Clean skin is vital - and I mean clean skin. There is little point in applying expensive serums and moisturisers to skin that isn’t clean- they just won’t sink in. Instead they sit on top of a layer of grime, sebum, pollution and dead skin cells.
Make up wipes are a huge sin - firstly they are appalling for the environment - and secondly they do not leave the skin clean. They push dirt and make up around the face. If everyone could see their skin under a microscope after using a wipe they wouldn’t be so appealing.
The solution - double cleanse. First with an oil cleanser then with your age intelligent cleanser.Read more
Superfoods have a very high density of nutrients which makes them particularly good at ensuring our health and wellbeing. But which super foods are used in skincare, and how are they beneficial to our skin?
This range includes six targeted serums; Hydrating Serum, Clearing Serum, Firming Serum, Radiance Serum & De-Stress Serum. Along with our Triple Action Exfoliator and Hydration Injection Masque and Regenerating Skin Defence.
Introducing a serum into your skincare routine can be highly effective. Either add a few drops into your moisturiser or apply to targeted areas of concern. See our chart below to work out which serum which work best for you!
In addition, try our Hydration Injection Masque - An intensive multivitamin masque to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. This rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance. Vegan friendly.
Moreover, our Triple Action Exfoliator is an innovative triple effect exfoliator with physical, fruit acid and enzymatic action to create exceptionally smooth skin. The AHA blend acts as an Alpha-Hydrox Acid Peel or an enzyme peel as well as the added benefits from physical exfoliation by Bamboo micro particles. Skin is left feeling exquisitely smooth and fine lines and scars are diminished, also Vegan friendly.
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Shop the full Skin Perfector range HERE
Conditioner bottles and caps
Hair Gel tubes and caps
Non pressurised hair spray bottles
Lip Gloss and Lip Balm tubes
Soap dispensers and tubes
Lotion Bottles and tubes
Mascara tubes, concealer tubes, eye shadow tubs
When did you last wash your makeup brushes?
Dirty make up brushes can be responsible for the transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi and can cause cold sores, acne flare ups, conjunctivitis or worse. One woman even contracted MRSA from sharing her friend's make up brush, which is pretty alarming. Read more here.
There have been a number of studies into how much bacteria can live on make up and make up 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!
Applying make up with dirty hands or brushes can allow the bacteria, viruses or fungi present to enter any broken skin causing skin irritations and infections. If you suffer with sensitivities, congested skin or acne you may want to reevaluate how hygienic your make up and make up brushes are. It could be one reason for your skin concerns. Go and clean those brushes now!
Did you know?
Bacteria lives on our hands all the time. Many are totally harmless but some can be pathogens. Pathogens are bacteria or viruses which cause infection.
Bacteria lives on our hands all the time. Many are totally harmless but some can be pathogens. Pathogens are bacteria or viruses which cause infection.
To ensure you do not transfer harmful bacteria into your skincare products use brands which have contamination free jars. That is, containers which you do not put your fingers in. If your skincare comes in an open pot or jar, make sure you use a spatula to access the cream or lotion. Putting your fingers into a jar, however clean you think they are, will transfer bacteria and allow them to multiply in the formulation.
All ARK Skincare products are housed in contamination free packaging. You can not put your fingers into any of our formulations to keep them hygienic. For example our moisturisers cleverly dispense from an airless jar via a push down pump.
Learn more about our award winning products on our website, at one of our partner salons or by giving our friendly customer service team a call on 0203 740 3303
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Do you suffer from redness and facial flushing? Does it get you down, make you feel less confident, or even make you hide away? Do you find you feel like you need to use lots of make up to disguise it?
We are often asked how to help irritated skin, and to treat conditions such as Rosacea. Rosacea is a topic we have addressed in newsletters and blogs before, but since it is such a common concern, with millions of people suffering from it, we have decided to put together a guide. We hope this guide will help to explain the symptoms, and causes of Rosacea, and suggest tips which could reduce it. You may also wish to to view our full collection of skincare products design to soothe red skin by clicking here.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time. But Rosacea can cause more than redness with many other associated signs and symptoms such as broken capillaries, acne, thickening of the skin, burning or stinging, and even eye irritations. You can read more about the different classifications of Rosacea here. Symptoms can be triggered by many things and, unfortunately, can vary so considerably between individuals that it can be very difficult to identify the exact cause.
Main causes of Rosacea
Environmental Factors - Hot weather, humidity, extreme cold or harsh winds can exaggerate the condition.
Dietary Causes -
Alcohol - A recent study showed alcohol consumption increases the chance of developing Rosacea
Certain foods - Spicy food, dairy, or even citrus may also make things worse
Food additives - MSG, Sulphites, and preservatives may exaggerate symptoms
Stress - Stress can be a major factor in a number of skin conditions and is considered a major cause of Rosacea. Anything which places undue pressure on you can be considered stress, and may impact your skin.
Sun Exposure - Skin prone to Rosacea is not happy in the sun. Sun, and exposure to UVA and UVB rays can make the condition far worse.
Fragrances and perfumes - Scent can increase redness and irritation. Artificial scent is a prime cause but some natural scents and essential oils can be a causal factor too.
Physical exercise - Extreme physical exercise can exaggerate and prolongue symptoms of Rosacea.
What can we suggest to help relieve the symptoms, and hopefully make you stop feeling like you have to hide away? Here are our top ten tips:
- Protect your skin from damaging UV rays. UV rays are the number one cause of Rosacea flare ups. Use a broad spectrum good quality facial SPF (have you tried ours) all year round. In high summer use a hat and stay out of direct sunlight.
- Keep a food diary. Diet can have a huge impact on Rosacea. Whilst it is not the only cause, controlling the intake of the foods which are thought to lead to flare ups can help keep redness under control. Common triggers are spicy food, alcohol, and caffeine but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a food diary and note the appearance of your skin each day, or consider intolerance testing, which may identify foods you should avoid.
- Consider the environment around you. Extremes of temperature and pollution can aggravate Rosacea. Hot weather, cold winds, high humidity, and urban pollution can all be problematic. Keep cool, avoid steam, wrap up against cold winds, and protect from pollution.
- Manage stress levels. Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. All will help.
- Keep well. Being unwell can show on your skin. Fever, coughs and colds, high blood pressure, and serious illness can cause Rosacea flare ups. Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives. Consider taking multivitamins to keep well especially those with vitamin C and Zinc.
- Wash your make up brushes. In an independent survey of 1000 people 44% said they had never cleaned their make up brushes! Several studies have shown that make up brushes can be contaminated with dangerously high levels of bacteria, and in some cases carried more bacteria than was found on a loo brush! Clean those brushes to prevent skin irritations and redness flare ups.
- Go make up free. Consider having a break from make up and see if your redness comes down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from make up and your skin improves reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.
- Avoid scent. Scent can be a major cause of skin irritation. Stop using perfumes and avoid facial, body, and bath products that are highly scented. Even some essential oils can be irritating to the skin.
- Alter your exercise routine. Exercise is reported by many Rosacea sufferers as a cause of flare ups. But don’t stop exercising! It is essential to your stress management and overall wellbeing. Instead alter the way you exercise. Consider short blasts of high intensity work outs rather than prolonged sessions. Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, but instead make sure the gym is well ventilated and ideally air conditioned. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. Try swimming. AND always keep hydrated. It is essential to keep your water consumption up.
- Skincare. Products can help, but choose carefully. Use products which are free from known irritants. Avoid highly scented products and make sure you select those suited to sensitive skins. Keep your routine simple – “less is more” – and do not chop and change your products or over stimulate your skin. When applying products be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth. Resist the temptation to wash you face when in a power shower. The strong jets can cause sensitivity and redness to flare. Seek advice as to the best products for you. Our soothing Anti-Redness Serum contains a botanical complex clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, and regularly receives 5 star reviews, you can find our more about it on our website and shop all products to help with redness here.
Controlling Rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle. Follow these tips to help keep your skin calm. Don’t be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering too. Friend of the ARK brand Lisa Faulkner recently discussed her battles with the condition and luckily had some success with the ARK Anti redness serum which you can see more about here.
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Eyes seemingly have it all when it comes to first impressions. Eyes can often be the first thing people notice about us. Sparkling, awake looking eyes are considered healthy, engaging and attractive. They also have the ability to communicate more than we would ever say, and give instant information on how we are feeling. Are you looking after yours?
Having someone comment that "you look tired" is never something we want to hear. Even if we are feeling fantastic, the appearance of our eyes may let us down. Dark circles, puffiness, and heavy eye lids all make us appear more tired than we are. But these may be caused by number of factors, and not just fatigue.
What causes dark circles?
Age - As we get older skin becomes thinner and blood vessels under the surface of the skin can become visible, appearing as dark shadows.
Allergies - allergic reactions release histamines which dilate blood vessels making them visible. Allergies can also make eyes dry and itchy increasing the likelihood of rubbing your eyes which can damage the delicate blood vessels and create dark circles.
Genetics - some families are simply more prone to dark circles, as it can be an inherited trait.
Dehydration - a lack of fluids can cause eyes to become sunken looking, and shadows to be cast.
Fatigue - the well known cause of dark circles, a lack of sleep makes skin more pale than usual, allowing dark tissue and blood vessels to show.
What causes puffiness and heavy eye lids?
Age - as we age the muscles supporting the eye area weaken and fat in surrounding tissue may migrate.
Fatigue - once again a prime cause, eyes may appear more puffy and eye lids heavy when lacking in sleep or when waking up first thing.
Smoking - eyes can become more swollen and fluid retained as a result of smoking
Salty foods - salty foods can result in fluid retention and an increase in bags under the eyes.
Can eye creams really help?
Being well rested, avoiding smoking and reducing salt intake can all help with the appearance of our eyes. However sometimes we need a little extra help. Using a cool compress can reduce puffiness and swelling, and restrict blood flow to small capillaries, and so reduce dark circles. But can any eye creams actually help too? Or can we just use our usual facial moisturiser?
Eye creams contain more oil than a regular facial creams and have a lot of active ingredients that help the dryness of your skin. They also contain carefully chosen ingredients to insure they do not irritate the delicate eye area. In addition active ingredients are often included to specifically neutralise dark circles that can show age and fatigue.
What makes the ARK Skincare eye cream so effective?
Beautifye - an extract from The Persian Silk Tree - has been shown to strengthen skin and lift the fold of the eye lid, preventing heavy looking eyes. It also contracts blood vessels to fade dark circles and reduce puffiness.
Amino Acids - a blend of amino acids to offer optimal hydration for the delicate eye area. These amino acids are naturally present in human skin, this offers a boost to the usual moisture level.
Grape Seed Oil - rich in fatty acid Linoleic Acid which has the ability to plump and hydrate as well as leaving a silky feel to the skin.
Aloe Vera - well known ingredient used to soothe and hydrate.
Allantoin - used for centuries to promote healing, it can repair and protect delicate and sensitive skin.
The packaging - the cream is housed in a contamination free, airless pack, with an innovative static roller ball for use during application. The metallic ball allows hygienic massaging of the delicate eye area, and provides a cooling, soothing effect to calm, cool and reduce any swelling.
Bioactive content - The formulation is 96% naturally derived and free from all known irritants.
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“A really impressive brand: I loved everything I tried” India Knight, Sunday Times Style
Ask yourself the following questions:
The SPF value we are used to seeing on sun cream packaging only refers to the amount of protection against the sun's burning rays know as UVB rays, and does not explain the level of protection against the very damaging and ageing rays called UVA. You need a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection known as broad spectrum protection since both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer. Look for details of broad spectrum protection on packaging rather than relying on the SPF value alone.
2. Higher SPF is not necessarily better.
Studies show that using SPF15 filters 93% of damaging sun rays. SPF30 filters 97% and SPF50 filters 98%. You do not therefore get double the protection if use SPF30 rather than SPF15. Using SPF30 is considered the optimum level of protection since it gives you extremely high shielding without the additional disadvantages of thicker high factor creams. Using SPF30 also ensures you are not lulled into the false sense of security that you are protected for longer. Liberal and regular application of SPF30 is recommended by experts.
3. Sunscreen is not the only protection you need.
We should not rely entirely on sun creams to shield ourselves from the sun. Protection against the sun is the single most important thing you should do to ensure healthy skin and prevent premature ageing. Use sunscreen, but also seek out shade, cover up with loose natural fibre clothing, and wear a hat.
4. Sunscreen isn't just for outdoor use.
Glass effectively blocks UVB rays but it still allows UVA rays to penetrate. Damaging rays can therefore reach your skin if you sit near a window, are in a car, or on a train. UV exposure is cumulative, and research shows that skin exposed to UV through office or car windows can cause long term significant skin damage.
5. Sunscreen expires.
Sunscreen products expire and the effectiveness of them reduces over time, or if stored in extreme heat or damp environments. Ensure the product you use is within its recommended shelf life. If in doubt, re stock regularly.
6. No sunscreen is totally waterproof or sweat proof.
Sunscreen which claims to be water resistant still needs to be reapplied after swimming or after excessive sweating. There is no product which is entirely waterproof. Reapply liberally after swimming or exercising.
7. If sunscreen is not applied correctly is is no use.
Suncream must be applied as directed. Use liberally and often. Patchy or sporadic application will not offer the protection you need. Always apply your product at least 20 minutes before going outside.
8. Even the darkest skin tone needs to use Sunscreen.
All skin, irrespective of tone, needs to be protected from damaging UV rays. Skin with high pigmentation does offer more natural protection against UV but all skin is vulnerable to skin cancers and to premature ageing effects of the sun.
9. You need to use sun screen all year round.
The sun's UV rays can cause damage to your skin all year round. Sunscreen should be applied to exposed skin, and especially the face, 365 days of the year.
10. Supplements are not enough protection. You still need sunscreen.
Small studies have suggested taking supplements or having a diet rich in beta-carotene, cocoa, vitamin C, and/or vitamin E may provide modest protection from sun damage to the skin. It has also been reported in the Daily Mail that there may be a pill to stop skin cancer see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-47937/The-pill-end-sunburn.html However, the advice still remains to use sunscreen in addition to supplements.
Remember. The single most important thing you can do to protect your skin from skin cancers and from premature ageing is to protect it from the sun.