this may be difficult, it is useful if done well.

Complaints that are handled well can turn a negative situation into a positive experience, but if handled badly can result in lost business and reputational damage, with the potential to have a financial impact upon your business, not to mention the cost of the time it will take you to deal with the issues, and the possible emotional impact on you.

In dealing with complaint situations it may be helpful to consider the following model of communication styles all of which may come into play-

Passive – Compliant, submissive, vague, non-committal, puts self-down

Aggressive – Superior, critical, bullying, sarcastic, disrespectful of others

Assertive – Clear, direct, firm but polite, respectful of self and others

Clearly, the “Assertive” style is the one to adopt not only in challenging situations, but in your general professional persona.  Even if you have no doubts about your own verbal and non-verbal communication abilities and experience, as with all things in life, you can always find new things to learn and there is a wealth of material out there to encourage and help you.

For further information on Issues with Communication please also see the CPD Lecture ‘Negotiating the Boundaries – Managing difficult situations with your clients’ at balens.co.uk/cpd  where other Balen Client Education Material about managing your practice can also be found.

image provided by print uk

It isn’t always easy to design a suitable logo for your company. The ideal design may become apparent straight away, or it may take extensive time and resources to create the perfect one.

One thing’s for sure – for those that order letterheads online alongside the wide range of other forms of print marketing, the right logo is essential. It effectively sets the stage for your brand, and is one of the things that your clients and customers will best remember you by.

Here are a few tips to ensure you get your logo right first time out.

Make it timeless

An effective logo should barely need to be changed for decades. Swerve clear of designs that are simply ‘trendy’ or unlikely to retain their relevance over time. Good examples of ‘no no’ design features include gradients, drop shadows and overly stylized fonts.

Make it distinctive

It isn’t always easy to deviate from the norm, and you may be wary of an overly bold design that differs from what is usual in your industry. Indeed, certain industries may not often use a logo at all on their letterheads – instead just the company name in a stylized font. However, a unique logo can imprint a very powerful ‘stamp’ on clients’ minds.

Make it simple

Just think of the logos of some of the world’s most renowned brands: McDonald’s, Target, Nike. They’re all simple and instantly identifiable with their parent companies. Given how much people are bombarded by images every day, it’s often those profound, simple motifs that make the biggest impact and are the easiest to recall.

Make it versatile

There are so many areas where you could place your logo. It’ll obviously be on your website, business cards and letterheads, of course, but it could also show up on branded stationery or clothing. If you decide to sponsor a major event any time soon, you will want to make sure that everyone remembers your logo.

…but don’t overthink it

With all of the above, it might seem that there’s so much to think about when designing a business logo. You don’t necessarily need to incite an overpowering emotion with your logo, and if the design is being revised 10 times or more, you might just be overthinking the process a bit.

PrintContact
PrintUK.com
0845 2993 923
hello@printuk.com

stuart russell

Marketing consultant and founder of FindNetworkingEvents.com, Stuart Russell, shares the importance of networking as a marketing tool

Running your own therapy business doing the thing you love can be a great way to way to earn a living, but as with any business it still requires promotion to ensure a steady stream of customers. Unfortunately, for many of you this can be seen as a chore and is often neglected.

However, there is a way that marketing can be fun. Over the past few years more and more holistic therapists are discovering the benefits that attending regular face to face networking events can bring.

Why should I network? Many people have the perception that networking events are all about selling, but the truth is they also offer many less tangible benefits.

If you work on your own for much of the time, networking can provide a useful support network enabling you to bounce ideas off others or perhaps spark new ideas. It may open up collaboration possibilities or enable to you to meet a local designer who can produce you some leaflets.

Thinking creatively, why not offer taster sessions through a networking group? At a recent event I attended, a local Tai Chi Teacher ran a short meditation session for the group. For many of the people present it was their first experience of meditation and their response was very positive.

Over time regular networking will lead to more and more people getting to know you and hopefully becoming clients or potentially referring you on to others.

What types of events are out there? Typically, most events take place at breakfast, lunchtime or early evening so you should be able find something that fits around your client base.

Formats of events vary widely. Some may involve giving a short pitch about your business, others just a meet up and a chat over coffee. It is worth trying out a few and finding out what you enjoy.

Generally organisers are getting more creative and coming up with new ideas for business events. As well as the traditional offerings, some recent events have involved trips to theme parks and boat trips on the Thames!

Have a Plan!

If you are tempted to dip your toe into the networking world then it is important to do some planning beforehand. Make sure you are clear about what you want to achieve from your networking. There are obviously financial and time implications involved so it is important to know how much it is costing you and what kind of return you are getting.

Tips for Attending Events:

  1. Always remember to present yourself and your business in a positive manner and make sure you know how to talk about what you do in an easily understood way.
  2. It is worth spending a bit extra on good quality, well-designed business cards. Add your social-networking details as well as your main contact details.
  3. It is important that you follow up with people once you get back home. If there is someone you hit it off with at an event then drop those people a quick email or connect on LinkedIn.

 

Finally…  The important thing to realise about networking, is that it is all about building relationships with people over the long term, don’t expect results over night. And remember, networking should be fun, so get out there and enjoy it!

Case Study:

Bowen Technique practitioner Mary Macfarlane, who works in and around Edinburgh, shares her networking experience:

Networking has become the main stay of my business and I go to a meeting every two weeks or so. I have connected with some wonderful people who have supported me during the embryonic stage of developing my client list and business. It’s not all about getting new clients though and it’s vitally important to remember that it’s also about building relationships with people, developing trust. It’s a great way to meet people who inspire and motivate you; it’s about gaining confidence in yourself to run a business, learning from more experienced people you can use as role models, get advice from or discuss new ideas with.

 

lizzie face the world

So we have chosen five free business apps on a previous blog, and now it’s time to share five free apps for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. So here they are:

  1. Kindle: This means you can download Kindle books on any device and read your fav books, or even business books. The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. You’ll have access to over 1,000,000* books in the Kindle Store plus hundreds* of newspapers and magazines.
  2. Daily Yoga Quotes: Yoga is a powerful natural state that can inspire you in many ways. YogaQuote is a simple app for yoga enthusiasts who also like inspirational quotes. It is filled with quotes and beautiful background images that are presented one day at a time. Perhaps one line or even just one word can awaken your insights and deepen your yoga practice.
  3. Health tip of the Day: An app that helps you to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
  4. Raw Food Diet: Raw Food Diet Free provides healthy raw food recipes to help you detox and live a healthier, more organic life.
  5. Holistic Skin Care: Ageless Skin Oil & Salves are made with unrefined oils and organic herbs. All of our products are made with Hemp Oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the herbal constituent of hemp that protects & nourishes skin and cells. The products are designed to rejuvenate, balance, soothe and nourish the skin in a natural and wholesome way… So enjoy more from the Holistic application.

So get Appy, with these applications that are sure to make you Happy.

    business and family

    A great article reading for HTM by Louise Jensen… mother, practitioner and businesswoman:

    Background

    The decision to return to work after an enforced break following a car accident was easy.  Dealing with the practical issues of this choice though has at times, left me feeling so frazzled I need a therapist, oh wait, I am a therapist!

    Prior to my accident I really had been following my dreams.  Years training in therapies I had absolute conviction in, allowed me to practice confidently from a local clinic.  I built up a loyal client base and lived in a beautiful village with my partner and three children.  I really did have the perfect life, or did I?

    Finding Freedom

    Becoming wheelchair bound meant stopping work, which was heartbreaking. It also meant I began questioning everything about myself; who I was, and what I really wanted. I realised the joy I previously experienced had come from my job and my children, not my personal live.  It was massively scary to follow my heart; I had three children to support, no income, constant physical pain and a lack of mobility… but I decided to leave my partner.  The timing was terrible, but being so limited physically made me strive to find freedom within my mind and I knew that that wouldn’t happen without change.

    Fast Forward

    Fast forward to now, and I have found love and relocated to a new town.  I am able to stand unaided, and potter around a bit. Naturally and happily it felt the right time to re-launch Balancing Health.  Whilst this was exciting, it also posed me with many business decisions.

    Location Location Location

    The first dilemma was where to work from.  Corby has no dedicated holistic centres, but there are salons renting rooms out.  I previously liked working from a clinic as they advertised me and I felt supported and part of a team. Being able to disassociate from my working life at the end of each day when I returned home allowed me to slip back easily into ‘mum mode’.

    After visiting numerous premises I began to feel frustrated, because I couldn’t find one I felt I would fit in to.  I didn’t feel comfortable slotting in amongst spray tans and Botox, and realistically I had to weigh up the possible business I could gain being salon based, against the outlay of paying for a room whether I had clients booked in or not. Many of the salons shut at six o’clock and I wanted to offer a late night option for after work appointments. I began to explore the idea of working from home.

    A major obstacle in being home based was compromising space, as two of the children would have to agree to share a room to allow one room to be converted into a therapy space.  We had a family discussion and the benefits; both financially and practically, outweighed the negatives.  I would ultimately have more time with my family as there is no traveling time, no rental or travelling costs and although I try to book appointments in school time if they do overran, my eldest son is happy to keep an eye on his younger brothers, for a price (hey holistic house or not, a teenager is a teenager!).

    Of course there is the hassle of checking the house is tidy before sessions, especially the bathroom, (with a house full of boys who knows what delights may lie there) I am more mindful of health and safety issues than I would be in a clinic.  I’m not sure if my insurance would cover a client stepping barefoot on Lego whilst going to the toilet halfway through a treatment.

    Village V Town

    Launching initially in a village I found that word traveled quickly.  People talked whilst out walking and word of mouth quickly spread.  I felt this would happen on a larger scale in a town but I have found people get in the cars and go with little interaction on a day-to-day basis.  In the village I could leaflet drop the whole village and advertise, often for free, in rural publications.  When I was living in a town, I had to carefully decide where to target, as it is unfeasible to reach everyone.

    One distinct advantage of a town is people do appear more reserved and don’t just pop round on the off chance so I can look at their shoulder, their dog, or the shoulder of their dog, (yes, this really did happen!).

    Overall I feel a balance with my re-launch, but being a working parent is always a question of balance…  I hope I have found the right one for my family.

     

    watch healthy video

    We came across this video on YouTube… and whilst as the guy quite openly admits, his advice is obvious (probably to those of the holistic world), that it is good to hear them. We at HTM think it is a great that a seemingly ordinary chap is sharing such valuable advice and is clearly making steps to improving his own life… The more individuals that take these paths the better for everybody.

    Have a listen, do you have experience of any of these areas of life improvements? Would you agree with the benefits of his suggestions?

    back to school

    As a child the six weeks school holiday seemed to be a long time – trips away, fun at home, visits to see family, playing games; indoor and out, enjoying the sunshine, enjoying the rain… and then school starts again, back to the routine and the homework… but after those six weeks children seem ready for it… maybe they have a different relationship with time than adults do – because as an adult those six weeks whizz by, and before you know it, it is time to buy new uniforms, stationary, equipment, sports kits, lunch-boxes… and that is just the shopping order, what about all the other prep?

    Back to school time can be hectic for parents, but also they are often ready for their little cherubs to start or return to school. Like anything it is best to be prepared – so here are some tips for parents:

    1. Give plenty of time to buy the ‘back to school’ things your child/ren may need for the new academic year. Do remember though, whilst it is great grabbing items in the sale – avoid getting the uniform or shoes as children can often seem to grow over night, and whilst you would have saved in the store initially, you don’t want to have to buy again because your son or daughter has a growth spurt a few days before they return to school. You can get around it by buying a bigger size in some items – but just be mindful.
    2. Avoid getting caught up in your what your child/ren want, as opposed to what they need – you do not need added financial outgoing as well as more stress because they want a certain brand or the same colour lunch-box as their best friend.
    3. The six weeks can certainly feel like a long time for children, especially the young ones, or even the ones starting out at school for the first time – prepare them by talking to them throughout the holidays about their new school, or teacher, so that it is not a shock when the day arrives. You can also do a countdown wall chart, or read specific school starting books. It is important that your child/ren is emotionally prepared for the new school year no matter what age they are.
    4. If your child/ren is of the age where the year ahead involves academic choices or even exams, it maybe worth talking to them about an out of school activity they may wish to start, so that they have balance in their schedule as well as something else to look forward to other than exams.
    5. School lunches or school dinners? There are benefits to both! The lunches mean you can choose what your child/ren eat and then you can opt for health foods – but always include a treat – they need it! School dinners can mean a nice warm meal in the day especially during the colder months, as long as you know that your child/ren will eat it.
    6. Some parents can get emotional when there child/ren start or return to school, and so maybe it is a good time to increase your client base, so you can focus on work when your child/ren are at school, and then spend time with them after school hours. Also, try not to let your child/ren see you get upset – they have their own apprehensions, or they may feel absolutely fine about school – so it is best not to influence them indirectly.
    7. If you child/ren are having trouble settling during the first few weeks – this is normal, no matter what the age… just make sure you are there for them, and maybe talk to them about your school days – even show them old photographs. If this persists then it is worth talking to the teacher, as well as to your child/ren.
    8. Depending on your modality, you may wish to treat your child to a session perhaps of yoga, reiki, to a massage or some sound therapy – you know better than anybody that the benefits of the therapy you offer can help in so many areas of people’s lives, including anxiety and stress.
    9. Keep your own stress levels down also by having a treatment yourself. Use the opportunity when your child/ren are at school to get some ‘me time’ too.
    10. A top tip for any parent leaving their child/ren at school, is to always depart on happy terms – even if the morning has been hectic or challenging, and even if you have had a small falling out with your child/ren, ensure that as they leave the house, or walk through the school gates, or when you leave the classroom that they know without a single doubt that you love them, that you are there for them and that no matter what may come up in their day that you are their to support them.

     

     

    summer skin

    As I’m writing this on a sunny summer day, many of our clients are still heading for the “beach body”/beauty needs of spray tans, manicures, pedicures and waxing – but it’s easy to forget that this is also the time of year to take extra care of your skin for the duration of summer – especially your face!

    Exfoliation and rehydration are key in the summer. Keep pores unblocked from sun cream, sweat, tanning products and allergens such as pollen, dust and pollution – and replenish moisture lost from spending more time outdoors and exposed to the sun.

    Often when we talk of a good, toned skin, we (mostly unknowingly) are referring to skin with ‘closed’ or non-visible pores. Enlarged/’open’ pores are frowned upon in the quest for perfection. However, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves – as our pores don’t actually open or close and the size of them is predominantly genetic! An enlarged or open pore is just doing its’ job for you. It means it’s working to release sebum and dead skin cells from out of the hair follicle it is a part of.

    What can happen though is skin debris, sebum and introduced/topical products get clogged around the pore like leaves and litter clog around a drain. This leads to the pore getting blocked and enlarged, bacterial build up may occur and ultimately a blackhead or spot can result – even acne in more severe cases.

    Regular exfoliation is vital for the maintenance of healthy pores – and so healthy skin. Ideally choose a natural, gentle exfoliator that combines both physical and chemical exfoliation. That way, you get the best of both worlds in a system that won’t aggravate your skin. Physical exfoliation can be in the form of ground fruit seeds or drupes such as rosehips or almonds. These will help to physically remove or pluck out debris. The best chemical exfoliators are the AHAs – or alpha hydroxy acids – as they can be naturally found in fruits and some vegetables. These enzymes will directly break down dead skin cells, making them easier to wash away and expose new skin. Some are milder than others, so less irritating for sensitive skins – choose fruit or pumpkin AHAs.

    Ok – so what next? We have our clean, unblocked pores and know we need to do this regularly for healthy summer skin…

    We all here know that our skin is actually our largest biochemical organ, working 24 hours a day without fail – so it goes without saying that it needs constant replenishing. Most if not all of the nutrients it needs are provided by our diet (exception vitamin D from sunlight) – so it’s really true that you are what you eat – and one of the first places it shows is in your skin!

    Our modern, busy lives with convenience/processed foods, coffee pick-me-ups, booze at weekends, stress at work and family demands (I think you know what I mean!) can sometimes make it hard to religiously follow a pure, natural diet. Most of us are tired or dehydrated most of the time. Add to that the effects of sun exposure and summer holidays! D’oh! So what’s the single most important ingredient you can help your skin with? Water! It’s not rocket science.

    With over 70% of our body being water, when we are so often in short supply of it what we do have in our bodies supports our vital organs, blood and lymph streams – so our poor skin plays second fiddle. Drinking lots of water and/or (healthy!) fluids is of course paramount, but luckily for us we can apply water topically too in the form of a good moisturiser.

    What makes a moisturiser ‘good’? Well, you want a gentle one that works in harmony with your skin – again, look for natural brands that are suitable for all skin types. What, not prescriptive for my skin type? Nope. (Head on the block here). Your skin can largely self-regulate itself – and all skin, whatever its’ age, gender, colour, oily, dry or mature, blah de blah has exactly the same fundamental biochemistry and physiology – with its structure based on elastin and collagen – and water.

    You want ingredients that bind water into the deeper layers and hold it there i.e. ‘humectant’ – many seaweed extracts will do this – also hyaluronic acid and (ethically-sourced) glycerin. You want to also look out for lighter lotions and milks that don’t sit heavy or greasy on the skin so can soak straight in. In the summer, vitamin E (‘tocopherol’) can also aid against environmental damage.

    Hope you found this useful, folks! Until next time, Lizzie xxx

    Liz Badger, Face The World Ltd