Expert Tips for Treating Eczema

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

We all want healthy glowing skin but looking after and treating skin problems can seem like an impossible task at times.

According to skincare specialists Salcura, one of the most common skin conditions is eczema. So to help you out, we asked the experts at Salcura for their advice for dealing with eczema. 

Here are their top tips for keeping your skin in top condition.

1. Moisturise as much as you can
Up your moisturisation game. It’s a given fact that if you have dry skin, it’s important to moisturise regularly. But during the winter, a once-daily application can be insufficient to keep skin soft and comfortable. Try moisturising in the morning and in the evening, particularly before bed, to allow the skin to drink up the moisture while you sleep. If your skin is particularly dry, carry a travel size of your favourite moisturiser with you.

2. Drink plenty of water
This goes without saying, but for many of us, it can be a difficult one to do. Try keeping a bottle of water at your desk, in the car, in your handbag, on your bedside table, anywhere that you know you’re going to see it and -hopefully- drink it! There are also apps and fitness trackers that remind you when it’s time to have another glass of water.

3. Eat more fats
It’s common to try and avoid eating too much fat in your diet, but healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and unprocessed oils provide essential nutrients, such as omega 3 and 6, that can help the skin to retain moisture. Try adding some sliced avocado to your salad or add some pumpkin seeds to your porridge!

4. Keep your shower short
It’s recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology that you must “Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes.” This is due to the fact that water can remove oil from your skin, drying it out and leaving it with less protection. Showers can also expose your skin to many dozens of synthetic chemicals. Many shower gels and shampoos can contain unnatural and, in some cases, harmful ingredients to those with sensitive skin, unlike our products.

If you’re a gym-goer, or just generally an active person, you may choose to shower twice a day or more. However, if you suffer from dry skin, try to limit this to once a day, as washing excessively can strip the skin of its natural -and moisturising- oils.

5. Finish your shower correctly
Many of us don’t realise that straight after leaving the shower our skin is actually very dry, even if it’s dripping with shower water. This is due to the natural oils being washed away. It’s recommended that you gently blot yourself with a towel rather than scratching it across the skin to avoid further harm to the skin. Once you’ve dried yourself, cover your skin in a moisturiser - this will help your skin recover from the loss of its natural oils.

6. Wear weather-appropriate clothing
It is commonly known that cold weather can lead to severely dry skin. This can be a big problem for those who may work in cold areas, whether it is simply the climate of the area they work in or their workplace needing to have low temperatures, like food storage for example. In the summer allow your skin to breathe with loose clothing.

Try to wear more natural and softer fabrics like cotton or silk, as these are less irritating to the skin and are less likely to agitate already itchy and dry skin. Layering up is always a good idea, but make sure your skin can still ‘breathe.’ Also try avoiding harsh washing detergents, as these can also cause irritation and further dry out the skin.

7. Moisturise in the air
Those who commonly use air travel should know that dry and recycled air can cause dry skin, which can in some cases cause conditions like Acne and Eczema to flare up. If you feel that the air in your workplace or home is far too dry, it may be a good idea to use
a humidifier.

In the winter try to keep the skin covered as much as possible. Exposure to extreme cold and wind can cause the skin to become drier and more irritated, so protecting it from the elements is essential. Equally, in the summer try to avoid the humid//hot air exposure where possible. Cover your skin with light clothing to avoid the sun irritating delicate skin and avoid the sunlight during peak hours when it's at its hottest.

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Debunking the Top 5 Workout Myths

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

There can often be a lot of contrasting opinions and misinformation about how to achieve optimal fitness. This is not only unhelpful and stops you from achieving your fitness goals, but, in some cases, can even be detrimental to your health. To help you out, we asked Strength & Conditioning coach Kate Whapples to debunk the top five workout myths.

1. Lifting weights will make you look like The Hulk

The notion that lifting weights makes you muscly is fundamentally flawed. Lifting weights doesn’t make you massive in the same way driving a fast car doesn't make you an F1 driver! To put on that much muscle mass is really hard work and includes eating a very specific diet and training really hard consistently for a very long period of time. What lifting weights will do is make your joints stronger and increase your bone density. The ‘toned’ look that’s become popular recently relies on building a certain amount of muscle, so don’t be scared of it!

2. You need to live off chicken, rice and broccoli

Adding variety is not only really important for your ability to stick with a diet long term, but it's also crucial to make sure your body has all the nutrition it needs. The slogan ‘eat the rainbow’ is used as different coloured veggies tend to have really different vitamin and mineral profiles, so eating a variety of healthy foods is really important. Healthy food doesn't need to be boring, and not everything you eat HAS to be healthy. Try an 80:20 split of healthy vs treats and you’re laying great foundations for a sustainable lifestyle.

3. Scales are everything

Scales can be a good place to start if you’re overweight and looking to change that. However, many people have an unhealthy relationship with the scales. Weight naturally fluctuates between the morning and evening and also throughout the month (especially for females). So, if you want to monitor weight, I recommend picking a set point in the day, weighing yourself in your underwear and only doing it once every other week at the most. This allows you to monitor your weight without falling into obsessive patterns. Once you’re at a fit and healthy weight, looking at body composition is often a better tactic. This takes into consideration your muscle mass compared to fat mass. Lots of very lean people are deceptively heavy, so I recommend focusing on getting to a healthy weight and then using things like body measurements and callipers to monitor your body composition instead of over-reliance on the scales.

4. Carbs are evil

Many people have a fear of eating carbs but they are essential for performance. if you’re hitting the gym or your 5-a-side match low on carbs, you’re likely to be capping your performance. In order to control your weight, it’s helpful to ensure you’re not consuming significantly more calories than you’re burning but you need to make sure you’re consuming enough carbs to give you the energy to perform at your best.

5. You need to do crunches to get a six-pack

Crunches don’t melt belly fat, they also aren’t a particularly great exercise to build abs either! You’re better off using a mixture of core movements within your normal gym routine and focusing on improving body composition if abs are the goal. Building strong, thick muscle through your core is essential for the definition most people want once they are visible, so keep putting the work in at the gym and it will happen!

Need a helping hand with your health and fitness? 

If you need any help boosting your energy or supporting your immune system to make sure you can hit your fitness goals, check out our apple cider vinegar gummies. 

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Wake up feeling fresh when the clocks go forward with these expert tips 

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

The clocks go forward one hour at 1 am this Sunday (27th) as we head into British Summer Time (BST). The good news is that this means more daylight in the evenings, so those long summer nights are within touching distance.

However, there is a slight downside as we will lose an hour of precious sleep. So to help you out, Sleep Coach, Nicky Blakeman, gives her top tips for adjusting to the clock change so you don’t feel too tired next week.

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World Sleep Day: Five Extra Reasons to Prioritise Your Sleep 

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

It’s well known that a good night's sleep helps to leave you feeling refreshed and reduces fatigue throughout the day. But sleep is critical to nearly every process and system of the body and has many benefits you might not have associated with it. 

With this in mind, Certified Sleep Coach, Nicky Blakeman outlines below five extra reasons to prioritise your sleep ahead of World Sleep Day. 

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Top tips for coping with losing sleep when you have a baby

Posted by Jake Cottrill on

Having a new baby can really take a toll on your sleep. From feeding and changing nappies, to listening out for crying and trying to settle them back off to sleep, it can seem almost impossible to get the rest you need.
This sleep deprivation builds up and can leave you feeling exhausted and unhappy. So to help you out, mother and Qualified Sleep Coach, Nicky Blakeman, gives her top tips for coping with sleep deprivation as a new parent.

1. Set your expectations of what you can achieve

As a new parent, it can be really difficult to prioritise your own sleep. Being woken up throughout the night can leave you sleep deprived and in desperate need of rest. But even in those moments where your baby is asleep during the day, it often feels like you have 100 other things to do. Try to lower your expectation of what you can achieve in those first few months and understand that you can’t be as organised and efficient as you used to be. When your baby is asleep, prioritise getting some rest for yourself and then with any time you have left you can clean, prepare meals etc. rather than the other way around.

2. Recognise the effects of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation can cause you to overthink and disrupt your decision making. It’s  important to take a step back and not to act on anything until you have had a proper sleep. This is easier said than done, but if you feel like you’re a bad parent, for example, or your partner is really annoying you, it is more than likely the sleep deprivation talking. Don’t rush into any life-changing decisions in the first few weeks and be prepared to regularly apologise to loved ones. It is however important to consider that these symptoms can also be associated with postnatal depression so seek help if you are really struggling.

3. Don’t suffer alone

If you’re listening out for crying and expecting to be woken up, you will struggle to get any proper sleep. So, if you have a partner, take it in turns to be responsible for the baby at night. One technique I found useful was swapping sides in bed depending on who is listening out for the baby that night. This helps you to switch off and prepares you for sleep. Your partner can pass the baby to you to breastfeed if necessary but they can take care of everything else such as changing the nappy and settling them back off to sleep when it’s their night. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other loved ones as well if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility.

4. Eat healthily, stay positive

When you’re sleep deprived, your hunger hormones are directly affected which makes you crave unhealthy food high in sugar and salt. But when you eat these kinds of foods you could feel worse and even more tired, creating a vicious cycle. Do your best to stick to a healthy diet where possible with lots of fruit and veg and make sure you stay hydrated. And finally, try your best to stay positive! After 3-6 months you will start to see light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem like a long time now but it really doesn’t last long.

Need More Help To Get The Sleep You Need?

If you need a helping hand drifting off at night, check out our chewable 5-HTP Bedtime gummies and Nicky's How to Sleep podcast.
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