Loving the warmer weather? We certainly are! It’s great to see some sunshine and feel the warmth on our skin while enjoying the long summer evenings.
With the season change and warmer temperatures, it's important to keep your skincare at the ready to ensure your skin is kept clean and hydrated.
Therefore, In this post, we focus on our top heatwave essentials and the ingredients they include to keep your skin looking and feeling great throughout the summer.
You can’t go without it. In fact, a good quality SPF is crucial all year round as sunlight rays are present even on cloudy days. However, they are at their strongest on the hotter days, so it’s extremely important to protect your skin from the sun.
Unlike many others, ARK Skincare’s SPF is broad spectrum meaning it protects skin against both UVA and UVB rays. It also includes ingredients such as Sunflower and Hyaluronic Acid to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with Shea Butter to protect it while keeping it soft and supple.
You can find out more about why SPF is so important here.
Tip: Use alone or under make-up to create a perfectly smooth base for foundation application.
"Radiance Serum is a miracle in a bottle. Obsessed is an understatement!" Stephanie Pratt, Actress
Looking for a natural summer glow? This product is the one for you. Our radiance serum includes multiple powerhouse ingredients such as Red Algae to illuminate skin and reduce pigmentation, while Amino acids to help brighten. Vitamin C helps to boost the skin's collagen levels helping it to look energized and youthful.
Tip: Apply a few drops by patting them gently into the skin, or mix your serum in with your age intelligent moisturiser and apply together.
An essential in the summer months. Not only is this beauty mist great for keeping your skin hydrated, but it’s also the perfect product to keep in your bag for a refreshing spritz throughout the day to keep you cool. Active ingredients include Hyaluronic Acid which helps to hydrate and relieve dry skin, Amino Acids to lock in moisture and wild water mint - an antioxidant to keep skin looking healthy and youthful.
Tip: For an extra intense refreshing spritz, keep your beauty mist in the fridge!
A favourite of beauty journalist, Celia Walden's - featuring on her 'can't-live-withouts' products list, in the Telegraph Magazine.
Made with 100% natural ingredients, our rich and silky body oil is perfect to keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Sweet Almond Oil helps to keep skin smooth while Sacha Inchi Oil, rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, helps to lock in moisture and reduce redness.
Tip: Use all over the body. Massage into damp skin after bathing to lock in moisture.
Don’t forget to protect your lips, too! Our intensive lip treatment cream helps to hydrate, plump and protect the entire lip area. It contains clinically proven plumping peptides which increase lip volume appearance while keeping the area hydrated and supple. Perfect for extreme weather conditions.
Tip: Use alone or as a hydrating primer under lipstick.
To view more of our products, head over to the ARK Skincare website! Should you ever need any help or product advice, please send your questions over via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 740 3303 and we will be happy to help.
Ever feel like your skin needs a bit of oomph? Many things can affect your skin - your diet, environment, the weather, or perhaps not cleansing as often as you should. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this post, we focus on our top tips to help you achieve a natural glow this summer.
1. Start With a High-Quality Cleanser
ARK Skincare is passionate about cleansing. We strongly believe that it is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Always make sure to double cleanse to ensure you remove any airborne bacteria, pollution or dirt that is attracted to your face. It will also help the skin care products you apply to work their magic properly!
Tip: Start with ARK Skincare’s Pre-Cleanser and follow up with your Age Intelligent Cleanser.
2. Exfoliate Once Or Twice a Week
Another important step to a good skincare routine is exfoliating. This helps to buff away any dead layers of skin and reveal a bright, healthy complexion. ARK Skincare’s Triple Action Exfoliator includes Bamboo Particles which gently remove any grime from the surface while fruit acids and enzymatic action create exceptionally smooth skin.
3. Add a Serum
Choose a serum to help give your skin a boost with nourishing active ingredients. ARK Skincare offers a range of six, each specifically designed to tackle each specific skin concern. For our glow seeker’s, we recommend our Radiance Serum - it’s rich in vitamin C which brightens dull skin for a glowing, energised complexion.
4. Eat Well
We all know "healthy-looking skin comes from within". So make sure to choose foods which your body will thank you for. Experts suggest to “eat the rainbow” and pack as many colours as possible onto your plate to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy diet, (while remembering treats now and again, of course!)
5. Stay Hydrated
As we all know, drinking water is crucial. Not just for our skin, but our entire body. So make sure you’re drinking plenty throughout the day - especially in the summer months!
Give your skin an extra boost by using hydrating products. Take a look at our popular Hydrating Serum - the perfect cocktail for thirsty skin, or our Hydrating Beauty Mist for a spritz during the day.
To view our full range of products, visit the ARK Skincare website. Should you ever need any help or product advice, please email email@example.com or call us on 0203 740 3303. We'd love to hear from you!
Feeling fed up with dark under-eye circles? ARK Skincare has got you covered. Our Reverse Gravity Eye Cream is the perfect product to tighten your eye area and keep it hydrated. In this post, we focus on the powerhouse ingredients that make this product so special and how they work to fade dark circles and diminish puffiness.
Do I need an eye cream?
The skin around your eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes can increase the appearance of lines, wrinkles and fluids collecting under the eyes which can cause dark circles, so It's important to remember to give your eye area a pamper every so often too.
Our instant-effect eye cream does it all: reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fades dark circles, soothes dry skin and minimizes puffiness.
Beautifeye™ is an extract from the Persian Silk Tree which is proven to tighten and lift the crease of the eyelid and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It also helps to reduce pigmentation and reduce any puffiness.
Grapeseed oil is rich in linoleic acid (also known as Omega 6), an essential building block for ceramides - one of skin’s main moisturising elements that help to keep skin supple and healthy.
Grapeseed Oil also contains Vitamin E which fantastic for skin; it protects against environmental pollution and UV radiation, quenches skin with moisture and helps to soothe irritation.
This powerful ingredient is used intensively in cosmetics due to its well-known healing and rejuvenating properties. It contains antioxidants, enzymes, multiple vitamins and is also used as an anti-inflammatory. The perfect ingredient to hydrate and soothe your eyes.
This ingredient acts as an emollient that keeps your skin full of moisture and prevents dryness and irritation. Allantoin has a calming effect on the skin and is full of antioxidants to keep skin youthful, vibrant, and healthy. The presence of antioxidants in your skincare routine will always show in your skin.
How to Use
For the best results, use in the mornings and evenings. Gently warm a small amount of product between ring fingers and pat lightly around the eye area. Then massage in using the metallic ball. In the summer, keep your eye cream stored in the fridge for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Take a look at what our customers had to say!
2020 - "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
2020 - Finalist at Beauty Shortlist Awards "Best Eye Product"
"This cream is lightweight and soothing. Formulated to be used by those with even super sensitive skin, it also scores points for being vegan, cruelty-free and made in Britain...we especially loved the cooling metal ball on the end of the tube which can be used to massage the cream into the skin." - The Independent
Herbal Dynamics Beauty - What is Allantoin & Its Role In Anti-Aging?
Healthline - Grapeseed Oil For Skin: Benefits and Uses
At ARK Skincare, we are passionate about double-cleansing. We believe that a good cleanser and a good cleansing routine are two essential ingredients for healthy-looking and feeling skin.
In this post we are focus on our Skin Essential Pre-Cleanser & Make-up Remover and why keeping your skin clean is so important.
What is double cleansing?
Double cleansing is a two-step process to remove any make-up and bacteria and deeply cleanse the skin.
Why do I need to double cleanse?
You might be asking yourself if you really need to cleanse twice and the answer is yes! Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is essential for healthy skin. The first cleanse will remove any traces of dirt, pollution and airborne bacteria from the surface of your skin and the second cleanse will clean deeper into your pores.
By practising this routine you will be safe in the knowledge that your skin is nice and clean. If dirt and bacteria aren’t washed away, they can linger on your skin and contribute to early ageing, pigmentation and breakouts.
In addition to removing build-up, other benefits of keeping your skin clean are that it can help to prevent blemishes and even boost hydration. It’s very important to start with a clean base before applying any other products, the actives in your serum and moisturiser will not be as effective if they sit on layer of grime and dead skin cells.
This gentle and nourishing award-winning cleanser is the first step to our powerful cleansing routine. The multi-fruit lipid blend with Omegas 3, 6 & 9 dissolves every last trace of daily grime, excess sebum and make-up – even waterproof mascara – while nourishing and soothing skin with a blend of natural ingredients.
Margosa Leaf Extract - this powerhouse ingredient offers many wonderful benefits. It is used as an antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. It can also help to prevent acne and infection.
Vitamin E - Fantastic for skin; it protects against environmental pollution and UV radiation, quenches skin with moisture, calms and soothes, and helps with wound and scar healing.
Zi Cao - an Ayurvedic herb, which soothes sensitive skin and helps to calm inflammation.
Grapeseed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil - Help to deeply nourish skin and protect it against dryness.
How To Use:
Apply onto dry skin with dry hands and massage gently over the face. Add warm water to turn the oil into a liquid emulsion and continue to massage into the skin before rinsing off with water. Then follow up with your age intelligent cleanser and moisturiser to lock in hydration.
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!
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.
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: 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.
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.
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
2. Remember your fruits and veggies!
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
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
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
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:
Cocoons skin with hydration
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.
Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness
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.
A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy
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.
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.
Causes of 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.
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
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!
“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
"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."
"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
"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
"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
"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.
" 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.
"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
"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!
8 TOP TIPS
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.
“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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
- Vitality Hand & Body Wash
- Nourishing Body Lotion
- Hydrating Beauty Mist
- ARK Washbag
You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.
1. Online Workout Videos
2. Live Workouts
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...
3. Fitness Apps
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
- Conditioning Body Serum
- Rose, Geranium & Violet Travel Candle
- ARK Wash Bag
- Was £72, now £22
The Uplifting Care Package
- Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
- Vitality Hand & Body Wash
- Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
- ARK Wash Bag
The De-Stress Care Package
- De-Stress Serum
- Hydration Injection Masque
- Geranium, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Travel Candle
- ARK Wash Bag
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here
NHS - How To Beat Insomnia