Our resident beauty blogger Laura Curtis gives her top tips to achieving picture perfect skin on your wedding day.
1. Invest in a top-quality cleanser. Unbeknown to most people, cleanser is one of the most important products in a skincare regime. Using the wrong cleanser can disrupt the delicate pH balance of the skin, causing dehydration, irritation and congestion. Look for a cleanser that doesn't contain sulphates (foaming agents used in soaps and detergents); they are far too harsh for most skin, yet can be found in the majority of face cleansers on the market. SK-II Facial Cleansing Gel is an oil-based cleanser that leaves skin looking and feeling clean, soft, nourished and radiant.
2. Find a moisturiser to suit your skin type. A moisturiser simply hydrates and replenishes the uppermost layer of the skin. You don't have to splurge on a moisturiser, but it is vital that you find one that suits your skin type. There are three skin types: dry (dry, sometimes flakky), normal/combination (slightly oily T-zone, slightly dry cheeks) and oily (oily T-zone, no dryness). Dry skin types should use a rich cream or lotion, such as Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream. Combination and oily skin types should avoid occlusives – mineral oils, silicones, shea butter – as they may clog the pores and cause break-outs. Darphin Hydraskin Light is a lovely choice for combination skin, while Ren Matte Balancing Fluid is perfect for those who suffer from oiliness.
3. Treat your concerns with a serum. Take a look at your skin in the mirror. Is there anything you would like to change? If not, you can skip this step (lucky duck!) If so, try to find a serum that addresses each of the changes you would like to see; they may include dehydration, uneven pigmentation and dullness. Cult favourite Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, a beautiful cocktail of skin-boosting vitamins and minerals, will resolve all of these and more.
4. Exfoliate. Your moisturiser will help to soften rough and flaky skin, but only an exfoliant will remove the dead skin cells and bring new ones to the surface, smoothing and brightening the skin instantly. Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion in a Jar gives incredible results; however sensitive skin will prefer the gentle Darphin Aromatic Peel.
5. Stay calm. Stress can wreak terrible havoc on the skin; it makes your cells tired and stimulates hormones that cause break-outs. So when things start to feel all too much – finding that perfect dress, invites, flowers, the list goes on – just take a deep breath and smile. Everything will turn out just fine.
Laura Curtis is a beauty writer and make-up artist. To see more of her writing and beauty advice, you can visit her blogs One April Morning and Pretty Poesy, and follow her on twitter (@laura_valerie).