With in-depth knowledge panning across cosmetology, homeopathy, bioresonance, Bowen treatment and aromatherapy etc., Marie Reynolds has been one of the most sought after skin and wellness expert in the UK for over 30 years before launching her namesake brand. In this interview, Ambrosia talks to Marie about skin health, skin inflammations, and the linkage between body and skin.
Ambrosia: Dubbed a 'global skin expert', you have touched and treated different skin for decades, including celebrities, socialites and models. What are the top three things that people often do wrong with their skin under your observation?
Marie Reynolds: Firstly, people tend to think that they can deal with their skin with topical solutions alone, which is simply incorrect. Secondly, over irritating their skin. And thirdly, overloading their skin with too many products.
Ambrosia: To you, healthy gut is the foundation of healthy skin, which is why we often hear you talking about an anti-inflammatory diet——what is it and how does it benefit the skin?
Marie Reynolds: Healthy gut yes, most definitely. For me the gut starts from how we chew to how we poo, not just the physical gut itself. You have to look at the noisy neighbours - the organs of elimination and the mechanics of digestion. You then have to understand that the human body is abundant in many pathogens, including parasites, mould, bacterias, viruses, which are all perfectly normal and essential for us to adapt to life! It is when they become imbalanced that creates problems——one of the main sources of this is inflammation. When we are inflamed internally (don't forget the gut itself has no pain receptors so it could be very inflamed without us being aware), this may throw up in the skin in the form of sensitivity, rosacea, eczema and acne—— so many conditions may be linked with this. So the first part of call and what we can control is our diet. Avoiding inflammatory and mucus forming foods are key, for instance, alcohol, red meat, dairy, gluten, wheat, and coffee are all culprits.
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Ambrosia: Inflammations of the skin, such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and sensitivity, seem to be more common these days even on infants. Why do you think that is?
Marie Reynolds: You have to look at how people were born. C-section babies are more prone to inflammatory skin conditions and infant acne. Also look at what ancestral line they may come from. If they come from the father's ancestral line and there is a history of lung weakness (asthma, smokers, etc.) then there will be a predisposition. For instance, a weak lung usually have itchy skin——the two organs are like brother and sister.
As for why I think they are more common, well again fungal influence play a part. Even vegetables and fruits that have not been washed properly or left that one day extra can cause mycotoxins that can exacerbate these skin types. Plus we have the infiltration of E-Smog from computers, phones etc that releases gases that these pathogens love. Also, parasites love heavy metals, yet heavy metals are not only from amalgams——you can build these up from medications, cooking in aluminium pans, tin foil and of course seafood. So it is not as straight cut as saying "you have rosacea let's pop this topical cream on you and all will be fine". A course of antibiotics (which actually ruins healthy gut bacteria) will also only place a temporary solution on such condition but without addressing the underlying cause.
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Ambrosia: For eczema and rosacea, you have always advised removing dairy from the diet. For babies and kids, that would mean mothers who are breastfeeding have to cut out dairy, and babies that are on the formula should only take non-dairy ones. This is quite incomprehensible for most mothers out there. Can you please explain more? Wouldn’t non-dairy milk provide much less proteins needed for growth?
Marie Reynolds: Again with C-section babies you often find they may suffer more with colic and inflammatory skin responses (but let's not go into that now otherwise this interview will turn into a book!). The easiest solution for babies' skin inflammations is for the breastfeeding mothers to avoid dairy. Dairy is a mucus forming food, and where there is excessive mucus there will be a beautiful environment for fungal overgrowths, causing inflammation. For formulas there are many organic options, one would be almond milk.
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Ambrosia: Restore is truly one of a kind because of its 8 strains of live cultures. In fact, it is the only one on the market in the same format. According to our understanding, the inclusion of a living bacteria to a preserved skincare product (and all hydrous formulas obviously need to be preserved) will only kill the bacteria, rendering the product useless, which is why other ‘probiotic’ products on the market mainly opt for different forms of ferment. What is the difference between live cultures and ferment, and why are live cultures (especially in powder form) more superior?
Marie Reynolds: Restore has a patented coating that allows it to not degrade in room temperature. This means it can stay in powder form and activate only when mixed with water (this is why it is essential to keep in a dry place). The reason it is in powder form is because the formula is abundant in phytonutrients and I want it to be at its optimum quality and performance without fermentation and preservatives involved, so you really are getting the product fresh as it can possibly be with the ultimate benefits. Live bacteria in powder form also allows the blend to be more specific, for example the specific 8 strains in Restore. With fermentation you do not have this control. Also you can't guarantee the stability of live cultures in fermentation as cultures can die off quickly, which is another reason why having a product in powder form that is activated when you need it is perfect.
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Ambrosia: You once filmed a video talking about homotoxicosis, or purging for skin, which is quite common for acne in inflammations, after using some anti-inflammatory, detoxifying ingredients (watch it below). Can you please tell us what it really is, when we should push forward and when we should be concerned?
Marie Reynolds: Purging is not a negative symptom. In fact it is fantastic evidence of cleansing the body as a whole, aka homotoxicosis. When we have toxicity in our bodies, it will either go intracellular and cause imbalance, or extracellularly where our eliminating organs can pick up and help the body rid of it. And when those ingredients help push the toxins go extracellular, the last thing we should do is stop the process. If anything, cut back a little and then push forward. The liver is the largest organ of elimination, as well as our kidneys and gut, but also our skin. So guess where these signs of getting rid of unwanted toxins will show - our skin!
Ambrosia: To achieve beautiful skin, what are the three most important things one should do in your opinion?
Marie Reynolds: 1) Eat clean including supplements; 2) hydrate with ionic minerals (drinking water is not enough, but an ionic mineral intracellularly hydrates us); and 3) protect the lipid barrier and support the microbiome topically.
Ambrosia: You’re based in Norfolk, which is around 2 hours from London by train. What could we find there (except you and your beautiful clinic, obviously) if our readers were going to visit?
Marie Reynolds: Norfolk is steeped in history from its Norman Castle and history of the civil overthrow to the Tudor Manor houses that have breathtaking gardens. The beaches are some that many would not believe existed in the UK - white sandy beaches with beautiful pastel coloured beach huts. There's also the Queen's beach Holkham, which is very near their Country Estate in Sandringham.
The city is called Norwich which is buzzing with shops and markets, with lanes that you can find boutique stores. The Norfolk broads are famous for their beautiful waterways where you can hire boats and stop off for pub lunches. Reepham, which is 3 miles from the clinic, is a twelve century 'chocolate box' town, with a farm shop and organic butchers, cafes, and of course the beautiful bespoke hotel called the Dial House with themed rooms of the world.
I call Norfolk my soul medicine, as it really is a very special place. Have I sold it to you yet? Haha!
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