I get asked lots and lots about skincare recommendations, especially what brides can use in the run up to their day. Whilst I’ve never found a miracle solution, (everyone’s skin is different and you have to try and test products out ladies!) I thought I’d share what I use! Please don’t take this as gospel, it’s your skin and I encourage you to do a bit of reading up on the products you choose. Listen to your body and what your skin is telling you; feed it well, it needs different products and nourishment depending on whether it’s feeling dry, sensitive etc. Take a look through Caroline Hiron’s Blog for skincare and product advice; it’s definitively worth a browse if you have any particular concerns. Labels are seriously hard to decipher but generally:
Lactic Acid – resurfacing and good for dehydrated and dry skin.
Glycolic and Malic Acid – resurfaces and helps stimulate for better collagen production.
Salicylic Acid – best for spots and acne.
Cleanser: I tend to dither between 3 cleansers actually, depending on how my skin is behaving (usually it’s misbehaving!) I’ve been using Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel which is a lovely, thick balm that you massage into your skin before rinsing off. It contains pumpkin enzymes to help mildly exfoliate, Vitamin C and E to restore and Starflower Oil to soothe.
I also use a lot of REN products as they’re clean, simple and free from parabens, sulpahtes, mineral oils, silicones, synthetic colours and fragrances (no nasty’s!) and the range isn’t bank breaking either…which is always a winner! I’ve been using the Evercalm range recently which is great for sensitive skin and it’s a quick and easy cleanser to use.
When my skin is very dry or a bit sensitive I tend to just use E45 face wash, it’s pretty rich but it does help soothe irritated skin.
Try not to use face wipes as they’re lazy and harsh, be kind to your skin :'(
Eye Makeup Remover: I tend to use either Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara or Maybeline’s Waterproof Rocket Lash and they stay on firm making eye makeup remover a real tricky one! I’ve used so many different oils and removers that I’ve decided to just stick with Simple as it’s cheap, cheerful, kind to skin and does a decent enough job. I normally cleanse my skin first which gets a little eye makeup off to start with and then massage a little remover onto my lashes with my fingers and sweep the rest off with cotton pads.
Toner: Most toners that you buy on the high street are either fragranced water or filled with alcohol to leave your skin “squeaky clean” which is just a waste of money. I use a toner to exfoliate my skin, there’s not much point buying a gel with lots of beads in as they can often be harsh and irritating…just use a flannel (clean!) if you’re wanting to give your skin a good scrub!
REN’s Claryifing Toner doesn’t contain alcohol but it is mildly acidic to gently exfoliate your skin , removing dead skin cells without scrubbing at it ferociously.
Mask: Maybe once a week I use a face mask and I couldn’t live without REN’s Glycolactic Renewal Mask! It contains lots of fruit acids which is super cleansing and exfoliating but I find that not only does my skin feel so much smoother afterwards, it really helps my moisturisers and oils absorb better leaving my skin feeling really hydrated.
Eye Cream: This year I had a strange reaction to Urban Decay’s Liquid Liner and since, my eyes haven’t quite been the same. Occasionally sore, dry and definitely a few fine lines beneath that definitely were not there before..all in the name of winged eyeliner, sorry eyes :'(
Time to start looking after them and after a bit of research I chose Indeed Labs; with simple and easy to read packaging, it literally does what it says on the box with no nonsense…I don’t have time for silly advertising claims, I want the science please. eysilix™ eye cream claims to nourish and re-energise the skin around the eyes with the help of 10 added peptides (peptides are amino acids that make up the proteins in the skin i.e Collagen) sounds good! It’s worth putting your eyecream on before any other moisturisers to give it the best chance at absorption. It’s too early to tell whether it’s making a difference but I’ll give it time to prove itself.
Serum: Another of Indeed Lab’s products is hydraluron moisture serum. Hyaluronic acid is found in the body and is responsible for maintaining water in the top layers of the skin. Our body naturally produces it but production levels decrease with age leading to dryer skin. Hyaluronic Acid is said to be capable of absorbing up to 1000 times its weight in water and therefore aiding your moisturiser. hydraluron moisture serum is designed to be used under your moisturizer…try it!
Oil: I tend to only use at night post serum and pre moisturiser, I love OSKIA’s Restoration Oil. It smells amazingly relaxing which helps just before bed too and my skin absorbs it super quick *slurp!* I really couldn’t live without this item…
-I always carry it in hand luggage when flying as it stops my skin drying out on the plane
-It works as an (expensive) emergency eye makeup remover
-When I’m run down or ill, I feed my skin with this
-It can be mixed with foundation to give a beautiful tinted moisturiser effect…love, love, love
Moisturiser: REN Moisturisers are great for everyday use but aren’t particularly penetrating or hydrating but they do help stop my skin from further drying out and easy to use in the morning before makeup application. Of course I use Indeed Labs hydraluron moisturizer instead sometimes…it makes sense to pair with hydraluron moisture serum to hydrate beneath the surface, while the hydraluron moisture jelly moisturiser provides the surface moisturisation.
Sounds like a lot of effort yes, and I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect and do this routine religiously every single day but it’s worth it. You only get one face and so you should look after it.
Vicky Brown Hair and Makeup Artist
Based in Hertfordshire