Q&A with Karen Cummings-Palmer

Q&A with Karen Cummings-Palmer

We recently enjoyed an Instagram Live Q&A with leading health and nutrition coach Karen Cummings-Palmer. Karen takes a ‘layered’ approach to health and beauty, by combining the best nutrition, good quality skincare and daily movement.

Here are some highlights:

What are your must-haves for the winter season?

Winter has to be about boosting immunity and a couple of things that really work are boosting Vitamin C intake (1000mg per day) to ward off illness and also to help manage illness if you do become ill, plus Vitamin D which is vital. Vitamin D can be absorbed from food, from sunlight being outdoors, plus from supplementation. I love the fact that OG has a really good dose of Vitamin D, plus the Omega3 fats help with metabolising the Vitamin D.

What are the skincare ingredients to look out for?

It’s a good idea to look at the label ingredient list. If there are lots of things listed and the key ingredients are near the bottom then there probably isn’t enough to make much impact, so try to get label savvy. Some of the things to look out for particularly for women 35+ in the age management sector are Vitamin C which is wonderfully brightening, protective and helps with firming and fine lines. Hyaluronic acid improves the skins ability to attract and hang onto moisture without any heaviness and suits every skin type. Retinol is great and you can get natural versions of retinol at places like The Organic Pharmacy, plus essential oils such as rose oil and frankincense.

Which probiotics for gut flora would you recommend?

I have looked at analytics so I know what to recommend to my clients and I was really convinced by the data on a brand called Symprove which is a liquid formula.

What is your regular skincare routine?

Cleanse, tone and moisturise is a good basic. If you wear make-up or you’re out and about you need to do a double cleanse. Spend your money on the serums rather than the creams as that is what will deal with skincare concerns. Use the active stuff at night, I like to do the retinol, peptide, and Vitamin C serums at night and my Lux 79 Golden Oil during the day which gives a gorgeous glow. It’s also important to exfoliate a couple of times a week, to get the dead skin cells off, or your products won’t penetrate properly.

Should you use SPF with retinol?

You should use retinol at night so no need to use SPF with it at the same time. But yes we should be using an SPF in the daytime anyway, especially if you have sensitive skin and have used a retinol at night. Don’t use retinol before you intend to have large amounts of sun exposure.

What are your thoughts on EPA and DHA?

You want a balance of both, which OG has. They both do slightly different things. At the root of all disease is inflammation which is why a good omega3 is a must-have. Anything we can do to bring down our inflammation, such as reduce stress, cut out refined sugar, processed foods, excess alcohol is great but we can also build up our anti-inflammatories with good foods and good omega supplements.

What else do you do for your wellness?

Please ‘own’ the first and last hour or your day, so no phones. At night it will give a deeper and more regenerative sleep which makes everything from your immunity to your metabolism better, and in the first hour it gives you control, time and space. Looking at your phone sends your cortisol (your stress hormone) up. Stretching on waking is key, followed by 10-20 minutes of movement such as yoga, pilates or free weights. Also tongue scraping with a copper tongue scraper before eating to remove toxins that have built up overnight. Three easy quick wins!

What advice do you give to someone who doesn’t sleep well?

Don’t look at the phone! TV is not too bad but looking at a phone or tablet before bed is like having a shot of espresso. The bluelight is damaging for your skin and it really messes with your circadian rhythms. Dim lights in the evening, and try to meditate before bed, just deep conscious breathing. Even two minutes is helpful. Use magnesium (I like sprays) rub it on your tummy to aid relaxation.

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