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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 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

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!

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)

 

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 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

Product Focus: ARK Skincare's Intensive 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. 

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. 

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. 

     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. 

   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. 

 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.

              

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. 

        

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

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

Stormvoe - Favourite Cleansers For Different Needs

Stormvoe wrote a blog post about their 'Favourite Cleansers For Different Needs'. 
"I have been testing a few products from Ark, a British, cruelty-free skincare brand including this Conditioning Cleanser* from the Age Defend range specifically created for 30 plus skin types. Being in my thirties I started paying more attention on what I put on my skin and over the years I have found a handful of products that deliver. I’m always on a hunt for something affordable with good ingredients to make a difference to my skin. Not only does this cleanser remove impurities but it also cares for your skin. It includes Morninga oil, which contains Vitamin A and C. All of these prevent your skin from losing its moisture while making sure it’s clean. What’s more, Kiwi and Passion Fruit oils combined with Omega 3 fatty acids boost hydration levels and Blue Lotus extract improves skin elasticity and firmness."
"If you’re after something that is designed purely for removing make up this Pre Cleanse and Make-Up Remover* from Ark could be for you. It’s a definite step up from your regular micellar water type of product. Infused with a combination of fruit oils (kiwi, grape seed, avocado), Omega 3, 6 and 9, it dissolves dirt and make up thoroughly while being gentle and soothing on the skin at the same time."
*          *          *          *

Read the full blog post HERE
Shop our Cleansers HERE