Buckle up friends, this is going to be FULL of information...
This is my time to shineeeeee! For those of you who don't know, along with being a photographer, I'm also an esthetician. That's actually what got me into the wedding industry and led me to photography. I went to esthetics school, graduated, and now I currently hold my Georgia esthetician license. So, skincare is a topic that I'm an expert in & so I wanted to share my knowledge with you!
I know a lot of people get very self concious when it comes to their skin & pictures. I used to be the same exact way, my skin was a NIGHTMARE! Seriously, after esthetics school ended, my skin didn't get treated the same & it totally revolted. Now my skin is doing so much better without much effort because I know my skin and what it needed. I know a lot of people don't have the luxury of seeing an esthetician for a facial once a week or even once a month so that's why I wanted to create this whole blog post about the basics of skincare so you can get your skin looking smooth and healthy for your photoshoot, wedding, or elopement! SO LET'S GET INTO IT..
What type of skin do you have?
There are 4 different skin types. Oily, Combination, Normal, & Dry. It's really common to mistype your skin when doing it from home is because most people don't truly understand the different skin types.
Oily skin is when your whole face feels oily all the time. Your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin all feel oily at the same time and they never feel dry. It's most common for teenagers right around puberty to have oily skin.
Combination skin is when some parts of your skin feel dry while others feel oily. It's very common for people with combination skin to feel like they actually have oily skin when in reality, they don't. Combination skin usually presents itself as dryness on the cheeks & oiliness through the forehead, nose, & chin. Combination skin is the most common type of skin!
Normal skin is when the oils of the skin are perfectly balanced. This type of skin is very rare to have naturally. Most people have to work hard to get their skin in balance and keep it that way.
Dry skin is also a pretty common skin type! Dry skin is when your skin doesn't produce enough oils. Dry skin is more common in older people but its not uncommon for younger people to have dry skin after puberty.
So, how do I start?
The basics of skincare to get yourself started in the right path are to have a cleanser, a toner, a moisturizer, and sunscreen. After you have these 4 products you can add in things like eye cream. serums, and night creams.
Cleanser is important because you want to remove all of the dirt, debris, and free radicals that accumulate on your face during the day. If you're not removing these things, it can cause aging and acne. I recommend starting off with a gentle cleanser. When using a gentle cleanser you will want to double cleanse to make sure your skin is completely clean. To double cleanse you can either use a makeup remover & then cleanse or just use your cleanser twice.
Here are my favorite makeup removers:
Dermalogica Precleanse - This is a cleansing oil BUT oily/combination friends don't panic! This oil will not cause your skin to be more oily or cause acne!
Dermalogica Precleanse Balm - This is the balm/solid version of the precleanse oil. It melts off makeup (even waterproof mascara) like no other!
MY TOP CLEANSERS:
Image Skincare Ormedic Cleanser - This cleanser is very gentle and one of my faves! You actually don't have to use a toner after using this cleanser because it's pH balanced!
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel - I really like this cleanser. Its on the pricier side but it works well and has clean ingredients!
PCA Skin Facial Wash - This is my current cleanser and one of my all time favorites! It's worth every single penny you spend on it!
Next up is toners. The #1 question I get is "why do I even need a toner?" or "what does toner do?". Toner helps to restore the pH balance of the skin after you cleanse your face so your skin doesn't overproduce or underproduce oils. Toner also helps to get off the last remaining bits of makeup or dirt that weren't cleaned off when you cleansed. Some skincare lines don't require toners because the products are already pH balanced, like the Image Skincare line I recommended. But toners really help with the others!
These are the toners I recommend:
PCA Skin Hydrating Toner - This one is great & won't dry out your skin or burn!
Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner - This one is more of a skin mist! I love this one!
Moisturizers. This is a trickier one because there are soooo many to choose from. I like to keep my moisturizers pretty simple.
These are my faves:
PCA Skin ReBalance - This one is water based so its light & hydrating!
Image Skincare Prevention+ Ultimate Daily Moisturizer - This is hands down the best daytime moisturizer with sunscreen!
Cait + Co Vitamin C + Rosehip Oil Facial Moisturizer - This one is less expensive & great for low maintenance skin!
What about all the extras?
Here's the hard part because everyones skin is so different. I want to just link a bunch of different products for you guys to mix & match for each specific skin problem. All of these products are things that you can mix and match to create your perfect skincare routine.
Image Skincare Medicated Acne Lotion - This is great to use as a nighttime moisturizer for problems with acne.
Dermalogica Acne Clearing Kit - An awesome (and cost effective) way to start getting control over your skin.
Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque - This is a great mask to use once a week to help with problem skin.
PCA Acne Control Kit - This is a super high quality kit that is for sure going to help with painful acnetic skin!
For Hyperpigmentation: (dark spots and red spots caused by acne after its healed)
Image Skincare Iluma Brightening Serum - A great hydrating serum that works wonders for brightening the skin
PCA Skin Pigment Gel - This pigment gel is AMAZING at fading spots quickly
Dermalogica AGE Bright Spot Fader - This is a great spot treatment for trouble spots
For Dry Skin:
PCA Skin Hydrating Serum - Amazing Serum to use under moisturizer for dry skin
Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque - Awesome mask to use once or twice a week to hydrate your skin
Image Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Mask - another fun mask for dry skin that is one time use but is a little bit more affordable (hint: you can use the leftover product in the package as a serum)
PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm - AMAZING moisturizer for dry skin!
Okay but why are all of the things you're recommending more expensive than than what I get from Target??
I'm not going to lie to you and say that all of this stuff is cheap, its not. It's high quality, professional grade products, that will help instead of hurt your skin & you'll actually see a difference! The whole point of using high quality products is that they work because the ingredients aren't watered down. Most drugstore products are watered down or mixed with cheap ingredients that either don't do anything, or make your skin look worse instead of better. Also, these professional grade products last SO MUCH longer than the cheap drugstore products because, you don't have to use as much product. I use the PCA Facial Wash that is $33. I've been using it for 6 months & its still half full! If you divide $33 by 12, because it lasts for 12 months, that's only $2.75 a month for cleanser! It doesn't seem so bad now, does it??
Some extra tips & takeaways...
It's super important to take care of your whole body too. Your skin reflects your internal health so its important to drink water and try to stay away from unhealthy food choices. It's also helpful to take collagen supplements and biotin supplements to help your skin flourish!
I love talking about skincare so don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about your skin or what to use! I know it was a long journey for me to get my skin under control so I wanted to help you reach your skin goals so you feel more confident in your pictures. Remember, intakes patience and consistency to get your skin where you want it to be. It took me 6 months to get my skin where I want it to be and I'm still working on it every day! Keep going and be patient with yourself! You've got this!!