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10 Valentine's Day Ideas During Lockdown

During these uncertain times it’s fair to say we could all do with a little bit of love.

We know that Valentine's day is set to look a little bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy yourself. As February is the month we associate with love, we are focusing on how you can show some appreciation to those you care about. So, whether it be for a romantic partner, family member, friend or even yourself, in this post, we share some fun activities to inspire you. 

1. Enjoy a luxury breakfast in bed

A tray of breakfast foods and small vase of flowers for valentines day.

There’s no better way to start the day then a yummy breakfast in bed - and no, we’re not just talking about your standard bowl of cereal. Whether it be pancakes, or pastries, why not treat yourself and/or your partner to an indulgent breakfast to enjoy relaxing while still being snuggled up warm in your pyjamas. 

2. Take a walk and explore somewhere new

A woodland walkway path with lots of greenery

We know this might not sound quite so exciting...We too are definitely a bit fed up of our usual daily walk by now... but why not mix it up a little this weekend and go somewhere different to explore? 

Wrap up warm, make up a flask of hot chocolate and find somewhere local to you where you can take a gentle stroll. Perhaps you could even meet a friend for a social distanced walk. You’ll feel great for seeing them in person and it will give them something to look forward to as well!

3. Socialise With Friends By Taking Part In a Virtual Event 

A silver laptop screen with a live zoom event with lots of people chatting to each other

While we aren't able to go out and do the fun activities that we would usually, many businesses are offering the next best option with virtual events, allowing you to invite your friends to take part in a group activity. Enjoy cooking? Perhaps you could try a virtual cooking class. Miss having a drink with you friends? Have a go at mixing your own cocktails. Thinking of buying chocolate for somebody? Take it to the next level by booking a chocolate making workshop! There are plenty of options to keep you busy. 

4. Bake a Home-Made Treat

A stack of home-made chocolate brownies with raspberries and chocolate

Valentine's day is a great excuse to let yourself indulge with a sweet treat. Have a look online, find a recipe and have a go at making something tasty. We love the look of these cute shortbread hearts by Jane’s Patisserie. If you have friends and family close by, delivering some baked goods could make a great gift… but that’s only if you’re willing to share!

5. Bring The Romantic Meal To You 

A couple cooking a Valentines day meal together in their kitchen at home

It’s safe to say it’s been a long time since anyone has enjoyed going out for a meal, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Why not set the table and pull out all the stops for a special meal at home? If you're feeling inspired, perhaps you could find a recipe to follow and make something yourself... Or, if you prefer the idea of less washing up, choose your favourite take-away to have delivered instead.

6. Plan a Movie Night 

A person helping themselves to a bowl of popcorn

A film is a great way to lose yourself for a few hours. If you’re not able to see your friends or partner in person, take a look at Teleparty - a new way to watch your favourite films and shows with your friends and family online. It might not be quite the same as going to the cinema, but you can still enjoy each other's company. Don’t forget snacks...

7. Indulge In a Spa Experience At Home

Person holding ARK Skincare's Conditioning Body Serum

Dim the lights, burn some candles and unwind with a hot bubble bath and your favourite skincare products. Allow yourself some quality time to practice self-care. Whether it be a full facial or simply taking a little extra time to massage in your favourite body oil, take some time to relax.

ARK Skincare’s Body Beautiful range includes four luxury body products, each formulated for both body and mind, making them the perfect treat for an evening of relaxation.

You can learn more about each of these products in our Body Beautiful Product Focus blog by clicking here

8. Surprise Somebody Special With a Thoughtful Gift

ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque and Gua Sha Jade Facial tool

Pictured: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque and Gua Sha Jade Tool 

During these uncertain times where we’re unable to see friends and family as much as we might like to, a surprise gift is a great way to put a smile on someone’s face. If you’re in need of ideas, head over to the ARK Skincare website. We have lots of products that make lovely, thoughtful gifts, along with gift bags, boxes and e-gift cards starting from £25-£100.

9. Write a Letter Of Appreciation

A sheet of paper, white envelope, pencil and paper weight to write somebody a letter

You can’t beat a hand-written letter from someone you love. Whether it be a friend, partner or family member, write a message for a loved one. It doesn’t have to be a gushing long love letter - even just a quick note will be enough make somebody’s day. 

10. Show Yourself Some Love 

A young woman relaxing in her bedroom with a pot of tea and a reading book

Most importantly, don’t forget to show yourself some love this valentine’s day. We know times are really tough at the moment and it can be easy to get wrapped up in the next thing on your to do list, but remember to take some time for you. You deserve it. 

To learn more about our products, head over to the ARK Skincare website!

Vegan series - Part Three: Living As a Vegan With Newest Team Member Rosie!

Newest ARK Skincare team member Rosie!For the third and final post of our veganuary series, we decided to sit down with our newest ARK team member, Rosie, to learn about what it’s really like to live a vegan lifestyle. We also talked to her about what it’s like working for a vegan brand and she shares her favourite ARK products!

Rosie switched over to a plant based diet a few years ago and has been really enjoying it ever since. So, whether you are a vegan, looking to become a vegan or even just want to introduce more plant-based meals into your diet, we hope this post can give you some inspiration.

Two bowls of carrot sticks, pepper strips and fresh berries

Q: When did you become vegan? Was there something in particular that sparked your interest in changing your lifestyle?

I think it was around the end of 2018. I remember there was a lot of content shared on social media at the time raising awareness about animal cruelty. Of course I knew where meat and dairy came from, but watching the videos of animals struggling really struck me. So, initially, I just knew I didn’t like the idea of contributing to the suffering of animals and wanted to do something about it. 

At first I was thinking about becoming vegetarian, so I decided to watch a few documentaries that had been recommended to me to learn more about the benefits. One documentary in particular called Cowspiracy really opened my eyes to the negative effect both meat and dairy industries have not only on animals, but also our environment and our health.

After watching the documentary, my husband was adamant that he wanted to become vegan straight away. He too was really shocked at how much of an impact animal agriculture had on our planet and so we both felt that the quickest way we could start making a difference was to switch over to a plant based diet. 

Q: How did you go vegan?

Although we were really keen to become Vegan, there was lots to learn so it was definitely a gradual process. Most of the meat and dairy products we used to buy were fresh anyway, so we used the last of what we had, plus anything in the cupboards and decided that when we next went shopping we would try our best to find vegan alternatives. 

A carton of oat milk from Vegan brand Oat-ly! next to a coffee cup.

Q: Did you find it difficult?

I think we both actually found it quite fun! We saw becoming plant-based as a bit of a challenge and really enjoyed learning about new foods and finding ways we could switch up our usual meals to make them plant based. 

I do remember the reality of eating out quite difficult in the beginning. When we started, there weren't many vegan options on the menu (if any!) but it wasn’t too long after that a lot of vegan brands really started to kick off, so more and more vegan options were being introduced in supermarkets, restaurants and coffee shops. I think we decided to go Vegan at a good time!

Sometimes it can be really easy to slip up or make the odd mistake, for example, choosing something that contains milk or egg in a product you wouldn’t expect to find it in. Although we don’t want to purchase products with those ingredients in, if we do purchase something by mistake, we won’t throw it away, we just take it as a lesson learned for next time. Slip-ups can be inevitable I think - especially when you first start out!

Q: Is there anything you miss now that you eat a plant based diet?

In the beginning, yes, I definitely missed having things like a big handful of cheese on top of my pasta! Although, looking back now, I realise I ate a lot of foods out of habit and after not having them for a while I don’t really miss them anymore. As I mentioned earlier, now that there are so many vegan options, I can choose an alternative option instead, so I actually still have a lot of the meals that I loved when we ate meat and dairy - I’ve just adjusted them to make them plant based. 

I think being Vegan has actually encouraged me to try a lot of things I wouldn’t have before. Plus, with the vegan market growing and growing, there are always new things to try which definitely helps to keep things interesting!

Q: We know a plant-based diet is a huge part of being vegan, but there is much more to it than that, how are you finding working for a vegan brand? Which is your favourite product from the ARK Skincare range so far?

There is definitely a lot to think about and be mindful of - especially when you first start and everything is so new. I decided I wanted to concentrate on changing my diet to start off as changing to a vegan lifestyle in every aspect at once was quite daunting. But now I have been vegan for a few years, I do like to try to be mindful and make sustainable choices in other ways like trying to reduce waste and opting for vegan friendly brands. 

It’s really rewarding to work for a brand who are so proud to be vegan. I love being able to introduce people to ARK Skincare because I know I am able to reassure them that whichever products they choose, they can rest assured that they will be 100% Vegan and will have never been tested on animals. 

When I first started, I was introduced to the Age Protect Cleanser and Age Protect Moisturiser and have kept using them both since. As someone who suffers with sensitive skin, I’ve found they’ve really helped to calm it down. 

ARK Skincare's Age Protect range for teens and twenties, young skin

Another product I absolutely love is the Triple Action Exfoliator. I remember the first time I used it I was genuinely surprised how much softer my skin felt afterwards and It’s such a lovely product to massage in. 

ARK Skincare's Skin Perfector Triple Action Exfoliator

Q: What would you suggest to somebody interested in becoming vegan?

My advice would be to ease into it slowly. Changing your whole lifestyle immediately can be challenging, so I wouldn’t worry about being super strict to start with. Just enjoy the process of learning new recipes and ways you can adapt meals you already love and enjoy.

I think watching lots of different documentaries is helpful too. Some of the facts you learn are really interesting and can help to keep you inspired. I’ve had to re-watch a few to get them to fully sink in!

I’d love to share my Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese recipe for anyone who is looking for some plant-based inspiration - I love it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, diced 
  • 1 pack of mushrooms, diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves / garlic granules 
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1 vegetable stock cube 
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • 200ml passata 
  • 1 tin of green lentils 
  • 1 cup of walnuts 
  • 1 pack of meat free mince (optional)
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar 
  • A splash soy sauce 

Method:

  1. Toast the walnuts in a pan for a few minutes on a medium heat. Then, in batches, use a blender to blitz them into finer pieces. (If you don’t have a blender, a good alternative is to put them into a freezer bag and break them up with the end of a rolling pin!)
  2. Fry the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes before adding the onions and garlic. Fry everything until soft.
  3. Add the herbs, spices and the stock cube, then leave to simmer for a few minutes before adding the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. If you are using mince, add this now too. 
  4. Next, add in the walnuts and lentils and mix everything through. Then add your tin of chopped tomatoes, passata and a splash of water. Leave to cook gently on a low to medium heat. 
  5. Cook your pasta of choice and mix everything together.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Are you interested in learning more about Vegan skincare? Click here to view the full ARK Skincare product range!

 

Winter Skincare Essentials : Everything You Need To Know

The winter season can be cruel to your skin. Cold weather and low humidity result in dry air which strips skin of moisture, causing tightness, dryness and irritation. Therefore, it is essential to learn what your skin needs so you can switch up your skincare accordingly. 

In this post, we focus on how the winter months can affect your skin and share our tips on how you can keep your skin looking and feeling great. 

ARK Skincare fact about central heating resulting in dry irritated skin

We know just how tempting it can be to turn the heating right up, especially when you come inside after being out in the cold. While it might feel comforting to warm yourself up, the dramatic change in temperature can wreak havoc on your skin. Central heating blows out dry, hot air which strips your skin of moisture and natural oils, resulting in redness and irritation. 

Top tip:

To keep your skin hydrated, keep your heating on a medium level and wrap up warm in plenty of layers instead. Having a humidifier in your home can significantly help by forcing moisture back into the air, preventing skin from becoming dry or irritated. If you don't have a humidifier,  putting a bowl of water above your radiator is a great alternative. 

Products to try:

ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist with Hyaluronic Acid for dry skin

 Choose skincare products with hydrating ingredients to give your skin a generous boost of moisture.

ARK Skincare’s intensively refreshing Hydrating Beauty Mist will restore skin in  just a few spritz. Hyaluronic Acid relieves dryness and irritation, while Wild Water mint, Aloe Vera and Allantoin helps to soothe and calm. The perfect product to replenish your skin throughout the day.

ARK Skincare's Skin Perfecting Hydrating Serum for dry skin

You may also like to take a look at our skin perfecting Hydrating Serum. Cucumber extract cocoons parched skin in hydration, while Laminaria Algae helps to trap in water molecules and prevent against water loss. Apply directly to dry areas or mix 2-3 drops into your moisturiser before application. 

ARK Skincare fact about Omega Fatty Acids strengthening skin

Omega Fatty Acids are essential for happy, healthy skin. They act as the building blocks in your skin cells and help to strengthen the skin’s surface layer (also known as the Stratum Corneum), which protects against environmental factors such as cold weather and harsh winds. Although the skin requires these fatty acids for good health, your body is unable to produce them on its own. 

Top tip:

To give your skin the fatty acids it needs, make sure to include omega-rich foods in your diet. Examples include:

Omega-3 – Fish, vegetable oils, plant oils and leafy vegetables

Omega-6 – Nuts, seeds, sunflower, soybean and sesame oils

Omega-9 – Olive, sunflower and flaxseed oils, hazelnuts

Another highly effective way of getting omega-fatty acids to your skin is by applying them   directly through your skincare products. 

Products to try:

ARK Skincare's Pre-Cleanse & Make-Up remover for all ages

Try ARK Skincare’s Pre-Cleanse and Make-Up Remover and you’ll never look back. This multi-fruit lipid blend contains Avocado, Grape Seed and Kiwi Oil which are rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9, helping to deeply nourish and strengthen your skin, for a smoother, healthier complexion.

Use before your Age Intelligent cleanser to dissolve any last trace of dirt, grime and excess sebum to leave your skin clean and refreshed. 

ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Conditioning Body Oil Serum

You may also like to try our Conditioning Body Oil, a luxurious body serum with a beautiful scent made from a blend of natural essential oils rich in Omega 3, 6 & 9 to nourish the skin. Bisabolol, extracted from the Brazilian Tree, provides a natural remedy for sensitive or irritated skin, while Vitamin E helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of environmental pollution.

ARK Skincare fact about dry skin around lips and mouth

Ever suffered from dry lips? Your lips are very different to any other part of your body. Unlike the rest of your skin, your lips don’t have any oil or sweat glands meaning they lack protective oils.  They also have a much thinner protective layer of skin, meaning they are a lot more exposed to environmental factors like harsh winds and colder weather. 

regular skin cell vs lip skin cell

Diagram of a lip skin cell in comparison to a regular skin cell.

Top Tip:

Try to avoid licking your lips. It may feel relieving, but saliva evaporates quickly, meaning your lips may be left even be drier than before.  As your lips can’t naturally produce moisture, it is important to use a lip cream to help protect them. Make applying a lip treatment a part of your daily routine to give your skin the protection it needs. 

Products to try:

ARK Skincare's Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream for dry lips

ARK Skincare’s Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream is an intensive treatment designed to hydrate, repair and repair cracked lips. Ingredients such as macadamia oils contain high levels of linoleic acid which help to restore the skin's barrier function and prevent water loss, helping to keep your lips soft and supple. It also contains clinically proven plumping peptides to increase lip volume, hydration and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

ARK Skincare about UV rays affect on skin. Use SPF

Now the days are shorter and the weather is a lot colder, you may be tempted to put your SPF away. Please don’t! - Sun protection is important all year round, even in the winter months.

There are two types of light rays. UVA and UVB. Typically, we are more aware of the need for SPF in the summer because UVB rays which cause sunburn are very strong. In the colder months, UVB rays tend to weaken, but we are still at risk of UVA. 

While UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, up to 80% can still be absorbed by your skin meaning you still need SPF protection on cloudy days. UVA rays also penetrate the skin more deeply and are responsible for skin ageing and cause indirect damage to DNA so it is important to keep protected!

Top tip:

Incorporate products which contain SPF into your daily routine. This way they will easily become habit and you can rest assured your skin is taken care of. Make sure to apply a generous amount for ultimate protection. Experts recommend SPF 30 is a good level to use to keep skin protected. 

Products to try:

ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer. Works as a make-up primer and helps protect against UV rays.

ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer is one of our popular hero products which can be used as a sun protector, make-up primer and daily moisturiser all in one. With a blend of UVA and UVB filters, this formulation offers broad-spectrum protection, while nourishing ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid can help boost hydration. Vitamin E and Shea butter helps to soften and smooth. 

Are you planning to switch up your winter skincare? We've got you covered. To learn more about the ARK Skincare range, visit arkskincare.com today. 

References: 

Radiance by WEBMD - Natural Skincare - The Skinny on Fats

 NHS - Sunscreen and Sun Safety

NetDoctor - Winter Proof Your Skin

Paula's Choice - The Essential Role Of Omega Fatty Acids  

Vegan Series - Part Two: Top Tips On Taking Part In Veganuary

Are you interested in learning more about Veganism and how you can make more plant-based choices? In this post, we focus on how to take part in the Veganuary challenge and share some of our top tips to get you started.

1. Get Inspired

Double page spread of a vegan cookbook with fresh ingredients

There are many different reasons why you might be interested in trying Veganism - perhaps to protect animals, do your bit for the environment, or even just to try something new!

To get inspired, you may find it helpful to do some of your own research into why choosing plant-based options is a good idea. There are plenty of great resources available online and informative documentaries on Netflix, such as Game Changers, Cowspiracy & What The Health. 

You can read our previous blog post about some of the benefits of going vegan here.

2. Find foods that are accidentally vegan

The inside of a pantry with a selection of different food and snacks

Adopting a vegan diet doesn’t have to be as intimidating or overwhelming as you might first think. You may actually be surprised at how many vegan foods you have already have sitting in your cupboards!

We found two really helpful lists of ‘accidentally vegan foods’ created by  Veganuary & The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which you can view here. 

3. Try new things

Breakfast bowl made with Vegan strawberry yogurt by plant-based brand  Alpro

It can be daunting trying new things at first, but experimenting with food can be really enjoyable. 

This doesn’t mean you have to suddenly change your whole weekly shop, but even choosing a handful of plant-based alternatives to things you buy already is a great place to start. Now more than ever, there are so many different vegan options to choose from - you may even find a new favourite meal!

4. Veganise your favourite dishes

A plate of vegan curry made with fresh vegetables

 Choosing plant-based options doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favourite foods. You may be surprised to learn just how easy it can be to adjust the meals you already love to make them Vegan friendly. Enjoy a curry? Replace meat with chunks of potato. Friday night pizza? - Opt for plant-based cheese and double up on veggies. Burgers? - Choose a patty made from soya or vegetables and breadcrumbs. There are so many options available in both supermarkets and restaurants now making it far easier to choose Vegan. 

5. Explore the vegan community

Stack of vegan pancakes with berries drizzled in maple syrup

There are so many great Vegan food magazines, youtube channels and social media accounts to help inspire you and give ideas of what plant-based meals and treats you can make. Some of our favourites include: 

Deliciously Ella - Ella Woodward has both a YouTube channel and Instagram page where she shares a huge selection of her delicious plant-based recipes. She also has a selection of tasty treats available to buy online and in supermarkets around the UK.

Accidentally Vegan - This instagram page features all the best Vegan products you can find in all the UK supermarkets varying from sandwiches and pizzas to cheesecake and chocolate - everything you could possibly need. 

Mina Rome - A Youtube Channel run by Amina who shares her delicious, fun and creative recipes - the best place to look if you’re in need of some inspiration.

6. Perseverance is key - don't give up! 

Shopping isle with lots of different brands of food

Like any other food, when it comes to plant-based options, you might love the first one you try, or you may have to give a few a go before you find the one for you. Persistence is key. If you try a brand of Vegan cheese, for example, and it’s not for you, don’t give up on Vegan cheese altogether - there will certainly be another one to try! A positive thing to remember is that there are so many more vegan options out there than ever before, so you have the option to try and try again until you find what works for you. 

7. Look for vegan brands 

ARK Skincares vegan cleansers group shot

A Vegan lifestyle isn't just about food. You may also want to carefully think about which brands you are using on a daily basis. Some cleaning products, skincare and clothing can be made from or tested on animals, so it is important to always be aware of what you are using.
Here at ARK Skincare, we are proud to offer a whole range of skincare that is 100% vegan. To learn more about our products, click here head over to the ARK Skincare website.

8. Enjoy yourself! 

Young woman smiling with a huge slice of watermelon in front of her face

Some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan lifestyle straight away which is great - if it works for them. Others may decide to take a slower approach or simply just introduce more plant-based options into their diet.

When learning about something new, it’s important to remember that you’re allowed to take time to figure out what works best for you and it’s okay to slip up now and again. Even by making small changes or opting for 3-4 plant-based meals every week you can make a huge contribution. 

Take a look at ARK Skincare's Vegan Friendly collection here.

Vegan series: Part 1 - What is Veganuary & how can it benefit you?

Our first blog post of 2021! Happy New Year from everybody at ARK Skincare. We are not sad to be leaving 2020 behind! 

Each time the new year rolls around, there is often lots of conversation around setting new year resolutions or thinking about goals we might like to achieve. These goals usually include things like drinking more water, focusing on fitness targets or making more time to see friends and family but have you ever heard of Veganuary?

In this three part blog-post series, we focus on what being a vegan means, what benefits there are and suggest ways that you might like to get involved in the annual Veganuary challenge.

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary, founded in 2014, is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for January and beyond. Throughout the year, Veganuary continues to encourage and support businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people. 

What does the term veganism mean?

'Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or lifestyle is known as a vegan.'

What are the benefits of being a vegan?

There are many different benefits of following a plant-based, vegan friendly diet:

For the animals

Livestock: tagged cows in a cow barn

Roughly 60 million land animals are killed and used as commodities every year just to satisfy human taste preferences. Many people believe that the killing of animals is unjustified and so choose a vegan life-style to help prevent the exploitation of and cruelty towards them. 

The Vegan Society encourages the use of words like ‘other animals’ or ‘non-human animals’ in their language to acknowledge that humans are animals too and we share a lot more with other animals than some of us might realise or like to admit.

Just like us, cows, sheep and chickens are living beings who have a desire to live and enjoy their freedom like we do. These animals don’t give consent to being slaughtered and in over 95% of cases, are killed prematurely once they are no longer considered profitable. Vegans do not financially support animal agriculture industries by choosing to buy or grow plant-based alternatives instead. 

For your health 

Healthy, highly nutritious foods such as tomatoes, brocolli, avocado and peppers

Confirmed by the British Dietetic Association, despite many myths, it is possible to follow a well planned, plant-based, vegan friendly diet which supports healthy living. Lots of the nutrients your body needs are naturally found in vegan foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Some research has also linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

For the environment

Landscape showing a huge amount of greenery and a lake in the sunlight

Animal agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of global commissions. To put it into perspective, the transport sector accounts for 13% of greenhouse gases, while animal agriculture, is responsible for almost 4 times as much at 51% - a significant amount more than you might first think!

Researchers at the University of Oxford suggest that eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce environmental impact on the earth. They found that cutting out meat and dairy from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%.

Switching to a vegan diet can also help to reduce water consumption. The Vegan Society explains that it takes at least three times the amount of water to feed a meat eater compared with that used to feed a vegan. For example, it takes  15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef, compared to180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes.

One person who goes vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.

For people

young woman walking through the woods holding out a green leaf to represent vegansim

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human population. A vegan diet only requires ⅓ of the land needed to support a diet of meat and dairy. 

With the global food and water insecurity increasing due to many different environmental issues, choosing plant-based options is a great way to adopt a more sustainable way of eating. You can read more about how vegan diets can help people here. 

While some people may choose to adopt a fully vegan friendly, plant based diet straight away, others might find it easier to ease themselves in slowly. You can still make a huge contribution by switching out meat and dairy options for vegan ones where you can - even if it is just a few times a week! Keep your eyes peeled for next week's blog post where we share our top tips on how to get started. 

ARK Skincare are proud to be an entirely vegan brand who never have and never will test on animals. If you would like to learn more about our vegan skincare products, head over to the ARK Skincare website!

Resources: 

Veganuary 

What We Do 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

- 7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

- 16 Facts That Show How Going Vegan Helps Stop Climate Change

- Go Vegan - Save The Planet

British Dietetic Association (BTA)

- British Dietetic Association confirms well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages

The Vegan Society 

- Why Go Vegan?

- The Vegan Diet Supports Excellent Health 

- Compassion For Animals 

The Independant

Veganism is the 'single biggest way' to reduce our environmental impact

 

ARK Skincare's 5 Top Tips To Get You In The Christmas Spirit

Less than 10 days until the big day - we can’t quite believe it! Are you feeling ready for the Christmas break?...

If you’re still looking for ways to get yourself feeling festive then hopefully we can help!  In this post, we share some of our favourite Christmas activities to give you some ideas on how you can keep busy in the build-up to the 25th. 

1. Bake a festive treat!

Freshly baked festive gingerbread snowflakes and candycanes

It’s Christmas, so of course, we have to start with food... Now is certainly the time to allow yourself to indulge a little! There are so many different festive recipes out there for all kinds of different snacks and sweet treats - you’re bound to find something to make your tummy rumble. Why not have a go at making your own treats to enjoy? Here are some yummy recipes we like the look of! 

2. Gift Wrapping

Woman holding a hand wrapped christmas gift in sustainable wrapping paper

With just a few weeks left to go, it’s time to finish off your Christmas shopping and get wrapping! There are so many fun, creative ways to wrap gifts. We love the look of these Furoshiki wrapping cloths; they are such a unique and fun way to wrap a gift for somebody, plus they can be reused again and again to avoid excess waste!

If you’re looking for more sustainable ways to wrap your gifts, perhaps you could opt for the types of wrapping paper which are much easier to recycle (foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and needs to go in the general waste). There are so many clever and sustainable ideas/ DIY hacks online to keep yourself busy. Perhaps you could even have a go at creating your own wrapping paper or wrapping your presents in reusable tote bags! Take a look at ours here.

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute and are still on the hunt for the perfect gift, make sure to head over to the ARK Skincare website before the weekend! We have so many popular gift sets for all different ages so there is something for absolutely everybody - but be quick! The last day to place an order to ensure it arrives before Christmas is Sunday 20th December before midnight. 

3. Treat yourself to a pamper evening!

A wooden bath tray laid across a white bath tub holding a small flower and glass of wine

While you might not have so many Christmas parties to get dressed up for this year, the Christmas break is definitely a good excuse to give yourself some extra TLC. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing pamper evening? Maybe a glass of mulled wine too?... You deserve it!

If you’re looking for something to give your skin an extra pick me up, head on over to our website to take a look at our Skin Perfectors. We have our Hydration Injection Masque which will give your skin a generous boost of hydration (your best friend during the colder months!) and our Triple Action Exfoliator to help gently scrub away dead skin and debris from the surface, leaving you with a radiant glow. 

We also have 6 Skin Perfecting Serums to keep you looking and feeling your best, depending on which skin concerns you’d like to tackle!

4. Reach out to somebody 

woman wrapped up in a winter coat wearing a festive hat, holding a Christmas card

If you’re unable to visit certain friends or family members this year but still want to share some festive cheer, don’t forget to reach out and let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them! There’s just enough time to write your Christmas cards and get your last gifts in the post!

If you’re in need of ideas, we have a generous selection of gifts to choose from on our website and you even have the option to ship directly to your recipient - just make sure to remember to amend the shipping address at checkout! 

5. Donate to those in need 

Multiple charity donation pots to raise money for people, animals and the planet

Christmas is the time to show some generosity and goodwill and there are certainly people in need & lots of amazing charities who would appreciate your support. 

Boxes of donations in the ARK Skincare boutique ready to be sent to a local food bank

We recently gifted some of our products to the Haslemere food bank who were so grateful to receive a donation. They couldn’t wait to wrap and gift them at their Christmas distribution and reminded us that it really does mean a lot to those who are struggling.

Do you have items that you no longer use that would make a great gift for somebody? Is there something you could donate to a local charity? You might just make someone's Christmas day!

Lady hanging Christmas decorations on Christmas tree

Not long to go now!...

Hopefully we have inspired you to get stuck into something fun and festive to boost your Christmas spirit. We'd love to see what you get up to! Be sure to tag us in your stories and posts @arkskincare. 

ARK Skincare's Top Tips For Your Winter Skincare Routine!

Dry skin, chapped lips, sore hands?

 The colder weather and lack of Vitamin D in the winter months is proven to have an affect on your skin - but we're here to help!

In this post, we share our top tips on how you can protect your skin and give it everything it needs to thrive.

1. SPF is still (very) Important!

Just because we have less sun doesn’t mean you should put away your sunscreen. While UVB rays tend to be a lot weaker, UVA rays can still penetrate through clouds and reach our skin meaning we’re still at risk of damage. Therefore, it’s extremely important to remember to apply SPF to ensure you’re protected.

ARK’s SPF 30 Primer is the perfect daily moisturiser, make-up primer and skin protector all in one. It is also a broad spectrum SPF meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays so you can rest assured that you're taking care of your skin.

You can read more about the importance of SPF here

2. Keep Hydrated 

Pouring a glass of water with lemon slices

“Healthy skin starts from within…”

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. If your skin is not getting a sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration can present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky, so make sure to keep your fluids up! The NHS recommends between 6-8 glasses a day. 

3. Say no to hot water...

Shower head with steamy water spraying

A hot bath or shower can often sound tempting when it’s so cold outside, but hot water can actually strip the skin of its moisture, leaving it sore, red and irritated. Instead, turn the temperature down a little. Lukewarm water is always best. Moisturise straight after bathing or showering to lock in moisture. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing to avoid irritation.

4. Use moisturising skincare products 

ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Moisturisers for all ages

 Choose a moisturiser with high quality ingredients to give your skin the treat it deserves. ARK Skincare offers three Age Intelligent Moisturisers, specifically designed with hardworking ingredients to treat each age range. 

  • AgeProtect Skin Vitality Moisturiser for teens & twenties
  • AgeDefend Replenishing Moisturiser for 30’s and 40’s 
  • AgeDefy Nourishing Moisturiser for 50s and onwards

You may also like to take a look at our Skin Perfector Hydrating Serum which is targeted specifically to dryness. Laminara Algae cocoons skin in hydration by trapping in water molecules, while Cucumber Extract improves elasticity and plumps fine lines.  

ARK Skincare's Skin Perfector Hydrating Serum for dry skin

5. Keep up your weekly treatments 

ARK Skincare's Skin Perfector Triple Action Exfoliator & Hydration Injection masque

Give your skin the extra boost it needs by adding in weekly treatments to your skincare routine.

ARK Skincare’s popular Triple Action Exfoliator gently scrubs away dead skin and debris from the surface, helping to leave skin feeling smoother and looking more refreshed. 

Then our Hydration Injection Masque contains a multivitamin blend of Vitamin A to keep skin supple, Vitamin B5 to hydrate and soothe, Vitamin C to brighten and Vitamin E which offers antioxidant protection. Hyaluronic Acid drenches the skin in moisture and prevents any moisture loss. The perfect treat for thirsty skin!

You can view both of our Skin Perfector treatments by clicking here. 

6. Protect your lips

ARK Skincare's Skin Essential Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream for all ages

Suffering from chapped lips? 

The colder, dryer  weather can often dry out your lips too so it’s important to remember to keep some lip balm at the ready. ARK Skincare’s hardworking Advanced Action Lip Plumping Cream helps to hydrate and soothe the whole of the mouth area. Plumping peptides help to plump the skin and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while Macadamia Lipids help to restore the skin's hydrolipidic film, maintain softness and prevent dryness.

7. Look after your hands!

ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Nourishing Hand & Nail Cream for all ages

While washing your hands so often (especially this year!) it’s important to remember to pat your hands dry properly too. Otherwise, as water evaporates it can draw moisture out of the skin. 

Keep your hands soft and supple with ARK Skincare’s Intensive Hand & Nail Cream. Raspberry Seed Oil and Cocoa Butter Intensely hydrates and helps to prevent moisture loss while Amino Acids encourages strong healthy nails.

 

Introducing ARK Skincare's 2020 Christmas Collection

We think it’s safe to say that 2020 has certainly been a crazy year... Can you believe that we're in December? The Christmas countdown has now begun!

In this post we’re proud to share the ARK Skincare 2020 Gift Collection. With each of the luxurious sets we have to offer, you’re bound to find something for  everyone. So, if you’re still in need of the perfect gift, we’ve got you covered - but be quick! December 25th is fast approaching!

 

ARK Skincare’s 2020 Christmas Collection 

Age Intelligent Discovery Collections

ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Discovery Collections: Protect, Defend, Defy

Our Age Intelligent Discovery Collections contain a selection of different miniature sizes; the perfect way to introduce somebody new to ARK Skincare, or an ideal set of travel sizes for those who enjoy using our products already. 

Each set is beautifully wrapped in branded tissue paper and packed in one of ARK Skincare’s travel bags.

This gift includes:

  • 1 Age Intelligent Cleanser 30ml
  • 1 Age Intelligent Moisturiser 30ml 
  • 1 Pre-Cleanse & Make-Up Remover 50ml
  • 1 Hydrating Beauty Mist. 
  • 1 ARK Travel Bag

You can find our Discovery Collection in all of our Age Intelligent ranges, Protect for teens & 20's, Defend for 30's and 40's and Defy for 50's and onwards. 

ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Full Size Sets: Protect, Defend Defy

With a full-size Age Intelligent Cleanser & Moisturiser, this set offers all the staples you will need for a simple yet effective skincare routine.

The perfect present for everyone - all you need to know is which age range they fall into! 

This gift includes: 

  • 1 Age Intelligent Cleanser 200ml
  • 1 Age Intelligent Moisturiser 200ml
  • 1 Cotton Face Cloth
  • Complimentary Gift Bag
You can find our Full Size set in all of our Age Intelligent range: Protect for teens & 20's, Defend for 30's and 40's and Defy for 50's and onwards. 

    Age Intelligent Sleep Collections 

    ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Beauty Sleep Collections: Defend, Defy

    For our AgeDefend and AgeDefy ranges, we have created our Luxury Beauty Sleep collections. Who wouldn’t want the gift of a dreamy night's sleep? 

    This gift includes one of our luxury night treatments that contain hardworking active ingredients which help to aid the skin's natural healing process while you sleep.

    We have also teamed up with the wonderful Space Masks to offer you a pack of 5 of their self-heating eye masks, infused with Jasmine to help you relax and unwind. 

    This gift includes: 

    • 1 Age Intelligent Night Treatment 55ml
    • Pack of 5 Spacemasks 
    • Complimentary gift bag

    Facial Massage Set

    ARK Skincare's Skin Perfector Facial Massage Set with Jade Tool

    Everything you need to become a Gua Sua Expert. 

    Our beautifully crafted Jade Facial Tool is used to perform a facial massage technique called Gua Sha. The ancient beauty therapy has been used for several thousand years as a natural way to achieve a healthy, radiant, youthful complexion. Included you will find an easy step-by-step guide so you’ll be a pro in no time. This set also includes our popular Hydration Injection Masque full of hyaluronic acid - the ultimate weekly treatment for thirsty skin, especially during the colder months!

    This gift includes: 

    • Jade Facial Tool
    • Hydration Injection Masque 75ml
    • Step by step technique guide
    • Complimentary Gift Bag

    Skin Perfectors Luxury Collection

    ARK Skincare's Skin Perfectors Luxury Collection with Serums and Treatments

    This is called our luxury collection for a reason! This gift is filled with some really generous treats for the skin. Our Triple Action Exfoliator contains bamboo microparticles and fruit acids to gently slough dead skin, helping to create a smooth, polished texture.

    Hydration Injection Masque cocoons skin in moisture with a boost of hyaluronic acid and a blend of vitamins to restore vibrancy, helping to brighten complexion and restore vibrancy. 

    In this collection, you will also find two of our most popular Skin Perfector Serums. These are a great addition to your usual skincare routine to help tackle specific skin concerns. You can apply 1-2 drops to problem areas or simply mix in with your moisturiser and apply together. 

    Our Radiance Serum is full of Vitamin C and Amino Acids which help to reduce skins of ageing and improve complexion while hydrating and illuminating the skin, creating a radiant glow in an instant. 

    Our protective De-Stress Serum acts as a ‘second skin’. It has a blend of Rosmarinic Acid and Flavonoid Rutin from Lemon Balm that work to defend against harmful free radicals, while Vitamin E offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection. A hard working treat for skin that may need a pick me up, or protection for existing damage. 

    The ultimate self-care bundle, perfect for all skin types. 

    This gift includes: 

    • Radiance Serum 30ml
    • De-Stress Serum 30ml
    • Hydration Injection Masque 75ml
    • Triple Action Exfoliator 75ml
    • Complimentary Gift Bag

    Skin Essentials Hero Collection 

    ARK Skincare's Skin Essential Hero Collection, Cleanse, Protect, Hydrate

    Our popular hero collection provides everything you need to cleanse, hydrate & protect skin; the ultimate skin care trio. 

    This gift Includes: 

    • 1 Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover 50ml
    • 1 Hydrating Beauty Mist 50ml 
    • 1 SPF 30 Primer 30ml (full size) 

    Cleanse with ARK’s Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover, Hydrate with Hydrating Beauty Mist and Protect with our SPF 30 Primer. Three of our most popular formulations to keep skin looking and feeling great. 

    Hand Care Gift

    ARK Skincare's Body Beautiful Hand Care Gift for Dry Skin

    Do you know somebody who is suffering from dry, cracked hands? With being so much more mindful of washing our hands this year, it can leave our skin feeling dry and irritated, especially now the colder weather is taking its toll!

    This hand care gift is the ultimate overnight treatment. Simply apply a generous amount of our Nourishing Hand & Nail Cream and luxury cotton gloves before bed and allow the active ingredients to soak in and work their magic overnight. Raspberry Seed Oil & Vitamin E help to protect and moisturise the skin, while Amino Acids encourage strong, healthy nails. 

    Travel Candles

    ARK Skincare's Luxury Spa Aromatic Travel Candles

    Our luxury candles are a great gift for those who love a cozy evening in or a good fragrance to fill a room. There are many different fragrances to choose from such as Geranium, Eucalyptus & Peppermint, Vanilla, Sandalwood & Amber  and Rose, Geranium & Violet.

    If you’re looking for something more festive, you must take a look at our Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Clove candle - it’s Christmas in a jar! This popular scent also comes in a Luxury Size. You can view all of our Spa Aromatic Candle range by clicking here

    If you'd like to take a look at our Christmas collection in more detail, head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more. If you need help, or any product advice, please do get in touch by emailing office@arkskincare.com and our customer service team will be more than happy to help. 

     

    ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Night Treatments - Ingredient Focus

    Have you heard the exciting news? Our Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment has recently been shortlisted for Best New Premium Skin Care Product in the Pure Beauty Awards 2020! Ever since our Night Treatments launched at the beginning of the year, they have been ARK best sellers, so we are delighted with this nomination.

    ARK Skincare's Age Defend Night Treatment

    Please Vote! 

    If you like this product, we’d love for you to vote for us - it only takes a minute! As a small, independent brand, award wins really help spread the word about our products. You can find the voting page by clicking here. Thank you. 
    As we mentioned, since their launch, our Night Treatments have become very popular and have received lots of positive reviews emphasising the excellent results that they offer. In this post, we focus on why a Night Treatment is such a great addition to your evening skincare regime and how their unique formulations packed with active ingredients help to benefit the skin. 

    What Is a Night Treatment Used For?

    Image: ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Night Treatments and ingredients

    ARK Skincare’s Night Treatments are used to offer the ultimate pamper session while you sleep. These formulations are the result of extensive research and have been developed with the latest understanding of how skin cells rejuvenate at night. Both unique formulations contain hard working active ingredients which have been specifically chosen to help aid the skin’s natural healing process as you sleep. By applying before bed, you can trust that your Night Treatment will get hard to work, allowing you to wake up looking and feeling well rested. 

      Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment 

    ARK Skincare's Defend Regenerating Night Treatment

    A night cream formulated for those in their 30s and 40s 
    98% natural. Suitable for vegans.
    ARK Skincare’s Defend Night Treatment helps to combat the signs of everyday stress which tends to be at its peak at this age. In addition, free radical scavenging antioxidants stabilise and support the skin, whilst fatty acids moisturise, soothe and smooth. Conditioning agents intensively hydrate skin to relieve dryness and improve the skin’s elasticity. 

    Key Active Ingredients

    Silk Tree Extract  promotes the visible reduction of the signs of fatigue: dark circles, under-eye bags, dull complexion and drawn features by protecting and repairing the skin from damage caused by glycation. It also encourages a boost in collagen which can help your skin to glow and appear more energised. 

    Vitamin A Palmitate  is an antioxidant and a source of vitamin A. In the skin, it is converted to retinol, and ultimately to retinoic acid (the active form of vitamin A). It functions as a protectie and free radical scavenger. 

    Passionfruit Seed Oil is very rich in essential fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to alleviate inflammatory skin concerns such as rosacea and acne while keeping skin smooth and supple. 

    Blue Lotus is considered the sacred flower of anti-aging and a symbol of beauty. The flower is rich in flavonoids, which improves the skin’s firmness and elasticity. It also contains powerful antioxidants, ideal for sensitive and irritated skin.  

    Age Defy Repairing Night Treatment 

    Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defy Repairing Night Treatment

    A night cream formulated for those in their 50s onwards

     98% natural. Suitable for vegans  

    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 ingredients to promote collagen and reduce inflammation, as well as an energizing cocktail of vitamins and minerals to detoxify and vitalize. 

     Key Active Ingredients 

    Borage oil is the richest commercial plant source of GLA, an Omega Fatty Acid which is a key ‘building block’ in production of the body’s regulatory hormones.  Borage oil also has many calming and nourishing properties, making it the perfect ingredient to treat skin concerns such as eczema, dermatitis and rosacea.

    Jiaogulan extract contains high amounts of flavonoids and gypenosides, noted for their antioxidant effects and has been shown to prevent UV-induced damage. 

    Stabilised Vitamin C helps promote the synthesis of collagen which increases skin suppleness. It also scavenges free radicals, reducing the skin roughness and inflammation, appearance of wrinkles and helps to brighten complexion. Vitamin C can also help to heal skin and protect against sun damage. 

    Hyaluronic acid helps to maintain a moisturised and firm skin by improving cell cohesion. Our Hyaluronic Acid is organic and low weight, meaning it can penetrate to the deeper layers of skin to plump fine lines, boost moisture and improve collagen synthesis. 

    Blackcurrant seed oil contains two important fatty acids that help regulate inflammatory response and dry skin. It can also be used to nourish and protect skin tissues preventing chronic skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. 

    Goji Berries are packed with nutrients including Vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium, which help in the formation of collagen and the repair of damaged skin tissue. They provide protecting, detoxifying, fortifying and vitalising properties and contain over 5 times the antioxidant activity of any other fruit or vegetable. 

     How to Use

    Use in the evening. Massage into dry skin after cleansing with Pre-Cleanse and your Age Intelligent cleanser. 

    Reviews & Awards

    Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment 

    Winner - BEST (NIGHT) SKINCARE PRODUCT (Age 30+)

     “I've used the Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment most nights for nearly three weeks and I would confidently recommend it to virtually anyone who has skin. It feels a little bit indulgent to use, absorbs nicely and, so far, has made my face feel more hydrated and comfortable than it has in a long time.” Lippy In London, Beauty Blogger

    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

    Age Defy Repairing Night Treatment

    Winner - BEST (NIGHT) SKINCARE PRODUCT (Age 50+)

    This night-time moisturiser is fabulous. It has a delicate scent, the packaging makes it easy to dispense just the right amount and the cream leaves my skin feeling nourished and moisturised without any heavy or sticky feeling. - Alison C, customer
    Really lovely cream, not too heavy but makes your skin feel so soft and smooth. I will buy again. - Julia, Customer

    Wake Up Feeling Well Rested! 

    Image: ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Night Treatments offer

    To celebrate our most recent nomination, we are offering 25% off of the Age Defend and Age Defy Night Treatments. Add the code ‘BEAUTYSLEEP’ at checkout to receive your discount. 

    Maskne - How Masks Irritate Our Skin and How We Can Prevent it

    Image: Woman wearing a white disposable mask to cover her nose and mouth

    What Is Maskne?

    Sadly wearing masks has now become a normal part of our daily routines. Whilst we all appreciate why they are needed in the fight against COVID-19 masks can unfortunately be uncomfortable for some, and may also cause skin concerns to emerge for others. The combined effects of friction from wearing a mask, together with the warm moist environment they create, can cause redness, sensitivity, and breakouts which are being called Maskne. Those with inflammatory conditions such as Eczema or Rosacea are particularly at risk.

    Maske may result from both the physical irritation of using a mask, as well as the increased opportunity for bacteria to collect.

    The human mouth is teeming with bacteria. Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in our mouths. Each time we exhale we omit high levels of these bacteria and viruses, and by wearing a mask we trap them close to the skin. As the bacteria and viruses collect, they thrive and multiply in the warm humid environment. The increase in skin temperature caused by covering the face may also cause more oil to be produced by the sebaceous glands. Excess oil can block pores and hair follicles, trapping the bacteria, and causing breakouts and acne.

    Face masks need to fit snugly to be effective, and the pressure and friction caused by face coverings can cause microtears to the epidermis which is thinner on the face than on other parts of the body. These microtears can allow bacteria to more easily penetrate the skin. Different types of masks may cause different issues to emerge. Fabric masks which are often made from cotton may absorb natural oils causing dryness and sensitivity, whilst surgical masks can cause more friction irritation. All masks should only be used once, and not touched during use. When using disposable masks remember to dispose of them responsibly, and use a new one each time required. For reusable masks make sure you carefully consider the detergent used to wash them with. Harsh laundry liquids and fabric conditioners may cause a whole host of other sensitivity issues!

    We are afraid there is more bad news. Stress is also a well-known trigger for breakouts and sensitivities. We have all lived through very stressful times associated with the global pandemic and this, combined with the problems associated with wearing protective facial coverings discussed above, means we all need a fastidious skincare regime to combat the adverse effects seen as Maskne.

     What can we do to prevent Maskne?

    Here are our top tips to prevent Maskne:

    1. Use a clean mask each time a mask is required. Always dispose of single-use masks as soon as you remove them. Always wash reusable masks after they have been worn. Ensure you use gentle, perfume-free laundry detergent.
    2. Avoid the use of makeup under your mask. This increases the chance for pores and hair follicles to become blocked.
    3. Undertake a fastidious skincare regime to ensure skin is clean and hydrated. Look for FREE FROM products which do not contain known irritants.Ensure your products are rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals.
    4. Do not overstimulate your skin. Use a balancing collection of products to clean and calm. Do not be tempted to use excessive products or switch regularly between treatments. Be consistent with your skincare regime. 

    Shop our best picks for Maskne treatment and prevention here

    How To Optimise Your Skin Care Routine To Prevent & Treat Maskne

    Image: Pile of different coloured reusable cotton face masks

    1. Prioritise your cleansing routine

    While wearing masks and breathing into them, we create a warm damp area for bacteria to grow, making double cleansing more important than ever to ensure our skin is clean. A first cleanse will help to remove any make-up, dirt and bacteria and the second will clean deeper into the pores, preventing any new blemishes. Opt for a high-quality cleanser with gentle ingredients that will clean the skin thoroughly without causing irritation. 

    2. Remember your weekly treatments

    Another way to prevent Maskne is by giving your skin a treat with a gentle exfoliator to scrub away dead skin and excess oil. This can help reveal a clearer complexion and avoid pores from becoming blocked. 

    3. Choose a serum to treat your skin concerns

    If you already have Maskne which needs treating, you may find a serum will give you the additional help you need to clear it up. Add a few drops of your serum of choice to specific problem areas, or simply mix in with your moisturiser before applying.

    4. Be consistent with your routine 

    Make sure to stay consistent with your products and routine to keep your skin balanced. Remember that less is more and a short yet simple routine will be easier to make a habit and keep up with. Choose products wisely by opting for natural ingredients you can trust will nourish your skin. 

    With all these tips in mind, here are ARK Skincare's top picks to help you prevent and treat Maskne.  

    ARK Skincare's Top Products To Help You Tackle Maskne

    Skin Essential Pre-Cleanse & Make-Up Remover

    Image: ARK Skincare's Pre-Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

    You might be asking yourself if you really need to cleanse twice and now more than ever, 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.

    Our popular Pre-Cleanse and Make-up remover is described as a spa treatment in a bottle. It's great for removing the first level of grime while active ingredients such as Grapeseed, Avocado and Kiwi Oil deeply nourish skin and protect against dryness. Another key ingredient, Margosa Leaf Extract, destroys bacteria and inhibits its growth on the skin.

    How to use: Apply onto dry skin before cleansing with dry hands. Massage in gently all over the face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Follow with your Age Intelligent Cleanser.

    Age Intelligent Cleansers

    After your first pre-cleanse, follow up with the second. ARK Skincare offers three age intelligent cleansers, with nourishing active ingredients specifically for each age group. 

    Specifically designed for your teens & 20's

    Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Cleanser for teens and twenties

    Banishes spots & excess sebum

    The best cleanser for your teens and 20s. Our soap-free facial cleanser has been designed especially with younger skin in mind. It cleverly balances oily and dry areas to leave skin clear and comfortable. Natural ingredients ensure skin is treated gently while spots and excess sebum are banished. Your new best friend.

    AgeDefend Conditioning Cleanser 

    Specifically designed for your 30's & 40's 

    Image: ARK Skincare's AgeDefend Cleanser for 30's and 40's

    Gentle formula, perfect for sensitive skin

    The best cleanser for your 30s and 40s. This ultra-nourishing cleanser helps with skin’s natural exfoliation for a clear, radiant complexion. Effectively removes make-up & excess sebum leaving skin clean, plump and supple. Perfect for sensitivities as the natural ingredients soothe redness and inflammation too. 

    AgeDefy Brightening Cleanser

    Specifically designed for your 50's onwards

    Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defy Brightening Cleanser for 50's onwards

    Reduces pigmentation, softens lines

    The best cleanser for your 50s onwards. This rich creamy cleanser is the perfect choice for more mature skin. It effectively removes debris and impurities while treating the skin to a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and lipids. Skin becomes brighter and softer while lines and wrinkles are plumped. 

    How to use: Apply to damp skin and massage in gently for 60 seconds before gently rinsing off with water. 

    Skin Perfector Serums

    If you’re looking to tackle specific skin concerns caused by Maskne, our hard-working skin-perfecting serums will make the perfect addition to your skin-care routine to help you battle them. 

    Clearing Serum

    Banishes bacteria, tightens pores

    Image: ARK Skincare's Clearing Serum

    For a solution to spots and blemishes, our clearing serum is the one for you. Filled with anti-bacterial properties, it’s the perfect remedy for acne and can even help prevent it by regulating sebum production and reducing excess oil and shine.

    Destress Serum

    Diminishes look of fatigue

    Image: ARK Skincare's De-stress Serum

    If you’re suffering tired or irritated skin, try our De-stress serum.  This highly protective serum acts as a second skin and helps to reduce the signs of fatigue caused by environmental and lifestyle stresses. Chamomile provides soothing relief for irritation and Vitamin E and Grapeseed Oil boost moisture levels, leaving skin feeling silky and supple.

    How to use: Apply one or two drops directly to problem areas or mix in with your daily moisturiser and apply all over the face.

    Triple Action Exfoliator

    Evens tone, diminishes fine lines & scars

    Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator

    Our three in one exfoliating treatment with physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action has everything you need to give your skin a generous treat.

    Bamboo particles help to gently scrub away dead skin, dirt and debris from the surface, creating a flawless, polished texture while Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) from Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Sugar Maple, Orange and Lemon increase the range of cell renewal, helping to diminish acne scars and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The Skin Regenerating Enzyme dissolves desmosomes to release dead skin cells, fade pigmentation and improve nutrient absorption.

    How to use: Use once or twice per week. Apply to dampened face and neck. Wet hands and massage lightly into skin using circular movements, avoiding the delicate eye area.

    Leave on as stated below, depending on your skin’s age-related needs:

    Teens and twenties: Wash off after massaging in.

    Thirties and forties: Leave on for approximately 2 minutes.

    Fifties and onwards: Leave on for approximately 5 minutes.

    Remove with a cloth soaked in hand-hot water. (Please note this product will not simply rinse off, it does need to be removed with a warm cloth. Using a cloth should make removal easy) Pat dry. 

    Hydration Injection Masque

    Rejuvenating treatment, restores vibrancy

    Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque

    Or rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

    The masque instantly cools and calms and can bring instant relief to irritation and redness while Hyaluronic Acid drenches skin with moisture, optimizing the circulation of water through all skin layers and providing 24-hour protection against water loss - perfect for dry skin. It also includes a blend of hard-working vitamins to regulate collagen synthesis and protect against UV damage.

    To view all of these products in full detail you can head over to the ARK Skincare website by clicking here.

    If you need any help or product advice, please do get in touch via office@arkskincare.com or call the office on 0203 7403303 - we'd love to help!

    In the meantime, keep remembering to wash your mask in-between uses to keep your skin as clean as you can!

    As we all work together in the battle against Coronavirus be kind to your skin.

    Take care & stay safe, 

     

    Image: ARK Skincare logo

     

    References:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

    https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-the-Epidermis.aspx

    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

    https://www.verywellhealth.com/sebaceous-glands-1069374

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/face-masks-become-mandatory-prevent-maskne/

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/cope-maskne-mask-related-acne/

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8374545/How-magic-away-Maskne-Thats-curse-spots-caused-Covid-mask.html

    ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body Wash

    We’re certain we’re not the only ones who are thrilled to have some normality back after the unbelievable few months we’ve all had. However, keeping ourselves safe and well is still as important as ever, so as well as remembering to keep our distance and wear our masks in shops, washing our hands should still be a top priority. With that in mind, in this post, we'll be focusing on our popular Vitality Hand & Body Wash

    Why It’s So Important To Wash Your Hands 

    Image: Person lathering their hands up with soap at a sink

    When germs and bacteria get into your body, they can make you sick. The most common way germs get into the body is through the eyes, nose and mouth - places we often touch without even realizing.  Bacteria from unwashed hands can also be transferred to other objects, like handrails, tabletops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands. Therefore, it’s really important to keep your hands clean to avoid picking up or spreading germs around. 

    How To Wash Your Hands

    Image: illustration on how to wash your hands. step 1: wet hands, step 2: apply soap, step 3: rub hands together for 20 seconds (and sing your favourite song), step 4: rinse and dry

    No, a quick splash of water under the tap doesn't count! To clean your hands properly, it’s really important to lather up with a good quality soap and use enough to ensure your hands are completely covered before rinsing them off. Always make sure to dry your hands properly too as this will help avoid them getting cracked and dry. To keep hands nourished, follow up with ARK's Intensive Hand & Nail Cream.

    ARK Skincare’s Vitality Hand & Body Wash

    Image: ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body wash against some marble slates and fresh green plants

    Our popular hand and body wash is a firm favorite of many for its gorgeous scent and gentle, softening properties. Our soap-free wash is made from 98% natural ingredients, perfect for those who suffer from eczema or sensitive skin. 

    Natural active ingredients include: 

    • Coconut - An amazing natural cleanser which also helps to improve skin's texture. 
    • Sea Minerals - Helps to strengthen the skin tissues, maintain the chemical balance of the skin, stimulate blood circulation and eliminate toxins.
    • Vitamin B5 - helps to keep skin soft, smooth, and healthy. It is also deeply hydrating and helps keep skin quenched by absorbing moisture from the air. 

    How & When Should I Use It?

     Our wash can be used as a hand or body wash - the perfect 2 in 1!  Use it on your hands, in the shower, or add to a running bath to create soft, fresh-smelling bubbles to soak in. 

    Shower handle against a fresh white tiled bathroom wall.

    Press & Awards

    Image: ARK Skincare's Vitality Hand & Body Wash. Product Image against a white background.

    FINALIST - Best New Bath & Shower Product - Pure Beauty Awards 2019

    “Gentle enough for use throughout all stages of pregnancy & beyond” Babyworld

    "This is so beautiful, so hydrating, and clears up my eczema flare-ups with no problem!" - Boy Does Beauty, Skincare Blogger

    Free Gift With Purchase! 

    For a limited time only, you can receive a FREE Vitality Hand & Body Wash when you spend over £49 this weekend! Head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more. 

    ARK Skincare's Advanced Action Lip Cream

    Have you ever suffered from dry or cracked lips? We can help! In this post, we focus on ARK Skincare’s popular Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream and how it's ingredients help to keep lips soft and supple throughout the day. 

    Why do I need a lip cream? 

     Your lips are made of skin just like the rest of your face, so it's important not to forget them when practicing your skincare routine. By using a high-quality lip treatment, you can ensure your lips are kept well hydrated and avoid them from coming dry and sore. 

    ARK Skincare’s Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream

    Product Image: ARK Skincare's Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream

    This intensive lip treatment smoothes, plumps and firms the skin. It also helps to reduce visible lines and wrinkles to keep skin looking healthy and youthful. Hardworking active ingredients help to hydrate and create a protective barrier to protect lips in all extreme weather conditions. The perfect product to keep your lips soft and hydrated throughout the day.

    Key Ingredients:  

    Product Image: ARK Skincare's Advanced Action Lip Cream with ingredient macadamia on a blue background Maxi Lip - a complex of clinically proven plumping Peptides that increase lip volume appearance and hydration. 

    Allantoin - moisturises and soothes sensitive lips.

    Macadamia Lipids - helps to restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film, maintaining softness and preventing dryness.

    How to use: 

    Use alone as a nourishing treatment to keep your lips soft throughout the day, or before applying lipstick as a hydrating primer. Pat the product gently into the lips to feel the formulation instantly soak into the skin. 

    Tip: For an extra intensive treatment, apply before bed and leave on overnight. 

    Image: Customer reviews

    Image: Customer reviews 2

    You can find out more about our Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream on the ARK Skincare website. Or to read more of our other blog posts you can click here

    ARK Skincare's Heatwave Essentials

    Loving the warmer weather? We certainly are! It’s great to see some sunshine and feel the warmth on our skin while enjoying the long summer evenings.

    With the season change and warmer temperatures, it's important to keep your skincare at the ready to ensure your skin is kept clean and hydrated. 

    Therefore, In this post, we focus on our top heatwave essentials and the ingredients they include to keep your skin looking and feeling great throughout the summer. 

    SPF 30 Primer 

    Image: ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer jar in front of a sunlit blue background

    You can’t go without it. In fact, a good quality SPF is crucial all year round as sunlight rays are present even on cloudy days. However, they are at their strongest on the hotter days, so it’s extremely important to protect your skin from the sun.

    Unlike many others, ARK Skincare’s SPF is broad spectrum meaning it protects skin against both UVA and UVB rays. It also includes ingredients such as Sunflower and Hyaluronic Acid to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with Shea Butter to protect it while keeping it soft and supple.

    You can find out more about why SPF is so important here

    Tip: Use alone or under make-up to create a perfectly smooth base for foundation application. 

    Radiance Serum 

    Image: ARK Skincare's skin perfecting Radiance Serum on a marble slate next to an orange - one of the product ingredients.

    "Radiance Serum is a miracle in a bottle. Obsessed is an understatement!" Stephanie Pratt, Actress

    Looking for a natural summer glow? This product is the one for you. Our radiance serum includes multiple powerhouse ingredients such as Red Algae to illuminate skin and reduce pigmentation, while Amino acids to help brighten. Vitamin C helps to boost the skin's collagen levels helping it to look energized and youthful. 

    Tip: Apply a few drops by patting them gently into the skin, or mix your serum in with your age intelligent moisturiser and apply together. 

    Hydrating Beauty Mist

    Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist held in persons hand against a blue background

    An essential in the summer months. Not only is this beauty mist great for keeping your skin hydrated, but it’s also the perfect product to keep in your bag for a refreshing spritz throughout the day to keep you cool. Active ingredients include Hyaluronic Acid which helps to hydrate and relieve dry skin, Amino Acids to lock in moisture and wild water mint - an antioxidant to keep skin looking healthy and youthful. 

    Tip: For an extra intense refreshing spritz, keep your beauty mist in the fridge! 

    Conditioning Body Serum

    Image: ARK Skincare's Conditioning Body Serum

    A favourite of  beauty journalist, Celia Walden's - featuring on her 'can't-live-withouts' products list, in the Telegraph Magazine. 

     Made with 100% natural ingredients, our rich and silky body oil is perfect to keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Sweet Almond Oil helps to keep skin smooth while Sacha Inchi Oil, rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, helps to lock in moisture and reduce redness. 

    Tip: Use all over the body. Massage into damp skin after bathing to lock in moisture. 

    Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream 

    Image: ARK Skincare's Advanced Action Plumping Lip Cream

    Don’t forget to protect your lips, too! Our intensive lip treatment cream helps to hydrate, plump and protect the entire lip area. It contains clinically proven plumping peptides which increase lip volume appearance while keeping the area hydrated and supple. Perfect for extreme weather conditions. 

    Tip: Use alone or as a hydrating primer under lipstick.

    To view more of our products, head over to the ARK Skincare website! Should you ever need any help or product advice, please send your questions over via email to office@arkskincare.com or call 0203 740 3303 and we will be happy to help. 

     

    5 Top Tips To Get Your Summer Glow

    Image: Woman sat on the side of a pool dipping her feet into the water

    Ever feel like your skin needs a bit of oomph? Many things can affect your skin - your diet, environment, the weather, or perhaps not cleansing as often as you should. But don’t worry,  we’re here to help! In this post, we focus on our top tips to help you achieve a natural glow this summer. 

    1. Start With a High-Quality Cleanser 

    ARK Skincare's Age Intelligent Cleansers

    ARK Skincare is passionate about cleansing. We strongly believe that it is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Always make sure to double cleanse to ensure you remove any airborne bacteria, pollution or dirt that is attracted to your face. It will also help the skin care products you apply to work their magic properly!

    Tip: Start with ARK Skincare’s Pre-Cleanser and follow up with your Age Intelligent Cleanser

    2. Exfoliate Once Or Twice a Week

    Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator on a white background

    Another important step to a good skincare routine is exfoliating. This helps to buff away any dead layers of skin and reveal a bright, healthy complexion. ARK Skincare’s Triple Action Exfoliator includes Bamboo Particles which gently remove any grime from the surface while fruit acids and enzymatic action create exceptionally smooth skin.

    3. Add a Serum

    Image: ARK Skincare's Radiance Serum

    Choose a serum to help give your skin a boost with nourishing active ingredients. ARK Skincare offers a range of six, each specifically designed to tackle each specific skin concern. For our glow seeker’s, we recommend our Radiance Serum - it’s rich in vitamin C which brightens dull skin for a glowing, energised complexion. 

    4. Eat Well 

    Image: Colourful plate of vegetables, fruits and nuts


    We all know "healthy-looking skin comes from within". So make sure to choose foods which your body will thank you for. Experts suggest to “eat the rainbow” and pack as many colours as possible onto your plate to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy diet, (while remembering treats now and again, of course!) 

    5. Stay Hydrated

    Image: water being poured into a pink glass with ice and lemon.

    As we all know, drinking water is crucial. Not just for our skin, but our entire body. So make sure you’re drinking plenty throughout the day - especially in the summer months!

    Give your skin an extra boost by using hydrating products. Take a look at our popular Hydrating Serum - the perfect cocktail for thirsty skin, or our Hydrating Beauty Mist for a spritz during the day.

    To view our full range of products, visit the ARK Skincare website. Should you ever need any help or product advice, please email office@arkskincare.com or call us on 0203 740 3303. We'd love to hear from you! 

    Ingredient Focus: What is Beautifeye™ & How Does It Benefit The Skin?

    Ingredient Image: Silk Tree Extract

    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

    Image: Showing the difference before and after using beautifeye on eyelids

    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.

    2. It can fight free radicals

    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  

    Image: Before and after of using beautifye on crow's feet (wrinkles in the corner of eye)

    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. 

    5. It supports collagen production

    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

    Product Image: 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.  

     

    References: 

    Xtend-Life - Skin benefits of BeautifeyeTM

    TruActivs - BeautifeyeTM

    Today - What are free radicals?