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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
British Dietetic Association (BTA)
The Vegan Society
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!
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
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!
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
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
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
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:
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!