Nutritional Therapist and co-author of The Happy Kitchen Alice Mackintosh not only knows what is good for the body, but also for the mind. This is how she chose to present her cookbook: not by course-type but by state of mind (‘boosting energy’, ‘beating the blues’, ‘promoting calmness’, ‘mental clarity’, ‘hormonal peace’ and so on). Mackintosh is also the co-founder of supplement brand Equi London and gives private consultations at her clinic in Chelsea. Living it gets an exclusive tête-à-tête with the nutritionist to learn tips on how to keep the ‘good mood foods’ and supplements routine going whilst travelling this summer.
Where can we spot you this summer?
“I’ve had a lot of travel this year with weddings all over the world, so that’s meant my usual trip to Ibiza has had to take a back seat. Instead I am going to Menorca in August for a relaxed week at a family home away from home. This normally entails BBQs, a few boat trips, a daily dose of Jamón ibérico and one too many pomadas (a lethal local cocktail). I’m also super excited for Wimbledon this year as we managed to get tickets for the finals!”
“In London, before work, I’m normally in either Paola’s Body Barre or Barrecore studio trying to tone up a couple of times a week ahead of a summer getaway… It is 100 per cent my favourite workout in London, and I find most effective at toning and sculpting. On weekends I’m a real foodie so I’m often cooking or eating out (hence the workouts!). I am currently loving The Dock Kitchen and Go Viet, and I’m also furiously trying (and failing) to get into Sushi Tetsu”.
What are the three skin products you will be using during your beach holidays in Menorca?
“This has got to include a SPF. My new favourite is Heliocare SPF 50 (a recommendation from my facialist). It is fantastic as it doesn’t block up my skin or give me spots, and it goes on easily without being too oily. I also wear it under bare minerals make up on days I want protection and coverage”.
“Nourish Skincare is a fantastic natural beauty company. I love their Illuminating Face Shimmer as it gives your skin a gorgeous summer glow, which is great for me as I don’t put my face in the sun. I’ll sometimes just wear this in the evenings, and it is also fab for fixing make up for when you want to wear proper foundation”.
“In the summer I find my skin really benefits from clay masks to draw out impurities and prevent pores getting blocked by oiliness. My current favourite is Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask by Fresh Cosmetics. It smells amazing and always leaves my skin clean and energised”.
Alice’s favourite products
Which skin treatments do you recommend to prep for the summer and to recover from it?
“Apart from using a good SPF, prepping my skin for summer is more about what I eat than what I put on it. Red foods such as peppers, tomatoes (especially juice and tinned tomatoes) watermelon, pomegranate, beetroot contain antioxidants and help decrease photosensitivity, largely through lycopene. I also try to get lots of astaxanthan which is another special anti-oxidant found in salmon and other seafood such as prawns and crab. It is responsible for the pink colour of these foods and help ease sunburns. Equi’s skin product Beautiful contains pine bark (an herb you have to take in supplement form) as well as skin saviours marine collagen, resveratrol, vitamin C, A and zinc that help to protect the skin from UV rays whilst also encouraging the removal of pigmentation and sun damage”.
“When it comes to recovery, after the summer I will start back on a gentle retinol (vitamin A) serum before bed three times per week as it s fantastic for anti-aging, combating spots and giving skin a glow. I don’t use this in the sun as it can make you more prone to sun damage. I also use Timeless Truth Bio Cellulose Apple Stem Cell Collagen Mask – brilliant for regenerating skin cells and giving you a moisturising, glow boost ahead of cooler months”.
What tips could you share to stay fresh during flight travel and to combat jetlag?
“A lack of sleep is perhaps one of the biggest hitters for skin and can immediately steal your glow. Being militant about when to sleep and when not to is important as this helps get the rhythm back quicker, and I also recommend taking 2mg of melatonin before you go to bed the night you arrive to get you to sleep and help you stay there until morning”.
“Flying also depletes the body of zinc, a nutrient vitally important for many hundreds of processes in the body, including the formation of collagen. Taking 30mg of zinc picolinate can also help you make your own melatonin, and has the benefit of also supporting skin health. Those lucky enough to travel in business or first may want to dose up on zinc rich oysters, but you can also snack on sunflower seeds during a flight, and be sure to get some good quality seafood at your destination”.
“If you have travelled a long distance it can also be a good idea to top up nutrients with a high quality supplement containing zinc, vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins, all of which are can boost energy and spruce up skin. Equi products are fantastic for doing this, as also containing probiotics to combat post flight bloating, nutrient dense supergreens and grasses as well as adaptogens that can help normalise sleep patterns. The air that circulates on a plane is exceptionally dry which not only makes us dehydrated, but also can dry out skin. Besides water, I recommend snacking on almonds, walnuts or brails as these contain healthy fats that hydrate and moisturise skin”.
“I keep my skin well oiled on a flight with a good quality moisturizer or oil on make up free skin like Ren’s amazing retinoid skin oil, enriched with natural vitamin A and C. I also spritz a nice hydrating toner (Liz Earl do lovely travel size ones) over skin now and then to wake me up prior to arrival”.
What is the best summer beauty advice you have ever received?
“It is so boring, but it’s got to be to protect yourself from the sun properly. This means SPF 50, and also actually not putting your face in the sun either, especially if you have fairer skin tones like me. This might seem boring but once you have sun damage it’s difficult and expensive to get rid of it – so don’t risk it and either wear a hat, or put your face and chest in the shade whilst your body is in the sun”.
Alice Mackintosh primary practice is at the The John Tsagaris Clinic on 24 Godfrey St, Chelsea SW3 3SX. For appointments email email@example.com or call 02071180744.