Commuter Health and Beauty

How to keep fabulous, fit and healthy this winter Give your commute a make-over, says Rebecca Newman


Make-up on the go

Don’t arrive in the office looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. These specialist products will protect you from the elements when you’re outside, and repair and restore while you’re at your desk


Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum

Apply under moisturiser to reduce redness, repair and protect your skin. £53,


Superbalm Lip Treatment

Avoid chapped winter lips with this balm. £13,


Extra Repair Moisture Cream

Wear this cream under make-up to smooth fine lines and keep wind-battered skin soft. £63.50,


Gel SPF 50

Always use sunscreen, whatever the weather. This oil-free gel is water-resistant and lasts throughout the day. £18.50,


Sport Waterproof Mascara

Rainproof mascara is a must. £18,




Gym kit essentials


Colour Quench Lip Balm

For a flattering slick of easy-to-wear, beautifully moisturising lip colour. £17,


Gold Rush Compact Styler

Your instant hair detangler. £12.49,


Introductory Kit

Four-step regimen from the New York facialist who attends to the complexions of Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bündchen. £68,


Blanche Perfume Oil

Scented with a gorgeous, light fragrance of white rose, sandalwood and neroli. £47,


Creme with Silk Groom

For a sleek finish to your mane, simply rub into your palms and run through 
dry hair. £18,


Elvive mini shampoo and conditioner

Great haircare in a travel-size pot. £1.50,

Before you leave the house…

Kick off with stretches devised by leading Pilates instructor Tony Diamond ( to activate your muscles. Continue each exercise to the point of muscle fatigue.


The Hundred

Lying on your back, draw up your knees until they are above the hips, creating 
a right angle with the legs. Raise your shoulders off the floor, reaching the arms down to the hips, an inch off the mat. Slowly pump the arms up and down, breathing in through the nose for five pumps and out through the mouth for five pumps.



Lie on your stomach. Then, reaching as far as you can, raise your right arm and your left leg. Exhale as you raise, inhale as you lower. Repeat on the other side.



On your back, draw up your knees to make a right angle above your hips, hands at the back of your neck, elbows out. As you exhale, draw your right elbow to your left knee, extending the opposite leg away. Repeat on the other side.



Place your feet hip-width apart, turned out slightly. Slowly draw your pelvis down to your knees as if sitting on a chair, hold, then push through the heels to draw back up as you exhale. Start by holding for one minute, and build up to three sets, holding for two minutes.



Lie on your back and bring your heels under your knees, hip-width apart. Push through your heels to draw your pelvis up, creating a diagonal from knee to shoulder. Slowly exhale, curling your ribcage down to gradually articulate every part 
of your spine on to the mat, vertebra by vertebra.

Stress busters

Take a high-octane class after work:

Boxfit Boxing

One of the most intense sports you can do. With branches in Shoreditch and Queen’s Park, Frame’s class blends the energy of boxing with up-tempo music and cool choreography.


Intense workouts: Boxfit Boxing


A hardcore class at Virgin Active centred around a squashy ball: 30 exercises in 30 minutes.

Membership from £40 a month,

HiiT circuit class

It hurts, but it gets results: a 45-minute session might include jumping, weights, TRX strength-training...

From £12.50, at Ten Pilates Studios,

Recharge with... protein-based recovery foods

Raw Ecstasy Activated Raw Walnuts with Himalayan Salt

These nuts are soaked in a solution of Himalayan salt to make their nutrients more accessible, then dried. Delicious. £3.43,

Luna snack bar

One of the best protein bars around, with extras such as calcium and folic acid. Plus, they taste great.

Onle of the best: Luna snack barRaw Health Organic Hemp

Protein Balls Made with almonds, dates and hemp protein, these are a real treat. 
£2.79, at

Solgar Whey To Go Protein Powder

This contains no nasties, and is particularly good blended into cold almond milk or hot porridge. £24.66,

Chia Bia Seed

The superseed de nos jours, the chia seed can be scattered on anything for an instant hit of protein and omega 3. £11.99 for 315g,

Hydration aids

Orbana Powder Energy Drink

One of the best hydration powders: a blend of vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes and minerals that keep you working harder, longer. £12.96 for six sachets,

High5 Zero Sports Drink

Made with sugarless tablets, the electrolytes in this make it an ideal hydrator if you’re working out for more than 50 minutes. £6.99,

For an added boost

Keep your immune system strong and your energy levels up during the day with these supplements. No one likes a hungry commuter. Or a sick one.

De Mamiel Altitude Oil

An antibacterial and antiviral oil blended to help protect against infection 
and clear congestion.


Moringa Powder

From the leaves of the moringa tree, this supplement is high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. It even tastes acceptable: you’ll hardly notice it’s there if you add it to a punchy salad 
or soup.


Super healthy: Plenish juicesPlenish juices

A great way of getting your greens fast, efficiently and without the fibrous side-effects. These beautifully blended juices are cold-pressed to prevent nutrients from being lost, and are designed to pack a healthy — rather than a sugary — punch with typical ingredients including kale, lemon and ginger.

How to avoid commuter lurgy…

There are around 3 million bacteria on every Tube seat (sorry!). Even if you’re not sitting down, you’ll be face-to-armpit with the coughing and sneezing public, so it’s hardly surprising that even the strongest constitutions succumb to winter colds or, worse, flu. Harley Street nutritionist Alice Mackintosh ( suggests how to boost your immunity

At this time of year, white blood cells work especially hard: when someone sneezes near us, they whip into action, helping to destroy viruses that find their way into the body. These cells need specific nutrients:

Vitamin C

Essential for white blood cells as well as a host of other immunity mechanisms; many studies have shown that a daily dose of at least 250mg (there are 70mg in an average orange) can shorten the duration of flu. Find it in fresh, colourful fruit and veg such as kale (which has three times the vitamin C content of an orange, weight for weight), sweet potatoes, peppers, dark fruits and fresh herbs such as parsley.


Just as important as vitamin C, as it promotes antibodies to defend against infection. Find it in poultry, sunflower seeds, seafood and fish (these foods are also high in protein, which is vital for immunity).

Vitamin D

Helps us to regulate our bacterial defences. This is harder to get via sunlight in the winter. Find it in oily fish, avocado and mushrooms (leave them out in the light to boost levels before you eat). Supplementing with a 2000 IU-strength vitamin D pill can top up levels throughout the winter if you are deficient.

Your dream immunity meal is a soup of butternut squash, red pepper, chilli, ginger and parsley. Make it with homemade chicken stock; it’s a great source of the amino acids proline and glycine, which work to support all of the above.

Do a runner: Joggers

The leader in good-looking technical kit is Lucas Hugh. Sold through outlets including Net-a-porter, the brand has strong fashion credentials but is designed to meet the exacting standards of specialist sportswear.

Its compressionwear supports your muscles, reducing fatigue and speeding post-training recovery (it is often worn by serious triathletes). It also has the slimming effect of wearing Spanx. The bioceramic textiles contain nanoparticles designed to 
absorb your body heat, then transfer it back to your body at a wavelength that promotes circulation and speeds metabolism.

Every Second Counts is another great label — the brand’s Never Too Late Tech Top, a long-sleeved running thermal (£62,, is perfect for chilly early-morning runs. At this time of year outdoor activity is all about layering; this close-to-the-body top wicks, never loses its shape and is seam-free for zero chafing. Online store Hip & Healthy is also a trove of results-focused sportswear. The Rockwell Urban Warrior Elite Compression Tights combine the benefits of compression with city cool (£

In a spin: Cyclists

The reason to wear a Buff (a long tube of stretchy fabric) is not only to keep your head and ears warm under your helmet, it also works as a de facto face mask. On frosty days pull it up over your cheeks to prevent the cold from damaging the capillaries in your skin.

Keep on track: the Polar FT1Invest in a heart-rate monitor such as the Polar FT1 (£34.99, to make your journey more efficient. Either commit to maintaining a certain constant number of heartbeats per minute (this will vary depending on how fit you are: start with 90-100bpm and see whether it feels challenging but maintainable), or every few minutes set a really challenging target (again, this will vary but try for about 130-140bpm and assess) — you can work out your target bpm on a website such as

Underground movement

Lululemon’s Silverescent range is great for going from the cold streets to a sweltering Tube station. The label has taken the long-lasting fabric from its Wunder Under pants and incorporated pure silver X-Static fibres, which inhibit bacteria and so eliminate any odours. Try the long-sleeved Swiftly Tech ½ zip top with the Rebel Runner vest (£78 and £88,

Stat warm: Rebel Runner vestThe new Octavia leggings from Bodyism ( from 17 November) are made from a material infused with bioactive crystals that absorb your body heat and emit infra-red rays. These promote collagen production and help to reduce cellulite, so you can drop a few pounds while pounding through the interchange at Oxford Circus.

Keep calm and carry this...

If you’re cycling, the Osprey Tempest 9 rucksack (£65, sits tight to your body but has a mesh to allow ventilation to your back.

If you’re going to the gym, the Reese GymTote (£120, has pouches for your trainers and water bottle, but is chic enough to carry around with you all day.

Original article published in ES Magazine, in November, 2014

Related articles: