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The Fabulous Pharmacist on health, skincare and how 'humans are so resilient'

By Sarah Finnan

April 7, 2020 at 11:05am

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Lovin has teamed up with Mum Talks to bring you 'Mum Talks From Home' this Wednesday April 8 at 8.30pm. It's a completely free online parenting event with speakers including Helen Steele, 'Fabulous Pharmacist' Laura Mulvany and parenting expert Aoife Lee. Register for your place here

Passionate about all things health, lifestyle and wellness, Laura Mulvany has used her knowhow to reach the masses and thus The Fabulous Pharmacist was born.

A practising pharmacist, many will better know Laura Mulvany as her alias The Fabulous Pharmacist. Having once described pharmacists as "the most easily accessible healthcare professional", Laura wanted to go one better and make her knowledge even more accessible still - creating The Fabulous Pharmacist as a means to share practical information in a fun and engaging way.

Speaking of how The Fabulous Pharmacist came about, Laura said: "Patients, customers, family and friends always ask me the same questions about medicines, illness and health. The number of friends that would text me with pictures of their babies' rashes worried and wondering what to do!

"So I decided to put the information out online so that it could be accessed by everyone. There is so much nonsense out there on social media and I wanted to dispel any myths with good, clinical, evidenced-based, unbiased advice.

"I feel I have always had the same role but my approach has changed - last year I started doing more 'stories' on Instagram rather than written posts. This was definitely a better way of engaging with my followers as they were able to put a face and personality to the page."

Having built up an online following of over 25,000, Laura's primary audience is women and she prides herself on acting as a source of comfort especially for mothers.

A mine of information on a wide range of topics - everything from mental health, asthma, skin concerns and constipation - she discusses medicines, natural therapies, healthy food, vitamins and exercise. In between performing advanced yoga poses and baking sourdough bread with her three sons. Her aim is to make everybody feel as fabulous as possible by inspiring them to lead balanced, healthier lives, always in a consistent and achievable way, and by avoiding short term crazes and fads.

That includes life under the current circumstances when spending so much time indoors can affect everything from our mood to our skin. Should we be taking supplements? Sleeping more? Sleeping less?

Luckily, Laura's advice is simple and easy to follow:

"Keep up a good skincare routine," she said. "Skincare doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg - the pharmacy brands are wonderful and value for money. Eating well, sleeping resting and exercise are essential for every organ of the body and the skin is no different.

"A vitamin D supplementation is good if you are not outdoors a lot as most Irish people are deficient in vitamin D, Omega oils are also good for the skin and especially important if you do not eat much fish or nuts, seeds etc. Don't forget folic acid for anyone of childbearing age (not specifically for skin concerns but rather to help prevent neural tube defects)."

As for concerns over sleep patterns, a warm bath with lavender oil has been proven to work wonders in Laura's experience. "The heat of the bath increases the body temperature, then when you get out of the bath your body temperature reduces. This reduction in body temperature causes sleepiness. A cool, dark, uncluttered room is a good idea too." Other useful tips include turning off technology, reading a book to wind down and having a warm drink such as milk with nutmeg or chamomile tea.

Laura Mulrany

With Covid-19 dominating our lives at the moment, this is a particularly worrying time for new mothers looking to protect themselves and their babies, but all the same rules apply.

"I can understand how worrying a time this is for parents. Handwashing, cough and sneeze etiquette, physical distancing and wiping surfaces regularly are your best bet. Also, good food, sleep, rest and exercise... Be kind to yourself and your mental health too by getting as much support as you can during these difficult times. There are lots of free online support groups such as breastfeeding support groups, parenting, exercise etc. Talk to friends, family on FaceTime try to keep up the social interactions that are so important for our mental health."

A big name online herself, Laura is well-versed in the social media world, however, she warns people to take health advice they see on the internet with a grain of salt. "I think you have to be very careful about who you are listening to. You need to be getting your health information from reliable sources and from people who know what they are talking about, from experts in their field. Our health is so important and there are lots of myths and untruths."

But as Laura says "humans are so resilient", and keeping spirits up is the key to coming out the other end in one piece.

This Wednesday, Laura will join the likes of parenting expert Aoife Lee and Helen Steele, as well as Mum Talks founders Kara Heriot and Lucy O’ Driscoll Edge.

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