Graduation time is approaching for many – for those of you graduating, it can be a time of excitement, apprehension, and let’s face it: stress. As a makeup artist and beauty advisor, one of the biggest stressors that I hear about for any special event is skin. Everyone wants their skin to look perfect for that special event.
I thought I’d put together a post sharing my skincare arsenal of tips, tricks, and product recommendations!
These tips can be applicable to everyone and for any special event, not only those graduating!
First things first:
Helping Your Skin:
While makeup can do wonders, there is an extent to which concealer and foundation can only do so much. Now, graduation can certainly be a time of stress, with exams and the imminent fear of a strange, new life after high school. As difficult as it might be to find the time, the two weeks prior to graduation should be a time of excitement AND relaxation-that is, to look after mental, physical, and psychological health.
To help skin’s complexion, try to eat as healthily as possible. Your skin on the outside is often a direct representation of your health on the inside. Lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and limiting high salt or sugar contents are really beneficial to achieving clear skin. Other common skin aggressors are dairy and gluten – if you’re sensitive to these things, it can cause breakouts or irritations! As well as avoiding foods that contain high sodium and fat contents, there are some foods/drinks that have EXTRA benefits for hair and skin:
- Berries-jam packed with antioxidants, berries have been known to help improve the skin
- Nuts-not only are nuts extremely high in protein, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and iron, some nuts in particular happen to have selenium, which has been linked to the body’s ability to fight infection.
- Tea- tea has countless benefits, many of which include promoting healthy skin. Peppermint tea is amazing for overall health. It helps with relaxation, de-stressing, and tummy troubles! Try relaxing every night before bed with a cup of peppermint tea. For mornings or afternoons, try green tea. Not only does it have incredible health benefits, but it also helps to give you energy!
- Kale-a lot of people underestimate the power of this vegetable. Kale is absolutely packed with vitamins and skin-clearing properties. Try mixing some kale in with your salads, or adding it to fruit smoothies! Kale, spinach, and avacado all help to clear and improve skin!
- Avocado-Avocado has been linked to healthy skin for quite some time. Full of vitamin E and C, it has been known to boost skin luminosity, promote healthy moisture levels, and help reduce inflammation. That’s why avocado oil is such a common ingredient in many skin care products!
- Salmon-salmon is a fantastic source of protein, and helps to encourage the skin’s natural healing process, as well as improving hair health!
- Water!- I’m sure you’ve already been told how important water is, but it really cannot be stressed enough. Try to avoid any sugary or carbonated beverages, instead replacing them with water and tea. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this can make! Everyday, I love to have a big bottle of water with some fresh peppermint leaves and a lemon wedge – not only does this hydrate, but it also helps with digestion and stomach health!
- Cleanse! An easy yet delicious healthy cleanse is: hot water, 1/4 to 1/2 lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best!) 1-2 tablespoons of honey (or to taste) and a couple pinches of cinnamon. This cleanse is AMAZING for flushing out toxins, impurities, helping digestion, minimizing bloating, and helping your skin. I drink this everyday and notice a huge difference in how I feel and look, both inside and out. (It’s great for helping to get rid of stubborn bloating, water weight, and that feeling of heaviness!) It does clean out your system, so you may notice you need to use the washroom more frequently. For a big event like grad/prom, start this at least 1-2 weeks before!
As for skincare, I advise against trying out new face products/regimens right before the big day. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t like to find out that I’m experiencing an allergic reaction right before graduating! If you are planning to try out a new skincare routine, try doing so at least 3 weeks beforehand, that way you have some time to figure out how your skin will react to it. Here are some basic skin care tips:
- Invest in a good cleanser- You don’t need the most expensive product on the market, however do spend some time considering different options and what will be best for your skin. A great yet budget friendly brand is Cetaphil which is recommended by many dermatologists. For a little higher price point, Clinique , Philosophy (click here to see my current favourite!) and La Roche Posay are some of my favourite lines, and come with formulations for all skin types. Look for something gentle, as some cleansers can strip the skin of much more than dirt and impurities. Try to avoid products with artificial fragrances, alcohol, and sulphates. If you wear a lot of makeup, make sure your cleanser can remove makeup, or use a pre cleanser that is designed or makeup removal. (wipes, micellar water, etc!) The Philosophy Purity cleanser is an all in one cleanser!
- Moisturizing- a must! Cleansing is crucial to removing dirt, impurities, and pollution, however often also cleans away our skin’s natural moisture barrier. Using a moisturizer helps to restore this moisture barrier heals and protects the skin, and helps keep it young. Look for a moisturizer that has more natural-based ingredients and is (preferably for sensitive skins) fragrance-free. Some of my favourites are the Clinique Moisture Surge, La Roche Posay Toleriane (amazing for ultra sensitive or allergic skins!) and Cetaphil moisturizers.
- Acne/pimple treatment: Acne is complicated and can have a million different causes. As a beauty advisor, I do recommend going in person to talk to a dermatologist or beauty advisor to analyze and determine your acne causes, as it varies for everyone. To help minimize breakouts or get rid of pesky blemishes, here are a couple of tips:
– Mud/charcoal masks – if you’re oily, these are amazing. Mud masks are great once a week to help draw out impurities and dirt, and minimize sebum secretions to help prevent breakouts. Some great mud masks are the Pür Minerals Dirty Girl mask, and the Marcelle Clay mask (great for drier or more sensitive skins).
-Spot treating – while many mud masks can also be used as a spot treatment, not all of them are great to be left on over night. Some of my favourite spot treatments are Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing gel, Origins Out of Trouble mask (apply this to spots/blemishes – it helps reduce redness, inflammation, and pimple size!), La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, Avéne Cleanance Spot treatment.
- Face masks! Not only are these fun to do with friends, they’re amazing for the skin! These should be a regular part of your routine, especially prior to any special occasion. Some of my favourites are the Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm (insanely expensive, but truly is like a magic elixir for troubled/acne prone skin- it heals, clarifies, but doesn’t dry out!) Origins masks (all of them are incredible!), Bio Beauté Vitamin Rich Detox mask (clarifies, fights blemishes and imperfections, and adds an incredible glow!), Lush Catasrophe Cosmetic mask (amazing for sensitive skins that are flaring up!)
- Exfoliating-exfoliating is crucial for healthy and radiant skin. It boosts cell-renewal by removing excess dead skin cells, which can make the skin look flakey, dull, and dry. But be careful, some scrubs use harsh exfoliating particles that can cause micro-cuts to the skin. Some of my favourites that are safe for the skin are: Clinique 7 Day Scrub, Dr. Roebucks Polish (natural!), and Bio Beauté Comfort Exfoliant with Red Berries (organic!) Exfoliate 1-2 times a week, as over-exfoliating can cause damage and strip the skin.