What is Eczema?
Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. It can affect any part of the body but is most common on hands, the insides of elbows and the back of knees.
Causes of Eczema
Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms.
Here are our top tips for managing symptoms and keeping them under control.
All of ARK Skincare’s products contain a high percentage of natural ingredients and are made without any known irritants, made with sensitive skin in mind. Find out more about our products on our website
Feeling flushed? Suffering from persistent redness? It may be rosacea, which is more common than you think. It is, unfortunately, not something you can cure, but you may like to try our top tips for keeping it under control.
1. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays
UV rays are the number one cause of rosacea flare-ups, so it's important to use a good quality SPF all year round and ensure to cover up when in direct sunlight. Take a look at our SPF 30 Primer here - it's the perfect product to protect your skin and it creates a smooth base for makeup application too.
2.Consider the environment around you. Extremes of temperature and pollution can aggravate rosacea. Hot weather, cold winds, high humidity, and urban pollution can all be problematic. Keep cool, avoid steam, wrap up against cold winds, and protect from pollution.
3. Manage stress levels.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. This will help you not to put unnecessary pressure on yourself and help to calm your mind and body.
4. Keep well
Being unwell can show on your skin. Fever, coughs and colds, high blood pressure, and serious illness can cause rosacea to flare up. Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives. Consider taking multivitamins to keep well especially those with vitamin C and Zinc.
5. Wash your make up brushes
In an independent survey of 1000 people 44% said they had never cleaned their make up brushes! Several studies have shown that makeup brushes can be contaminated with dangerously high levels of bacteria, and in some cases carried more bacteria than was found on a loo brush! Clean those brushes to prevent skin irritations and redness flare-ups.
6. Go make up free
Consider having a break from makeup and see if your redness comes down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from makeup and your skin improves reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare-up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.
7. Avoid scent
Scent can be a major cause of skin irritation. Stop using perfumes and avoid facial, body, and bath products that are highly scented. Even some essential oils can be irritating to the skin, so it's important to choose products that are as natural as possible as these won't contain any harsh chemicals.
8. Alter your exercise routine
Exercise is reported by many rosacea sufferers as a cause of flare-ups. But don’t stop exercising! It is essential to your stress management and overall wellbeing. Instead, alter the way you exercise. Consider short blasts of high-intensity workouts rather than prolonged sessions. Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, but instead, make sure the gym is well ventilated and ideally air-conditioned. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. Try swimming. AND always keep hydrated. It is essential to keep your water consumption up.
9. Skincare Products can help but choose carefully. Select products that are created for sensitive skin as these will be free of known irritants and strong fragrances. It's also important to keep your skincare routine simple– “less is more” as they say. Don't chop and change your products either, introduce products one by one over a matter of weeks to avoid over-stimulating the skin. When applying products be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth. Resist the temptation to wash your face when in a power shower. The strong jets can cause sensitivity and redness to flare.
Our soothing Anti-Redness Serum contains a botanical complex clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, and regularly receives 5-star reviews. It has also been featured by Talontedlex, a popular skincare blogger who openly talks about her favourite products to help rosacea. You can find out more about this award-winning product here.
Controlling rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle. Follow these tips to help keep your skin calm. Don’t be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering. You can always chat with us on socials @arkskincare or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help and product advice. We love hearing from you!
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a natural ancient self-care beauty ritual, originated from China. This facial massage technique has been used for several thousand years to achieve skin health and provide a youthful, radiant complexion.
The natural therapy involves sweeping the skin with a massage tool. These strokes help to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage. With regular practice facial tension is relieved, the jawline becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, the skin is lifted and de-puffed.
How to use
Cleanse the skin and gently pat dry before applying your favourite serum, moisturiser or masque. Simply apply your product as normal and then use the tool to make sweeping motions over the contours of your face. The layer of product is important to ensure the tool does not tug at the skin.
You should work through this seven-step routine on one side of the face, then repeat on the other side, making sure to repeat each stroke 3-5 times. Repeat 2-3 times a week to see the full benefits.
- Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
- Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
- Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
- Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline.
- Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
- Under eyes - be very gentle in this area. Sweep from the corner of the eye to the hairline. Use less pressure than on the rest of the face.
- Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline
- Forehead - sweep upwards from the eyebrows the top of the head.
Clean and dry the tool after use.
What are the benefits?
This natural therapy can help to activate the immune system, allowing the body to speed up its natural healing process. Gua Sha is performed on the back of the neck, shoulders and mid-back where the lymphatic system and drains the lymphatics which assists in decongestion. This has huge benefits for cold and flu symptoms. Gua sha is an anti-inflammatory therapy, great for dealing with chronic pain and sore muscles. Additionally, it is able to firm the skin, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and plump skin to give it a youthful glow.
- Try keeping your jade tool in the fridge. This will intensify the cooling sensation, leaving you feeling refreshed.
- Use the tool to massage your head. Wiggling it against your scalp through your hair can help to relieve tension.
- Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to experiment. You may want to focus on certain areas more than others.
Our in house therapist Kate Hardy performs gua sha using our jade tool in her treatments, so we asked her to tell us what she likes about it and why she uses this particular form of therapy.
"I've been working the jade tool myself for several months now & have recently introduced it into facial treatments for clients. The jade tool really helps to stimulate the facial muscles. It's also great for increasing lymphatic drainage, helping the skin get rid of toxins. It gives the skin a natural boost with a lifting and firming effect, brightening the skin and reducing puffiness. It leaves you with a wonderful fresh-faced glow and is also super relaxing to do".
Where can you find out more?
You can view our Gua Sha tool here. Until the end of March 2020, this is also part of a discounted duo alongside our Hydration Injection Masque, saving you £17. This is part of our spring offers range which you can view here.