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Give Your Skin A Good Night’s Sleep - Guest Blog by Hayley Hall

Image: Guest blogger Hayley Hall - headshot

Author: Hayley Hall, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

Sleep becomes a precious commodity as we age; waking up after a long and restful slumber could be the closest thing we’ve got to a fountain of youth, for it offers up all kinds of benefits to body and mind. We’ve all felt that sluggish, temperamental and irritable feeling that often accompanies a restless night - and we’ve all experienced the radiant and happy reflection that greets us in the mirror after a great eight hours between the sheets. Sleep is often overlooked as one of the most important elements of a great beauty and wellness routine, and best of all: it’s free! 

Although you shouldn’t completely neglect your beauty regime in favour of more time in bed, getting into good bedtime habits will have a long-term positive impact in so many areas. Research has shown that even one poor night of sleep can cause swollen eyes, dark circles, more prominent fine lines and even sagging skin around the jawline; a 2017 study* even found that two days of sleep restriction negatively affected the participants perceived attractiveness, health and even trustworthiness. Sleep helps us to feel good and look good too.

But why is sleep so important?

Image: Woman tucked up in bed behind white bed sheets held up to underneath her eyes

During the daytime our bodies are in ‘defence mode’, focused on protecting against UV and free radical damage, but as this need depletes overnight it can start focusing on the vital process of regeneration and protection. As the sun goes down our skin renewal rate almost doubles, collagen production rises, cell damage reverses and UV-induced damage is repaired - having a hugely beneficial impact on our complexion.

What are the beauty benefits of sleep?

If we regularly get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night we’ll undoubtedly benefit from a multitude of visible improvements in our skin. With more collagen skin appears fuller, more youthful and fine lines appear reduced, while adequate blood flow and drainage will ensure the under-eye area is less puffy and free from dark circles. Investing in your bedtime routine will undoubtedly leave your complexion looking radiant, feeling smoother and becoming more supple over time.

The secret ingredient for great skin.

Although sleep is vital for a healthy looking complexion, there is an additional ingredient that will help support your skin and effortlessly boost the benefits it can provide: a great night treatment.

During those eight hours of abstinence from food and drink your skin needs all the hydration it can get, which is why night creams tend to focus on delivering moisture within rich and creamy formulations. As our skin is in repair mode, it’s also a great opportunity to deliver potent ingredients that can aid that process and ensure you wake up looking refreshed.

Picking a great night treatment will not only boost the benefits of sleep, but help to deliver a sprinkling of added goodness too: the metabolic activity of skin cells is at its peak as we slumber, making it an ideal time to achieve maximum results from a targeted treatment.

A targeted treatment to suit your age and your needs.

Image: Group shot of ARK Skincare's Age intelligent cleansers with ingredients

Our skin needs change as we age, so using a targeted treatment to deliver exactly what it needs is the key to unlocking your best skin yet. In our teens and twenties skin just needs a little helping hand, with essential nutrients and hydration to boost clarity, so it’s important not to overload the skin; that’s why ARK Skincare keep the Age Protect range stripped back and as simple as possible.

As we reach our thirties and forties our skin is showing the first signs of ageing. ARK Skincare Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment features a multitude of active ingredients to aid the skin’s natural repair process to leave it healthy, glowing and youthful.

Free radical scavenging antioxidants and Vitamins A and E help to reduce the appearance of skin ageing; Kiwi and Passionfruit Seed Oils are rich in fatty acids and work to hydrate, maintain moisture levels and alleviate inflammation; Blue Lotus extract provides antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, while Shea Butter helps to alleviate dry, irritated and sensitised skin. The result is a beautifully rich, hard working and effortless night treatment that we know you’ll love.

By the time we hit our fifties, skin requires more targeted support for the established signs of ageing - and richer formulas to counteract the loss of moisture and hydration that occurs later in life.

ARK Skincare Age Defy Repairing Night Treatment features Hyaluronic Acid to maintain moisturisation, firm and tone, Blackcurrant Seed Oil (a natural source of Vitamin C) to help regulate inflammation and dryness, and Vitamin E to condition and protect skin. Borage Oil, incredibly rich in Essential Fatty Acids and Omega 6, helps to treat dry and damaged skin, while Goji Berry extract also provides detoxifying, fortifying and vitalising properties.

The beautifully rich (yet not heavy) cream helps to promote collagen production, improve hydration, boost firmness and elasticity, plus provides a visible improvement of wrinkle depth around the eyes in particular. It’s everything you need to look and feel your best.

Both the ARK Skincare Age Defend and Age Defy Night Treatments can be used right up to the delicate eye area too, delivering smoother and fresher skin. They’re vegan friendly, cruelty-free and have been recognized in the Beauty Shortlist Awards as the best in their category, while the Age Defend has recently been nominated as the Best New Premium Skincare Product in the much celebrated Pure Beauty Awards 2020 – a huge achievement for an independent British brand like us.

What’s the difference between a day and night cream?

Image: ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Defend and Defy Night Treatments

You may think you don’t necessarily need both a day and a night cream within your skincare repertoire, but investing in your daily routine will ensure you achieve the results you want.

The key purpose of a day cream is hydration and protection against the elements we face daily while going about our lives – which include pollution, air conditioning, central heating, blue light from devices and damaging UV rays (that are present even on British cloudy days!) A great moisturizer will provide the support our skin needs without weighing it down, acting as a ‘bookend’ to a great morning skincare routine. They’re also lighter in texture so are more suitable for use under makeup, and finding a great one can ensure a primed base that ensures you stay radiant all day long.

ARK Skincare Age Protect Skin Vitality Moisturiser offers the perfect balance of hydration for younger skin. Rich in antioxidants and an active anti-pollution system, it helps to protect skin to leave it looking clear, radiant and vibrant. Enriched with Avocado and Peach Lipids (rich in Vitamins A,C and E as well as Omega 9 fatty acids) to keep skin hydrated and soft, Olive Oil to penetrate deeply for skin cell regeneration, and Panthenol (a form of Vitamin B) to help soothe irritated skin. 

ARK Skincare Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser is specifically formulated to tackle challenges faced in your 30s and 40s, and is packed with natural moisturising agents such as Shea Butter and Olive Oil. Containing clinically proven wrinkle plumping peptides, including Matrixyl, it helps to smooth, plump and tone to diminish the signs of premature ageing. Vitamin A also helps keep skin strong, plump and increases collagen production, while Kiwi and Passion Fruit lipids boost skin’s moisture and Blue Lotus (a powerful antioxidant) boosts firmness and elasticity.

ARK Skincare Age Defy Nourishing Moisturiser powerfully combats the signs of hormone loss such as dullness, dryness, uneven tone and loss of elasticity. Hyaluronic Acid plumps skin to visibly reduce the look of lines and wrinkles, Blackcurrant and Borage Seed Oil contain fatty acids to deeply nourish the skin, while Red Clover is known to soothe inflammation. The rich, non-greasy texture helps skin to look healthier, firmer and more radiant.

Combining your chosen moisturizer with a pump or two of Ark Skincare Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer will finish your skincare routine while ensuring essential sun protection. UV exposure has been identified as a primary cause of premature ageing**, so it’s essential to integrate an effective SPF product into your daily regime – 365 days of the year.

ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tacker and perfect daytime solution, combining the benefits of a lightweight moisturizer with a hardworking SPF and a primer too. When layered over your moisturiser for added hydration and protection, it also provides a smooth and luminous base that’s perfect for makeup application; it’s all you need for long-lasting results and a look that looks immaculate all day long.

Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Sunflower extract deliver protection, nourishment and essential vitamins to ensure skin looks and feels its best. With clinically-proven skin benefits, offering broad spectrum defence against UVA and UVB rays to prevent sun damage and premature ageing, and with an advanced active antioxidant system to protect against the effects of pollutants, it’s a one-stop beauty must-have that simplifies your morning skincare and eases any skin anxieties.
If you want to simplify your routine or have a preference for more multifunctional products, then this can also be used alone as a quick and easy way to take care of your skin. It’s also great for travel, when you don’t have space in your case for your usual expansive routine!

Day creams are therefore lighter, and designed to be layered. Night creams, however, tend to be much richer in texture and focused on hydration and replenishment – delivering skin a boost as you sleep alongside targeted ingredients to help counteract the potential damage incurred during waking hours. ARK Skincare’s award winning night treatments have been specially formulated to work in partnership with their daytime counterparts, so to get the best results they should be used alongside a great morning routine.

Embrace the pre-bedtime hour: the perfect nighttime skincare routine.

Image of a white wooden bedside table holding an alarm clock and small plant

The hour before bedtime provides the perfect opportunity to take care of your skin, and your mind, while indulging in a little pampering ‘me-time’. Enjoying the ritual of removing your makeup and applying nighttime products will ensure you’re in the perfect space for relaxation and help you drift off to sleep with ease. It’s also a great time to apply all manner of creams, treatments and masques to help deliver your skin what it needs while it’s in repair mode – boosting our body’s own natural processes.

If you’re not sure where to start, then follow these easy steps for an ultimate indulgent nighttime beauty regime:

STEP 1: Lift away the day’s grime with ARK Skincare Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover. The multi-fruit lipid blend dissolves every last trace of excess sebum and make-up (even waterproof mascara) while nourishing and soothing skin with a blend of natural ingredients. Massage a small amount all over the skin, taking the time to work it in and lift away stubborn makeup, before washing away with warm water and a flannel.

STEP 2: Follow-up with a non-foaming pump of ARK Skincare Age Protect, Defend or Defy Cleanser to remove any last traces of grime, makeup or SPF while helping to nourish and protect even the most sensitive of skin. It’s important to double cleanse if you’re wearing any kind of makeup or SPF so there’s no kind of residue left on the surface of skin.

STEP 3: Lift away any dead or dull skin cells twice a week with ARK Skincare Triple Action Exfoliator - an innovative triple effect exfoliator with physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action to create exceptionally smooth skin. Skin is left feeling exquisitely smooth and fine lines and scars are diminished, making it a great way to boost your routine.

STEP 4: For a weekly pick me up, apply a generous amount of ARK Skincare Hydration Injection Masque – an intensive treatment that helps to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. Ideal for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance, this can also be left on overnight for even more skin boosting benefits.

STEP 5: Massage a pump of ARK Skincare Age Defend or Defy Night Treatment between your hands and apply across your forehead, cheeks and neck in gentle lifting motions. Suitable for even taking up to the delicate under-eye area, this will help to deliver what your skin needs as you sleep.

STEP 6: Your pre-bedtime routine doesn’t have to stop at your skin; take care of your lips with a small amount of ARK Skincare Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream. This intensive treatment cream helps to hydrate, plump and protect the entire lip area, while clinically proven plumping Peptides help to increase lip volume appearance and hydration. It also firms, smooths and reduces the appearance of vertical lines and wrinkles on the lips and the surrounding area – something that becomes more prominent as we age.

STEP 7: Finish off by treating your body to a generous amount of ARK Skincare Conditioning Body Serum and ARK Skincare Intensive Hand & Nail Cream, which both deliver skin much-needed nourishment and replenish essential vitamins our bodies need to thrive.

Now you’re armed with the knowledge, skill and products to take care of your skin all day long, your complexion will thank you.

ARK Skincare has recently had some exciting news. Our Defend Regenerating Night Treatment has been nominated as Best New Premium Skincare Product in the Pure Beauty Awards 2020!

Whilst you're here, we'd be so grateful for your vote - it only takes a minute! 

VOTE NOW!

SOURCES

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/beauty-sleep#1

*https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.160918

** https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3790843/

 

 

 

Ingredient Focus: What is Beautifeye™ & How Does It Benefit The Skin?

Ingredient Image: Silk Tree Extract

What is Beautifeye™?

BeautifeyeTM, is an extract derived from the Persian Silk Tree. The award-winning ingredient is proven to tighten and lift the eyelid and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

How does it benefit the skin?

1. It helps to lift the upper eyelid

Image: Showing the difference before and after using beautifeye on eyelids

BeautifeyeTM helps to support the dermal structure of the upper eyelid by boosting elasticity while supporting the walls of blood vessels so they are less prone to leaking and sagging, helping the skin to appear more youthful.

2. It can fight free radicals

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells. They can exist in our environment and can be generated from many different substances such as the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. The anti-oxidants packed within BeautifeyeTM can help fight the free radicals and reduce the damage they cause to our skin. 

3. It helps to smooth crow’s feet  

Image: Before and after of using beautifye on crow's feet (wrinkles in the corner of eye)

The multi-action ingredient can also help to plump the skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles made in the corner of the eye, (also known as crow’s feet). It also diminishes puffiness which is more common as you get older.

4. It reduces the appearance of dark circles

BeautifeyeTM can lessen the appearance of pigmentation under the eyes by reducing the intensity of red and blue colours which together, cause dark circles. 

5. It supports collagen production

It also supports the production of collagen - a protein naturally produced in the body which improves skin elasticity, reduces visible wrinkles, and increases blood flow to the skin. Boosting your collagen level can help your skin to glow appear more and appear more energised. 

ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

Product Image: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

Beautifeye is one of the powerful active ingredients we use in our Reverse Gravity Eye Cream. To find out more about this popular product, why not take a look at the product focus we shared recently here.  

 

References: 

Xtend-Life - Skin benefits of BeautifeyeTM

TruActivs - BeautifeyeTM

Today - What are free radicals?

 

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:

Product Focus: ARK Skincare’s Hero Collection

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Hero Collection box on a marble slate alongside 1 mini hydrating beauty mist, 1 mini pre-cleanse and makeup remove and 1 full size SPF.

In this post we're focusing on our popular Hero Collection. What does it contains and what makes these product so special?
This popular award-winning product is the first step in our powerful cleansing routine. 

How To Use: To achieve clean, fresh feeling skin, use this gentle cleanser to remove any make-up or simply ‘rinse the day away'. Massage in gently all over your face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Then follow up with your age intelligent cleanser.

Active ingredients: Grape seed, avocado and kiwi oil deeply nourish skin and protect against dryness, while margosa leaf extract destroys bacteria and inhibits its growth on the skin. Another ingredient called Zi Cao is a herb that helps to calm and soothe sensitive skin.
An intensively refreshing, multi-use beauty mist. 
How To Use: Use our Hydrating Beauty Mist as a toner before your serum or as a liquid moisturiser to give the skin an extra layer of hydration. Or use after make-up application to achieve a dewy finish. This is the perfect product to keep in your bag for freshening up throughout the day or in your gym kit for a cooling spritz after exercise. 
Active Ingredients: Optimum skin hydration is achieved by Hyaluronic Acid which reduces roughness, relieves dry skin, increases firmness, and allows flexibility.
Amino acids that mimic the skin’s natural moisturising function to soften and soothe. 

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer on a blue, sunlit background

Our top-selling hero product which consistently wins industry awards and achieves rave reviews. Our SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and moisturiser all in one.
How To Use: Use as your daily moisturiser in the knowledge it is protecting your skin from damaging UV rays; or use on top of your daily moisturiser for added hydration and protection. 
Active Ingredients: Our primer includes ingredients such as Shea Butter that has high concentrations of fatty acids which to keep skin soft and smooth. Vitamin E helps protect against environmental pollution and UV radiation, whilst quenching the skin with moisture.
Our SPF 30 Primer is also a broad-spectrum sunscreen which means it protects the skin from both UVA & UVB rays. You can read more about the science of sunlight rays and the importance of SPF here

 

Hero Collection product textures
"These three products were selected for the Hero Collection as individually they are powerhouse formulas, each delivering exceptional results. Plus, used together in a regime they provide three essential steps that any good skincare routine needs - cleanse, hydrate & protect. Making the Hero Collection perfect for long term lovers of ARK and first time customers alike."

Katie Sangers, ARK Skincare Director

 

Which other products would you recommend to a first-time buyer? 

If you are new to ARK, then the Hero Collection is definitely a great introduction to our brand. We would then recommend your age intelligent cleanser and moisturiser. If you have any specific skin concerns you'd like to tackle we also have a range of six Skin Perfectors you can choose from. 

You can find out more about all of our products on our homepage.

The facts about SPF, UVA & UVB - get sun protection savvy

From a young age, we’re all told to ‘remember your sunscreen!’ - but what does it do and why is protecting ourselves so important?

 

Image showing a field full of flowers during the sunset with warm sunlight shining over them.

What types of sunlight rays are there and how can they affect my skin?

UVA Rays
UVA rays are associated with skin ageing. 95% of these rays reach the earth's surface, causing short-term effects such as immediate tanning and possible sunburn. They affect the inner cells in the top layer of skin and are responsible for causing premature ageing, pigmentation, and are even linked to some types of skin cancer. 
UVA rays present themselves all day long, all year round. They can penetrate through clouds and windows too, so even on the cloudy days that you spend indoors, you’re still exposed and should always remember your SPF!
UVB Rays
UVB rays have shorter wavelengths, so only 5% of these reach the earth’s surface. However, they have a considerably higher energy level meaning their damage can be a lot more severe. Overexposure to UVB rays is what can cause your skin to blister and burn. It is also the cause for most skin cancers, so it is essential to protect your skin and ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk. 
 
Image showing rose-gold sunglasses resting on a sun bed with the ocean in the background

How does SPF work?

A sunscreen acts as a filter, reducing how much UV radiation we’re exposed to. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from harmful UVB rays.
 There are two main parts to all sun protection. The active ingredient and the emulsion. The active ingredient does the sun protection work and either absorbs or reflects the UV rays. 
 The sun protection factor is calculated by how much of the UVB gets through the screen.  The British Association of Dermatologists recommend SPF 30 is a good level to use to keep skin protected. 

What makes ARK Skincare's Skin Protecting SPF 30 Primer so special?

Product Image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer on a cream background next to a sunflower and vibrant yellow petals.
Our Skin protecting SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and light weight moisturiser in one. It offers 'broad-spectrum’ UV protection which means unlike many products, it protects from both UVA & UVB rays.
By making this part of your daily skincare routine, you’ll keep your skin protected without even having to think about it!

You can find out more about this product here.

References:

NHS - Sunscreen & Sun Safety

ColorScience -  How Does Sunscreen Work To Protect Your Skin?

The Explainer - What Does SPF Mean & How Is It Measured

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!

Image of staircase in house

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!

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

ARK Skincare’s New Night Treatments: Your Feedback

At the start of this year, ARK Skincare launched two brand new night treatments. (If you missed the big news, you can find our original post here!)

We’ve given you plenty of information about each of the treatments and how they benefit your skin while you sleep, but what does everyone think?

Since these products were made available on the ARK Skincare website, we have been so thrilled with the feedback that we decided to round-up all the things that people have been loving and share them with you!

Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defend night treatment

Clean Natural Scent

“It contains no artificial colours or fragrances so has a very healthy smell to it, one I personally love and one that’s not over-powering. You don’t need a lot as a little goes a long way and it applies like a dream, sinking in beautifully. My skin instantly feels plumped and hydrated.” – Tracey, Lifestyle Blogger (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)

 

 

Brighter, Softer Skin

“I’ve been using the Age Defend night cream now for 6wks. I’ve been using ARK on my skin for 4yrs, so I was very excited to get my hands on the night cream! It really does not disappoint. My skin feels amazing, it looks clearer, brighter, feels softer. It’s a lovely rich, nourishing texture without leaving the skin sticky & heavy like some night creams. It also smells divine & is a must now in my daily skincare routine.” Kate Hardy - ARK Skincare’s Resident Therapist 

Helps to Hydrate

Nourishing and healing…the ARK’s Defend Night Treatment Cream is amazing! Light, silky smooth and provides the perfect amount of hydration. Yet another beautiful product from ARK, thank you! Karen D - Customer 

Gentle on Sensitive Skin

“It calms down my Rosacea that tends to flare up with the cooler weather” – Annemieke, Beauty Blogger (@_beautyonreview)

A Great Under-Eye Treatment

“I simply cleanse and follow with the serum of my choice. I then apply and massage Age Defend Night Treatment in using my jade tool which feels amazingly therapeutic. The Night Treatment can even be used under the eyes as it contains Prodizia which helps reduce dark circles and eye bags.” - (@the_naughtyfortydiaries)

 

Image: Blogger content showing ARK Skincare's night treatments

 

Gorgeous Glow

“This lightweight formula and silky texture melts quickly into the skin adding a layer of much-needed hydration. Each morning my skin looks plump, hydrated and has a youthful glow which I am loving!” Sharon, Beauty Blogger (@backtoyoubeauty)

Leaves You Looking Rested

“I’m a big fan of ARK’s Defy range, so couldn’t wait to try the new Night Treatment. It’s rich without being heavy and I’ve noticed an improvement in skin texture in only one week of using it. I feel like I wake up looking more rested now!” Judith S - Customer 

Perfect for Dry Skin

“I’ve been using the two products each night and my skin feels lovely and replenished when I go to bed right through to morning. I have sensitive, dry skin usually but it’s been looking so much clearer as well as being brighter and more supple.” – Emma, Lifestyle Blogger.  (@Evenangelsfall)

Works While You Sleep

“The cream is nicely absorbed by my skin and in the morning my skin feels soft, nourished and looks brighter already. I feel that my skin is more hydrated too, making it the perfect night cream for the winter months.” (@_beautyonreview)

It is a simple, quick and effective routine that leaves my skin prepped for its beauty sleep. (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)

 

Gives The Skin Some 'Oomph" 

"When it comes to the colder months, my skin needs a bit more oomph in my moisturiser and this fits the bill perfectly" - Talonted Lex, Beauty Blogger

We were also thrilled to be part of Lex's February Skincare Shakeup on her blog which you can read here.

 

To view the night treatments on our website you can click here.

 

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...
 
Title: On keeping up with the news
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!Title: On keeping fit and healthyDog lying on its back asleep
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!
Title: on keeping in touch
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. 
Title: on homeschooling
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.
Title: On self care
Image: Lady sitting in a bathtub drinking a glass of wine
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.
Title: On keeping sane!
"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

Woman lying in bed asleep

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?

A cosy set up in a bed with a mug of coffee, a book and white cotton bed sheets

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

ARK Skincare's 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

Product Focus: ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

Review of ARK Skincare's Hand & Nail cream

How do you keep your hands soft and supple? - A good hand cream!

Without mentioning what is going on right now, it's easy to say that we're all adamant about washing our hands a lot more. While this is extremely important, it's very easy to let your hands get dry, especially in the cold weather. So, as a gift from us to you, we're adding in a free hand cream to every order placed over £5. 

 

ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

 

To help you to understand what makes this product a multi-award winning staple in our range, we thought we would share the ingredients that make it up, what they do and how they benefit the skin. 

illustration of a raspberry, an ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

Raspberry Seed Oil

Raspberry seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. It also contains high levels of vitamin E making it the perfect lipid choice for daily protection as it provides protection and moisture retention for the skin. 

 

Illustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

   Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter     

Shea butter melts at skin temperature, helping to moisturise the skin as it easily absorbed without leaving the skin feeling sticky. It is well-known for overcoming dry, irritated and sensitized skin and cocoa butter can help to improve elasticity. 

Illustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail CreamIllustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

   Kiwi & Avocado Oil 

Kiwi oil helps to maintain moisture in the skin and prevent drying and scaling. It can also help aid in the relief of itchy, scaly, irritated skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. The fatty acids within avocado oil have excellent moisturising properties that help regenerate and rejuvenate the skin. 

Illustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

 Grapeseed Oil 

 Grapeseed Oil is rich in both Omega 6 and vitamin E, which helps to moisturise the skin and give it the ability to bounce back. It is easily absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling soft and silky. This oil also contains a powerful antioxidant ingredient called proanthocyanidin. This antioxidant may even out skin tone when it’s used on your skin consistently.

              Illustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

Red Algae

Red algae is known for its amazing skin benefits including increasing moisture, moisture retention and promoting smooth skin. It also has the ability to block UV rays, protecting the skin against pigmentation, sun damage, and dark spots. It has also been clinically proven to prevent wrinkles. 

        

Illustration of an Ingredient in ARK Skincare's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream

Blackcurrant Seed Oil 

A rich natural source of Vitamin C, Blackcurrant Seed Oil is a powerful antioxidant-rich plant oil that contains therapeutic properties, making it a wonderful healing oil for inflammation. The oil's high antioxidant content helps to protect skin cells from free radical damage which can be caused by the environment. 

Press & Awards

ARK Skincare's award winning hand cream

 

Review of ARK Skincare's Hand & Nail cream

 

Click here to shop and claim your free hand cream now!

Award Winners!

ARK Skincare's Award Winning Products

We are delighted to announce that we were awarded 7 accolades at the Beauty Shortlist Awards last week.

The Beauty Shortlist Awards was founded in 2012 by beauty journalist Fiona Klonarides and went global in 2017. All entries are independently tried and tested to reveal the 'best in class' of global beauty, so we are thrilled to be recognised.

As proud winners, we wanted to share our exciting news with you and a little about the products which were awarded.

 

Best Daily Moisturiser WINNER

Agedefend Replenishing Moisturiser

 

ARK Skincare's Age Defend Moisturiser

One of ARK’s best-sellers & loved by celebs including Lisa Falkner, this treatment moisturiser is packed full of Olive oil and Shea butter to moisturise and protect the skin against UV rays. It also includes clinically-proven anti-ageing peptides such as Matrixyl which smoothes out wrinkles, diminishing signs of premature ageing, whilst Vitamin A keeps skin strong and increases collagen production.

How & When: Apply to cleansed skin every morning.

 

Best Day Skincare Product for age 50+ WINNER

Agedefy Nourishing Moisturiser 

 

ARK Skincare's Age Defy Moisturiser

Our best-selling product. This powerful moisturiser combats the signs of hormone loss such as dullness, dryness and loss of elasticity. Hyaluronic Acid visibly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and blackcurrant and Borage Seed Oil contain fatty acids to deeply nourish. The rich, silky texture glides on effortlessly, providing a long-lasting base for make-up.

 

How & When: Apply to cleansed skin every morning.

 

Best Face Mask for Hydration WINNER 

Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque

 

ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection masque

 

This intensive treatment is rich in hyaluronic acid which quenches skin, plumps wrinkles and restores skins vibrancy. It provides 24-hour protection against water loss and can be used as an instant boost to restore a healthy glow to stressed, weather damaged or travel-weary skin.

How & When:

Apply a thin layer to cleansed skin. Leave on according to the skin’s age and then remove with a cloth soaked in hand-hot water.

Age-specific leave on times:

Teens & twenties – leave on for 5 minutes

30’s & 40’s – leave on for 10 minutes

50s onwards – leave on for 20 minutes

Or use overnight as an intensive treatment.

 

Best Daily Use SPF Product WINNER

Skin Essential Skin Protector SPF30 Primer

 

ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer

Your skin-perfecting daily defence. This is a multi-award-winning hero and has clinically proven skin benefits, providing an antioxidant & vitamin boost, while also supplying broad-spectrum UVB protection. The airbrush finish allows make-up to glide on like a dream.

How & When:

Apply in the morning over your moisturiser and under makeup.

 

Best Eye Product for all ages FINALIST

Skin Essential Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

This gravity-defying treatment with BeautifulEyeTM from the Persian Silk Tree instantly tightens & hydrates whilst fading dark circles and diminishing puffiness. It contains Aloe Vera & Allantoin which calm and nurture dry, sensitive eyes and Amino Acids to boost moisturise levels and plump skin.

 How & When

Use morning and evening on cleansed skin. Smooth around the eye contour using the massage ball or ring finger if you prefer.

 

Best Night Skincare Product for age 50+ WINNER 

Agedefy Repairing Night Treatment

 

ARK Skincare's Age Defy Night Treatment

A night treatment specifically formulated for those in their 50s and onwards. Rejuvenates tired, damaged skin during the night, allowing you to wake up feeling rested and glowing.

The bio-active ingredients help improve skin tone and cell cohesion. Contains essential nutrients and the building blocks for healthy-looking skin as well as active plant extracts to regenerate the skin's barrier. Intensive rehydration ensures firmness and elasticity are restored while you rest.

How & When

Use in the evening. Apply to cleansed skin before bed.

 

Best Night Skincare Product for age 30+ WINNER

Agedefend Regenerating Night Treatment

 

ARK Skincare's Age Defend Night Treatment

A rich night cream, bursting with hardworking actives. Specifically designed for those in their 30s and 40s, this treatment is packed full of active ingredients which help aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep. Silk Tree Extract promotes the visible reduction of fatigue: dark circles, under-eye bags and dull complexion and Passionfruit Seed Oil, rich in essential fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to calm skin concerns such as rosacea and acne. 

How & When

Use in the evening. Apply to cleanses skin before bed.

You can view all of these award-winning products here. If you have any other questions regarding any of these products you are more than welcome to get in touch via email or call 0203 740 3303.

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

Pixiwoo's latest Blog Post all about ARK!

Pixiwoo's latest Blog Post is all about our Massaging Body Brush and Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil. They provide top tips on how to use the products and explains why they're a must have to your beauty regime. 

Pixiwoo reviews ARK's Massaging Body Brush and Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil.

"After only a few circular strokes you can instantly feel that your skin is softened. The bristles on the ARK Body Brush are very firm so you will find that you can only go over the same area for a few seconds. The brush also contains smooth flexible nodules, which work together to massage, improve circulation, remove dead skin cells and leave the skin visibly glowing."
Pixiwoo provides tips on how to use ARK's Massaging Body Brush and Body Beautiful Conditioning Oil and explains why they're a must have to your beauty regime.

"The body beautiful conditioning oil smells like a spa, it’s amazing and instantly promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s multi purpose and can be used as a moisturiser all over the body, as a massage oil or on the tips of your hair to treat fly away or split ends."

Order Our Massaging Body Brush and Conditioning Oil now: 

https://www.arkskincare.com/collections/body-beautiful

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Read the full blog post at: http://www.pixiwoo.com/
&
Check out Pixiewoo's Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/pixiwoo

Kathryn's Loves End Of Summer Beauty

Kathryn show us her 'end of summer' beauty favorites in her latest blog post. This includes our intensely refreshing Hydrating Beauty Mist!
Image of Ark's skin essentials hydrating beauty mist.
"I love products which serve more than one purpose, and the ARK Hydrating Beauty Mist (£25) is one of those gems. It can be used spritzed onto the face as a toner, sprayed after applying powder for a dewy finish, to refresh your makeup, to cool, calm and soothe the skin on hot days or when feeling flushed, and during exercise and refresh. This is an intensively refreshing and soothing beauty mist which has been formulated using bio active ingredients to hydrate and protect the skin and is well worth carrying in your bag on the go."
Check out Kathryn's blog and read her full post at; 
http://www.kathrynsloves.com/
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Order our Hydrating Beauty Mist now at;  
https://www.arkskincare.com/collections/skin-essentials/products/hydrating-beauty-mist-150ml?variant=35754158157
&
For the month of September 2017 if you spend £65 on our website you will receive a hydrating beauty mist FREE! 

Talonted Lex's 'Skincare Shake Up'

Blogger Talonted Lex shows us her 'Skincare shake up August 17 edition' and one of the products shes tried and loved has been our Skin Perfecter Anti-redness serum. 
"The ARK website (and brand concept) is enormously helpful to those who are a bit confused as to where to start when it comes to skincare, because you can either take a look at products recommended by age or by skin concern. They recommend that you pick your cleanser and moisturiser based on the age bracket, and any additional products based on the specific skin issues you want to target. With that in mind, I’ve been testing out the ARK Skin Perfector Anti-redness Serum which is a wonderfully light and easily absorbed product that has helped to soothe itchy or sore skin when my rosacea has been playing up, all while helping to keep my skin hydrated."
Blogger Talonted Lex tried and loved ARK's Skin Perfector Anti-Redness Serum.
Order now at www.arkskincare.com