ARK Skincare is a multi-award-winning UK skincare brand that delivers cruelty-free, vegan products designed for specific skin needs. Instead of trying to change or shame certain skin types or aging, ARK Skincare encourages a constant celebration of diversity in how we all look and feel. The products are fully free of any nasty additives (including artificial scents) while bioactive ingredients work together to provide glowing and healthy complexion, regardless of your age. Thanks to its three age intelligent ranges – Protect (designed for teens and 20s), Defend (30s and 40s) and Defy (50s) – you can easily find products suitable for your needs.
If it’s so great, why isn’t it more popular? I’ve got no clue. ARK products aren’t the cheapest, but with the brand’s incredibly fresh ethos on skincare and luxurious feel and look, they could easily cost double of what they actually do. I’m not the one to throw my money unless I know the products are worth it, but I’ve been recommending ARK Skincare to my friends and family for the past couple of months already.
If you’re looking to switch up your skincare routine and wondering where to start, let me introduce you to the 4 ARK Skincare products I’ve been testing.
This super lightweight primer has become my go-to as soon as I began using it. With its award-winning formula, it works as a moisturiser, sun protector and makeup primer in one. I’ve been using under my makeup and while it didn’t make my foundation last longer, it prevented the mask-like feeling I get with some of my makeup products (I should really change them). It didn’t stick to As the weather has been quite sunny and I found myself sitting in the garden more, I have been using this primer every day, even if I don’t put makeup on. Thanks to Vitamin E and Shea Butter, it offers great protection against UVA and UVB rays, but also creates a defence barrier against pollutants. It’s especially great now as the temperature outdoors is rising as it’s not at all sticky and sinks into the skin almost instantly. As someone who hates heavy face products all year round, not just in the summer, it’s a game-changer.
I was skeptical about using plant-based clearing serums as I couldn’t imagine NOT drying my spots with alcohol-based products. As bad as they were for my skin, at least they used to remove new spots fairly quickly. Underestimating the strength of the serum, I mixed it with my moisturiser and applied it all over my face. You know, just to get rid of any spots. And while the instructions mention you can do that, it turned out to be a big mistake on the sensitive skin around my nose and mouth. After applying it in the evening, my face was itching most of the night and I woke up with the skin literally peeling off. It took a great amount of moisturising to reverse the damage and the skin tightness I was feeling. I almost gave up on the serum there and then, but instead, decided to only pop it on the areas that needed it.
And, boy, am I glad I persevered. The serum’s main active bioactive ingredients – margosa leaf extract, watercress, nettle and horsetail – help remove excess oil, tighten pores and prevent blemishes and acne due to their antibacterial properties. While the ingredients might be too harsh on more sensitive skin (I learnt the hard way), they actually do slow down the sebum production on my face and remove growing spots. The serum, just like the rest of the products I tried, is extremely lightweight and just a few drops are enough to cover all essential areas. In my case, nose, forehead, and sometimes my cheeks. A little definitely goes a long way – I’ve been using it twice a day for 3 months now and only now, I’m getting to the half-bottle mark. So even with the higher price mark, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a clearing serum that doesn’t actually damage the skin to clear it up.
I have tried various different moisturisers over the years, but in all honesty, was yet to find a one I would regularly go back to. And I think I have just found the one. The Age Protect range is designed specifically for teens and people in their 20s to retain the skin elasticity, moisture and prevent premature aging. The lightweight and very absorbent formula provides perfect hydration and protection against various pollutants. It works great on both the dry/sensitive and oily areas on my face. It’s definitely one of the few moisturisers that actually hydrate my skin in a gentle and calming way without clogging my pores. And due to how thick the cream is, you don’t need a lot – even the smallest amounts easily blend into my whole face.
One note though – the packaging made me think I had a lot less product left than there actually was. The pump stopped dispensing the moisturiser about two weeks ago which almost made me panic-buy another one. Luckily, I unscrewed the lid and found it was still very full. Two weeks later, I still have about a month or so left before I need to make a new purchase. Not sure if it’s just a fault in the pump in my product as ARK states it’s designed to leave absolutely no product behind, but it’s worth noting!
After falling in love with all other products prior to using the cleanser, I had really high hopes for it. And I’m really disappointed that I can’t actually rave about it.
Despite having similar ingredients to the clearing serum, it didn’t make much difference to the excess oil production in my T-zone. Initially, after the cleanse my face did feel clean, only to resort back to its oily self an hour later. The cleanser is supposed to balance the oil production and the dry zones, so I’m not sure why it didn’t work so great for me. On top of that, due to the oil production, my skin kept breaking out which is extremely annoying and upsetting. At first, I thought it was due to period hormones, but I’m way past that now and the issue is still there.
As it comes at a price I wouldn’t usually spend on a cleanser, I’d say save your money and buy Neutrogena Oil Balancing face wash for £4-£5 instead. It fixed my oily skin in just a few days and I’m definitely going to be buying it again when the ARK cleanser runs out. So disappointing!
All in all, I’m really impressed with how well ARK Skincare targeted my skin problems fixing them by using natural and safe ingredients. Though I won’t be repurchasing the cleanser, I already know the other 3 products found their place in my skincare routine for many years to come. But what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time xx