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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving. This is most likely because of more targeted treatments, earlier detection and better breast awareness.

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Foods To Fight Ageing Skin

We all know about the conventional anti ageing treatments such as Botox and Laser Peels but why not go that bit further and add anti ageing to your shopping list next time you are at the supermarket. Here is our pick of the top foods to keep skin looking young and healthy.


Reddish-orange foods like tomato and watermelon, which are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, increase your protection against harmful UV rays from the inside out. Both vitamins settle into skin’s outer layer, where their antioxidant action helps repair cells damaged by sunlight. In one French study, they helped improve the skin’s defence against UV rays by as much as 20 percent.

Rainbow Trout

While creams and moisturisers are a great remedy to fight dry, flaky skin, changing your diet can prevent parching to begin with. The best way to keep your outer layer lubricated is to increase your intake of healthy fats. Fat is a nutrient that protects all cells, including your skin cells. If you consume too little fat, your skin becomes brittle. Salmon is a great choice, but rainbow trout has almost as much eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—an omega-3 fatty acid that stops the stress chemical cortisol from boiling over. EPA makes trout an excellent choice for your skin because it stimulates the repair of skin cells.

Pumpkin Seeds

Get your dose of vitamin E, another powerful skin protector, by snacking on almonds or pumpkin or sunflower seeds. A lack of vitamin E can influence the quality and texture of your skin. Without it, your skin is at greater risk of damage from free radicals. If there is plenty of vitamin E in the membranes of cells exposed to free radicals, vitamin E will take the brunt of the attack and protect the fatty acid that surrounds all the intricate workings inside each cell.


The peel of this super-low-calorie fruit is made of silica, a building block of skin–plumping, wrinkle-preventing collagen. There’s no recommended minimum intake for silica, but experts suggest at least five milligrams a day, the amount you’ll get in the peel of one cucumber. But try to go organic. Some cucumbers are treated with a coat of  wax to preserve their shelf life, whereas organically grown ones often are left without this chemical.

Citrus Zest

Eating as little as 1 tablespoon of citrus zest each week may reduce your risk of skin cancer by nearly 30 percent. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit contain d-limonene, a potent antioxidant known to reduce skin cancer risk. Use a zester to scrape the peel (not the bitter white pith underneath), and add a pinch to salads, smoothies, or marinades.



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Rachel Weisz’ Skin Secrets

We have all felt the discomfort of tight, parched skin when we’ve been out in the sun for too long. This is what’s known as skin dehydration. When there is an imbalance between the intake of water and the amount of water required by skin cells to stay healthy, it results in a dehydrated condition.

It was reported this week that Hollywood actress Rachel Weitz, regularly makes trips to her dermatologist to ensure her skin is hydrated. Its is regularly reported in the press that Rachel looks far younger than her 40+ years, perhaps its all down to her hydrated skin.

One important thing to remember is that there’s a difference between dehydrated and dry skin, although the symptoms are similar. While dehydration is a deficiency of water in the skin, dryness is the result of a loss of oil in the skin. Don’t mistake oily skin for being moisture-loaded. Oily skin has more open pores and this can lead to greater water loss.

Skin is smooth and has elasticity because below the surface water, collagen and hyaluronic acid add volume from beneath. Loss of water means loss of volume, this ultimately results in the onset of wrinkles and ageing skin.

Natura’s Top Tips For Hydrated Skin

Treatment: Rehydration Fillers

Treatment areas include the face, neck, décolletage and hands; designed to replenish the hyaluronic acid lost through ageing, hence hydrating the skin and improving its elasticity and tone.

The procedure involves injecting multiple, small amounts of the hyaluronic acid into the skin

We recommend 3 treatments for the full effect to take, however many patients notice after 2 treatments.

Prices start at £280.00 a treatment.


Avene Soothing Hydrating serum

Available in 30ml.


Intensive soothing and hydrating care for sensitive skin, irritated or weakened by external factors. The Soothing Hydrating Serum is highly concentrated in Avène Thermal Spring Water providing an immediate calming effect. The thermal water is carried by liposomes (patented system) to ensure an optimum long lasting diffusion in the upper layer of the skin. The glycerine improves the skin hydration, suppleness and comfort. Thanks to the delicate formula of the Soothing Hydrating Serum the skin is silky smooth and rebalanced.

Avene Eluage Moisturiser (containing hyaluronic acid)

Available in 30ml


Eluage cream is specially formulated for the loss of firmness, deep wrinkles and skin dryness. Based on a patented combination of Retinaldehyde and H.A.F. (Exclusive Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid). Eluage acts by working deep within the skin by stimulating collagen and elastin fibre production. Facial contours are plumped, reshaped and toned, wrinkles are less defined and smoother and skin is nourished and revitalised.


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Every (rain) Cloud Has A Silver Lining

The recent heat wave a few weeks back saw parts of the UK experience sunshine hotter than Morocco. Unfortunately, in typical British fashion the summer weather has taken a turn for the worse. Forecasters have revealed that the gales and wet weather is set to stay for the coming weeks.

So as we move the charcoal into the garage and cover up the patio furniture it looks like we will have to rethink our summer plans for the next few weeks.

However every (rain) cloud has a silver lining.

Why not look great when the sunshine finally does re-emerge? We have some great treatments that can have you looking visibly refreshed in less than 2 weeks.

Here is our pick of the best treatments for the washout weeks ahead.

Rehydration Fillers

There is another way to rehydrate.

Rehydration fillers

Treatment areas include the face, neck, décolletage and hands; designed to replenish the hyaluronic acid lost through ageing, hence hydrating the skin and improving its elasticity and tone.

The procedure involves injecting multiple, small amounts of the hyaluronic acid into the skin

We recommend 3 treatments for the full effect to take, however many patients notice after 2 treatments.

Prices start at £280.00 a session.

Laser Dermabrasion

Smooth and clear your skin.

Laser Dermabrasion works without the need of chemicals and is extremely simple, virtually painless and for all ages.

Treatment areas include the neck, hands and décolletage, as well as the face. It is designed for skin that feels lifeless, is patchy or sun-damaged, or has clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, unsightly spots or fine lines and minor scarring.

The procedure involves guiding the Erbium Laser hand-piece across the skin to deeply exfoliate the surface. This process improves the tone and texture of the skin and also reveals new, living skin cells giving you a soft and smooth complexion.

Price start at £250 a session.

So why not take advantage of these great treatments. Call Natura on 01925 398 304 and book your treatment today. We offer discounts on all our treatment courses.

(And remember…. If you are a Natura Rewards Card holder you can earn double points on all treatments during May and June.)


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D is for Vitamin D

There are numerous benefits Vitamin D has on your skin and overall health. Unfortunately, unlike other vitamins such as Vitamin C or Vitamin E, Vitamin D is often overlooked despite its importance in dealing with skin care problems.

Why Vitamin D?

The reason why Vitamin D can be easy to obtain is because the main source is simply exposure to sunlight. The sun’s rays contain ultra violet light that acts on unprotected skin (no sunscreen) and allows it to manufacture Vitamin D. Although this is a very easy way to get vitamin d into your body and reap the Vitamin D benefits, sun exposure must be controlled. Too much sun exposure will lead to skin cancer and premature skin aging. Five to ten minutes of daily summer sun exposure on unprotected skin such as the face, hands, arms, and back will provide enough ultra violet light exposure to produce the required amount of vitamin d for the body.

Sources Of Vitamin D

It is difficult for many individuals to get enough Vitamin D via diet alone. Sunlight exposure is the most efficient way to get your Vitamin D intake, although some food do contain Vitamin D. Salmon for example is an excellent source. Our delicious salmon recipe is great for summer, so you can double your intake by having it on a barbeque in the sunshine!

The skin and Vitamin D are closely related because of how vitamin d is produced. However, there are also specific Vitamin D benefits for the skin.

Benefits Of Vitamin D

The main benefit of Vitamin D for the skin is in the treatment of psoriasis. In fact, Vitamin D is widely used around the world to treat this skin problem. Vitamin D plays a role in skin cell metabolism and growth. Therefore, it has shown some effectiveness in treating itching and flaking which are common symptoms of this skin problem. Studies have indicated that over the counter type vitamin d creams are not very effective at treating psoriasis because they do not contain the active vitamin d derivative. The active vitamin d form is only available in prescription creams or supplements. Several weeks of treatment are normally required to relieve the psoriasis symptoms. A big advantage is that vitamin d creams have few side effects, unlike steroid containing creams.

UVB treatments can also help relieve psoriasis. One of the main reasons is that these treatments produce vitamin d and therefore vitamin d benefits in the skin naturally.

In addition, because one of the vitamin d benefits is to act as a powerful antioxidant, vitamin d can play a role in preventing the premature aging of skin and damage to the skin structure.

Mum’s Stuffed Salmon

My lovely Mum won’t mind me sharing this recipe with you.

This recipe is great if you have lots of people coming round for dinner. It can be stuffed with all these delicious ingredients and left to marinate for as long as 8 hours before cooking. Just make sure it is suitably refrigerated. This salmon dish is bursting with flavour and can even be cooked on a barbeque. Just make sure you wrap the fish securely in thick foil. We love it at our bbq’s as it makes a nice change from the usual burnt sausages and is healthy as well delicious.


Whole Salmon (cleaned, butterflied, and boned, leaving head and tail intact)
2 Lemons; zest and juice
4 cloves of garlic crushed
Large bulb of fennel thinly sliced (keep the discarded parts)
Punnet of cherry vine tomatoes chopped in half
Large bunch of basil (roughly chop ¾ and leave the remaining leaves whole)
Large glass of White Wine
3 onions chopped into quarters
Olive Oil
You will also need some string to tie the stuffed fish together


1. Heat the oven to 240 C, 220 C fan, 475 F, gas 9

2. In a bowl add the zest of the lemons, the crushed garlic, roughly chopped basil, tomatoes and chopped fennel. Season with salt and pepper and add just enough olive oil to lightly coat all the vegetables. Then add half the wine and the juice of one lemon.

3. Lay 4 pieces of string over the top of the discarded parts of the fennel and chunks of onion. This will stop the salmon sticking to the tray. Place the salmon in a roasting tray and stuff the fennel, tomato and basil mix inside the salmon. Tie the salmon together.

4. Brush the skin with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil but ensure there’s a gap of air between the salmon and the top of the foil, so that the fish can steam. Pour the remaining wine and lemon juice into the bottom of the tray.

5. Cook in the top of the oven for 40 minutes, and then undo the top of the foil so that the salmon is exposed, and return to the oven for 15 minutes to brown.

6. When the fish is cooked, peel back the foil and, using fish slices, lift the salmon onto a serving plate. Garnish with lemon wedges and the reserved basil leaves.

7. You can pour off the cooking juices and serve with the fish as a sauce. If you’re serving a buffet, the salmon can be left to cool and served at room temperature.

Serve alongside a crisp summer salad or crushed new potatoes and summer asparagus. (And a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc!)

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C Is For Chocolate

Chocolate. Another food that often stands accused of causing bad skin, but chocolate actually does just the opposite. Include moderate amounts of dark chocolate in your diet, and your skin will thank you: dark chocolate can increase the density of your skin, which will fight future wrinkles. This is because the linolic acid found in chocolate has anti-aging properties, while its antioxidants protect the collagen.

Eating chocolate regularly can also help improve the overall texture and tone of your skin because the skin cells are able to repair themselves easily. According to a study in The Journal Of Nutrition, participants who drank a special chocolate drink every day for 12 weeks experienced a 25% reduction in skin redness from UV exposure, and also reported improved skin tone.

 Charlotte’s Chocolate Crackle Cookies

“I know these cookies aren’t exactly low fat, but if you share them they become half fat!”

These cookies are not difficult to make but they look great. The main thing to remember is that this dough needs to be chilled, because at first it’s so soft that you can’t roll it into balls. That’s down to the (warm) melted dark chocolate, but the extra wait in the fridge is worth it for all that chocolatey goodness.

The coating of icing sugar crackles so prettily in the oven – you really don’t have to do anything – it just happens. The contrast makes for a beautiful cookie that’s not fussy at all.

Oh, and a little warning from me to you: these cookies require a glass of cold milk. Hot coffee or tea might work too…someone will have to let me know on that one. I ran out before I could try!


30g melted dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
1 ¼ cup of flour
½ cup of cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
115g butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup icing sugar, for rolling


1.Don’t preheat the oven yet, this dough will need to chill for 2 hours or so.

2.Melt dark chocolate gently.

3.Mix dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt).

4.Cream sugar and butter together, then beat in eggs and vanilla. Pour melted dark chocolate over the creamed butter and sugar, blend, then add dry ingredients & milk (alternating between the two so puffs of flour don’t cover your kitchen!)

5.The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl loosely in cling film and chill for approximately 2 hours, or until dough is hardened and can be handled.

6.Preheat oven to 180. Scoop out spoonfuls of the dough, roll between your palms to form a ball, then toss the ball into a bowl of icing sugar to coat it. If the dough gets too sticky to handle, pop it back in the fridge or freezer to cool it back down.

7.Line cookies up on the baking sheet (not too closely – they spread) and bake at 180 for 12-15 minutes.


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Blueberries For Great Skin

This Week…. B is for Blueberries

So this week we are looking at blueberries. Perhaps less popular than the nations favourite- strawberries, this unsung hero of the fruit bowl is a great addition to many dishes. Throw on your cereal in the morning, or why not try our delicious muffins. Made with blueberries and yogurt, these cakes are low in fat and high in taste!

So why are they good for us?

The antioxidants found in blueberries help prevent long-term cell damage. Antioxidants fight free radicals to protect your skin from environmental factors, which can cause skin to age.

A diet containing food high in antioxidants is one of the simplest, most natural things you can do when it comes to enhancing your health and beauty.

Anthocyanin’s, members of the phytochemical group known as bioflavonoids, give blueberries their characteristic pigmentation. More importantly, these colouring agents possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote overall health. If you’re concerned about blotchy, dull or sun-damaged skin, eating blueberries and other anthocyanin-rich plant foods on a regular basis could help clear up problem areas and leave your skin looking clearer, firmer and younger looking.

These cakes are a healthy alternative to the usual high calorie equivalents you can buy in supermarkets and coffee shops.

By replacing caster sugar with maple syrup, you can dramatically reduce the sugar content as a teaspoon of maple syrup has half the sugar content of a teaspoon of sugar.

Though relatively small, by replacing white flour with wholemeal you slightly increase the fibre content of the cake.

And perhaps most importantly? The blueberries, which not only make the cakes wonderfully moist in texture, but also keep the skin looking younger and healthier.

Great for breakfast with fresh fruit or as healthy snack during the day.

Wonderfully Moist Blueberry Cakes

Keeps for 24 hours in the fridge


2 large free-range eggs, separated
50g maple syrup sugar
25g wholemeal flour
200g strained Greek yoghurt
Lemon zest and juice of half a lemon
100g blueberries


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and fill a muffin tray with muffin cases.

2. Mix the eggs yolks with the maple syrup well. Beat in the flour, then the yoghurt, lemon zest and lemon juice until throughly blended.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the yoghurt mixture.

4. Add a third of the mix to each of the cake cases, then add a few blueberries to each.

5. Divide the remaining blueberries to the mixture and very gently fold. Add the mixture between the cake cases.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is brown. The cakes will rise like a souffles and then subside. Allow to cool before lifting out.

Serve with greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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H & M In Hot Water Over Summer Campaign

High street favourite H & M have been slammed by doctors after their latest summer campaign features an alarmingly tanned model.

Cancer experts have said that the retail giants have irresponsibly advertised their new swimwear collection by using a model with an incredibly deep bronzed appearance. The adverts have been used across Europe in magazines, on TV, on billboards, as well as the company’s website.

The model at the centre of the controversy is 28 year old Brazilian model, Isabeli Fontana. It is not yet clear how the model achieved her deep tan, doctors are unsure whether it was from fake tan or whether she achieved it by lying in the sun. However, it seems that either way, the company is being accused of promoting an unhealthy and potentially life threatening approach to safety in the sun.

Dr Ralph Braun, from the Early Skin Cancer Centre at Zurich University Hospital, said: ‘I find this advertisement very alarming and borderline.

‘Many people, especially the young, will try to emulate this and will try to be just as brown, although with some skin types this is just not possible.’ Swiss Cancer League spokeswoman Cornelia Egli said: ‘This completely contradicts our advertising efforts.

H&M have been quick to defend the campaign and told the Swiss press they chose a model with darker skin in order to best show the strong colours on sale this season. They claim Fontana, the model featured in the controversial campaign, was selected for her naturally dark skin and that her Brazilian nationality is another contributing factor.

However, pictures published of the model appearing in other campaigns show her with a considerably lighter skin tone. Representatives for H & M went on to say, “Of course we think that this is an important subject, however the aim with our campaign is to show our swimwear collection, which we think that Isabeli Fontana is doing in a good and inspiring way,”

Inspirational or not, there is no denying that in order to achieve a tan like Isabeli’s in the campaign, one would be putting themselves at high risk of burns and more seriously, skin cancers.

The story comes just a few weeks after a New Jersey mother was summoned to court after her 5 year old daughter was subjected to dangerous UV rays as a result of accompanying her mother whilst she used a sunbed. The mother is now facing charges after police said she brought her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth.

It caused the girl to suffer burns to her body, according to the Essex County prosecutor’s office. Patricia Krentcil, who herself is very tanned, was charged with second-degree child endangerment. No one under the age of 14 is allowed to use a tanning booth, according to New Jersey state law.

Krentcil, 44, told The Associated Press her daughter got sunburned by being outside on a recent warm day. She said her daughter, however, had mentioned to school officials when she complained of itching that she had been to a tanning salon with her mother.


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Foods For Healthy Skin

We know that wearing sunscreen helps keep your skin healthy and beautiful, protecting it from the outside in—but key nutrients in certain foods can shield your skin from damage from the inside out.

Foods containing Vitamin C, lycopene, omega-3s, caffeine and isoflavones in soy can help keep your skin looking young and healthy. Many of the same foods that can boost your defences against skin cancer (the most common type of cancer) will also help keep your skin smoother and ward off wrinkles. Every week we will be sharing a summer recipe that will help keep your skin looking healthy- and taste great too.

This Week… A is for Avocados

Avocados contain Vitamin E

An antioxidant, this works with selenium and has a powerful action against free radical damage. It also helps the skin retain moisture. Premature wrinkles, pale skin, acne, easy bruising and slow wound healing may indicate a deficiency

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good.

Perfect Guacamole Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes


2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1-2 chillies, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped
Handful of corriander, finely chopped (finely chop some of the stalks too, these have great flavour)
Juice of one lime or lemon
Pinch of coarse salt and black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish at your next barbeque.


1. Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

2. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, corriander, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chillies vary in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chilli and add to the guacamole till you have it as hot as you would like. Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

3. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

4. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix. Garnish with coriander leaves, lime wedges and sliced chilli.


Natura Skin Clinic