Organising a wedding, whatever its size, is a seriously stressful business for any bride-to-be. So, ensure that caring for your skin doesn’t fall by the wayside when it comes to your list of priorities, advises KELLIE BILLINGS.
Following are six vital steps you can take right now — as well as the latest must-have products — to make sure your face looks the best it can in plenty of time for the big day!
The good news is, as the hormones settle during our 20s and 30s, monthly breakouts become a thing of the past. Particularly if you are prone to hormonal spotting around the chin, that’s the good news. Now for the bad news: Studies suggest that women lose collagen from their skin from age 20 onwards. Collagen is a protein responsible for providing structural support in the skin. As it diminishes, skin becomes lined and wrinkled. Ingestible collagen has become very popular of late, but the jury is out as to whether it actually does any good. Dermatologists agree that topical creams containing retinol, peptides and/or antioxidants can help restore or support existing collagen. Retinol is a wonder ingredient for me, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If there is one ingredient to look out for, then retinol is it. Aside from increasing collagen, it exfoliates, clears up acne, minimises lines and wrinkles, and helps fade age spots (talk about hard-working!) For sensitive skins, try the Retinol B3 Serum, €41, from La Roche Posay.
Laser technology has never been better, and it can treat all the usual signs of ageing, including wrinkles and slackening. The Fraxel is the next generation of laser technology that can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention pigmentation issues and sunspots. Fractional lasers penetrate the top skin layers. Fraxel light energy stimulates collagen and resurfaces the top skin layer. The skin’s natural rejuvenation process smoothens wrinkles and scars by stimulating collagen. You should use a top-quality SPF because the skin is especially vulnerable between laser treatments. I really rate The One That Makes You Glow (SPF40), €28, by the hybrid suncare/skincare brand Hello Sunday. This beautiful oil protects while simultaneously minimising pre-existing sun damage.
I know many women who can be seduced by so-called super-creams (featuring a super-expensive price tag). They may smell and feel delicious and boast fancy designer names, but often, you are paying for the brand's luxury rather than the ingredients. For women serious about skincare, invest in a cosmeceutical range that may or may not be expensive. These brands contain active ingredients like various acids clinically proven to work on major skin issues such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, spots and scars. These products don’t just work on the surface; they work on a cellular level, too. I highly recommend the Skingredients range by Jennifer Rock. Try AHA Cleanse Exfoliating Cleanser, €31.
Integrity of Skin
Growth factors, particularly stem cell technology, are gaining a huge amount of support in dermatological circles. In essence, these are made by healthy, youthful skin cells to maintain the integrity of skin. Their main function is to support the repair and replenishment of damaged skin. Growth factors are responsible for making components that provide firmness and elasticity to the skin, both of which are much needed for ageing and problematic skin. Try BioEffect EGF serum, €145.95.
The Power Vitamin
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that heals and protects the skin. It’s one of my favourite ingredients after retinols. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, which can cause serious damage to the skin cells. Another benefit of Vitamin C is radiance; it really does make the skin glow. Try an eye product, such as Perricone MD Vitamin C Under-Eye Cream, €69.
Personally, when it comes to active ingredients such as Vitamin C or retinols, I prefer to use them on my skin in a serum form, as the slick formulations allow for higher concentrations of active ingredients as well as better penetration. Truth be told, apart from hydrating, moisturisers actually offer very little, and cannot penetrate past the top few layers of the skin. I’m a fan of HydraGlo serum, €30, by Irish brand Sculpted by Aimee Connolly.
- Kellie Billings