Anita and the iffy Stiffy

What were you doing two decades ago? I was fighting a losing battle against acne. A little more ambitiously, Anita Roddick was changing the face of the cosmetics world with the opening of the first Body Shop. This now global phenomenon will be 20 years old next year, and the new Body Shop diary celebrates with lists of everything from the company's ideas (the Big Issue, for one) to goofs such as Stiffy hairspray - withdrawn, presumably, because it failed to rise to the occasion.

'The Body Shop 1996 Diary' from Body Shop stores, pounds 4.95.

It's all creak to me

No one knows why they work, but that hasn't stopped green-lipped mussels from gaining a reputation for helping to maintain joint mobility. If you're creaky, but don't feel that this is exactly haute cuisine, you'll be relieved to hear that the mussels are now available in capsule form, packaged in a pot with an easy-to-open cap (especially designed for people with arthritis or rheumatism). But remember the capsules are unsuitable for anyone with a shellfish allergy.

Seatone Green-lipped Mussel Extract, available from Boots, chemists and health food stores in 230mg or 350mg Super Strength packs, from pounds 4.39.

Turning over a new tea leaf

Aveda's New Age, feelgood approach to beauty is not just skin deep. Its Comforting Tea is formulated with liquorice root, peppermint, and flower and plant flavours to promote a feeling of "general wellness". You might not feel so well when you discover the price, though. At pounds 12.50 a bag, you may have little spare change with which to purchase that other well-known aid to an easy mind - a packet of chocolate digestives.

Aveda Comforting Tea, pounds 12.50 from Harvey Nichols, Dickens & Jones, Liberty. For other stockists, call 0171-636 7911.

More soya, less cholesterol

Foods that claim to lower your cholesterol level have made headlines this year. Now the humble soya bean joins the fray. Researchers in the US claim that eating soya products regularly can cut total blood cholesterol levels. Soya protein is also thought to help prevent breast and prostate cancer, and osteoporosis.

Skin care for the skint

According to Revlon, one in three women in the UK has dry skin. Its new Dry Skin Relief Intensive Facial Treatment products promise to rehydrate the skin without breaking the bank. The packaging may not win prizes for glamour, but the contents are ace when it comes to no-nonsense skin care. Stock up for winter.

The Revlon Dry Skin Relief Intensive Facial Treatment range consists of moisture lotion (pounds 4.99), moisture cream (pounds 5.99), cleansing lotion (pounds 3.49), cream wash (pounds 3.49).