Beauty: Skin, meet your new best friend 

Dior Capture Totale Cell Energy Super Potent Serum (£59.50 for 30ml, dior.com )

Looking for the ultimate complexion boost? This is the one I’m plumping for right now  

We all seem to be a bit more obsessed with skincare at the moment, and according to the beauty destination Space NK, in the skincare category alone it is seeing a 163 per cent rise in sales on last year. Within that, serums in particular are up 143 per cent as, it tells me, we also appear to be more open to both trying new things and investing in luxury purchases.

Which brings me to this little number, which ticks all the above boxes: Dior Capture Totale Cell Energy Super Potent Serum (£59.50 for 30ml, dior.com). It’s part of a new and complete skincare range (moisturiser, eye cream, essence) but it’s the serum that’s the real power player (this, of course, is usually the case as serum formulations are more potent).

And this one delivers a serious moisture hit – dehydration is certainly one of my main concerns and I’ll latch on to anything that helps. In this case it’s thanks to some hyaluronic acid. So far, so expected you could say. But this is a newer version of HA – official name sodium acetylated hyaluronate – which has a greater capacity to hold water than your average HA and can also get deeper into the skin than other versions of an equivalent molecular size.

It is, says Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, Dior’s international scientific communications director, ‘more penetrating and resistant, to offer more intense and durable results’. So essentially this is better at providing some extra plumping and helping your skin stay hydrated for longer.

Of course, as I always say, there is no magic bullet for making us look 20 years younger. But I’ve been trialling this and my skin does feel plumper – I’d even say fresher – and definitely more hydrated. The texture is incredibly lightweight (almost milky), which I love. And there’s only the slightest bit of tackiness post-application.

Of course, moisturiser on top is good to seal in all those hydrating benefits but I’ve found this is also a great base for a good tinted moisturiser or foundation.

A serene way to lighten up

A wonderful new candle brand this way comes. Meet 7 Over 7, thus named because it’s all about creating fragrant blends that align the body’s seven chakras. So these candles can be used to aid meditation – or just to make your home smell incredible. They are made from natural wax with cotton wicks, and mine has burned evenly and smells wonderful. The blend was Neroli Madurai, a refreshing mix including sweet orange, jasmine and its namesake neroli. Other blends include Grounding Woods (charred silver birch, oakmoss and patchouli) and Rose Bohemia, which includes Egyptian geranium, aldehydes and amber. I’m a big fan of the packaging, too. Each candle comes in a handmade ceramic pot, complete with a lid, and could be put to myriad uses once the candle has burned its last. Alternatively, 7 Over 7 offers a refill service and will send you the necessary packaging to safely return your pot, then refill it and get it back to you. £65 or £45 for a refill, live7over7.com.

Having trouble sleeping?   

I have found of late that I need a bit more of a routine around going to bed in order to switch off and get some decent shut eye

I have found of late that I need a bit more of a routine around going to bed in order to switch off and get some decent shut eye

I have found of late that I need a bit more of a routine around going to bed in order to switch off and get some decent shut eye. This will begin with tearing myself away from the telly – and other screens – and resting my eye/brain stimulation. The new Rituals The Ritual of Jing collection is all about sleep. Although the bath salts are great, I really love the Peaceful Sleep Shower Oil (£8.50, rituals.com), which emulsifies into a light creamy wash and smells of woody lavender. I have also tried applying this to dry skin then getting into a bath, a process that equally works wonders and leaves my skin feeling smooth. Also on the bath front are two favourites. I always find that a generous dose of Mauli Rituals Himalayan Healing Salts (£42, maulirituals.com), with their blend of therapeutic oils, is super-soothing. And Land & Water Bath Salts, containing Himalayan, Epsom and sea salts (£17, land-and-water.co.uk), are like a lullaby in powdered form: finely milled (you don’t always want larger lumps slowly – and sometimes never – dissolving beneath you) and lavender and linden scented.

The Tisserand Pulse Point Roller Ball is equally effective – there is a wide range of them, including some for energy and focus – and the Sleep Better blend (£6.75, tisserand.com) includes jasmine, sandalwood and lavender essential oils. Simply apply to pulse points before bedtime and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. I’ve given this to lots of my friends and even the most cynical of them have become dedicated customers.

Also new is the Sanctuary Spa Wellness range, which includes a Sleep Mist (£12, boots.com). This smells rather different to most sleep blends as it’s more of an exotic floral fragrance and includes bergamot, jasmine, rose, sweet pea and patchouli. Although it does contain lavender, I can’t really detect it, and perhaps for this reason I was somewhat sceptical, but I’ve had some of the soundest nights’ sleep whenever I use it.

And if you don’t like the smell of lavender – apparently 30 per cent of people hate it – then the Neom Bedtime Hero collection, which launched in March, could be for you. It’s a soothing concoction of camomile, ylang-ylang and cedarwood. The range includes a candle, pillow mist, bath foam and an oil blend, but I’m most partial to the Magnesium Body Butter (£36, neomorganics.com) for some added bedtime indulgence.

 



The delicious way to beat diabetes with Phil Vickery

The delicious way to beat diabetes with Phil Vickery

A staggering third of people who have died of coronavirus also had diabetes, so now is the time to beat it – TV chef Phil Vickery’s fabulous recipes will make it easy

For Phil’s jerk-seasoned fish tacos, see here

Easy, tasty, healthy 

It’s a grim new statistic: official figures reveal that a third of those who’ve died from coronavirus this year also had diabetes. As Phil Vickery reveals here, fighting, beating and managing it is more crucial than ever 

Phil Vickery

Phil Vickery 

More people than ever have diabetes – it affects more of us than all cancers and dementia combined. It is not always the easiest of conditions to understand, and not enough people appreciate the damage it can do. Symptoms include being unusually thirsty, feeling tired all the time and needing to pee more than usual.

By spotting symptoms early, taking prescribed medications and making healthy changes to diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your chances of developing diabetes complications.

The list of ingredients that you can eat if you have diabetes is very varied, but when you are building balanced, nutritional recipes, you need to be extremely careful – and it takes a huge amount of time and effort to get things right. You have to be strict not only when developing or cooking the recipes, but also to ensure you give the correct advice. Research is being published all the time and there have been significant changes even in the three years since the publication of my book Phil Vickery’s Ultimate Diabetes Cookbook.

For my latest book, Diabetes Meal Planner, I have tried to write easy, colourful and tasty recipes that will inspire you to get involved and cook. We have also taken into consideration shopping, so have kept ingredients to a minimum. Some recipes are very simple. We make no excuse for that – as a wise chef once said to me, ‘The fewer ingredients, the less you can hide.’ The overriding factor is the need to eat a nutritionally well-balanced diet, keeping an eye on calorie intake if you’re managing your weight [the nutritional values listed under each recipe are per portion]. But it also goes without saying that keeping active is crucial. I’m no doctor, but my brother is, so we often chat about diets, and he stresses the need for a combination of moderate exercise and a balanced diet.

People with diabetes spend around three hours with a healthcare professional every year; for the remaining 8,757 hours they must manage their diabetes themselves. An important part of this self-care is eating healthy, balanced meals. There isn’t a special plan for diabetics to follow; dietary guidelines are similar to those recommended for everyone. Making healthier food choices is good for everybody. This means including more whole grains, fruit, vegetables – especially green leafy varieties – and pulses such as beans and lentils. Also incorporate healthy fats: for example, oily fish, avocado and nuts. And eat less refined grains and processed meats, as well as sugary food and drinks. Lower your salt and saturated fat intake. Eat less red meat – maybe once or twice a week – and choose better quality produce, if possible.

Diabetes Meal Planner by Phil Vickery

Diabetes Meal Planner by Phil Vickery

Before making any changes to your diet it is best to check with your healthcare team, especially if the diet is restrictive and/or you’re on medication. Unless advised, it’s best to eat a variety of healthy foods rather than take vitamin and mineral supplements to get the essential nutrients and manage your diabetes.

BUY PHIL’S BOOK WITH A 50% DISCOUNT

Diabetes Meal Planner by Phil Vickery will be published by Kyle Books on 8 June, price £22. To order a copy for £11 until 14 June, go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUVICKERY at the checkout. Book number: 9780857837783. For terms and conditions see www.whsmith.co.uk/terms

 



Beijing now admits that coronavirus DIDN’T start in Wuhan’s market… so where DID it come from

China has become used to public confessions on television. But this time the words came from one of the nation’s top officials and had seismic global implications.

‘At first, we assumed the seafood market might have the virus, but now the market is more like a victim,’ said Gao Fu, director of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

This was a stunning admission. For the same scientist had unequivocally pointed the finger of blame at Wuhan’s market where wild animals were sold when his country eventually told the world about a deadly new virus in the city.

The market was shut and cleaned up like a crime scene, in the words of another expert, as global attention focused on the ghastly trade in wild animals.

Gao’s initial analysis had made sense after previous outbreaks of zoonotic viruses (diseases that jump from animals to humans). Yet suspicion grew over the Chinese government’s failure to share data from animals sampled in the market following its early cover-ups.

Now Gao has admitted no viruses were detected in animal samples and they were found only in environmental samples, including sewage

Now Gao has admitted no viruses were detected in animal samples. He said they were found only in environmental samples, including sewage – before adding an intriguing aside that ‘the novel coronavirus had existed long before’.

No-one should doubt the significance of the statement since Gau is not just China’s top epidemiologist but also a member of the country’s top political advisory body.

Curiously, his revelation followed a television interview with Wang Yanyi, director of Wuhan Institute of Virology, in which she insisted that claims about the disease having leaked from her top-security unit were ‘pure fabrication’.

Gau’s sudden reversal came after a series of studies cast doubt on his original claim.

A landmark Lancet paper found only 27 of the first 41 confirmed cases were ‘exposed’ to the market – and only one of the four initial cases in the first two weeks of December.

Two weeks ago, The Mail on Sunday revealed another key academic paper by three America-based biologists that said all available data suggested the disease was taken into the market by someone already infected. So what does this all mean?

Sadly, the amount of massive research findings seems to be deepening rather than dispersing confusion over coronavirus, which is much more unpredictable than a simple respiratory virus in the way it attacks the body.

As Gao said in another interview, this is the seventh coronavirus to infect humans, yet none of its predecessors acted like this strange one.

‘The behaviour of this virus isn’t like a coronavirus,’ he said.

With regard to those three American biologists, they were ‘surprised’ to find the virus ‘already pre-adapted to human transmission’, contrasting its previously known stability with a coronavirus that evolved quickly during the global Sars epidemic between 2002 and 2004. Last week, I revealed that Australian scientists had similarly found Sars-CoV-2 – the new strain of coronavirus that causes disease – is ‘uniquely adapted to infect humans’.

Genetic stability makes it easier to find vaccines. But Nikolai Petrovsky, the vaccine researcher who headed the Australian team, said the virus was ‘not typical of a normal zoonotic infection’ since it suddenly appeared with ‘exceptional’ ability to enter humans from day one. He also highlighted the ‘furin cleavage site’, ‘which allows the spike protein to bind efficiently to cells in several human tissues, increasing infectivity, and does not exist in the most similar coronaviruses.

Some experts say this might have evolved through mutation during ‘unrecognised transmission in humans’ after crossing from an animal. Certainly it would help to find any intermediate host such as civets that ‘amplified’ the Sars virus from bats.

Matters are complicated by Donald Trump’s finger-pointing at Beijing and the fact that a proven lab leak would be catastrophic for China’s President Xi Jinping

Matters are complicated by Donald Trump’s finger-pointing at Beijing and the fact that a proven lab leak would be catastrophic for China’s President Xi Jinping

A paper by Professor Yong-Zhen Zhang, a prominent Chinese expert, said this was ‘arguably the most important’ difference between the new virus and its closest known relative, a virus called RaTG13 derived from a bat by Wuhan scientists.

Prof Zhang also noted the viruses closest to the new one were sampled from bats in Yunnan, 1,000 miles from Wuhan. Although 96 per cent genetically similar, ‘in reality this likely represents more than 20 years of sequence evolution’.

Last week, virology institute director Wang said scientists at her laboratory had isolated and obtained coronaviruses from bats but insisted they had only ‘three strains of live viruses’.

Her claim was dismissed as ‘demonstrably false’ by biosecurity expert Richard Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, New Jersey, who said the institute had published analyses of many more than three strains of live bat coronavirus.

Few doubt this freak virus came in lethal guise from an animal.

‘Nature created this virus and has proven once again to be the most effective bio-terrorist,’ said Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health.

Yet this widely respected geneticist, appointed by Barack Obama, added significantly: ‘Whether [the coronavirus] could have been in some way isolated and studied in this laboratory in Wuhan, we have no way of knowing.’

Here lies the key point. It is foolish at this stage to rule out the possibility, however remote, that this pandemic might be the consequence of a Chinese laboratory leak.

As Professor Petrovsky said, scientists anywhere working with microscopic viruses can make mistakes and there are many examples to prove this point.

Above all, it is crucial to find the origins. If this pandemic is a natural event, it can erupt again from a similar source – and next time with even more explosive impact.

An example is ebola, another zoonotic disease (from fruit bats) that first appeared in 1976. All data indicated outbreaks led to fewer than 300 fatalities – until a subsequent outbreak in West Africa in 2014 led to 11,310 deaths.

Matters are complicated by Donald Trump’s finger-pointing at Beijing and the fact that a proven lab leak would be catastrophic for China’s President Xi Jinping as he tries to exploit the pandemic to push his dictatorial creed and nation’s global leadership.

Perhaps the best argument against the idea of the virus being lab-made came from Susan Weiss, professor of microbiology at Perelman School of Medicine, Pennsylvania.

‘There is no way anyone could design a virus that is this diabolical,’ she said succinctly.



Coleen Rooney ‘tipped for Dancing on Ice while rival Rebekah Vardy eyed up for Loose Women’

Coleen Rooney ‘is tipped to appear on Dancing on Ice while rival Rebekah Vardy is eyed up for a permanent role on Loose Women’

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy are both being lined up for major TV roles, according to reports.

The warring WAGs may be set for on screen comebacks with ITV executives hoping that they will draw huge ratings after their recent rift. 

Coleen, 34, has been offered a big money deal to take part in Dancing On Ice after bosses were criticised for only securing low-rent celebrities to join the cast, according to The Sun.

Drama: The warring WAGs may be set for on screen comebacks with ITV executives hoping that they will draw huge ratings after their recent rift

Development: Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy are both being lined up for major TV roles, according to reports

It is also thought that rival Rebekah Vardy, 38, could soon become a regular panelist on daytime show Loose Women.

An industry source told the newspaper: ‘Both women have been absent from TV screens for over a year and there is a lot of interest in their comeback.

‘Dancing on Ice bookers have made it clear Coleen is number one on their list as they think she’ll bring star quality to their line-up and interest from football fans…   

Not there yet: It comes following an update in the war of words between Coleen and Rebekah, as it was reported earlier this month that a summit to heal their rift has reached a deadlock (pictured in 2016)

Not there yet: It comes following an update in the war of words between Coleen and Rebekah, as it was reported earlier this month that a summit to heal their rift has reached a deadlock (pictured in 2016)

‘Loose Women producers already have a great track record with Becky and really love how opinionated she is, plus, as a mother, she is relatable to viewers.’ 

MailOnline has contacted representatives for comment.  

It comes following an update in the war of words between Coleen and Rebekah, as it was reported earlier this month that a summit to heal their rift has reached a deadlock. 

In October, Coleen admitted that stories about her basement flooding, returning to TV and gender selection were only viewed by Rebekah and these were subsequently followed by media outlets, including MailOnline.

The statement: In October, Coleen publicly accused Rebekah in an explosive statement of selling fake stories about her, sparking an angry denial from the then-pregnant WAG

The statement: In October, Coleen publicly accused Rebekah in an explosive statement of selling fake stories about her, sparking an angry denial from the then-pregnant WAG

Rebekah, who denies all allegations, cut her family holiday to Dubai short after Coleen’s dramatic accusation, which captured Britain in the so-called ‘war of the WAGs’ and earned Coleen the nickname of ‘Wagatha Christie’ by fans.  

At the time, sources close to Rebekah said leading law firm, Kingsley Napley, had sent Coleen a letter on her behalf demanding she provides them with the evidence she has against Becky so that she can complete her investigation.  

Becky is said to have called in a forensic team to analyse her Instagram account following the explosive claims. The aim is to identify the mole who sold fake stories to The Sun from Coleen’s Instagram account.

'I don't need the money': Rebekah denied all accusations against her minutes after the post and said she had nothing to gain and had no financial motivation

‘I don’t need the money’: Rebekah denied all accusations against her minutes after the post and said she had nothing to gain and had no financial motivation

The pair have held a video meeting earlier this month in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a very public and expensive court hearing.

But it’s now been revealed the pair failed to reach a resolution, meaning their dispute could go to the High Court.

A source has said: ‘The girls are still no further forward, so it’s now going to have to be heard in court.

‘It’s a shame it has come to this but there is no other way. Coleen has plenty of evidence and she isn’t frightened to show it.’ 

MailOnline contacted Rebekah and Coleen’s representative for comment at the time.

The women also held an online Alternative Dispute Resolution mediation meeting earlier this month alongside their lawyers after it was claimed Becky, wife of Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy, threatened to sue Coleen for libel.

Coleen whose husband Wayne is player-coach at Derby County, is thought to be countersuing for breach of privacy.

Motherhood: Rebekah is pictured with her youngest daughter Olivia in February 2020

Motherhood: Rebekah is pictured with her youngest daughter Olivia in February 2020



Mobility data shows Britons are flocking to parks to socialise in the warm weather as lockdown eases

New mobility data shows that Britons are flocking to parks to socialise in the scorching weather as lockdown restrictions are eased.

More Britons are socialising in parks and other public spaces now than across the whole of lockdown, new mobility data shows.

There has been an 136% increase in the amount of people gathering in parks when compared to a baseline figure from before lockdown, according to Google‘s mobility data.

There has been an 136% increase of the amount of people socialising in parks this month, according to Google’s mobility data 

More Britons are socialising in parks and other public spaces now than across the whole of lockdown, the data shows. Pictured, people in Victoria Park in east London on May 30

More Britons are socialising in parks and other public spaces now than across the whole of lockdown, the data shows. Pictured, people in Victoria Park in east London on May 30

Police chiefs have attempted to stamp out mass flouting before the easing of lockdown measures by threatening to impose fines. Pictured, men playing with a football in Victoria Park, east London

Police chiefs have attempted to stamp out mass flouting before the easing of lockdown measures by threatening to impose fines. Pictured, men playing with a football in Victoria Park, east London

This includes people gathering in other public spaces, including marinas, public beaches and public gardens.

This month has seen temperatures reaching almost 86F (30C) with only an average of 1.25in (31.8mm) of rain falling across the UK so far month, setting it up to be the driest May in 124 years.

Places of residence have also seen a 26% increase in mobility during lockdown, but most people are socialising in parks as scorching weather hits the UK this month.

This is when compared to a baseline figure over a five-week period from January 3 until February 6. 

But there has been a huge decline in people visiting transport hubs, shops and workplaces since the Government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 23.  

This comes after Boris Johnson announced that from Monday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to meet in public spaces, including parks.

Britons will even be allowed to meet for barbecues under the new lockdown easing measures, meaning parks will remain one of the only spaces for safe gatherings.

An Apple mobility tracker has also shown a huge rise in the amount of travel since the beginning of lockdown.   

Apple mobility tracker also shows a surge in the amount of travel across the UK as the lockdown begins to be eased

Apple mobility tracker also shows a surge in the amount of travel across the UK as the lockdown begins to be eased 

Masses of people are gathering in parks (pictured, Victoria Park, east London) after Boris Johnson announced that, from Monday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to meet in public spaces, including parks

Masses of people are gathering in parks (pictured, Victoria Park, east London) after Boris Johnson announced that, from Monday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to meet in public spaces, including parks

But sun-seekers have been warned not to take advantage of the easing of lockdown, as Britons have been photographed out in masses this weekend. Pictured, people enjoy the warm weather on bikes in Fields park, London.

But sun-seekers have been warned not to take advantage of the easing of lockdown, as Britons have been photographed out in masses this weekend. Pictured, people enjoy the warm weather on bikes in Fields park, London.

The figures remain around 20% below the baseline average, as Britons were urged to avoid public transport amid lockdown, but the number of people driving has hugely increased as lockdown easing measures are announced. 

The number of people walking is still 29% below the baseline but has hugely increased across the last month, as Britons are given more freedom amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Restless Britons were photographed gathering in parks as the baking temperatures climbed to highs of 82F (28C).

Scorching temperatures hit highs of 81.5F (27.5C) in Kinlochewe in the Scottish Highlands, which basked in warmer weather than Morocco. 

London’s Heathrow recorded highs of 78F (25.7C) and Bude in Cornwall saw the mercury climb to 77F (25.3C). 

But sun-seekers have been warned not to take advantage of the gradual easing of lockdown, as Britons have been photographed out in masses this weekend. 

The current lockdown allows the public to travel to beauty spots to sunbathe with members of their household, or to meet one person from another household at a two-metre distance. 

Police chiefs were braced for mass flouting and warned their officers faced an impossible situation of trying to force the public to comply with existing rules while knowing many of these curbs are set to be dropped on Monday. 

Merseyside Police warned that people would be fined if they turned up to parks and beaches in large groups across the city.

Superintendent Jonathan Davies said: ‘I know people will be tempted to get outside. This is a reminder that the rules on spending time with only one other person from another household remains in place this weekend.’  

The message from police to stick to the current rules was bolstered by the interventions from the Sage scientists, who were squeamish about the lockdown being lifted too fast.

Prof Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) and a Sage member, said Britain could not afford to lose control of the virus.

He told BBC Radio 4 this morning: ‘We really can’t go back to a situation where we’ve got the numbers of cases and deaths we’ve had in the past.’