The best healthy Christmas gifts for the health, fitness and beauty obsessed chosen by Healthista’s digital director, Yanar Alkayat
It’s been an amazing year for health, beauty and wellness especially on the vegan scene. With the number of vegans in the UK said to have increased to over 1% of the population, vegan-friendly Christmas gifts are on the rise too; shopping site Trouva has seen a 270% rise in animal-friendly presents being ordered in the run up to festive season. There’s genuinely no better time to shop for the health, beauty and fitness obsessed eco-warriors like myself and the team on Healthista. Here are the products I’d love to receive or recommend you buy for the Healthista in your life.
Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction
The thought of another year of hair removal – epillating (bikini line), threading (lip), shaving (legs) – is enough to make you stay in thick tights and a balaclava all year around. But this magic laser hair removal gadget does away with all that. Most people’s first question is whether at-home laser machines actually work but this one really does. You have to make the time to use it regularly – at least once week – and although it takes longer than a shave to really see a difference (and if you don’t keep it up, hair will grow back) – the rewards are truly worth it. Shaving becomes a once-a-month job and epillating a thing of the past.
Garmin Forerunner 935
The Rolls Royce of sports watches is the gift to give a runner or triathlete in it for the gains. Measuring output to increase performance is practically effortless with all the essential stats just a few clicks away. Made with the pro athlete in mind it’s easy enough for the everyday person to use with 24/7 activity trackers for heart rate, steps, calories, sleep patterns, and smartphone connectivity. The wrist-based optical heart rate tracker is so accurate you can resign your chest strap for good. Runners will love the six dynamics metrics including ground contact time, stride length and cadence and ultra runners and Ironman athletes will love the 24-hour GPS tracking battery life. Finally, for all its technical superiority, the FR935 is still a stylish watch that won’t look out of place on your wrist down the pub.
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running/Triathlon GPS Watch £497.65 from Amazon.
I’m yet to find a chocolate more decadent, more delicious and so enigmatic than Booja Booja. No wonder no one can ever believe they are vegan. Just how do they do it! It’s the most perfect gift for any chocaholic – vegan or not – as these award-winning chocs are guaranteed to have your loved one fighting you over every piece.
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 Reflective
If like me, your vegan lifestyle has evolved and you’re now looking to cut down on leather in your life, you’ll know how hard it is to find stylish, vegan trainers. It’s no mean feat. That’s why I was mega excited to see New Balance release these beauties. The new Fresh Foam Zante is made entirely of man-made fabrics and synthetic materials and does not cut corners on style. Pop them on your wishlist this Christmas and take advantage of the reflective elements for early morning or evening runs come January. The no-sew, engineered mesh also imparts that snug, sock-like fit and they’re super-lightweight. I’ve been a fan of New Balance trainers for many years for their ethical manufacturing so these go one step further and are possibly the best launch of the year for me.
If you love to punctuate your kitchen with the latest and most good-looking kitchen gadgets then look no further than the PowerBlender from master gadget makers, Magimix. This newbie is a reworked version of current blender (Le Blender) with a more powerful motor (1300W), even smoother blending action, and the best bit, an auto-clean function. The updated glass material is also better at blending hot liquids (perfect for post-Christmas soup season and detoxes) and the smaller jugs are great if like me, you love experimenting with dips and dressings. My kitchen has never looked so good.
£180 available exclusively in John Lewis until the end of December then stockists nationwide from January.
Vouchers for Karine Jackson Hair & Beauty
If you follow vegan instagrammers online, your beauty bag is greener than an organic farm and your kitchen cupboard can give Wholefoods a run for its money, then you should be going to Karine Jackson in Covent Garden for your hair colour. She’s one of London’s best salons using Organic Colour Systems, the vegan hair colour that uses the lowest levels of PDD (the potentially irritating hair colouring ingredient) and launched a vegan hair service earlier this year (read Healthista’s review of this here). The intensity and quality is the same if not better than conventional salon dyes and the creative eye of the Karine Jackson team is worth a trip alone. Vouchers to spend on my next root touch up are definitely on my Christmas wish list.
Facial at Vaishaly Clinic
I became a fan of facialist, Vaishaly Patel’s, east-meets-west beauty approach as well as her cult beauty oils almost ten years ago so you can’t go wrong with gifting someone the gift of great skin. Her Signature Facial is still a bestseller for its magical ability to wake up the complexion and release tension in the face through Vaishaly’s unique massage techniques. Ideal for anyone who wants a natural approach to ageing gracefully or if you need a face lifting boost before a big event. The best facial money can buy.
Vaishaly Signature Facial with Vaishaly, £250 for 60 minutes; with Aesthetician, £120 for 60 minutes. vaishaly.com
Absolute Aromas Ultrasonic Diffuser
My latest favourite way to fight off germs is to diffuse a few drops of lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree oils into a diffuser before going to bed. The anti-bacterial and detoxing properties of the essential oils help to fight off winter sniffles as well as clearing sinuses to help me breathe and sleep more soundly. This particular diffuser has a clever two and four hour timer and different colour settings (which my friends’ kids love) and a very low light setting making it great for using at night.
Absolute Aromas Ultrasonic Diffuser, £36, healthista.com
Emma Aitchison Jewellery
Ok, so it’s not a health or beauty item but if I’m to find a piece of jewellery under the tree this year it would HAVE to be something from eco-jewellery designer Emma Aitchison. Her belief that a product should not contribute to harming the planet or people is one I wholeheartedly share and try to live by and her designs are so up my street: strong lines, block shapes and quirky touches.
For such a conscientious product range – gold and silver used are recycled or sourced as Fairtrade, and gemstones are ethically sourced conflict-free or lab created, as well as recycled materials for all packaging – the price tags are not so crazy so there really is no excuse to pop something from Emma’s creations on your wishlist. It’s most definitely on mine.
It’s not uncommon to come across allergic reactions to conventional perfumes but natural options are often not as luxe and if they’re oil based they won’t last as long on the skin. That’s why I’ve really been wowed by Prosody, claiming go to be the first luxury organic fragrance, the fragrances are really impressive. There are six incredible scents to choose from, all interesting, complex blends to capture every mood or occasion. If like me, high street scents are not your thing, and you’re looking for something truly special, try Prosody. You won’t be disappointed.
From £135, prosody.com
Free Soul Tea
Have you seen a more beautifully packaged tea? I’ve been waving this duo in front of everyone as it makes the prettiest of stocking fillers – that’s if you don’t decide to secretly keep it for yourself. The teas offer a mild kickstart to the day and a gentle wind down for the end. Wake contains Tie guan yin oolong, ginger, lemon and bergamot; and Sleep is a calming blend of liquorice, lime flower and morigna. Beautiful inside and out!
£6 each or £10 for two, herfreesoul.com
Healthista’s digital director is Yanar Alkayat, also known as Healthista’s Glow Girl and a health and beauty writer for the UK national press. She blogs on ethical beauty and lifestyle at brightershadeofgreen.co.uk and tweets at @YanarBeauty.