Sleep On It: 6 Tips for Better Sleep this Autumn

Sleep Med Page“Getting deep sleep is one of the best things you can do for your skin. It’s during REM sleep that your body regenerates cells and produces collagenboth keys to maintaining youthful skin.” ~ Dr. Howard Murad

A change in season gives us an opportunity to cast off bad habits and embrace changes to our regular routines. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep:

  1. Create a sleep sanctuary. Transform your bedroom into a place for slumber, not an entertainment centre or office. This means keeping your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. If your bedroom is not dark enough, try using a sleep mask. If ambient noise is disturbing your sleep, use soft foam earplugs or a white-noise machine. It’s also important to have a good mattress, pillows and sheets. Think about how much money you spend on a car. Chances are you spend more hours in your bed than you do in your car, so consider it a wise investment. And make sure you’re wearing loose-fitting, comfortable sleepwear.
  1. Exercise for great sleep. Exercising during the day supports sleep, but remember to give yourself enough time to decompress (at least three hours).  Exercise too late in the day will stimulate your body and mind when you should be winding down for sleep.
  1. Keep an eye on seasonal partying. Christmas parties are a blast, but keep in mind how this will affect your nightly rhythm. If you consume alcohol up to three hours before you hit the sheets, you may fall asleep easier, but your sleep cycle will be disrupted. Instead of a night cap, try a cup of chamomile tea with honey.
  1. Tune technology out. We’re attached to our devices from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we crash at night. The problem is that the light emitted by smartphones, iPads, laptops, etc mimics daylight and sends a signal to our brains to get active! The release of melatonin (the sleep hormone) is inhibited, which is bad news for getting a good night’s sleep. So commit to turning off technology at least half an hour before bedtime.


  1. Prepare for sleep. Once you’ve finally powered down all of the gadgets, what’s next? Do you have a good book? What are some books you want to read but never seem to have the time? Bedtime is also a great time to practice relaxation techniques, including gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises to calm the mind and body. Start by breathing slowly and deeply as you ease into slumber. Another soothing way to transition from a busy day and mind chatter is to develop a gratitude practice. As you lie still in bed, make a mental list of all the things you are grateful for.
  1. Create a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Realistically, we know this is not always possible. But if you can, try going to bed at approximately the same time every night, within a half hour. You’ll start to train your mind and body that “this is bedtime, time to go to sleep.” Same goes for waking up. No sleeping in on Saturdays! If you can get up and go to bed at approximately the same times every day, you can train your mind and body to naturally be on track for good waking energy and a sound night’s sleep.

Dr. Murad’s Tips for Exfoliating Skin

Regular exfoliation is one of the things you can do to help transform your skin to a younger, healthier look. Deriving its name from Latin, “exfoliation” means “to peel off leaves,” and for centuries people have been peeling off the layer of dead skin cells using various exfoliation methods.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and acts as a protective barrier for everything that lies underneath – including muscles, blood vessels, bone, etc. As the body’s first line of defence, the skin can take on quite a bit of punishment from the environment, leaving it dry and dull. When you exfoliate, you are removing the dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin, revealing the young, healthy cells underneath and encouraging new skin growth.

There are a number of reasons to consider incorporating regular exfoliation into your skincare routine:

  • Exfoliating reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Skin appears brighter, fresher and healthier after exfoliating.
  • Exfoliating prior to using a treatment product allows the active ingredients to better penetrate the skin.
  • Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, which can prevent breakouts.
  • Exfoliating speeds up the cell renewal process.

PeelThere are many ways to exfoliate, including scrubs, masks, brushes and microdermabrasion devices. Since everyone’s skin is different, with varying sensitivity, I recommend starting with an over-the-counter scrub or mask first and monitoring how your skin reacts. Once you know your skin isn’t highly sensitive to exfoliating, you may wish to move on to trying other exfoliating tools and professional treatments.

For a transformative experience, include exfoliation in your regular skincare regimen one to three times a week. But as with any kind of skin treatment, always be observant of your skin’s reactions when you exfoliate. If you are experiencing unusual redness or irritation following exfoliating, it might be time for a gentler exfoliant.

And don’t forget to use liberal amounts of your favourite moisturiser and sunscreen following exfoliation. Now that you have removed the top layer of dead skin cells, your skin will be more sensitive to environmental exposure such as sun, pollution and dry air, so protection from the elements is very important.

Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.

Take the “Are You Happy?” Test

shutterstock_157498331The positive correlation between happiness and health long recognised as folk-wisdom has been put to the scientific test in recent years.  Rigorous studies confirm that laughter is indeed the best medicine.  That’s why one of the most important elements of an Inclusive Health lifestyle is making time for the things that make you happy.

Being happy may not only improve the emotional quality of your life, but also your physical state, mental capacity and how long you live. A recent five-year study by University College London found  that, during the study period,  older people were up to 35% less likely to die if they reported feeling happy, excited, and content on a typical day. And this was true regardless of chronic health problems, depression, and stress incident to financial insecurity.

So, how happy are you?

Happiness is subjective and hard to measure, but easy to recognise. Take this brief quiz below, created by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California Riverside, to find out how happy you are:

1. On a scale from 1 (not a very happy person) to 7 (a very happy person), I consider myself a number:

2. On a scale of 1 (less happy) to 7 (more happy), when compared with most of my peers, I consider myself a number:

3. Some people are generally very happy. They enjoy life regardless of what is going on, getting the most out of everything. On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 7 (a great deal), to what extent does this characterisation describe you?

4. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 7 (a great deal), to what extent does this characterisation describe you?

To calculate your score, add up your response to each question and divide by 4. Then find yourself on the chart below:

1                    2                    3                    4                    5                    6                    7

Unhappy                                             Average                                 Extremely Happy


The average happiness score runs from about 4.5 – 5.5.

If your score is low and you are nearer to the unhappy end of the scale, there are a number of relatively easy things you can do to improve how you feel.

One of the insights Dr. Murad often shares with his patients is “Why have a bad day when you can have a good day?”

He says: “Having a wonderful day or a terrible day is less a matter of circumstances than it is of choice.  You can choose to have a good day – or not. It’s entirely up to you.  This is a key part of the thinking behind my philosophy of Inclusive Health. The positive health benefits of improving your mental outlook can be tremendous.”

Here are some areas in which you can start changing your life for the better:

  • Emotional Vitality: Having a sense of hopefulness, enthusiasm for life and engagement with community. Volunteer to help a local charitable organisation to help boost your emotional vitality.
  • Optimism: Approaching life thinking good things will happen, and that one’s actions can have a positive impact on the future. What are some of the good things that have happened to you lately and what are some of the best things you are looking forward to?
  • Support System: A positive and supportive network of family, friends and co-workers. Staying in touch with and doing activities with loved ones is a great way to strengthen your support system.
  • Self-Regulation:The ability to bounce back from life’s challenges knowing that things will eventually be positive again.  Life throws you curve balls – you have to learn to hit them out of the park.
  • Physical Health: Choosing healthy behaviours such as eating well and exercising regularly.  Eating your water (water-rich raw fruits and vegetable, for example), is one way to very quickly improve your overall health.
  • Being in the moment: The ability to be completely present in this moment, without thinking of what has happened in the past or what is coming up in the future. Practicing meditation and/or yoga is a good way to learn to enhance your capability for mindfulness.

When you “detoxify your brain” by thinking positively, every cell in your body will be healthier.

Sources: Harvard School of Public Health, CNN Health, ABC News, ABC News 20/20

Exercise and Breakouts

shutterstock_183012008Exercise is not only good for your weight and your health – it is also good for your skin! The skin is your body’s largest organ, so an overall healthy lifestyle including exercise will actually benefit the skin in a number of ways:

– Exercising increases blood flow to the skin, which helps nourish cells and keep them healthy.

– That increased blood flow from exercise helps carry away waste from the skin, including cellular debris and free radicals.

– Exercise relieves stress, which can be an exacerbating cause for some spot sufferers. Studies have shown that stress hormones affect sebaceous glands that are responsible for oil production in the skin.

– Exercise boosts your immune system, which helps the body fight off bacteria and inflammation that can lead to spots.

If you have a special skin condition, such as being blemish-prone, you may need to take particular care of your skin to keep it protected before, during and after exercising.

Prior to working out, clean skin with warm water and mild soap. This will allow pores to release toxins through sweat without mixing with bacteria that can be present from makeup, dirt and oil.

SONY DSCDuring your workout, make sure to wear sunscreen if you’re exercising outside! Also, when wiping sweat from your face, make sure you use a clean towel to dab the sweat off your skin; don’t swipe. Vigorous swiping can irritate pores, which may lead to inflammation and breakouts.

Following your workout, shower immediately, thoroughly washing your body and face. Put on an oil-free moisturiser to help replenish skin hydration. And continue to hydrate with water-rich snacks throughout the rest of the day.

Spotlight on: Rapid Collagen Infusion (£78)

SONY DSCIf lines and wrinkles are starting to stare back at you when you look in the mirror then you’ll want to hear about our latest anti-ageing innovation: Rapid Collagen Infusion. This new wrinkle-fighting skin solution boosts collagen and hydration levels for plumper skin in just two hours!

We lose 1% of collagen every year starting at age twenty, according to Dr. Murad. The more collagen we lose, the more fine lines and wrinkles appear which is why it’s essential we work to increase our collagen levels as we age.

This fast-acting, multi-tasking, wrinkle-fighting and collagen-building formula promotes healthy collagen and increases hydration levels which together plump up and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

Why it’s so special

For the first time, Dr. Murad and his son Jeff Murad have managed to penetrate the skin’s surface with the power of collagen. The collagen molecule is too large to penetrate the skin, so it’s been previously impossible to use it in a topical skincare product. The clever Murads discovered they could break an intact collagen protein down into its components of amino acids and these are small enough to penetrate the skin and give the benefits of a full collagen molecule. The result: Rapid Collagen Infusion.

The fantastic infusion pumps skin with hydration leaving it smooth and plump. It’s perfect for anyone looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and it’s ideal for people in their twenties too, as a preventative anti-ageing measure.

Secret formula

We already know it contains collagen, but what else makes this product so special? It contains Dr. Murad’s unique Cellular Hydro-Lock with Apple and Lentil Seed Extracts, which infuse skin with essential moisture and help to smooth those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, Winged Kelp (a type of seaweed) helps smooth skin by encouraging the production of collagen (to keep skin plump) and elastin (to keep skin firm).

Your complete skincare regime

For the healthiest skin possible, we recommend using a complete skincare regime which includes a cleanser, followed by a serum and then a moisturiser. And don’t forget an eye cream to protect and hydrate this fragile area.

What our customers say:

“I am raving about this to anyone who’ll listen! I’ve tried loads of anti-ageing creams and serums but nothing has come close to this – I can honestly say I have never known such amazing results in such a short time. Skin is glowing and softer than ever, lines are diminished and I have a youthful radiance I assumed I’d never see again.”


“I’ve been using this product for a few weeks and I love it. It absorbs really easily and leaves my skin really smooth. I have dry skin and this leaves it feeling hydrated and I’ve seen an improvement in the fine lines.”


“I don’t rave about things easily, but I really love this. I expected it to be a bit ‘serumy’ but it’s not. It’s a light cream texture which absorbs really easily and can be worn under a moisturiser and more importantly, make up. In three weeks I can absolutely see a difference. I am lucky enough to be blessed with good genes which help considerably in the anti-ageing battle, but the fine lines around my eyes have pretty much disappeared. And my skin feels toned but with a plump brightness, which is a feat in itself in this weather. I’ve just turned 45 and was told this week that I look like I’m in my early thirties. It’s a minefield buying skin with so many highly acclaimed products on the market – but I loved this and it’s certainly made a difference where other creams and serums haven’t.”

Sam Bird

Dr. Murad’s Water Secret Smoothie Recipe

blueberry_banana_smoothieOne of Dr. Murad’s favourite sayings is “before there was medicine there was food.” This reflects the simple reality that before modern medical treatments people had to rely on eating healthily to be healthy!

In light of this we thought we’d share with you the recipe to his Cellular Water Secret Smoothie which contains all the nutrients you need to build stronger cells for a healthy body, healthy skin and healthy mind:

1/2 pomegranate juice (unsweetened)

½ cup soy, low-fat, or non-fat milk

½ cup blueberries (fresh or unsweetened frozen)

1 tablespoon lecithin granules

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons dried goji berries

3 to 4 ice cubes or crushed ice (optional)

Sweetener (optional) to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

This is one smoothie which is incredibly good for you and tastes incredibly good too!

Find more recipes for healthy living in Dr. Murad’s book ‘The Water Secret – how to look and feel 10 years younger’.

Dr. Murad is a world-renowned dermatologist, trained pharmacist, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of Murad skincare. Not only is he a world famous skincare expert, he’s also an expert on sleep, nutrition, stress, promoting health and happiness to achieve beautiful skin.

The Big Summer Skincare Switch Up

shutterstock_106882529As we look forward to warmer – if not always sunny – weather, it becomes necessary to go through a bit of an overhaul! We switch to cooler clothing, brighter colours, lighter makeup and we may even cut our hair, however it’s easy to forget to switch up our skincare. The truth is, if your product routine is working for you then you may not think to change it. However, there are a few small switches Dr. Murad suggests making to ensure you’re getting the most out of your skincare during the summer months:

Switch up your moisturisers. “During the winter your skin is usually drier because the air outside is drier and your skin needs extra hydration from a thicker moisturiser. During the summer when there is more humidity, a lighter day cream is all you need. Do bear in mind though, if you’re constantly inside and surrounded by extreme air conditioning, your skin may still dry out.

I always recommend wearing a day cream with SPF, especially during the summer months when the sun is stronger and you spend more time outside, regardless of your skin type.”

Top tip: if you have a dry skin type make sure your day cream still offers you the hydration you need. All Murad moisturisers contain RepleniCell, a hydrating ingredient technology which turns the water in your cream (previously an inactive element) into an active hydrator. This means 100% of the formula is working to hydrate your skin by attracting and binding water to the skin’s surface while also strengthening the skin’s barrier helping it keep moisture in the skin.

Product recommendations:

SONY DSCOil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 controls oil production whilst providing essential hydration.

Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture intensely hydrates and nourishes skin.


Change your cleanser. “In the summer months we experience increased sweat and oil production which can lead to acne-breeding bacteria and is why many people are more prone to breakouts during warmer months. To combat this you can use a clarifying cleanser to unclog the pores that have become full of sweat, dirt and debris. It’s also important to exfoliate at least once per week to clear away the layers of dead skin cells and give you a clearer, more radiant skin.”

Top tip: take the time to massage your cleanser into your skin for a good couple of minutes before rinsing. Also, don’t skip your night-time cleanse! You need to take the time to cleanse your skin before bed to remove all the dirt and impurities built up during the day and allow your skin the best chance to recover and repair itself overnight.

Product recommendations:

SONY DSCDaily Cleansing Foam cleanses and tones skin in one step! It balances and revitalises skin while removing pore-clogging impurities for smooth, clear skin.

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser combines a trio of acids with Jojoba Beads to gently exfoliate away dead skin cells and improve brightness and clarity.

Load up on antioxidants. “Infusing your body with antioxidants both topically and internally will offer dramatic protection from the environment and in particular, free radicals caused by sun exposure.”

Product recommendation: Consider taking supplements with pomegranate extract, like our Pomphenol Sunguard Dietary Supplement. Taking just one pomegranate extract supplement daily will increase your skin’s natural sun protection by up to 20% in just two months. The potent antioxidant also helps ward off free radical damage and lower your chances of sun burn and prickly heat.

SkinPerfectingPrimerMatteLook for multipurpose products for a lightweight feel. “You may also want to consider replacing your foundation for something lighter such as a Murad primer, which provide light coverage whilst controlling oil production. Our primers work as a cosmetic makeup as well as offering skincare benefits.  These sophisticated skincare products offer more than temporary benefits – they treat skin problems, optimise skin health and conceal visible flaws, so they are truly multi functional and offer short and long term results.”

Product recommendation:

Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish provides a light veil of coverage.