Struggling to get that pre-wedding skin glow? Lets go back to basics
12 months or less to go...
Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting ( and stressful!) times of our lives ; with so much to plan, many suppliers to meet and lots of choices to make our skin health can start to take a back seat. I meet many brides at their pre- wedding makeup trial that are just starting to think about a good skin care regime, and although it's never too late to make some changes, I always believe in getting into good skincare practices sooner rather than later.
You may have heard the phrase “ Great make-up starts with great skin care” and as a make-up artist I know first hand what a difference great skin can make to the overall finish of the makeup, our confidence and those all important wedding day pictures! So whether you are 12 months away from your wedding date or just 6 weeks away , The Skincare Basics series aims to take you on a journey through the basics of skincare knowledge so you can become a more informed consumer. I hope to eliminating a lot of that marketing BS that we see in the beauty industry , helping you to get great skin not just for your wedding day, but all year round!
1. The Science Bit: Stress + Our Skin
It's all about re-balancing
The skin is our largest organ, and as such any problems going on internally will have a big impact on our skin health and appearance, causing the skin to become unbalanced. Unbalanced skin manifests itself as a variety of skin concerns depending on the individual ; sensitivity, blemishes, dryness, open pores, eczema, puffiness or just a generally dull appearance.
Our body and skin are made up of many cells and, just like a mobile phone battery, they are charged with energy. We need these cells to stay ‘charged’ for our skin to appear healthy, glowing and radiant.
When the cell is exposed to a threat it depletes in energy and we start to experience skin problems. Threats to skin health include ; Natural ageing , Alcohol, caffeine, smoking, medication, stress, UVA rays ( the ones that make you burn) and pollution. These threats can make our cells become unstable and erratic and unfortunately they can be hard to avoid in the modern world.
A combination of both internal and topical solutions can help to recharge those cells and bring the skin back to peak condition.
2. Start From The Inside: Antioxidants Are Key
We are what we eat
Antioxidants are amazing at re-balancing and ‘ recharging’ the cells, helping to brighten the skin's appearance( and of course your overall health too! ) . Choose to consume foods rich in antioxidants like the super foods Kale, blueberries, spinach and even red wine ( yay!!!) and you will be glowing outside as well as in! Omega 3 and 6 are also hugely important to skin health as our bodies are capable of producing all the fatty acids we need except these . Lastly make sure you get your recommendation daily allowance of that one liquid we all know- good old H2O!
3. Get on top of your skincare routine
Yep, that old chestnut!
A cleanser is required to remove both oil and water - soluble substances. Oil is capable of dissolving grease ( think your foundations, concealers etc..) and water is capable of dissolving other substances, so your cleanser will be a mixture of both oil and water- depending on your skin type. Choose cleansers with a higher concentration of oil if you are a makeup wearer or have a drier / more mature skin type. Lotions that are higher in water content are great for those with oily skin types and those who like a lighter cleanse. I personally try to avoid recommending the foaming cleansers as they contain alcohol and sulphates that can unbalance the skins natural PH levels, drying the skin out.
The skin's surface is naturally slightly acid ( and inside our bodies is more alkaline) so when we cleanse the skin we are disrupting this natural acid mantle. Toning re-balances the skin, and is an important step in the process!
Two thirds of our body is made up of water and our skin is a very important reservoir! To keep it hydrated basic moisturising formulas contain a varying mixture of oil, water and a humectant ( such as glycerine or more on trend at the moment hyaluronic acid) this attracts moisture to the skin from the surrounding air.
TOP TIP! Opt for oil based moisturisers for dryer skins and night creams and light weight lotions for oilier skin concerns as these contain lower concentrations of oil.
The removal of our natural dead skin cells has a rejuvenating effect on the skins appearance, helping beauty oils and creams absorb more easily into the skin. This step should be repeated around twice a week and is especially important to those who have dry or mature skin types( to help that moisturiser sink in better! ) . You have two types of exfoliator available; the one you choose is personal to you, or you could even combine both!
Natural acid exfoliator's ( AHAS) derived from fruits, sugars and milk. These dissolve the dead skin cells and help stimulate circulations.
Pore grain exfoliator's ; these are typically made up of crushed nuts or or tiny spheres that manually 'polish' the skin's surface.
Treatment serums + oils
Treatment serums and oils are the most concentrated, powerful ingredients in your skin care regime. They target specific concerns and contain the most potent ingredients, thus they are usually the most expensive part of your treatment plan. You would typically apply your serum before the moisturiser, allowing it to absorb into the deeper layers of the skin; this lets your moisturiser sit on the surface layers and give you that ' comforting' feeling.
TOP TIP! When selecting the right treatment product, think first about what your main skin concern is RIGHT NOW. Treat this concern FIRST , then move on . If you have several problematic areas, for example; dehydration and anti-ageing , choose a serum that deals with your primary concern and let the moisturiser deal with your secondary concern.
4. Switch up your routine with the seasons of life
Your skin can change like the seasons!
Our lives are constantly changing and we are adapting to new situations all of the time; this means our skin is going to require different products at different stages of the year ( Hell mine requires different products through-out the month!) Remember that you can cocktail your skin routine to fit what you need RIGHT NOW. I can't stress this enough that you should choose products to treat skin concerns that you have today ( not 3 months ago or 5 years ago!). Stressed induced break outs right now but worried about ageing ? Use products re-balance the skin now, then go back to your trusted anti-ageing serum in 4 weeks time. You will save yourself months of trial and error and give your skin what it needs TODAY!