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How To Freshen Up Your Skincare Routine

Cleaning. One of those jobs that many of us often like to put off. However, while many of us have been spending more time at home, it seems to be the first thing on everybody’s to-do list - mainly just to keep busy!

 When talking about cleaning, the first things that often come to mind are our houses, cars and Monica cupboards...(if you know, you know!). But when was the last time you thought to clean out your skincare and give yourself a pamper?

This week we thought we'd share our top tips on how to freshen up your skincare routine to help you achieve clear, healthy skin!


1. Double Cleanse
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Age Protect Vitality Cleanser held over a bubble bath
Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality Cleanser

Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is an essential part of any good skincare routine.

Your first cleanse will help to remove any traces of airborne bacteria, pollution and build up. If these aren’t washed away properly they can lead to pigmentation, break-outs and premature aging -  no thank you! 

Once you’ve removed make-up and grime from the surface, it’s time to clean deeper with your second cleanse. Massage your product in for a minute or so to give your skin a thorough clean. Then follow up with your moisturiser

Take a look at ARK Skincare's Pre-cleanse & Make-up Remover - the powerful first step to our cleansing routine. Simply apply to dry skin before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. We also have a range of Age intelligent cleansers, specifically designed for each age group. 

2. Wash your make up brushes

Image: Make-up brush being washed with cleanser in the palm of persons hand

Don’t just invest in cleansing your skin - clean your brushes too! Dirty makeup brushes can be responsible for the transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi which can cause cold sores, acne flare-ups, conjunctivitis or worse. 
There have been a number of studies into how much bacteria can live on makeup and makeup brushes, and one test of 35 brushes showed 58% had high recorded levels of bacteria with 34% of them having dangerously high levels of bacteria on them. Alarmingly it was found that 44% of 1000 people surveyed said that they have never cleaned their brushes!
You may want to reevaluate how hygienic your makeup and makeup brushes are. It could be one reason for your skin concerns. Remember to think about how you store your brushes too. If they’re sitting in a grotty make-up bag go and give it a wash!
3. Be kind to your body 
Image: Water being poured into a pink glass full of slices of lemon.

This doesn’t have to be all about eating kale - we promise. Be mindful of your body by making healthier choices and going easy on sugary & high fat treats.

  Drink plenty of water, aim for your five a day and choose nutrient-rich foods to aid your body's natural detoxifying system and help your skin glow.  Keeping active during the day is also beneficial, (for both your body and your mind!)

4. Tidy up your skincare

Product Image: Range of ARK Skincare products displayed on dressing table
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality cleanser, Hydration Injection Masque, Triple Action Exfoliator, Skin Perfectors & Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

It’s easy to get lured in by pretty packaging and then find yourself with multiple bottles of various different products - but which do you actually use? Most of the time less is more, so choose wisely. Opt for products that use high-quality ingredients to nourish your skin. 

5. Practice good Hygiene 
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Vitality Washand Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Wash Duo 

Get into good habits - store your skincare in a place that you can keep clean and tidy. Aim to wash your make-up brushes regularly to ensure they aren’t spreading bacteria around and If you apply make-up with your fingers, wash your hands before each application to make sure they’re clean before touching your face. 

Try to opt for contamination-free skincare products too. These are jars that you don’t have to put your fingers into. If one of your products does come in an open jar, use a spatula to access your product rather than your hands. You don’t want to be putting any bacteria into your pot!

All ARK Skincare products are housed in contamination-free packaging to keep them hygienic. You can take a look at all of our products on our website.

References:

NHS - Eating Well Guide

The Fox & She - Detoxing Your Skin

Glamour - What Is Double Cleansing?

ELLE - Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

 

How To Tackle Dehydrated Skin: Our Top 5 Tips

Many of us are experiencing dry skin as lockdown takes its toll. Feeling stressed, taking less exercise, and spending more time indoors can all affect our skin. Here are our 5 top tips and favorite products to help keep your skin hydrated. 

1. Say No To Steamy Showers

Image: Water streaming from shower head against white bathroom tiles

A steamy shower can often sound tempting - especially when it’s cold outside. However, hot water can actually strip the skin of its moisture, leaving it sore, red, and irritated. Instead, turn the temperature down a little. Lukewarm water is always best. Moisturise immediately after bathing to lock in hydration. 

2. Remember your fruits and veggies! 

Image: Fruit spread of strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, oranges and kiwis.

A daily dose of fruit and vegetables is essential for your diet. There is a proportional amount of water in these foods that can be absorbed by the body, helping to keep you hydrated and give your skin the vitamins it needs for a natural, radiant glow. 

3. Drink plenty of water

Image: Slices of lemon floating in fresh cold water

Hydration starts from within. Like the rest of your body, your skin is made up of water. We lose a significant amount of water every day, so it’s important to replenish your body to allow it to function at its best. The NHS suggests you should aim for 8 glasses a day. 

4. Go easy on alcohol 

Image: Woman pouring a glass of red wine

One of the biggest effects alcohol has on the skin is dehydration. Consuming too much can lead to puffiness and inflammation. Alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar too, so overindulging too often can also lead to break-outs and dull complexion. It's important to enjoy a treat now and again but remember to stay mindful! 

5. Invest in natural skincare products 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Healthy, glowing skin is a great way to boost anybody's self-confidence.  When we look good, we feel great. Take care of your skin by opting for products with a high percentage of natural ingredients to help nurture and hydrate your skin. ARK Skincare offers three different age intelligent ranges, specifically designed for each age group, helping to achieve beautiful skin at every age. We also have multiple other ranges, such as our Skin Perfectors to help you tackle specific skin concerns and our Skin Essentials to help you create the perfect daily skincare routine. 

Here are some of our top picks to help you keep your skin hydrated:

Hydrating Serum

Cocoons skin with hydration

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Serum in glass bottle with pipette next to slices of cucumber sitting on a marble slate.

Our best-selling serum instantly hydrates dry, thirsty skin and locks in moisture. Ingredients include Laminaria Algae and cucumber extract which help to freshen and restore the skin’s texture and suppleness. Add 2-3 drops directly onto clean skin before moisturiser or blend with moisturiser and apply together. 

Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness

Image: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eyecream next to Aloe Vera on a blue back backdrop.

This instant-effect eye cream contains multiple powerhouse ingredients to help lift, tone and hydrate the eye area. BeautifuleyeTM, created from Persian silk tree extract, is proven to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, while Amino acids boost moisture levels to plump skin and minimize signs of aging. Aloe Vera helps to calm and nurture dry, sensitive eyes. 

Hydration Injection Masque

A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque on a marble slate with an orange half and vitamin capsules

An intensive multivitamin hydration injection masque to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. This rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

Rich in hyaluronic acid, this is the perfect product to drench skin with moisture and provide protection against water loss. Give your skin a boost with vitamin C to fade pigmentation, Vitamin E to prevent free radical damage and Vitamin B5 for smoothness. 

ARK Skincare’s Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit

Image: ARK Skincare's Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit Artwork, including images of ARK's hydrating serum, hydration injection masque and eyecream with a tote bag

For a limited time only, you can purchase these three products, plus a tote bag as part of our Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit for over 50% off. Click here to view on the ARK Skincare website.

References: 

Alyaka -  5 No-Nonsense Habits To Keep Skin Hydrated Naturally

Insider - Here's How Cutting Out Alcohol Can Affect Your Skin 

Elle - Real Affects Alcohol Can Have On Your Skin 

Cosmopolitan - How To Hydrate Your Skin

 

Living with Atopic Eczema: Our 10 Top Tips

Image: Girl wearing a white tank top scratching her sore red arm

What is Eczema?

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. It can affect any part of the body but is most common on hands, the insides of elbows and the back of knees.

  Some may have small patches of dry skin and others may have larger areas of inflammation. People who suffer from eczema usually experience periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe. These are called flare-ups.

Causes of Eczema

No one is entirely sure what exactly causes eczema but The National Eczema Association believes a combination of genes and triggers are involved. Those with eczema tend to have an overactive immune system and when triggered by a substance inside or outside the body, it responds by producing inflammation. This is what causes the red, itchy and painful skin symptoms associated with eczema. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms.

Here are our top tips for managing symptoms and keeping them under control.

1. Don’t scratch
Although it can be tempting, when you scratch or even rub, you can make the itch and your eczema worse. Some people scratch so much they bleed, and that's a setup for infection. Instead, try using a cold compress to cool the skin and apply moisturiser to avoid it from drying out. 
2. Keep a food diary
People with eczema can experience inflammation from eating certain foods. Common triggers are citrus fruits, dairy and gluten/wheat but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a note of what you are eating and be mindful of how/if your skin reacts. This can help to illuminate what causes your flare-ups and which foods you should try to avoid. 
3. Choose Skincare Products Carefully: 
Choose products that are advertised as “safe for sensitive skin” that won't include irritants that may affect your eczema. Stay away from products that are highly scented as fragrance can be a number one cause for irritation. People with particularly sensitive skin should always introduce new products slowly over a matter of days. It may also be a good idea to perform a patch test on the neck or inside of your arm to ensure your skin reacts well before applying to a large area. If you wash your hair while standing in the shower, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner is worth considering too.
4. Choose soft fabrics.
Material that is rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Allowing yourself to get too warm can make you sweat and cause a flare-up as well. Synthetic materials such as nylon, rayon, and polyester tend to be warmer which can cause itchiness and prolong the effects of eczema so are best avoided. Opt for soft clothes that are gentle on your skin and keep it cool.
5. Learn your allergens
Eczema may flare up when you’re around things that may cause an allergic reaction. These can be different for each person, so it’s important to be mindful of things that may cause you to react. Some of the most common allergens are: seasonal pollen, dust mites, fine fur from cats and dogs, mold and dandruff. Taking note of the appearance of your skin each day can help to identify things you should avoid.
6. Manage stress.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of yourself. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine.
7. Choose the right form of exercise
Exercising can lower stress, boost the immune system and help to keep you healthy. However, the downside is that sweat can also trigger eczema to flare-up. As sweat evaporates, the skin dries and is left with a salty residue that can irritate eczema and encourage you to itch. If you are suffering from a flare-up,  try low-impact exercises like walking, yoga or pilates. These can be helpful to relieve stress and give your skin a break.
8. Be aware of your environment
Many people with eczema become itchy if they get too hot. This can happen if you get too sweaty or layer up too many clothes. During the cold winter months, it’s important not to allow your skin to dry out from harsh winds, so always make sure to keep skin hydrated with gentle moisturising creams.
9. Avoid Hot Water
When your skin is irritated, a hot shower can often feel like a great way to temporarily relieve itching. However, dermatologists warn that this can actually make eczema worse. Hot water dries out the skin and causes it to crack and become sore. Turn the heat down and soak in luke-warm water instead as this will absorb into the skin. Moisturise straight after bathing to lock in hydration.
10.  Look after your hands
It is important that we wash our hands throughout the day to get rid of any nasty germs and bugs. With the current pandemic, we are all being encouraged to do this as often as possible to reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s important to take care of our skin too. Make sure to pat your hands dry as opposed to rubbing them as this can make them sore. Always follow up with hand creamYou can read more about how to treat sore hands here.

All of ARK Skincare’s products contain a high percentage of natural ingredients and are made without any known irritants, made with sensitive skin in mind. Find out more about our products on our website

References:

April Favourites

In the last few weeks, we have received some amazing product feedback so, we decided to round up some of the most recent reviews and share what everyone has been loving with you!

Age Defend Night Treatment 

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Defend Night Treatment on top of a velvet pink jewellery box next to a bottle of ARK's Radiance Serum.

“I am so impressed with it that I can’t imagine using anything else at bedtime now. Using this combination of products has my skin feeling soft, supple and brighter, protected against the harsh winter weather” - Even Angels Fall, Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger


“I've used the Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment most nights for nearly three weeks and I would confidently recommend it to virtually anyone who has skin. It feels a little bit indulgent to use, absorbs nicely and, so far, has made my face feel more hydrated and comfortable than it has in a long time.” Lippy In London, Beauty Blogger


"When it comes to the colder months, my skin needs a bit more oomph in my moisturiser and this fits the bill perfectly. It has kiwi seed oil (omega 3 fatty acids for moisture and to help the skin barrier), passion fruit oil (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory), Prodizia (for signs of fatigue), and CoQ10 (an antioxidant to help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)." Talonted Lex, Beauty Blogger

Age Defend Moisturiser

 

Product Image of a range of ARK Skincare products on a bathroom counter next to an Orchid.

"ARK Skincare is a brand I've reviewed and raved about on my blog for a while now and I cannot recommend their Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser enough (it's my favourite product of theirs, closely followed by the new Age Defend Night Treatment" Of Beauty & Nothingness, Beauty Blogger

"Now I must admit I'm always a little nervous about trying new moisturisers as I hate heavy products that feel too rich & worry that they will lead my hormonal skin to breakouts.  However, this product is anything but heavy & contains Co-enzyme Q10 & collagen-boosting vitamin A & despite the fact I initially pumped too much out of the bottle I was amazed at how quickly it absorbed into my skin & instantly left it feeling smoother & looking plumper."

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Travel Candle being held above a cosy looking bed sheet with its branded product box.

"I love candlelight. Something about it is so soothing. And better yet if the candle smells incredible. I’ve recently been loving the ARK Spa Aromatics Travel Candle. It’s small enough to take it with you on your travels so you can take your favourite scent with you wherever you go but big enough to have lots of burn time." Beauty Rocks, Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger


Gua Sha Jade Tool 

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Gua Sha Jade Tool laid on a wooden table with it's grey velvet drawstring bag

"At night, (especially when I was using the tool on my neck) I felt a lot of tension released.  That’s what sitting at a laptop for most of the day typing can do for you folks! I did – through repeated use (and I stress the repeated use) – notice a difference especially to my eye area – it did appear that my brows were lifted and my eyes were more open." Living Pretty Happy, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

Pre-Cleanse Makeup Remover & Defend Conditioning Cleanser

Product image of ARK Skincare's Pre Cleanse Makeup Remover and Hydrating Beauty Mist being held against a cosy looking bed sheet.

"I've been using these products for a few weeks now & I'm impressed with both.  The Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover effectively removes all traces of my make up, even when wearing a heavy smokey eye & when used with the Conditioning Cleanser I've found my skin has been left feeling deeply cleansed & smooth." My Midlife Fashion, Fashion Blogger 

 

Triple Action Exfoliator 

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator laid on top of a beautiful green pinnatisect leaf

 

"I’ve used the ARK Skincare Triple Action Exfoliator once and I adored it.

Once I washed the exfoliator off my face, my skin felt incredibly soft and smooth. This is such a satisfying feeling and I couldn’t stop touching my face. It reminded me of when I got a microdermabrasion treatment as my skin’s texture felt completely renewed."  A Womans Confidence Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger.

 

Skin Perfector Clearing Serum

 Product image of ARK Skincare's Clearing serum next to it's product box and a pretty pink rose, laid out in front of a branded ARK Skincare gift box.

" Before I used this serum, I genuinely used to use about four different ones to try and target different issues but this one does it all. It saves so much time only having to apply one product and I’ve definitely noticed a huge difference since using this serum. My pores are definitely way less obvious, it calms my redness and even my blackheads have reduced." According to Alice Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger. 

 

Skin Protector: SPF 30 Primer 

Product image of ARK Skincare's Skin Essential SPF 30 Primer next to it's product box on a white counter top with pretty pink crystals scattered around it.

"This went onto the skin beautifully and was super easily absorbed. I had been searching for a new daily SPF product for months and this is literally exactly what I wanted to add to my skincare routine, as I know it's protecting my skin from any harmful UVA and UVB rays, maintaining its youthfulness and overall health as well. "The "airbrush" finish allows makeup to glide on effortlessly and last all day long." Coconut Couture, Lifestyle Blogger

 

Skin Essential Reverse Gravity Eye Cream 

Product image of ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream next to a branded ARK Skincare box.

"Another award-winning product I have been enjoying using is the ARK Skincare Gravity Defying Eye Treatment. This product is amazing at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and help to fade dark circles and diminishes puffiness."  Juelook, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

 

You can view all of these products using the links above, or click here to go straight to the  ARK Skincare website!

How To Lift Your Mood

8 TOP TIPS

Image of a flat lay on a cosy duvet with a cup of tea, book and a candle

We all have our days where we don't feel so good and need a little bit of comfort. So, this week, we thought we'd share some of our top tips to help lift and boost your mood, for when you're in need of a pick me up. Remember you can always chat with us on socials too, we love hearing from you! @ARKskincare
Title: 8 ways to uplift your mood
Tip one: Reflect
Sometimes it can feel easier to push negative emotions away, rather than actually dealing with them. However, ignoring the way you’re really feeling and bottling things up can often do more damage than good.
Be kind to yourself. Take some time out and reflect on what it is that might be making you feel down. Perhaps sharing your feelings with a friend or family member might help. Or, if you don’t feel like talking, allow yourself some time to accept how you feel. Sometimes a good cry to a sad film can relieve a lot of built-up tension and make you feel a lot better!
Tip 2: Talk with others
Image of a girl holding her iphone, scrolling through her messages on social media
Chatting with friends or family members can always help to boost your mood. While we all know face to face interaction is limited right now, why not call or facetime someone you haven’t caught up with for a while? Start a virtual hangout and have your own ‘pub’ quiz with your best friends and favorite drinks, or get creative with an online game of Pictionary!
Tip Three: Get stuck into something fun!

Do you ever find yourself so submerged with something, then you look at the clock and hours have gone by? Find something you enjoy doing and allow yourself some time to have fun! There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied - a funny film or tv show, writing/drawing, puzzles, online quizzes, or even virtual games you can play online with friends! 

While they're a lot less chatty, if you have a pet, spend some time with them too! Animals can bring us so much joy with the little things they do and can be a great company when you're feeling low. 

Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

Image of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack

“The way to someone's heart is through their stomach!” - A tasty treat is always a great way to put a smile on someone's face. There are plenty of free recipes online, so why not have a go at trying one yourself? Baking can be a really therapeutic way of keeping busy for a few hours and as a bonus, you'll have an afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea! 

If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at these yummy looking recipes!

Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Brilliant Banana Loaf

Tip Five:  Do a good deed

Image of a laptop screen with a 'be kind' screen saver, on a desk with coffee and a plant

 Offering an act of kindness to others is always a nice thing to do. It can make somebody’s day and you’ll feel great seeing their reaction, knowing you’ve done lovely something for them. Ideas could be offering some help to somebody who is struggling, treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal or even showing a smile to a stranger. 

Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

Image of a brown acoustic guitar leaning on a while pillow on a desk chair
Having something positive to listen to is always a good way to lift the mood. Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs to put on or find something interesting to listen to. 
There are plenty of podcasts online where people talk about all kinds of different topics. 

For an all-round feel-good podcast, The Mental Makeover Podcast has lots of episodes on how to live a happier lifestyle, including topics such as the law of attraction, boosting your mood and improving your self-confidence. Definitely worth a listen!

Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

Although we all know the importance of staying inside at the moment, we can still get our dose of vitamin D! Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Even going for a short walk or standing outside for 5-10 minutes can help. Just don't forget your SPF!

Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

Image of a bath tray on a bathtub with candles, flowers and books

Taking some time out to practice self-care is so important for good mental health. Run a bath, pop a face mask on, grab some of your favourite body products and treat yourself to a few hours to yourself to relax and unwind. An early night now and again helps too - a rested mind makes anyone feel better!

Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

If you really want to treat yourself, take a look at ARK Skincare's new Uplifting Care package! The perfect gift to treat yourself or a friend to. 

Was £92, now £45!

 Includes:

  • Vitality Hand & Body Wash
  • Nourishing Body Lotion
  • Hydrating Beauty Mist 
  • ARK Washbag 
Mood board of the Uplift Care Package artwork with products and an image of a girl stretching as she gets out of bed. Title:  Energise your morning routine.

       You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.

      References: 

      NHS - How To Be Happy 

      Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

      Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

      SELF - 13 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood

      Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

       

      How To Keep Active Indoors

      Header banner with text: 7 tips to stay active indoors
      We hope you’re all doing well and are keeping healthy going into the third week of lockdown. Despite being a few weeks in now, we know it can still seem strange and feel tricky to deal with sometimes. During this time, we hope our content can help to uplift and inspire, or even just take things off your mind for five minutes!
      As lots of us are staying at home and are unable to be able to go to the gym or get as much exercise in, we thought we would suggest some ideas on how to keep active indoors. So, if you’re feeling a little bit stuck for something to do, this could be the post for you!

       

      1. Online Workout VideosImage of a woman sat cross legged on a exercise mat with dumbbells and smoothie

      There are thousands of workout classes on YouTube which are fab as they are free to access and you can search for exactly what you want. Whether that be cardio, strength, high/low intensity or even just some stretches, there is so much content to choose from.
      The channel SELF has some great cardio workouts, or, if you’re looking for something low-intensity, Lucy Wyndham-Read has a channel full of great “walking workouts” which are a great way to get you moving!

      2. Live Workouts 

      Image of Instagram app on an iphone

      Lots of celebrities and online influencers are using their platform positively by live-streaming with their personal trainers and inviting their following to join in too! A great way to feel part of something and get a real sense of community, while getting some exercise in too! Here are some ideas for people to follow...

      @thebodycoach

      @zannavandijk

      @nobsguides

      3. Fitness Apps

      Image of a woman practicing yoga at home on a workout mat
      Don’t forget about fitness apps! Why not have a break from scrolling through socials and find a workout to do on your phone?
      Chris Hemsworth has recently announced he is offering a 6-month free subscription of his fitness app Centre which you can find out more about here
      Fiit is another app where you can link your phone to your tv screen. You can wear a tracking belt during your workout and see your stats on the screen while you do your exercise. You can also invite friends to workout with you and compete for the most 'fiit points' which is lots of fun and a great way to increase your motivation!

      4. Yoga & Pilates

      If you fancy the idea of learning a new skill, why not give yoga or pilates a go? It has lots of different benefits such as increasing your flexibility, strength and posture. It can help to relax and calm the mind. One of our favourites is Karen Eccles @pilatesfromwithin, who is hosting live workout classes. A nice therapeutic way to start or end the day!

      5. Get Creative!Image of staircase in house

      You don’t need to commit to a whole workout to stay active, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself moving. Do some star jumps in the garden, have a dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times - that'll get your heart rate up! Improvise with what you have available. Who needs dumbbells? Grab a bottle of water or a few cans of beans!

      6. Walking/Running/Cycling

      Image of a person wearing trainers walking on the grass

      We all know it’s very important to stay at home as much as possible at the moment. However, we are still allowed our hours of exercise per day which is worth taking advantage of! While keeping a distance from others who may be out and about, why not take a walk, run or cycle? Fresh air is still as important as ever to keep brain fog away!

      7. Take your chair away!

      Image of a wooden desk with an apple macbook

      Is sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is making you feel sluggish? Sitting down for long periods of time is thought to slow the metabolism and make us feel tired.

      Why not create a standing desk to work at instead? Some say it can even improve productivity and focus as it keeps you more alert! 

      Wrapping Up With A Gentle Reminder...

      While keeping active is great for both the body and the mind, please don’t pressure yourself. Lots of online content is all about being productive 24/7 at the moment and while that might be great for some, we must remember this time isn’t about becoming a fitness guru, eating kale for every meal or working 10 hour days. It's a strange time for everyone and the most important thing we can do is take each day as it comes and do what feels right for us. Whether that be going for a run or having a PJ day, all are important. Take care of yourself. 

        Sources: 

      https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

      https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/health/health-advice/a31697332/staying-fit-healthy-self-isolating/

      http://theconversation.com/how-to-stay-fit-and-active-at-home-during-the-coronavirus-self-isolation-134044

      Care Packages & Competition!

      We could all do with a pick me up. Here is your chance to send yourself, or a friend, a care package to serve as a virtual cuddle. You can choose from our three options: Comfort, Uplift, or De-Stress. Order your favourite for yourself, or send it to a friend of your choice. Simply add the recipient's delivery address at check out.

       

      Image displaying ARK products with a shop now button

      The Comfort Care Package 
      Image showing a travel candle, body serum and travel bag

      Including:
      • Conditioning Body Serum
      • Rose, Geranium & Violet Travel Candle
      • ARK Wash Bag
      • Was £72, now £22

      The Uplifting Care Package 

      Image of body wash, body lotion and hydrating beauty mist, all with a travel bag

      Including

      • Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist 
      •  Vitality Hand & Body Wash
      • Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
      • ARK Wash Bag 

      Was £92, now £45

       

      The De-Stress Care Package

      Image of a Hydration Injection Masque, Travel Candle, Destress serum and Wash bag

      Including: 

      •  De-Stress Serum 
      •  Hydration Injection Masque
      • Geranium, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Travel Candle  
      • ARK Wash Bag

      shop all gifts here

      Want to include a message?

      Sadly we can not include personal messages at this time. However, at check out, you can sneak in a message in the name field. Enter your recipient's name in the "first name" field, and the message in the "last name" field. The name and message will be displayed on the address label. But keep it brief due to the limited space available, and make sure you put your details in the billing address section.

       

      Image of Name & address fields showing were to enter message at checkout

      Look out for our competition post on our Facebook or Instagram pages, tag a key worker in the comments whom you believe should receive a free care package. There are ten free gifts to be won. Competition ends Tuesday 21st April. 

      In your comment include the following:
      1. Their name
      2. A little bit about them and why you want them to win.
      3. Which of the ARK Skincare Care Packages you'd like them to win
      Please keen to one nomination per comment. You are welcome to nominate as many people as you like, but please do each one in a new comment.
      We're not asking for likes or follows, but do feel free to share so we can celebrate as many people as possible. 
      Best of luck!! 

      What We Have Learnt From Isolation... So Far

      The world has temporarily changed and we are learning how to adjust to our new way of life. Here we share tips to help us all get through this together and stay positive...
       
      Do not watch the news nonstop! Decide on one update a day and make sure it is a reliable source. Perhaps you enjoy a particular TV or radio news bulletin, or maybe you watch the daily government briefing? Stick to one, otherwise, it becomes overwhelming. 
      Do not lose your day to social media scaremongering! Now is the time to make sure you are following only positive social media accounts and avoid any inaccurate information. Social media will be so important to us to keep in touch over the next few weeks, but it can also be incredibly negative. Follow the positive hashtags #positives #postivevibes #positivenews #goodnews .. and maybe the odd cute animal site!
      It is really easy to slip into poor habits and to move only a few steps each day. Pick a time to exercise and stick to it. There are so many free videos and fitness challenges available on YouTube and Social media. No gyms required! 
      This is no time to start an extreme eating plan! Eat a balanced diet and make sure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Don't start panic taking new supplements, but perhaps a daily dose of Vitamin C will help. Also, ensure you get exposure to light rays for a short time each day to top up your Vitamin D levels. You can achieve this by sitting at an open window if you can't get out. But don't forget your SPF if you are in sunlight for any length of time!
      This is a great opportunity to check-in with old friends and extended family whom you may not have seen recently. Re-establish old links. A 'phone call now could really make someone's day. 
      There are lots of community groups starting up to offer local assistance. Check-in with your neighbours (whilst staying two meters apart) even if you don't know them, and make sure they are OK. 
      You can't become the world's best teacher overnight! If you are trying to work from home as well as managing homeschooling it is a pretty impossible task. Cut yourself some slack. Do the best you can. Use all the school resources provided but if you need to resort to online tutorials, videos, and films, that is fine.
      Remember that body brush you bought but never really used? .. Or a Jade tool you planned to learn how to perfect the art of facial massage with? Do you have other products you never really got to grips with? Now is the time. Create a great facial and body skincare regime and get into the habit whilst you have the time. You will see the physical improvements, as well as feel the psychological benefits of a good self-care regime. Plus there is nothing quite like a soak in the bath at the end of the day to ease away stress.
      "Keep a diary and someday it will keep you" Mae West was very wise... but even if you don't manage to create a best seller, writing your feelings down can be very cathartic and help you organise your thoughts and feelings. Getting the negatives off your chest is good but write down the good stuff too and focus on all the positives. It will help!
      Over the coming weeks we will be sharing lots of tips and ideas, and hopefully spreading some positivity. Our office is closed as our staff are now all working from home, but please do keep in touch via social media or email. We will get back to all messages in turn. Please share anything which has made you feel good and we will pass it on to the rest of the ARK Skincare community. 
      Our delivery service remains fully operational. All orders are processed in our distribution centre which is adhering to all the latest government safety protocols. Parcels will be safely delivered and left at your door. No signatures or contact will be required. If you have any concerns please get in touch office@arkskincare.com
      Stay home. Stay safe. Keep well.

      What happens when we sleep?

      The Science of Sleep

      We all know how important rest is and the struggle we can face without it. So, what happens when we sleep and why do we need it?

      Sleep is incredibly important as it helps the brain to function properly. Without it, we are unable to properly process what we’re told and remember things we learned throughout the day. This is why it can be hard to focus on what would usually be fairly straight forward.

      Bad or little sleep can lead to many different complications. Some are physical, such as seizures, high blood pressure and increased likelihood of illness and infection. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

      Despite knowing all of the factors that are associated with lack of sleep, I was interested to find out what actually happens when we slumber. So, with that in mind, I went away and did some research of my own.

      So, What Did I Find?

      Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). It responds to light cues and ramps up the production of melatonin – a natural hormone known as the ‘sleep hormone’ which tells our body it’s night time. Once the sun starts to go down and we are exposed to less light, melatonin is released into the bloodstream and as levels begin to rise, we start to feel sleepy. (This definitely makes me feel less guilty about feeling so sluggish in wintertime!)

      When we sleep, we experience a four-stage cycle. These cycles are often repeated 3-4 times during the night, depending on how good of a sleep we get.

      Stage One

      This stage is the transition between being awake and falling asleep once we get comfortable, close our eyes and begin to relax. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.

      Stage Two

      This is when our heart rate and breathing begins to slow down, body temperature drops and our muscles may twitch. This stage is still fairly light and the brain produces sudden increases in brain wave frequency known as sleep spindles.

      Stage Three

      This is known as the “delta” stage of sleep due to the delta slow brain waves which take place. It is at this particular stage in sleep that the most growth hormone is produced to service bones, muscles and repair the body. At this point, it becomes a little harder for us to be awakened because we become less responsive to outside stimuli. 

      Stage Four

      Stage four is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), the deepest stage of sleep which we usually enter about 90 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the stage where the brain is most active, the eyes dart back and forth and breathing becomes fast and shallow. It’s also when our dreams take place. Chemicals that are released within the body render it temporarily paralyzed so that we don’t act them out in our sleep. Each REM stage can last up to an hour and an average adult has five to six a night.

      ARK Skincare’s Brand-New Night Treatments

      After some extensive research into the science of sleep over the past two years, ARK skincare has recently released two new night treatments. Each is packed full of active ingredients that help to aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling rested and glowing. You can find more information about these here.

      Sources

      This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here 

      NHS - How To Beat Insomnia

      Jenna Suth - Age Protect Review

      Jenna Suth wrote a review all about our Age Protect range. "Two products that are key in my skincare are a cleanser and a moisturiser. I need something to wash away my makeup each day without drying out my already dehydrated skin and keeping my skin clear and soft. I also need a moisturiser that I can use day or night that hydrates my skin and protects my sensitive skin. I'm certainly not getting any younger and more and more often we're encouraged to start using anti-aging products but picking the right one for your skin isn't particularly easy, well, unless you take some advice from ARK Skincare."
      "When it comes to cleansing my skin I've tried a few different styles of products, from hot cloth cleansers to an oil or a balm. I must admit my favourite tends to be whatever is the least hassle but I also want something that's going to work properly. The Age Protect Skin Clear Cleanser is a soap free cleanser with no parabens and natural ingredients that are designed for younger skin. It's all about tackling acne with Oat Amino Acids and horsetail, and reducing skin damage with Vitamin E."
      "The ARK Age Protect Vitality Moisturiser has a long list of natural ingredients including Vitamins A, C and E, avocado and marine algae. It's designed to be hydrating without being suffocating, to protect while leaving your skin clear and radiant. It's definitely one of the most calming moisturisers I've used but still helps tackle my dry skin. I've been using this on my face after the cleanser at night time and again in the morning to leave my skin soft and ready for the day. The moisturiser is £35 so a little more expensive than the cleanser and obviously not comparable to drugstore prices but similar to a few high end skincare products I've used in the past."
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      Shop our Age Protect range HERE
      Read the full blog post HERE

      MOONLIGHT MEL - ARK SKINCARE

       Moonlight Mel tried out our Age Protect Range . About the Age Protect Skin Clear Cleanser she said; "I really love this cleanser, firstly I just love the smell, it has a lovely fresh herbal smell that smells natural. The cleanser is a little thicker than most cleansers I have tried but for me, it makes it easier to work with. I simply wash my face in the sink with warm water then apply this generously on my face gently in a circular motion, then wash off with warm water. It's best to dry the skin with a soft towel. I love this cleanser so far as my skin feels rather refreshed after using this. I do think the price of £25 is very fair considering you get a decent amount of product, it works and it smells gorgeous!"
      Mel also loved the Age Protect Skin Vitality Moisturiser; "This has a lovely refreshing natural smell and the moisturiser itself...is very thick, so you can see that a little will go a long way. It melts and blends into the skin effortlessly leaving skin feeling hydrated and soft. It costs £35 which is a good value for the amount you get and a little goes a long way. I would get this again for sure." She also particularly loved the pump mechanism, "Not only does it give the right amount of product each time but it also acts like a vacuum so no product is wasted. The vitality moisturiser offers the perfect level of hydration for younger skin."
      Mel has yet to try the Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover, however she thinks that "This is a wonderful product as it is a pre cleanser and also a makeup remover....I am looking forward to trying it out."
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      Read the full blog post HERE
      Shop our Age Protect Range HERE
      Shop our Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover HERE