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The Gut-Skin Connection Book from Bestow Beauty is now available at Lox Holistic Beauty.

Beautiful skin begins in the gut.  My mentor, Janice Smith, taught me about this connection 30 years ago when I was just starting out as a beauty therapist in Tauranga. In those days I worked in a small room in the back of Helena Hair Designers. Today that has grown into Lox Holistic Beauty. I am sure some of our clients will remember those days!

It’s exciting to see research on gut health validating what I learnt from Janice and what I have seen in my work with my lovely clients over the decades.

Our gut is home to trillions of micro-organisms – some good, some bad. In fact, they make up an estimated two kilograms of our total weight. We have a symbiotic relationship with the good microbes, which means it’s mutually beneficial. We give these microbe colonies a roof over their heads and all the food that our digestive system doesn’t absorb. In return, they look after us, producing certain vitamins, neurotransmitters, and SCFA’s (Short Chain Fatty Acid’s) to nourish our bodies. They also help train our immune systems and protect us from bad, pathogenic bacteria. 

The Gut-Skin Connection Book | Bestow Beauty NZ | Janine Tait | Holistic Beauty NZ

When this relationship is going well these microbes and the substances they produce are very good for us and help to keep us well.  They even support our skin by producing beneficial substances that get into our blood stream and accumulate in our skin, strengthening and beautifying it. But the reverse is also true. When we get an imbalance of the good to bad bacteria ratio, it can impact negatively on our health and our skin function. 
In the last few years gut health has become very important to me personally because I ended up with gut problems that had really major effect on my health and my skin.  This first-hand experience gave me a sense of conviction about how important it is to heal your gut before you try to heal your body or your skin. 

In late 2016, over a period of just one month I went from being fit and active, in the most advanced Pilates class and tramping in outback New Zealand to hardly being able to walk or dress myself.  The discomfort started off in my lower back, spread to my hips and then to my upper back and shoulders. I ended up in terrible pain and as I continued to deteriorate, I started fearing that I was going to end up in a wheel chair.  I also developed perioral dermatitis and patches of persistent eczema.

I underwent a huge number of tests from MRI’s to blood tests for autoimmune disorders.  None of the specialists could find anything wrong with me except for high levels of inflammatory markers in my blood.  There was no explanation and I had no idea what to do next. 

The Gut-Skin Connection Book | Bestow Beauty NZ | Janine Tait | Holistic Beauty NZ

Luckily I ended up under the care of a great physiotherapist who used a holistic approach and she helped me connect the dots. 

You see, a year prior I had picked up a mild gastro infection when I was travelling New Zealand teaching. It didn’t cause me too much distress so I let nature take its course and within a week the symptoms settled down. But they never fully disappeared and I was left with an irritable bowel. After about 6 months of this mild discomfort I decided to get it checked out. A physician took a biopsy of the bowel and diagnosed me with lymphocytic colitis, an inflammatory condition of the colon where the lymphocyte or immune cells accumulate in the bowel wall. The physician suspected that my immune system had dealt with the original infection but had failed to turn off. My gut immune system remained on high alert, the lymphocytes all waiting for invaders and at the same time inflaming my bowel.  There was no cure, I just had to hope the situation would resolve itself.

Another few months later, my gut was still unhappy and the pain in my joints began. Looking back I realised that my sensitised immune system had continued to inflame the colon resulting in leaky gut. The increased permeability of the gut meant undigested food and inflammatory substances could enter the blood stream and spread to the rest of my body, resulting in painful joints and skin problems. Nothing I tried gave me any relief. I couldn’t exercise, could hardly walk, needed help to dress and couldn’t even travel for any distance in the car. I became fearful, stressed and in constant pain.  You can imagine what a relief it was for me to find this holistic physiotherapist who could help me. 

The Gut-Skin Connection Book | Bestow Beauty NZ | Janine Tait | Holistic Beauty NZ

She encouraged me to go on a dietary programme to heal my gut. Within 24 hours of eliminating certain foods I started to feel just a little bit better.  These were foods that I would normally consider to be healthy but I now know are irritating to a damaged gut. It was the first sign of improvement since this saga began and I was encouraged. I stuck to the programme religiously and it took me a good 18 months to completely heal myself!  The first to heal was my skin and then slowly the inflammation in my joints reduced. However, whenever I strayed from the programme, my problems flared.

I am so grateful to have had this experience, I now appreciate and understand how important gut health is and how it is the foundation for a healthy body and healthy skin. 

I can now eat a normal diet without suffering and I’ve become passionate about producing tools to help others transform their skin and their wellbeing with gut-health strategies. This has lead me, with the help of my wonderful team, to produce The Gut-Skin Connection book. A complete gut-health resource complete with information, recipes and the programme that I followed to heal my body.  I do hope that it helps others in their quest for health and wellbeing.

Shop the Gut-Skin Connection book in salon at Lox or online here at

  • November 14, 2019

Raw food is purely that – raw. Food that has not been heated or cooked above a certain temperature. Consuming only raw food is becoming more popular these days. Essentially this involves eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. This is because people believe that when you heat food it destroys the nutrients and natural enzymes found in that food. But this is only partially true.

Eating raw food can help build up mineral stores and is also high in fibre. Raw foods are mostly plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals. Foods that are raw contain enzymes that are meant to help digest the components of food. They also have a higher alkalinity, which helps the metabolism to function properly. A lot of the vitamins such as Vitamin B and C and minerals from certain foods can be lost when they are cooked.

However, in some cases cooking food can boost nutrients like beta-carotene, found in most orange coloured vegetables and lycopene found in vegetables like tomatoes. It can also kill bacteria, helping you avoid any food poisoning. Heating and cooking also allows for more variety in your diet. In those winter months there is definitely something to be said for a warm bowl of vegetable soup. A salad just wouldn’t seem the same!

As with most things, we believe in balance. Eating lots of raw vegetables and fruit is definitely good for you. This is great during the warmer months when the weather is hotter. But remember there are seasons for a reason and we believe in enjoying warmer foods during the cooler seasons as well. The key is to eat healthily, whatever season. Enjoy not only the food but the experience that goes with it. Whether it be the company of your family, time out on your own or a social engagement with friends.

Check out the Bestow Recipe Books online at for ideas for delicious food.

  • October 10, 2019

Did you know that some foods can protect your skin from sun damage? Yes, it’s true, you can now eat your sunscreen! Well, maybe not quite.

Numerous studies are showing that many foods are photo-protective. In one study the diets of 1,000 people were analysed. Those who ate oily fish at least once a week were 28% less likely to develop skin cancer.  Half a glass of wine daily reduced your risk by 27%.  It’s thought the Omega 3 in oily fish and the antioxidants in wine help the skin cope with UV radiation.

These aren’t the only foods that help protect the skin from these damaging rays. Other nutrients also play a role in delivering sun-protective benefits to the skin.

Brazil nuts are nature’s richest source of selenium, an anti-oxidant mineral. Selenium may have the ability to lessen the damage that UV rays have on skin.  In 2009 a study showed that higher levels of selenium in the blood reduced the risk of skin cancer by half.

Green tea is another wonderful skin food. It contains antioxidants that reduce skin inflammation and cell damage caused by sun exposure. As a bonus it also improves the hydration of your skin.

Carotenoids are another valuable group of nutrients. They give fruit and vegetables their bright colours (yellow, green, red, or orange). Many studies show carotenoids offer sun-protecting benefits through the anti-oxidants they contain. Betacarotene (a common carotenoid) improved the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun. This nutrient is so easy to get from your diet. Simply increase your intake of orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and leafy greens.

Lycopene is another carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red colour. It has been shown to greatly reduce the redness that results from sun exposure. In one study, people that consumed tomato paste daily showed an average of 40% less redness than the control group. Another study of 40-50 year old’s showed that people with higher skin lycopene levels also had smoother skin.

Astaxanthin, a red carotenoid found in plants and algae was found to help prevent skin cancer.  Studies over the last 20 years found it to be a very powerful antioxidant. It exhibits one of the strongest protective actions of all the carotenoids.

Good nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring you have healthy, beautiful skin. But studies also show that certain foods boost the protective benefits your sunscreen offers. Spring is a great time to increase your intake of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Try this recipe to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the inside as well as the outside.

  • July 18, 2019

Aioli is one of our favourite condiments here at Lox Holistic Beauty, we’d put it on everything if we could! So we were so happy when Bestow Beauty released their Savour recipe book with this delicious GF, FD, RSF gem in it.

Whip up a batch and delight your senses thanks to Bestow.


1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for at least one hour
1 garlic clove
Juice and zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of water
Small handful capers, drained and roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
Himalayan or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Process the soaked sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon juice and oil with a stick blender. Add the water, pulse and add more water if the mayo is too thick.
Add the capers, dill and lemon zest, stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.
Exchange the dill for parsley or basil for a different flavour.
Makes half a jar, stores for 2 days in the fridge.
  • June 13, 2019

A lack of essential fatty acids is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies that affect our skin. Too little of these precious fats impacts hugely on the health, beauty and rate of ageing of our skin. Luckily, it is one of the easiest deficiencies to correct!

What exactly are these fats and why are they essential?

Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA’s as they are most commonly known, are part of the fat family. Most of the fatty acids the body requires for health can be made from the other healthy fats you eat. So as long as you have some fats and oils in your diet, your body can make everything else it needs.

Salmon is a great source of healthy fats!

But there are a couple of exceptions. Your body cannot make any fats that belong to the omega 3 or omega 6 family, and this is why they’re called ESSENTIAL fatty acids – it is essential you get them from your diet. 

There are certain foods and supplements that can supply these important fats and many people take fish oil capsules because they offer EFA’s that have so many health benefits. However, one common misunderstanding about fish oil is that it promotes skin health along with all of its other wonderful benefits. But research shows that this is not in fact true. Unfortunately fish oil doesn’t provide any of the fatty acids required by your skin for healthy functioning. In fact, you need a completely different set of fats to promote beautiful, glowing skin.

So what oil should you be taking?

Bestow Beauty Oil has been perfectly formulated with your health and the health of your skin in mind. It contains not only the omega 3 fats but all the other fats that your skin so desperately needs. These other fats nourish and protect your skin from the inside, making it more resilient and less likely to be damaged by ageing environmental threats. These fats are also great for both oily and dry skin. They help to ensure you have a healthy, balanced oil flow that is less likely to block your pores but nourishing enough to keep your skin feeling supple. 

How to take your oil:

It is important to take your oils in liquid form. Capsules are very hard to digest, especially these days when our digestive systems often struggle with the amount of stress we are under. Liquid oils, like the Bestow Beauty Oils, can be mixed into food making it easy to digest. You can add it to a smoothie, mix it into yoghurt or even make a salad dressing with it. By doing this you pre-emulsify these wonderful fats and make it so much easier for your body to extract all the goodness from them.

So keep eating oily fish for the key EFA’s it supplies but also make sure you have your Bestow Skin Boosting smoothie, containing one tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil. Make it a regular ritual, 5 days out of 7 and this will keep your skin protected, free of blemishes and looking fabulous! To purchase your Bestow Beauty Oil head into our clinic or shop online at

Our favourite good fat filled meal is this salmon based mega omega salad from the Bestow website. Check it out here!

  • June 13, 2019

Excess Persimmons that you’re not sure what to do with? Bestow Beauty has got your back!

This delicious Tamarillo Salsa recipe is the perfect alternative to the famous tomato that you know and love.


6 Tamarillos
2 handfuls of fresh coriander
1/2 a red onion, finely sliced
Juice of one lime or lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil
Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper



With a sharp knife cut a cross in the end of each tamarillo (not the stalk end the other end).

Add the whole tamarillos to a bowl and cover with boiling water.

Soak for 10 minutes – this process makes them easy to peel.

Remove from the water, let cool so that you can handle them and peel.

Chop them into small chunks.

Place in a small bowl, add the coriander, onion, lime juice, olive oil and Bestow Beauty Plus Oil.

Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Devour the Tamarillo Salsa!

  • June 13, 2019

Roasted Chickpea Ingredients:

Roasted chickpeas
1 400g can chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ teaspoon of paprika
½ teaspoon of cumin
Himalayan or sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground


Salad Ingredients:

1 large kumara, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 cup of brown rice, cooked
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon of Himalayan or sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 handful of rocket
1 small bunch of kale, roughly chopped
1 small handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Himalayan or sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground


In a large bowl or bag mix together the kumara, aubergine, two tablespoons of olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Combine to evenly coat the vegetables. Place the kumara and aubergine on a oven tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

While the vegetables are roasting, drain the chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the chickpeas on a roasting tray and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to coat, place in the oven to roast until golden and crisp. This takes approximately half an hour. Shake the tray gently halfway through.

Once the vegetables are cooked, toss through the kale, rocket and coriander, stir in the vinagerette. Arrange in a large bowl or platter over the cooked brown rice. Scatter over the roasted chickpeas and serve with the hummus dressing.

  • May 22, 2019

If you have sensitive skin you may find the combination of cold outdoor temperatures and indoor heating leaves your skin feeling dry and your cheeks looking rosier. The reason this happens is because the extremes of temperature reduce the levels of precious moisture in the skin leaving it feeling tight and dry. The combination of heat and cold also cause the fine capillaries in the skin’s upper layers to repeatedly alternate between dilation and contraction. This constant fluctuation weakens the capillary walls leaving them looking dilated and more visible. When this happens, it can be hard to know how to help your skin cope.

One way you can combat this is to help reduce the reaction your skin has to the temperature extremes. Research carried out many years ago showed that a liberal application of moisturiser helps hugely. Especially if you give the upper layers of your skin a drink by soaking it with warm water before applying your moisturiser.

Moisturiser prevents your skin from reacting to temperature change. This is something I have seen with my own skin and my clients skin too. By helping your skin cope better with the temperature extremes, moisturiser helps reduce the reaction of your fine capillaries significantly, preventing them from becoming permanently damaged.

The more protective your moisturiser, the better it helps the skin cope. So step it up a level by choosing a slightly heavier cream at this time of year. Then combine this with your all-important skin soaking to ensure your skin is strong and hydrated. Don’t forget to soak and apply your moisturiser twice a day.

Your skin cannot hold on to moisture for more than twelve hours, so a morning and evening routine is vital.

– Janine Tait

You can also help your skin by protecting it from things that expose us to the more extreme temperatures. If you have sensitive skin, avoid sitting right in front of heaters or open fires, direct car heating vents away from your face and don’t sit in the line of airflow coming from an air conditioning unit. All of these things can very quickly dry your skin and damage your capillaries.

Your skin also needs to be protected from wind and cold outdoor temperatures. A scarf is perfect for wrapping around the lower half of your face when you need that extra layer of protection. Or even better, I find a snood is perfect for those winter weekends. They are usually made from fine, light fabric and can easily be worn around your neck when you are out and about. If you find yourself exposed to the cold, you can easily pull it up to just under your eyes helping protect your skin without feeling like you are being suffocated with a heavy layer of fabric.   

Janesce Revitalising Cream
Janesce Revitalising Cream

If you do find your skin looking red and more inflamed, increase the time you spend soaking your skin (using warm water not hot) and don’t forget to lock in that precious moisture by applying your moisturiser or night cream immediately, before the water evaporates away.  Also avoid foods and drinks that fuel skin irritation like alcohol, coffee, oranges, strawberries and hot spices until your skin feels hydrated and calm again.

Helping your skin survive the winter is easy if you make these things a habit.


  • May 22, 2019

Is your skin more thirsty than normal, drinking up your moisturiser but still feeling dry? It could simply be because the air is dryer at this time of year.   As the temperature drops, the humidity level also drops and this leaves our skin feeling really out of sorts.  

The very outer layers of our skin need water to ensure the skin feels supple and nourished. The amount of moisture in the air really impacts on the hydration of these outer skin layers. Have you ever noticed when you travel to countries that are hot and humid, your skin looks amazing? It’s easy to care for, only needing a light layer of moisturiser to feel supple and look radiant. Unfortunately, New Zealand isn’t one of those countries and we only experience these ideal skin climates for a few months each year generally in the height of summer. The rest of the year is a challenge for skin especially as we approach winter and the temperature and humidity drop dramatically. Indoor heating adds further to the problem by drying the air more. Before you know it your skin feels really out of sorts and no amount of moisturiser seems to help. 

When your skin is feeling taught and dry, it’s natural to think that drinking more water will help. Unfortunately, although this approach is great for our health (and the deeper layers of our skin) the upper layers, most affected by low humidity, are virtually impossible to hydrate this way. No amount of drinking water is going to help your skin feel any better. 

So how do you get your skin back to feeling great? Well, the best way of making sure your skin has the precious moisture it needs is by doing a simple little routine morning and night. We call this our skin soaking ritual at Lox and it’s something we’ve been promoting for decades. We find it’s one of the most effective ways of keeping your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

How to soak your skin:

Do this skin soaking ritual each morning before you apply your skin care products and each evening after cleansing and before you apply your night care.  To truly experience the transformative effect of skin soaking you need to do it religiously, morning and night. The skin cannot hold on to moisture for more than 12 hours so you need to top up the topical hydration twice daily to maintain that hydrated glow.

To Prepare:

Partially fill your hand basin with water. Add a few drops of Janesce Soaking Drops and take several deep breaths, enjoying the therapeutic fragrance. 

Step One

Immerse your Janesce Soaking Cloth in the warm water, wring out excess water and press the warm, damp cloth to your face. Take five slow, deep breaths. Repeat twice more to ensure your skin is fully hydrated.

Step Two

Apply plant therapy to your skin with the Janesce botanical mists, serums or concentrates.

Step Three 

Immediately apply a Janesce moisturiser or facial oil to seal in all that botanically-enriched hydrated. 

If you would like to learn more, check out this skin soaking ritual on the Janesce website.

  • April 18, 2019

The new LOX Slow Beauty Luxury Facial offers ultimate relaxation and floods your skin with wellbeing. Emily Arnold, takes a break from making her way in the world, and discovers a dreamy slow dance of massage, botanical skin therapy and sensory relaxation that seems to last forever.

I had been busy; work had been hectic and I had a full schedule. More than full – a schedule that seemed to be overflowing with tasks, meetings and requirements. Stress and anxiety crept in with the resulting late nights, leaving me feeling tired and wired. I was looking for something, a way to carve out some time for me; to recharge my batteries and reconnect with my inner calm.

LOX had just introduced the new Slow Beauty Luxury Facial and I was intrigued. After many years of believing in and following the Janesce Slow Beauty philosophy I knew this facial was exactly what I needed.

I arrived at LOX excited, wearing my most comfortable clothes and eagerly anticipating what was in store. I was ready to unplug. My skincare therapist, Stephanie, met me in the waiting room and took me through to her room where I got dressed in a soft robe and then was taken to the softly-lit treatment room. Steph started with a brief skin check. Then my facial began.

Nestled deep into the covers of the bed I felt a familiar feeling returning, a kind of relaxation only achieved in moments of complete calm.

I felt myself detach and drift away. It was a complete sensory experience – the floral fragrance of the plant based products, the gentle tickling of the mist as it fell on my face, the soft strokes along my brow, the relaxing music in the background.

Warm oil was swirled around my face with a delicate paintbrush; my neck and shoulders were treated to beautiful aromatic massage. Steph moved down to my feet and applied hot towels, then gave them a gentle massage.

Every movement was slow and deliberate, every part of the treatment was perfect.

I blissed out and drifted off.  A warm compress, followed by yet another aromatic facial massage towards the end began to bring my awareness back into my body.

Steph quietly left for a few minutes to make me a cup of herbal tea and allow me time to wake up.  As I became more conscious I was astounded – my mind was clear, the stress was gone.

This facial beautifully embodied the quintessential values of the Slow Beauty movement, a movement that has been championed by LOX founder, Janine Tait.

Promoting sustainable, glowing beauty from the inside and out, the Slow Beauty movement finds its roots in a plant-based skin journey that nourishes the skin from within with skin nutrition and which works in harmony with nature and the biology of the skin.

No machines, no quick-fixes, no harsh chemicals.
Just plant-therapy, touch and wellness wisdom.
That’s the Slow Beauty way.

‘Slow’ is also about pacing in this luxurious treatment.   “The movements I use in this facial are deliberately much slower than normal facials,” says Stephanie.  “This allows women to really connect with the treatment and gives them the most relaxing, nurturing experience possible.  Most women come to us stressed, but it’s  virtually impossible to feel stressed after this treatment”

I’ll second that.

LOX Slow Beauty Facials provide an intensive boost for your skin using the  botanical Janesce skincare range.  Using powerful, organic plant extracts, Janesce facials are anti-ageing, hydrating and nourishing for skin.

Therapeutic skin massage, warm compresses and fragrant botanical oils make these sensory facials a beautiful treat for the soul as well as the skin.


  • January 31, 2018