With so many procedures and creams packed with super active ingredients, it’s easy to overdo it and end up with dry, red, flaky, stressed out skin. It’s also easy to forget the very fundamentals of skincare. That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to keep your skin at its healthiest and most beautiful on your Big Day and beyond.
If you’ve been wearing a lot of makeup or your skin looks dull, try “double cleansing.” Soak a hand towel in warm water and press onto your face to open up the pores. Wash your face with a mild cleanser and then close the pores with a towel that is icy cold.
Take just a few extra minutes to incorporate a micro massage. Use your index and middle fingers to lightly massage all around the face right up to the hairline and the neck. Use gentle tapping motions to finish. This encourages blood and oxygen to flow so that products are absorbed more effectively. Remember always use upward motions to fight gravity.
Most pros recommend using a Clarisonic cleansing brush, as it’s hard to mimic the cleaning action of this electric brush with your hand. Experts recommend alternating the different cleansers.
“I recommend glycolic acid cleansers for the morning,” says Dr. Sarah Jackson of Audubon Dermatology. “Glycolic is the smallest molecule in the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family and penetrates the skin more easily to dissolve dry, dead skin cells. It naturally exfoliates without stripping the skin.
“Salicylic acid cleansers are fantastic for night because salicylic is a keratolytic, which loosens keratin by sloughing off dead skin cells, decongesting the pores and prevent blackheads. It also decreases inflammation and helps prevents breakouts. For anyone living in the humid South, incorporating this form of cleanser is a good idea to keep skin clear. Oilier skin types might use it every night and drier skin just once or twice a week.
“I also advise all patients to incorporate an enzyme cleanser as they offer very gentle exfoliation and can calm inflammation. They break down the protein naturally to reveal smoother skin, they also smell wonderful.”
Sometimes cleansers, and even tap water, can strip the skin too much and so it becomes oilier as it tries to restore its natural balance. Toners can help restore the skin’s natural pH balance while keeping dirt and pollution out.
Serums and Moisturizers
The next step is to apply products that provide your skin with the specific benefits it needs, such as a vitamin C serum to protect against environmental damage. Pump a dime-sized amount onto your fingertips and pat it all over your face quickly before it absorbs into your hands.
Wait 30 seconds before applying your moisturizer. Keep moisturizer simple, its key function is hydration.
Show Some Eye Love
Skin around the eyes is thinner so invest in a cream specially formulated for that area. Use a delicate touch and be careful not to tug or pull the skin.
If skin feels dehydrated during the day, spritz a face mist to keep skin dewy.
Make the Most of Beauty Sleep
Never skip cleansing at night. All products work more effectively when skin is in its natural renewal process.
Mask Magic and Facials
If you are looking to tackle problem areas such as hydration, brightening, pigmentation or oiliness, day or nighttime masks can be effective, but give your skin a break between uses.
Facials are also a treat for the skin. About Face of New Orleans offers the “Four layer facial” which leaves skin hydrated and glowing. Aesthetic Surgical Associates has the Hydra Facial MD which, in addition to cleansing, replenishes the skin with vital nutrients.
Remember the Golden Rules
Never use a tanning bed. The UV rays will cause photo damage to your skin as well as sunspots. Self-tanners have come a long way, they are easier and less messy to apply and there are even ones that can be applied in the shower.
Self-Care is Key
Finally, the fundamentals of healthy living also apply to the skin. Reducing sugar, incorporating good fats, drinking water, exercising and getting at least eight hours of sleep will do more for you than any product.