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Wellness expert wellness routine: Proverb Skin

How do wellness experts stay well? We asked husband and wife, Kirstie and Luke Sherriff, co-founders of Proverb Skin.

What’s your overall goal when it comes to wellness?

Luke: I want to live until I'm 130 and still feel well. I say 130 because it’s longer than most people live but the oldest person alive today is 118, so it doesn't seem impossible. They say you should always set yourself an unrealistic goal. I don't plan to be running marathons then, but I want to be alive and well, involved and active.

Kirstie: I think if I'm really truthful, before we were together I didn’t have a real wellness goal, but having lived next to a health driven 'Tigger' for 20 years, I'm much more goal focused now. My children have been a big driver as well. I didn’t worry about how long I would live before, but 18 months ago I was putting my six year old son to bed and he said ‘Mummy, how are you going to not die?’. I spoke to him about eating well and drinking water and exercise - it was an education point for him and it was galvanising for me to not just be able to cope but to feel good.  

Our secondary driver is work. It’s all consuming and you have to stay mentally well, as well as physically well to do that. 

What do you do to stay fit and healthy?

Luke: A couple of things have happened in the last couple of years that have changed things a bit for us. Before lockdown I was more likely to go to the gym, but it was detached from my interest in being eco friendly. With a background in professional sport I had always been bigger and the focus was on endurance and strength. 

I did Dean Graziosi's 7 Levels Deep Exercise, which is a practice that helps you get to the core of your fears and your drivers. I realised mine was very much about dying and it led me to realise I didn't need to exercise so I could run through a brick wall - I wanted to do it so I can run around with my kids. Our fitness routine changed with that and we started to get up before the kids each day in lockdown and do a 15-minute workout with the Nike app. If you do that everyday it adds up and you have time for it with everything else. I also have a pull up bar and will go to that for 20 minutes every couple of days.

Kirstie: The second thing that happened is that I have had this dreadful psoriasis over the last year or so. The doctors were confused because I was so healthy but my skin was reacting so badly. In effect it was an immune response gone awry. I have worked in skin care throughout my career. The doctors wanted to treat me with immunosuppressant drugs, but I asked for time to do it my way with diet and skincare, and although it takes longer, because I'm addressing the cause rather than masking the symptoms it is working, so it's made me think about it even more.

Do you have particular habits when it comes to diet?

Luke: We don’t drink alcohol and we don’t smoke, we have a lot of fresh vegetables from Abel & Cole, and we largely stay away from gluten. We don't see it as being about deprivation - what you put into your body is the most important thing - it should be exciting and make you feel good.

Kirstie: Supplementation is a big thing for both of us, informed by Phil Richards, who's a well known nutritionist. We both take a probiotic and vitamin D, in the evening we take magnesium to be the coefficient to the vitamin D. We also take vitamin C powder three times a day as when it’s in water you don’t get the oxidation process before you drink it. We take fish oil three times a day, and Luke has a vegan protein powder while then I have Athletic Greens, which has all the greens and nutrients you need in a day. All of that said, while we are consistent, if it's not exactly the same each day, that's ok - it's about what you do most of the time.

Diet has been a big part of addressing my psoriasis and it has had an effect. To treat that I have been more stringent - so no dairy, sugar, gluten, red meat or nightshades. I hope to reintroduce those at some point - I need to have peppers! 

Summed up now, our diet is paleo plus carbs with lots of vegetables, really low sugar, mostly white meat, protein shakes and supplements, and intermittent fasting.

What do you do for skincare?

Kirstie: I’ve always had a routine and I always recommend that you start doing that as early as you can. The key is dedication to a routine. Even if I get home at 4am, I’ve never slept with my make-up on. 

I've always been obsessed with cleansing before anything else. I think the world takes serums and moisturisers too seriously but they don’t work if cleansing hasn’t been done. I start with a double cleanse. I use a Pinks Boutique Hydrating Deep Cleansing Melt, and I always use it with a clean cloth - morning and evening. People don’t realise the bacterial impact of dirty clothes. We have a new Proverb Hydrating toner coming out with reishi and shiitake mushrooms - I think people underestimate toner too - then I use a serum and a moisturiser. Mine changes depending on the new formulas we're developing, but the one I’m using at the moment is a potential Proverb product with no fragrance. I finish up with an SPF. 

With psoriasis, the big changes have been from the inside out, but before I was never very good at body skincare. Now I have a morning and evening routine where I use an emulsion all over and then I use unrefined shea butter over the top. Raw shea butter isn’t easy to use, but I decided on that because the medical solution was a paraffin emulsion. My knowledge of that is that it works by stopping the existing moisture in your skin from escaping. The organic version of that barrier action comes from shea and mango butter. Then the emulsion I decided on is where skin needs something to go in to heal it - so I use a cream with honey in it, hyaluronic acid and highly moisturising castor seed oil and jojoba. 

Luke: I use the Proverb Cleanse & Shave Nutrient Mud. For Proverb we created this 4 x 4 x 4 approach, which means every product has four uses, only takes four minutes to so, and has four facial workout moves. I’m more about the moves than the products. I cleanse, use a serum (from Proverb, which is water-based or Pinks Boutique, which is oil-based) and the same moisturiser as Kirstie. I use an SPF if I'm going out. 

What I always find interesting is that when you look at what skincare bloggers talk about - all those big ingredients like vitamin C - they're putting them on their skin, but we're drinking it. Skin does well from the inside out and it's really about the quality of that ingredient which you can’t always tell from an inci list or marketing. 

What’s your main piece of wellbeing advice?  

I get into debates with people when it comes to products and you can say it's all about sleeping well or it's all about eating plant-based and so forth, but I think if you're doing a little of all of those things consistently, that's the key.

Find out more about Proverb Skin

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