Former jet-setting stewardess Katy Hull on why you should love your skin


Former Virgin Atlantic stewardess Katy pictured ten years ago when her skin problems started.

In her first blog for Elixir – Treat the Skin You’re In – Katy Hall reveals why she has a passion for helping people solve their skin concerns.

Hello and welcome. I’m Katy Hull and anti-aging is my passion! I get so much satisfaction and joy from helping people with their skin concerns, studying skin health, nutrition, skincare ingredients, supplements and basically anything that contributes to us feeling and looking like the best version of ourselves!
However, it wasn’t always this way. Rewind several years and I was far from a skin angel. I was a long haul Air Stewardess for Virgin Atlantic, travelling the globe. I had a great deal of fun and experiences I will treasure forever, but the lifestyle I led took its toll on my skin. In truth, it probably wasn’t just the lifestyle because had I been more educated beyond ‘cleansing and moisturising’ then my skin may not have ended up in the awful state it did.
A love of sunbathing – with not enough regard to a high SPF cream, and a love of partying, combined with night flights, a lack of sleep, dehydration from flying and an erratic diet did not make for skin that glowed like a goddess. My skin was prematurely ageing and it seemed to happen overnight! If you saw pictures of me from that time it probably wouldn’t even be apparent.

The worst damage was lurking deep down in the skin, not visible to the naked eye and unbeknown to me at the time. It’s pretty amazing what makeup can do…. although it can’t hide lines and wrinkles. My uneven and dull skin tone was well covered and makeup with a glow gave me a false radiance. Barefaced, I was starting to lack confidence in myself and was beginning to realise the error of my ways.
It was a UV skin scan that revealed the extent of the damage. It wasn’t pretty and a very hard pill to swallow. Sent away from the clinic with around £400 of products and some big promises – that didn’t deliver. My journey of discovery with regards to skin health began. After jumping from skincare brand to brand (never satisfied with results). I eventually found my skincare holy grail that I’m fiercely loyal to – it changed my life and transformed my skin!


I got educated on skin health – I gained a level 4 qualification in Advanced Skin Science. I studied skincare ingredients and all of the things that make up a part of the jigsaw that is skin health – It’s more complex than simply using an amazing serum! My education is a continuous journey that I’m dedicated to, so that I can help more people with their skin. Eventually I set up my online business If you’d like to read my more detailed story of why I set up my business, you can read about it here.

My philosophy is very simple – ‘Treat the skin you’re in’.It’s about being kind to yourself. Listening to your body and your skin, and respecting it. Our skin is a living organ that deserves to be treated with care and respect, and if you treat it that way you’ll have your goddess glow!
With regards to the skincare products I love and believe in. They’re clean (no chemical nasties) and packed with very effective active ingredients that really pack a punch in rejuvenating the skin. Combined with some simple beauty rules that I apply to my own life – they help to support the products in working to their optimum. I believe skin can be improved, transformed and be healthy and more youthful looking. Who doesn’t want that?

My aim with this blog going forward is to share whatever knowledge, experiences and tips that I think will be beneficial to you in some way. It might be a supplement that I’m feeling the benefit of. It might be a skincare ingredient I absolutely love! Or a smoothie recipe that is total skin food…. I will only ever share information about products that I use myself and absolutely love and believe in! That way you know you’re getting a genuine experience and opinion.

So on that note I’ll say goodbye and I’ll be back soon with some anti-aging tips!

What do your facial features say about you? UK researchers investigate first impressions

It is possible to predict what people think about you from a first impression gleaned from facial features?

In a new study UK’s University of York researchers have created a scientific model that can predict first impressions based on facial features.

The research team, led by Dr. Tom Hartley and Prof. Andy Young of the Department of Psychology, say that although our first impression judgements are often flawed, they influence our subsequent behaviour in relation to that person.
facial-feature-modelImage credit: University of York

This means that we tend to make assumptions about a person’s personality – for example whether they are trustworthy or kind.

The researchers aimed to to discover what exactly makes us judge others by their facial features.

“Understanding how first impressions are formed to faces is a topic of major theoretical and practical interest that has been given added importance through the widespread use of images of faces in social media,” they explain.
A photo ‘could make or break others’ first impressions of you’

The study analysed the the physical features of 1,000 faces from various photographs available online. A panel of judges, then made judgements of that person’s character based on their faces.

The researchers then took 65 different measurements of each face, including eye height and eyebrow width, in order to create a model to predict first impressions.

The team found that their model was able to account for 58% of the variance in the judges’ impressions of the faces.

The researchers have used these measurements to create cartoon-like faces that show the facial features associated with initial perceptions of approachability, youthful-attractiveness and dominance.
The study, the researchers say, emphasizes the importance of faces in creating a first impression – something that Hartley says is surprising:

“In everyday life, I am not conscious of the way faces and pictures of faces are influencing the way I interact with people. Whether in ‘real life’ or online, it feels as if a person’s character is something I can just sense. These results show how heavily these impressions are influenced by visual features of the face – it’s quite an eye opener!”

The team says their findings may even provide insight into the “instinctive expertise” of individuals who create and manipulate photographs in their line of work, such as casting editors and animators.
“Showing that even supposedly arbitrary features in a face can influence people’s perceptions suggests that careful choice of a photo could make (or break) others’ first impressions of you,” says study author Richard Vernon, PhD.
Earlier this year, Medical News Today reported on a study by researchers from Ohio State University, revealing how they have taught computers to recognize 21 different human emotions from distinct facial expressions.

New laser treatment for age-related sight loss launches


London: A new laser treatment to correct the need for reading glasses in ageing adults has been launched in the UK.

Ultralase has launched the new laser-based procedure, UltraRenew, which will be available for the first time in the UK to treat presbyopia, the age-related condition resulting in the need to wear reading glasses. The treatment, available to men and women, corrects the problem in just 15-20 seconds.

Staggeringly, this common condition affects everyone during their 40’s. Symptoms, including eye fatigue, increase the need for reading glasses as the eye’s natural lens starts to harden and the focusing mechanisms naturally decrease.

With reading glasses voted amongst the top five premature ageing factors, approximately 4.5 million Britons* could soon be binning their ‘readers’ in a bid to turn back the years as a result of this breakthrough.

Mark Korolkiewicz, Clinical Services Director, commented: “This truly is a revolutionary treatment which will make a huge difference to many individuals lives. It will appeal to people’s vanity, as well as to those involved in reading or detailed work as part of their professional life.

“It’s a real first to be able to offer this laser treatment to men and women in the UK who are generally in their 40’s. The procedure brings a host of advantages over existing treatments, essentially offering a solution to presbyopia without affecting distance vision.

“The advanced technology, linked with the fact that the treatment is carried out by surgeons certified by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the very highest industry accreditation, means patients should be able to throw away their reading glasses within 24 hours of surgery.”

As part of the development into the treatment, Ultralase questioned over 1,000 individuals into their feelings around wearing reading glasses to reveal that almost half of short-sighted Brits feel self conscious wearing them in public. Reading glasses were highlighted as one of the top five ageing factors alongside hairstyle, posture and dress sense.

Many stressed vanity as the reason for not wanting to wear their ‘readers’, with one in ten stating it makes them look old and an unlucky 13% highlighting they feel unfashionable. Interestingly, when broken down by gender, it is actually men who feel more conscious about reading glasses aging their looks than women.

Hassle was stated to be the key annoyance helping to drive the requirement for the treatment, with one in five fed up with constantly having to take reading glasses on and off during the day.

With prices starting from £2,195 per eye, free consultations for UltraRenew are available at all 31Ultralase clinics throughout the UK and Ireland.

Treatment is available from the Ultralase Hammersmith clinic with plans to expand UK wide by 2010. For more information about Ultralase and to book a free consultation visit www.ultralase.comor call 0800 9888 237.

*4.5 Million, based on total number of people needing reading glasses, approximately 42% of 45-62 year olds.

A few extra pounds make you look youthful

Copenhagen: A little extra weight can make you look up to seven years younger, according to researchers in Denmark.

In addition a happy family life and plenty of money are also contribute to better ageing, says a study that examined the effects of lifestyle, medical history and diet on the way that men and women age.

The duty by scientists at the University of Southern, also discovered that a happy marriage can bring special benefits for a woman – making her look almost two years younger by the time she reaches middle age. Marital harmony can make men, in turn look up to a year younger. When there are children, fathers tend to look a year younger.

Having children has no perceived effect on a woman’s looks – possibly because women are more likely to take charge of the childcare – and the effects disappear in families with more than four children.

Belonging to a higher social class – with both looking up to four years younger than their true age.

Professor Kaare Christensen, lead author from the University of Southern Denmark, said the study revealed that high social status, low levels of depression and marriage were linked with a more youthful appearance.

The study, being published in Ae and Ageing, asked a group of nurses to guess the ages of 1,826 identical and non-identical twins, all in their seventies, after looking at photographs of their faces.

Scientists then compared the average age estimates with environmental factors such as marital status, parenthood, class and lifestyle choices.

They concluded that while looking young is an indicator of good health, looking old for one’s age is conversely associated with increased mortality.

Heavy drinking was found to put a year on the faces of both sexes along with chronic asthma, diabetes and regularly taking painkillers. Over-exposure to the sun was seen to add 1.3 years to a woman’s perceived age while depression made women look 3.9 years older and men 2.4 years older. Though 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years was found to add only a year of extra wrinkles to men and half that to women.

Contrary to popular expectation, however, putting on weight with age was found to have a positive effect on keeping a youthful appearance.

For men, adding two points to their body mass index can take a year off their age while women can benefit from the same effect by adding seven points to their BMI.

These findings support previous studies which show that non-genetic factors account for approximately 40 per cent of the variations in a person’s perceived age.

Professor Christensen added: ‘Our study confirms previous findings of a negative influence of sun exposure, smoking and a low BMI index on facial ageing.

‘It is a lot more dangerous looking one year older than being one year older.

‘If you are not depressed, not a smoker and not too skinny, you are basically doing well.’ Combining the various factors can explain why some people, for example those in their forties, can look substantially younger than their peers.

According to the study, a married woman with a high social status, who has not spent a lot of time in the sun, could look at least seven years younger than a woman who is single, of a low social class and has spent excessive time soaking up harmful rays.