Our desert island skincare survival guide

Our team put our heads together and thought about what key items we’d need on a desert island. Despite being skincare related it was a challenge, Proto-col has brought out an array of skincare products since launching in 2003. But if I had to choose my top 3 it would be…

Skin Radiance

Bursting with antioxidants this product is one of the first of its kinds. Formulated to be taken orally, this product is ideal for improving skin complexion. Feeding the skin long after you walk the plank onto the island, Skin Radiance is made up of Champagne grape and French melon extract. The red berry and SkinAx² ™ blend have been designed to improve rosacea, dark circles and skin tone.

The Lift XL

A unique lifting serum that reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles for up to four hours, mirroring an anti-ageing agent without the needles. Formulated with active ingredients, this moisturiser nourishes the skin with plant-based collagen. Especially effective for pro-ageing areas such as the eyes, neck and frown lines.

No.3 Miracle Balm

Perfect for a desert island, this body balm richly hydrates damaged skin to replenish and rejuvenate the cells. Not only is it pocket sized- it contains hyaluronic acids and orange oil to promote skin repair.

Tips for sleeping in the heat

A British summer wouldn’t be a British summer if we didn’t sit and complain about how it’s ‘too hot’, or that actually you can’t possibly sleep in such conditions. We’ve all been there, tossing and turning in bed trying the one leg in- one leg out- dance, flipping the pillow over to the cold side or opening your windows as wide as the hinges will take.

It can be hard to even just relax as our muscles tense up from being frustrated in the heat. Unfortunately, however summer temperatures can be difficult to avoid so we have prepared some tips:

Sheets in the heat

Choose cotton instead of satin, silk or polyester for winter nights, with light-coloured bedding being made of lightweight cotton whilst being breathable.

Stay cool as a cucumber

Use your trusty hot water bottle to cool you down by adding cold water and placing in the freezer, this cool pack should last until you drift off to sleep.

Change bedrooms

If you live in a high story building, try switching to the ground floor or even outside to have a better-quality night’s sleep. Heat rises and sleeping closer to the ground will reduce being a subject to that rising energy.

The Egyptian method

Sleeping like an Egyptian involves dampening your blanket or sheets in water so they are cool on the body, although it will leave your skin damp it will also get you to sleep almost immediately. It should be advised to use a towel underneath any sheets to stop the mattress from becoming damaged.

Choose lightweight

It may seem obvious but that summertime pyjamas should remain loose, lightweight and cotton. Having thick pyjamas on will only irritate you and make you warmer.

Cool down your core body temperature

Taking a cold or warm shower before bed is an ideal method to cool down the core body temperature. It also helps to wash off sweat and dirt meaning you won’t feel clammy or hot before bed, but clean and cool.

Go old-school

Using a pan of cold water, or a bowl of ice below a fan will provide a cooler breeze as opposed to circulating warm air. It may seem silly but it will allow you enough time to drift off into a calm oasis of cool.

Switch off

Try to avoid using electrical appliance’s including lights and mobile phones before bed, they all create heat and energy within the room. It will also let your body shut off as opposed to artificial light awakening your brain.

Re-hydrate before you dehydrate

Make sure you drink a glass of water before you attempt a good night’s sleep. It’s important to stay hydrated before your body goes into re-set mode whilst sweating the night away. It’s also have a glass of water when you wake up in the morning to prepare yourself for the summers day.

Dunk your toes

Your feet are a sensitive area of the body, meaning they are the most important place to cool down. Dangling your feet into some cold water will cool down the whole body temperature.

Is your skin affecting your mental wellbeing?

Do not feel disempowered as skin professionals tell you ‘it’s just your skin’. Your skin lines your identity as you express yourself with makeup, hair and even the way you smile. Your skin is exactly that, it’s yours, it’s not for anybody else to comment nor judge.

It can also be a misguided study process for medical professionals and some may assume poor mental health causes bad skin, when actually who knows what came first? 

It has been recorded that 81% of us have experienced a skin condition, with 26% saying it changes their mood or makes them feel depressed (E45). Skin problems can range from a variety of acne’s, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis or even dull and tired skin. After all, skin is one of the bodies biggest organ.

Due to conflicting beauty products, misinformed news articles and a variety of opinionated doctors a concoction of skin problems can occur. It can be difficult to follow contradictive advice when searching for an answer to a problem that makes you feel self-conscious every day. However, it has only come up recently that mental health has a link with low-self esteem regarding appearance. But why is it that we are only just starting to connect up the dots?

Surely having a fundamental issue with appearance, especially with something as visual as the face, would begin to determinate mental health. Socially it can cause self-doubt, worry about confidence and resistance to social opportunities. Getting your skin care and lifestyle right for you is the best first step towards promoting self-love.

‘Acne affects about 80% of the population at some time in their lives’, dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. It’s even common for adults to develop acne… which can be a result of diet, allergens of ingredients, air pollution or even lack of sleep and dehydration. All skins behave differently and it can be easy to fall into a bad habit with an unfriendly routine.

Are you missing a vital step in your skincare routine?

Whether it’s an acne breakout, tired looking skin or dark circles from those busy days and late nights, we turn to skincare products as a magic fix to all our problems.

Sure, splurging on a all-talking, all-dancing regime can make a big difference in achieving a more youthful, healthy appearance. However, there is a new trend in skincare which argues that beauty isn’t only skin deep. The key to looking radiant comes from the inside out.

Whilst you can get most of the essential skin-loving vitamins and minerals from your diet, this takes consideration, planning and time (which some of us lack).  Adding a skin supplement to your beauty routine is an easy way to give your complexion a much-needed, all day long, natural boost internally – without the need to layer a thick application of beauty products. 

Proto-col’s Skin Radiance is a revolutionary antioxidant-rich formula. collaborating with Skinax²™, addressing a range of skin problems including uneven skin tone, dark circles, redness, and spots.

Targeting oxide-stress which is one of the key triggers for premature ageing and skin discolorations. This skin superfood provides the nutrients to deliver more luminous and firmer skin after only eight weeks.  It improves circulation to oxygenate and hydrate the skin, whilst helping to fight free radicals.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the skin, found in the dermis, it is responsible for keeping skin firm, supple and smooth.  Research shows that ingesting collagen can improve the overall look and feel of skin,

Proto-col’s Collagen Capsules contain VERISOL® a unique formulation clinically proven to increase skin elasticity and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Supplementing with this essential protein helps to promote glowing, vibrant skin, aiding the skin to appear more youthful and healthy.

A variety of collagen supplements in either capsule form, collagen shots or cordials are available from Proto-col to ensure you are getting your daily dose.

Green Magic is a fusion of 16 of the most powerful natural superfoods. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium. This is an award-winning all-in-one product that not only promotes youthful skin but is clinically proven to improve cardiovascular health. The body is provided with the nutrients it needs for an energised boost, the immune system becomes naturally strengthened at the same time as the improvement of digestive health.

Me-Time

We all know that taking me-time can make us happier and is an effective way of managing our stress levels, but how many of us actually make a habit of scheduling regular time out for self-care?

-Recent stats report 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.-

With our days becoming busier and busier and our to-do lists never ending, it’s becoming even more crucial to push the pause button regularly. So, this is the first monthly post which we will challenge you to find your monthly motivation:

To make regular, undisturbed me-time a priority:

There’s only one rule; it must be something that you genuinely enjoy, gives you value and is unapologetically just for you! (That means no gruelling gym sessions unless you are doing it because you want to and not because you should).

So make a commitment to yourself, and take these 3 steps to get in the self-love swing:

Step One: Schedule it in

Whether it’s your phone calendar, a daily planner or a scribble on a post-it note… book it in. Find a chunk of time in your day or week that you can block out. Pre-warn your partner or family, get them onboard and then stick to your guns. Don’t worry if you don’t have heaps of free time a UK study found quality time is more important than quantity

TIP: Scheduling is also a great way to get more value and purpose from your day. Getting a bigger picture to look at how you are spending your day helps you to identify tasks that; add value, the time-wasters, the necessities and the pockets of free time that you could be spending more productively.

Step Two: Pick an activity that will bring you joy, relax you, or leave you feeling recharged.

Check in with yourself and ask yourself “How would I like to feel afterwards?”

If you want to feel accomplished try starting a new hobby or class such as crafting, playing an instrument or learning a new language. Or, maybe you need help relaxing in which case booking in a facial, yoga class or just spending 20 minutes meditating might be a better fit for you.

Step Three: Be present!

When it comes to taking me-time be sure to remove the digital noise and distractions, make sure you are not responsible for anyone or anything, and refrain from posting about it on social media. . . .At least till afterwards. Give it your full attention!

Finally and most importantly ENJOY IT!

Artery cleaning foods

With more and more research being carried out into how our lifestyle effects our health, it is becoming apparent that our food choices have a bigger part to play than we thought.

The rise of heart related diseases and other serious problems such as strokes and heart attacks means it is an important time to be looking at what we can do to ward off these conditions and stay in optimum health.

Why should we look after our arteries?

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood around the body. These can often get clogged up by a build-up of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) which lead to restricted blood flow to the heart and other major organs. By looking after our arteries and being mindful of the foods that we eat we can help prevent heart disease.

How does food affect the arteries?

Large quantities of food high in saturated fat and trans fats can be a factor in the clogging of arteries along with obesity. Foods such as meat, cakes and pastries, alcohol and other highly processed foods can cause the  build-up of plaque in the arteries.

There are also many foods that can help reduce cholesterol and keep your blood flowing freely. We have put together a list of foods which can easily be incorporated into your diet.

Avocado- this trendy food is a great healthy replacement to mayonnaise. Add it to sandwiches for a creamy texture or even add it into a breakfast smoothie.

Whole-grains– wholegrain foods such as brown rice, whole wheat and oatmeal are a great source of fibre that can easily be added to your diet. Try replacing your white rice and bread with the whole grain variety for an easy and healthy swap.

Broccoli- adding these mini trees to your diet 2-3 x a week can help reduce arteries clogging as they are filled with vitamin K and help prevent cholesterol oxidation. A very tasty and versatile vegetable that is a great side dish.

Nuts- nuts are great for lowering bad cholesterol with almonds and walnuts being some of the better choices. A handful a day make an ideal healthy snack and can be chopped and sprinkled on salads.

Green tea- Full of antioxidants and known for its health benefits green tea works by stopping the body absorbing bad cholesterol. Try replacing your regular tea with this a couple of times a day.  

How to slow down your weekend

We all look forward to the weekend and by Monday morning it may feel as if you never really had a weekend at all. Whilst others compare their plans or what they got up to, the weekend has whizzed by and you struggle to remember the finer details.

But these two days of relaxation and fun often feel like they were short and that the rest needed wasn’t available, crowded by plans, seeing too many people or an extra workload. It is important to be selfish sometimes, especially over a weekend as an evening in the week sometimes just isn’t enough. Completing errands, you were meant to tick off the list for a while or cleaning can be both satisfying and de-stressing, but physically it still keys up a lot of tension and strain. The anxiety of the week ahead feels like it flashes by the time it’s Sunday evening, after all, the last time you checked it was Friday afternoon.

Worry not- we have some tips that could help you savour your chill-out time.

Break up your time into stages

The weekend actually starts as soon as you finish work on a Friday evening, plan after work drinks or simply celebrate it’s the weekend by visiting a new restaurant, book a show, do anything that will occupy your mind from the previous working week. It will feel as if you have filled your weekend with plans before it has even started. If anything, making your weekend top heavy will leave time for organising and relaxing on Sunday. Fitting plans in from the word go means you won’t be exhausted come the early alarm on Monday.

Mix it up

Regardless of the budget or free time available, it’s easy to mix up your plans from the usual plans. By spending even 30 minutes visiting the local farmers market, eating at a new café or even schedule catching with old friends, the idea that you have done something different will anchor to your memories and feel like you have a story to tell come Monday morning chit chats.

Take Sunday to yourself

Before the week commences, get yourself in the right mind set. You will feel much more satisfied and as a result have a better night’s sleep. This can be done in whatever way works for you, sitting down with your diary or planner, eating dinner earlier in the evening and spending time to have a bath or shower with your favourite facemask. Don’t forget your other senses such as smell and touch, light a calming candle or open a window for fresh air in the warmer evenings.

Have you had your beauty sleep?

It may seem obvious to some but sleep is incredibly important for every aspect of your life. It can affect social lives, health, ability to concentrate or even focus on day to day tasks in the work place. However, sleep can also affect the way your body responds physically to skincare regimes, having a balanced diet or even the make-up you use. Sleep is there to support all structures of your body and mind, but being told you look “tired” is never usually a compliment.

The long list of short and long term size of sleep deprivation involves swollen or sunken eyes, dark circles, pale and dehydrated skin which are the most common. However, it also affects wound healing, the growth of collagen, skin texture as well as breakouts of skin problems. These skin problems include acne, eczema, psoriasis and allergies that the skin would not usually pick up.

Sleep is designed to recharge the body, restore the immune system and provide a re-boot of energy. Sleep deprivation has several causes which can also have negative effects on the skin. These include triggers of stress, being over-worked, artificial light before sleep times, eating rich foods late in the day, dehydration, social life issues and recurring dreams.

The best way to overcome sleep deprivation is to work out the trigger, why that trigger occurs and if it happens at the same time in a pattern. By locating the issue it’s much easier to begin to overcome by implementing solutions in preparation to ensure a better night’s sleep. Examples could include eating earlier in the evening, drinking more water, planning an earlier night’s sleep, reading a book as opposed to watching television and finally having a scented bath before sleeping times. Scents such as chamomile and lavender are often used to encourage the mind to relax.  

There is always a way to improve sleeping patterns.

The Modern Rules of Collagen

It may be that you have searched and searched for the perfect serum, oil, moisturiser or mask whilst chugging countless bottles of water but the beauty industries top hidden secret is actually very simple, it’s collagen. No matter what your understanding of the molecule is, this post will give you the modern rules the beauty professionals live by.

Collagen is the most abundant structural protein found in the skin, connective tissue and the foundations of strength within the body. Beauty products aren’t just something you apply to your skin, hair or face. Collagen supplements are the glue that keeps everything together and acts as one of the most effective products with the best long term benefits for every day health.

Collagen’s 16 types and 29 sub-types will help to support everything from the skin, cartilage, ligaments and bones. And- yes, it does have beauty benefits beyond your favourite mascara or lipstick. The molecule supports skin elasticity and has the ability to replace dead skin cells, strengthen nails and increases healthy hair growth preventing brittleness and breakage.

However, the production of collagen begins to reduce at the early age of 25 that decreases rapidly speeds up as age increases. In women this issue arises more so due to the swift drop in oestrogen production causing skin, hair and nails to decrease in strength. Although this can be supported by the ingestion of collagen supplements, there are lifestyle habits which can decrease the production of collagen even more so.

What we don't do:

Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun can be the biggest cause of premature skin ageing. Wear your SPF and decrease the chance of your skin becoming permanently damaged by the UV rays from sun. UVA rays are short waves which are responsible for sun burn, red skin and freckles. But, UVB rays are long waves which penetrate the skin more deeply and leave lasting effects of sun damage. And- don’t forget your lips. They can be damaged too, so make sure you cover your lips with an SPF lip protector.

Pollution

Unfortunately, it can be hard to avoid in a built-up area, but pollution can actually damage collagen levels by containing harmful radicals that decrease skin’s strength and integrity. Doctors have even warned that some exfoliating scrubs can increase the damage of pollution. Traffic pollution is one of the most toxic substances for the skin. Air pollution in urban areas can cause particles such as PMs, nitrogen dioxide and chemicals such as polycyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons which will attach themselves to the skin for years to come.

Smoking

This is one of the biggest offenders as it riles up enzymes that break down both collagen and elastin. Smoking and wound healing also have a negative relationship due to the lack of collagen proteins which would provide strong skin reparation.

Alcohol

Excessive drinking provides an anti-nutrient affect as the alcohol encourages depletion of essential vitamins and minerals from the body whilst causing oxidative stress to cells that source cellular damage. Alcohol is one of the worse and most aggressive compounds to destroy the skin. Alcohol can also inflame the skin, giving your face a permanent red glow that doesn’t fade.

What we do:

The Collagen supplementation’s at Proto-col have been supported with research and on the market for 15 years. We take care in understanding how we can promote positive health and well-being.

Nutrition

Provide your body with the ultimate diet to support positive collagen health, strengthened skin cells, hair growth and nail development.

Vitamin C is essential for collagen creation and subsidises to healthy cell turnover. Vitamin C can be found in multiple common foods such as berries, citrus fruits, red peppers, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin A is vital for protecting collagen structures in our cells. Foods to integrate into your diet in order to achieve Vitamin A include sweet potato, carrots, and dark leafy greens.

Sulphur is crucial for building blocks of collagen production and helps to remove toxins. It can most commonly be found in eggs, broccoli, leeks and garlic.

Zinc is key for creating collagen and helps to speed up the skin’s healing processes such as meat, fish, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

Hyaluronic Acid- Skin Benefits

Specialising in anti-ageing skincare, we try to provide quality products with quality ingredients. Hyaluronic Acid, also known as hyaluronan, is capable of holding 1000 times its own weight in water, therefore delivering intense moisture to the skin. The gooey substance retains the moisture and is naturally produced by the body. Hydrated skin also reduces the appearance of wrinkles over time which explains why several studies show that our products can make skin appear smoother.However, the natural ageing process and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, tobacco smoke and pollution can decrease moisture in the skin.

The component is naturally occurring in the skin, connective tissue and eyes but depletes over time making the skin dry and dehydrated. By giving the skin a boost of Hyaluronic Acid, it becomes smoother, plumper and intensely hydrated.

Products from our collection in which we use Hyaluronic Acid as a key ingredient: