Ever feel like your skin needs a bit of oomph? Many things can affect your skin - your diet, environment, the weather, or perhaps not cleansing as often as you should. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this post, we focus on our top tips to help you achieve a natural glow this summer.
1. Start With a High-Quality Cleanser
ARK Skincare is passionate about cleansing. We strongly believe that it is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Always make sure to double cleanse to ensure you remove any airborne bacteria, pollution or dirt that is attracted to your face. It will also help the skin care products you apply to work their magic properly!
Tip: Start with ARK Skincare’s Pre-Cleanser and follow up with your Age Intelligent Cleanser.
2. Exfoliate Once Or Twice a Week
Another important step to a good skincare routine is exfoliating. This helps to buff away any dead layers of skin and reveal a bright, healthy complexion. ARK Skincare’s Triple Action Exfoliator includes Bamboo Particles which gently remove any grime from the surface while fruit acids and enzymatic action create exceptionally smooth skin.
3. Add a Serum
Choose a serum to help give your skin a boost with nourishing active ingredients. ARK Skincare offers a range of six, each specifically designed to tackle each specific skin concern. For our glow seeker’s, we recommend our Radiance Serum - it’s rich in vitamin C which brightens dull skin for a glowing, energised complexion.
4. Eat Well
We all know "healthy-looking skin comes from within". So make sure to choose foods which your body will thank you for. Experts suggest to “eat the rainbow” and pack as many colours as possible onto your plate to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy diet, (while remembering treats now and again, of course!)
5. Stay Hydrated
As we all know, drinking water is crucial. Not just for our skin, but our entire body. So make sure you’re drinking plenty throughout the day - especially in the summer months!
Give your skin an extra boost by using hydrating products. Take a look at our popular Hydrating Serum - the perfect cocktail for thirsty skin, or our Hydrating Beauty Mist for a spritz during the day.
To view our full range of products, visit the ARK Skincare website. Should you ever need any help or product advice, please email email@example.com or call us on 0203 740 3303. We'd love to hear from you!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Feeling flushed? Suffering from persistent redness? It may be rosacea, which is more common than you think. It is, unfortunately, not something you can cure, but you may like to try our top tips for keeping it under control.
1. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays
UV rays are the number one cause of rosacea flare-ups, so it's important to use a good quality SPF all year round and ensure to cover up when in direct sunlight. Take a look at our SPF 30 Primer here - it's the perfect product to protect your skin and it creates a smooth base for makeup application too.
2.Consider the environment around you. Extremes of temperature and pollution can aggravate rosacea. Hot weather, cold winds, high humidity, and urban pollution can all be problematic. Keep cool, avoid steam, wrap up against cold winds, and protect from pollution.
3. Manage stress levels.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. This will help you not to put unnecessary pressure on yourself and help to calm your mind and body.
4. Keep well
Being unwell can show on your skin. Fever, coughs and colds, high blood pressure, and serious illness can cause rosacea to flare up. Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives. Consider taking multivitamins to keep well especially those with vitamin C and Zinc.
5. Wash your make up brushes
In an independent survey of 1000 people 44% said they had never cleaned their make up brushes! Several studies have shown that makeup brushes can be contaminated with dangerously high levels of bacteria, and in some cases carried more bacteria than was found on a loo brush! Clean those brushes to prevent skin irritations and redness flare-ups.
6. Go make up free
Consider having a break from makeup and see if your redness comes down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from makeup and your skin improves reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare-up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.
7. Avoid scent
Scent can be a major cause of skin irritation. Stop using perfumes and avoid facial, body, and bath products that are highly scented. Even some essential oils can be irritating to the skin, so it's important to choose products that are as natural as possible as these won't contain any harsh chemicals.
8. Alter your exercise routine
Exercise is reported by many rosacea sufferers as a cause of flare-ups. But don’t stop exercising! It is essential to your stress management and overall wellbeing. Instead, alter the way you exercise. Consider short blasts of high-intensity workouts rather than prolonged sessions. Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, but instead, make sure the gym is well ventilated and ideally air-conditioned. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. Try swimming. AND always keep hydrated. It is essential to keep your water consumption up.
9. Skincare Products can help but choose carefully. Select products that are created for sensitive skin as these will be free of known irritants and strong fragrances. It's also important to keep your skincare routine simple– “less is more” as they say. Don't chop and change your products either, introduce products one by one over a matter of weeks to avoid over-stimulating the skin. When applying products be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth. Resist the temptation to wash your face when in a power shower. The strong jets can cause sensitivity and redness to flare.
Our soothing Anti-Redness Serum contains a botanical complex clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, and regularly receives 5-star reviews. It has also been featured by Talontedlex, a popular skincare blogger who openly talks about her favourite products to help rosacea. You can find out more about this award-winning product here.
Controlling rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle. Follow these tips to help keep your skin calm. Don’t be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering. You can always chat with us on socials @arkskincare or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help and product advice. We love hearing from you!
1. Online Workout Videos
2. Live Workouts
Lots of celebrities and online influencers are using their platform positively by live-streaming with their personal trainers and inviting their following to join in too! A great way to feel part of something and get a real sense of community, while getting some exercise in too! Here are some ideas for people to follow...
3. Fitness Apps
4. Yoga & Pilates
If you fancy the idea of learning a new skill, why not give yoga or pilates a go? It has lots of different benefits such as increasing your flexibility, strength and posture. It can help to relax and calm the mind. One of our favourites is Karen Eccles @pilatesfromwithin, who is hosting live workout classes. A nice therapeutic way to start or end the day!
5. Get Creative!
You don’t need to commit to a whole workout to stay active, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself moving. Do some star jumps in the garden, have a dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times - that'll get your heart rate up! Improvise with what you have available. Who needs dumbbells? Grab a bottle of water or a few cans of beans!
We all know it’s very important to stay at home as much as possible at the moment. However, we are still allowed our hours of exercise per day which is worth taking advantage of! While keeping a distance from others who may be out and about, why not take a walk, run or cycle? Fresh air is still as important as ever to keep brain fog away!
7. Take your chair away!
Is sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is making you feel sluggish? Sitting down for long periods of time is thought to slow the metabolism and make us feel tired.
Why not create a standing desk to work at instead? Some say it can even improve productivity and focus as it keeps you more alert!
Wrapping Up With A Gentle Reminder...
While keeping active is great for both the body and the mind, please don’t pressure yourself. Lots of online content is all about being productive 24/7 at the moment and while that might be great for some, we must remember this time isn’t about becoming a fitness guru, eating kale for every meal or working 10 hour days. It's a strange time for everyone and the most important thing we can do is take each day as it comes and do what feels right for us. Whether that be going for a run or having a PJ day, all are important. Take care of yourself.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a natural ancient self-care beauty ritual, originated from China. This facial massage technique has been used for several thousand years to achieve skin health and provide a youthful, radiant complexion.
The natural therapy involves sweeping the skin with a massage tool. These strokes help to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage. With regular practice facial tension is relieved, the jawline becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, the skin is lifted and de-puffed.
How to use
Cleanse the skin and gently pat dry before applying your favourite serum, moisturiser or masque. Simply apply your product as normal and then use the tool to make sweeping motions over the contours of your face. The layer of product is important to ensure the tool does not tug at the skin.
You should work through this seven-step routine on one side of the face, then repeat on the other side, making sure to repeat each stroke 3-5 times. Repeat 2-3 times a week to see the full benefits.
- Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
- Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
- Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
- Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline.
- Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
- Under eyes - be very gentle in this area. Sweep from the corner of the eye to the hairline. Use less pressure than on the rest of the face.
- Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline
- Forehead - sweep upwards from the eyebrows the top of the head.
Clean and dry the tool after use.
What are the benefits?
This natural therapy can help to activate the immune system, allowing the body to speed up its natural healing process. Gua Sha is performed on the back of the neck, shoulders and mid-back where the lymphatic system and drains the lymphatics which assists in decongestion. This has huge benefits for cold and flu symptoms. Gua sha is an anti-inflammatory therapy, great for dealing with chronic pain and sore muscles. Additionally, it is able to firm the skin, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and plump skin to give it a youthful glow.
- Try keeping your jade tool in the fridge. This will intensify the cooling sensation, leaving you feeling refreshed.
- Use the tool to massage your head. Wiggling it against your scalp through your hair can help to relieve tension.
- Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to experiment. You may want to focus on certain areas more than others.
Our in house therapist Kate Hardy performs gua sha using our jade tool in her treatments, so we asked her to tell us what she likes about it and why she uses this particular form of therapy.
"I've been working the jade tool myself for several months now & have recently introduced it into facial treatments for clients. The jade tool really helps to stimulate the facial muscles. It's also great for increasing lymphatic drainage, helping the skin get rid of toxins. It gives the skin a natural boost with a lifting and firming effect, brightening the skin and reducing puffiness. It leaves you with a wonderful fresh-faced glow and is also super relaxing to do".
Where can you find out more?
You can view our Gua Sha tool here. Until the end of March 2020, this is also part of a discounted duo alongside our Hydration Injection Masque, saving you £17. This is part of our spring offers range which you can view here.
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)
“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.
The Science of Sleep
We all know how important rest is and the struggle we can face without it. So, what happens when we sleep and why do we need it?
Sleep is incredibly important as it helps the brain to function properly. Without it, we are unable to properly process what we’re told and remember things we learned throughout the day. This is why it can be hard to focus on what would usually be fairly straight forward.
Bad or little sleep can lead to many different complications. Some are physical, such as seizures, high blood pressure and increased likelihood of illness and infection. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Despite knowing all of the factors that are associated with lack of sleep, I was interested to find out what actually happens when we slumber. So, with that in mind, I went away and did some research of my own.
So, What Did I Find?
Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). It responds to light cues and ramps up the production of melatonin – a natural hormone known as the ‘sleep hormone’ which tells our body it’s night time. Once the sun starts to go down and we are exposed to less light, melatonin is released into the bloodstream and as levels begin to rise, we start to feel sleepy. (This definitely makes me feel less guilty about feeling so sluggish in wintertime!)
When we sleep, we experience a four-stage cycle. These cycles are often repeated 3-4 times during the night, depending on how good of a sleep we get.
This stage is the transition between being awake and falling asleep once we get comfortable, close our eyes and begin to relax. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.
This is when our heart rate and breathing begins to slow down, body temperature drops and our muscles may twitch. This stage is still fairly light and the brain produces sudden increases in brain wave frequency known as sleep spindles.
This is known as the “delta” stage of sleep due to the delta slow brain waves which take place. It is at this particular stage in sleep that the most growth hormone is produced to service bones, muscles and repair the body. At this point, it becomes a little harder for us to be awakened because we become less responsive to outside stimuli.
Stage four is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), the deepest stage of sleep which we usually enter about 90 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the stage where the brain is most active, the eyes dart back and forth and breathing becomes fast and shallow. It’s also when our dreams take place. Chemicals that are released within the body render it temporarily paralyzed so that we don’t act them out in our sleep. Each REM stage can last up to an hour and an average adult has five to six a night.
After some extensive research into the science of sleep over the past two years, ARK skincare has recently released two new night treatments. Each is packed full of active ingredients that help to aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling rested and glowing. You can find more information about these here.
This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here
NHS - How To Beat Insomnia
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 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 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
Press & Awards
So what does it mean to be Vegan? Vegans choose to stop eating all animal based foods, but also to adopt a lifestyle free from any animal derivatives. This isn't just giving up wearing leather shoes, it includes beauty products too. Did you know many cosmetics and skincare ranges contain animal by-products such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, animal fats, and gelatine. Vegans need to look for plant based skincare which is free from animal derived ingredients, and of course, to only use products which have never been tested on animals. Even if not following a vegan lifestyle, some may wish to choose such products as they can often be beneficial for those with sensitive, allergy prone, or easily irritated skin.
ARK Skincare's entire facial skincare line is suitable for vegans. If you wish to learn more about this please visit our website or give us a call. We would love to help you with your specific requirements which reflect your lifestyle choices.