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How To Freshen Up Your Skincare Routine

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!


1. Double Cleanse
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Age Protect Vitality Cleanser held over a bubble bath
Image: ARK Skincare's Protect Vitality Cleanser

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. 

2. Wash your make up brushes

Image: Make-up brush being washed with cleanser in the palm of persons hand

Don’t just invest in cleansing your skin - clean your brushes too! Dirty makeup brushes can be responsible for the transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi which can cause cold sores, acne flare-ups, conjunctivitis or worse. 
There have been a number of studies into how much bacteria can live on makeup and makeup brushes, and one test of 35 brushes showed 58% had high recorded levels of bacteria with 34% of them having dangerously high levels of bacteria on them. Alarmingly it was found that 44% of 1000 people surveyed said that they have never cleaned their brushes!
You may want to reevaluate how hygienic your makeup and makeup brushes are. It could be one reason for your skin concerns. Remember to think about how you store your brushes too. If they’re sitting in a grotty make-up bag go and give it a wash!
3. Be kind to your body 
Image: Water being poured into a pink glass full of slices of lemon.

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: Range of ARK Skincare products displayed on dressing table
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. 

5. Practice good Hygiene 
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Vitality Washand Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion
Product Image: ARK Skincare's Hand & Body Wash Duo 

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.

References:

NHS - Eating Well Guide

The Fox & She - Detoxing Your Skin

Glamour - What Is Double Cleansing?

ELLE - Everything You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

 

How To Lift Your Mood

8 TOP TIPS

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

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

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

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

Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

Image of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack

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

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

Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Brilliant Banana Loaf

Tip Five:  Do a good deed

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

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

Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

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

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

Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

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

Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

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

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

Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

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

Was £92, now £45!

 Includes:

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

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

      References: 

      NHS - How To Be Happy 

      Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

      Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

      SELF - 13 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mood

      Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

       

      How To Keep Active Indoors

      Header banner with text: 7 tips to stay active indoors
      We hope you’re all doing well and are keeping healthy going into the third week of lockdown. Despite being a few weeks in now, we know it can still seem strange and feel tricky to deal with sometimes. During this time, we hope our content can help to uplift and inspire, or even just take things off your mind for five minutes!
      As lots of us are staying at home and are unable to be able to go to the gym or get as much exercise in, we thought we would suggest some ideas on how to keep active indoors. So, if you’re feeling a little bit stuck for something to do, this could be the post for you!

       

      1. Online Workout VideosImage of a woman sat cross legged on a exercise mat with dumbbells and smoothie

      There are thousands of workout classes on YouTube which are fab as they are free to access and you can search for exactly what you want. Whether that be cardio, strength, high/low intensity or even just some stretches, there is so much content to choose from.
      The channel SELF has some great cardio workouts, or, if you’re looking for something low-intensity, Lucy Wyndham-Read has a channel full of great “walking workouts” which are a great way to get you moving!

      2. Live Workouts 

      Image of Instagram app on an iphone

      Lots of celebrities and online influencers are using their platform positively by live-streaming with their personal trainers and inviting their following to join in too! A great way to feel part of something and get a real sense of community, while getting some exercise in too! Here are some ideas for people to follow...

      @thebodycoach

      @zannavandijk

      @nobsguides

      3. Fitness Apps

      Image of a woman practicing yoga at home on a workout mat
      Don’t forget about fitness apps! Why not have a break from scrolling through socials and find a workout to do on your phone?
      Chris Hemsworth has recently announced he is offering a 6-month free subscription of his fitness app Centre which you can find out more about here
      Fiit is another app where you can link your phone to your tv screen. You can wear a tracking belt during your workout and see your stats on the screen while you do your exercise. You can also invite friends to workout with you and compete for the most 'fiit points' which is lots of fun and a great way to increase your motivation!

      4. Yoga & Pilates

      If you fancy the idea of learning a new skill, why not give yoga or pilates a go? It has lots of different benefits such as increasing your flexibility, strength and posture. It can help to relax and calm the mind. One of our favourites is Karen Eccles @pilatesfromwithin, who is hosting live workout classes. A nice therapeutic way to start or end the day!

      5. Get Creative!Image of staircase in house

      You don’t need to commit to a whole workout to stay active, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself moving. Do some star jumps in the garden, have a dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times - that'll get your heart rate up! Improvise with what you have available. Who needs dumbbells? Grab a bottle of water or a few cans of beans!

      6. Walking/Running/Cycling

      Image of a person wearing trainers walking on the grass

      We all know it’s very important to stay at home as much as possible at the moment. However, we are still allowed our hours of exercise per day which is worth taking advantage of! While keeping a distance from others who may be out and about, why not take a walk, run or cycle? Fresh air is still as important as ever to keep brain fog away!

      7. Take your chair away!

      Image of a wooden desk with an apple macbook

      Is sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is making you feel sluggish? Sitting down for long periods of time is thought to slow the metabolism and make us feel tired.

      Why not create a standing desk to work at instead? Some say it can even improve productivity and focus as it keeps you more alert! 

      Wrapping Up With A Gentle Reminder...

      While keeping active is great for both the body and the mind, please don’t pressure yourself. Lots of online content is all about being productive 24/7 at the moment and while that might be great for some, we must remember this time isn’t about becoming a fitness guru, eating kale for every meal or working 10 hour days. It's a strange time for everyone and the most important thing we can do is take each day as it comes and do what feels right for us. Whether that be going for a run or having a PJ day, all are important. Take care of yourself. 

        Sources: 

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

      https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/health/health-advice/a31697332/staying-fit-healthy-self-isolating/

      http://theconversation.com/how-to-stay-fit-and-active-at-home-during-the-coronavirus-self-isolation-134044

      ARK Skincare’s New Night Treatments: Your Feedback

      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)

       

      Gorgeous Glow

      “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.

       

      What happens when we sleep?

      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.

      Stage One

      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.

      Stage Two

      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.

      Stage Three

      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

      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.

      ARK Skincare’s Brand-New Night Treatments

      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.

      Sources

      This informative video from The Economist explains each stage of sleep in detail which you can watch here 

      NHS - How To Beat Insomnia

      How To Work From Home

      

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

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

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

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

      1. Establish a routine

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

      2. Create a workspace 

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

      3. Write a daily to-do list

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

      4. Remember to take breaks

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

      5. Get some exercise

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

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

      6. Communicate 

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

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

       

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

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

       Click here to shop now 

       

      Sources: 

      BBC: Coronavirus - 5 Ways to Work From Home

      The Independent: How to Be Productive When Working From Home

      NHS: Why Too Much Sitting Is Bad For Us

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

       

      Vegan Skincare

      Adopting a vegan lifestyle has become increasingly popular due to perceived health benefits, as well as environmental and animal welfare considerations. The endorsement of this way of life by celebrities, and the introduction of vegan ranges by many high street supermarkets, plus the availability of vegan friendly lifestyle products, mean it is no longer considered extreme.

      So what does it mean to be Vegan? Vegans choose to stop eating all animal based foods, but also to adopt a lifestyle free from any animal derivatives. This isn't just giving up wearing leather shoes, it includes beauty products too. Did you know many cosmetics and skincare ranges contain animal by-products such as honey, beeswax, lanolin, animal fats, and gelatine. Vegans need to look for plant based skincare which is free from animal derived ingredients, and of course, to only use products which have never been tested on animals. Even if not following a vegan lifestyle, some may wish to choose such products as they can often be beneficial for those with sensitive, allergy prone, or easily irritated skin.

      ARK Skincare's entire facial skincare line is suitable for vegans. If you wish to learn more about this please visit our website or give us a call. We would love to help you with your specific requirements which reflect your lifestyle choices.
      *          *          *          *
      To shop all our vegan products visit our 'Vegan Friendly' section of our website:
      https://www.arkskincare.com/collections/vegan-friendly