Eastbourne Newsletter – April 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 15th of May 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Join here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co

Coronavirus Hub Update

In accordance with Government guidelines our offices are closed until further notice.

Humphrey & Co are here to offer support and guidance in these uncertain times. Health and wellbeing are the most important things right now and all of our staff are working remotely over secure connections so, as far as possible, it is business as usual, with our reception team taking calls as normal.

If you have any questions or concerns please either call the office on 01323 730631 or email your usual contact.

Visit our Coronavirus Hub where you will find updates and useful web links for businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19.

Tax Rates 2020/21

A copy of our 2020/21 Tax Rates Card which summarises many of the rates and allowances fundamental to our business and personal lives, is now available to download here.

Our tax card contains information on income tax rates. It also includes information on devolved property taxes as well as business, employment and capital taxes. Some key recent changes include:

  • reduced Entrepreneurs’ Relief lifetime allowance
  • significant increases in the National Insurance threshold for employee contributions
  • updated car benefit percentages due to new green emissions tests
  • an increase in the rate of the Structures and Buildings Allowance.

Brighton Newsletter – April 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be on 2nd June 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Hotel du Vin – Book here

In relation to COVID-19, we hope that the next Brighton event will still be going forwards. As it is hard to predict what may happen, we will ensure to keep you updated with any further developments and information.

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

Well being and working from home: Part 1

Most of the world is now stuck indoors and working from home. Many may start to feel the strain of the isolation and it can make us unproductive, lethargic, and can even affect our mental health. Humans are innately social creatures and isolation is known to have effects on our psychological and physical well being. So let’s look at some ways we can keep ourselves sane, safe, and still manage to get the work done! In this first part we’ll be looking at the set up of your work area.

Distractions – Good or bad?

Music or TV?

There are certain things when working from home that’ll help some people and hinder others. For example, I can’t have the TV on at all, as I get too sucked in with what’s going on, but I also can’t sit in silence, it makes the room feel too empty. A happy medium for me is to put the radio on a low volume. I don’t have to concentrate on the song choice, there are people speaking, and for me this feels more like an office setting.

You might be totally different and only you can gauge what your levels of distraction are. It’ll take a bit of trial and error for you to find out what’s the best working environment for you. You might need total silence or you might be someone (like me) who needs some background noise. Just make sure that whatever it is, it makes your work the priority.

Getting up and about?

The temptation of working at home, because you don’t have the hustle and bustle of the office, is to constantly be getting up; to make tea/coffee, tidy up/wash dishes and deal with household issues, all because you get restless when sitting down for too long. Then that’s it, you aren’t concentrating at all on your work! Something that may help you is to create yourself a work schedule the night/week before and pop in a couple of  breaks, which will give you something to look forward to but also allow you to give your undivided attention to work. You can even set an alarm/timer to make sure you stick to it!

Keeping your mind focussed is key so when you do have these breaks, it’s a good idea to schedule in a couple minutes of stretching and movement, to help you keep awake and avoid the aches and pains of sitting still for too long.

Also, if you’re working a full day, make sure you schedule a proper lunch break. It’s important to refuel and hydrate and it gives you a proper breather away from your work so you go back into it with a clearer head.

Location, location, location!

Where your work space is set up will help massively with how productive you are and how your mindset is affected for the rest of the day. There are a few very lucky souls that have an office space in their house, where they can close the door, get into work mode, finish up, close the door and forget about it until the next day (if only!). For those of us who don’t, you’ll want to find a space that gives you the following:

Work and home life balance

Try not to work anywhere you associate with comfort, leisure, fun (personal fun since work can be fun too!), or family time. You want to keep those areas as separate as possible so you don’t have them blend together which will muddy the water of when it’s work time and when it’s your own time. So try to avoid working in these areas:

  • In bed
  • The sofa
  • That super comfy armchair
  • The kitchen table (if you have regular meals there)

There are always exceptions to the rules, as some of you may have no choice but to work in one of these areas and, if that’s the case, there’s still something you can do. You need to separate your work life from your home life by making sure that, when you’ve finished your work, it’s completely out of sight. Put your folders and paperwork somewhere safe and make sure your laptop/desktop is away and shut down. This allows you to focus on work when you’re working and drop that when you ‘clock off’. You need time for you.

These are just some of the ways you can keep yourself in ‘work’ mode in a setting you don’t usually work in and help separate things to make sure you can still enjoy your house as your home.

London Newsletter – March 2020

Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we have had to change the format for the next London lunch. We are embracing technology and taking the lunch virtual.

We are inviting you to attend our virtual networking event via zoom, completely free of charge.

Here’s how it will work…

On booking your FREE ticket you will be sent the joining instructions. During this session, the sponsor or their speaker will do a short 5-10 talk followed by each attendee doing a 60-second pitch. Following this, we will share the contact details of the attendees so that you can all follow up digitally.

We will transfer any paid for bookings to the next London lunch.

Please feel free to share the invite!

Join our next zoom meeting here:



The Route City Wealth Club

Hello, Everyone.  We’re The Route.  It’s Our Very First Blog. 

Here at The Route, we’ve joined the blogosphere.  And, we’re very happy to do so.  Publishing blogs on a regular basis reflects our open and transparent approach.  We want to connect with you, so look out for them.

Why are we writing blogs?

The team here at The Route have been doing their research.  We know that people who are interested in investment, wealth management and finance in general appreciate good quality communication.  That is, not just Members, but also individuals interested in a potential future engagement with us.

Obviously, our business is about interaction and pro-active contact, so it makes good sense to reach out to you directly.

We’ll be publishing blogs monthly, to start.  They’ll be clear, jargon-free and hopefully add value to your experience.  Pieces could cover our analysis and opinions on the latest news in the world of finance and investments, for example.  Perhaps articles offering advice, or guidance.  Information that you’ll hopefully find relevant as a Member.  In short, anything that you’ll consider useful, constructive and practical.

So, what to write for our first one?

To start, we thought that we’d offer you a handy “everything in one place”, take-way guide to The Route.  What we do, how we do it and importantly, why we do it.  You’ll see that we’re an exclusive operation.  Also, that in a crowded marketplace, we’re very different indeed.  Obviously, this blog is quite high-level, so get in touch if you need more information.

First things first

We’ve been in business for 20 years.  Based in St Pauls in the City of London, The Route – City wealth club is an independent financial and investment planning business that helps individuals meet their financial life goals.

The Route’s demographic is focused, and singular.  Our clients are solely High Net Worth individuals, top City professionals in senior decision-making roles.  With assets in the UK or abroad, the profile of our Members is sophisticated and knowledgeable, with an advanced understanding of the world of business, investment and finance.  Is this you?

Our Distinct Business Model – We have Members, not Clients

We’re a wealth club with over 200 Members. And, we’re an exclusive group.  Members can only join through personal recommendation or a third-party introduction.  Why?  Because our Membership-only approach enables us to offer a higher and more in-depth level of advice and expertise.

How?  Through building positive working relationships and offering an outstanding service.

Whatever your goals and objectives, with The Route, everything is about the positive connections we aim to build with you.  Our role is to listen to and understand not only your arrangements, but also to recognise where you are now, and where you want to be.

Yes, we know that our competitors say this.

But, once you join us, you’ll notice the difference straightaway.  To illustrate, our structured Member Integration process includes a series of meetings, tailored uniquely to you, and you alone. Our guidance and advice will reflect your life journey thus far, and help you plan for the future.

Moving forwards, your financial commitments through us will be tracked and reviewed by your Relationship Manager.  Life changes.  So, the allocation and performance of your assets will be aligned to your developing needs.

To deploy an over-used but true cliché, we’re pro-active, not reactive.

Who Are You?

We’re with you in your life journey.

You could be in your mid-thirties, a High Net Worth individual with few life goals as yet.  Or, at a later stage in life, at the pinnacle of your career, growing your family and planning a secure future.  Alternatively, you’re anticipating retirement, starting to minimise your working week whilst maximising your income.

So, What Do We Do?

The Route supports our Members in four principal areas.  We offer a range of advisory services that are as broad as they are in depth, so do get in contact with us for more information.

The Route – Future

This is our regulated Independent Financial Advisory service, delivering financial and investment planning advice to help you make informed decisions about investments and savings.

The key words here are fully independent.  We’re a whole-of-market advisor.  Why is that important?  Because we’re able to recommend the products that dovetail precisely to your needs. We advise on:

  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), personal & private pensions, and General Investment Accounts (GIA)Risk-managed model and discretionary fund management portfolios
  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS)
  • Insurance and protection policies

The Route – Finance

If you are looking to grow your assets whilst diversifying your portfolio, The Route – Finance could be your ideal platform.   We give our Members access to short-term, secured loan investments.

With terms of no longer than 24 months, these are asset-backed loans with first legal charge over UK land and/or property, and security covering targeting 140% of capital, plus interest.

In the last six years, The Route – Finance has lent over £160 million and paid more than £15 million in interest to our Members.

The Route – Property

Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we offer custom borrowing solutions for your main or second home, including multi-currency mortgages and portfolio loans for Buy-to-Let properties.

The property market could offer you a strong opportunity to grow your assets and we’re here to help and advise.  The Route – Property also offers comprehensive specialist insurance cover for home and contents, rental properties, UK and overseas holiday homes, art and jewellery, and much else besides.

The Route – Income

We partner with a network of specialist tax advisors who have the expertise you need to help you minimise your tax burden, whilst remaining one hundred percent within the letter of the law.

In recent years, tax appears to have become more complicated.  And, these complex tax knots are unlikely to loosen in the years to come.  So, our aim is to help you make the most of every single pound that you earn.  Moreover, to help you fully understand your tax liabilities for peace of mind.

In Summary

So, that’s what we do.

This blog is a whistle-stop tour of our advisory services, and an introduction to The Route.  As experts in our field, we very much enjoy helping our Members not only to achieve their financial and life goals, but to visualise their future.  We find supporting our Members in this way very satisfying, on a professional and personal level. We deal with complex issues, but our communication at every single stage of our engagement with you will be anything but.

The Route doesn’t do jargon.  Just robust, long lasting working relationships that will stand the test of time. 

Look out for our next blog soon.

Hove Newsletter – March 2020

The next Hove lunch will be on 12th May 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic – Book here

In relation to COVID-19, we hope that the next Hove event will still be going forwards. As it is hard to predict what may happen, we will ensure to keep you updated with any further developments and information. 

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Sarah Hurst Portrait Logo - High Res_White (1)

Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

The truth about Vitamin A.

There are many ingredients in cosmetics that claim to be a miracle cure for ageing, sun damaged and acne skin.  It’s a market full of hype, so how do you work out the fact from the fiction?  Firstly, we need to determine what our skin needs to make it healthy and replenish it with these ingredients.  THE most important vitamin and ingredient is Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is vital for skin, eye and reproductive health.  Here we are looking at the advantages for skin.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this amazing ingredient and this is understandable.  If it was straight forward, I wouldn’t be writing this blog to try and clarify the matter.  Even in the skincare world itself, there is a lot of misinformation.  When looking at different treatments that we can introduce into our clinic, many of the companies say that “the client mustn’t use vitamin A products for a period of time before the treatment”.  Why not?  “Because it thins the skin and over sensitises it” is the usual reply.  Really?  Vitamin A is known to thicken the skin, so why is this? It comes down to the form that the Vitamin A is carried in and the strength of the Vitamin A.

I’d like to put the record straight here, without blinding you all with so much science that you fall asleep or just get completely confused.  Now, I’m not a scientist or even a medical professional for that matter.  I am an aesthetic therapist who has worked with skin for over 30 years and with vitamin A products for around 15 years and have seen the transformations that applying this ingredient to the skin provides.  However, in some forms, as much the skin can gain results from it, Vitamin A can sensitise the skin.

Medically prescribed forms of Vitamin A are often extremely strong.  The skin isn’t acclimatised to receiving so much of the vitamin in one go and therefore our skin tends to react. Medically prescribed Vitamin A is usually Retin-A and is using an alcohol base as its carrier.  We need Retin-A, but it isn’t needed on the surface of the skin, it is needed in the skin cells themselves for results.  By applying Retin-A to the skin surface it acts as an irritant, and the skin can get dry and sensitive from application.

We can get all the results from Vitamin A by applying it to the skin in the form of Retinyl Parmitate.  This has a fat ester as it’s carrier and is the natural form of Vitamin A found in the skin.  Retinyl Parmitate goes through a conversion process in our skin and the ultimate ingredient is Retin-A which is converted directly in the skin cells.  This means that it doesn’t act as an irritant in the skin surface and is much more easily absorbed and utilised.

By having a step-up process in Vitamin A application also means that the skin has chance to acclimatise before moving onto the next strength.  The higher the strength, the better the results, but not at the detriment of the skin being sensitised to too high levels without acclimatisation.  It is important to build up gradually.

On a final note a couple of key facts.  If you were to go out into the sun all day and seek to get a tan, then you would lose around 90% of the vitamin A in your body.  To replenish that then you would need to be in a darkened room for 5 – 7 days.  Therefore, surely it makes perfect sense to be replacing this most important ingredient to ensure that you keep your skin at it’s healthiest and avoid having a “vitamin deficient” skin.


Brighton Newsletter – March 2020

Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 we have had to change the format for the next Brighton lunch. We are embracing technology and taking the lunch virtual.

We are inviting you to attend our virtual networking event via zoom, completely free of charge.

Here’s how it will work…

On booking your FREE ticket you will be sent the joining instructions. During this session, the sponsor or their speaker will do a short 5-10 talk followed by each attendee doing a 60-second pitch. Following this, we will share the contact details of the attendees so that you can all follow up digitally.

We will transfer any paid for bookings to the next Brighton lunch.

Please feel free to share the invite!

Join our next zoom meeting here:



Harvey John

The future of indirect tax & what this means for tax recruitment

With consumption-based taxes becoming the tax of choice for managing austerity deficit levels – and with more major economies worldwide adopting this method of taxation – it is set to continue as a key revenue generator across global markets.

If we look at the OECD’s tracking of direct and indirect taxes, the global corporate tax rate (as a percentage of GDP) has almost halved from 46.6% (1980) to 26.5% (2018), whilst the VAT rate has shown significant gains. In 1977, only 25 countries had adopted VAT but, since 2019, this has surged to 168 countries.

According to the OECD, taxes on goods and services – which include general consumption taxes, VAT and other specific consumption taxes currently account for a huge 33% of total global tax revenue. With ongoing talks regarding a ‘digital tax’, paired with the suggestion of various ecotaxes to tackle ongoing environmental issues, the future appears to be in the hands of the indirect taxes.

The indirect tax market tends to thrive on political and economic uncertainty, which increases the need for specialists in both professional services and in-house tax functions. For example, off the back of ongoing trade wars, 2019 became a defining year for Customs & Global trade recruitment. Alongside this, with Brexit and digital tax obligations steering the agenda for tax functions, the volume of appointments remained high.

How has the Financial Services sector been affected? 

In the last decade for financial services, the level of corporate taxes has slowed down and there is growing speculation that VAT will become the standard method of taxation. Nevertheless, there will very likely be new complexities that will drive the demand for new skills in the industry.

Ultimately, the features of financial services are fundamentally changing. The verticals within the sector are no longer a clear line between products or services of traditional banks, insurers and asset managers. Instead, we are seeing ‘new economy’ entrants to the market offering more sophisticated FinTech, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, payment processors, and of course, cryptocurrency. Take for example the rapidly evolving digital economy – enhanced again last year with Facebook’s attempt to launch ‘Libra’ – which epitomises the pace of change (and thus reinforcing why indirect tax professionals will need to sharpen their tools when approaching financial services). And, with the application of VAT or GST looking to be applied to these digital products and services, we can expect to experience an increased demand for indirect tax skills.

The ‘Death of the VAT Return’

Where one traditional process of compliance and reporting falls into decay, it marks the genesis of a digitalised landscape of tax.

With fraudsters causing financial headaches for tax authorities (VAT revenue gaps hitting around €150 billion per annum) and the lengthy VAT return process being discouraging for businesses, it is no surprise that automation has become a priority.

Live digital transaction reporting has been sweeping through Europe and the rest of the world gradually for several years now, but 2019 certainly saw it garner the most attention. With advanced systems in place across LATAM, India’s introduction of e-invoicing for GST, Poland scrapping VAT returns, and the UK’s introduction of MTD, this growing list of live invoicing advocates has meant that the role of VAT compliance is now in a state of transition.

Whilst technology renders a core feature of the VAT compliance specialist’s role redundant, it shifts the skill set of one’s ability to secure ‘clean data’ and translate information to both the authorities and wider business. So whilst the rise in technology eradicates burdensome  processes through automation, it has created a calling for ERP, e-filing, and data analysts.


With the sweeping popularity of consumption taxes, and all the above considered, it is clear that we are at a moment of significant opportunity for indirect tax professionals around the world. Whether it be digital companies invading the financial services sector, or the automation of VAT compliance processes, we have started – and will continue – to see a sizable increase in the volume and variety of indirect tax vacancies. ‘Variety’ is the underlying message here and reinforces the notion that one must proactively adapt and acquire new skills.

Eastbourne Newsletter – February 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 27th March 2020, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM, at the Grand Hotel, sponsored by Humphrey & Co – Book Here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co


The December General Election meant that the Autumn Budget was delayed and we now know that Sajid Javed will deliver his first Budget on the second Wednesday in March which is when Budget day used to be!

We are expecting that the tax measures in the Conservative Party manifesto will be announced again, together with confirmation that changes consulted on last year will be put in place.

Key tax announcements to listen out for include leaving the rate of corporation tax at 19% and an increase in the national insurance threshold. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the planned roll out of the “off-payroll” working (IR35) rules to the private sector will be delayed.

The Chancellor is also expected to again announce a u-turn on the 2019 loan charge following a review of the legislation by Sir Amyas Morse.

You can follow us on Twitter for live updates during the budget humph_co and after the Budget has taken place we will provide a Budget Summary pdf.

Hove Newsletter – January 2020

The next Hove lunch will be on 10th March 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Sarah Hurst Portrait Logo - High Res_White (1)

Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

The benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the skin

I just love what Hyaluronic Acid does for the skin.  It makes skin simply amazing by hydrating and plumping out fine lines and wrinkles.  You hear me banging on about the importance of vitamins and anti-oxidants in the repair of skin and maintenance of healthy skin, but this time I want to really take a look at the features and benefits of Hyaluronic Acid and how exciting this molecule is for skin hydration and ageing.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is part of a group of substances called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) that assist in helping maintain collagen and elastin by retaining moisture.  HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water and by increasing the water in the skin then the result is a reduction in lines and wrinkles.  By increasing water and keeping the dermis at its optimum volume, this cushions our cells and structures in a protective gel. As our bodies are made up of 70% water you can see how important this is for really having a beautiful skin.

HA is important both as an internal supplement and external application as it has a high turnover rate.  It only last 2 – 3 days.  The results of a HA deficient skin?

  • Bruises associated with thin skin and ageing
  • The skin becomes more fragile and drier
  • Loss of skin density and flaccidity
  • Ageing of skin

Personally, I’ve seen many skins, particularly as we age, that are completely depleted in HA.  Levels of HA typically start depleting after the age of 40 and some over the age of 60 have none.  Dr Des Fernandes, founder of Environ, tells us more. “We break down about a third of our hyaluronic acid every day so we can easily fall into a deficit if we expose our skin too much to the sun. UV rays destroy it, this causes a thin skin with poor keratinocyte activity.” UV isn’t the only culprit for depleting HA but there are other external aggressors such as pollution, smoking and alcohol so it’s important to safeguard levels in order to achieve plump, youthful skin.

What are the benefits of a HA enriched skin?

  • Anti-wrinkle
  • Anti-nasalabial folds
  • Anti-ageing
  • Skin rejuvenation

“This has been achieved via soft tissue augmentation, improved skin hydration, collagen and elastin stimulation, and face volume restoration” states a team of scientists who recently undertook a review of research on HA.

There are lots of products on the market containing HA.  This isn’t a new ingredient, but it is still an exciting one as it really does work.  There is stacks of scientific evidence.  However, there is a caveat here.  It works only in the right molecular structure and ideally with either home devices that can assist in the delivery of these molecules into the skin or in salon treatments.

The majority of HA in the cosmetic industry is made up of molecules that are just too large to penetrate the skin – FACT.  So, don’t waste your money on something that is just only going to sit on the skin’s surface and give it a lovely glow.  If you really want to transform your skin, you need to look at products that are going to penetrate much deeper.

At Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic we have a range of solutions, from supplements to topical skincare, homecare devices to in salon treatments all maximising your skin with HA and ensuring that you fully receive the benefits of this amazing molecule in the skin.

Our official website is now up and running! Take a look – here

Brighton Newsletter – February 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be on 7th April 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Hotel du Vin, sponsored by Harvey John – Book Here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

100 years of female legal professionals

The close of 2019 brought with it a significant milestone. 100 years have passed since The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 allowed women to become (amongst other professions) solicitors, barristers, magistrates, and jurors for the first time. An advancement in equality and diversity in the legal workplace – yes, and of course rightly so – but is it cause for complete celebration? Has the passage of a century seen a fundamental and desirable change in the make-up of our legal professionals, at all levels of the legal profession?

It’s interesting to note that, at the time the 1919 legislation came into force, not everyone appreciated the significance it would have to open up innumerable employment avenues for women – particularly higher-skilled professions such as solicitors and barristers. Lord Buckmaster, an influential man of his time, stated : “Nobody thinks that this bill is going to flood the legal profession with women. It will enable a few women, who are peculiarly qualified, to earn an honourable living”.

If Lord Buckmaster was still alive today, he would surely be shocked by the inaccuracy of his own prediction. According to SRA data most recently compiled in 2017, 48% of all lawyers in law firms are women. Regarding the other staff working in law firms, women comprise 75% of the workforce. From my own experience practising as a Residential Conveyancing Solicitor, in a team of 10 solicitors, 70% were women. It’s clear that The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 has resulted in a fundamental change to the legal profession, far beyond what the law makers anticipated at the time.

Perhaps the most pertinent benchmark of equality and diversity in any workforce is to look at the most senior-end of the profession. Do the female 48% of all lawyers in law firms have fair, equal, and desirable access to partnership positions? According to the 2017 SRA data, 59% of non-partner solicitors are women, compared to just 1-in-3 partners. With this data, it’s clear that the passage of a century hasn’t yet resulted in complete equality at all levels of the legal profession. This is most apparent in the largest law firms (i.e. those with a minimum of 50 partners), in which women account for only 29% of those to have reached partnership status.

Looking forward, the trends are positive, and there are signs over the last decade that the gender imbalance at partnership level is reducing, and that female lawyers therefore have increasingly wider and open access to all levels of legal practice. It’ll be interesting to see how profound a change in gender equality there will be come the end of the next decade.

Hove Newsletter – January 2020

The next Hove lunch will be on 10th March 2020, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Sarah Hurst Portrait Logo - High Res_White (1)

Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

It’s fantastic to be sponsoring the ladies lunch clubs in Hove for the year and thanks for the warm welcome back.  Since I last sponsored the ladies lunches 2 years ago we have had a complete rebrand and are specialising in advanced skin and hair removal treatments.  I wanted to return to share with you our passion for the work that we do.

I’ve been in business now for 31 years, starting in 1989 with a mobile business, moving into a room in my home, a studio next to my home and now, along with our absolutely fantastic team in our beautiful clinic, which has now been open for nearly 5 years. Our vision is simple………..We want you to Rebalance, Repair and Restore your skin so you look and feel amazing.


From 2014- 2016 there were around 16,000 new melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK every year? That’s 44 every day

Melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK in both males and females.

Since the early 1990s, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have more than doubled in the UK with the rate increasing faster in men.

Hard-hitting facts hey?

It’s even more hard-hitting when 80% of these melanoma skin cancers are considered preventable.

So I would like to tell you about my journey in the industry, why we have rebranded and how to keep your skin healthy so you can protect your skin from cancer and to give you the confidence that we all deserve.

I want to start by talking about confidence.  Confidence was a big issue for me growing up.  I went away to boarding school from the age of 7.  I actually (on the whole) loved it at that age, it was like a big adventure, something out of Enid Blyton and as my older brother and sister had already left to be at boarding school themselves, the family unit wasn’t there.  School became my family.

Things changed when I moved into secondary school.  The security I had disappeared and friendships changed.  All at a time when we were hitting puberty as well so had that to also deal with.  I lost my confidence, which affected my mental health and I felt that no-one liked me.

Eventually, I recognised that the problem lay with me and I literally gave myself a good talking to.  One school holiday I remember well, I decided that I was going to go back with a much more positive mindset and basically “fake it until I make it”.  It’s easier said than done, but I did get through the rest of my school life and although I can’t describe them as my happiest time it was ok.

It was in my early teens that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in beauty and skin. Being decisive in my career choice gave me something to strive towards and stability that I craved, and it was a career that worked on how people felt about themselves.

A question I want to put to you…….How does wearing a new item of clothing make you feel?  I guess it depends on the item of clothing and each item has its own meaning.  That special dress that you wore to the party that makes you feel sexy, those jeans that you feel so comfortable in, the blouse that makes you feel business like.  Different clothes for different occasions and they can be changed and disposed of easily in this throw away world.   How would it make you feel if your skin was damaged, you suffered with acne or had excess hair growing in places you don’t want it to?  I have literally had people in tears when they tell me about how these conditions affect them mentally and how when we have transformed them, they leave the clinic with the biggest smile.

Your skin is your one biggest accessory that you can’t strip off and try and new one to suit your mood.  It is with you everyday and is the first thing that people see when they meet you.  You, of course, can change your makeup to suit your mood, which can enhance your skin, but that’s what it should do, enhance a beautiful skin.

When I discovered Environ as a brand about 15 years ago I resonated with the brand straight away. My sister had been afflicted with malignant melanoma in her late 20’s.  Luckily it was removed successfully but I was looking for a brand that could protect against this. Here were products that could achieve results in skin in a far more powerful way than I had been able to until now.   The reason that they could provide results is that they contain potent active ingredients that work to repair the skin. Being in my 30’s my skin was generally good, but it was dry and no amount of moisturiser seemed to fix the problem in a permanent way.  I started using Environ products myself before I decided to take it on as a brand and offer it to my clients.

The transformation in my skin was incredible.  My skin was typically really dry, but after a few months of using the products my own Natural Moisturising Factor had kicked in, that meant the active ingredients were actually working on repairing the skin that I had rather abused.  Yes, I had slapped myself with baby oil and literally cooked myself in the sun as a teenager, until I was so bright red that I was in pain and my skin peeled.   I know other people who have told me that they have literally lain down on silver foil in the hope to tan. Since when have we wanted to be a cooked chicken? Smoking hadn’t helped either.

As the years have gone on, I have to admit to adding new products, skin supplements and treatments into my skincare regime to ensure that I get stronger results. Skin changes, especially as we age and we need to adapt.  I was sticking on a maintenance programme, which was great and was maintaining it.  However, to get even better results I needed more serums in my regime and to take more skin specific supplements. The results that I achieved over the period of a year was amazing, the pigmentation and sun damage really reduced. It’s like someone took an eraser to my skin.  I now fit some treatments into my schedule and can honestly say that I love my skin.  Yes, I go out and buy clothes that make me feel great too, but I don’t get it when people don’t want to spend any money on their skin.  We can’t throw it away, it’s the only one we have and we often don’t take care of it.  It’s susceptible to wear and tear and we need to feed it what it needs to keep it healthy and glowing.  How many of you pick up a cheap moisturiser in the supermarket believing all products are the same and at least you are doing something with it?  Or choose the cream based on whether we like the smell?

Vitamin A is THE magic ingredient for our skin.  It’s what we all need to create healthy, young skin.  Here are the main benefits:

Photos for blog - benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A has a vital role in skin health as it has a direct effect on our cell DNA to ensure that only healthy cells are produced.  There isn’t any alternative.  It has been known for decades that Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin.  Wise and Sulzberger suggested in 1938 that the reason that sun exposed skin is wrinkled whereas sun-protected skin is not, is that the Vitamin A in the sun exposed skin had been damaged by sunlight.  Basically, leading to a chronic vitamin deficiency.  It couldn’t be proved at the time, but later research did go on to prove it.

Women also have an added disadvantage because blood levels of vitamin A drop when they menstruate, leading to more vulnerability to photodamage during this part of the cycle.

A scary fact for you: It has been estimated that if you spend a day at the beach and get a good tan, then you have probably destroyed more than 90% of the vitamin A in your skin.

To replenish this naturally you would have to stay in a dark room for about 5 – 7 days.

However, you can speed things up by applying the vitamin A directly to the skin.

Vitamin A is only part of the story for protecting the skin from the sun.  What do you think is the other? A good SPF.  This needs to be used all year round to ensure protection against the damaging rays of UVA which actually penetrate our skin much deeper than UVB and also cause cancer.  UVA penetrates our windows and is in our lights and computer screens.  Google the truck driver whose face has been affected by UVA.  It’s real and do important that act on this.

Skin treatments

We have lots of treatments that can make dramatic skin changes for many different skin conditions. This is the results of someone we are treating for pigmentation with a treatment called Cosmelan and this is the results after only 6 days and this will get better still.

before & after

Skin treatments aren’t the only treatments that we offer.  We also offer a full range of hair removal treatments, whether permanent hair removal, such as laser and electrolysis to waxing and threading.

Hair removal

Our mission is to treat the skin non-invasively with natural methods rather than injecting the skin with toxins such as Botox.  We have so many different treatments to offer these results and we can bespoke these treatments to ensure that we offer you the most personalised programme which suits you, your budget and the results you are looking for.  It’s not unaffordable at all and an Environ moisturiser at £48 is equal to many cosmetic brands on the market that really don’t impact the skin at all.  You’re probably using some of these brands already, such as Clarins, so it’s not a big change financially but a massive change on the skin.  If you were to sacrifice your daily coffee from the local coffee shop then you could treat yourself and your skin to a monthly treatment.  Treatments don’t have to be expensive either with a bespoke facial starting from just £50.  A homecare package starts around £200 for topical skincare, supplements and protective make-up containing SPF, £500 for homecare and treatments to £1000 plus for the crème de la crème.  We really can tailor it for you.  Ladies, think about what we can spend on meals out, takeaways and alcohol.

Here are a couple of other before and after images:

Before and after eyelid lift

before and after laser skin

If you fancy finding out how we can help you with your bespoke skin journey, then the best thing to do is book in for a skin analysis.  As part of the ladies lunches you are welcome to a complementary analysis worth £50.  Please just email us on contactus@sarahhurstskinclinic.co.uk and we’ll send your voucher to you.  We also plan on holding a series of events this year to showcase our treatments, so if you fancy being added to the database so you can get your invite then please also email us.

I love my skin and we’d love to help you love yours.