The Nutritional Super Berries

Our skin is the bodies largest organ, so it makes sense to keep it nourished from within with a variety of health-giving foods including the wide range of colourful berries available today. Berries are full of Phyto-chemicals in the form of Antioxidants, plant estrogens and vitamins that can boost your health and protect the skin from damage.

Summer wouldn’t be summer without soft fruit – here’s some of the popular super berries and also a few unusual ones! –   The best of a beautiful bunch!


The fruit of Wimbledon and the most popular fruit in the UK,  the Strawberry is one of my favourites and extremely nutritious. Strawberries are found to be higher in Vitamin C than citrus fruits, Vitamin C is essential for Collagen formation and support – it is also a powerful antioxidant. Strawberries also contain Lycopene which gives them their red colour and can protect cells against sun damage, they also contain Vitamin A which is essential for healthy hair and skin. Ellagic Acid is also present in high volumes and is a powerful anti carcinogen, it can reduce damage to cells caused by tobacco smoke and air pollutants. Strawberries also contain natural Salicylates which also found in Aspirin, so could relieve a headache!


Blackberries are an ancient fruit, prescribed by the ancient Greeks to treat Gout! Also eaten by the Native Americans to relieve stomach ailments and digestive disorders, they are also mentioned in the Bible. Blackberries have been shown to contain the highest  level of Phyto-estrogen’s, followed by Strawberries. They also contain Ellagic Acid, which helps neutralize Free Radicals and prevent cancer cells. Blackberries are considered to be an astringent because of their high Tannin content, studies show that tannins tighten tissue, lessen minor bleeding and may help alleviate intestinal inflammation and piles!

The antioxidants that are in Blackberries are Anthocyanin pigments, responsible for the purplish-black colour,  Contains a powerful team of nutrients –  vitamin C and heart protective Vitamin E, also thought to strenthen blood vessels, one handful contains 8 grams of fibre including Cholesterol-lowering Pectin.


Blueberries have a long history of use as a medicinal plant, native to North America where they grow wild throughout the woods and mountainous regions of U.S and Canada. These nutritional super-berries are bursting with goodness, packed with antioxidant phyto-nutrient Anthocyandins, they will help neutralize Free Radical damage to cells and help support Collagen. They contain significant amounts of this compound that gives the fruit its blue and purple colour, they also contain Resveratrol, another powerful antioxidant. In addition Blueberries contain Ellagic Acid, which has shown to prevent cell damage and prevent certain cancers. A rich source of fibre, calcium and vitamins A and C, low in calories and low Glycemic Load.

You can buy Blueberry plants at good garden centres, so you can pick off your own juicy berries throughout the summer! Remember they need an acid soil, so plant in large tubs with Ericaceous soil.


Another of North America’s native fruits, the Cranberry is indeed a super-berry! Cranberries contain the antioxidant compounds Proanthocyandins which have powerful anti-cancer properties, they seem to contain the most antioxidant phenols and are leaders of fruits in phenolic compound content. More well known for it’s effect on Urinary Tract Infections, the reason for this is it’s unique ability to inhibit bacteria, including E-coli, from adhering to the urinary tract. This is why Cranberry juice and supplements are recommended for Cystitis, they also contain Hippuric Acid, which is antibacterial and helpful for warding off urinary tract infections.

Cranberries can also reduce the risk of gum disease and stomach ulcers. Uncooked ripe fruit is the best source of antioxidants (including frozen berries), the next best is dried Cranberries ,then the juice – but watch out for the sugar content! Like Blueberries, you can grow plants in tubs with acid soil and enjoy freshly picked berries.


Raspberries are thought to be  native to Asia and eaten since prehistoric times. They come in various colours – primarily red, but also may be black, purple and even golden! The antioxidants compounds are Anthocyanins and give them their rich colour, the antioxidant activity are 50% higher than Strawberries and also contain Lutein, which is good for vision. High in fibre, Iron, Potassium and Vitamins A & C, plus Beta-Carotene. Raspberries contain Ellagic Acid which has anti-cancer agents and helps neutralize Free Radicals.

The leaves of the raspberry plant are also used for medicinal purposes – Raspberry Leaf Tea is reputed to be effective for balancing the menstrual cycle and easing period pains.

Goji Berries

Goji Berries are found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and the Himalayas in Tibet, they are part of the nightshade family, like tomatoes. They are rich in antioxidants – particularly Carotenoids such as Beta-Carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A, vital for healthy skin. Goji’s also contain Zeaxanthin – which helps protect the retina of the eye from deterioration. Goji Berries have been used for 6000 years by herbalists in China and Tibet to promote longevity, help eyesight, boost immune function and improve circulation, they are rich in B vitamins. Numerous health benefits are claimed including protection against heart disease and cancer, also is said to help defend skin against sun-burn (like tomatoes).

They are best eaten fresh, but you won’t find them in the supermarket! so opt for the dried variety – they look red and shriveled like raisins and are found in all health food stores. I include them in a bag of trail mix, with lots of nuts, seeds and other berries, for snacking on during the day. If you want to try them fresh, the best way is to grow a plant and pick off the ripe berries! They are widely available in this country and ideal for a large tub on the patio!

Some of the more unusual Berries available are Acai Berry, Boysenberry, Lingonberry and Honeyberry! but don’t forget your currants as well! black, white and red currants are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants as are black and red cherries and don’t forget black grapes.

I like to have a mixture of some of the berries featured, so you get the best out of all their individual benefits, use them in a trail mix to snack on throughout the day, in a morning smoothie or on top of porridge or cereal. Frozen berries are available in most supermarkets and remarkably freezing doesn’t destroy the vitamins or antioxidants, so it makes them easier to use!

Suttons Seeds sells a good variety of soft fruit plants to grow in tubs, including the unsual super berries, so why not try a few?

If anyone has any berry recipes please share via the comments.

Sugar – Your skin’s Enemy

We are all well aware that sugar isn’t good for us – the reasons we try to avoid it are because it is “fattening” or rots our teeth, however the dangers of sugar go far deeper than that. Excess sugar in the blood is also very damaging on a cellular level, it doesn’t really have a nutritional value and is known as an anti-nutrient  as it can stop the absorption of certain vitamins.

Increased  blood sugar causes a number of chemical reactions in the body which results in Inflammation – this can easily escalate out of control, Inflammation is the basis of virtually every disease process from cancer, heart disease, joint problems and dementia. Sugar also slows down our immune response, which  means we are less able to fight off infections. 

Skin problems, such as Acne, Eczema and Skin Ageing can be triggered by inflammation in the body. The problems arise when we have excess sugar in our body, the sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins – remember that proteins are the basic structures of skin, blood vessels and  many other parts of our body. This process is know as Glycation – also known as Glycosylation, this causes not only hardening of the arteries and stiff joints, but – when sugar bonds to Collagen, the fibres become stiff and lose their elasticity leading to the loss of bounce-back. It gets worse as more Free Radical generation occurs which leads to even more damage and Inflammation – this inevitably leads to inflexible and cross-linking of Collagen, resulting in the birth of deep wrinkles and saggy skin.

We are not just talking about the sugar we put in our tea or found in biscuits, cakes and sweets. Starch and sugar are the two main types of carboyhdrates, which once digested turn into sugar in your body – so your bread, pasta and many other foods. Try to eat low GL carboyhdrates which release their energy slowly and avoid that sugar spike.

Sleep is also important, well not enough sleep really, as sleep deprivation releases a hormone called Cortisol, which pushes up blood sugar, stimulating the release of insulin, sending sugar to the cells – this can create cravings for sweet things and white bread, croissants etc.

The key is moderation, try to follow the Low Glyaemic Load way of eating and keep your blood sugar levels stable. Substitute the normal table sugar for  Xylitol  – this is a Low GI form of sugar from natural sources and much better for our teeth. Avoid artificial sweeteners, they can increase appetite and have some side effects.

For more information of the Low Glycaemic way of eating, read –  A Guide To Youthful Nutrition

The Management of Oily Skin

Oily skin produces excessive amounts of Sebum (the opposite of dry skin), which is produced from your sebaceous glands. Sebum is a lipid rich protective substance that helps form the skin barrier. Sebum is made up of – Squalene, Sterols, Wax Esters, Sterol Esters, Triglycerides – these are the most abundant.

The reason that the sebaceous glands are over active is down to Testosterone. This hormone is secreted by the male sexual organs, and in women it comes from the ovaries and adrenal glands.

In excess the sebum makes skin look shiny and have open pores and tends to be easily congested – make-up doesn’t seem to stay on that well. Oily skin is genetic and you cannot stop the excess oil, but their are many products and lifestyle choices that can control it. Eventually as you get older and go through hormonal changes your oil secretion should calm down.

I have a genetically oily skin type that I have inherited from my mum (thanks mum!) Oily skin tends to age better than a dry skin – as long as you protect against the sun and don’t smoke etc. Although my skin is very oily, I only experience breakouts before my period, but I have to be careful to avoid Pore Clogging Ingredients (Comedogenic) as my skin gets clogged very easily. Don’t forget Oily skin can still get dehydrated, as it can lose water in the upper layers.

Oily Skin And Acne

So even if your skin is oily, it is not the direct cause of Acne, you would have a genetic predisposition to Acne, or hormone imbalance is triggered by stress and can cause a low grade persistent Acne.

Free flowing sebum is not a problem in regards to acne, It is the sebum that is not released, that builds up and gets inflamed, that results in acne breakouts.

 What is Combination Skin?

Identifying your skin type is made even more difficult by the “term” Combination Skin. Strictly speaking it is not a true skin type, but almost everyone at some time has combination skin. I tend to go with the majority rules theory – if your skin is mostly oily – then you have an oily skin type, If your skin is mostly dry – then you have a dry skin type. It is the formulation of the product that is important, cream or lotion, water or oil based.

Physiologically, the nose, chin, center of forehead, and the center of cheeks all have more oil glands than other parts of the face. Problems occur when you buy products for oily skin that are not appropriate for the areas that are not oily, or vice-versa. You may need separate products to deal with the different skin conditions on your face.


Tips For Oily Skin

  • Avoid Harsh stripping of the skin – products with Alcohol will actually cause your skin to pump out more Sebum, to make up for what has been lost!
  • Avoid baking your face in the sun! while it may seem to temporary dry your skin out – the sebaceous glands will go into overdrive to replace the lost oil! not to mention the Sun Damage!
  • High Humidity will make your skin feel even oilier! you need a scrupulous skin-care routine, and avoid pore clogging ingredients.

Don’t give up, it is a manageable skin type and a blessing in disguise! Here are my skin-care must haves for oily skin.

  • Scrupulous double cleansing that breaks down oils and stubborn make-up, so your second cleanse can actually clean your skin and pores – I like Dermalogica Precleanse  for the first cleanse
  • Use a clay based or a foaming cleanser to thoroughly cleanse your skin, Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser or Dermalogica Special Cleansing gel are very effective.
  • Exfoliation can help control oil production, improve skin texture and help prevent clogged pores that lead to spots. Salicylic Acid is an effective ingredient to look for in exfoliants or other products for oily skin, as it can actually get inside the follicle and break down sebum. I like Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant or Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer.
  • Once or twice a week, apply a deep cleansing clay based mask to help control sebum and clean pores. Try Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque or Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque.
  • Even if you think your skin doesn’t need it, apply a light moisturiser like Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion, Dermalogica Active Moist or Crystal Clear No Shine Serum, even oily skin gets dehydrated.
  • For make up, go for oil free formulations, I love Dermalogica Treatment Foundation and Mineralogie Matte Finishing Powder
  • Sunscreen formulations have improved so much as they used to feel too greasy and clog the skin. I like Dermalogica Oil Free Matte Block SPF25 and Mineralogie Face And Body Block SPF30, a unique mineral powder you just dust over skin.

Skin Treatments for Oily Skin

  • By receiving a regular facial every 4 – 6 weeks, you can keep your skin clear and healthy. Professional extractions and exfoliation will help with the ongoing skin concerns of an oily skin, and also tackle any other concerns you may have with your skin.

The Sun and Smart Protection

The skin is a wonderful record keeper! every time you expose your skin to daylight, your skin adds up all those times like money in the bank! – the trouble is eventually the payoff catches up with you!, in the form of premature ageing, wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation and the risk of skin cancers.

This world wide issue reinforces that the best defence is to limit daylight exposure and protect the skin with sunscreen at all times.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Sunlight is comprised of different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. About 35% of the spectrum is called visible light, with 60% of infra-red range (felt as heat) and 5% is made up of ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is this whole UV range that we must concern ourselves with.

How UV light is absorbed in your skin

How deep do the UV rays penetrate your skin?
UVC radiation is potentially the most damaging as it is very energetic, fortunately for us UVC is absorbed by oxygen and ozone in the stratosphere and never reaches the earth’s surface, if it did we wouldn’t exist!

UVA rays are the longest rays in the spectrum, and they penetrate deeper into the skin. UVA rays are responsible for causing the damage at a cellular level, making them responsible for most skin cancers and the main cause of the signs of ageing in the form of wrinkles and discolouration. UVA is present all year round, even in wintertime!, 80-90 % of the ageing we see on our skin is down to environmental factors.

UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays, and cause the burn or tan effect in the skin. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause cancer, so wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with antioxidants is absolutely essential!

Damage to the Epidermis

The skin’s response to the sun can be seen initially as erythema (redness of the skin). This is a result of the inflammatory response and dilation of the blood vessels in the dermis. This is due to the cell damage and the repair process.

Erythema generally appears two to six hours after you’ve exposed your skin. The redder your skin gets the more damage you’ve inflicted on your skin.

UVB rays are the most effective at generating erythema, that is why they are often referred to as the burning rays.

The sun and daylight also increase:

  • Cell proliferation and thickening of the stratum corneum
  • Dehydration as the lack of moisture in the stratum corneum leads to gaps in the skin’s barrier, leaking moisture and causing skin to flake.
  • Sun exposure decreases the skin’s Hyaluronic acid content which can lead to a lack of volume in the skin.
  • Hyper or Hypo pigmentation can also result.
  • Following the initial erethema or sunburn, the skin responds by producing Melanin, which gives the tan appearance. Your tan is a sign of skin damage.

Collagen Breakdown and changes to Elastin

In the dermis, UV radiation causes Collagen to breakdown at a higher rate than with just chronological ageing. Sunlight damages collagen fibres and causes the accumulation of abnormal elastin. When this sun induced elastin accumulates, enzymes called Matrix Metalloproteinase’s are produced in large quantities.

Changes in the Dermal Blood Vessels

UV radiation causes the walls of blood vessels to become thinner leading to minor trauma in sun-exposed areas. Venous lakes can result on the lips and broken capillaries on the face and chest area.

Free Radicals generated

UV radiation is one of the major creators of Free Radicals. Always make sure the sun protection you have chosen contains Antioxidants in its formulation, they greatly enhance the protection against sun damage.
DNA Repair Inhibited

UV radiation affects the repair of damaged DNA. UVB is thought to cause the damage and UVA inhibits the repair process. So it is a double hit on the repair ability of the DNA in our cells.

Immune System Affected

The body has a defence system to attack developing cancer cells. These immune system factors include white blood cells, the T Lymphocytes and specialised skin cells called Langherhan cells. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, certain chemicals are released that suppress these immune cells and UVB is known to destroy Langerhan cells. An SPF 15 is proven to protect the Langherhan cells, that is why it is always recommended as a minimum.

Cell Death Prevention

The last line of defence of the immune system is a process called Apoptosis. Apoptosis is a process of cell suicide that kills severely damaged cells so they cannot become cancerous. This cell suicide is seen when you peel after a sunburn. There are certain factors, including UV exposure, that prevent this cell death allowing cells to continue to divide and possibly become cancerous.

The Carcinogenic Effects

The carcinogenic effect of ultraviolet exposure may be diagnosed as various forms of skin cancer. Skin cancer begins in cells, the building blocks that make up the skin. Normally, skin cells grow and divide to form new cells. Every day skin cells grow old and die, and new cells take their place.

Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the skin does not need them and old cells do not die when they should. The DNA is also effected and these extra cells form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumour. Growth or tumours can be benign or malignant. If you notice any suspicious lesion or skin disorder, you should immediately seek a doctors attention for a diagnosis.

Checking Moles

Melanomas start from moles so it’s a good idea to check for any changes in your moles. Any mole that bleeds, changes its size, shape, colour, texture or sensation should be checked out by a doctor.

Smart Sun Sense and Prevention
The best way to prevent skin cancer and sun damage is to protect skin from the daylight and direct sun. UV radiation can penetrate through light clothing, windshields, windows and clouds. Also, protecting children from an early age is so important, as most of the damage is done when we are young. Sunscreens can be used on babies over the age of six months. keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid the midday sun
  • There is as much UVA in the winter as in the summer
  • One burn doubles your risk of melanoma
  • Protect from UV reflection from sand, water, snow and ice – 90% bounces back
  • Give yourself a yearly examination for skin cancer and changes in moles

Tomatoes could be the key to sun care!
Lycopene is being added to the list of antioxidants that could potentially protect skin suffering substantial sun damage. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and other red fruits. Its concentration is particularly high in cooked tomatoes and tomato paste. In a small, controlled study carried out by Newcastle and Manchester Universities, women were given 55g of tomato paste each day (to eat) for 12 weeks. The skin protection against sunburn increased by 30% in the women. So combined with topical UVA and UVB protection it could offer greater benefits for your skin while in the sun.

How SPF’s Work

The SPF represents the ability of a sunscreen to delay sun-induced burning or erythema. It is important to realise that an SPF is only a measure of how much UVB protection provides. Unfortunately, a similar system of denoting sunscreen protection for UVA radiation has not been universally recognised. Always look for broad spectrum sun products.

sunbathing-fi-600x300Sunscreens work by two mechanisms:

Chemical Sunscreens – Absorb UV rays, lowering the energy level and releasing energy as heat. This type needs to be applied to the skin before any other product, and normally 20 minutes before sun exposure.
Physical Sunscreens – Reflect or scatter the energy rays. They are mineral based so therefore less irritating. They need to be applied last as they bounce the rays off the skin. You will also find physical sunscreens in mineral make-up, which is normally SPF 20-26, depending on brand.
It is important to understand that, even though you may be using a sunscreen, some UVB rays will still penetrate through your skin, you cannot filter out 100% of the sun’s rays.

For example – SPF 2 products protects your skin from 50% of the UVB rays, so you can stay in the sun twice as long as you would be able to without protection. So you may burn after 5 minutes without protection, once this SPF is applied you could stay out for 10 minutes without burning. (this is just an example as this SPF is far too low)

SPF 8 blocks 87.5 % of UVB rays.

SPF 15 blocks 93.33 % of UVB and some UVA rays.

SPF 30 blocks 96.6 % of UVB and some UVA rays.

SPF 60 blocks 97.98 of UVB and some UVA rays.

While it may seem that a product with an SPF 50 or higher would offer a full percentage rate of protection, it is mostly comprised of an increased level of chemicals, which can cause a higher rate of irritation in skin. Also look out for fragrance in sunscreens as these would be photo-toxic and can give you a reaction or pigmentation problems.

If you have a sunscreen sensitivity then look for mineral based products which contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, and can have an anti-inflammatory effect on damaged skin.

Application of Sunscreen
Most importantly, when you use a sunscreen, make sure you apply an adequate amount to ensure you are getting the desired SPF. That’s generally about one teaspoon for the face and about on eighth of a cup for complete body coverage. Unless you are using a waterproof formulation, reapply sunscreen whenever you swim, exercise or sweat profusely. The national cancer society recommends re-application every 2 hours.

Vitamin D Production

Known as the sunshine vitamin, this nutrient is essential for healthy bones and is produced in the body when exposed to sunlight, it is also found in oily fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and margarine. Most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from their diet and by getting a little sun, I know this may seem a bit ironic, but a little sun is good for us, just be careful!

If you are lacking in vitamin D for a long time then your bones may soften. In serious cases this leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

By enjoying the sun sensibly, it is possible to make enough vitamin D while not increasing your risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. The amount of time you need in the sun to make enough vitamin D varies from person to person, it depends on things like skin type, time of day and year, and where you are in the world.

The amount of time needed to make enough vitamin D is always less than the high amounts that cause tanning or sunburn. You don’t need to spend hours in the sun to feel the benefits of sunlight. In fact extra time in the sun doesn’t mean you keep on producing more vitamin D. When your body has a healthy level of the vitamin, the excess is broken down. From October to March our skin cannot make vitamin D as there is a low level of UVB in winter sunlight. Fortunately, health benefits of vitamin D do not need to be traded off for skin protection. You can get adequate amounts from your diet/supplements. Cod Liver Oil seems to contain the highest units of vitamin D.

Say NO to Sunbeds!!

While it is true that UV radiation of most sun beds do not cause erythema (redness) – although I have known very fair skinned people to burn – there is still damage being caused at a cellular level, and for some individuals this can lead to melanomas and skin cancer. Sun beds are definitely not safer than the sun! Beware of the coin operated sun beds, they may be quite old and you have no way of knowing if the tubes have been changed.

UVA is the primary wavelength used in sun bed because it causes the tanning reaction without the burning reaction of UVB. The long term effects on your skin will be premature ageing and pigmentation, I like to think of them as “Time Machines” as they definitely accelerate the ageing process – forward in time! making your skin look 10 – 15 years older.

Try some of the excellent Self Tanning products on the market instead, you will thank yourself for it later! I like Fake Bake and Liz Earle’s Face Self Tan Spritz, they don’t clog my pores and look very natural.

Topical Sun Care Products
As consumers we are demanding more from sunscreen products and has fuelled research into new technology in sunscreen ingredients. New types of dispersions of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide allow the formulation of products that no longer require the use of iron oxides to overcome the intense whiteness of these physical sunscreens. In addition, improvements to chemical sunscreens have enabled formulas that have a more elegant feel and texture to them. Sunscreen products can finally be made more like skin care products, that accommodate different skin types.

Antioxidants in Sun Care are Essential

On the research front, scientists have discovered ways to enhance sun protection for skin without the use of additional sunscreens. These studies indicate that when antioxidants (vitamins C and E) are formulated with sunscreen agents, protection against both UV-induced sunburn and free radicals in the epidermis and dermis is enhanced, but these vitamins need to be in a stable form to actually provide an antioxidant effect.

Dermalogica’s Daylight Defence System with UV Smart Booster Technology

These are very effective sun care products that provide enhanced photo protection by incorporating antioxidants into the product via a unique Smart Booster Technology, a customised micro-capsule technology that safe guards active vitamins, then releases them upon contact with UV rays (anytime the skin is exposed to daylight) for maximum free radical protection. All products in this range are broad spectrum and protect against UVA and UVB rays. You can also choose sun care for specific skin type – oily, dry and sensitive, as they have different formulations.

If you are actually going to sun bathe, then you do need specific sun care products as above, not a tinted moisturiser or your make-up with SPF, these are OK for every day wear if you are out of the sun, but you cannot rely on them for proper sun protection.

Product Recommendations for every day protection:

Skin Absorption – What Gets In?

Skin absorption is a route by which substances can enter the body/bloodstream through the skin. How many times have you read that the skin absorbs 60 % of what we apply to it? I was actually told this at college! This is one of the many skin myths that has been hyped by the media and also the Organic/natural companies as it supports their ideals that it is better to apply less chemicals to your skin! Unfortunatly for them, this simply isn’t true.

In general the primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier that prevents the invasion of external materials, especially the large molecules of skincare products. Cosmetic companies have to work very hard to develop formulations that can actually be absorbed through the epidermis to deliver all the claims that they make! and the line is frequently crossed of  “is it a cosmetic or a drug?”  a product cannot be too active for mainstream cosmetics, as they have the potential to irritate – this also depends on how resistant/sensitive your skin is, to how far ingredients can get. For example retinoids – the strongest forms are prescription only drugs, as they can affect the structure of the skin in a dramatic way.

Professors and academics whose sole job is to analyse skin permeability all admit to the fact that little can “slip” through the upper layers of the skin (epidermis). Most molecules in skincare products are far too large to even reach the Dermis, let alone pass into the bloodstream.

If we did absorb 60 % of what we apply to our skin, the human race would very likely not exist! not to mention absorbing all the water we bath in, and a sludge of creams and serums floating round our body! Our skin has to be highly effective at keeping body fluids in and microscopic bacteria out!

 However there are ingredients that can penetrate the dermis, and some drug delivery systems are in the form of trans-dermal skin patches, nicotine patches deliver nicotine to the bloodstream, the synthetic sunscreen Octyl Salicylate has very small molecules and studies have shown continual application for 48 hours results in 1.58 % being absorbed –   hardly 60 %.

For more information on specific ingredients visit  The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), they generate, evaluate and distributes scientific data on the safety assessment of fragrance and raw materials in cosmetics, shampoos, creams and other personal & household products.

The Skin-Forum is also an organisation dedicated to studying skin permeability.

Superoxide Dismutase

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an endogenous antioxidant that the body makes naturally to defend itself against harmful Free Radicals. It is an enzyme that repairs and reduces the damage done to cells by the Superoxide Ion – the most common Free Radical in the body and the most harmful!  SOD is produced by the body in virtually every cell, and is found in the Dermis and Epidermis, it is important in the production of Fibroblasts, which are the skin building cells responsible for Collagen and Elastin fibres.

Studies have shown that SOD is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body, neutralizing the Free Radicals that lead to ageing and wrinkles and pre-cancerous cell changes – it is potentially a potent anti-ageing treatment since it is now known that SOD levels decline as we get older and Free Radicals increase.

Antioxidant ProtectionTo be truly effective at eliminating Free Radicals we rely on a constant source of dietary antioxidants (exogenous) such as Vitamins C and E and other compounds like Flavonoids and other plant antioxidant systems – these will only act as a secondary buffering system and need to be constantly replenished –  the best antioxidants that literally stop Free Radicals in their tracks are our natural (endogenous) systems. Glutathione Peroxidase, Catalase and Superoxide Dismutase all three are enzymatic eliminators of Free Radicals, SOD being at the forefront and completes the defence system.

SOD is found in Barley Grass, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Wheatgrass  and Broccoli – however it cannot be absorbed by the digestive route as our stomach acid destroys it before it can be absorbed by the body. The body needs plenty of Vitamin C and Copper to make SOD itself – so be sure to get enough!

SOD was first discovered in the body by French scientists McCord & Fridovich in 1968, they discovered it was the first line of defence against oxidative stress. In the early 1990’s a supplement was produced from Bovine SOD, unfortunately they discovered the digestive system breaks it down and was recognised as not effective.

The first orally effective form of SOD is available now in the form of PURE-XP GliSODin, which after decades of research a team of European scientists have finally developed an effective 100% vegetarian product, the SOD is derived from melon and protected during digestion by a wheat protein. Here’s some of the benefits:

  • Antioxidant Primer – stimulates the body to produce it’s own extra strength internal antioxidants
  • Fights the ageing process
  • Reduces Oxidative stress
  • Supports the Immune system
  • Acts as an Anti-Ageing Catalyst
  • Supports and protects skin against UV damage


Boost your fight against premature ageing and age related disease by taking GliSODin supplements, you can buy GliSODin in our Skincare shop.

 For more information visit –