If you’ve only got 5 minutes…pop a pill

Hmmm, that sounds dodgy, doesn’t it??

But I’m actually talking about supplements.

Even with a reasonably healthy diet, it can be quite difficult to get all the things that you need on a daily basis. If you’ve got particular health concerns – the compromised skin barrier that can lead to problems like eczema, psoriasis or contact dermatitis, for example – it can be even harder.

Back in December, I went looking for something to support my skin through the cold months (and the seemingly inevitable eczema flare-ups I get every winter) and discovered Viridian. Their website is a great place to start. They organise their products by health priorities (like Skin, Bones, Brain, Heart, Digestion, etc) so you can get straight to what’s right for you. And eventually I decided on their Organic Beauty Oil and Ultimate Beauty Complex.

The oil is a balanced blend of the Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids that are so important for many functions in the body, including a healthy skin. You take one or two tablespoons a day and you can drizzle it over your salad or a bowl of pasta. The Ultimate Beauty Complex is a more traditional capsule supplement comprised of the key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that you need for optimum skin health, including selenium, copper, calcium and MSM.

And how did I get on? Well, I wouldn’t say that I’ve been a vision of loveliness throughout winter but that wasn’t the point. I did still get the chapped bits and the blotchy complexion when temperatures plummeted. But I didn’t get the eczema flare-ups. My skin was still dry, it just never reached that point where it was inflamed or infected. For the first winter in quite some time. And that is all the results I need.

But not all supplements are created equal and this is where Viridian score maximum points in my book. If you’re taking something for the health benefits it brings, you don’t want to be taking in any undesirables that you wouldn’t otherwise be consuming.

Some tablets and capsules contain glues or binders, just to hold them together. Others might contain magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, stearic acid, shellac, talc or colourings. If we wouldn’t include them in our diets, we don’t want them in our supplements. So it’s important to buy from companies who apply the same rigor to their supplements as we’d expect from organic skincare producers.

Viridian, who style themselves as ‘the leading brand of ethical vitamins’ promise that their supplements are free from those undesirable additives above, so there’s plenty of room for the organic active ingredients we’re paying for. They’re also against animal testing and GM ingredients. But they go a step beyond that, making them a truly ethical supplier.

Their fresh tinctures and ointments are grown and made here in the UK, while the capsules and oils are manufactured here. They use minimal packaging, all of which is made from recycled or recyclable materials. And they’re also active with charities that support children and the environment having, to date, donated over £125,0o0 to charities such as Friends of the Earth, the NSPCC, Childline, The Woodland Trust and Save the Children.

All of which is a rather virtuous pill to be popping.

Viridian products are available from their website and selected health food stores. The Ultimate Beauty Oil costs from £9.50 for 200ml and the Ultimate Beauty Complex from £9.50 for 30 caps. UK delivery is free on orders over £30.

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