Blog – red skin – ARK Skincare

Treating Skin by Age & Skin Concern

Bioactive Natural Ingredients

Consumer Trialled | Proven Efficacy

Blog

Living with Atopic Eczema: Our 10 Top Tips

Image: Girl wearing a white tank top scratching her sore red arm

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.

  Some may have small patches of dry skin and others may have larger areas of inflammation. People who suffer from eczema usually experience periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe. These are called flare-ups.

Causes of Eczema

No one is entirely sure what exactly causes eczema but The National Eczema Association believes a combination of genes and triggers are involved. Those with eczema tend to have an overactive immune system and when triggered by a substance inside or outside the body, it responds by producing inflammation. This is what causes the red, itchy and painful skin symptoms associated with 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.

1. Don’t scratch
Although it can be tempting, when you scratch or even rub, you can make the itch and your eczema worse. Some people scratch so much they bleed, and that's a setup for infection. Instead, try using a cold compress to cool the skin and apply moisturiser to avoid it from drying out. 
2. Keep a food diary
People with eczema can experience inflammation from eating certain foods. Common triggers are citrus fruits, dairy and gluten/wheat but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a note of what you are eating and be mindful of how/if your skin reacts. This can help to illuminate what causes your flare-ups and which foods you should try to avoid. 
3. Choose Skincare Products Carefully: 
Choose products that are advertised as “safe for sensitive skin” that won't include irritants that may affect your eczema. Stay away from products that are highly scented as fragrance can be a number one cause for irritation. People with particularly sensitive skin should always introduce new products slowly over a matter of days. It may also be a good idea to perform a patch test on the neck or inside of your arm to ensure your skin reacts well before applying to a large area. If you wash your hair while standing in the shower, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner is worth considering too.
4. Choose soft fabrics.
Material that is rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Allowing yourself to get too warm can make you sweat and cause a flare-up as well. Synthetic materials such as nylon, rayon, and polyester tend to be warmer which can cause itchiness and prolong the effects of eczema so are best avoided. Opt for soft clothes that are gentle on your skin and keep it cool.
5. Learn your allergens
Eczema may flare up when you’re around things that may cause an allergic reaction. These can be different for each person, so it’s important to be mindful of things that may cause you to react. Some of the most common allergens are: seasonal pollen, dust mites, fine fur from cats and dogs, mold and dandruff. Taking note of the appearance of your skin each day can help to identify things you should avoid.
6. Manage stress.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of yourself. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine.
7. Choose the right form of exercise
Exercising can lower stress, boost the immune system and help to keep you healthy. However, the downside is that sweat can also trigger eczema to flare-up. As sweat evaporates, the skin dries and is left with a salty residue that can irritate eczema and encourage you to itch. If you are suffering from a flare-up,  try low-impact exercises like walking, yoga or pilates. These can be helpful to relieve stress and give your skin a break.
8. Be aware of your environment
Many people with eczema become itchy if they get too hot. This can happen if you get too sweaty or layer up too many clothes. During the cold winter months, it’s important not to allow your skin to dry out from harsh winds, so always make sure to keep skin hydrated with gentle moisturising creams.
9. Avoid Hot Water
When your skin is irritated, a hot shower can often feel like a great way to temporarily relieve itching. However, dermatologists warn that this can actually make eczema worse. Hot water dries out the skin and causes it to crack and become sore. Turn the heat down and soak in luke-warm water instead as this will absorb into the skin. Moisturise straight after bathing to lock in hydration.
10.  Look after your hands
It is important that we wash our hands throughout the day to get rid of any nasty germs and bugs. With the current pandemic, we are all being encouraged to do this as often as possible to reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s important to take care of our skin too. Make sure to pat your hands dry as opposed to rubbing them as this can make them sore. Always follow up with hand creamYou can read more about how to treat sore hands here.

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

References:

April is Rosacea Awareness Month - Here Are Our Top Tips for dealing with Rosacea

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.Artwork image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer next to a sunflower and pretty flower petals

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.

Image of somebody holding a polaroid image of a neon yellow light saying "and breathe"


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.

Image of freshly washed make-up brushes in a pretty white pencil pot
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.Image of a lady stood on the pavement wearing her grey trainers

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.

Product Image of ARK Skincare's Anti-Redness Serum with 3 Badges for vegan friendly, beauty shortlist award winner 2019 & beauty global awards 2019.
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 sales@arkskincare.com for help and product advice. We love hearing from you!

 

The Benefits of Gua Sha

 

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.

  1. Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
  2. Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
  3. Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
  4. Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline. 
  5. Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
  6. 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. 
  7. Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline 
  8. 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.

Pro Tips

  •  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. 

 

his is

Talonted Lex's 'Skincare Shake Up'

Blogger Talonted Lex shows us her 'Skincare shake up August 17 edition' and one of the products shes tried and loved has been our Skin Perfecter Anti-redness serum. 
"The ARK website (and brand concept) is enormously helpful to those who are a bit confused as to where to start when it comes to skincare, because you can either take a look at products recommended by age or by skin concern. They recommend that you pick your cleanser and moisturiser based on the age bracket, and any additional products based on the specific skin issues you want to target. With that in mind, I’ve been testing out the ARK Skin Perfector Anti-redness Serum which is a wonderfully light and easily absorbed product that has helped to soothe itchy or sore skin when my rosacea has been playing up, all while helping to keep my skin hydrated."
Blogger Talonted Lex tried and loved ARK's Skin Perfector Anti-Redness Serum.
Order now at www.arkskincare.com