By: Chanelle Felder
But no matter what fate decides to throw at me on my journey down the aisle, tons of reading, research, and experimentation on my own face have prepared me for the task of ensuring that my most photographed day won’t be ruined by any errant skin issues. Whether you are newly engaged, months into planning—like me, or simply want to finally start addressing your own skin issues, I’m going to serve you some tried, true, and slightly unexpected skincare truth that will leave the camera loving your face on wedding day, and you enjoying the beautiful benefits long after the honeymoon is over.
Know what you’re working with. All you need to figure out your skin type is a gentle face wash that you know doesn’t irritate your skin, a mirror, and an hour of undisturbed time to figure it out.
1. Wash your face with lukewarm water and your cleanser…but be sure not to overwash.
2. Wait for an hour--without touching your face—to give your face time to react to the cleaning.
3. Evaluate what you see in the mirror.
a. If your skin feels tight, uncomfortable, and even flaky, you have dry skin
b. On the other hand, if your face has a light-reflecting sheen and large pores on the forehead, nose, cheeks, and/or chin, you have oily skin.
c. Combination skin is a mixed bag housing parched and visibly slick patches.
d. Those who have no visible oil, but no tightness or flakiness have normal skin. While not necessarily perfect, normal skin can definitely be easier to manage.
This process of skin typing doesn’t take into account issues such as acne, hormonal breakouts, skin allergies/sensitivities, mature and aging skin, skin texture issues, etc. This is just a starting point for figuring out how to design your skincare routine!
When it comes to your face, it’s okay to be basic. The skincare industry can be so confusing, but none of the fancy and expensive products matter if you don’t use quality basics in which to build the foundation of your regimen.
1. Gentle Cleanser – Your skin should never feel tight, dry, or “squeaky clean” after cleansing, so do yourself a favor and invest in a gentle, creamy cleanser that will leave your skin feeling like it was washed, but not scrubbed into submission.
a. Ingredients to look for – The words hydrating, ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, and humectants all let you know that, after cleansing, your face will feel clean yet comfortable.
b. Products I Love – Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.
2. Exfoliator – One of the best-kept secrets in skin care is chemical exfoliation! It’s the exact opposite from physical exfoliation in that it’s much gentler on facial skin, can be done every day, and even helps with signs of aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and skin texture issues. It’s super important that you research which ones are best for your skin type and slowly work them into your basic routine
a. Ingredients to look for – AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), and Enzymes (from fruit).
b. Products I Love – Stridex Maximum Strength Pads 2% Salicylic Acid (this product offers highest concentration of Salicylic Acid you can get over the counter so tread lightly!).
3. Moisturizer – Not to be ignored by any skin type, a good moisturizer makes it easier for your skin to protect itself, repair itself, and stay healthy. A great moisturizer does all that with sun protection and anti-aging benefits added in.
a. What to Look For – Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, humectants, and SPF are key. Ceramides will help repair the lipid layer of the skin while humectants will act to lock those lipids in.
b. Products I Love – CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion Am with SPF 30.
Repeat after me: Routine! Routine! Routine! The most important aspect of any skincare routine lies within making it an actual routine; this means committing to your plan and executing the necessary steps daily. It takes months for your skin to adjust and respond to any skincare changes that you make. It’s not sexy, and it’s definitely not glamorous, but much like exercising, the skin responds well to long-term habits rather than occasional pampering.
There’s truth in old clichés. Venturing into a routine that you hope to give you the face of your dreams by the time you say “I Do” isn’t easy, but at the end of the day, there are some tips and tricks that have stood the test of time because they are just flat-out true no matter how you slice it. As you put in the time, work, research, and consistency needed to solve your facial drama, remember that a balanced diet, weekly exercise, sun protection, and copious water intake will always do your face (and body) good. And when in doubt, or facing a challenge that seems resistant to your efforts, don’t ever be afraid to ask the help of a professional to get you over the hump.