3 Easy Ways To Limit Your Blue Light Exposure For Better Sleep

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Without a doubt, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing. There’s nothing worse than trying to get through an entire day of work, errands and everything else when you haven’t slept well the night before. Yet whilst most of us are aware of this, many of us still stay up late on our laptops, tablets or tapping away on our phones – even once we’re in bed.

Scientists have produced plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that the blue light emitted from our computer and phone screens negatively impacts our sleep. This is because the blue light alters the amount of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, which makes your body think that it’s time to be more alert – rather than time to sleep.

The good news is that with a few simple changes to your lifestyle, you can easily manage the amount of blue light that you are exposed to throughout the day.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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1. Blue Filter Glasses

If you’re a fellow glasses-wearer like I am, then it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of blue light filter glasses. Brands such as Eye Wear These provide a blue light filter coating on all their glasses including popular brands such as my favourite Ray-Ban, Miu Miu and Armani (so you can still look stylish whilst also protecting your eyes!). With so many of us planted in front of a screen for most of the day, blue light filter glasses can not only protect your eyes but also help your eyes feel less strained throughout the day and help you get a better night’s sleep. I recently got a pair of great-looking Ray-Ban glasses from Eye Wear These, as you can see pictured in this post, complete with the blue light filter coating and I most definitely noticed a difference in terms of my eyes feeling less tired when I’m working on my laptop and also being able to get to sleep easier. This is such a small and easy change, yet one that’s made a huge difference![/pipdig_padded_text]

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2. Blue Light Filtering Software

As companies are getting more and more aware of the negative impact that blue light can have on our sleep and lifestyle, a number of apps and new software have been developed whereby you can schedule your screen to shift from a blue-light to a more warm, more red-toned wavelength light in the evenings. Some phones can do this automatically (such as the ‘night shift’ mode on iPhones) and there are some free softwares available which you can download onto your laptop or computer – just type in ‘blue light filter software’ into Google![/pipdig_padded_text]

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3. Carotenoid Supplements

Although our eyes aren’t great at filtering out blue light, some research suggests that carotenoid supplements can help strengthen the eye’s natural ability to blue blue light rays. This works by strengthening the retinal pigment epithelium, which contains carotenoids that we absorb through our diet in foods such as carrots, plums, apricots and mangoes. Carotenoids are effective at absorbing blue light and can therefore help to protect your eyes and improve the quality of your sleep.[/pipdig_padded_text]

How To Maintain Your Energy Levels On A Busy Day | Caffeine Free Edition

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I rarely ever drink coffee. In fact, I’ve probably had about 3 coffees since the start of the year! I find that caffeine can make me feel anxious, especially if I’m already feeling stressed and so I tend to rely on caffeine-free alternatives to maintain my energy throughout the day.

Today I’ll be sharing some of the things that help me to keep going throughout even the busiest of days, whether I’m out and about or sitting at my desk.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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1. Maintain Your Iron Levels

The body relies on iron to transport oxygen through the blood and is vital for providing us with energy to go about our daily life. Iron supplements, such as Spatone, are great for maintaining healthy iron levels in our body, and therefore helps to reduce tiredness. Spatone is made using a naturally occurring iron rich water in Snowdonia and is available in a handy single-use sachet that you can simply pop into your handbag and take with you whilst you’re out and about. It also comes in a delicious apple flavour with added vitamin C to support the immune system (which can also suffer when we’re tired!), and best of all it is kind on the stomach so has fewer of the stomach-related side effects that are normally associated with regular iron supplements. I find the sachets really handy when I’ve got a busy day at work or when I’m travelling. Spatone is available here and you can follow Spatone here.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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2. Nibble on Healthy Snacks & Sip on Herbal Tea

What you eat throughout the day can have a major impact on your energy levels throughout the day. I like to start my day with a quick but hearty breakfast in the morning, such as beans on toast. Beans are packed with energy-boosting nutrients, they have a low glycaemic index (so will not give you an energy crash), and they are high in fibre and protein. Throughout the day, try to avoid sugary snacks, and stick to wholegrains and fruit instead. Dried mango is a great on-the-go snack that will help boost your energy and I love snacking on frozen watermelon as the days get warmer. You could also try sipping on some herbal tea throughout the day. Peppermint tea as well as lemon and ginger tea are both great for fighting fatigue – and they are both caffeine-free! Discover more of my favourite teas here.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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3. Get The Beauty Sleep Your Body Deserves

I’m pretty much stating the obvious here, however nothing helps your body maintain its energy (and immunity!) levels better than getting the right amount of sleep. We’ve all heard that we need around 8 hours of sleep at night to function at our best the following day, however this may differ from one person to another. Over the years I’ve discovered that I feel my best when I’ve had 9 hours of sleep, and I always make sure to head to be early when I’ve got to wake up early the next morning. So, invest in a calming pillow spray, a good book and some cosy new bedding – and get the beauty sleep you deserve. Your body will thank you for it!

Find out more about Spatone here.

Check out this post for even more ways to boost your energy with no caffeine

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Fun Ways To Keep Fit + Skates.co.uk Giveaway!

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For many of us, keeping fit is associated with going to the gym (yawn). However, if this means forcing yourself to spend hours following the same repetitive routine, it can get very boring and leave you feeling unmotivated. Instead, the key to getting fit is about finding fun ways to incorporate exercise into your routine. Exercise which doesn’t actually feel like exercise!

Believe it or not, having fun while keeping fit is easier than it seems. Today I’ll be sharing a few of the most fun ways of exercising and I’ve also teamed up with Skates.co.uk to offer one of you the chance to get started on your fun-exercise routine NOW by winning a pair of stylish roller skates![/pipdig_padded_text]

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1. Roller Skating!

When you first think of roller skating, you might remember the cool kids back when you were younger whizzing along pavements on their skates. This makes it easy to forget just how many health benefits you can experience from roller skating – and that it truly isn’t just for cool kids! The fluid motion of roller skating makes it easy on the joints and can help you burn around 10 calories per minute whilst improving your balance and endurance, reducing body fat and strengthening your heart and leg muscles. Best of all, it’s great for boosting your mood – just plug in a pair of headphones, play your favourite tunes and you’re guaranteed to feel those positive vibes! Skates.co.uk have a great range of roller skates for kids and adults in so many different models. Want to win a pair of the bright and bold Rio Roller Passion Quad Roller Skates? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter![/pipdig_padded_text]

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2. Put On Your Dancing Shoes

Dancing is a fantastic way of keeping fit and getting toned whilst having fun – we’ve all seen the great big smiles on the faces of the contestants on Strictly. What’s so great about dancing is that there’s a different style of dance for anyone at any age! Ballet is a great option for anyone who wants to experience a more ‘structured’ style of dance which can help to improve the posture and flexibility, and strengthen the core – and with so many adult beginner classes available, this is a form of exercise which is proving to be quite popular! On the other hand, if you prefer to strut your stuff in a high-intensity workout whilst listening to Latino rhythms, why not try Zumba? Zumba has really taken off over the past few years and includes elements of salsa, mambo, flamenco and more!

3. Bounce Your Way To A Healthier Body

Live close to a trampoline park? The good news is that exercising on a trampoline is a great cardio workout with tons of benefits! Several trampoline parks around the UK now offer fitness classes that are suitable for all ages – so you exercise along with your kids too! Trampoline exercise is low-impact and relatively easy on the body, whilst combining cardio and strength-building aerobic exercises which can burn up to 1000 calories an hour! It’s also a great way of releasing those endorphins, boosting your mood and reducing your stress levels. If you prefer not attend a class, you can always visit a trampoline park and enjoy some freestyle bouncing with a group of friends for a fun afternoon out!

Want to win a pair of roller skates from Skates.co.uk + get started on your fun exercise routine? ENTER HERE!

Win a pair of Rio Roller Passion Quad Roller Skates from Skates.co.uk. The giveaway is open to UK entrants from 8th Sep – 22nd Sep 2017. Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below – good luck![/pipdig_padded_text]

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5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine | Why I Avoid Coffee

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All the offices that I worked in have had one thing in common – and that is a mad rush of people running towards the coffee machine every morning! And whilst everyone scrambled to the kitchen to make themselves a mug of coffee, I would sit peacefully at my desk making the most of some quiet office time.

Sometimes I would take this one step further and sip on some chamomile tea at my desk whilst receiving some weird looks from my co-workers because how is a person supposed to feel awake without a cup (or 3) of coffee?!

The truth is, I can easily get through the day without drinking any coffee, and I love the fact that I don’t need to rely on a daily dose of caffeine to feel energised and able to face the day. I used to be a regular coffee drinker when I was at college and did find that it sometimes helped me concentrate better on my tasks. However, as I was later diagnosed with anxiety and had to reduce my caffeine intake, I discovered new ways of boosting my energy throughout the day and feel so much better for it. Nowadays, the only times I drink coffee are when I’ve got a tension headache, as I find it does wonders to help ease the pain. During the rest of the time, I normally stick to decaffeinated tea or herbal teas (check out some of my favourite herbal teas here). Below are 5 easy ways to boost your energy without caffeine.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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1. Sing along to your favourite tunes!

One of the best (and scientifically proven) ways to boost your energy is to listen to music and – if the situation allows it – to belt it out to your heart’s content! Although you may not be able to do this while you’re at work or college, there are several ways in which you can add some energising music to your day. Put some tunes on whilst having a refreshing morning shower (using these products) to help wake you up, play your favourite Spotify playlist in the car on the way to work, or listen to something you love with some headphones if you use public transport. (I’d recommend a good dose of Olly Murs ‘Dance With Me Tonight’ if you’re stuck for ideas!)

2. Hydrate!

‘Drink more water’ is possibly the most boring and repetitive piece of advice ever given. Hungover? Drink more water. Want to lose weight? Drink more water. Dry skin? Drink more water. However, as annoying as it is, drinking more water is the answer to a lot of problems – including a lack of energy. Since your brain is mostly made up of water, keeping yourself hydrated allows you to think, focus and concentrate better on the task at hand, whilst also giving you an energy boost and fighting off fatigue. Your body is naturally dehydrated when you wake up from a long sleep, so I like to start my day by drinking a glass of water and I always keep a bottle of water with me throughout the day to remind myself to drink regularly.

3. Treat yourself to energy-boosting snacks!

As a food-lover and someone who tends to suffer from the odd HANGRY episode, preparing a few healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day is one of my favourite ways to feel more awake (and just generally happy, ha!). As the weather has been quite warm this summer, I have been really enjoying frozen watermelon slices to keep me cool, refreshed and energised. And because watermelons are made up of over 90% water, they are also great for keeping hydrated. Other great energy-packed treats include bananas, yoghurt, popcorn, almonds and berries. Check out my recent post on the best healthy snacks for a sweet tooth.

4. Sit down less, move around more!

If your day normally consists of sitting down for long periods of time, you may have experienced the familiar feeling of being drained, lethargic, and completely worn-out just from sitting idle all day.  And although the idea of going on a short walk probably sounds as appealing as having a baby screaming in your ear all night as you try to get some sleep, it’s actually one of the best ways to feel more awake! Going for a short 10 minute walk increases the blood flow in your body, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your cells, stimulate your brain and heart, and help you feel more alert. Increasing your exercise throughout the day also helps you get a better night’s sleep so you will feel more energised the next day too!

5. LAUGH!

Apart from being a proven stress-buster (and don’t we all need some of that during the day!?), laughter is a scientifically-proven and fantastic way of boosting your energy! A good, hearty laugh raises your blood pressure and boosts your heart rate, helping to pump you up when you’re feeling sluggish. So share a joke with your co-workers, or allow yourself to enjoy 5 minutes on YouTube – all in the name of being more productive in the long-run of course!

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5 Must-Know Tips for a Brighter Smile | Guest Post

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Brushing your teeth in the morning before you start your day is essential, and brushing your teeth before you go to bed is equally important. To maintain a bright, healthy smile that is free of cavities and plaque, you also need to make sure that you and your children brush the right way. How you brush your teeth has a huge impact on your oral health, so here are a few tips to keep your smile bright.

1. Replace your worn-out toothbrush

If your toothbrush is frayed and worn-out, it won’t work properly and it will be less effective at keeping cavities and plaque at bay. You’ll know if your or your child’s toothbrush needs to be replaced if the bristles are bent and frayed at the sides. In general, aim to replace your toothbrush every three months.

2. Use fluoride toothpaste to combat plaque

Toothpaste containing fluoride combats plaque and strengthens teeth. Almost all standard store-bought toothpastes contain fluoride, but make sure to check the label before putting it in your cart. A pea sized amount on your toothbrush is enough to get the job done.

3. Brush each tooth individually

To brush your teeth properly, gently brush each tooth individually on all sides. Start with brushing the face of each tooth with the toothbrush angled sideways and positioned along your gum line. Wiggle the toothbrush back and forth to get each tooth clean. Then, brush the front and back of each tooth, and finally, brush the chewing surface of each tooth.[/pipdig_padded_text]

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4. Floss regularly

Flossing is an extremely important step for keeping your teeth bright and plaque free. Simply take a length of floss and gently thread it between your teeth, focusing on only one tooth at a time. This will help you eliminate plaque from hard to reach areas and keep your teeth healthy between dental visits. Make sure to encourage your children to floss while they’re young to instill good habits.

5. Snack less often

The less often you snack, the easier it will be to keep plaque from building up on your teeth. It will also help you establish healthy eating habits and require less maintenance. If you do choose to have a snack, avoid eating things that are too sugary or sticky such as hard candies and caramels.

6. Visit your dentist at least twice a year

The number one way to ensure the health of your teeth and gums is to visit your dentist at least twice a year. The dentist can clean your teeth and check for cavities and oral diseases as well as give you advice for keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Make sure to floss and brush properly between visits to keep your smile bright.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to reduce and eliminate plaque and cavities with your regular routine. If you want your children to do the same, make sure to demonstrate your good habits, and teach them exactly how they should brush and floss to maintain a bright, healthy smile.

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Can Super Foods Help Protect Your Eyes?

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Most of us spend the majority of our time exposing our eyes to harmful blue light from our laptops, our phones, and even from the sun. But did you know that apart from messing with our sleep, this blue light can damage our eyesight and result in a significant loss of vision?

Focus Clinics released an infographic (below), which shows that by eating certain super foods, you can significantly help to reduce your chance of suffering from age-related macular degeneration, caused by the dangerous blue light that we so regularly expose our eyes to. By making some simple changes to our diet and eating more foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin such as kale, spinach, peas and green lettuce, we can help protect our eyesight. Check out the infographic below for more information.[/pipdig_padded_text]

Feeling Blue This Winter? It May Be Vitamin D Deficiency!

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The weather has been pretty cold recently and although I love winter, the lack of sunlight at this time of year is linked to Vitamin D deficiency, which may leave you feeling under the weather.

Unlike other vitamins, we get most of the Vitamin D we need from the sunlight. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, our bodies are able to produce Vitamin D due to a reaction that takes place beneath our skin. This means that most of us are able to produce all the Vitamin D we need during the spring and summer months. However, as the days get darker and more grey during the autumn and winter, up to 60% of the population in the UK may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.

So how can you tell if you are Vitamin D deficient? Well, there are a number of symptoms associated with this. These include fatigue and general weakness, muscle cramps and weakness, lower immunity, weight gain, mood changes and irritability, feelings of depression and joint pains, particularly in the back and knees. These symptoms are easily dismissed as everyday aches and pains, however they may also be due to Vitamin D deficiency.

If you think you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, the good news is that there are several things you can do to increase the levels of Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D supplements are readily available online from websites such as Nature’s Best and from most pharmacies and supermarkets. These supplements can be taken during the darker, colder months and throughout the rest of the year if you generally have very little exposure to sunlight. You can also include more foods that are rich in Vitamin D in your diet, such as dairy products, fortified cereals, orange juice, eggs and oily fish.

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Shaping Your Exercise Plan to Fit Your Lifestyle | Guest Post

The old saying “new year, new me” is something that is thrown around over the cold month of January. Making a change towards a healthier lifestyle should be something that we are conscious of all year round.

Work, social and life-in-general can all get in the way of our gym routine. Once the daily 9-5 grind is over, the struggle to pull ourselves to the gym can be extremely tiresome. Staying fit while you are in a demanding job can be tough, however, these mind over matter tricks will help you succeed.

Choose an exercise style you enjoy

If you are already dreading your midweek run, that may be a sign that running is not for you and that’s ok! The first step to success is being realistic with yourself and your abilities.

If you already feel negative towards running, trying something is an excellent way to experiment with exercise. Yoga, weight training, and dance are all great ways to work out. Mix up your routine or choose one which fits your lifestyle, personality, and taste.

Set goals

This may seem fairly obvious, but setting a goal is a great way to motivate yourself. Target weight isn’t always the answer; it could be that you want to fit into a dress that has been lying in your cupboard since the beginning of time.

Working out with a friend is a great way of reaching goals and a bit of friendly competition is good for the soul – just watch the Kardashian’s snapchats for evidence of this!

Create an exercise programme

Glasgow Gym Anytime Fitness recommend that their clients create a programme with a personal trainer before they hit the treadmill: “Getting yourself into shape will not happen overnight…a programme that will get you seeing results as soon as possible.”

Building a fitness plan is a critical element of an exercise regime. Incorporating lifestyle changes outside of the gym is also important.

A good fitness plan should also track how much sleep you are getting, how much water you are drinking and how well you are eating. By keeping an eye on these elements it will make you feel better on the inside and on the outside.

Track your progress

Make sure you are tracking your progress, making a note on your phone’s calendar of when you have worked out and how long for. There are also a number of apps that can help you track your progress. By calculating how much you have exercised each week, month or year so you can identify the areas you need to improve on.

Pick something over nothing

That after work hour at the gym can seem never ending. If you are having a rough day, choosing just one section of your workout to complete is better than doing nothing at all. Working with a personal trainer you can create an effective program that can be completed in the most efficient way.

HIIT workouts are the latest trend in the exercise work and they can be completed in just 30 mins. HIIT also known as high-intensity interval training is a training technique requires 100% effort for just a short period of time. HIIT works by increasing your heart rate which will burn more fat in less time.

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About the author:

Melissa is a young professional and lifestyle blogger from Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently working with Glasgow Gym, Anytime Fitness, encouraging her readers to have a happier and healthier 2017.

CELLULITE | WHAT CAN YOU REALLY DO ABOUT IT?

How to get rid of cellulite

Orange peel. Cottage cheese skin. Two rather grim phrases that describe what can be found in over 80% of women: cellulite. That’s right, cellulite affects most women, whether they are Victoria’s Secret models or  not. There is a lot of misinformation and tons of myths about cellulite out there, such as ‘losing weight will reduce cellulite’ (wrong: unless you’re working to build muscle at the same time, it won’t disappear) or ‘thin women don’t get cellulite’ (again, wrong: anyone of any shape or size can get cellulite). So, if you’re one of the 80% of women who’s got cellulite, what are your options?

Professional Cellulite Treatment

Companies such as the Pulse Light Clinic provide professional cellulite treatments in London and elsewhere. These treatments can reduce cellulite using a completely non-surgical and non-invasive way using infrared light, bi-polar radio frequency energy, vacuum and roller massage. The infrared light and bi-polar radio frequency heats up the innermost layer of the skin evenly to stimulate the growth of new cells, resulting in decreased skin laxity and body volume. The vacuum and roller massage stimulate the blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to improve the texture of the skin. Together, this can decrease the signs of cellulite with the added perk of body contouring and fat reduction. Contact Pulse Light Clinic to book in a free consultation and patch-test on info@pulselightclinic.co.uk or 0207 523 5158.

A Healthy Diet

Although a healthy diet alone won’t make cellulite disappear, it does still play an important role in keeping the signs of cellulite at bay. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid salty foods that can cause fat cells to swell and make cellulite more pronounced. Meanwhile, fruit, vegetables, wholegrain foods and food that is rich in fibre can help remove toxins from the body, reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Exercise Regularly

Apart from being a great way of reducing your stress levels and overall health, regular exercise can also help to reduce cellulite by getting rid of excess fat. As the new year is just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take up swimming, cycling or an exercise class once or twice a week! Cardio is a great way to build muscle and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Yoga can also help reduce cellulite by improving the tone of your muscles.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to remember that cellulite is just so common, and is found in women of all shapes, sizes and ages! Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will not only help reduce the signs of cellulite, but it will also help you feel like a much better person overall! 


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HOW TO RELAX TIRED PARTY EYES WITH OPTREX | BLOGMAS

optrex warming eye mask

Working on a computer all day and staying out late can leave you with tired eyes. Optrex recently released a Warming Eye Mask, specifically formulated to relieve tired eyes and help you feel more relaxed in just 10 minutes. As I work in front of a computer all day and find that my eyes and head can feel quite tired towards the end of the day, I was really looking forward to trying this out and seeing if it helped – and I’m so glad I did!

The self-heating eye mask begins to work as soon as it’s taken out of its packet. You simply unfold the mask, place it on your eyes and let it work its magic. The mask gets quite warm within the first couple of minutes, and although I found this a bit strange at first I quickly got used to it and found this really soothing. The mask works by releasing a gentle, soothing steam over your eyes to help you de-stress. Whilst the mask does its job I like to listen to my favourite calming apps, however Optrex have also created a playlist of soothing 10-minute soundtracks which you can listen to here, in collaboration with renowned sound technician DJ Ash Sargeant.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I uncovered my eyes for the first time, 10 minutes later. However, I was really surprised to find that my eyes felt so refreshed and ‘awake’. I was so impressed! I have since bought myself the lavender scented eye masks from the same range, which I thought would make a lovely addition to my bedtime routine.

The Optrex Warming Eye Mask (Unscented 2 pack RRP £3.99, 8 pack RRP £9.99) is available at pharmacies nationwide, whereas as soothing lavender is available exclusively at Boots. Visit www.optrex.co.uk for more information.

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