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Self Care 101 - Our 5 Top Tips On Taking Care Of Yourself

Doesn’t it feel crazy to think that we’re halfway through the year? It’s pretty fair to say that no one predicted this is how 2020 was going to go and it’s certainly not been an easy ride. While many of our situations have been very different, we have all learned to adapt to the new ways of living and it's been rather unsettling, to say the least. 
But, we are moving forward. Small signs of normality are slowly returning which is definitely a positive step. However, despite it being what we’ve wanted to hear for so long, we know it can feel overwhelming at times - especially after being programmed to stay indoors and fear the outside world for so long.
With that in mind, we thought we would share our tips on how to practice a little self-care, be kind to yourself and remember to take some time out when you need to. 
    Image Title: 1. Share with others
Image: Two ladies sat on a picnic blanket in a corn field
 It can feel like a sudden shock to the system now that the world is opening back up again so it’s completely normal to feel unsettled or nervous. We just have to remember that everybody is learning to adapt to this change and we are never on our own. If you’re feeling isolated, reach out to a friend or family member and share how you’re feeling. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved! 
Image Title: Have a pamper evening
Image: A white bathtub with a bath tray/table with a cup of tea, candle and flowers.
Take some time out for you. Everyone feels a little better after pampering. Find some relaxing music or a good tv show and spend some time doing things that make you feel good. Whether it be indulging in a hot bubble bath, washing your hair, or practicing your skincare routine, spending a few hours focusing on yourself can really help to relax. 
Image Title: 3. Be kind to your mind
Image: White reminder card with hand written note which reads "mindfulness" on a window ledge.
With everything that’s going on at the moment, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious. As we mentioned earlier, this is new to all of us and can feel very strange at times, so it’s important to remember to be kind to ourselves while we adapt to this new way of life. 
Another thing to be mindful of is how much time we spend online. While being so limited with what we can do during the lockdown, many of us have reached for our screens. While they can be great a source of entertainment, it’s important to keep a balance and not compare ourselves to others and what they’re doing. Make sure you're following accounts that uplift you and make you feel good and steer away from those that don’t. 
Image Title: 4. Treat yourself
Image: Pink roses wrapped up in tissue paper next to a purse laid on a wooden table
It’s always nice to treat yourself to something nice once in a while. Find something that you enjoy like your favorite film or food. If you fancy something different, why not have a look online? There are plenty of small businesses that would appreciate your support at the moment. If you're feeling generous you could even buy a treat for a friend - it would be a lovely way to show you're thinking of them!
We have lots of luxury gift items which you can view here
 
 ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including 1 Vitality Body & Wash, 1 Nourishing hand & body lotion, 1 mini hydrating beauty mist and an ARK Skincare travel bag. Was £95, now £45. ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Duo including 1 Vitality Hand & Body wash & 1 Nourishing hand and body lotion. Was £58, now £38.
Image Title: 5. Keep a journal
It doesn’t have to be a daily diary if that’s not your thing, but simply writing down what’s going on for you during this time can be a great way to express yourself and get out how you feel. It might even be a keepsake to look back on in years to come to reflect on everything that happened!
Image: Wooden coffee table holding a cup of coffee, phone, sunglasses and a handwritten diary
Most importantly, remember to be your own friend. It's easy to feel anxious and under pressure in these uncertain times but we are all in this together and we will get through it.
Slow down, be mindful and make sure you take a break when you need one. Don't put any pressure on yourself to do anything you don't feel comfortable with and keep the conversation flowing with friends and family so you aren't isolated. You can always keep in touch with us over on instagram and facebook @arkskincare, too! We love to hear from you. 
Take care & keep safe! 
Image: ARK Skincare logo

How To Tackle Dehydrated Skin: Our Top 5 Tips

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

1. Say No To Steamy Showers

Image: Water streaming from shower head against white bathroom tiles

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

2. Remember your fruits and veggies! 

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

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

3. Drink plenty of water

Image: Slices of lemon floating in fresh cold water

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

4. Go easy on alcohol 

Image: Woman pouring a glass of red wine

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

5. Invest in natural skincare products 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

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

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

Hydrating Serum

Cocoons skin with hydration

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

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

Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

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

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

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

Hydration Injection Masque

A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy 

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

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

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

ARK Skincare’s Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit

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

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

References: 

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

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

Elle - Real Affects Alcohol Can Have On Your Skin 

Cosmopolitan - How To Hydrate Your Skin

 

How To Lift Your Mood

8 TOP TIPS

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

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

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

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

Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

Image of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack

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

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

Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Brilliant Banana Loaf

Tip Five:  Do a good deed

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

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

Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

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

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

Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

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

Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

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

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

Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

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

Was £92, now £45!

 Includes:

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

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

      References: 

      NHS - How To Be Happy 

      Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

      Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

      SELF - 13 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood

      Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

       

      Care Packages & Competition!

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

       

      Image displaying ARK products with a shop now button

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

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

      The Uplifting Care Package 

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

      Including

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

      Was £92, now £45

       

      The De-Stress Care Package

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

      Including: 

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

      shop all gifts here

      Want to include a message?

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

       

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

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

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

      April - Stress Awareness Month. What is causing you stress and how can you cope with it?

      Did you know April is stress awareness month? A month to become aware of what may be causing you stress, how it affects you, and how to adopt coping mechanisms. 

      It is possible to measure the amount of stress in your life and whether it is likely to affect your health. Doctors often use the Homes and Rahe stress scale which lists 43 life events which may cause stress. This can be very useful and interesting studies have resulted from it. However, it is also worth remembering that anything which puts a high demand on you can cause you stress, which can have negative effects on both your body and mind.

      When we are stressed Cortisol is released by the body. We have discussed Cortisol before as it can have very negative effects on skin causing skin sensitivities, break outs, and irritations. Cortisol is released as part of our fight or flight defence mechanism. It is not all bad as in small doses it prepares us for action. However, large or prolonged doses can have a number of negative effects on our health. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of Cortisol we release increases, and it takes longer for this potentially damaging hormone to return to normal levels, meaning we are exposed to it for longer, and negative side effects may be seen.

      The first step to managing stress, and reducing cortisol, is to acknowledge it. We can not adopt coping mechanisms unless we acknowledge what is adversely affecting us. There are a number of signs which can help us identify if we are chronically stressed. Poor memory, lack of concentration, only seeing negatives, as well as irritability, anxiety or a change in eating patterns can all be symptoms. Take the time this month to assess situations which may be affecting you and then find ways to cope with them. 

      Coping mechanisms can help us overcome chronic stress. Coping can be achieved by changing the situation you find yourself in, or by changing your reaction to the situation. There are a lot of well documented ways to cope. The key is to find what is right for you. 

      Top tips which have helped some of the ARK Skincare team:

      Laugh - studies have shown laughter can reduce the stress hormone Cortisol. Find something which makes you laugh and do it more!

      Exercise - symptoms of stress can be reduced by including physical exercise in your weekly routine. Just twenty minutes a week can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing according to this study

      Unplug - modern technology can seriously increase the amount of demands placed upon us. Take time to "unplug", turn off devices, and slow down. 

      Be mindful - take time to bring your complete attention to the present moment. There are plenty of techniques, find out more here


      Massage - Studies have found that regular massage can reduce stress and improve sleep patterns. There are many different kinds. Find a therapist here

      In summary it is key to remember to accept that stress is unavoidable. You can take steps to reduce your stress and learn how to cope with it, but you will never be completely rid of stressStress serves a purpose as a healthy response to overwhelming situations or perceived threats, and it can be dealt with in an equally healthy fashion. Remembering this is, in itself, a good coping strategy. 
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      Shop our De-Stress Serum: