Your Winter diet can be tasty AND healthy… here’s how…

DarkChocolateChristmas is often a time of pure gluttony. We splendour in all the wonderful luxury foods that surround us in the supermarkets and shops and cannot resist an opportunity to tantalise our tastebuds with the latest christmas themed ‘fad’ dessert that may be making its’ way around the pages of social media and ‘trending’ lists in the current magazines.

But Christmas time doesn’t have to mean that we stuff our faces, maintaining the excuse that we will diet in January, nor do we have to starve ourselves for a few weeks to make up for the black hole we fall into for the weeks over mid-to-end December, taking every sweet option going “because it’s Christmas”. If you take a step back and take a good look at the extra lines that are added to the shelves this time of year, where the superstores can cash in on the over eating, festive fuelled frenzy of the general public, you will see that there is actually a wide range of super food that can be formed into a structured and healthy diet at this time of year, and you won’t have to feel guilty about a thing!

Winter recipes are often filled with hearty vegetables and carbs to help us stay warm and because they are often in vast supply due to the autumn harvesting country wide. But instead of eating at random and simply indulging, we should take advantage of all the amazing nutrients these foods have to offer, which range from kale to dark chocolate, and plan our winter diet according to our needs, preventing the call for extreme January dieting, which can often be unhealthy and non-commital – I know, I have tried.

When we talk about setting our January ‘New Year’s resolutions’, we make assumptions that we will have the motivation and time to utilise or proposed lifestyle, when really the key may be to start getting in the swing of things now and gradually integrate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. Christmas time is a great time to do this, as we often like to try new recipes and most of us will always budget extra for filling our fridge at this time of year – not to mention that there are plenty of super foods on offer across markets and supermarkets alike!

Here is a list of super foods that are less than 40 calories each, which are all full of either vitamins, anti-oxidants, both or are packed with nutrients, that can all make up the healthiest diet, but not deprive you of a traditional holiday diet.

The list includes:

Arugula (like rocket leaves), Asparagus, Broccoli, Sprouts, Cabbage, Lettuce, Beetroot, Cauliflower, Coffee, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Courgette, Spinach, Lemon, Lime, Kale, Garlic, Onion, Radishes, Fennel, Celery, Berries, Carrots, Avocado, Salmon, Mackerel, Brown Rice, Pears, Grapes, Red wine (in sensible quantities), Legumes, Lentils, Pearl Barley, Bananas, Eggs, Nuts and Seeds especially almonds and sunflower seeds which are packed with skin goodness, Chick peas, Pine Nuts, Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Feta or Goats Cheese, Chicken and Turkey (prepared in the correct way and not fried!), Tofu, Sweet Potatoes, Artichoke, Oat Milk, Cottage Cheese (a great source of protein!) and a selection of healthy teas such as white tea, black tea, green tea, nettle tea or burdock tea, which can help cleanse your body and help with digestion.

I know what you’re thinking… “thanks for writing my shopping list!” …well, you’re welcome. All of these foods could have you fighting fit and as you can see, most are almost always included in many Christmas themed dishes – including the favourite and traditional roast, which is a great opportunity to pack in some tasty veg!

Obviously to make you’re diet work, like in any healthy lifestyle, you will also have to try and keep up with at least 20 mins heart pumping exercise a day. If you’re looking to improve your skin, some professionals recommend that you avoid certain dairy products, saturated fats and red meat as it is thought that the fats can often cause break outs and have been known to worsen acne, and are generally not the best foods to eat if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

More advice on these tips can be found on our Lifestyle tips page and you can also visit the links below to read more about the best super foods for your skin, and for your new found healthy lifestyle. Healthy Holidays = Happy Holidays!,,20640804,00.html

Watch out for harmful ingredients in skin care products

ID-100115127There has recently been a lot in the media about the results of using harmful ingredients in skin care and cosmetic products, due to the adverse effects they can have on your health. EU regulations now do not permit the use of some substances such as methylisothiazolinone (MI), which was in the news back in September following an ‘epidemic’ of allergic reactions as a result of being used in many women’s skin care products.

A recent article by American industry professional Judith Lennox, who has 40 years experience working in aesthetics, has told of the questions she often gets asked by her clients about the types of ingredients to avoid. She goes into detail about the companies that she believes are now abiding by the EU regulations and which are not, and is very knowledgable about the effects that these different ingredients can have, such as the use of parabens, dioxane and formaldehyde which actually lock in toxins in the skin in their attempt to lock in moisture, which can actually cause the skin to become unhealthy or age more easily.

STRATUM_2 copyShe then discusses the use of collagen. This is obviously a subject that our team here at Stratum C know a lot about, and we can confirm that what Judith says about topical collagen creams is true. When you apply creams to your skin that contain actual collagen, it creates a layer of film that suffocates the skin, as collagen is a “fibrous protein that is too large to penetrate the skin”. This is where creams such as Stratum C are much better for your skin, as Stratum C helps your skin to generate it’s own collagen naturally, and does not include collagen itself. This is caused by applying our unique combination of peptides, which are made up of naturally occurring amino-acids, which are present in the body until you reach a certain age. Usually as you get older, your body’s production of collagen and amino acids declines, often due to a change in hormones. Hyaluronic acid is also naturally occurring in the body, and is also present in Stratum C in large quantities, which helps to lock in moisture instead of creating a barrier on your skin’s surface.

STRATUM_4 copyTherefore, you should watch out for these harmful ingredients and avoid using topical creams that actually contain collagen as they may do more damage than good. We are pleased that professionals like Judith are able to share their knowledge with the millions of women that buy skin care products, as many are not aware of the effects that using these ingredients can have on your skin and on the rest of your body in fact. Aluminium is often used in anti-perspirants and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, whilst parabens have links to several different types of cancer. You should always do your research before you start to use a new brand or decide to change your skin care regime.

Next time you go shopping for cosmetics, make sure you read the label and if you have skin care concerns, ask a health professional for advice. Choosing your products carefully could save you money and often, spending a little more on good skin care products can be more of an investment and sometimes save you money in the long run, not to mention that this means you will be using the highest quality ingredients that your skin deserves.

To find out more about Stratum C products, please visit our website,

To read the original article by Judith Lennox, click the link below:

Middle aged? Go Mediterranean… the diet that prolongs your life.

mediterranean-mapWell, that may not be completely true… but it seems to be a current fad that we have seen a lot of people talking about – even scientists and health professionals. It seems that if we learn a thing or two from those that live nearer to the equator, we may just add a few years of fighting fit onto our lifeline.

The mediterranean diet is commonly undertaken in the countries to the south of Europe, near the mediterranean, obviously. The diet consists of meals rich in colourful vegetables, not too much meat, and plenty of oily foods that are great for your skin. What you didn’t know was that eating all manner of wholegrains and natural fatty acids (such as those found in avocado) can prevent you from getting all sorts of nasty diseases, and as the cereal adverts keep telling us, they are also good for your heart.

According to a study carried out by the University of Bordeaux and the Harvard School of Public Health, the women in the surveys that were more healthy tended to eat more fish, fruit and vegetables and consumed less red meat and alcohol. The study was carried out on over 10,000 women and shows that when you are mindful of what you eat, it can benefit you in more ways than you thought possible. It can even help you prevent Alzheimer’s.

Our Lifestyle tips page contains lots of helpful pointers to help improve the quality of your skin, and food is a big contender in the skin care arena. You should always drink plenty of water and try to avoid consuming too much dairy, alcohol and red meat as these can all cause blemishes and ageing of the skin. Also try to avoid smoking as this will definitely age you, not to mention all the other dreadful things it can cause!

We have put together a few links to some tasty mediterranean recipes for you to try, so that you can incorporate a bit more colour into your diet, and hopefully add a few more years onto a healthy life. Enjoy!

Recipe Links:


To see the original article from the Daily Express, visit the link below:

Mandy Appleyard writes new column on Menopause

Last week following the end of World Menopause Month in October, something magical happened in the world of menopausal news. Journalist Mandy Appleyard, who currently writes for Femail, ‘came-out’ about her own menopause and has agreed to write an occasional column about the progress of her symptoms, allowing us to follow her experiences and compare what it is like to be a modern day menopausal woman.

Here at Stratum C, we are all for women talking openly about menopause, as let’s face it, all women have this in common and we shouldn’t have to feel like we can’t discuss it openly! I have often wondered why menopause has been a bit of a taboo? Could it be due to the intimate nature of certain symptoms?

Menopause is something that all women will experience and is often more troublesome for certain ladies than others, which can be determined by all sorts of extenuating circumstances such as hysterectomy or simply by age, whether it be early or late. For most, the first signs of menopause are unpleasant, such as constantly feeling like your internal thermostat is broken and stuck on max. Suddenly, you may start feeling as though you don’t understand the fundamental demands of your body anymore as the process of menopause means that in some cases, you may have to start taking care of your body quite differently to how you did before.

Though, Mandy Appleyard is not the only one to speak out as of late, as you know, Linda Barker has also admitted to being menopausal and is a great lover of our very own menopause skin products from the Stratum C range. We have also seen Patsy Kensit talk about her own experiences on TV and we have noticed an amazing trend of menopause related interest in the media over the last few months, which we think is fantastic. We thank Mandy Appleyard for helping to break down the stigma surrounding menopause and will eagerly await her next column article to find out her viewpoints, but also for a mood lift, due to her very entertaining way of putting it.

To see this week’s story, click on the link below, where you can find a few positives about the menopause to put you in a good mind set for the start of the week. Enjoy!


Australia has banned all sun beds to reduce skin cancer deaths

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Queensland government were banning all commercial sun beds to try and prevent more people from getting skin cancer. Since then, other Australian states have piped up saying that they too wish to support the movement, and it looks as though all commercial sun beds will be banned across the country by 31 December next year.

Research has shown that there is a highly increased risk of skin cancer due to the use of sun beds, compared to those who have never used one. Tests also showed that if you start young, as in before the age of 35, you are 87% more likely to develop melanoma.

Skin cancer is a highly under rated cancer, as many ignore the warnings given by health specialists that advise to protect your skin from the sun at all costs. According to Cancer Research UK, cases of melanoma have doubled in the last decade. The Australian ban was encouraged by other countries that have also banned solariums including Brazil and California. In the UK, only under 18’s are banned from using them, though I wonder if this is enough or if they should be banned altogether considering the damage they can do? Would you use a sun bed knowing the risks could be fatal? Or are you a regular sun bed user who has never had any issues? Follow our thread on Facebook – ‘Stratumc’

For more information on the dangers of sun beds, visit

To read the recent full article from the Daily Mail, click on the link below:

DIY surgically enhanced dimples and hog’s lard, what women used to care for their skin 100 years ago…

I recently came across a fantastically written article that highlighted historical skin care claims from people who considered themselves pioneers of the time, from around the reign and death of Queen Victoria. The article mentions snippets of ‘study manuals’ for women of the age, describing all sorts of, what we now consider to be, weird and wonderful methods of maintaining a healthy glow.

Some of the suggestions, that most would be horrified of participating in in modern day life, include putting lard on your face, incorporating sour milk into your daily moisturising regime and even a do it yourself guide on how to give yourself fake dimples using only a knife, a hook and a pair of scissors! I can’t envisage home kits for plastic surgery ever coming back into fashion…

It really is amazing how far skin care has come in such a short time, considering that now we have scientific remedies for reducing scar tissue and even regrowing whole areas of skin after injury. I don’t think I would have liked to have been a woman in Victorian Britain, resorting to not smiling and being told not to rub salad dressing into my face in case I grow a beard! I am very grateful for the clinical advances in modern day skincare and am a strong believer that science based products are the way forward, though I wouldn’t out rule all old wives tales, such as facial massage that has been said to stimulate relaxation of your facial muscles, and of course is generally a pleasant experience.

Read the article (link below) to get an insight into how our extraordinary ancestors looked after their skin.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull. Here are some recipes that will help nurture your skin, and your appetite!

So we all know that we should eat healthily in our attempts to remain eternally youthful, but often it is easy to get distracted by the other, yummier, options on the shelf that fulfil our craving for diminishing the feelings of stress and depression that menopause can often bring.

Well, not anymore… we have found some tantalisingly tasty recipes online that mean you can still eat your favourite comfort foods, and be safe

imagesin the knowledge that the ingredients are packed full of goodness for your body, and more importantly your skin.

Below are some links to fantastic recipes that include cookies, lollies, alleged healthy cocktails and a top 10 list of foods that are essentials in your daily meal round up. Foods that are high in anti-oxidants such as blueberries, pomegranates and almonds are great for the skin as they can help protect against free radicals. Healthy delights such as fish and spinach are full of Omega-3 oils, which can generally improve the appearance of your skin and also has benefits for keeping your heart healthy. Avocado is also a great anti-inflammatory food, meaning it can help to maintain healthy skin and is also a source of natural fats, which your body needs, as opposed to saturated fats that are in many other food products that we buy in modern day life.

So if your feeling down, or feeling guilty about wanting a cheeky mid-afternoon snack, you can instead choose a home made healthy cookie that will satisfy your cravings and maintain a healthy complexion.

I hope you find these links useful!