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Monday, 10 April 2017



SKIP THE MORNING ORANGE JUICE and instead why not try the latest health craze Skinade to kick start your day.

The multi award winning natural peach and mangosteen flavoured drink aims to boost your body's natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid and claims to makes your skin feel and look better in just 30 days. 

We all know real beauty comes from within so I thought it would be worth giving it a try. 

Skinade tastes good and is best kept in the fridge, as it tastes better cold. It comes in two containers - a rather stylish plastic bottle ready to drink and plastic vials you simply mix with water. Being environmentally conscious, I would opt for the small vials, as it’s a lot of plastic to be disposing of if Skinade were to be a regular part of your daily routine. 

I’ve looked at numerous products over the years I’ve been writing about the aesthetic and beauty industry, and it’s my belief is that unless you’re injecting a product directly into the skin or sucking/ cutting something out, then they don’t make much of a long-term difference.

Many of these lotions and potions may only have a psychosomatic or short-term effect, and can be hugely expensive. They often contain similar ingredients to one of my favourite skin products, Baby Bottom Butter from Waitrose, which costs a fraction of the price of some of the leading creams.

Skinade contains pure Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Peptides, sourced from skin or fresh water fish, so it is unlikely to appeal to vegans or vegetarians. However, for someone like me, with high cholesterol, the  Omega3  and vitamin c  it contains may be what the doctor ordered.

Collagen peptides may also trigger the body’s own natural process of collagen by stimulating the proliferation of fibroblast. The effect is similar to the injection of mesotherapy treatments but is certainly a much easier and less painful way to trigger collagen. 

Clinical studies show that, taken over a 12-week period, Skinade improves skin hydration and smoothness and is also likely to boost cell turnover. It claims to reduce fine lines and prevent the formation of deep lines. 

I’m lucky in that my skin is pretty good so over the first week of taking Skinade I didn’t notice any difference. But around the third week I noticed that my skin felt less dry at the end of the day – and I seemed to have a little more spring in my step after taking it.

It’s a refreshing drink and a nice way to start the day. It soon became part of my morning routine and I’d happily take it instead of my morning juice. 

It is important to remember with all these vitamins and drinks to talk to your doctor before starting. Results will vary and you should not expect miracles. It’s also well worth getting your blood tested to find out what vitamins you’re lacking – you can get it done privately for what you’d spend on an expensive cream and would probably get more out of it.  

Steven Smith


Saturday, 11 February 2017



One of the most controversial documentaries of the year has to be Louis Theroux’s  Drinking to Oblivion

Shown on the BBC in May, it followed the lives of four different people in south London, all of whom drink to excess. Louis meets them at the Kings College Hospital emergency ward, and then follows their lives.

The stories they tell are harrowing, not only for them but for their loved ones too. Their chances of becoming one of life’s statistics – a fatality – are high. 

One of the most distressing scenes is when Louis meets Peiter, a South African man prone to terrifying panic attacks. He has begun drinking again on the eve of  the death of his father. 
His loyal partner, Mariana, has spent years dealing with the consequences of his addiction. She is beside herself and wants to leave – but she loves him too much.
Peiter, 6ft 4  tall and strongly-built, is reduced to a bumbling child, full of remorse; it is hard to watch his pain.

Later, Louis meets with the couple, who now live in an apartment in Tooting, and they tell him that Peiter is doing well. He is taking medication and is now able to have the odd beer. Life is good, they say.
Sadly, that is the point at which we leave them. But it left many unanswered questions. For me, I always thought being addict meant that you were an addict for life. In other words, if you had one drop of alcohol, you were back to square one. And, what about AA’s motto, “one day at a time?”

Personally, I’ve never been the greatest fan of the self-help groups, although I know that they work for many. But I wanted to know more about Peiter's unusual recovery.

When I catch up with Peiter at a London hotel, he is the perfect picture of health and vitality. For the successful businessman, drinking was not a problem to begin with, he was just a social drinker. But slowly it began to creep up on him.
For a long time he was in denial about his problem, thinking he still had it under control, even though his wife tried to tell him otherwise. 

Although meetings helped a bit, they were not for him. Even a stint in rehab failed to work and he soon slipped back into his old habits.
His partner Mariana read about the Sinclair method and, after a particularly bad period, he decided to try it.
Proponents of the Sinclair method say it gives alcoholics the freedom to continue drinking while their cravings for alcohol slowly fade.

In many cases it also allows people to cut down on their consumption to the point where they can remain a social drinker if they choose to do so. In fact, this particular  treatment option is so effective that 78% of alcoholics who undergo it give up drinking altogether, or have managed to reduce their drinking to safe levels. 
Peiter tells me he was in such a bad place at the time that he was willing to try anything when he arrived at Wimpole Aesthetics to see the renowned Doctor Joshua Berkowitz, who is a great believer in the Sinclair method.

So what is the Sinclair method? It utilises a drug, Naltrexone, which is normally prescribed to reduce the cravings for alcohol or heroin. Taken orally, it requires the patient to continue drinking. 
The recommended dosage is 50mg, to be taken about an hour before consuming alcohol. Dr Josh also prescribes various detox drips, vitamins and NAD+ enzymes to help strengthen the immune system.

Taken whenever the patient is planning to consume alcohol, the treatment slowly reduces the cravings for drink – without any withdrawal symptoms.
The reason that this method is seen as an effective treatment for alcoholism is because it blocks the body's release of endorphins to the brain. When a person who may develop into an alcoholic first drinks, they tend to release more endorphins than the average person. 

Drink becomes associated with pleasure - as their consumption increases, their tolerance grows and they need more alcohol to create those pleasurable feelings. The end result is addiction.
For Peiter, it has been a life-saver. "I played around with it to begin with and almost thought it was not going to work,” he admits. He had a few drinks to kick off with and even attempted to go on a bender but he found he couldn’t. “Eventually I just didn’t fancy a drink,” he says. 

For Peiter and his partner, it’s such a relief to know they can go out to dinner like other couples and enjoy their social life without the awful consequences of alcohol addiction. 
Peiter has his life back under control now, but he still keeps a pendant with a pill inserted inside it, in case of emergency.

Friday, 13 January 2017



THREE YEARS AGO when working out at the gym I felt a sudden, searing pain in my right hand. My index finger became swollen and delicate to touch, which at first I put down to wearing new workout gloves or pulling something in my hand or arm. I mentioned it to one of the personal trainers at the gym but he said not to worry and that it would pass.

But a month passed and the pain was getting worse, particularly at night when I was lying down. I went to a doctor who suggested it was a strain of some kind and, like the personal trainer, told me not to worry about it. I was advised to take some painkillers and come back in another month if I was still suffering, at which point I would be referred to a hospital.

Two months later, it was no better. So I got a second opinion, which is when the issue of arthritis was raised. Apparently, it could be the result of my years of hairdressing - an idea that horrified me but which I discovered was not uncommon in the trade. My mother suffers arthritis in her hands too, so it could be heredity. 

What made matters worse was after x-raying my hands, the consultant confirmed the diagnosis and said my finger was literally crumbling! The one piece of good news is that the arthritis was not too advanced and the pain could be controlled with steroid injections and painkillers. But there wasn’t a lot that could be done to stop it developing in my other fingers or to halt its progress in my index finger.

I still do hair for special clients but it’s no longer my main line of work, so I don’t spend hours blowdrying every day. But my hands are still my livelihood as I am writing on the computer most days. I’m also a trained Reiki healer, so it was a devastating diagnosis.

I think I went into denial a bit, so was still the first one to offer to open a bottle at a party even though the pain was searing. And I carried on blowdrying even though I had to take painkillers after I’d finished. I put up with the pain because I did not want to draw attention to the fact that I had arthritis - the thought that people might believe that I was not 100% capable was just too awful to bear.

Of course I looked around for other ways to help, such as taking a two tablespoons of cider vinegar a day, drinking pineapple juice and taking coconut oil. They seemed to alleviate the pain, although that might have been psychosomatic, but I knew the weren’t going to stop my arthritis progressing.
Really I had given up hope.

 However, one day I was writing about how Redermilization-mesotherapy helped with ageing hands. Apparently stars like Madonna are fans of the treatment, which costs £250 for a course, in which the hands are injected with a series of micro-injections, made up of skin-plumping collagen and elastin. Helping treat lines/ wrinkled hydrating the hands .

The treatment takes from 15 minutes to three quarters of an hour, depending on your age and the severity of the skin damage. It can be administered by injection or by the virtually pain-free meso-gun. 

I’ve talked to various doctors and practitioners who administer mesotherapy and there’s no real consensus on which method is best, so the jury is still out. 
Andrew Hansford, the aesthetic practitioner and educator who teaches Redemizations, says treatment should be tailored to the individual client. His preference is for the gun, as it’s painless and easy to administer, plus there’s no down time. “It’s like using a whole pot of expensive hand cream but half the price and with better results,” he tells me.

Andrew  Hansford 

Doing my homework, what struck me was that the treatment was originally created to help arthritis, tendonitis, eczema and even asthma. In cosmetic terms, it also helps hair growth and loss, as well as spot fat removal and photo-ageing. 
The treatment originated in France but is popular in Russia, where it is said that women will forgo their shopping in order to have their mesotherpay done!

Andrew suggested that he freshened up my hands with the meso-gun but said they weren’t in particular need of treatment. He would have to inject directly into the finger with the arthritis and he warned the results weren’t guaranteed and could be painful. It would also need repeating two weeks later and a top-up every three months.

Andrew Hansford with Linda Gray

My hands were having a bad day so I was happy to try anything that might help. The mesa-gun did not hurt but felt like my hand was under a small sewing machine. I was a little shocked to see blood appear on my hands but Andrew cleaned it up as he went along and assured me it was completely normal.

The mesotherapy Gun 

Andrew injected my arthritic finger with a needle. Normally he would use numbing cream before injecting directly into the hands but as it was only one finger, we skipped that part. It was not painful but what shocked me was my finger popped as the meso went in, although this was just the product filling in the damaged area of my finger.

I can’t praise the treatment too highly - the constant pain I’d been suffering subsided almost immediately, not to mention the fact that my hands looked younger and fresher. There was more movement in my finger and I was so happy I just wanted to skip out of the room!

Andrew warned me the pain might return but today I am typing away and still feel amazing. I will definitely be going back for a top-up in two weeks. 
Anyone suffering from arthritis should really consider this treatment - it could restore more than just youth to your hands. 

Andrew Hansford 
07814 741055  
prices by consultatio

Andrew Hansford

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Self-help expert Dr Pam Spurr’s Five Top Beauty Tips –

Let’s face it, what’s most important is what’s on the inside. But it lifts your mood when you look after yourself on the outside too!
Here are my five top beauty tips:

1/ Always carry your eye cream in your bag. I apply mine multiple times per day - especially being a ‘smiley’ person it helps keep that delicate area moisturised.

2/ Exfoliate once a week – I alternate between an exfoliator with granules and an exfoliating mask. It can overstimulate your skin if you exfoliate more frequently than this. But leave it too long and your skin will lack lustre with the build-up of dead cells.

Dr Pam with Rylan on the set of #CBB

3/ Always use sunblock, even on a cloudy day! (I wish I’d started this sooner!) The sun’s rays can penetrate cloud cover and damages your skin.

Dr Pam out and about with Steven Smith

4/ Change-up your face products every few months. I absolutely believe that just as with shampoo, your skin gets ‘used’ to having the same products applied. Good to shake things up and try a new range.

5/ After damage to the back of my hands from a serious skin infection (after being bitten by spiders) I found that mesotherapy treatment on them from Dr Iryna has helped smooth out the damaged tissue. The great thing about this treatment is it can be applied to all sorts of areas like your d├ęcolletage and facial skin.

Dr Pam Spurr is an award-winning radio presenter, TV guest/pundit, self-help and relationship expert, and life coach. She can be found on Twitter @DrPamSpurr and online at

She regularly appears as a contributor on countless TV programmes including, for 13 years, being one of the main resident experts on the Big Brother spin-off shows, she is a regular phone-in expert for This Morning, Loose Women, LK Today, Daybreak, GMB, The Wright Stuff, BBC Breakfast, etc.
Pam is doing a run of Saturday night talk shows the Talk Radio at present and has previously presented shows on Heart FM London for five years and LBC 97.3 for four and a half years. She can be heard on radio weekly as a freelance contributor and presenter – most recently having presented a month long special for BBC radio western regions on Saturday and Sunday nights, a week-long daily special contributing to BBC regionals across the regions, and she has a weekly slot on a Heart FM region.
Dr Pam writes on a weekly basis for national newspapers and has had, for five years, a highly successful online sex and relationship column with the Sun, but also gives quotes and writes feature articles for the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, the Express, and The Times.
Pam also writes for a variety of magazines giving quotes to outlets from Heat to Take a Break, from Cosmo to Glamour, and more.
She writes about everything from celebrity behaviour analysis, dream analysis, sex, love, dating and relationships, to anxiety and phobias. Pam is regularly on radio talking about these types of topics and more.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Doctor Giorgia Ratta’s gets the grooves out !

Doctor Giorgia Ratta's gets the grooves out 
By Steven Smith 

Material girl Madonna must be the ultimate gay icon - and being of Italian origin, the superstar sure knows how to get into the groove.

When it comes to making the boys and gals look good, Doctor Giorgia Ratta’s Italian charms have turned her into the gay icon of the aesthetic world here in London.

Originally from Rome, she is the trusted confidant to many in the LGBTQ community seeking to take a few years off or just look their best.

Doctor Giorgia Ratta’s with friends

Much as Dr Giorgia hates labels, she jokes - in the words of Rue Paul – that there are those clients who want to rule the world or just sashay away and those who just want to look fresh and happier or simply regain their hot looks.

Dr Giorgia can take a handsome man and make him even more Vogue and, unlike Madonna, she’s more interested in getting the grooves out than getting into them! 

Here she shares her top five tips to kick-start 2017.

1. If you have only one New Year resolution, then make it a pledge to use sunblock. There really is no point in having treatment done if you don’t use a good sun-cream. Even on a cloudy day you should sun block of at least factor 30. Apply in the morning and reapply a couple of times a day. I carry a small sized one in my handbag and have a larger version at home. Sun Protection - Sunscreen

2. Drink two litres of water a day, even if you are not at the gym. 
Limit the caffeine you take – I allow myself two caffeinated drinks a day. My preference is for green tea, as it’s full of antioxidants and is a good aid to weight loss and a healthy immune system. You won’t believe how good you feel after just a month.

3. I’m a great fan of chemical peels to freshen up your skin and keep it looking good. I always recommend a course of them several times a year, ranging in strength depending on your age. Use in conjunction with treatments such as fillers or Botox as it removes dead skin, giving you a more youthful look. It’s like an MOT for your face.

4. Stay away from refined sugar – it’s ageing for the skin and slows down your system. Most of us have a sweet tooth but it’s better to use natural organic honey on porridge or cereal and a little cinnamon.;_ylu=X3oDMTBtdXBkbHJyBHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmw-/RV=2/RE=1483681982/RO=11/

5. Get a good night’s sleep. Try using silk pillowslips as they are kinder to the skin and allow your face and hair to move more easily, ensuring you wake with fewer lines. Spray lavender on your bedding for a relaxing start to the night.