A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

4 Jan 2019

Wedding: My Bridal Skincare Routine

I read recently in a bridal magazine that for your wedding, you should refine your skincare routine and then stick to it without any changes 6 months before your wedding. That's quite a big ask. I'm someone who has always suffered with acne and have blogged about it many, many times over the years as I find new products which work for me. Currently my skin is behaving itself very well, for the first time since I came off the pill, so I thought I'd share my "bridal skincare routine". 

I initially started with very good skin around the time I came off the pill (look at it in this post! Heart eyes!). I thought I was initially doing ok, but looking back the pill took a long time to leave my system. My skin started to fall apart and I started to look into skincare. My research told me the things I was using on the pill were all full of alcohol and other things which were irritating and spot-causing. Stupidly, I decided to entirely overhaul my skincare routine and tried The Ordinary which worked short term, but made my skin awful in the long term. This was my skin in Summer 2017. I was very spotty, but also got awful cysts which you couldn't see on the surface, but would distort my face (see the second photo below of one by my mouth). They were so painful and would often lie there for months. I was feeling very low about my skin. 

Also notice how sun damaged I was last summer. Naughty Lauren

I did lots more research and joined a group on Facebook called The Skincare Connection and followed routines recommended there and this is my skin as a result! (this photo was in November before the Christmas food and booze!)

The first step in improving my skin was through what vitamins and minerals I was having. I read a lot about l-lysine being really good for skin and went to get some at Holland & Barrett and I got the wrong thing (as always chatting and not concentrating). However the l-carnitine had the same effect and improved my skin! I also got zinc tablets (meant to boost your immune system and improve skin, it's in a lot of topical treatments), and a probiotic which has been found to reduce inflammation. I also started taking Vitamin D because it's recommended every winter to improve mood and immune functioning, but I've discovered it's also reduced how oily my skin is. I've been really careful to make sure I only have the recommended daily amounts, as I don't want to overdo it, or hurt my kidneys/liver.  

And this is my skin today - I since bought l-lysine but feel my skin isn't as good on it as it was on l-carmitine. I have 2 little spots which have left a mark due to the Christmas excesses. However it's still good and except those two spots it's clear. I'll definitely make sure I stay off booze and foundation pre-wedding!

Here's what I have been using to manage my unruly, hormonal, 30 year old skin

Day Routine

Firstly, I'm aware this looks like a lot of stuff, but I'll explain. This has come about from a really long time of trialling products, adding and taking away and trying to find out what works. Sadly I'm not one of those lucky people who needs a minimal skincare regime.  

I start by washing my face with just water in the shower. I then use Garnier Micellar Water on a pad to sweep over my face and eyelids. I might then use the Neutrogena light therapy pen if I have a spot. I then use Skinoren on my cleansed skin. Skinoren is a 20% Azeliac Acid cream which is found to reduce spots, but also fade the marks spots leave. You can get it on prescription or you can do an online consultation and get it for around £15 through an online pharmacy. I also recommend lower levels in The Ordinary (10%) (although this is suspended in silicone so not good for me) or Paula's Choice Clear daily skin clearing cream which is fantastic (10%). I'll probably go back to Paula's Choice when this tube has run out as although it's more expensive, it's less irritating and also has Salicylic acid in. 

Next I attack my dry patches and wrinkles - I have been using this Clinique Even Better essence  lotion which I got at The Cosmetics Company Outlet. It's been really great, but sadly they've stopped making it so I'm looking for something similar currently. I then apply No7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum to under and around my eyes, and the lines that run from my nose to my mouth. I've definitely seen a difference to the depth of the little lines I was seeing around my mouth (you can see in the first photo - the before and after). It's meant to be really well researched and effective. 

I then use La Roche Posay Effliclar Duo+ moisturiser, which contains niacinamide and is meant to help keep skin clear and reduce the acne marks. It's the only moisturiser I've used which I feel doesn't clog my skin. I then make sure I always wear SPF 50 on the top - no matter what the weather. I've found wearing SPF has helped reduce any marks on my face quickly (as damaged skin catches the sun and stays marked, and freckles make my skin look less clear, but also to reduce future ageing.) I reviewed Frezyderm SPF when I first got it in May, and I still really love it. I get this Frezyderm SPF50 but I get it on Amazon. 

Every now and again when my skin is really misbehaving, I might pat some Duac on, which is a mixture of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide. It's really harsh, drying stuff and is prescription only (again you can get it online through a consultation). However over the counter Benzoyl Peroxide such as Acnecide contains the same percentage BP and is much cheaper. 

Finally I use the most wonderful lip balm I've ever found - Dr Lipp Nipple Balm

Evening Routine

My evening routine is much more simple and is all about soothing skin. I start with The Body Shop Camomile cleansing oil. Spread it out all over my dry face and then wet my hands. I then use my hands to rub the oil in before wiping off with a wet muslin cloth. Then I smoothe camomile cleansing butter on and again remove with the wet cloth. It's really important to double cleanse and make sure all my makeup and SPF is removed to give my skin a breather. Oil is fantastic for breaking down these creams and SPFs but that also can't sit on my skin all night so needs to be washed off by a cleansing butter. I also love Lush's Ultrabland as the second cleanse step, which I was using until it ran out last week.

When my face is dry and I'm in bed, I rub Differin in. Differin is a retinol which you can get on prescription or through an online prescription. It helps increase cell turnover so things which clog pores are washed away, but is also an excellent anti-ageing cream. Skincare Queen Caroline Hirons loves retinols. After this has had time to dry (while I read in bed), I then pat on some The Ordinary Rosehip Oil for moisture, as retinols are very drying when you first start using them. 

I've been using RapidLash on my eyelashes since September to make them stronger and longer. I can definitely tell the difference and I'll do a before and after in another post some time. You might notice a difference in the photos above, although my eyelashes are still clear at the tips!

Skincare Treats / Treatments

Depending on what's going on with my skin, I sometimes use different one-off treatments.

If I have a spot: I like to use Freederm Gel at night to shrink that lump right down! If it's one that's near the surface, I have been using Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask but only on the spot. Proactiv is evil, stripping stuff that destroyed my skin about 18 months ago and left me with parched but spotty skin.

If my skin has dry patches: I have been using BalanceMe Rose Otto Oil such as around my nose when I have a cold. I also find these Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix pads are good for when skin looks a bit dull or dry but too stripping for my skin every day.

Masks: I like to have a soothing bath once a week and tend to use a mask when I do. I alternate between The Ordinary BHA and AHA mask is basically a skin peel in a bottle. It's so strong and leaves skin looking fresh and new underneath. Another exfoliating mask I have been really enjoying recently is the Lacura Exfoliating Mud Mask from Aldi which is a bargain dupe of the GlamGlow mask which is around £40. It's fantastic and really leaves my skin so soft and clean. I loved it so much I queued to get loads for friends over Christmas as I was told it would run out of stock so I'm equally happy and irritated it's still in stock now! The final mask I've been enjoying is the Body Shop  Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleep Mask which is really moisturising and leaves my skin refreshed in the morning.

I'm also starting to experiment with microneedling or dermarolling the scars left behind on my cheeks from acne. It's not something you can do when you have active acne so I've only just been able to start it and have done it 3 times so far. I think it has made a bit of a difference but I'll keep you updated!


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