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6 Top Tips To Help You Ease Yourself Out of Lockdown

Finally. The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and lockdown rules are beginning to ease. Like many others, we are thrilled to be able to re-open our shop and see some friendly faces. It's great get back to work and sense a some more normality.

Although, after living under lockdown restrictions for the best part of a year, getting back into the swing of things can feel a little overwhelming. With that in mind, in this week's post, we share our 6 top tips on how you can feel a little bit more prepared when easing yourself back into a normal routine.

1. Pace yourself

A cup of coffee and a reading book resting on a brown sofa

After being locked up with very little to do for the best part of a year, there are many who are desperately excited to get back out there, go to their nearest shopping centre and arrange to catch up with friends and family straight away.

While it’s exciting to sense some normality returning, it is important to take things at your own pace and do what YOU feel comfortable with. Social situations and sensing the world opening back up overnight can feel daunting, so don’t be afraid to take your time when starting to do ‘normal’ things again. Make sure to do what feels right for you. 

2. Take Some Time To Get Organised

A marble journal resting on a work desk with a gold pen

For many of us, after being cooped up for so long, the idea of going out feels really unfamiliar. Even getting ready to go out and do something as simple as going to the shops can feel strange!

If you are starting to return to a more usual routine, now is the time to get organised. Often, by having a clear vision of what is happening around you and what you need to get done, it can help you to be more productive and feel more prepared for what’s coming next. 

Take some time to sit and write a list of everything you need to do and slowly work your way through. If you are returning back to work or education, even doing those simple tasks such as packing your bag or making your lunch the night before can eliminate some of the stress and busyness on the day, allowing you to feel more relaxed and prepared. 

3. Practice Self Care Rituals

A pink coffee mug resting on a magazine on rocking chair

Are you suddenly having to get used to your commute to work or starting back at the gym again? Many of us have spent so much time at home, especially for the last few months that now a ‘normal’ looking day can feel pretty exhausting! Lockdown easing is a sudden shift for everybody, so remember to be kind to yourself if you’re feeling tired or a little run down. 

Give yourself some time to continue the self-care rituals you have learned and practiced during lockdown to make sure you have an opportunity to unwind and take care of yourself. 

4. Get back into good habits

Women smiling while listening to music through her airpods

 

Now we are sensing some more normality, you may find it helpful to ease yourself back into a daily routine. By getting into the habit of doing things now, you’ll be doing them in a few weeks without even giving them a second thought.

Have a think of all the important things that keep you feeling well - staying hydrated, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and prioritising daily exercise often help all of us to feel good. Make a plan of when and how you can keep on top of things so you can ensure you have enough time.

Now is also a good time to think about your skincare habits. When was the last time you treated your skin to a weekly treatment? Are you making sure to apply your SPF every day? Do you remember to double cleanse every evening? For more on our Spring Skincare Tips, take a look at our previous blog post by clicking here

 

5. Show your skin some love

ARK Skincare's products for sensitive skin, shown on the back of a persons hand

When you begin to go out more, you may notice skin sensitivities occurring - especially with the change in season. Throughout the winter, skin has been hiding under our long-sleeved t-shirts and jumpers, hats, coats and gloves so spring does bring a significant change in your surroundings such as humidity, pollen and extreme weather changes. Now is the time to indulge in some self care and treat your skin to some TLC.

Top tip: Are you making sure to wear a clean mask each time you go out and nourish your skin to reduce symptoms of Maskne? Read more about our tips for Maskne Prevention here. 

ARK Skincare's products for sensitive skin

Pictured: ARK Skincare products for skin sensitivities and redness

A selection of our products were recently individually tested to verify their suitability for sensitive skin - all passed with flying colours and we have had some great feedback from many happy customers who have seen some brilliant results from using them. To learn more about skincare for sensitivity and redness, click here to visit our website

6. Be Kind To Others (and Yourself!)

Coffee mug with a quote inside which reads "always be kind"

We’ve been in the pandemic now for over a year, so with lockdown easing and things returning back to normality, anxieties are bound to be high.  It’s not surprising if socialising feels strange or more difficult when you haven’t been doing it, so be kind to yourself and remember to take one step at a time. It’s also important to remember that whilst the rules are easing, we all still need to do our bit to be safe and considerate of one another by keeping our distance, being patient with each other and be mindful of how others may be feeling. 

We hope these tips help you to feel a little bit more prepared for easing yourself back into normality. Remember, It’s a really strange time for us all, so it’s okay to feel uncertain, but this is a really positive step and soon we will have lots more to feel excited about, especially when the warmer weather comes!

In the meantime, if you would like to go read our previous blog posts with tips on self-care, you can find them by clicking here

To learn more about ARK Skincare, head over to our website www.arkskincare.com.

You can also follow us on socials! @arkskincare

ARK Skincare's Top 7 Tips for Spring Skincare

The clocks have sprung forward, the weather is starting to get warmer and spring has officially begun! We are so looking forward to the longer days and some normality returning in the next few months… 

Now is the perfect time to be thinking about how you can adapt your skincare routine for the change in season. With that in mind, in this post, we share our 7 top spring skincare tips to help you keep your skin looking fresh, radiant and glowing.

1. Practice a Double Cleansing Routine

Women cleansing her face over a sink

If there is one thing you should know about the team at ARK Skincare, it’s that we’re passionate about double cleansing. 

If you didn’t cleanse your skin properly, your pores may become congested which could lead to unwanted skin concerns, meaning that cleansing thoroughly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin clear and healthy. 

 Cleansing thoroughly also helps to create a clean surface before applying your skincare products, helping them to absorb properly into your skin.

For your first cleanse, choose an oil based cleanser. Oil cleansers are very efficient ways of removing make-up, dirt and excess sebum from the skin. Cleansing oils also prevent congestion and shine without stripping away natural oils needed for healthy balanced skin. 

Once you’ve removed make-up and grime from the surface, it’s time to clean deeper. For your second cleanse, opt for an age specific cleanser with high-quality ingredients. The second cleanse will help to ensure your skin is left thoroughly clean while the active-ingredients help to nourish your skin.

2. Wash your make up brushes

Person holding a handful of make-up brushes

It’s time to be honest...When was the last time you cleaned your make-up brushes?

 We know it may feel like a chore, but the truth is that keeping your brushes clean is extremely important for your skin’s health. 

Overtime, make-up brushes accumulate bacteria, oil and dead skin cells. So, if you use your brushes over and over without cleaning them, you will increase the risk of spreading bacteria to your skin which can lead to skin concerns such as clogged pores, break-outs and dullness. 

Get into the habit of cleaning your brushes regularly to reduce a buildup of bacteria. Experts suggest cleaning your tools once a week. Keeping brushes clean will also keep the bristles soft and be less irritating to the skin. It also reduces the risk of contaminating your make-up products. 

3. Spring Clean Your Skincare 

Man applying moisturiser to his face in the mirror

 

At this time of year many of us find it useful to have a spring clean and sort through our things - but have you tidied your skincare recently?

If you are someone with a collection of lots of different products, now may be a good time to sort through what you’re using and what you may need to get rid of. Especially during lockdown, time can often pass without us realising, so it may be time to check those expiry dates too! 

You may also like to think about cleaning where you store your skincare products. We know how grubby make-up bags and draws can get...

4. Use a clean mask with every use and make sure to wash regularly 

Person holding a bunch of reusable cotton masks

Ideally, each time we go out, we should be using a fresh face mask every time to reduce the spread of the virus, and also spreading bacteria to our skin.

Throughout the pandemic, many have opted for reusable masks. While there are many benefits to reusables, like being more environmentally friendly and choosing our own designs, it can also mean many of us become guilty of wearing the same mask over and over without cleaning it as regularly as we should be. 

Wearing a mask is not very kind to our skin to start with. It covers our mouth and nose, trapping our breath and creates a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow. So, not  only can re-wearing your mask make it less effective, but can also risk spreading more bacteria to your skin. 

To avoid spreading bacteria to your skin, have 3-4 reusable masks to hand so you can alternate while you wash your used ones. 


5. Don't Forget to Exfoliate

ARK Skincare's Exfoliator with Ingredients

Pictured: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator

With the warmer weather on its way, it’s time to buff away winter skin and reveal a brighter and more luminous complexion.

 Have you tried ARK Skincare’s Triple Action Exfoliator

This clever formulation exfoliates the skin in three different ways with three different exfoliants: physical, fruit acid and enzymatic.  The physical exfoliant is made from bamboo particles which gently slough through dead skin and grime from the surface, leaving skin with a smooth, polished texture. 

Alpha Hydroxyl Acids from Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon increase the range of cell renewal, helping to diminish scars and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The Skin Regenerating Enzyme dissolves desmosomes (adhesive proteins that can cause dead cells to build up on your skin), to release dead skin cells, fade pigmentation and improve nutrient absorption. 

Gently massage into the skin and follow the instructions depending on your age. Click here to learn more! 

6. Don’t forget to apply (and reapply) your SPF!

ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer with sunglasses outside in the sunshine
Pictured: ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer 

The warmer weather is on its way and along with the sun comes stronger UV rays, meaning it’s important to layer up your SPF to keep your skin protected. 

Time to reach for ARK Skincare’s Skin Protector SPF30 Primer. This award winning formula provides broad spectrum sun protection (from UVA and UVB rays) while Hyaluronic Acid Booster helps to smooth and hydrate skin. Apply alone as a daily moisturiser, on top of your age intelligent moisturiser for added sun protection, or as a primer before applying make-up. 

Make sure to re-apply throughout the day for maximum protection.

7. Add a Layer of Hydration 

ARK Skincare's Hydrating Serum for dry, rough skin

Pictured: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Serum 

During the winter months, skin has been hiding under our scarfs, jumpers and cosy loungewear, but now that the warmer weather is here, skin is exposed more to the surrounding environment and therefore, prone to dryness. Make sure to apply a nourishing moisturiser and body lotion to keep your skin soft and supple. 

If you’re looking for an intense boost of hydration, try ARK Skincare’s Hydrating Serum. Cucumber extract hydrates and improves elasticity, whilst Laminaria Algae traps water molecules in the skin to prevent water loss. Perfect for those suffering from dry or rough skin. Simply apply 2-3 drops to cleansed skin, or mix into your daily moisturiser for an added layer of hydration.

We hope that you find these tips helpful in the transition into spring... Do you have any other skincare tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Tag us at  @arkskincare. 

To learn more about the products mentioned and the rest of the ARK Skincare range, head over to our website! www.arkskincare.com

 

 

Maskne - How Masks Irritate Our Skin and How We Can Prevent it

Image: Woman wearing a white disposable mask to cover her nose and mouth

What Is Maskne?

Sadly wearing masks has now become a normal part of our daily routines. Whilst we all appreciate why they are needed in the fight against COVID-19 masks can unfortunately be uncomfortable for some, and may also cause skin concerns to emerge for others. The combined effects of friction from wearing a mask, together with the warm moist environment they create, can cause redness, sensitivity, and breakouts which are being called Maskne. Those with inflammatory conditions such as Eczema or Rosacea are particularly at risk.

Maske may result from both the physical irritation of using a mask, as well as the increased opportunity for bacteria to collect.

The human mouth is teeming with bacteria. Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in our mouths. Each time we exhale we omit high levels of these bacteria and viruses, and by wearing a mask we trap them close to the skin. As the bacteria and viruses collect, they thrive and multiply in the warm humid environment. The increase in skin temperature caused by covering the face may also cause more oil to be produced by the sebaceous glands. Excess oil can block pores and hair follicles, trapping the bacteria, and causing breakouts and acne.

Face masks need to fit snugly to be effective, and the pressure and friction caused by face coverings can cause microtears to the epidermis which is thinner on the face than on other parts of the body. These microtears can allow bacteria to more easily penetrate the skin. Different types of masks may cause different issues to emerge. Fabric masks which are often made from cotton may absorb natural oils causing dryness and sensitivity, whilst surgical masks can cause more friction irritation. All masks should only be used once, and not touched during use. When using disposable masks remember to dispose of them responsibly, and use a new one each time required. For reusable masks make sure you carefully consider the detergent used to wash them with. Harsh laundry liquids and fabric conditioners may cause a whole host of other sensitivity issues!

We are afraid there is more bad news. Stress is also a well-known trigger for breakouts and sensitivities. We have all lived through very stressful times associated with the global pandemic and this, combined with the problems associated with wearing protective facial coverings discussed above, means we all need a fastidious skincare regime to combat the adverse effects seen as Maskne.

 What can we do to prevent Maskne?

Here are our top tips to prevent Maskne:

  1. Use a clean mask each time a mask is required. Always dispose of single-use masks as soon as you remove them. Always wash reusable masks after they have been worn. Ensure you use gentle, perfume-free laundry detergent.
  2. Avoid the use of makeup under your mask. This increases the chance for pores and hair follicles to become blocked.
  3. Undertake a fastidious skincare regime to ensure skin is clean and hydrated. Look for FREE FROM products which do not contain known irritants.Ensure your products are rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals.
  4. Do not overstimulate your skin. Use a balancing collection of products to clean and calm. Do not be tempted to use excessive products or switch regularly between treatments. Be consistent with your skincare regime. 

Shop our best picks for Maskne treatment and prevention here

How To Optimise Your Skin Care Routine To Prevent & Treat Maskne

Image: Pile of different coloured reusable cotton face masks

1. Prioritise your cleansing routine

While wearing masks and breathing into them, we create a warm damp area for bacteria to grow, making double cleansing more important than ever to ensure our skin is clean. A first cleanse will help to remove any make-up, dirt and bacteria and the second will clean deeper into the pores, preventing any new blemishes. Opt for a high-quality cleanser with gentle ingredients that will clean the skin thoroughly without causing irritation. 

2. Remember your weekly treatments

Another way to prevent Maskne is by giving your skin a treat with a gentle exfoliator to scrub away dead skin and excess oil. This can help reveal a clearer complexion and avoid pores from becoming blocked. 

3. Choose a serum to treat your skin concerns

If you already have Maskne which needs treating, you may find a serum will give you the additional help you need to clear it up. Add a few drops of your serum of choice to specific problem areas, or simply mix in with your moisturiser before applying.

4. Be consistent with your routine 

Make sure to stay consistent with your products and routine to keep your skin balanced. Remember that less is more and a short yet simple routine will be easier to make a habit and keep up with. Choose products wisely by opting for natural ingredients you can trust will nourish your skin. 

With all these tips in mind, here are ARK Skincare's top picks to help you prevent and treat Maskne.  

ARK Skincare's Top Products To Help You Tackle Maskne

Skin Essential Pre-Cleanse & Make-Up Remover

Image: ARK Skincare's Pre-Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

You might be asking yourself if you really need to cleanse twice and now more than ever, the answer is yes! Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is essential for healthy skin. The first cleanse will remove any traces of dirt, pollution and airborne bacteria from the surface of your skin and the second cleanse will clean deeper into your pores.

Our popular Pre-Cleanse and Make-up remover is described as a spa treatment in a bottle. It's great for removing the first level of grime while active ingredients such as Grapeseed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil deeply nourish skin and protect against dryness. Another key ingredient, Margosa Leaf Extract, destroys bacteria and inhibits its growth on the skin.

How to use: Apply onto dry skin before cleansing with dry hands. Massage in gently all over the face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Follow with your Age Intelligent Cleanser.

Age Intelligent Cleansers

After your first pre-cleanse, follow up with the second. ARK Skincare offers three age intelligent cleansers, with nourishing active ingredients specifically for each age group. 

Specifically designed for your teens & 20's

Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Cleanser for teens and twenties

Banishes spots & excess sebum

The best cleanser for your teens and 20s. Our soap-free facial cleanser has been designed especially with younger skin in mind. It cleverly balances oily and dry areas to leave skin clear and comfortable. Natural ingredients ensure skin is treated gently while spots and excess sebum are banished. Your new best friend.

AgeDefend Conditioning Cleanser 

Specifically designed for your 30's & 40's 

Image: ARK Skincare's AgeDefend Cleanser for 30's and 40's

Gentle formula, perfect for sensitive skin

The best cleanser for your 30s and 40s. This ultra-nourishing cleanser helps with skin’s natural exfoliation for a clear, radiant complexion. Effectively removes make-up & excess sebum leaving skin clean, plump and supple. Perfect for sensitivities as the natural ingredients soothe redness and inflammation too. 

AgeDefy Brightening Cleanser

Specifically designed for your 50's onwards

Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defy Brightening Cleanser for 50's onwards

Reduces pigmentation, softens lines

The best cleanser for your 50s onwards. This rich creamy cleanser is the perfect choice for more mature skin. It effectively removes debris and impurities while treating the skin to a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and lipids. Skin becomes brighter and softer while lines and wrinkles are plumped. 

How to use: Apply to damp skin and massage in gently for 60 seconds before gently rinsing off with water. 

Skin Perfector Serums

If you’re looking to tackle specific skin concerns caused by Maskne, our hard-working skin-perfecting serums will make the perfect addition to your skin-care routine to help you battle them. 

Clearing Serum

Banishes bacteria, tightens pores

Image: ARK Skincare's Clearing Serum

For a solution to spots and blemishes, our clearing serum is the one for you. Filled with anti-bacterial properties, it’s the perfect remedy for acne and can even help prevent it by regulating sebum production and reducing excess oil and shine.

Destress Serum

Diminishes look of fatigue

Image: ARK Skincare's De-stress Serum

If you’re suffering tired or irritated skin, try our De-stress serum.  This highly protective serum acts as a second skin and helps to reduce the signs of fatigue caused by environmental and lifestyle stresses. Chamomile provides soothing relief for irritation and Vitamin E and Grapeseed Oil boost moisture levels, leaving skin feeling silky and supple.

How to use: Apply one or two drops directly to problem areas or mix in with your daily moisturiser and apply all over the face.

Triple Action Exfoliator

Evens tone, diminishes fine lines & scars

Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator

Our three in one exfoliating treatment with physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action has everything you need to give your skin a generous treat.

Bamboo particles help to gently scrub away dead skin, dirt and debris from the surface, creating a flawless, polished texture while Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) from Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon increase the range of cell renewal, helping to diminish acne scars and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The Skin Regenerating Enzyme dissolves desmosomes to release dead skin cells, fade pigmentation and improve nutrient absorption.

How to use: Use once or twice per week. Apply to dampened face and neck. Wet hands and massage lightly into skin using circular movements, avoiding the delicate eye area.

Leave on as stated below, depending on your skin’s age-related needs:

Teens and twenties: Wash off after massaging in.

Thirties and forties: Leave on for approximately 2 minutes.

Fifties and onwards: Leave on for approximately 5 minutes.

Remove with a cloth soaked in hand-hot water. (Please note this product will not simply rinse off, it does need to be removed with a warm cloth. Using a cloth should make removal easy) Pat dry. 

Hydration Injection Masque

Rejuvenating treatment, restores vibrancy

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque

Or rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

The masque instantly cools and calms and can bring instant relief to irritation and redness while Hyaluronic Acid drenches skin with moisture, optimizing the circulation of water through all skin layers and providing 24-hour protection against water loss - perfect for dry skin. It also includes a blend of hard-working vitamins to regulate collagen synthesis and protect against UV damage.

To view all of these products in full detail you can head over to the ARK Skincare website by clicking here.

If you need any help or product advice, please do get in touch via office@arkskincare.com or call the office on 0203 7403303 - we'd love to help!

In the meantime, keep remembering to wash your mask in-between uses to keep your skin as clean as you can!

As we all work together in the battle against Coronavirus be kind to your skin.

Take care & stay safe, 

 

Image: ARK Skincare logo

 

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-the-Epidermis.aspx

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sebaceous-glands-1069374

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/face-masks-become-mandatory-prevent-maskne/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/cope-maskne-mask-related-acne/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8374545/How-magic-away-Maskne-Thats-curse-spots-caused-Covid-mask.html