Through a shared belief in science-backed rituals that help us to be at our healthiest and most radiant, we recently partnered with the award-winning supplements brand ARTAH to produce three exclusive collections: TLS X ARTAH For Skin, For Women and For Sleep. We wanted to find out more about the personal journey that led to the creation of these life-changing capsules, so we chatted to ARTAH’s founder, the industry-leading Nutritionist and Naturopath, Rhian Stephenson.
1. Rhian, what inspired you to create ARTAH?
I became extremely interested in health and wellness at a very young age. I was a sickly child – from the age of five or six, I was on antibiotics three or four times a year at least. I also had asthma, respiratory problems, gut problems and heartburn at a young age, and every specialist I went to see never had a conclusive diagnosis – they even suggested it was psychosomatic. Finally, when I was 17, my mum took me to a naturopathic doctor who was really into functional medicine, and he discovered that I had an allergy to casein, the protein found in milk. I cut out all milk products immediately and my life was transformed. I went from being sickly and having no energy to feeling amazing. I lost weight and went from being 30th in swimming to 1st – my whole life changed because of what I was eating. That’s what got me so fascinated about the world of nutrition and naturopathic medicine, and that’s why I decided to become qualified in it.
When I went into clinical practice, I discovered just how many people go through life feeling unwell, with symptoms that aren’t ‘diagnosable’ from an allopathic standpoint. You can go to a doctor for something and, although you might not fall into the criteria of illness, you still don’t feel well. That is the sweet spot for naturopathy and functional medicine. Being ill isn’t as simple as being healthy one day and having type-two diabetes the next – there are 10, 20, 30 years that lead up to that point. From a holistic standpoint, I like to look at all of your symptoms and how to optimise you. I look at what your body is trying to tell you so that you can work out what might be causing problems and figure out how to get your body on the right path. The foundation for health is nutrition, so I always looked at food first, and then incorporated supplements into my recommendations for all of my clients; good supplements can be truly transformative, especially if you’re able to flex them according to your lifestyle.
That said, if you haven’t worked with anyone qualified in nutrition or naturopathy, it’s pretty hard to navigate the supplement space. From a high-street perspective, you’re faced with a lot of synthetic preservatives and fillers, and dosages so low they are unlikely to make an impact, and from a practitioner-grade perspective, the formulations are rarely delivered in a targeted blend, which means the onus is on the individual to buy a whole host of individual nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and remember to take each one in the right dosages and at the right times, every single day. Like I said, hard to navigate. That’s what led ARTAH. I had always wanted to start the supplement brand that I had searched for myself and was hellbent on being able to help people get to the root causes of their ill health, and provide them with the tools to manage or fix whatever issues they were experiencing.
2. When do you feel at your absolute best?
Honestly, having two kids under three years old whilst also running a business means a whole new dimension of fatigue, so I’m happy these days with a good night’s sleep! In a perfect world, I feel my best when I’ve slept well, gone for a long run or workout, eaten a lot of delicious, nutritious food, and spent some good quality time with my family – throw in some time in a sauna and yin yoga and I would literally be in heaven. Most days don’t look quite like this, so I have to prioritise and, for me, the highest things on my priority list are time with my girls and my husband, sleep, and fuelling myself properly with good nutrition. Everything else is a bonus.
3. What are your favourite wellness rituals?
My favourite wellness rituals are those I can fit into my everyday and help me stay balanced. I take Cellular Hydration first thing upon waking to replenish electrolytes lost during sleep – it is so refreshing and really wakes me up, especially if I’m running into work or heading to a morning workout. I also religiously use my Boost LED Face Mask as soon as I can, especially in the darker winter months, as it energises me without spiking my cortisol (coffee now gets enjoyed after I’ve eaten breakfast). Later on in the day, I’ll rely on Energy Fix to keep me going through the working afternoon and the dinner/bath/bed saga with my kids, and finally, doing a little yin yoga before bed at night.
4. What does your skincare routine look like?
I’ve really focused on my skin in the last year because of how much it changed throughout the pregnancies, breastfeeding, and lack of sleep. I primarily work on my skin from the inside out, so I take ARTAH Skin Clinic, which has ingestible retinol, hyaluronic acid, coQ10, collagen peptides and other antioxidants that improve the metabolism and quality of the skin, and of course, Essential Omegas for Omega 3 fats for skin barrier function, membrane health and systemic inflammation. I’ve added in The Light Salon’s LED mask to work on fine lines and renewal, and since combining the two I find that I need less external product. I love MediK8 and use their C-Tetra and Hydra8 B5 in the morning. In the evening, I use a Sisley face oil.
5. When it comes to health, what one thing do you wish you could tell the world?
The food you eat has the power to change your life.
6. What’s your best piece of advice for women approaching perimenopause and menopause?
This time of a woman’s life can sound daunting, but it's a good time to tune in to how we're feeling and give ourselves permission to lean into a more supportive and intuitive way of living. It's the perfect time to set boundaries and really focus on our wellbeing. If our baseline is healthy and strong throughout this phase, it can help ease the transition from perimenopause to menopause and reduce the severity of symptoms; tweaks in our lifestyle including nutrition, stress management, supplementation and fitness can help make all the difference.
Although metabolic changes happen a little later in the process, women in their thirties will definitely feel the shift (it’s suddenly a little harder to get away with staying up all night and eating poorly). As we age, we all – men included – start to lose our sensitivity to insulin, but this is more pronounced in women because of its relationship to oestrogen. As oestrogen declines, so will our insulin sensitivity. The best way to combat this is, of course, ensuring our diet is low in sugar, refined carbohydrates and excess starch. But another key contributor is the amount of lean muscle mass we have. Maintaining good lean muscle mass helps us stay more metabolically fit by improving our glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity. Simply put: resistance training should be a definite fixture in your thirties and beyond.
In terms of supplements, I would always recommend Metabolic Fix for metabolic support and to promote insulin sensitivity, Essential Omegas for hormone support and inflammation, and lastly Nootropics for all things stress-related. Enhanced Nootropics comes with the added benefits of magnesium and methylated b vitamins, which are essential for health hormones, mood, and sleep, so can be hugely beneficial.
7. What gets you up in the morning?
8. What keeps you awake at night?
My kids! I wish I was joking! Beyond the girls, I think that every founder stays up at night with their mind on overdrive, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. There are nights when my brain is flooded with new formulation ideas, or I’m up reading new research papers, and then there are others where I’m overwhelmed with my to-do list and trying to mentally unpick the hundreds of obstacles we’re up against as a small business in big industry – it comes with the territory!
9. Any tips for those suffering from sleeplessness?
We start to shape our sleep quality from the moment we wake up, through light exposure, diet, stress, caffeine intake, and more, so if you’re having regular sleep issues, it’s important to look at your whole routine rather than just pre-bed tools. Getting early morning light is a game changer, even if it’s just getting outside quickly after you wake up. Incorporating Boost LED devices into your morning routine has a similar effect as it raises serotonin levels and regulates melatonin, which both contribute to healthy sleep patterns.
High caffeine and sugar intake can impair sleep quality, so reducing the amount you’re consuming will likely be helpful. In the evening, try to do something to wind down. There are the usual things like trying to avoid screen time and light stimulation, but it’s also good to do something that urges your body to relax, like mindfulness, Epsom salt baths or anything else you enjoy. I’m a very tactile person and respond well to things like bodywork and restorative yoga, so my favourite evening wind down is to get into a restorative yin post like legs up the wall post, throw on the Boost LED Face Mask or Patch and let my body relax. It only takes 10 minutes and I literally feel like a different person afterwards. If I need extra sleep support, I always use our Sleep Tonic, which has sedative and relaxing herbs that are amazing to help calm the system and support sleep onset without causing next-day drowsiness.
10. Do you have an energy-boosting autumn recipe you could share?
Pancakes are a real crowd-pleaser in my family, so this has quickly become one of my favourite weekend recipes – it’s delicious, super healthy and really fun to make. The added bonus? It won’t spike your blood sugar!
Paleo Pancakes with Berries, Coconut Yoghurt + Toasted Almonds
Makes 4–6 small pancakes
100g (1 cup) almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp psyllium husk (optional)
Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp olive oil
100-110 ml (1/2 cup) plant milk
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp flaked almonds *toasted
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Fresh berries of your choice
A dollop of coconut yoghurt
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Whisk in the egg, oil and plant milk gradually so no lumps form.
- In a crepe or large frying pan on a medium heat, melt some of the coconut oil. Once melted add a spoonful of the pancake mix. Once little bubbles begin to form on the surface, flip the pancake and finish cooking the other side for a further minute. Repeat until all of the batter has been used up.
- Top each pancake with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, some berries, flaked almonds and a tsp of cinnamon.