Spotlight on: Renewing Cleansing Oil (£29)

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We’re excited to launch our first oil-based cleanser! Using a blend of gorgeous botanical oils, it’s fantastic for removing makeup, eye makeup and the dirt of the day, while also hydrating the skin and locking in moisture. If you wear makeup, have dry, sensitive or ageing skin we think you’ll love this.

Don’t be afraid of using oil for cleansing, you see oil and dirt on the skin attach to the oil in the cleanser, and when rinsed off, it results in clearer, unclogged pores. Top tip: make sure your cleansing oil is non-comedogenic (it should have a non-comedogenic symbol). This will reassure you, especially if you have oily or a blemish-prone skin, that it won’t clog your pores. Of course, it goes without saying that our Renewing Cleaning Oil is non-comedogenic.

Dr. Murad says: “Many people are hesitant to put oil-based products on their skin for fear of clogging pores or causing breakouts. This is a misconception. Even oily skin needs moisture – it just needs the right kind.”

Why it’s so special

This wonderful cleanser completely removes makeup and washes away surface impurities without leaving the skin stripped of its own natural oils. Whether you’re just prone to dry skin or if you’re working to stay hydrated to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this cleansing oil leaves skin smooth and hydrated.

Secret formula

Dr. Murad’s botanical blend of grape seed, pomegranate seed and sunflower seed oils, plus olive fruit extracts are the secrets to its success. They gently cleanse skin as well as adding hydration. While they’re at work, Jojoba and Liquorice are also busy nourishing your skin and helping to restore a smooth texture to your skin.

Your complete skincare regime

For the healthiest skin possible, we recommend 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 too.

Find out more about this cleanser here: http://www.murad.co.uk/renewing-cleansing-oil

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LOL! It’s good for your health

shutterstock_92466964“Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve all heard this phrase before and it’s been repeated for generations for good reason! In fact, research has unveiled that laughter really does serve as a great medicine to help your mental and physical health.

Whether it’s a big belly laugh or an uncontrollable giggle, laughter can affect our bodies and our minds in a multitude of beneficial ways. When we laugh, we stretch muscles throughout the face and neck, and sometimes even our bodies. Additionally, the pulse and blood pressure go up briefly, increasing oxygen to our tissues. Indeed, the benefits of a good, hearty belly laugh are similar to a light workout…including burning calories.

Feeling a chuckle coming on? Here’s why you should allow it to grow into a full-blown, “laugh until it hurts” belly laugh:

Physical Benefits:

  • Improves your immune system. Laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibodies, according to studies at Loma Linda University.
  • Soothes tension in muscles. Laughter can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, which helps reduce the physical symptoms of stress. Laughter also acts as a distraction, allowing a person to forget about physical pains.
  • Increases blood flow. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen, stimulating the heart, lungs and muscles. It increases blood flow, which may help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Laughter can also trigger the release of endorphins, a feel-good chemical released by the brain creating a feeling of well-being and relieving stress and pain.

 Emotional Benefits:

  • Lowers stress. Laughter creates a relaxed feeling by heating up and then cooling down your stress response, which increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This reduces stress and improves your mood, leaving you feeling recharged and positive.
  • Boosts self confidence. Laughter can make coping with difficult situations much easier. When you’re able to laugh at yourself instead of getting upset or putting yourself down, you are increasing your personal satisfaction, confidence and ultimate well-being.

 Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships. Studies have shown that laughter can actually make you more attractive to your friends, loved ones and the opposite sex.
  • Helps to defuse conflicts. In stressful conflicts, we often search for a right or wrong answer. Instead, try finding the humour in the situation, and you might realise that what you thought was a big issue was actually quite small in the grand scheme of things.

So here’s to digging out our best jokes and LOL!

Sources: Care2.com, Mayo Clinic, University of Kentucky

Chocolate = Happy Heart

164615-chocolate-chocolate-waterfallOne 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!

However, you have to allow yourself to indulge in your favourite treats every now and then to preserve your love of food and of life! Dr. Murad recommends you stick by his 80/20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time and indulge for the remaining 20%.

As Easter approaches chocolate is everywhere and you’d have to have an iron will not to indulge at least a little bit. The trick is not to feel bad about it! After all, what’s the point in treating yourself to something truly delicious if you feel racked with guilt afterwards?

To help you eat your 20% guilt-free, here are some health benefits of eating chocolate you may not know:

  • Chocolate is good for the heart. The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, our bodies can benefit from this antioxidant power, much as plants do.
  • Chocolate is full of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental nasties like cigarette smoke and everyday stress. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals.
  • Chocolate is good for the blood. Flavonols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the higher levels of flavonols it has. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavonols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

So enjoy moderate portions of chocolate (30 grams or so) a few times per week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.

Just Relax: simple ways to incorporate relaxation into your daily routine

MeditationIt’s no secret that stress has a major negative impact on us. It damages our mental and physical health and impacts our relationships, both at home and at work. So, what can we do to alleviate or avoid stress? The answer is to relax! However, as we all know, that’s easier said than done.

When we take time to unplug from this over-stimulated world – and dial down what Dr. Murad calls Cultural Stress®, the constant and pervasive stressors of everyday modern life – it can have huge impacts on our health and wellbeing.

The simple definition of relaxation is being free of tension and anxiety. When you’re relaxed, you will sleep better and spend more hours in REM sleep, which builds your immune system. Truly relaxing improves your memory, reduces your risk of stroke and may even improve your eating habits by reducing cravings for fats and starchy food.

So, considering all of these benefits, why is it so hard for us to relax? Well, times have changed and Cultural Stress, in its many forms, keeps us from finding a peaceful state where we can truly be calm and quiet. In the modern world, relaxation is a deliberate choice and a learned behaviour that requires training and practice to make it an effortless part of your regular life.

Here are a few ways to help you incorporate relaxation into your daily routine:

• Take slow, deep breaths for a few minutes before bed. Do it again when you get up in the morning and then again whenever you are driving in the car or on your way to and from work.

• Create a list of things you “have” to do. By getting your “to do list” out of your head and on to paper (or into an organisational app on your phone), you will begin to alleviate the stress that comes with trying to remember it all.

• Take a few minutes and enjoy your present state. Allow yourself to feel where you are, not what you just did or all the things that have to get done today, tonight or this week. Just be still in one moment during the day.

• Take a few moments before bed – perhaps while you’re doing your deep breathing – to be grateful for what you have in your life. Dr. Murad says, “if you are breathing, you have something to be grateful for.” So say thanks, even if it is just for the little things.

Morning vs. Evening Exercise

RunnerOne of the greatest challenges of incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is simply finding the time to do it! Perhaps exercising in the evenings suits your schedule best. Or maybe you are a natural early riser and prefer to kick-off your day with a morning workout. But is there a more productive time of the day to exercise for your mental and physical health?

To help you decide, we take a look at the pros and cons of morning and evening exercise:

Morning Exercise Routine

PRO: Charge Your Metabolism.

An early workout charges your metabolism in the morning and throughout the day. Jump-starting your metabolism in the morning enables you to continue burning calories while you go about your day and consume food. Early exercisers are also more likely to make healthier meal choices.

PRO: Sleep Soundly and Uninterrupted.

Those who work out regularly in the morning tend to sleep sounder than those who exercise in the evening. And when you have an uninterrupted night of sleep, you tend to wake up looking more refreshed and youthful.

CON: Schedule Challenges.

Despite the advantages to an early morning workout, you may not be able to adjust your schedule to accommodate it. Balancing work and family life often makes it difficult to carve out time in the morning for a regular exercise routine.

 

Evening Exercise Workout

PRO: Prime Time.

The evening is often the only time of the day we have available to do a proper workout. Between spending quality time with your loved ones and handling work obligations, the evenings are often more convenient to those with no free time in the morning.

PRO: Greater Flexibility and Productivity.

Research has shown that people who work out between the midday to evening, when their body temperatures are elevated, are often more productive overall. Furthermore, your body and muscles are often more flexible in the midday to evening, enabling you to make the most out of a workout routine.

CON: Sleepless Nights.

Exercising too close to your bedtime can make it more difficult to wind down and have a restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep. If you work out in the evenings and find it difficult to fall asleep at night, make sure to give yourself enough time to cool off and stretch your muscles after you exercise.

Above all, it’s far more essential to simply incorporate a regular exercise regime into your lifestyle, regardless of the time of day.

Most importantly, what really works best for your internal, emotional and physical health is to find your ideal time of day to exercise, so that you get a regular dose of endorphins and consistently care for your Inclusive Health. The key is to maintain your mental and physical well-being with a consistent exercise regimen. Do that and you’ll look, live and feel better!

Energy Boosters – Natural and Healthy Alternatives to Coffee

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Have you ever thought that coffee could be the number one addiction in the world?! People wake up and before they can even string a sentence together they must consume their favourite caffeine fix. Caffeine is great for memory, boosting energy, detoxifying the body and building stamina; however, just like anything else, moderation is key. Consuming too much caffeine – usually from coffee and energy drinks – can lead to restlessness, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and an increase in blood pressure.

Founder of Murad skincare, Dr. Howard Murad, wants you to be the healthiest version of you possible, so he has come up with five alternatives to coffee so you can still get that morning pep-in-your-step.

Ginko biloba tea1.      Ginkgo Biloba

A herbal extract that comes from the nut of the ginkgo biloba tree. Ginkgo biloba can be taken as a capsule or in tea form. It’s been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. The ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain, so you to feel more awake and energised!

2.      Ginseng

Extracted from the ginseng root. Like ginkgo biloba, ginseng increases blood flow to the brain and gives the body a stimulating effect, similar to coffee. Ginseng can be taken in capsule form or tea form.

Green Tea3.      Green Tea

Provides a calmer form of energy boost compared to coffee because the caffeine in tea is buffered with the amino acid theanine, which stimulates relaxation. Green tea is extremely good for your overall health. Also, it has been shown to boost levels of elastin in the skin and provides you with plenty of antioxidants.

4.      Yerba Mate

Another herbal extract; this one provides long-lasting natural energy without the crash that you may experience with coffee.

5.      Ice Cold Water and B12

An excellent pick-me-up for when you first wake up in the morning. Drink a glass of ice-cold water with the recommended amount of B12 drops in it (check the bottle for appropriate dosage). The cold water will shock the body and wake it up, making you feel more alert. And the vitamin B12 will naturally enhance your energy and mental clarity.

apple 1If you’re one of the many people who reach for another cup of coffee when having an afternoon slump, try some iced green tea and an apple for a boost. Apples contain natural sugars which will help lift you out of it.

Relax! You’ll be healthier

DR_ImageDr. Murad is a great believer in taking time for YOU. He believes that if you want good skin, managing stress levels is as important as your diet and the skincare products you use. Scientific studies have shown the benefits of taking time for you; from increased mental clarity to improved digestion. We know it can be hard to justify taking time for yourself, so here are some scientific reasons why you should be incorporating more “me time” into your day:

  • The enjoyment you get from self-pampering triggers a relaxation response that can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health.
  • Cardiologist Marianne Legato found that if you never have any time except reactive time (things you must do for others), your brain has trouble resting, even during sleep. She found that, “such chronic exhaustion increases the release of stress hormones, and your blood sugar rises. If this is your normal state, then the physical consequences increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and memory problems,” not to mention the effects on your waistline.
  • A recent study found that sleep deprivation is one of the best predictors of on-the-job burnout.

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Are you guilty of intending to take time for yourself, but somehow it never actually happens? Here are some of the tips Dr. Murad’s shares with his patients to ensure that “me time” becomes a reality:

 

  • Put your “me time” in your calendar and keep the appointment as you would any other meeting.
  • Plan in advance what you will be doing with your “me time” that day. If you are locked into an appointment somewhere – say for a massage – you are less likely to cancel.
  • If you have kids, trade babysitting with another parent. That way you are not only helping yourself but also helping another busy adult take some “me time” too.
  • Set the expectation with your family and ask them to support you. Tell them some of the statistics above, and show them how they will benefit from you taking your “me time.”
  • Turn off your mobile. When “me time” comes, unplug! This will help you detach from that to-do list and kick your brain into relaxation mode.

MassageDr. Murad says:

“Remember, if it is something you are doing simply to cross it off of a to-do list, then that’s not time for yourself. Schedule the time like you would a meeting with an important client. Don’t forget that your most important client is you.”

 

Start scheduling some “me time” in today – doctor’s orders!