Photo Credit: Gary Bonar Photography
One of my earliest memories of my Mum, is watching her sit on the edge of her bed, towel on her head, as she carefully applied her Oil of Ulay (now Olay) moisturiser to her face. Looking after her skin was an important ritual for my mum and I can vividly remember the pure look of enjoyment in her face while she did it. She would always do her facial exercises at the same time which really made me laugh (they did look funny).
My mum taught me the importance of looking after my skin, but also the commitment involved in that. It means keeping up a daily and nightly routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising, all while adapting your routine as you age. As you get older, you will want to add in serums, eye creams, exfoliating treatments and masks to boost, repair and replenish.
I am incredibly passionate about skincare and advising Brides to a better routine, really is something that I put an enormous amount of effort into.
So how do you get your skin into it’s best condition for your big day? Here are some of my top tips to follow:
The makeup trial is usually where the skincare action plan is made (generally around 6 months before the big day). Making a start right away, allows plenty of time for you to get into a good habit and for your skin to adjust to a new routine.
You will spend just a few minutes in the morning and again in the evening, caring for your skin. It will honestly begin to feel like a real luxury treat, rather than a chore. When the results of your efforts begin to show, you will admire how nice your skin feels and it’s gorgeous glow!
This is a really bad word when it comes to skincare. Wipes are problematic mainly because:
1. They don’t do the job of actually cleaning the skin – What they actually do is skim over the top of the skin (ignoring anything in the pores as they can’t reach in there).
2. They are really bad for the environment, polluting the ocean and did you know that they also account for 90% of sewer blockages?
So what makes a good skincare routine? I’ve detailed below an example of my morning and night routine. Please note: If you have sensitive skin, you will want to err on the side of caution and gradually introduce new products to your skin. There are products specifically designed to repair and protect the skin’s barrier which really do benefit those with sensitive skin.
This is the one that removes any makeup/SPF/grime from outside pollutants.
This is the cleanse that gets to work on your skin, removing anything in your pores, which if left could result in breakouts. For both the first and second cleanse, use a warm damp face cloth.
This will rebalance your skins PH level, returning it to its neutral state. Skipping this step can leave your skin open to becoming dehydrated or breaking out.
An essential part of your routine. The under eye skin is much more fragile than the rest of your face, with it being 40 percent thinner there. It’s really important to only use a cream specifically made for the eye area there. Using a regular face moisturiser will overload the area and actually cause further puffiness and darkness. Choose your eye cream depending on your problem, e.g – fine lines, darkness and puffiness.
You will want to use a serum(s) designed to tackle your skin concerns – if you are prone to acne/spots go for a Niacinamide serum, it will protect your skin’s barrier and work to repair any damage from things such as acneic scarring. For skin dullness – Vitamin C serums will help to brighten and even your complexion. Retinol (only use this in the PM) is an anti-ageing hero, boosting collagen production and helping to treat expression lines and sun damage.
If you think of your moisturiser as the ‘duvet’ to tuck in all of the other products you’ve used so far. Your AM moisturiser will generally be a bit more lightweight with your PM moisturiser being much richer feeling on the skin.
This important step in your routine is there to defend your skin. This is a high priority in preventing premature ageing of the skin. I personally use at least SPF30 every single morning, whether I’m going out of the house or not. Environmental factors, including blue light technology from computers, phones etc have been proven to cause photo-aging skin damage. SPF is essential for protecting your skin and is crucial while your skin is responding to serums/treatments you are using, e.g retinol – so please make sure you don’t skip this step.
All too often neglected, I’ve made it my mission to encourage people to think of their lips much like their eyes (another thin skin area) requiring some TLC. A quick slick of a good quality lip balm ( applied with the rest of your skincare morning and night) will keep your lips plump and healthy. Your lipsticks will wear way better on your lips and you can say goodbye to those dry/chapped lips days.
I really enjoy treating my skin to a mask once a week. This step slots in after cleansing and before toning. As I have combination skin, I often multi-mask, using 2 masks at the same time. In my T-zone I use a purifying mask – one that will work to deep clean my pores and reduce their appearance. On the rest of my face, I like to use a hydrating mask to replenish and improve the plumpness of my skin.
My final thoughts – Your Skin is the largest organ in your body, it ages with you as you go through life. Hormone changes and periods of stress will all show their effects through your skin. Your best defence is to be ready for these events, by starting early and getting into a good routine.