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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/

 

 

 

5 Top Tips To Get Your Summer Glow

Image: Woman sat on the side of a pool dipping her feet into the water

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's Age Intelligent Cleansers

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

Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator on a white background

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

Image: ARK Skincare's Radiance 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 

Image: Colourful plate of vegetables, fruits and nuts


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

Image: water being poured into a pink glass with ice and lemon.

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 office@arkskincare.com or call us on 0203 740 3303. We'd love to hear from you! 

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: A flatlay of different fruits and vegetables

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

 

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 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: Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack next to a mug of milk

“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

       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

      Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

       

      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)

       

      Kate Hardy, ARK Skincare's Resident therapist's positive feedback on ARK's night treatments

       

      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)

       

      Talonted Lex, beauty blogger

      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.

      ARK skincare's night treatments with ingredients

       

      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

      Vegan Skincare

      ARK Skincare rabbit representing the brand ethos
      Adopting a vegan lifestyle has become increasingly popular due to perceived health benefits, as well as environmental and animal welfare considerations. The endorsement of this way of life by celebrities, and the introduction of vegan ranges by many high street supermarkets, plus the availability of vegan friendly lifestyle products, mean it is no longer considered extreme.

      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.
      *          *          *          *
      To shop all our vegan products visit our 'Vegan Friendly' section of our website:
      https://www.arkskincare.com/collections/vegan-friendly