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Have a Spare 5 Minutes? Here Are Some Positive Ways To Keep Busy

Old fashioned black alarm clock on a wooden counter

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

Bedroom with an unmade bed with pillows and blankets

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

Young brunette woman smiling while chatting on 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

Gift wrapped in grey packing paper with a bow tied in string

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

Tiny cardboard plant pots with baby shoots showing

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

Cosy flat lay with reading books and a mug of tea 

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

Woman pulling back white netting curtains to look out of 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. 

 Get Moving

Person walking through a park wearing colourful trainers

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

young woman wearing airpods to listen to 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

ARK Skincare's Gua Sha Jade Tool with Skin Perfecting Hydration Injection Face mask, great for dry skin

  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

A woman laughing and looking shocked as she showers in cold water

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

Two pots of different healthy snacks including carrot and pepper sticks and mixed berries

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. 

Vegan series: Part 1 - What is Veganuary & how can it benefit you?

Our first blog post of 2021! Happy New Year from everybody at ARK Skincare. We are not sad to be leaving 2020 behind! 

Each time the new year rolls around, there is often lots of conversation around setting new year resolutions or thinking about goals we might like to achieve. These goals usually include things like drinking more water, focusing on fitness targets or making more time to see friends and family but have you ever heard of Veganuary?

In this three part blog-post series, we focus on what being a vegan means, what benefits there are and suggest ways that you might like to get involved in the annual Veganuary challenge.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary, founded in 2014, is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for January and beyond. Throughout the year, Veganuary continues to encourage and support businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people. 

What does the term veganism mean?

'Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or lifestyle is known as a vegan.'

What are the benefits of being a vegan?

There are many different benefits of following a plant-based, vegan friendly diet:

For the animals

Livestock: tagged cows in a cow barn

Roughly 60 million land animals are killed and used as commodities every year just to satisfy human taste preferences. Many people believe that the killing of animals is unjustified and so choose a vegan life-style to help prevent the exploitation of and cruelty towards them. 

The Vegan Society encourages the use of words like ‘other animals’ or ‘non-human animals’ in their language to acknowledge that humans are animals too and we share a lot more with other animals than some of us might realise or like to admit.

Just like us, cows, sheep and chickens are living beings who have a desire to live and enjoy their freedom like we do. These animals don’t give consent to being slaughtered and in over 95% of cases, are killed prematurely once they are no longer considered profitable. Vegans do not financially support animal agriculture industries by choosing to buy or grow plant-based alternatives instead. 

For your health 

Healthy, highly nutritious foods such as tomatoes, brocolli, avocado and peppers

Confirmed by the British Dietetic Association, despite many myths, it is possible to follow a well planned, plant-based, vegan friendly diet which supports healthy living. Lots of the nutrients your body needs are naturally found in vegan foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Some research has also linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

For the environment

Landscape showing a huge amount of greenery and a lake in the sunlight

Animal agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of global commissions. To put it into perspective, the transport sector accounts for 13% of greenhouse gases, while animal agriculture, is responsible for almost 4 times as much at 51% - a significant amount more than you might first think!

Researchers at the University of Oxford suggest that eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce environmental impact on the earth. They found that cutting out meat and dairy from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.

Switching to a vegan diet can also help to reduce water consumption. The Vegan Society explains that it takes at least three times the amount of water to feed a meat eater compared with that used to feed a vegan. For example, it takes  15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, compared to180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes.

One person who goes vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.

For people

young woman walking through the woods holding out a green leaf to represent vegansim

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human population. A vegan diet only requires ⅓ of the land needed to support a diet of meat and dairy. 

With the global food and water insecurity increasing due to many different environmental issues, choosing plant-based options is a great way to adopt a more sustainable way of eating. You can read more about how vegan diets can help people here. 

While some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan friendly, plant based diet straight away, others might find it easier to ease themselves in slowly. You can still make a huge contribution by switching out meat and dairy options for vegan ones where you can - even if it is just a few times a week! Keep your eyes peeled for next week's blog post where we share our top tips on how to get started. 

ARK Skincare are proud to be an entirely vegan brand who never have and never will test on animals. If you would like to learn more about our vegan skincare products, head over to the ARK Skincare website!

Resources: 

Veganuary 

What We Do 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

- 7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

- 16 Facts That Show How Going Vegan Helps Stop Climate Change

- Go Vegan - Save The Planet

British Dietetic Association (BTA)

- British Dietetic Association confirms well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages

The Vegan Society 

- Why Go Vegan?

- The Vegan Diet Supports Excellent Health 

- Compassion For Animals 

The Independant

Veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our environmental impact

 

ARK Skincare's 5 Top Tips To Get You In The Christmas Spirit

Less than 10 days until the big day - we can’t quite believe it! Are you feeling ready for the Christmas break?...

If you’re still looking for ways to get yourself feeling festive then hopefully we can help!  In this post, we share some of our favourite Christmas activities to give you some ideas on how you can keep busy in the build-up to the 25th. 

1. Bake a festive treat!

Freshly baked festive gingerbread snowflakes and candycanes

It’s Christmas, so of course, we have to start with food... Now is certainly the time to allow yourself to indulge a little! There are so many different festive recipes out there for all kinds of different snacks and sweet treats - you’re bound to find something to make your tummy rumble. Why not have a go at making your own treats to enjoy? Here are some yummy recipes we like the look of! 

2. Gift Wrapping

Woman holding a hand wrapped christmas gift in sustainable wrapping paper

With just a few weeks left to go, it’s time to finish off your Christmas shopping and get wrapping! There are so many fun, creative ways to wrap gifts. We love the look of these Furoshiki wrapping cloths; they are such a unique and fun way to wrap a gift for somebody, plus they can be reused again and again to avoid excess waste!

If you’re looking for more sustainable ways to wrap your gifts, perhaps you could opt for the types of wrapping paper which are much easier to recycle (foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and needs to go in the general waste). There are so many clever and sustainable ideas/ DIY hacks online to keep yourself busy. Perhaps you could even have a go at creating your own wrapping paper or wrapping your presents in reusable tote bags! Take a look at ours here.

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute and are still on the hunt for the perfect gift, make sure to head over to the ARK Skincare website before the weekend! We have so many popular gift sets for all different ages so there is something for absolutely everybody - but be quick! The last day to place an order to ensure it arrives before Christmas is Sunday 20th December before midnight. 

3. Treat yourself to a pamper evening!

A wooden bath tray laid across a white bath tub holding a small flower and glass of wine

While you might not have so many Christmas parties to get dressed up for this year, the Christmas break is definitely a good excuse to give yourself some extra TLC. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing pamper evening? Maybe a glass of mulled wine too?... You deserve it!

If you’re looking for something to give your skin an extra pick me up, head on over to our website to take a look at our Skin Perfectors. We have our Hydration Injection Masque which will give your skin a generous boost of hydration (your best friend during the colder months!) and our Triple Action Exfoliator to help gently scrub away dead skin and debris from the surface, leaving you with a radiant glow. 

We also have 6 Skin Perfecting Serums to keep you looking and feeling your best, depending on which skin concerns you’d like to tackle!

4. Reach out to somebody 

woman wrapped up in a winter coat wearing a festive hat, holding a Christmas card

If you’re unable to visit certain friends or family members this year but still want to share some festive cheer, don’t forget to reach out and let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them! There’s just enough time to write your Christmas cards and get your last gifts in the post!

If you’re in need of ideas, we have a generous selection of gifts to choose from on our website and you even have the option to ship directly to your recipient - just make sure to remember to amend the shipping address at checkout! 

5. Donate to those in need 

Multiple charity donation pots to raise money for people, animals and the planet

Christmas is the time to show some generosity and goodwill and there are certainly people in need & lots of amazing charities who would appreciate your support. 

Boxes of donations in the ARK Skincare boutique ready to be sent to a local food bank

We recently gifted some of our products to the Haslemere food bank who were so grateful to receive a donation. They couldn’t wait to wrap and gift them at their Christmas distribution and reminded us that it really does mean a lot to those who are struggling.

Do you have items that you no longer use that would make a great gift for somebody? Is there something you could donate to a local charity? You might just make someone's Christmas day!

Lady hanging Christmas decorations on Christmas tree

Not long to go now!...

Hopefully we have inspired you to get stuck into something fun and festive to boost your Christmas spirit. We'd love to see what you get up to! Be sure to tag us in your stories and posts @arkskincare. 

ARK Skincare's 5 Top Tips For Living Sustainably

Every year, the beauty industry creates an estimated 120 billion items of packaging, most of which goes to waste at the end of its life. The industry is slowly changing, but we all need to do more in order to be greener. Here at ARK Skincare we have been working hard to take simple yet effective steps to cut waste and shrink our carbon footprint.

With this in mind, in this post, we thought we'd share our tips on how you can also reduce the use of plastic in your own day to day life and make more sustainable choices. 

ARK Skincare's 5 Top Tips For Living Sustainably

1. Say no to plastic straws

Person sitting at a wooden desk with their notepad, pen and iced coffee in a glass with a paper straw

Many cafes and restaurants are doing their bit by switching over from plastic to paper straws which is a great step forward. However, these aren’t always available. If you often purchase drinks when you’re out and about, it may be time to invest in your own reusable straw. You can find them for affordable prices in all kinds of different shops and online businesses.

Take a look at a set of reusable stainless steel straws from The Lion Sparkles here!

2. Bring your own bag!

Image: ARK Skincare's Reusable cotton grey tote bag with a scarf, makeup and purse inside (lifestyle image)

From the 5th of October, 2015, the UK introduced a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags in an attempt to decrease the amount they were used in an act to become greener. The amount of plastic bags issued by big supermarket retailers decreased by 86% since the charge was introduced. In the hope to decrease the number further, the fee will be doubled to 10p as of 2021.

To avoid having to buy a plastic bag each time you shop, it’s a good idea to invest in a few of your own reusable bags and make a habit of keeping them in useful places like your bag or car. There’s nothing worse than having to juggle your shopping!

3. Ditch plastic water bottles 

Image: Reusable stainless steel purple coloured water bottle.

Not only are plastic bottles bad for the environment, but they can also be expensive! Instead of buying plastic bottles, choose a bottle from a high-quality material to refill yourself when you need to. You can choose between stainless steel, glass and lots of great designs. 

The Refill organization, founded in 2015, created an app for those in need of freshwater to find the nearest place to refill their bottle, therefore reducing plastic consumption.

By typing your location into the app, you can find the nearest cafe, shop, or supermarket that will provide a free refill service in-store. To find out more about the Refill organization you can head over to their website by clicking here

4. Think about your storage materials

Image: 7 mason jars stacked in a kitchen cupboard filled with ingredients such as lentils, rice and sugar.

Instead of storing food items in plastic jars and boxes, opt for glass instead. Mason jars for example make great storage pots for kitchen ingredients. If you make packed lunches for school or work, you can choose alternatives to plastic bags/lunch boxes by choosing a stainless steel lunch box or beeswax food wrap. 

Wild and Stone offer a sample sheet of beeswax wrap which you can find here.  Simply warm the material in your hands before wrapping up your food of choice. You can then wash it with a little washing-up liquid and water before using it again!

5. Support sustainable businesses 

Product Image: A group shot of ARK Skincare's award winning products and their active ingredients

Here at ARK Skincare, we are in the process of making some effective changes to become greener and ensure we’re encouraging more sustainable choices for our customers. Here are some of the greener steps we've taken so far: 

Reducing Plastic

Image: ARK Skincare's new, sustainable moisturiser jar, containing 50% less plastic.

We’ve recently moved our popular moisturiser formulas over to a new jar made from a single material and half the amount of plastic making it much easier to recycle. While it may look slightly smaller, it actually contains 55ml, so you will receive an additional 5ml for free!

Recycling

Image: Green Recycling logo

Recycling is now a crucial decision for every new product development. We assess all-new packaging in terms of ease of recycling and are continuing to review whether options from recycled materials are available. Many of our packs are already easy to recycle in normal council collections. 

Terracycle

Image: Green terracycle logo

For containers that can’t be recycled in council collections, we’ve partnered with Terracycle, who recycle traditionally hard to recycle materials. We take back any used beauty containers that can’t be taken by council collections and pass these onto Terracycle who break them down into pellets and use them to make furniture and other consumer goods.

If you would like to send any of your old jars back to us for recycling, please email office@arkskincare.com and we will be happy to help. 

No more cellophane!

A huge positive change we’ve made this year is ditching cello-wrap. From now on, all new stock cartons will be secured top and bottom with a security seal, without all of the additional plastic. Please note this will be an ongoing process while we sell-through our pre-wrapped boxes. 

To find more ideas on how you can reduce your use of plastic, take a look at the sources below!

https://www.elizabethrider.com/10-easy-ways-to-use-less-plastic/

https://www.itv.com/news/2018-08-25/plastic-bag-charge-why-was-it-introduced-and-what-impact-has-it-had

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sun-selects/9812317/best-reusable-straws/

Product Focus: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

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. 

Product Image: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream
ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

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.

Ingredients

Beautifeye™

Image: Product Ingredient: BeautifEye from the persian silk tree

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 

Image: product ingredient, grapeseed oil

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. 

Aloe Vera 

Image: Aloe Vera Plant against a white background

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.

 Allantoin 

Image: product ingredient: Allantoin

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. 

Reviews

Take a look at what our customers had to say! 

2020 - "I really love the design of ARK Skincare Reverse Gravity Eye Cream. It’s basically a wand with a rollerball-tip." - Beautiful With Brains - Skincare Blogger

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 

Resources: 

Herbal Dynamics Beauty - What is Allantoin & Its Role In Anti-Aging?

Healthline - Grapeseed Oil For Skin: Benefits and Uses

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