What is Beautifeye™?
BeautifeyeTM, is an extract derived from the Persian Silk Tree. The award-winning ingredient is proven to tighten and lift the eyelid and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
How does it benefit the skin?
1. It helps to lift the upper eyelid
BeautifeyeTM helps to support the dermal structure of the upper eyelid by boosting elasticity while supporting the walls of blood vessels so they are less prone to leaking and sagging, helping the skin to appear more youthful.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells. They can exist in our environment and can be generated from many different substances such as the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. The anti-oxidants packed within BeautifeyeTM can help fight the free radicals and reduce the damage they cause to our skin.
3. It helps to smooth crow’s feet
The multi-action ingredient can also help to plump the skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles made in the corner of the eye, (also known as crow’s feet). It also diminishes puffiness which is more common as you get older.
4. It reduces the appearance of dark circles
BeautifeyeTM can lessen the appearance of pigmentation under the eyes by reducing the intensity of red and blue colours which together, cause dark circles.
It also supports the production of collagen - a protein naturally produced in the body which improves skin elasticity, reduces visible wrinkles, and increases blood flow to the skin. Boosting your collagen level can help your skin to glow appear more and appear more energised.
ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream
Beautifeye is one of the powerful active ingredients we use in our Reverse Gravity Eye Cream. To find out more about this popular product, why not take a look at the product focus we shared recently here.
For a limited time, only you can receive 30% off of our eye cream when you visit the ARK Skincare website!
Feeling fed up with dark under-eye circles? ARK Skincare has got you covered. Our Reverse Gravity Eye Cream is the perfect product to tighten your eye area and keep it hydrated. In this post, we focus on the powerhouse ingredients that make this product so special and how they work to fade dark circles and diminish puffiness.
Do I need an eye cream?
The skin around your eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes can increase the appearance of lines, wrinkles and fluids collecting under the eyes which can cause dark circles, so It's important to remember to give your eye area a pamper every so often too.
Our instant-effect eye cream does it all: reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fades dark circles, soothes dry skin and minimizes puffiness.
Beautifeye™ is an extract from the Persian Silk Tree which is proven to tighten and lift the crease of the eyelid and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It also helps to reduce pigmentation and reduce any puffiness.
Grapeseed oil is rich in linoleic acid (also known as Omega 6), an essential building block for ceramides - one of skin’s main moisturising elements that help to keep skin supple and healthy.
Grapeseed Oil also contains Vitamin E which fantastic for skin; it protects against environmental pollution and UV radiation, quenches skin with moisture and helps to soothe irritation.
This powerful ingredient is used intensively in cosmetics due to its well-known healing and rejuvenating properties. It contains antioxidants, enzymes, multiple vitamins and is also used as an anti-inflammatory. The perfect ingredient to hydrate and soothe your eyes.
This ingredient acts as an emollient that keeps your skin full of moisture and prevents dryness and irritation. Allantoin has a calming effect on the skin and is full of antioxidants to keep skin youthful, vibrant, and healthy. The presence of antioxidants in your skincare routine will always show in your skin.
How to Use
For the best results, use in the mornings and evenings. Gently warm a small amount of product between ring fingers and pat lightly around the eye area. Then massage in using the metallic ball. In the summer, keep your eye cream stored in the fridge for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Take a look at what our customers had to say!
2020 - "Another award-winning product I have been enjoying using is the ARK Skincare Gravity Defying Eye Treatment. This product is amazing at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and help to fade dark circles and diminishes puffiness." Juelook, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
2020 - Finalist at Beauty Shortlist Awards "Best Eye Product"
"This cream is lightweight and soothing. Formulated to be used by those with even super sensitive skin, it also scores points for being vegan, cruelty-free and made in Britain...we especially loved the cooling metal ball on the end of the tube which can be used to massage the cream into the skin." - The Independent
Herbal Dynamics Beauty - What is Allantoin & Its Role In Anti-Aging?
Healthline - Grapeseed Oil For Skin: Benefits and Uses
At ARK Skincare, we are passionate about double-cleansing. We believe that a good cleanser and a good cleansing routine are two essential ingredients for healthy-looking and feeling skin.
In this post we are focus on our Skin Essential Pre-Cleanser & Make-up Remover and why keeping your skin clean is so important.
What is double cleansing?
Double cleansing is a two-step process to remove any make-up and bacteria and deeply cleanse the skin.
Why do I need to double cleanse?
You might be asking yourself if you really need to cleanse twice and 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.
By practising this routine you will be safe in the knowledge that your skin is nice and clean. If dirt and bacteria aren’t washed away, they can linger on your skin and contribute to early ageing, pigmentation and breakouts.
In addition to removing build-up, other benefits of keeping your skin clean are that it can help to prevent blemishes and even boost hydration. It’s very important to start with a clean base before applying any other products, the actives in your serum and moisturiser will not be as effective if they sit on layer of grime and dead skin cells.
This gentle and nourishing award-winning cleanser is the first step to our powerful cleansing routine. The multi-fruit lipid blend with Omegas 3, 6 & 9 dissolves every last trace of daily grime, excess sebum and make-up – even waterproof mascara – while nourishing and soothing skin with a blend of natural ingredients.
Margosa Leaf Extract - this powerhouse ingredient offers many wonderful benefits. It is used as an antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. It can also help to prevent acne and infection.
Vitamin E - Fantastic for skin; it protects against environmental pollution and UV radiation, quenches skin with moisture, calms and soothes, and helps with wound and scar healing.
Zi Cao - an Ayurvedic herb, which soothes sensitive skin and helps to calm inflammation.
Grapeseed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil - Help to deeply nourish skin and protect it against dryness.
How To Use:
Apply onto dry skin with dry hands and massage gently over the face. Add warm water to turn the oil into a liquid emulsion and continue to massage into the skin before rinsing off with water. Then follow up with your age intelligent cleanser and moisturiser to lock in hydration.
Cleaning. One of those jobs that many of us often like to put off. However, while many of us have been spending more time at home, it seems to be the first thing on everybody’s to-do list - mainly just to keep busy!
When talking about cleaning, the first things that often come to mind are our houses, cars and Monica cupboards...(if you know, you know!). But when was the last time you thought to clean out your skincare and give yourself a pamper?
This week we thought we'd share our top tips on how to freshen up your skincare routine to help you achieve clear, healthy skin!
Whether you wear make-up or not, a double cleanse is an essential part of any good skincare routine.
Your first cleanse will help to remove any traces of airborne bacteria, pollution and build up. If these aren’t washed away properly they can lead to pigmentation, break-outs and premature aging - no thank you!
Once you’ve removed make-up and grime from the surface, it’s time to clean deeper with your second cleanse. Massage your product in for a minute or so to give your skin a thorough clean. Then follow up with your moisturiser.
Take a look at ARK Skincare's Pre-cleanse & Make-up Remover - the powerful first step to our cleansing routine. Simply apply to dry skin before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. We also have a range of Age intelligent cleansers, specifically designed for each age group.
This doesn’t have to be all about eating kale - we promise. Be mindful of your body by making healthier choices and going easy on sugary & high fat treats.
Drink plenty of water, aim for your five a day and choose nutrient-rich foods to aid your body's natural detoxifying system and help your skin glow. Keeping active during the day is also beneficial, (for both your body and your mind!)
4. Tidy up your skincare
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality cleanser, Hydration Injection Masque, Triple Action Exfoliator, Skin Perfectors & Reverse Gravity Eye Cream
It’s easy to get lured in by pretty packaging and then find yourself with multiple bottles of various different products - but which do you actually use? Most of the time less is more, so choose wisely. Opt for products that use high-quality ingredients to nourish your skin.
Get into good habits - store your skincare in a place that you can keep clean and tidy. Aim to wash your make-up brushes regularly to ensure they aren’t spreading bacteria around and If you apply make-up with your fingers, wash your hands before each application to make sure they’re clean before touching your face.
Try to opt for contamination-free skincare products too. These are jars that you don’t have to put your fingers into. If one of your products does come in an open jar, use a spatula to access your product rather than your hands. You don’t want to be putting any bacteria into your pot!
All ARK Skincare products are housed in contamination-free packaging to keep them hygienic. You can take a look at all of our products on our website.
Many of us are experiencing dry skin as lockdown takes its toll. Feeling stressed, taking less exercise, and spending more time indoors can all affect our skin. Here are our 5 top tips and favorite products to help keep your skin hydrated.
1. Say No To Steamy Showers
2. Remember your fruits and veggies!
A daily dose of fruit and vegetables is essential for your diet. There is a proportional amount of water in these foods that can be absorbed by the body, helping to keep you hydrated and give your skin the vitamins it needs for a natural, radiant glow.
3. Drink plenty of water
Hydration starts from within. Like the rest of your body, your skin is made up of water. We lose a significant amount of water every day, so it’s important to replenish your body to allow it to function at its best. The NHS suggests you should aim for 8 glasses a day.
4. Go easy on alcohol
One of the biggest effects alcohol has on the skin is dehydration. Consuming too much can lead to puffiness and inflammation. Alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar too, so overindulging too often can also lead to break-outs and dull complexion. It's important to enjoy a treat now and again but remember to stay mindful!
5. Invest in natural skincare products
Healthy, glowing skin is a great way to boost anybody's self-confidence. When we look good, we feel great. Take care of your skin by opting for products with a high percentage of natural ingredients to help nurture and hydrate your skin. ARK Skincare offers three different age intelligent ranges, specifically designed for each age group, helping to achieve beautiful skin at every age. We also have multiple other ranges, such as our Skin Perfectors to help you tackle specific skin concerns and our Skin Essentials to help you create the perfect daily skincare routine.
Here are some of our top picks to help you keep your skin hydrated:
Cocoons skin with hydration
Our best-selling serum instantly hydrates dry, thirsty skin and locks in moisture. Ingredients include Laminaria Algae and cucumber extract which help to freshen and restore the skin’s texture and suppleness. Add 2-3 drops directly onto clean skin before moisturiser or blend with moisturiser and apply together.
Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness
This instant-effect eye cream contains multiple powerhouse ingredients to help lift, tone and hydrate the eye area. BeautifuleyeTM, created from Persian silk tree extract, is proven to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, while Amino acids boost moisture levels to plump skin and minimize signs of aging. Aloe Vera helps to calm and nurture dry, sensitive eyes.
A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy
An intensive multivitamin hydration injection masque to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. This rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.
Rich in hyaluronic acid, this is the perfect product to drench skin with moisture and provide protection against water loss. Give your skin a boost with vitamin C to fade pigmentation, Vitamin E to prevent free radical damage and Vitamin B5 for smoothness.
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
ARK Skincare Travel bag
Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
Vitality Body Wash
Nourishing Hand and Nail Cream
- Hydration Injection Masque
- Jade Tool & Velvet Pouch
You can find lots of our thoughtful gifts here.
We know it can be hard to find things to talk about now everyone is spending so much more time at home; so it’s time to think outside the box! Why not plan a virtual pub quiz evening with friends and family, or perhaps watch a film together via zoom? There are still ways of keeping things light-hearted and fun!
If you want some company at dinner time, why not schedule a ‘dinner date’ with a friend or family member? (A fun idea for couples too!) Spend some getting ready, choose a nice outfit like you would if you were going out, then prepare a yummy meal before calling your date! They can still be at the opposite end of the table, even if they are a little further away... Don’t forget dessert!
While we can’t go to the gym, why not sign up to an online workout class with a friend? It will give you something to commit to and you can encourage each other to stay motivated. It’s a great way to keep active, and you can catch up afterwards about how you found it!
If you're looking for something to keep you occupied, why not find an online community to join? There are so many online groups for all sorts of different things from blogging and baking to fitness and beauty.
Search for a hashtag online and find like-minded people who share your interests. You can find recipes, DIY's and tutorials for all kinds of things. You can guarantee to find something that will keep you busy!
How To Use: To achieve clean, fresh feeling skin, use this gentle cleanser to remove any make-up or simply ‘rinse the day away'. Massage in gently all over your face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Then follow up with your age intelligent cleanser.
"These three products were selected for the Hero Collection as individually they are powerhouse formulas, each delivering exceptional results. Plus, used together in a regime they provide three essential steps that any good skincare routine needs - cleanse, hydrate & protect. Making the Hero Collection perfect for long term lovers of ARK and first time customers alike."
Katie Sangers, ARK Skincare Director
Which other products would you recommend to a first-time buyer?
If you are new to ARK, then the Hero Collection is definitely a great introduction to our brand. We would then recommend your age intelligent cleanser and moisturiser. If you have any specific skin concerns you'd like to tackle we also have a range of six Skin Perfectors you can choose from.
You can find out more about all of our products on our homepage.
From a young age, we’re all told to ‘remember your sunscreen!’ - but what does it do and why is protecting ourselves so important?
What types of sunlight rays are there and how can they affect my skin?
How does SPF work?
What makes ARK Skincare's Skin Protecting SPF 30 Primer so special?
You can find out more about this product here.
NHS - Sunscreen & Sun Safety
ColorScience - How Does Sunscreen Work To Protect Your Skin?The Explainer - What Does SPF Mean & How Is It Measured
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 email@example.com 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.
At the start of this year, ARK Skincare launched two brand new night treatments. (If you missed the big news, you can find our original post here!)
We’ve given you plenty of information about each of the treatments and how they benefit your skin while you sleep, but what does everyone think?
Since these products were made available on the ARK Skincare website, we have been so thrilled with the feedback that we decided to round-up all the things that people have been loving and share them with you!
Clean Natural Scent
“It contains no artificial colours or fragrances so has a very healthy smell to it, one I personally love and one that’s not over-powering. You don’t need a lot as a little goes a long way and it applies like a dream, sinking in beautifully. My skin instantly feels plumped and hydrated.” – Tracey, Lifestyle Blogger (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)
Brighter, Softer Skin
“I’ve been using the Age Defend night cream now for 6wks. I’ve been using ARK on my skin for 4yrs, so I was very excited to get my hands on the night cream! It really does not disappoint. My skin feels amazing, it looks clearer, brighter, feels softer. It’s a lovely rich, nourishing texture without leaving the skin sticky & heavy like some night creams. It also smells divine & is a must now in my daily skincare routine.” Kate Hardy - ARK Skincare’s Resident Therapist
Helps to Hydrate
“Nourishing and healing…the ARK’s Defend Night Treatment Cream is amazing! Light, silky smooth and provides the perfect amount of hydration. Yet another beautiful product from ARK, thank you!” Karen D - Customer
Gentle on Sensitive Skin
“It calms down my Rosacea that tends to flare up with the cooler weather” – Annemieke, Beauty Blogger (@_beautyonreview)
A Great Under-Eye Treatment
“I simply cleanse and follow with the serum of my choice. I then apply and massage Age Defend Night Treatment in using my jade tool which feels amazingly therapeutic. The Night Treatment can even be used under the eyes as it contains Prodizia which helps reduce dark circles and eye bags.” - (@the_naughtyfortydiaries)
“This lightweight formula and silky texture melts quickly into the skin adding a layer of much-needed hydration. Each morning my skin looks plump, hydrated and has a youthful glow which I am loving!” Sharon, Beauty Blogger (@backtoyoubeauty)
Leaves You Looking Rested
“I’m a big fan of ARK’s Defy range, so couldn’t wait to try the new Night Treatment. It’s rich without being heavy and I’ve noticed an improvement in skin texture in only one week of using it. I feel like I wake up looking more rested now!” Judith S - Customer
Perfect for Dry Skin
“I’ve been using the two products each night and my skin feels lovely and replenished when I go to bed right through to morning. I have sensitive, dry skin usually but it’s been looking so much clearer as well as being brighter and more supple.” – Emma, Lifestyle Blogger. (@Evenangelsfall)
Works While You Sleep
“The cream is nicely absorbed by my skin and in the morning my skin feels soft, nourished and looks brighter already. I feel that my skin is more hydrated too, making it the perfect night cream for the winter months.” (@_beautyonreview)
It is a simple, quick and effective routine that leaves my skin prepped for its beauty sleep. (@the-naughtyfortydiaries)
Gives The Skin Some 'Oomph"
"When it comes to the colder months, my skin needs a bit more oomph in my moisturiser and this fits the bill perfectly" - Talonted Lex, Beauty Blogger
We were also thrilled to be part of Lex's February Skincare Shakeup on her blog which you can read here.
To view the night treatments on our website you can click here.
The Science of Sleep
We all know how important rest is and the struggle we can face without it. So, what happens when we sleep and why do we need it?
Sleep is incredibly important as it helps the brain to function properly. Without it, we are unable to properly process what we’re told and remember things we learned throughout the day. This is why it can be hard to focus on what would usually be fairly straight forward.
Bad or little sleep can lead to many different complications. Some are physical, such as seizures, high blood pressure and increased likelihood of illness and infection. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Despite knowing all of the factors that are associated with lack of sleep, I was interested to find out what actually happens when we slumber. So, with that in mind, I went away and did some research of my own.
So, What Did I Find?
Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (also known as our body clock). It responds to light cues and ramps up the production of melatonin – a natural hormone known as the ‘sleep hormone’ which tells our body it’s night time. Once the sun starts to go down and we are exposed to less light, melatonin is released into the bloodstream and as levels begin to rise, we start to feel sleepy. (This definitely makes me feel less guilty about feeling so sluggish in wintertime!)
When we sleep, we experience a four-stage cycle. These cycles are often repeated 3-4 times during the night, depending on how good of a sleep we get.
This stage is the transition between being awake and falling asleep once we get comfortable, close our eyes and begin to relax. This usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.
This is when our heart rate and breathing begins to slow down, body temperature drops and our muscles may twitch. This stage is still fairly light and the brain produces sudden increases in brain wave frequency known as sleep spindles.
This is known as the “delta” stage of sleep due to the delta slow brain waves which take place. It is at this particular stage in sleep that the most growth hormone is produced to service bones, muscles and repair the body. At this point, it becomes a little harder for us to be awakened because we become less responsive to outside stimuli.
Stage four is known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), the deepest stage of sleep which we usually enter about 90 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the stage where the brain is most active, the eyes dart back and forth and breathing becomes fast and shallow. It’s also when our dreams take place. Chemicals that are released within the body render it temporarily paralyzed so that we don’t act them out in our sleep. Each REM stage can last up to an hour and an average adult has five to six a night.
After some extensive research into the science of sleep over the past two years, ARK skincare has recently released two new night treatments. Each is packed full of active ingredients that help to aid the body’s natural repair process when we sleep, allowing us to wake up feeling rested and glowing. You can find more information about these here.
This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here
NHS - How To Beat Insomnia