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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
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!
Image: Wooden coffee table holding a cup of coffee, phone, sunglasses and a handwritten diary
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

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!

 

How To Lift Your Mood

8 TOP TIPS

Image of a flat lay on a cosy duvet with a cup of tea, book and a candle

We all have our days where we don't feel so good and need a little bit of comfort. So, this week, we thought we'd share some of our top tips to help lift and boost your mood, for when you're in need of a pick me up. Remember you can always chat with us on socials too, we love hearing from you! @ARKskincare
Title: 8 ways to uplift your mood
Tip one: Reflect
Sometimes it can feel easier to push negative emotions away, rather than actually dealing with them. However, ignoring the way you’re really feeling and bottling things up can often do more damage than good.
Be kind to yourself. Take some time out and reflect on what it is that might be making you feel down. Perhaps sharing your feelings with a friend or family member might help. Or, if you don’t feel like talking, allow yourself some time to accept how you feel. Sometimes a good cry to a sad film can relieve a lot of built-up tension and make you feel a lot better!
Tip 2: Talk with others
Image of a girl holding her iphone, scrolling through her messages on social media
Chatting with friends or family members can always help to boost your mood. While we all know face to face interaction is limited right now, why not call or facetime someone you haven’t caught up with for a while? Start a virtual hangout and have your own ‘pub’ quiz with your best friends and favorite drinks, or get creative with an online game of Pictionary!
Tip Three: Get stuck into something fun!

Do you ever find yourself so submerged with something, then you look at the clock and hours have gone by? Find something you enjoy doing and allow yourself some time to have fun! There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied - a funny film or tv show, writing/drawing, puzzles, online quizzes, or even virtual games you can play online with friends! 

While they're a lot less chatty, if you have a pet, spend some time with them too! Animals can bring us so much joy with the little things they do and can be a great company when you're feeling low. 

Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

Image of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack

“The way to someone's heart is through their stomach!” - A tasty treat is always a great way to put a smile on someone's face. There are plenty of free recipes online, so why not have a go at trying one yourself? Baking can be a really therapeutic way of keeping busy for a few hours and as a bonus, you'll have an afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea! 

If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at these yummy looking recipes!

Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Brilliant Banana Loaf

Tip Five:  Do a good deed

Image of a laptop screen with a 'be kind' screen saver, on a desk with coffee and a plant

 Offering an act of kindness to others is always a nice thing to do. It can make somebody’s day and you’ll feel great seeing their reaction, knowing you’ve done lovely something for them. Ideas could be offering some help to somebody who is struggling, treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal or even showing a smile to a stranger. 

Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

Image of a brown acoustic guitar leaning on a while pillow on a desk chair
Having something positive to listen to is always a good way to lift the mood. Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs to put on or find something interesting to listen to. 
There are plenty of podcasts online where people talk about all kinds of different topics. 

For an all-round feel-good podcast, The Mental Makeover Podcast has lots of episodes on how to live a happier lifestyle, including topics such as the law of attraction, boosting your mood and improving your self-confidence. Definitely worth a listen!

Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

Although we all know the importance of staying inside at the moment, we can still get our dose of vitamin D! Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Even going for a short walk or standing outside for 5-10 minutes can help. Just don't forget your SPF!

Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

Image of a bath tray on a bathtub with candles, flowers and books

Taking some time out to practice self-care is so important for good mental health. Run a bath, pop a face mask on, grab some of your favourite body products and treat yourself to a few hours to yourself to relax and unwind. An early night now and again helps too - a rested mind makes anyone feel better!

Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

If you really want to treat yourself, take a look at ARK Skincare's new Uplifting Care package! The perfect gift to treat yourself or a friend to. 

Was £92, now £45!

 Includes:

  • Vitality Hand & Body Wash
  • Nourishing Body Lotion
  • Hydrating Beauty Mist 
  • ARK Washbag 
Mood board of the Uplift Care Package artwork with products and an image of a girl stretching as she gets out of bed. Title:  Energise your morning routine.

       You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.

      References: 

      NHS - How To Be Happy 

      Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

      Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

      SELF - 13 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood

      Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

       

      Care Packages & Competition!

      We could all do with a pick me up. Here is your chance to send yourself, or a friend, a care package to serve as a virtual cuddle. You can choose from our three options: Comfort, Uplift, or De-Stress. Order your favourite for yourself, or send it to a friend of your choice. Simply add the recipient's delivery address at check out.

       

      Image displaying ARK products with a shop now button

      The Comfort Care Package 
      Image showing a travel candle, body serum and travel bag

      Including:
      • Conditioning Body Serum
      • Rose, Geranium & Violet Travel Candle
      • ARK Wash Bag
      • Was £72, now £22

      The Uplifting Care Package 

      Image of body wash, body lotion and hydrating beauty mist, all with a travel bag

      Including

      • Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist 
      •  Vitality Hand & Body Wash
      • Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
      • ARK Wash Bag 

      Was £92, now £45

       

      The De-Stress Care Package

      Image of a Hydration Injection Masque, Travel Candle, Destress serum and Wash bag

      Including: 

      •  De-Stress Serum 
      •  Hydration Injection Masque
      • Geranium, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Travel Candle  
      • ARK Wash Bag

      shop all gifts here

      Want to include a message?

      Sadly we can not include personal messages at this time. However, at check out, you can sneak in a message in the name field. Enter your recipient's name in the "first name" field, and the message in the "last name" field. The name and message will be displayed on the address label. But keep it brief due to the limited space available, and make sure you put your details in the billing address section.

       

      Image of Name & address fields showing were to enter message at checkout

      Look out for our competition post on our Facebook or Instagram pages, tag a key worker in the comments whom you believe should receive a free care package. There are ten free gifts to be won. Competition ends Tuesday 21st April. 

      In your comment include the following:
      1. Their name
      2. A little bit about them and why you want them to win.
      3. Which of the ARK Skincare Care Packages you'd like them to win
      Please keen to one nomination per comment. You are welcome to nominate as many people as you like, but please do each one in a new comment.
      We're not asking for likes or follows, but do feel free to share so we can celebrate as many people as possible. 
      Best of luck!! 

      What We Have Learnt From Isolation... So Far

      The world has temporarily changed and we are learning how to adjust to our new way of life. Here we share tips to help us all get through this together and stay positive...
       
      Do not watch the news nonstop! Decide on one update a day and make sure it is a reliable source. Perhaps you enjoy a particular TV or radio news bulletin, or maybe you watch the daily government briefing? Stick to one, otherwise, it becomes overwhelming. 
      Do not lose your day to social media scaremongering! Now is the time to make sure you are following only positive social media accounts and avoid any inaccurate information. Social media will be so important to us to keep in touch over the next few weeks, but it can also be incredibly negative. Follow the positive hashtags #positives #postivevibes #positivenews #goodnews .. and maybe the odd cute animal site!
      It is really easy to slip into poor habits and to move only a few steps each day. Pick a time to exercise and stick to it. There are so many free videos and fitness challenges available on YouTube and Social media. No gyms required! 
      This is no time to start an extreme eating plan! Eat a balanced diet and make sure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Don't start panic taking new supplements, but perhaps a daily dose of Vitamin C will help. Also, ensure you get exposure to light rays for a short time each day to top up your Vitamin D levels. You can achieve this by sitting at an open window if you can't get out. But don't forget your SPF if you are in sunlight for any length of time!
      This is a great opportunity to check-in with old friends and extended family whom you may not have seen recently. Re-establish old links. A 'phone call now could really make someone's day. 
      There are lots of community groups starting up to offer local assistance. Check-in with your neighbours (whilst staying two meters apart) even if you don't know them, and make sure they are OK. 
      You can't become the world's best teacher overnight! If you are trying to work from home as well as managing homeschooling it is a pretty impossible task. Cut yourself some slack. Do the best you can. Use all the school resources provided but if you need to resort to online tutorials, videos, and films, that is fine.
      Remember that body brush you bought but never really used? .. Or a Jade tool you planned to learn how to perfect the art of facial massage with? Do you have other products you never really got to grips with? Now is the time. Create a great facial and body skincare regime and get into the habit whilst you have the time. You will see the physical improvements, as well as feel the psychological benefits of a good self-care regime. Plus there is nothing quite like a soak in the bath at the end of the day to ease away stress.
      "Keep a diary and someday it will keep you" Mae West was very wise... but even if you don't manage to create a best seller, writing your feelings down can be very cathartic and help you organise your thoughts and feelings. Getting the negatives off your chest is good but write down the good stuff too and focus on all the positives. It will help!
      Over the coming weeks we will be sharing lots of tips and ideas, and hopefully spreading some positivity. Our office is closed as our staff are now all working from home, but please do keep in touch via social media or email. We will get back to all messages in turn. Please share anything which has made you feel good and we will pass it on to the rest of the ARK Skincare community. 
      Our delivery service remains fully operational. All orders are processed in our distribution centre which is adhering to all the latest government safety protocols. Parcels will be safely delivered and left at your door. No signatures or contact will be required. If you have any concerns please get in touch office@arkskincare.com
      Stay home. Stay safe. Keep well.

      How To Work From Home

      

      What a peculiar time we’re living in. Strange - isn’t it? We at ARK are just trying our best to count our blessings and take each day as it comes. Whether you are at home, at work, or somewhere in between, we hope that you’re okay and keeping well.

      Please do keep in touch with us via social media, or if you wish to contact our customer services team, please email office@arkskincare.com or call 02037403303 and leave a message. We are all working from home but will respond to every message we receive. The ARK Skincare website is still operating as normal and we are continuing to ship orders.

      With a lot of us now staying inside, we thought we would share some tips on working from home. For this, we asked our newest member of the team Lucy, our new sales and marketing assistant, to share what she has learned in her first week from working from home.

      If you’re like me and finding yourself working from home for the first time, you might be still finding out how to adjust. So, I thought it would be a better time than ever to create a guide for working at home and put together some top tips that I’ve learned. 

      1. Establish a routine

      Although you’re at home, there is still work to be done. Of course, your schedule might be a little more relaxed than usual, but it is still important to get a good night's sleep and wake up at a sensible time so you feel fresh and ready for the day. Deciding when you plan to take your lunch and breaks is important too as then you can work around your own guidelines.

      2. Create a workspace 

      While at home, it’s really important to differentiate ‘being at work’ and being at home. Try to find a quiet space to do your work where you aren’t in the way of anybody else. Then, you can create a set up with everything you’ll need. Try your best to keep out of the way of any distractions like the tv, phones or your other family members. 

      3. Write a daily to-do list

      Write yourself a list of things you want to achieve and then order them most to least important. I find starting with the most important first means I can relax a little knowing it's done and don’t rush through any of my other work. It can be really helpful to do this at the end of the working day so you know what has been done and what your priorities are for the next day.

      4. Remember to take breaks

      Be realistic with the goals you set yourself. It’s not healthy to be sat down all day consumed in one thing. Aim to take short breaks every few hours to allow yourself some time away from a screen. This could be when you take a walk, make your lunch or catch up with a family member. 

      5. Get some exercise

      Without the need to get yourself to your workplace and with gyms being closed, it can be very easy to forget to keep active, but exercise is so important for both physical and mental health. This article by the NHS explains why sitting too much is bad for us and why it is so important to stay active. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a little bit of sun where you are, it's definitely worth getting out and making the most of it, even if it is just for a short walk!

      There are also some great pre-filmed workouts online and even some live workout classes being aired on youtube and Instagram which give a great sense of community and encouragement for those who feel like they need a pick me up. 

      6. Communicate 

      Please don’t allow yourself to get lonely. This is a difficult time for everybody, but we are so blessed to live in a world where we have technology and phones to be able to keep in contact with those around us. Make sure to keep in touch with family and friends by sending pictures and sharing the things that make you smile to keep the conversation flowing!

      7. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. This is something new for everyone and we are all still learning to adjust. Some days are bound to be easier than others and that is okay. Try your best to focus on all the little things that bring you joy and be proud of all the things you are able to achieve. We must keep finding the positives and remember that we will get through this. 

       

      In the next few posts we will be sharing some ideas of what you can do in your free time while being at home, so keep an eye out if you're in need of some inspiration!

      Also, while we're all washing our hands constantly, we have decided to put together a little gift. A free hand & nail cream will be added to any orders £5 or over - helping you to avoid getting dry hands! 

       Click here to shop now 

       

      Sources: 

      BBC: Coronavirus - 5 Ways to Work From Home

      The Independent: How to Be Productive When Working From Home

      NHS: Why Too Much Sitting Is Bad For Us

      https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

       

      ARK Skincare's New Night Treatments

      How do we brighten up a long, dreary winter? A new product launch

      At the end of last month, ARK Skincare announced the launch of two new night treatment formulations. After extensive research and testing, we are thrilled to be able to share these new additions to our range. 

      Agedefend Regenerating Night Treatment

      A night cream formulated for those in their 30’s and 40’s

      With active ingredients to aid the natural repair process that occurs when we sleep, and to combat the signs of everyday stress which tends to be at its peak at this age.

      The formulation supports the skin’s natural defence system through its enhanced antioxidant and free radical scavenger activity. This in turn helps reduce the appearance of skin aging and wrinkle formation. The advanced delivery system helps to deliver coenzyme Q10 to deeper skin layers, increasing this active ingredient's bioavailability. Ingredients include anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties to help with rosacea and acne; detoxifying properties to help repair dull tired skin; conditioning agents to hydrate and relieve dryness whilst boosting elasticity; and protective properties to help with over sensitized skin. In addition an anti-fatigue and radiance promoter is included to promote a visible reduction of dark circles, under eye bags, dull complexion and drawn features. Key ingredients: Coenzyme Q10, Kiwi Seed Oil; Passionfruit Seed Oil; Shea Butter; Vitamin E; Vitamin A Palmitate; Crodarom Blue Lotus; Prodizia. 97.55% natural. Suitable for vegans. 

      Agedefy Repairing Night Treatment

      A night cream formulated for those 50 onwards

      Rejuvenates tired, damaged skin whilst you sleep. Bioactive ingredients tone, re-densify, and regenerate skin whilst improving the natural barrier function and diminishing the visible signs of ageing.

      Includes a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger which acts to stimulate the production of collagen and increase skin firmness. Aims to reduce inflammation, and to repair dry or damaged skin by improving hydration and suppleness. Includes an energizing cocktail of vitamins and minerals to detoxify and revitalize the appearance of skin. May be use around the eye area to improve the appearance of wrinkles and includes ingredients to reduce the signs of fatigue such as dark circles and under eye bags. Key ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Blackcurrant seed Oil, Borage Oil, Abyssinian Oil, Vitamin E, Goji, Reforcyl. 97.96% natural. Suitable for vegans.

      Here's what our team at head office had to say: 

       


       

      Our brand new night treatments can be purchased here.