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Self Care 101 - 10 Ways You Can Be Kinder To Yourself

It’s safe to say that this lockdown has been really tough on all of us. In one way or another, we have all been affected, and with all the uncertainty in addition to all of the worrying news stories, it can often leave us feeling run down or anxious. 

Sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder to take some time for ourselves and practice some self-care. With that in mind, in this post, we share 10 suggestions of ways you can show yourself some kindness to build yourself up whenever you’re feeling low. 

1. Take Time To Check In With Yourself

A notebook and a cup of tea resting on a sofa with a cosy blanket

When we are anxious, it can sometimes feel easier to ignore our feelings, but often, bottling up how we feel can make things a lot worse. 

Take a few minutes to be mindful about how you’re really feeling. If you are feeling worried, sad or stressed, have a think about what you can do to make yourself feel better.

This could be reaching out to talk to a close friend or family member, comforting yourself with a relaxing evening in with your favourite film, or finding a positive distraction to take your mind off whatever is bothering you. 

2. Manage Your Goals & Expectations 

Woman using her laptop at a work desk with her phone and notebook

With the busy, fast-paced lives we lead, it can often feel like there is so much to get done and busy ourselves with. While it’s great to feel a sense of accomplishment by getting things done, it’s also important to make sure you’re not overworking yourself. There is no use in trying to do everything at once if you’re going to end up burnt out and feeling exhausted...

You may find it useful to write down a daily or weekly to do list so you have a clear plan of what you need to get done. Prioritise your tasks by making a note of the most important things which need to be done first before working through your list. 

By managing your time, you can also manage your expectations of what you will be able to achieve. Then, if you don’t have time to do everything, you know you can push something back until the next day. 

3. Practice Positive Self-Talk Regularly

Self talk, otherwise known as ‘internal dialogue’ is the way we speak to and think about ourselves. Practicing positive self talk can help and benefit all of us. It encourages us to believe in ourselves, pick ourselves up when we’re feeling low and helps to improve our self-confidence. 

When you are feeling particularly negative or anxious, it can become easy to talk yourself down. This is when it is important to recognise negative thought patterns and know how to challenge them. 

Examples of this could be:

Negative thought: I’ve been so lazy today. I really should have done some exercise. 

Positive thought: I decided to have a rest today and that’s okay. Everyone deserves a day off. I can exercise some other time instead. 

Negative thought: There is no way I can achieve this. 

Positive thought: This may be challenging and take more time than I first expected, but I will get there eventually.

Negative thought: I can’t possibly try doing this. I’ve never done it before and will fail and look silly. 

Positive: This is a great opportunity for me to try something new. It may take a few tries to get it right and that’s okay. It’s all part of learning. 

Treat yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. If they came to you feeling low, would you talk down to them? -  No! You would be kind and encourage them to do something to make themselves feel better… Make sure to give yourself the same treatment.

4. Believe In Yourself!

A wall spray-painted with a positive quote: believe in yourself

This may sound cliche, but when you have self belief, everything feels much easier. 

 Sometimes focusing on the things we like about ourselves can be really difficult as it can make us feel like we’re being vain or self centred. But the truth is, having  self awareness and recognising your strengths can really helps to boost self confidence. Take some time to think about all positive qualities you have to offer and what skills you can improve on to build your self-esteem.

5. Show Yourself Forgiveness

We all make mistakes now and again.. When we do, also important to forgive ourselves and know when to let go and move on. 

Each morning when we wake up, we start a brand new day and face every new experience with the knowledge we have learnt so far.

Everybody is learning all the time, so remember - It’s okay to mess up now and again!  It’s these experiences that teach us right from wrong so we know how to cope with things in the future. 

6. Surround Yourself With Positive Energy

With spending a lot more time at home during lockdown, many of us have turned to our phones and are spending a lot more time on social media.

When scrolling through your apps, have a think about the content you're viewing and how it makes you feel. If anything you're viewing that leaves you feeling or thinking negatively, it may be time to make some changes to your following list. Have a look and find accounts which will uplift you and make you feel good instead.

7. Keep The Mind Of A Child

A child walking across a wooden bridge by a lake

Remember being back in the classroom as a child when everyone would be desperate to volunteer to get up on stage and try new things? 

Children have a brilliant sense of optimism and self-confidence because they are not afraid of ‘looking silly’ or getting things wrong. This is because they have not yet experienced feelings of self-doubt or embarrassment.

As we get older, through our experiences, we learn what it’s like to feel embarrassed and shy we and often let these negative emotions hold us back, but we shouldn't let them get in the way.  

Remember - it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. Just try to keep a light sense of humour. Learn how to laugh at yourself, brush yourself off and "try, try again!" 

8. Make Sure You’re Taking Care Of Yourself

When we take care of our physical health, it can often make us feel a lot better mentally too. Make sure you’re keeping yourself well by getting plenty of sleep, keeping hydrated, eating well and getting regular exercise. These small things may sound basic but they play such a huge part in feeling good, so it's important to make sure you prioritise them.

Spend yourself some self care by getting some exercise, cooking a nutritious meal or taking a few ours to relax and pamper yourself.  If you’re in need of a treat, head on over to our website. From our AgeIntelligent ranges and Skin Essentials to our Skin Perfectors and Body Beautiful Collection, our specifically formulated skincare products are the perfect addition to a pamper evening. 

9. Stop Worrying About What Others May Think 

If you are constantly trying to please others, you may become exhausted and defeated. It is important to do the things that make you feel happy and try not to worry about the opinions of others. You cannot please everyone, but remember, as long as you are kind to others and try your best in what you do, that’s all anyone can ask of you...

10. Remember To Give Yourself Some Credit

A board of calligraphy showing "be proud of how hard you are working"

When we’re busy, it can be easy to forget all the great things we are achieving. Take some time to reflect on all the positive things you do and remember to treat yourself every so often! We all need a bit of self care and indulgence from time to time... 

We all have days where we don’t feel so great and that’s okay. It’s just all about having the right tools to know how to make yourself feel a bit better...

We hope this post has given you some helpful tools and suggestions of things you can do to pick yourself up whenever you’re feeling low. Do let us know by getting in touch on socials - we always love hearing from you! @arkskincare

To learn more about our products, head on over to our website www.arkskincare.com

Give Your Skin A Good Night’s Sleep - Guest Blog by Hayley Hall

Image: Guest blogger Hayley Hall - headshot

Author: Hayley Hall, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

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?

Image: Woman tucked up in bed behind white bed sheets held up to underneath her eyes

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.

Image: Group shot of ARK Skincare's Age intelligent cleansers with ingredients

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?

Image: ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Defend and Defy Night Treatments

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.

Image of a white wooden bedside table holding an alarm clock and small plant

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! 

VOTE NOW!

SOURCES

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/beauty-sleep#1

*https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.160918

** https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3790843/

 

 

 

Self Care 101 - Our 5 Top Tips On Taking Care Of Yourself

Doesn’t it feel crazy to think that we’re halfway through the year? It’s pretty fair to say that no one predicted this is how 2020 was going to go and it’s certainly not been an easy ride. While many of our situations have been very different, we have all learned to adapt to the new ways of living and it's been rather unsettling, to say the least. 
But, we are moving forward. Small signs of normality are slowly returning which is definitely a positive step. However, despite it being what we’ve wanted to hear for so long, we know it can feel overwhelming at times - especially after being programmed to stay indoors and fear the outside world for so long.
With that in mind, we thought we would share our tips on how to practice a little self-care, be kind to yourself and remember to take some time out when you need to. 
 Image Title: 1. Share with others
Image: Two ladies sat on a picnic blanket in a corn field
 It can feel like a sudden shock to the system now that the world is opening back up again so it’s completely normal to feel unsettled or nervous. We just have to remember that everybody is learning to adapt to this change and we are never on our own. If you’re feeling isolated, reach out to a friend or family member and share how you’re feeling. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved! 
Image Title: Have a pamper evening
Image: A white bathtub with a bath tray/table with a cup of tea, candle and flowers.
Take some time out for you. Everyone feels a little better after pampering. Find some relaxing music or a good tv show and spend some time doing things that make you feel good. Whether it be indulging in a hot bubble bath, washing your hair, or practicing your skincare routine, spending a few hours focusing on yourself can really help to relax. 
Image Title: 3. Be kind to your mind
Image: White reminder card with hand written note which reads "mindfulness" on a window ledge.
With everything that’s going on at the moment, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious. As we mentioned earlier, this is new to all of us and can feel very strange at times, so it’s important to remember to be kind to ourselves while we adapt to this new way of life. 
Another thing to be mindful of is how much time we spend online. While being so limited with what we can do during the lockdown, many of us have reached for our screens. While they can be great a source of entertainment, it’s important to keep a balance and not compare ourselves to others and what they’re doing. Make sure you're following accounts that uplift you and make you feel good and steer away from those that don’t. 
Image Title: 4. Treat yourself
Image: Pink roses wrapped up in tissue paper next to a purse laid on a wooden table
It’s always nice to treat yourself to something nice once in a while. Find something that you enjoy like your favorite film or food. If you fancy something different, why not have a look online? There are plenty of small businesses that would appreciate your support at the moment. If you're feeling generous you could even buy a treat for a friend - it would be a lovely way to show you're thinking of them!
We have lots of luxury gift items which you can view here
 
 ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including 1 Vitality Body & Wash, 1 Nourishing hand & body lotion, 1 mini hydrating beauty mist and an ARK Skincare travel bag. Was £95, now £45. ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Duo including 1 Vitality Hand & Body wash & 1 Nourishing hand and body lotion. Was £58, now £38.
Image Title: 5. Keep a journal
 ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including 1 Vitality Body & Wash, 1 Nourishing hand & body lotion, 1 mini hydrating beauty mist and an ARK Skincare travel bag. Was £95, now £45. ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Duo including 1 Vitality Hand & Body wash & 1 Nourishing hand and body lotion. Was £58, now £38.
It doesn’t have to be a daily diary if that’s not your thing, but simply writing down what’s going on for you during this time can be a great way to express yourself and get out how you feel. It might even be a keepsake to look back on in years to come to reflect on everything that happened!
 
Most importantly, remember to be your own friend. It's easy to feel anxious and under pressure in these uncertain times but we are all in this together and we will get through it.
Slow down, be mindful and make sure you take a break when you need one. Don't put any pressure on yourself to do anything you don't feel comfortable with and keep the conversation flowing with friends and family so you aren't isolated. You can always keep in touch with us over on instagram and facebook @arkskincare, too! We love to hear from you. 
Take care & keep safe! 
Image: ARK Skincare logo