Most of us have a bit of extra time on our hands at the moment. We are not travelling to work, not going to the gym, and not socialising, meaning we have some extra time in our usually packed schedules. It is easy to lose time to social media, negative thoughts, or rubbish TV. None of which helps to elevate our mood. Instead we have some helpful tips. Spend any extra five minutes you have in the following positive ways and help lift your spirits.
Have a five minute tidy
Tidying up can help clear your mind and make you feel positive. Clutter can be oppressive, cause stress, and make you tired. The thought of tidying your whole home may be rather overwhelming, but take five minutes at a time. Tidy your bedroom, make your bed, tackle one shelf in the kitchen, or clean out the fridge. Each five minute segment of effort will add up, and you will begin to feel more organised and positive.
Quick tidy challenge. Next time you have five minutes ...
- Make your bed and tidy your bedside table
- Organise the fridge
- Tidy your shoes, bags and coats by the front door
- Tackle one book shelf
Use the 'phone
Take five minutes to telephone someone. Talking is good. When our schedules are packed we often rely on text and social media messages. If you find yourself with five minutes, pick up the phone to someone you haven't connected with for a while. Make sure they are OK. You will both feel better.
Do something special for somebody
During this time, many of us are unable to visit friends and family - but you can still keep in touch! Let someone know you’re thinking of them by surprising them with something special. It doesn’t have to be huge. Even a small gift or a hand-written letter can make someone's day and it will make you feel great too! If you’re in need of a gift for somebody, head on over to the Ark Skincare website - we have something for everyone!
Nurture an indoor plant
Grow a seed, take a cutting to grow or invest in a new houseplant. Not only do indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they've been shown to boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants — making for a healthier, happier you. Indoor plants don't just look good – they can make us feel good, too. Spend any spare five minutes learning more and caring for your plants.
Read a book
Do you often find yourself with very little or no time to read? If in lockdown you have some spare time on your hands, why not pick up a new book? Reading is a great way to lose yourself for a few hours, especially if you find a good storyline!
Open a window
It may be cold out there but open a window and breathe. Fresh air can help stimulate positivity, and make you feel revived. Stand at your window and take time to breathe. In addition throwing open a window helps eliminate toxins from our homes. Opening a window for at least five minutes a day should be enough to decrease the concentration of indoor air pollutants.
With many of us staying at home a lot more, it can be easy to find little motivation to exercise. We can imagine everyone might be a bit fed up with their daily walk, but getting some exercise is important for both your physical and mental health! Why not find a workout video online or a virtual class you can join?
Listen to some music
Put on some of your favourite music and have a dance! It has been proven that when listening to music the brain releases dopamine, also known as ‘the happy hormone’ which helps to elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Give yourself a mini facial or a body treatment
Do you have a body brush you have never used? A Jade Tool you haven't worked into your skincare regime yet? Now is the time. Take an extra five minutes to body brush, exfoliate, or give yourself a facial massage. You now have the time to learn what works best for you and you will quickly get into the routine and see real benefits. If you’re in need of a treat for your skin, we’ve got you covered! Click here to head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more.
Take a cold shower
Cold showers can improve circulation, speed up metabolism, increase immunity and decrease depression. They are hugely beneficial if you can stand the cold! With five minutes extra on your hands start to build them into your routine. Gradually get used to standing under cold water and you will soon see and feel the benefits.
Prepare a healthy snack
Feeling good starts from within. Take five minutes to prepare a healthy snack or plan some nutritious meals you can enjoy. Perhaps now is the time to get creative and learn a new recipe!
However you use your extra time, remember to use it to look after yourself. Give yourself a hug. You deserve it.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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!
Feeling fed up with dark under-eye circles? ARK Skincare has got you covered. Our Reverse Gravity Eye Cream is the perfect product to tighten your eye area and keep it hydrated. In this post, we focus on the powerhouse ingredients that make this product so special and how they work to fade dark circles and diminish puffiness.
Do I need an eye cream?
The skin around your eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes can increase the appearance of lines, wrinkles and fluids collecting under the eyes which can cause dark circles, so It's important to remember to give your eye area a pamper every so often too.
Our instant-effect eye cream does it all: reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fades dark circles, soothes dry skin and minimizes puffiness.
Beautifeye™ is an extract from the Persian Silk Tree which is proven to tighten and lift the crease of the eyelid and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It also helps to reduce pigmentation and reduce any puffiness.
Grapeseed oil is rich in linoleic acid (also known as Omega 6), an essential building block for ceramides - one of skin’s main moisturising elements that help to keep skin supple and healthy.
Grapeseed Oil also contains Vitamin E which fantastic for skin; it protects against environmental pollution and UV radiation, quenches skin with moisture and helps to soothe irritation.
This powerful ingredient is used intensively in cosmetics due to its well-known healing and rejuvenating properties. It contains antioxidants, enzymes, multiple vitamins and is also used as an anti-inflammatory. The perfect ingredient to hydrate and soothe your eyes.
This ingredient acts as an emollient that keeps your skin full of moisture and prevents dryness and irritation. Allantoin has a calming effect on the skin and is full of antioxidants to keep skin youthful, vibrant, and healthy. The presence of antioxidants in your skincare routine will always show in your skin.
How to Use
For the best results, use in the mornings and evenings. Gently warm a small amount of product between ring fingers and pat lightly around the eye area. Then massage in using the metallic ball. In the summer, keep your eye cream stored in the fridge for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Take a look at what our customers had to say!
2020 - "Another award-winning product I have been enjoying using is the ARK Skincare Gravity Defying Eye Treatment. This product is amazing at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and help to fade dark circles and diminishes puffiness." Juelook, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
2020 - Finalist at Beauty Shortlist Awards "Best Eye Product"
"This cream is lightweight and soothing. Formulated to be used by those with even super sensitive skin, it also scores points for being vegan, cruelty-free and made in Britain...we especially loved the cooling metal ball on the end of the tube which can be used to massage the cream into the skin." - The Independent
Herbal Dynamics Beauty - What is Allantoin & Its Role In Anti-Aging?
Healthline - Grapeseed Oil For Skin: Benefits and Uses
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!
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.
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: 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.
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.
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
2. Remember your fruits and veggies!
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
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
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
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:
Cocoons skin with hydration
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.
Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness
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.
A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy
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 Travel bag
Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
Vitality Body Wash
Nourishing Hand and Nail Cream
- Hydration Injection Masque
- Jade Tool & Velvet Pouch
You can find lots of our thoughtful gifts here.
We know it can be hard to find things to talk about now everyone is spending so much more time at home; so it’s time to think outside the box! Why not plan a virtual pub quiz evening with friends and family, or perhaps watch a film together via zoom? There are still ways of keeping things light-hearted and fun!
If you want some company at dinner time, why not schedule a ‘dinner date’ with a friend or family member? (A fun idea for couples too!) Spend some getting ready, choose a nice outfit like you would if you were going out, then prepare a yummy meal before calling your date! They can still be at the opposite end of the table, even if they are a little further away... Don’t forget dessert!
While we can’t go to the gym, why not sign up to an online workout class with a friend? It will give you something to commit to and you can encourage each other to stay motivated. It’s a great way to keep active, and you can catch up afterwards about how you found it!
If you're looking for something to keep you occupied, why not find an online community to join? There are so many online groups for all sorts of different things from blogging and baking to fitness and beauty.
Search for a hashtag online and find like-minded people who share your interests. You can find recipes, DIY's and tutorials for all kinds of things. You can guarantee to find something that will keep you busy!
8 TOP TIPS
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.
“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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
- Vitality Hand & Body Wash
- Nourishing Body Lotion
- Hydrating Beauty Mist
- ARK Washbag
You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.
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