Prepping your skin for your Wedding Day

I recently had a client that asked me about skin care as understandably, she wanted her skin to be in tip top condition for her wedding day. Now I’m no expert in skin care nor do I pretend to be. I’ve educated myself with what I know and what works for me. Of course everyone is different and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Skin care brands nowadays create products specifically targeted for different skin types whether it be oily, dry, a bit of both and therefore combination, sensitive, acne prone, dehydrated, mature etc. But even so, there are times when your hormones go a bit wild and effects your skin as a result and that can sometimes be totally out of your control and you just have to kind of roll with it.

I did make my client aware of all of the above but she was more than happy to hear some of my suggestions (because she has combination skin as do I, she was very eager to find out what products I find works in my skincare routine). She had a very simple routine and was finding that she was suffering from frequent breakouts and of which she was struggling to keep control of. Her routine was drugstore/pharmacy own branded face wipes to remove makeup in the evening, followed by a moisturiser from the same range. In the morning she used their branded exfoliating scrub followed by the same moisturiser. Now this may have worked on my skin some decade ago but to be honest I wish I was more informed about skincare from the moment I left college. I’m hoping that by following a good skincare routine now, I can prove the term “it’s never too late” to be true.

My advice was a complete overhaul to her routine as was as follows:

1. Stop using face wipes to cleanse your face and invest in a makeup remover  if you do wear makeup and/or SPF.

2. Cleanse your skin with a non-foaming formulation like a balm, milk or gel cleaner. Remove with a hot, damp flannel.

3. Avoid face scrubs with grainy beads/granules and opt for chemical exfoliants in the form of an exfoliating toner.

4. Follow exfoliating toner with a hydrating one.

5. Invest in an oil or serum pre moisturiser.

6. Moisturise as the last step.

Not satisfied with just the routine, my client asked specifically for the products and brands I used and what I find works for me. I happily obliged but also mentioned that she would have to take into consideration her diet and it’s effects on her skin i.e. drink plenty of water, load up on your omega 3 (eating fish or taking supplements), cut down on alcohol, sugar and caffeine etc. The following is the suggested skin care routine and product recommendations.

Morning

1. Cleanse
I use REN ClearCalm3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser  to wash my face in the morn to get rid of overnight sweat/oils /dead skin etc.
2. Tone
I use Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. This is an exfoliating toner so does the job of a face scrub without the harshness of granules/beads. This is an important step as it rids the skin of dead skin that tends to sit on the surface  (makes your face look dull) and helps to prep the skin to better absorb the products you put on top e.g. oils/serum/moisturiser etc. To follow that I use a hydrating toner- so basically any toner that says “hydrating” on it.
3. Serum (you can choose a serum to suit your needs)
I use Ren Mineral Omega 3 Serum Oil which has Vitamin A which is good for anti-ageing.
4. Eye Cream
I use Clarins Eye Contour Balm and I put this on before my moisturiser otherwise if you apply moisturiser before it , you may accidentally put some around and near the eyes so when you go to put eye cream on top, it wont be as effective because it’s sitting on top of your moisturiser.
5. Moisturise
Your regular moisturiser. I chop and change but use a lighter one in the morning and a more heavier one at night. I am currently using La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat which hydrates the skin but leaves a matte (non greasy/oily) finish.
6. SPF
Use this before you apply makeup if your skincare products or foundation doesn’t have it in already. Especially crucial now its Spring. You need to protect our skin from the sun because it will age you and give you wrinkles and we don’t want that.

Evening

1. Makeup Remover
I use Bioderma Sensibo H20 which is a French Pharmacy product and you can get it from escentual.com. But Garnier do something similar called Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water as do Loreal Loreal Paris Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution. There are loads out there that you can get from Boots/Superdrug (your local drugstore for you Americans).
2. Cleanse (Cleansing Balms/Milks/Gels)
I use something more heavy duty- by Emma Hardie, which I LOVE but there’s no reason why you can’t use the same one as from the morning. Make sure you do use something to wash your face because makeup remover isn’t enough. Don’t use anything that foams up because that creates a breeding ground for bacteria on your face. Clinique also do one, their Take The Day Off Cleaning Balm.
3. Tone
Same as the morning. 1. exfoliating toner 2. hydrating toner
4. Serum/Oil
5. Eye Cream
Same one as morning.
6. Moisturise
Your regular moisturiser, maybe a more heavy duty one.
Extras:
About once a week I use a face mask and my favourite one is Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. This is awesome. My face looks clear and radiant immediately afterward.
I use Aesop Control Gel for spots and it’s really effective in reducing spots and clearing up the breakouts. You can get this in Liberty and online.
After a few days in, my client texted me to say that she has seen a huge improvement in her skin and that was in a matter of days.
I must re-iterate though, I am not a skincare expert and a lot of it is trial and error but I’ve found a routine now that suits my skin. It may need a few tweaks now and again especially as you’re skin is never the same throughout the year. I’ve noticed massive changes in my skin in the past two years and I think a lot of it has to do with hormonal changes and sometimes I do find that I have no control over my skin. However, now that I’ve sussed out a few different products, I have my go-to routine when my skin does play up and I have found that I have more control over breakouts then I ever had previously. Like I said, it’s all trial and error.
If you’re a bride and have skin care concerns, I would definitely take a look at Caroline Hiron’s Blog (she’s an qualified Advanced Facialist with years of experience in the industry). I’ve learnt a lot from it and she even has “Cheat Sheets” on specific common concerns which are an absolute must-read. Good Luck!
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