The Skincare That Changed My Skin | UK Wedding Blog

I was set to write a post on skincare advice, but although being a makeup artist and certified product junkie means I know more than most, I certainly don’t feel in a position to pretend I’m an authority on the subject. That being said, most women I talk to are hopelessly lost on the skincare front, and a recent Instagram poll suggested many of you wanted a post on the topic, so I thought I’d tell you my own experiences of what’s changed my skin over the years from blemished, confused and congested, to manageable, clear and (I hope) pretty good for my mid thirties.

Oil- based cleansing

Not only do they make removing my makeup something I look forward to doing, but they take off even the longest lasting foundation by breaking down the product, making it rinsible and leaving my skin soft, calm and fresh, and most importantly, makeup and SPF free. I believe cleansing is by far the most important part of your skincare routine – as Hirons says I don’t care what anyone says, if you are consistently ‘cleansing’ (aka moving the dirt around your face) with wipes and then applying a really expensive serum/moisturiser on top, you are wasting your money. And your time” Ditto Micellar water – not enough alone I’m afraid {just the slightly less lazy girls wipe IMHO}. I also always use a separate eye makeup remover, and always use a bi-phase one with half oil, half remover – the skin around your eyes is delicate – do not use any products which require aggressive scrubbing to take off your makeup – the whole point is to find products which work and which also make life easy!

Faves – 

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm, Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing BalmLancome Bi-Facil


I have almost entirely removed physical (grainy) exfoliators from my life now in favour of chemical exfoliants in the form of acids. They sound terrifying, but rest assured they are not, and can help with accelerating cell turnover (meaning skin is fresh and radiant instead of dull), product absorption and efficacy, scarring and pigmentation, reduce fine lines and signs of aging, and battle acne causing bacteria. There are many different types and strengths – some are explained here

Make sure you wear SPF to protect your skin whilst using acids, especially higher strength products, and do not overuse these stronger products! Check what your skin needs and how to use the product you buy.

I also use Hyaluronic Acid (or products with it in) religiously now – this is NOT an exfoliant, but a hydrator –  a molecule which can attract up to 1000 times its own weight in water, so perfect to offer deeper and more concentrated hydration to the skin – it feels comforting and super light on the skin, and makes my skin plumper, and more bouncy.

Faves – 

Pixi Glow Tonic, The Ordinary Lactic Acid + HA, 

Estee Lauder ANP, The Ordinary HA,  Dr Sebagh Serum Repair

Working with my skin and not fighting against it

I spent a lot of time in my early 20’s struggling with congestion, excess oil and hormonal acne. At the time I thought the best was to attack my skin as vigorously as possible with the most astringent products I could get my hands on (Proactive, Oxy, Tea Tree, apricot scrubs, any type of high street acne treating product) combined with an abysmal cleansing routine of *facewipes* {gasp} – with a strong penchant for smearing on as much Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation as I could fit on my face (with a sponge I rarely cleaned – the shame of it now!)  I am still slightly blemish prone, although less comb- oily and more dehydrated & dry now, but once I learnt to stop fighting with my face was when I felt the truly pivotal moment came. I stopped being at war with my face, and learnt to treat it with a little more TLC, using hydrating, calming products which didn’t anger my breakouts and eventually they stopped. Proper cleansing and makeup application hygiene put paid to the bumpy congestion on my forehead and the blackheads on my tzone, and my redness subsided as I stopped using physical exfoliators and super drying astringents. I stopped using sunbeds, and I used regular SPF 50, as well as keeping my face out of the sun on holiday and over time, breakouts were minimal and manageable, and a lot of congestion, redness and scarring had gone.

Shopping Savvy

*Needs new skincare, heads to makeup counter, buys cleanser on advice of sales assistant and is upsold accompanying moisturiser/serum/eye cream/etc, picks product simply labelled Oily skin/Dry Skin/Anti Aging etc, goes home, puts on shelf, blindly uses as instructed, doesn’t think about it until they run out*

Sound familiar? SO easy to do, particular if you don’t really know what you are looking for/buying, but I strongly believe education is the most important thing you can do when making skincare decisions. This has been a side effect of working in the beauty industry for a decade, but it’s something I really believe more people need to do. What are you actually paying for? What does your skin really need? What do these products do and what do they contain? What’s going to give you results?

I love reading blogs and watching videos about skincare and makeup, and I’ve slowly started to learn what ingredients are going to give me real results and what to look for in products. Take time to look at impartial and honest info {such as the cheat sheets by Caroline Hirons} who does a far better job than I would of explaining what to look out for, and I promise the 3 step program you’ve been using forever will be a distant memory.  Don’t buy things that smell nice/look pretty/go with you other products – buy things that actually do something for you, whether that’s hydration, controlling breakouts, or helping prevent signs of waging. Be #ad and #spon aware on social media.  Don’t stick with the same thing you’ve been using forever because you don’t know what else to buy  if it isn’t working for you – like most things in life, the more time and effort you put into your skin, the better it will be, whether that’s your routine or researching what to use. Yes it requires some time, but if you are spending your hard earned cash wouldn’t you rather it was on something that gave results and made you feel and look good?

Let me know what’s worked for you!

Emily x

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