Glow by Kate O’Brien

Kate O’Brien is a writer and author with professional qualifications in nutritional and cosmetic science who writes generously with her knowledge and expertise.

Glow is her latest book and a complete four-week guide to healthy, radiant skin starting from the inside out. Which, as we all know, is the way to a beautiful complexion.

Having previously authored Your middle Years: Live Them, Love Them, Own Them, the famous Coco Chanel quote, at the book’s beginning is apt. “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty, it up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”

Readers will connect to the relevant advice from someone who is not impossibly young and flogging some internet-sponsored life. This is a book written by a dedicated woman to women, for women.

Kate O’Brien actually uses and trusts all the recommended, methods, products and delicious recipes in her book and her glowing skin is the result of these good habits and not the illusory combination of youth, lighting and Photoshop.

The first part of the book is a no-nonsense outline of skin and its functions, the big effective beauty ingredients, what they are and what they do. She discusses only the best ingredients that work, both longstanders such as retinol and Vitamin C and newbies like hyaluronic acid and ingestible beauty powders.

Surprisingly, there is no mention of gadgets such as the LED or microcurrent devices but O’Brien’s mission is to give everyday, accessible advice and perhaps she herself doesn’t use them, rate them or considers them beyond most people’s budget.

This is followed by skin stressors what are they and how to overcome them – environment, stress, alcohol and areas such as gut health and getting enough sleep.

Part two is then a very practical, doable four-week plan to getting the glow. She helpfully lists essential kitchen and bathroom items, along with some of the best skin tips. Don’t skip meals. Read labels. And the best glow foods – unpastuerised apple cider vinegar, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, seaweeds and fermented foods all feature among the plant-based list.

Don’t worry, of course, it includes the nothing-it-can’t-do avocado (Yes, we’re beginning to wonder, can it pay the mortgage too?)

Part three houses the recipes. Nothing is fussy and she covers meals, snacks, dressings and dips along with teas, juices and ferments.A total beginner or the very lazy could make all of them.

She has been very conscientious, it is not a cookbook and therefore while the food ingested is vital to getting the glow, the reader of this book may not be a culinary type and so no recipe requires huge skill or deep interest in food, though the reader may find themselves becoming far more interested in what they buy and eat and learning how to cook using this section.

All are genuinely tasty recipes, thoughtfully combining flavours and the health benefits of the food. All of them are easy to prepare and healthy. Getting the glow has never been so pleasurable and the book is a delight in that it does not peddle brands, only recommends what the author truly believes in from experience and results. Glow keeps the quest for beauty, at all ages, real, pleasurable and attainable.

Glow by Kate O’Brien, Gill Books, hardback €19.99.