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How To Freshen Up Your Skincare Routine

Cleaning. One of those jobs that many of us often like to put off. However, while many of us have been spending more time at home, it seems to be the first thing on everybody’s to-do list - mainly just to keep busy!

 When talking about cleaning, the first things that often come to mind are our houses, cars and Monica cupboards...(if you know, you know!). But when was the last time you thought to clean out your skincare and give yourself a pamper?

This week we thought we'd share our top tips on how to freshen up your skincare routine to help you achieve clear, healthy skin!


1. Double Cleanse
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Age Protect Vitality Cleanser held over a bubble bath
Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality Cleanser

Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is an essential part of any good skincare routine.

Your first cleanse will help to remove any traces of airborne bacteria, pollution and build up. If these aren’t washed away properly they can lead to pigmentation, break-outs and premature aging -  no thank you! 

Once you’ve removed make-up and grime from the surface, it’s time to clean deeper with your second cleanse. Massage your product in for a minute or so to give your skin a thorough clean. Then follow up with your moisturiser

Take a look at ARK Skincare's Pre-cleanse & Make-up Remover - the powerful first step to our cleansing routine. Simply apply to dry skin before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. We also have a range of Age intelligent cleansers, specifically designed for each age group. 

2. Wash your make up brushes

Image: Make-up brush being washed with cleanser in the palm of persons hand

Don’t just invest in cleansing your skin - clean your brushes too! Dirty makeup brushes can be responsible for the transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi which can cause cold sores, acne flare-ups, conjunctivitis or worse. 
There have been a number of studies into how much bacteria can live on makeup and makeup brushes, and one test of 35 brushes showed 58% had high recorded levels of bacteria with 34% of them having dangerously high levels of bacteria on them. Alarmingly it was found that 44% of 1000 people surveyed said that they have never cleaned their brushes!
You may want to reevaluate how hygienic your makeup and makeup brushes are. It could be one reason for your skin concerns. Remember to think about how you store your brushes too. If they’re sitting in a grotty make-up bag go and give it a wash!
3. Be kind to your body 
Image: Water being poured into a pink glass full of slices of lemon.

This doesn’t have to be all about eating kale - we promise. Be mindful of your body by making healthier choices and going easy on sugary & high fat treats.

  Drink plenty of water, aim for your five a day and choose nutrient-rich foods to aid your body's natural detoxifying system and help your skin glow.  Keeping active during the day is also beneficial, (for both your body and your mind!)

4. Tidy up your skincare

Product Image: Range of ARK Skincare products displayed on dressing table
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality cleanser, Hydration Injection Masque, Triple Action Exfoliator, Skin Perfectors & Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

It’s easy to get lured in by pretty packaging and then find yourself with multiple bottles of various different products - but which do you actually use? Most of the time less is more, so choose wisely. Opt for products that use high-quality ingredients to nourish your skin. 

5. Practice good Hygiene 
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Vitality Washand Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Wash Duo 

Get into good habits - store your skincare in a place that you can keep clean and tidy. Aim to wash your make-up brushes regularly to ensure they aren’t spreading bacteria around and If you apply make-up with your fingers, wash your hands before each application to make sure they’re clean before touching your face. 

Try to opt for contamination-free skincare products too. These are jars that you don’t have to put your fingers into. If one of your products does come in an open jar, use a spatula to access your product rather than your hands. You don’t want to be putting any bacteria into your pot!

All ARK Skincare products are housed in contamination-free packaging to keep them hygienic. You can take a look at all of our products on our website.

References:

NHS - Eating Well Guide

The Fox & She - Detoxing Your Skin

Glamour - What Is Double Cleansing?

ELLE - Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

 

How To Tackle Dehydrated Skin: Our Top 5 Tips

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

1. Say No To Steamy Showers

Image: Water streaming from shower head against white bathroom tiles

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

2. Remember your fruits and veggies! 

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

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

3. Drink plenty of water

Image: Slices of lemon floating in fresh cold water

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

4. Go easy on alcohol 

Image: Woman pouring a glass of red wine

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

5. Invest in natural skincare products 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

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

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

Hydrating Serum

Cocoons skin with hydration

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

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

Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

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

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

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

Hydration Injection Masque

A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy 

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

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

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

ARK Skincare’s Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit

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

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

References: 

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

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

Elle - Real Affects Alcohol Can Have On Your Skin 

Cosmopolitan - How To Hydrate Your Skin

 

8 Top Tips To Help You Stay Connected

Due to current events, many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We know it can be difficult at times without friends and family around, so here are our 8 top tips to help you stay connected!
Title: Tip #1 Pick up your phone!
Image: Person's hand holding a note out in front of them saying "phone a friend"
Let’s be honest, we spend a lot of time on our phones scrolling through social media, but when was the last time you called a friend? Instead of going to visit somebody, make time to sit down and call someone - even just for a few minutes. Checking in with those around you is a good reminder that you're not alone and a great way to keep others company.  Perhaps you could even make a nice plan of what you'll do together when this is all over! 
Title: Tip #2 Write a Letter
Image: Brown envelope with a white sheet of writing paper
There’s nothing better than receiving a personally hand-written letter through the door. Especially when it's from a loved one. The time and thought that goes into letters makes them so special - they can even be a keepsake for years to come!  Dig out the writing paper and jot down a message for a friend or family member. You can guarantee it’ll put a smile on their face.
Title: Tip #3 Send a surprise gift to a loved one!
Image: Gift wrapped up in parcel paper with a string bow and gift card.
    There are so many amazing online stores who are still working during this time, (including ours!) You can find all kinds of different gifts online from letterbox flowers and chocolates to care packages and food parcels! Online orders also eliminate any social contact as you can ship the gift straight to the recipient. 
    Take a look at some of our gifts below. 

    ARK Skincare's Uplifting Care Package

      Product Image: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including: ARK Skincare Travel bag, Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist, Vitality Body Wash & Hand and Nail Cream

      Includes: 

      • ARK Skincare Travel bag
      • Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
      • Vitality Body Wash 
      • Nourishing Hand and Nail Cream

      Facial Massage Set

        Product Image: ARK Skincare's Facial Massage Set Including: Hydration Injection Masque & Jade Tool with a velvet pouch.

        Includes: 

        •  Hydration Injection Masque
        • Jade Tool & Velvet Pouch

        You can find lots of our thoughtful gifts here.

        Title: Tip #4 Get Creative!Image: Apple mac book on an oak table next to a coffee and notepad

          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! 

          Title: Tip #5 Have a virtual dinner date!
          Image: Dinner table with a plate of spaghetti bolognese and red wine

            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!

            Title: Tip #6 Go to an online workout class with a friend!
            Image: Woman practicing stretches in front of her laptop, watching a live workout

              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! 

              Title: Tip #7 Join an online community!Image: Laptop on a desk with a notebook and pen

              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!

              Title: Remember to take time for yourself, too.
              Image: Girl resting her reading book and cup of tea on her lap.
              We know how important it is to keep in touch with our loved ones and make sure they’re keeping well and coping okay, but remember you’re entitled to some time for yourself too.
              We’re living in a very strange time at the moment - it's almost as if we’ve come to a grounding halt. Although, while life has slowed down a lot for many of us, it can be a great opportunity to do the things that we might not usually have time for. 
               Most importantly, we have to do what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe, help those who need us, and stay home to save lives and support the NHS.
              Take care & stay safe! x

              How To Lift Your Mood

              8 TOP TIPS

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

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

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

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

              Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

              Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

              Image of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack

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

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

              Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

              Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

              Brilliant Banana Loaf

              Tip Five:  Do a good deed

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

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

              Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

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

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

              Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

              Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

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

              Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

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

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

              Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

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

              Was £92, now £45!

               Includes:

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

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

                  References: 

                  NHS - How To Be Happy 

                  Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

                  Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

                  SELF - 13 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood

                  Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

                   

                  How To Keep Active Indoors

                  Header banner with text: 7 tips to stay active indoors
                  We hope you’re all doing well and are keeping healthy going into the third week of lockdown. Despite being a few weeks in now, we know it can still seem strange and feel tricky to deal with sometimes. During this time, we hope our content can help to uplift and inspire, or even just take things off your mind for five minutes!
                  As lots of us are staying at home and are unable to be able to go to the gym or get as much exercise in, we thought we would suggest some ideas on how to keep active indoors. So, if you’re feeling a little bit stuck for something to do, this could be the post for you!

                   

                  1. Online Workout VideosImage of a woman sat cross legged on a exercise mat with dumbbells and smoothie

                  There are thousands of workout classes on YouTube which are fab as they are free to access and you can search for exactly what you want. Whether that be cardio, strength, high/low intensity or even just some stretches, there is so much content to choose from.
                  The channel SELF has some great cardio workouts, or, if you’re looking for something low-intensity, Lucy Wyndham-Read has a channel full of great “walking workouts” which are a great way to get you moving!

                  2. Live Workouts 

                  Image of Instagram app on an iphone

                  Lots of celebrities and online influencers are using their platform positively by live-streaming with their personal trainers and inviting their following to join in too! A great way to feel part of something and get a real sense of community, while getting some exercise in too! Here are some ideas for people to follow...

                  @thebodycoach

                  @zannavandijk

                  @nobsguides

                  3. Fitness Apps

                  Image of a woman practicing yoga at home on a workout mat
                  Don’t forget about fitness apps! Why not have a break from scrolling through socials and find a workout to do on your phone?
                  Chris Hemsworth has recently announced he is offering a 6-month free subscription of his fitness app Centre which you can find out more about here
                  Fiit is another app where you can link your phone to your tv screen. You can wear a tracking belt during your workout and see your stats on the screen while you do your exercise. You can also invite friends to workout with you and compete for the most 'fiit points' which is lots of fun and a great way to increase your motivation!

                  4. Yoga & Pilates

                  If you fancy the idea of learning a new skill, why not give yoga or pilates a go? It has lots of different benefits such as increasing your flexibility, strength and posture. It can help to relax and calm the mind. One of our favourites is Karen Eccles @pilatesfromwithin, who is hosting live workout classes. A nice therapeutic way to start or end the day!

                  5. Get Creative!Image of staircase in house

                  You don’t need to commit to a whole workout to stay active, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself moving. Do some star jumps in the garden, have a dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times - that'll get your heart rate up! Improvise with what you have available. Who needs dumbbells? Grab a bottle of water or a few cans of beans!

                  6. Walking/Running/Cycling

                  Image of a person wearing trainers walking on the grass

                  We all know it’s very important to stay at home as much as possible at the moment. However, we are still allowed our hours of exercise per day which is worth taking advantage of! While keeping a distance from others who may be out and about, why not take a walk, run or cycle? Fresh air is still as important as ever to keep brain fog away!

                  7. Take your chair away!

                  Image of a wooden desk with an apple macbook

                  Is sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is making you feel sluggish? Sitting down for long periods of time is thought to slow the metabolism and make us feel tired.

                  Why not create a standing desk to work at instead? Some say it can even improve productivity and focus as it keeps you more alert! 

                  Wrapping Up With A Gentle Reminder...

                  While keeping active is great for both the body and the mind, please don’t pressure yourself. Lots of online content is all about being productive 24/7 at the moment and while that might be great for some, we must remember this time isn’t about becoming a fitness guru, eating kale for every meal or working 10 hour days. It's a strange time for everyone and the most important thing we can do is take each day as it comes and do what feels right for us. Whether that be going for a run or having a PJ day, all are important. Take care of yourself. 

                    Sources: 

                  https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

                  https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/health/health-advice/a31697332/staying-fit-healthy-self-isolating/

                  http://theconversation.com/how-to-stay-fit-and-active-at-home-during-the-coronavirus-self-isolation-134044

                  The Benefits of Gua Sha

                   

                  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.

                  1. Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
                  2. Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
                  3. Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
                  4. Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline. 
                  5. Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
                  6. 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. 
                  7. Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline 
                  8. 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.

                  Pro Tips

                  •  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. 

                   

                  his is

                  ARK Skincare’s New Night Treatments: Your Feedback

                  At the start of this year, ARK Skincare launched two brand new night treatments. (If you missed the big news, you can find our original post here!)

                  We’ve given you plenty of information about each of the treatments and how they benefit your skin while you sleep, but what does everyone think?

                  Since these products were made available on the ARK Skincare website, we have been so thrilled with the feedback that we decided to round-up all the things that people have been loving and share them with you!

                  Clean Natural Scent

                  “It contains no artificial colours or fragrances so has a very healthy smell to it, one I personally love and one that’s not over-powering. You don’t need a lot as a little goes a long way and it applies like a dream, sinking in beautifully. My skin instantly feels plumped and hydrated.” – Tracey, Lifestyle Blogger (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)

                   

                   

                  Brighter, Softer Skin

                  “I’ve been using the Age Defend night cream now for 6wks. I’ve been using ARK on my skin for 4yrs, so I was very excited to get my hands on the night cream! It really does not disappoint. My skin feels amazing, it looks clearer, brighter, feels softer. It’s a lovely rich, nourishing texture without leaving the skin sticky & heavy like some night creams. It also smells divine & is a must now in my daily skincare routine.” Kate Hardy - ARK Skincare’s Resident Therapist 

                  Helps to Hydrate

                  Nourishing and healing…the ARK’s Defend Night Treatment Cream is amazing! Light, silky smooth and provides the perfect amount of hydration. Yet another beautiful product from ARK, thank you! Karen D - Customer 

                  Gentle on Sensitive Skin

                  “It calms down my Rosacea that tends to flare up with the cooler weather” – Annemieke, Beauty Blogger (@_beautyonreview)

                  A Great Under-Eye Treatment

                  “I simply cleanse and follow with the serum of my choice. I then apply and massage Age Defend Night Treatment in using my jade tool which feels amazingly therapeutic. The Night Treatment can even be used under the eyes as it contains Prodizia which helps reduce dark circles and eye bags.” - (@the_naughtyfortydiaries)

                   

                  Gorgeous Glow

                  “This lightweight formula and silky texture melts quickly into the skin adding a layer of much-needed hydration. Each morning my skin looks plump, hydrated and has a youthful glow which I am loving!” Sharon, Beauty Blogger (@backtoyoubeauty)

                  Leaves You Looking Rested

                  “I’m a big fan of ARK’s Defy range, so couldn’t wait to try the new Night Treatment. It’s rich without being heavy and I’ve noticed an improvement in skin texture in only one week of using it. I feel like I wake up looking more rested now!” Judith S - Customer 

                  Perfect for Dry Skin

                  “I’ve been using the two products each night and my skin feels lovely and replenished when I go to bed right through to morning. I have sensitive, dry skin usually but it’s been looking so much clearer as well as being brighter and more supple.” – Emma, Lifestyle Blogger.  (@Evenangelsfall)

                  Works While You Sleep

                  “The cream is nicely absorbed by my skin and in the morning my skin feels soft, nourished and looks brighter already. I feel that my skin is more hydrated too, making it the perfect night cream for the winter months.” (@_beautyonreview)

                  It is a simple, quick and effective routine that leaves my skin prepped for its beauty sleep. (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)

                   

                  Gives The Skin Some 'Oomph" 

                  "When it comes to the colder months, my skin needs a bit more oomph in my moisturiser and this fits the bill perfectly" - Talonted Lex, Beauty Blogger

                  We were also thrilled to be part of Lex's February Skincare Shakeup on her blog which you can read here.

                   

                  To view the night treatments on our website you can click here.

                   

                  What happens when we sleep?

                  The Science of Sleep

                  We all know how important rest is and the struggle we can face without it. So, what happens when we sleep and why do we need it?

                  Sleep is incredibly important as it helps the brain to function properly. Without it, we are unable to properly process what we’re told and remember things we learned throughout the day. This is why it can be hard to focus on what would usually be fairly straight forward.

                  Bad or little sleep can lead to many different complications. Some are physical, such as seizures, high blood pressure and increased likelihood of illness and infection. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

                  Despite knowing all of the factors that are associated with lack of sleep, I was interested to find out what actually happens when we slumber. So, with that in mind, I went away and did some research of my own.

                  So, What Did I Find?

                  Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). It responds to light cues and ramps up the production of melatonin – a natural hormone known as the ‘sleep hormone’ which tells our body it’s night time. Once the sun starts to go down and we are exposed to less light, melatonin is released into the bloodstream and as levels begin to rise, we start to feel sleepy. (This definitely makes me feel less guilty about feeling so sluggish in wintertime!)

                  When we sleep, we experience a four-stage cycle. These cycles are often repeated 3-4 times during the night, depending on how good of a sleep we get.

                  Stage One

                  This stage is the transition between being awake and falling asleep once we get comfortable, close our eyes and begin to relax. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.

                  Stage Two

                  This is when our heart rate and breathing begins to slow down, body temperature drops and our muscles may twitch. This stage is still fairly light and the brain produces sudden increases in brain wave frequency known as sleep spindles.

                  Stage Three

                  This is known as the “delta” stage of sleep due to the delta slow brain waves which take place. It is at this particular stage in sleep that the most growth hormone is produced to service bones, muscles and repair the body. At this point, it becomes a little harder for us to be awakened because we become less responsive to outside stimuli. 

                  Stage Four

                  Stage four is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), the deepest stage of sleep which we usually enter about 90 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the stage where the brain is most active, the eyes dart back and forth and breathing becomes fast and shallow. It’s also when our dreams take place. Chemicals that are released within the body render it temporarily paralyzed so that we don’t act them out in our sleep. Each REM stage can last up to an hour and an average adult has five to six a night.

                  ARK Skincare’s Brand-New Night Treatments

                  After some extensive research into the science of sleep over the past two years, ARK skincare has recently released two new night treatments. Each is packed full of active ingredients that help to aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling rested and glowing. You can find more information about these here.

                  Sources

                  This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here 

                  NHS - How To Beat Insomnia