My skincare routine is always changing and evolving. I’ve only recently been comfortable with making moisturizer an important step in my regimen. Why? Because my skin is oily and I am wary of putting things on it that will make it feel weighed down. But all moisturizers are not made equal! And when I got comfortable using them regularly, I learned that most of my choices, which largely include light moisturizers, did not make my face feel heavy with product, and I could actually wear them during the day! Myth debunked!
Which brings me to Ark Skincare*. I recently had the opportunity to try out two of their age-targeted skincare products: The Age Defend Replenishing Moisturizer ($70.00 for 1.7 oz.) “formulated for your 30s and 40s” and the Skin Perfector Hydration Masque ($70.00 for 2.5 oz.), “formulated for all ages.”
ARK Skincare is a British skincare brand, which treats skin by age and skin concern. Created for use in our London Spa, ARK Skincare products deliver professional, salon grade results using the most innovative natural formulations. The result is a highly effective personalized skincare regime for every individual.
Age Defend Moisturizer
The moisturizer was a pleasant surprise for me because it had all of the properties of a moisturizer I generally wouldn’t go for, but wasn’t heavy on my skin – and this is after applying 7 products beforehand. The first week I was using this moisturizer, I only used it at night, then introduced it into my morning routine. I was no more oily than I normally am by early afternoon, and I really enjoy how plump and smooth the moisturizer makes my skin feel. If I skip using a mattifying primer in the morning and a sleeping mask at night, this is the last thing I use. When I awake in the morning, my skin is still soft and smooth.
The moisturizer’s primary purpose is to moisturize (obviously) and also claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and the premature signs of aging.
The star ingredients the brand boasts in the moisturizer are Co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), Vitamin A (Retinyl palmitate), and Matrixyl (palmitoyl-pentapeptide 4), along with natural ingredients with moisturizing properties. I have bolded these ingredients in the ingredients lists to show where they fall on the list.
Full ingredients list from the Ark Skincare website:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Fruit Butter, Sorbitan Olivate, Passiflora Edulis (Passionfruit) Seed Oil, Actinidia Deliciosa (Kiwi) Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Bht, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Sodium Hydroxide, Lecithin, Disodium Edta, Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Benzoic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Nymphaea Coerulea (Blue Lotus) Flower Extract, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Lactate, Carbomer, Trideceth-6, Polysorbate 20, Ubiquinone, Vanilla Planifolia, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Leaf Oil, Parfum (Pure Essential Oils), Acacia Dealbata, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol.
(More on Ubiquinone, Retinyl Palmitate, and Palmitoyl-pentapeptide 4)
While I enjoy the packaging of the moisturizer right now, I’m sure when I want to get the last drop out of this push-top jar I’ll want to look for a jimmy to pry it open! I do, however, like that it dispenses enough product with just one pump so you’re not wasting it by using too much.
Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque
The Skin Perfector Hydration Masque can be used as mask you keep on for a short period of time and then wash off, or as a sleeping mask you keep on overnight and wash off in the morning. The purpose of the mask is to increase hydration and “restore vibrancy.”
How to use (from the Ark Skincare website):
Use once or twice per week. Apply a thin layer to cleansed skin, avoiding the delicate eye area. Leave on as stated below, depending on your skin’s age-related needs:
Teens and twenties: Leave on for approximately 5 minutes.
Thirties and forties: Leave on for approximately 10 minutes.
Fifties and onwards: Leave on for approximately 20 minutes.
Use overnight for an intensive treatment. Remove with a hot cloth. Pat dry. Follow with ARK Hydrating Toner and Age Aware Moisturizer
Because of the nature of my skin and regimen, I use this solely as a sleeping mask. You can, however cleanse (I find myself double cleansing these days) — apply the masque — wash the masque off– then moisturize. A triple cleanse, if you will. I could see the benefits in that. I personally prefer to use it as a sleeping mask, though. The only meh thing about that, is that like many sleeping masks, it’s a bit on the sticky side and I find that if I sleep on my side, which I love to do, my face will become a part of my pillowcase. Also, if you have pets, the pet hair will stick to your face. A minor annoyance, and certainly not enough to make me not want to use it.
A little bit goes a long way! The first couple of times I used the Hydration Injection Masque, I used too much. I apply this at night after moisturizing, all over my face and neck (my neck seriously loves this stuff). The mask is like a gel hybrid and is pretty thick, which is why I applied way too much the first couple of times. As thick as it is, it doesn’t feel like I have anything on my face, besides when my face gets stuck on the pillow. I wash it off in the shower in the morning and I can feel it washing off my face. I use it twice a week.
The star ingredients in the mask are vitamins A (Retinyl Palmitate), B5 (Panthenol), C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), and E (Tocopheryl Acetate).
Full ingredients list (from Ark skincare website):
Aqua (Water ), Butylene Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate / VP Copolymer, Betaine , Glycerin, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Tapioca Starch, Panthenol, Laureth-4, Benzyl Alcohol, Xylitylglucoside, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Cyclodextrin, Anhydroxylitol, Parfum (Fragrance), Xylitol, Limonene, Disodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Geraniol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Linalool, Citral.
About my skin and final thoughts
I’m 31. My skin is oily, a double-edged sword! I don’t have visible wrinkles; only crows feet when I smile and very light lines forming on my forehead. Without proper care, I can develop texture issues. My skin is acne-prone, and I’ve got plenty of scars to prove it.
I have been using both of these products for over a month and I am really impressed with: the moisturizer’s ability to not make my oily face feel weighed down (night and day), even though it’s rich and thick, and the masque’s ability to provide hydration and feel like nothing on the skin. With long-term use, restoration of vibrancy could be possible. I feel as if my skin is pretty vibrant for the most part, so I will be looking for improvements. Another plus is that I didn’t experience any irritation or break-outs from introducing these into my routine.
Testing out these products definitely taught me that my skin can, in fact, love moisturizers, even with oily skin. Especially my neck! Stay tuned for a post about how this sleeping mask and another helped me keep my eczema at bay.
*The products in this post were provided by Ark Skincare for review. All opinions are my own, honest thoughts.