Grooming Guru Essentials: Spiezia Propolis Ointment

As someone who suffers from psoriasis I’m constantly on the look out for products that can improve  or relieve the condition. Although, the only thing that really seems to work for me is sunlight and seawater (a great reason for me to self-prescribe holidays!) various lotions and portions have helped over the years too.

My current favourite is this fantastic ointment from one of my favourite organic skincare brands, Spiezia. Perfect for psoriasis, as well as for eczema, sore, dry skin and athlete’s foot, it’s a rich topical treatment made from extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, calendula and propolis – a resinous product bees produce in their hives to protect against bacteria, parasites and other infections. It’s great for keeping skin soft and supple and to prevent flaking and, thanks to a blend of lavender, thyme and grapefruit extracts, smells absolutely amazing too.

I love the smell so much I also dab a tiny amount on my chest before bed and the soothing smell of lavender acts as a brilliant sleep aid. Spiezia products are also produced in one of my favourite parts of the world – Cornwall – and are 100% organic. Do you really need any more reasons to give it a go?!

Spiezia Propolis Ointment costs £17.95 for 50ml and is available from

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

the prawn ultimatum

prwn3You know, the body is a funny old thing. I’m a firm believer that it intuitively knows what it needs to function adequately, particularly when it’s under stress. Hence those weird cravings we all get now and then (seemingly, people who are depressed often instinctively reach for bananas which happen to be rich in tryptophan, a substance with positive mood-altering effects).

Of late, my own particular obsession has been with prawns. I’ve had them three times this week already. Much to my shame, I’ve even stolen them from my own cats’ mouths in a ‘one for you… two for me’ con-trick. Not quite reason to call the RSPCA, I know, but it’s still not behaviour I’m proud of. But what can you do when you suddenly find yourself prawn-dependent?

Today though, whilst leafing through Liz Earle’s excellent Skin Secrets book, the scales fell from my eyes. According to Liz (and I have no reason to doubt the word of someone with such great skin), people with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are often deficient in a certain mineral – namely zinc. Now, I know you’re thinking ‘where is he going with this?’ and more probably ‘I wish he’d get there faster!’ but bear with me.

You see, for several years now I’ve suffered from sporadic bouts of psoriasis – mostly on my elbows but sometimes on my face and torso – and of late it’s been particularly active. Prawns, in case you didn’t know, just happen to be one of the best sources of (you guessed it) zinc. So I’m convinced this is my body’s attempt to heal itself from within.

So for anyone out there suffering from a similar skin nasty, why not join me in the 30-day ‘zinc challenge’ and see what happens? For those unable to eat shellfish because of religious reasons (or for those left traumatised by the memory of a dodgy moule and a night spent clutching a toilet bowl) meat, fish and peanuts also happen to be good sources of zinc.

Illustration by The Egg of Truth

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