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How To Tackle Dehydrated Skin: Our Top 5 Tips

Many of us are experiencing dry skin as lockdown takes its toll. Feeling stressed, taking less exercise, and spending more time indoors can all affect our skin. Here are our 5 top tips and favorite products to help keep your skin hydrated. 

1. Say No To Steamy Showers

Image: Water streaming from shower head against white bathroom tiles

A steamy shower can often sound tempting - especially when it’s cold outside. However, 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 immediately after bathing to lock in hydration. 

2. Remember your fruits and veggies! 

Image: A flatlay of different fruits and vegetables

A daily dose of fruit and vegetables is essential for your diet. There is a proportional amount of water in these foods that can be absorbed by the body, helping to keep you hydrated and give your skin the vitamins it needs for a natural, radiant glow. 

3. Drink plenty of water

Image: Slices of lemon floating in fresh cold water

 

Hydration starts from within. Like the rest of your body, your skin is made up of water. We lose a significant amount of water every day, so it’s important to replenish your body to allow it to function at its best. The NHS suggests you should aim for 8 glasses a day. 

4. Go easy on alcohol 

Image: Woman pouring a glass of red wine

One of the biggest effects alcohol has on the skin is dehydration. Consuming too much can lead to puffiness and inflammation. Alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar too, so overindulging too often can also lead to break-outs and dull complexion. It's important to enjoy a treat now and again but remember to stay mindful! 

5. Invest in natural skincare products 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Beauty Mist

Healthy, glowing skin is a great way to boost anybody's self-confidence.  When we look good, we feel great. Take care of your skin by opting for products with a high percentage of natural ingredients to help nurture and hydrate your skin. ARK Skincare offers three different age intelligent ranges, specifically designed for each age group, helping to achieve beautiful skin at every age. We also have multiple other ranges, such as our Skin Perfectors to help you tackle specific skin concerns and our Skin Essentials to help you create the perfect daily skincare routine. 

Here are some of our top picks to help you keep your skin hydrated:

Hydrating Serum

Cocoons skin with hydration

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydrating Serum in glass bottle with pipette next to slices of cucumber sitting on a marble slate.

Our best-selling serum instantly hydrates dry, thirsty skin and locks in moisture. Ingredients include Laminaria Algae and cucumber extract which help to freshen and restore the skin’s texture and suppleness. Add 2-3 drops directly onto clean skin before moisturiser or blend with moisturiser and apply together. 

Reverse Gravity Eye Cream

Instantly tightens and hydrates skin, while fading dark circles & diminishing puffiness

Image: ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eyecream next to Aloe Vera on a blue back backdrop.

This instant-effect eye cream contains multiple powerhouse ingredients to help lift, tone and hydrate the eye area. BeautifuleyeTM, created from Persian silk tree extract, is proven to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, while Amino acids boost moisture levels to plump skin and minimize signs of aging. Aloe Vera helps to calm and nurture dry, sensitive eyes. 

Hydration Injection Masque

A Rejuvenating treatment to restore vibrancy 

Image: ARK Skincare's Hydration Injection Masque on a marble slate with an orange half and vitamin capsules

An intensive multivitamin hydration injection masque to quench skin, plump wrinkles and restore vibrancy. This rejuvenating treatment masque is the ideal weekly pick me up for skin which looks tired, stressed or lacking in radiance.

Rich in hyaluronic acid, this is the perfect product to drench skin with moisture and provide protection against water loss. Give your skin a boost with vitamin C to fade pigmentation, Vitamin E to prevent free radical damage and Vitamin B5 for smoothness. 

ARK Skincare’s Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit

Image: ARK Skincare's Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit Artwork, including images of ARK's hydrating serum, hydration injection masque and eyecream with a tote bag

For a limited time only, you can purchase these three products, plus a tote bag as part of our Dehydrated Skin Rescue Kit for over 50% off. Click here to view on the ARK Skincare website.

References: 

Alyaka -  5 No-Nonsense Habits To Keep Skin Hydrated Naturally

Insider - Here's How Cutting Out Alcohol Can Affect Your Skin 

Elle - Real Affects Alcohol Can Have On Your Skin 

Cosmopolitan - How To Hydrate Your Skin

 

Living with Atopic Eczema: Our 10 Top Tips

Image: Girl wearing a white tank top scratching her sore red arm

What is Eczema?

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. It can affect any part of the body but is most common on hands, the insides of elbows and the back of knees.

  Some may have small patches of dry skin and others may have larger areas of inflammation. People who suffer from eczema usually experience periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe. These are called flare-ups.

Causes of Eczema

No one is entirely sure what exactly causes eczema but The National Eczema Association believes a combination of genes and triggers are involved. Those with eczema tend to have an overactive immune system and when triggered by a substance inside or outside the body, it responds by producing inflammation. This is what causes the red, itchy and painful skin symptoms associated with eczema. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms.

Here are our top tips for managing symptoms and keeping them under control.

1. Don’t scratch
Although it can be tempting, when you scratch or even rub, you can make the itch and your eczema worse. Some people scratch so much they bleed, and that's a setup for infection. Instead, try using a cold compress to cool the skin and apply moisturiser to avoid it from drying out. 
2. Keep a food diary
People with eczema can experience inflammation from eating certain foods. Common triggers are citrus fruits, dairy and gluten/wheat but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a note of what you are eating and be mindful of how/if your skin reacts. This can help to illuminate what causes your flare-ups and which foods you should try to avoid. 
3. Choose Skincare Products Carefully: 
Choose products that are advertised as “safe for sensitive skin” that won't include irritants that may affect your eczema. Stay away from products that are highly scented as fragrance can be a number one cause for irritation. People with particularly sensitive skin should always introduce new products slowly over a matter of days. It may also be a good idea to perform a patch test on the neck or inside of your arm to ensure your skin reacts well before applying to a large area. If you wash your hair while standing in the shower, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner is worth considering too.
4. Choose soft fabrics.
Material that is rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Allowing yourself to get too warm can make you sweat and cause a flare-up as well. Synthetic materials such as nylon, rayon, and polyester tend to be warmer which can cause itchiness and prolong the effects of eczema so are best avoided. Opt for soft clothes that are gentle on your skin and keep it cool.
5. Learn your allergens
Eczema may flare up when you’re around things that may cause an allergic reaction. These can be different for each person, so it’s important to be mindful of things that may cause you to react. Some of the most common allergens are: seasonal pollen, dust mites, fine fur from cats and dogs, mold and dandruff. Taking note of the appearance of your skin each day can help to identify things you should avoid.
6. Manage stress.
Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of yourself. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine.
7. Choose the right form of exercise
Exercising can lower stress, boost the immune system and help to keep you healthy. However, the downside is that sweat can also trigger eczema to flare-up. As sweat evaporates, the skin dries and is left with a salty residue that can irritate eczema and encourage you to itch. If you are suffering from a flare-up,  try low-impact exercises like walking, yoga or pilates. These can be helpful to relieve stress and give your skin a break.
8. Be aware of your environment
Many people with eczema become itchy if they get too hot. This can happen if you get too sweaty or layer up too many clothes. During the cold winter months, it’s important not to allow your skin to dry out from harsh winds, so always make sure to keep skin hydrated with gentle moisturising creams.
9. Avoid Hot Water
When your skin is irritated, a hot shower can often feel like a great way to temporarily relieve itching. However, dermatologists warn that this can actually make eczema worse. Hot water dries out the skin and causes it to crack and become sore. Turn the heat down and soak in luke-warm water instead as this will absorb into the skin. Moisturise straight after bathing to lock in hydration.
10.  Look after your hands
It is important that we wash our hands throughout the day to get rid of any nasty germs and bugs. With the current pandemic, we are all being encouraged to do this as often as possible to reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s important to take care of our skin too. Make sure to pat your hands dry as opposed to rubbing them as this can make them sore. Always follow up with hand creamYou can read more about how to treat sore hands here.

All of ARK Skincare’s products contain a high percentage of natural ingredients and are made without any known irritants, made with sensitive skin in mind. Find out more about our products on our website

References:

8 Top Tips To Help You Stay Connected

Due to current events, many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We know it can be difficult at times without friends and family around, so here are our 8 top tips to help you stay connected!
Title: Tip #1 Pick up your phone!
Image: Person's hand holding a note out in front of them saying "phone a friend"
Let’s be honest, we spend a lot of time on our phones scrolling through social media, but when was the last time you called a friend? Instead of going to visit somebody, make time to sit down and call someone - even just for a few minutes. Checking in with those around you is a good reminder that you're not alone and a great way to keep others company.  Perhaps you could even make a nice plan of what you'll do together when this is all over! 
Title: Tip #2 Write a Letter
Image: Brown envelope with a white sheet of writing paper
There’s nothing better than receiving a personally hand-written letter through the door. Especially when it's from a loved one. The time and thought that goes into letters makes them so special - they can even be a keepsake for years to come!  Dig out the writing paper and jot down a message for a friend or family member. You can guarantee it’ll put a smile on their face.
Title: Tip #3 Send a surprise gift to a loved one!
Image: Gift wrapped up in parcel paper with a string bow and gift card.
    There are so many amazing online stores who are still working during this time, (including ours!) You can find all kinds of different gifts online from letterbox flowers and chocolates to care packages and food parcels! Online orders also eliminate any social contact as you can ship the gift straight to the recipient. 
    Take a look at some of our gifts below. 

    ARK Skincare's Uplifting Care Package

      Product Image: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including: ARK Skincare Travel bag, Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist, Vitality Body Wash & Hand and Nail Cream

      Includes: 

      • ARK Skincare Travel bag
      • Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
      • Vitality Body Wash 
      • Nourishing Hand and Nail Cream

      Facial Massage Set

        Product Image: ARK Skincare's Facial Massage Set Including: Hydration Injection Masque & Jade Tool with a velvet pouch.

        Includes: 

        •  Hydration Injection Masque
        • Jade Tool & Velvet Pouch

        You can find lots of our thoughtful gifts here.

        Title: Tip #4 Get Creative!Image: Apple mac book on an oak table next to a coffee and notepad

          We know it can be hard to find things to talk about now everyone is spending so much more time at home; so it’s time to think outside the box! Why not plan a virtual pub quiz evening with friends and family, or perhaps watch a film together via zoom? There are still ways of keeping things light-hearted and fun! 

          Title: Tip #5 Have a virtual dinner date!
          Image: Bowl of pasta in a restaurant setting

            If you want some company at dinner time, why not schedule a ‘dinner date’ with a friend or family member? (A fun idea for couples too!) Spend some getting ready, choose a nice outfit like you would if you were going out, then prepare a yummy meal before calling your date! They can still be at the opposite end of the table, even if they are a little further away...  Don’t forget dessert!

            Title: Tip #6 Go to an online workout class with a friend!
            Image: Woman practicing stretches in front of her laptop, watching a live workout

              While we can’t go to the gym, why not sign up to an online workout class with a friend? It will give you something to commit to and you can encourage each other to stay motivated. It’s a great way to keep active, and you can catch up afterwards about how you found it! 

              Title: Tip #7 Join an online community!Image: Laptop on a desk with a notebook and pen

              If you're looking for something to keep you occupied, why not find an online community to join? There are so many online groups for all sorts of different things from blogging and baking to fitness and beauty. 

              Search for a hashtag online and find like-minded people who share your interests. You can find recipes, DIY's and tutorials for all kinds of things. You can guarantee to find something that will keep you busy!

              Title: Remember to take time for yourself, too.
              Image: Girl resting her reading book and cup of tea on her lap.
              We know how important it is to keep in touch with our loved ones and make sure they’re keeping well and coping okay, but remember you’re entitled to some time for yourself too.
              We’re living in a very strange time at the moment - it's almost as if we’ve come to a grounding halt. Although, while life has slowed down a lot for many of us, it can be a great opportunity to do the things that we might not usually have time for. 
               Most importantly, we have to do what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe, help those who need us, and stay home to save lives and support the NHS.
              Take care & stay safe! x

              Product Focus: ARK Skincare’s Hero Collection

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Hero Collection box on a marble slate alongside 1 mini hydrating beauty mist, 1 mini pre-cleanse and makeup remove and 1 full size SPF.

              In this post we're focusing on our popular Hero Collection. What does it contains and what makes these product so special?
              This popular award-winning product is the first step in our powerful cleansing routine. 

              How To Use: To achieve clean, fresh feeling skin, use this gentle cleanser to remove any make-up or simply ‘rinse the day away'. Massage in gently all over your face before adding water to form a thin liquid emulsion. Continue massaging then rinse off with warm water. Then follow up with your age intelligent cleanser.

              Active ingredients: Grape seed, avocado and kiwi oil deeply nourish skin and protect against dryness, while margosa leaf extract destroys bacteria and inhibits its growth on the skin. Another ingredient called Zi Cao is a herb that helps to calm and soothe sensitive skin.
              An intensively refreshing, multi-use beauty mist. 
              How To Use: Use our Hydrating Beauty Mist as a toner before your serum or as a liquid moisturiser to give the skin an extra layer of hydration. Or use after make-up application to achieve a dewy finish. This is the perfect product to keep in your bag for freshening up throughout the day or in your gym kit for a cooling spritz after exercise. 
              Active Ingredients: Optimum skin hydration is achieved by Hyaluronic Acid which reduces roughness, relieves dry skin, increases firmness, and allows flexibility.
              Amino acids that mimic the skin’s natural moisturising function to soften and soothe. 

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer on a blue, sunlit background

              Our top-selling hero product which consistently wins industry awards and achieves rave reviews. Our SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and moisturiser all in one.
              How To Use: Use as your daily moisturiser in the knowledge it is protecting your skin from damaging UV rays; or use on top of your daily moisturiser for added hydration and protection. 
              Active Ingredients: Our primer includes ingredients such as Shea Butter that has high concentrations of fatty acids which to keep skin soft and smooth. Vitamin E helps protect against environmental pollution and UV radiation, whilst quenching the skin with moisture.
              Our SPF 30 Primer is also a broad-spectrum sunscreen which means it protects the skin from both UVA & UVB rays. You can read more about the science of sunlight rays and the importance of SPF here

               

              Hero Collection product textures
              "These three products were selected for the Hero Collection as individually they are powerhouse formulas, each delivering exceptional results. Plus, used together in a regime they provide three essential steps that any good skincare routine needs - cleanse, hydrate & protect. Making the Hero Collection perfect for long term lovers of ARK and first time customers alike."

              Katie Sangers, ARK Skincare Director

               

              Which other products would you recommend to a first-time buyer? 

              If you are new to ARK, then the Hero Collection is definitely a great introduction to our brand. We would then recommend your age intelligent cleanser and moisturiser. If you have any specific skin concerns you'd like to tackle we also have a range of six Skin Perfectors you can choose from. 

              You can find out more about all of our products on our homepage.

              The facts about SPF, UVA & UVB - get sun protection savvy

              From a young age, we’re all told to ‘remember your sunscreen!’ - but what does it do and why is protecting ourselves so important?

               

              Image showing a field full of flowers during the sunset with warm sunlight shining over them.

              What types of sunlight rays are there and how can they affect my skin?

              UVA Rays
              UVA rays are associated with skin ageing. 95% of these rays reach the earth's surface, causing short-term effects such as immediate tanning and possible sunburn. They affect the inner cells in the top layer of skin and are responsible for causing premature ageing, pigmentation, and are even linked to some types of skin cancer. 
              UVA rays present themselves all day long, all year round. They can penetrate through clouds and windows too, so even on the cloudy days that you spend indoors, you’re still exposed and should always remember your SPF!
              UVB Rays
              UVB rays have shorter wavelengths, so only 5% of these reach the earth’s surface. However, they have a considerably higher energy level meaning their damage can be a lot more severe. Overexposure to UVB rays is what can cause your skin to blister and burn. It is also the cause for most skin cancers, so it is essential to protect your skin and ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk. 
               
              Image showing rose-gold sunglasses resting on a sun bed with the ocean in the background

              How does SPF work?

              A sunscreen acts as a filter, reducing how much UV radiation we’re exposed to. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from harmful UVB rays.
               There are two main parts to all sun protection. The active ingredient and the emulsion. The active ingredient does the sun protection work and either absorbs or reflects the UV rays. 
               The sun protection factor is calculated by how much of the UVB gets through the screen.  The British Association of Dermatologists recommend SPF 30 is a good level to use to keep skin protected. 

              What makes ARK Skincare's Skin Protecting SPF 30 Primer so special?

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer on a cream background next to a sunflower and vibrant yellow petals.
              Our Skin protecting SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and light weight moisturiser in one. It offers 'broad-spectrum’ UV protection which means unlike many products, it protects from both UVA & UVB rays.
              By making this part of your daily skincare routine, you’ll keep your skin protected without even having to think about it!

              You can find out more about this product here.

              References:

              NHS - Sunscreen & Sun Safety

              ColorScience -  How Does Sunscreen Work To Protect Your Skin?

              The Explainer - What Does SPF Mean & How Is It Measured

              April Favourites

              In the last few weeks, we have received some amazing product feedback so, we decided to round up some of the most recent reviews and share what everyone has been loving with you!

              Age Defend Night Treatment 

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Defend Night Treatment on top of a velvet pink jewellery box next to a bottle of ARK's Radiance Serum.

               

              “I am so impressed with it that I can’t imagine using anything else at bedtime now. Using this combination of products has my skin feeling soft, supple and brighter, protected against the harsh winter weather” - Even Angels Fall, Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger


              “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. It has kiwi seed oil (omega 3 fatty acids for moisture and to help the skin barrier), passion fruit oil (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory), Prodizia (for signs of fatigue), and CoQ10 (an antioxidant to help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)." Talonted Lex, Beauty Blogger

              Age Defend Moisturiser

               Product Image of a range of ARK Skincare products on a bathroom counter next to an Orchid.

               

              "ARK Skincare is a brand I've reviewed and raved about on my blog for a while now and I cannot recommend their Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser enough (it's my favourite product of theirs, closely followed by the new Age Defend Night Treatment" Of Beauty & Nothingness, Beauty Blogger

              "Now I must admit I'm always a little nervous about trying new moisturisers as I hate heavy products that feel too rich & worry that they will lead my hormonal skin to breakouts.  However, this product is anything but heavy & contains Co-enzyme Q10 & collagen-boosting vitamin A & despite the fact I initially pumped too much out of the bottle I was amazed at how quickly it absorbed into my skin & instantly left it feeling smoother & looking plumper."

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Travel Candle being held above a cosy looking bed sheet with its branded product box.

              "I love candlelight. Something about it is so soothing. And better yet if the candle smells incredible. I’ve recently been loving the ARK Spa Aromatics Travel Candle. It’s small enough to take it with you on your travels so you can take your favourite scent with you wherever you go but big enough to have lots of burn time." Beauty Rocks, Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger


              Gua Sha Jade Tool 

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Gua Sha Jade Tool laid on a wooden table with it's grey velvet drawstring bag

              "At night, (especially when I was using the tool on my neck) I felt a lot of tension released.  That’s what sitting at a laptop for most of the day typing can do for you folks! I did – through repeated use (and I stress the repeated use) – notice a difference especially to my eye area – it did appear that my brows were lifted and my eyes were more open." Living Pretty Happy, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

              Pre-Cleanse Makeup Remover & Defend Conditioning Cleanser

              Product image of ARK Skincare's Pre Cleanse Makeup Remover and Hydrating Beauty Mist being held against a cosy looking bed sheet.

              "I've been using these products for a few weeks now & I'm impressed with both.  The Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover effectively removes all traces of my make up, even when wearing a heavy smokey eye & when used with the Conditioning Cleanser I've found my skin has been left feeling deeply cleansed & smooth." My Midlife Fashion, Fashion Blogger 

               

              Triple Action Exfoliator 

              Product Image: ARK Skincare's Triple Action Exfoliator laid on a fern leaf

               

              "I’ve used the ARK Skincare Triple Action Exfoliator once and I adored it.

              Once I washed the exfoliator off my face, my skin felt incredibly soft and smooth. This is such a satisfying feeling and I couldn’t stop touching my face. It reminded me of when I got a microdermabrasion treatment as my skin’s texture felt completely renewed."  A Womans Confidence Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger.

               

              Skin Perfector Clearing Serum

               Product image of ARK Skincare's Clearing serum next to it's product box and a pretty pink rose, laid out in front of a branded ARK Skincare gift box.

              " Before I used this serum, I genuinely used to use about four different ones to try and target different issues but this one does it all. It saves so much time only having to apply one product and I’ve definitely noticed a huge difference since using this serum. My pores are definitely way less obvious, it calms my redness and even my blackheads have reduced." According to Alice Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger. 

               

              Skin Protector: SPF 30 Primer 

              Product image of ARK Skincare's Skin Essential SPF 30 Primer next to it's product box on a white counter top with pretty pink crystals scattered around it.

              "This went onto the skin beautifully and was super easily absorbed. I had been searching for a new daily SPF product for months and this is literally exactly what I wanted to add to my skincare routine, as I know it's protecting my skin from any harmful UVA and UVB rays, maintaining its youthfulness and overall health as well. "The "airbrush" finish allows makeup to glide on effortlessly and last all day long." Coconut Couture, Lifestyle Blogger

               

              Skin Essential Reverse Gravity Eye Cream 

              Product image of ARK Skincare's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream next to a branded ARK Skincare box.

              "Another award-winning product I have been enjoying using is the ARK Skincare Gravity Defying Eye Treatment. This product is amazing at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and help to fade dark circles and diminishes puffiness."  Juelook, Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger

               

              You can view all of these products using the links above, or click here to go straight to the  ARK Skincare website!

              April is Rosacea Awareness Month - Here Are Our Top Tips for dealing with Rosacea

              Feeling flushed? Suffering from persistent redness? It may be rosacea, which is more common than you think. It is, unfortunately, not something you can cure, but you may like to try our top tips for keeping it under control.

               

              1. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays

              UV rays are the number one cause of rosacea flare-ups, so it's important to use a good quality SPF all year round and ensure to cover up when in direct sunlight. Take a look at our SPF 30 Primer here - it's the perfect product to protect your skin and it creates a smooth base for makeup application too.

              Artwork image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer next to a sunflower and pretty flower petals

              2.Consider the environment around you. Extremes of temperature and pollution can aggravate rosacea. Hot weather, cold winds, high humidity, and urban pollution can all be problematic. Keep cool, avoid steam, wrap up against cold winds, and protect from pollution. 

              3. Manage stress levels.

              Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. This will help you not to put unnecessary pressure on yourself and help to calm your mind and body.

              Image of somebody holding a polaroid image of a neon yellow light saying "and breathe"


              4. Keep well

               Being unwell can show on your skin. Fever, coughs and colds, high blood pressure, and serious illness can cause rosacea to flare up. Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives. Consider taking multivitamins to keep well especially those with vitamin C and Zinc.


              5. Wash your make up brushes

              In an independent survey of 1000 people 44% said they had never cleaned their make up brushes! Several studies have shown that makeup brushes can be contaminated with dangerously high levels of bacteria, and in some cases carried more bacteria than was found on a loo brush! Clean those brushes to prevent skin irritations and redness flare-ups.

              Image of freshly washed make-up brushes in a pretty white pencil pot


              6. Go make up free

              Consider having a break from makeup and see if your redness comes down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from makeup and your skin improves reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare-up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.


              7. Avoid scent

              Scent can be a major cause of skin irritation. Stop using perfumes and avoid facial, body, and bath products that are highly scented. Even some essential oils can be irritating to the skin, so it's important to choose products that are as natural as possible as these won't contain any harsh chemicals. 

               

              8. Alter your exercise routine

              Exercise is reported by many rosacea sufferers as a cause of flare-ups. But don’t stop exercising! It is essential to your stress management and overall wellbeing. Instead, alter the way you exercise. Consider short blasts of high-intensity workouts rather than prolonged sessions. Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, but instead, make sure the gym is well ventilated and ideally air-conditioned. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. Try swimming. AND always keep hydrated. It is essential to keep your water consumption up.Image: A persons feet in grey running shoes

              9. Skincare Products can help but choose carefully. Select products that are created for sensitive skin as these will be free of known irritants and strong fragrances. It's also important to keep your skincare routine simple– “less is more” as they say. Don't chop and change your products either, introduce products one by one over a matter of weeks to avoid over-stimulating the skin. When applying products be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth. Resist the temptation to wash your face when in a power shower. The strong jets can cause sensitivity and redness to flare.

              Product Image of ARK Skincare's Anti-Redness Serum with 3 Badges for vegan friendly, beauty shortlist award winner 2019 & beauty global awards 2019.


              Our soothing Anti-Redness Serum contains a botanical complex clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, and regularly receives 5-star reviews. It has also been featured by Talontedlex, a popular skincare blogger who openly talks about her favourite products to help rosacea. You can find out more about this award-winning product here.


              Controlling rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle. Follow these tips to help keep your skin calm. Don’t be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering. You can always chat with us on socials @arkskincare or email sales@arkskincare.com for help and product advice. We love hearing from you!

               

              How To Lift Your Mood

              8 TOP TIPS

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

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

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

              Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

              Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

              Image: Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack next to a mug of milk

              “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

                   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

                  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!

                  Image of staircase in house

                  5. Get Creative!

                  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

                  The Benefits of Gua Sha

                   

                  ARK Skincare's Jade tool with a grey pouch and how-to guide

                  What is Gua Sha?

                  Gua sha is a natural ancient self-care beauty ritual, originated from China. This facial massage technique has been used for several thousand years to achieve skin health and provide a youthful, radiant complexion.

                  The natural therapy involves sweeping the skin with a massage tool. These strokes help to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage. With regular practice facial tension is relieved, the jawline becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, the skin is lifted and de-puffed.

                  How to use

                  Cleanse the skin and gently pat dry before applying your favourite serum, moisturiser or masque. Simply apply your product as normal and then use the tool to make sweeping motions over the contours of your face. The layer of product is important to ensure the tool does not tug at the skin.

                  You should work through this seven-step routine on one side of the face, then repeat on the other side, making sure to repeat each stroke 3-5 times. Repeat 2-3 times a week to see the full benefits.

                  ARK Skincare's Jade tool how-to guide

                  1. Neck – Start at the collar bone and sweep up the neck.
                  2. Under the chin – sweep from the soft part of the under the chin towards the earlobe.
                  3. Jawline – start from the middle of the chin, move under the lower lip up towards the ear.
                  4. Under cheeks – sweep from the corner of the mouth under the cheekbones to the hairline. 
                  5. Over cheeks - sweep from the corner of the nose over the cheekbone to the hairline, by the top of the ear.
                  6. Under eyes - be very gentle in this area. Sweep from the corner of the eye to the hairline. Use less pressure than on the rest of the face. 
                  7. Over eyebrows - start from between the eyebrows, sweep out towards the hairline 
                  8. Forehead - sweep upwards from the eyebrows the top of the head.

                  Clean and dry the tool after use. 

                  What are the benefits?

                  This natural therapy can help to activate the immune system, allowing the body to speed up its natural healing process. Gua Sha is performed on the back of the neck, shoulders and mid-back where the lymphatic system and drains the lymphatics which assists in decongestion. This has huge benefits for cold and flu symptoms. Gua sha is an anti-inflammatory therapy, great for dealing with chronic pain and sore muscles. Additionally, it is able to firm the skin, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and plump skin to give it a youthful glow.

                  Pro Tips

                  •  Try keeping your jade tool in the fridge. This will intensify the cooling sensation, leaving you feeling refreshed.
                  • Use the tool to massage your head. Wiggling it against your scalp through your hair can help to relieve tension. 
                  • Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to experiment. You may want to focus on certain areas more than others.

                  Our in house therapist Kate Hardy performs gua sha using our jade tool in her treatments, so we asked her to tell us what she likes about it and why she uses this particular form of therapy. 

                  "I've been working the jade tool myself for several months now & have recently introduced it into facial treatments for clients. The jade tool really helps to stimulate the facial muscles. It's also great for increasing lymphatic drainage, helping the skin get rid of toxins. It gives the skin a natural boost with a lifting and firming effect, brightening the skin and reducing puffiness. It leaves you with a wonderful fresh-faced glow and is also super relaxing to do".

                  Where can you find out more?

                  You can view our Gua Sha tool here. Until the end of March 2020, this is also part of a discounted duo alongside our Hydration Injection Masque, saving you £17. This is part of our spring offers range which you can view here. 

                   

                  his is

                  ARK Skincare's Jade tool with a grey pouch and how-to guide

                  Care Packages & Competition!

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

                   

                  Image displaying ARK products with a shop now button

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

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

                  The Uplifting Care Package 

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

                  Including

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

                  Was £92, now £45

                   

                  The De-Stress Care Package

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

                  Including: 

                  •  De-Stress Serum 
                  •  Hydration Injection Masque
                  • Geranium, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Travel Candle  
                  • ARK Wash Bag
                  Was £117, now £45 

                  shop all gifts here

                  Want to include a message?

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

                   

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

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

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

                  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!

                  Image: ARK Skincare's Age Defend night treatment

                  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)

                   

                  Kate Hardy, ARK Skincare's Resident therapist's positive feedback on ARK's night treatments

                   

                  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)

                   

                  Image: Blogger content showing ARK Skincare's night treatments

                   

                  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)

                   

                  Talonted Lex, beauty blogger

                  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.

                  ARK skincare's night treatments with ingredients

                   

                  6 Tips to Save Dry & Sore Hands

                  Over-washed, sore hands? Our top tips will help…
                   Hand washing has never been so important. However, over washing causes dryness and irritation leaving many suffering with soreness. Here we explain simple steps you can take to protect and soothe your hands.
                  But first, why are we having to wash our hands so much?
                   person washing their hands in a teal sink under running water
                  We find ourselves in unprecedented times, and all of our lives have suddenly changed. The first message we received as soon as word spread about the COVID-19 virus was to wash our hands. Washing hands is essential to stop the spread of the virus. The COVID-19 virus itself is covered in a layer of sticky molecules, which is how it so easily attaches to surfaces and clings to your hands. The good news is this sticky coating is made up of molecules that are also attracted to soap which can destroy it. Using soap breaks down the outer layer of the virus, allowing it to be dissolved by water, washed away, and destroyed.

                  When you wash your hands with soap and water, you surround any microorganisms on your skin with soap molecules. The hydrophobic tails of the free-floating soap molecules attempt to evade water; in the process, they wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of certain microbes and viruses, prying them apart. 

                  “They (the soap molecules) act like crowbars and destabilise the whole system.”

                  Professor Pall Thordarson, acting head of chemistry at the University of New South Wales.

                  More details on this can be found in this article from the Independent on Soap, Hand Washing & Covid-19. 

                  But what if hand washing facilities are not available? Can hand sanitizer gels help too? The answer is yes, if they are at least 60% alcohol based. The alcohol can effectively kill the virus but you need to fully coat your hands, so you need to use the gel liberally, and, let it dry naturally, to take effect. The problem with gels is that the alcohol, the very ingredient that makes them effective, is incredibly unkind to your skin. Skin soaked in alcohol will show the signs of dryness and cellular damage. Obviously this is preferable over the transmission of any Coronavirus, but it can lead to irritation and soreness, meaning hand washing with soap is always the preferred option, if you have the choice. You can learn more here.
                   
                   
                  Hand washing needs to be thorough to be effective (see more advice on this here) so it can unfortunately also lead to dry irritated hands. In extreme circumstances they may become so dry they become red, cracked and incredibly sore. It can even lead to conditions such as contact dermatitis. This is because excessive cleaning can strip away natural oils along with the dirt and germs.
                  SO what can we do when we have to be washing our hands but don’t want to suffer from the associated side effects? Here are our top tips:
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 1. is - 1. Use tepid rather than hot water.
                  Hot water strips the hand of essential moisture. Make sure you use lukewarm water. This is a top tip for your whole body as very hot baths and showers do the same.
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 2. is - 2. Use a moisturising soap or hand wash.
                  Look for products with shea, olive oil or aloe vera and avoid harsh synthetic chemicals. Soaps all work in the same way, and those with natural hydrators will prevent dehydration. You may like to try the ARK Skincare Body Beautiful Vitality Hand & Body Wash
                  And don’t forget to use a nail brush to clean under your nails too. Lots of us have one lurking in a bathroom cupboard – time to get it out!
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 3. is - 3. Pat don't rub.
                  After washing, gently pat your hands dry. Don’t rub them vigorously. Studies have found the most hygienic way is to use paper towels, but be gentle with them to save making your hands sore. Remember, whilst hand dryers can seem efficient, they can be the cause of increased skin irritation. Read more about this here.
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 4. is - 4. Moisturise straight after washing.
                  To prevent excessive dryness, and to lock in moisture, use a good quality hand cream straight after washing and frequently throughout the day. Have your own tube in your bag or pocket to minimise contamination from sharing with others. Keep a hand cream by your bed to give them a good coating before you go to sleep too – maybe treat yourself to a nightly hand massage to soothe and calm yourself before bed?
                  The cream should be free from known irritants and contain ingredients to reinforce the skin barrier. Learn more about our award winning Hand Cream here
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 5. is - 5. Try a weekly hand treatment.
                  Don’t save your exfoliator and masque just for your face. You should give your hands a weekly treatment too. Exfoliate away dry skin to allow the moisturisers to work. You can also treat your hands to a hydrating masque. Smooth the masque on and place your hands in a small plastic bag, or even a large sock, whilst you let the active ingredients get to work. Your hands will emerge feeling super soft and any irritation will be calmed. Click through here to find out more about our exfoliator and masque products.
                  Image that displays text explaining what tip 6. is - 6. Wear gloves.
                  Gloves are a must! Wear them for household chores, especially the washing up, or if working in the garden. They will save your hands from further wear and tear.
                   
                   
                   
                  In summary, effective hand washing, and good hand care, will be a lesson we have all learnt only too well by the end of this current pandemic. Moving forward our hands will continue to take the brunt of the battle against the transmission of viruses. Take steps to protect and nourish them now, and save yourself from the uncomfortable side effects which can occur.
                   
                  To learn more about the battle against coronavirus and the latest government advise please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

                  Shop ARK Skincare's Hand Care Collection HERE

                   100% Vegan Friendly. Award Winning. Made in the UK. 

                  Flatlay of ARK Skincare handcare products, featuring Hand Lotion, Hand Wash and Hand Cream.

                  What We Have Learnt From Isolation... So Far

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

                  What happens when we sleep?

                  The Science of Sleep

                  Woman lying in bed asleep

                  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?

                  A cosy set up in a bed with a mug of coffee, a book and white cotton bed sheets

                  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

                  ARK Skincare's 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