UL Magazine Spa Sleuth Cathy Martin: New Year, New Me?

by • February 1, 2016 • Beauty, Health & WellbeingComments (0)2282

New Year, New Me… Well, actually, just older me, but maybe a slightly less bedraggled me than previous Januarys.

For 2016 I decided to start the year working on the premise that beauty comes from within and it is more than just skin deep. And now that we’re in February I can see some great results, with not a potion in sight!

The first item on my to-do list for 2016 was the FitFodder.com #30DAYCHALLENGE which entails dropping consumption of all alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar as well as maintaining a dedication to fitness through at least 3 FitFodder PT sessions per week in 30 days. The rationale behind the timespan is that just over 4 weeks will allow the body to forget old habits and establish healthier new ones. I was told – and now I know for myself – that this is not a quick fix and nor is it a crash diet. It is a healthy life choice which is sustainable and realistic in terms of a long-term lifestyle goal.

But back to the plan – not only does the FitFodder team send you healthy, fresh and ready-to-cook produce which is high in protein (and lean in terms of fat) directly to your door, the team can also allocate their official nutritionist Gillian Killner to assess your food intake before the programme starts and chat to you about where you might face pitfalls, challenges and so much more. And before that again, the medical experts at 352 Healthcare can also take bloods (for glucose, cholesterol and kidney statistics) plus other details like at a pre-programme assessment just to be 100% certain. Over the 30 days I realised that I was essentially addicted to sugar – it was so hard to give up and on days 2-3-4 and 5 I was falling asleep everywhere, I had no idea how much false energy sugar had been providing me. Caffeine was easy because I rarely drink tea or coffee and don’t drink fizzy drinks at all, I upped my water intake to 2.5/3L per day and increased my boiled water + fresh lemon slices to about 3 cups per day. Alcohol was easy enough although I did break on Day 21 with a few glasses of cava which in turn led to a takeaway the next day. I was well and truly off the wagon for 24 hours!

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Power Bowls

On the whole though, my skin, hair, nails and digestion all improved. I lost a little bit of weight (but that wasn’t my goal) and despite a few dodgy moods at the beginning (think ‘hangry’ 24/7) I felt so much better overall. I learnt that improving your lifestyle and diet can work wonders for skin and beauty – and it just takes a little bit of effort to focus on the long term goal over the short term craving to get you through. A result for me!

After working beauty from the inside out, I decided to work top-to-bottom next; so I headed to The Dressing Room in Holywood for a Nioxin scalp renew dermabrasion treatment. We diligently exfoliate our faces and bodies, but what about the skin on our heads? As most of don’t see it on a regular basis thanks to long locks, we never even think about how we treat our scalps – but being the gateway to healthy hair, exfoliating it helps promote hair growth.


As a self-confessed dry shampoo addict (who isn’t nowadays?), I’d been overloading my scalp with products, causing congestion so in a bid to ‘reset’ my scalp I booked in with The Dressing Room for what was basically it’s an anti-ageing facial for the scalp to accelerate the removal of stubborn scalp debris and build up around the follicle sites such as dead skin cells and oil.

The first step was a quick assessment of the hair and scalp to choose the system best suited to the hair type (in my case it was system 5, normal-to-thin looking chemically treated hair). Next up the team used the Nioscope (which is a specialised magnifier to study the scalp, it can show clients before and after images of their scalp via an iPad just in front of them – and super close up scalp shots can be a wee bit scary it has to be said!).

But the results are visual, obvious and immediate. Then, the science bit – the scalp renew dermabrasion treatment was applied all over my scalp on dry hair, massaged for 1 minute and left to process for 10 minutes while I relaxed. It felt minty cold but comfortable and cool. This was followed by the Nioxin 3 part system cleanser, revitaliser and scalp treatment (all massaged in diligently!) and, to finish, a teeny drop of the rejuvenating elixir and a  blow dry as normal. My scalp was reassessed with the nioscope and I noticed visible improvements with much healthier looking hair. Firstly my hair looked swishy and shiny and felt insanely soft, with a weightlessness that lasted weeks. My roots felt lighter than ever, all my congestion appeared to have cleared and I was washing my hair (and dry-shampooing it) less frequently – bonus! I’ve arming myself with the at-home Scalp Renew Dermabrasion Treatment to keep the build-up minimal and the skin cells turning over.

The whole process took approximately an hour and a half and costs £45, which is not a bad investment for great, healthy hair.

For more on The Dressing Room & FitFodder

Dressing Room via Facebook

FitFodder via www.fitfodder.com





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