Everyone has something at some point that they want to look their best for – a wedding, a dance, a graduation, a photo shoot or a date.
But whether you’ve hired a makeup artist or not, there are a few steps that can be taken in the days leading up to the event to do what makeup can’t do, to get your skin in the best shape possible: plump and hydrated, less shiny and flake free, and hopefully avoid that dreaded pimple on the day.
Skincare is the new makeup in 2020, and the more consistent you are with looking after your skin, the less makeup you’ll end up needing.
Start a basic routine of washing your face in the evening with a skin-type appropriate cleanser and a soft cloth for gentle exfoliation, without rubbing your face too firmly, or using a gentle exfoliating product.
If you wear makeup, take it off properly – as your skin produces sebum (its natural oils) at night, it opens up, dilutes all that makeup (and pollution it’s attracted from the day) and welcomes it into the deepest corners of your follicles, making it dull and blocking your pores.
Rinse your face in the morning to rid it of sweat from the night, but unless you get very shiny through the day, it’s better to not continually strip your skin of its natural oils by washing it.
If you have dry skin, avoid products that foam.
No matter your skin type, moisturize – there is a grand difference between water and oil, and the skin will often overproduce sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin.
Your skin can be dehydrated and oily at the same time, and you can balance out its condition with good skincare.
If you can stomach an extra step in your new routine, add a serum at night that combats a skin concern you have (brightening, acne fighting, moisture boosting etc) – one to gently massage in to generate some blood flow without pulling the skin to create lines is great, but avoid too much rubbing if you have acne or looser skin – rather opt for pressing it in with the base of your palm.
And please wear sunscreen whether you’re outdoors or not – it’s the number one skin care step you can take to fight wrinkles, sagging skin, pigmentation and cancer, and will help get your skin tone more even for the event.
The point is to get your skin to a point where its cycle is running smoothly – the top layer is turning over healthy cells without extra skin cells blocking the pores or causing flakiness, and the underlying layers are hydrated and fed.
The longer you can do this for before the event, the better – Depending on your age, your cellular turnover can be anywhere from 10 to 90 days, and the sooner you start giving it active ingredients, the sooner you’ll see happy skin cells thanking you.
If you have two weeks to prepare, consider getting a facial, with an extraction expert if you have blocked pores, or do some research for a (low risk) DIY facial that works with what you have.
Often after an extraction session, your skin will look worse before it looks better while the skin heals itself, but the facial treatment will greatly benefit its cellular regeneration cycle – so the results will still be there on the day of the event, but you’ll have enough time in case your skin needs time to clear.
An exfoliating treatment in the facial will help give you a great jump start if your skin has been looking dull or dry in some areas, but avoid anything too rough on the skin.
I always advise that you find a professional that comes recommended in your area instead of going in blindly before something important, and that you don’t get too fancy with treatments that have very strong active ingredients, in case your skin doesn’t like them.
In the days coming up to the event, be aware of your stress levels – cortisol, which is a hormone our body produces when we’re stressed, can increase sebum production, which can mix with dead skin cells and dirt to create pimples, so be diligent with your skincare routine, no matter how late you finish your day or how tired you feel – and avoid touching your face!
Use a skin appropriate masque three to four days before the big day (please test the masque before this day to avoid a surprise reaction), with ingredients that focus on how you want your skin to look.
According to Health you can also exfoliate and use a masque on the day of the event to remove any possible flakiness, and plump up your skin and hydrate it, and possibly prevent shine if you need it – it does make a visible difference in how the skin looks.
Allowing your moisturiser a couple of minutes to absorb before you apply makeup will also make the application a lot smoother and more even.
Foundation goes best over a well prepped skin, that has no dry, flakey or oily patches to make the application inconsistent.
If you are suffering with a condition like excessive oiliness or dryness, or acne or sensitivity, consult a professional for more particulars on how to properly care for your skin.