Skin Deep: Getting Your Skin Wedding-Ready, An Interview with Esthetician Jillian Wah

04 | 22 | 2010


Lovely skin makes for lovely photographs.  But knowing how to go about getting our skin and our faces camera-ready can be kind of daunting.  So, in the interest of pursuing the picture-perfect wedding, my friend (and esthetician!) Jillian has graciously offered to share some skincare information and beauty tips with all of us.  Above: Jillian on her wedding day!

How To Start: (asap!)

“To get your skin wedding-ready, it’s good to start as soon as possible.  Start getting regular facials with exfoliation and extractions to purge impurities.  Working with a professional esthetician—someone who knows your skin and is sensitive to what your skin can tolerate is very helpful.  Not only will an esthetician be able to evaluate your skin and then provide you with the necessary personalized treatments, she can also direct your at-home skincare routine.”

About One Month Before The Wedding

“Go on a peel series with your esthetician. A peel series is typically once a week for 4 – 5 weeks. It’s good to ask your esthetician what kind of peels she offers.  Try to avoid glycolic acid if possible, as it is the among the most inflammatory of all the Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Stick with a good blended layer peel or lactic acid.

or if you don’t/can’t seek a professional’s help:

Start doing gentle (gentle!) at-home exfoliation.  Try three times a week for the first couple of weeks; then every other day the last week before your wedding.  The reason Pro-Activ works so well is that it gives you daily exfoliations.  The same principle applies here.  You can blend (dilute) a scrub with your cleanser or use a gentle 5% lactic acid.”

“The Key To Glowing Skin Is Hydration—Internally and Externally.”

“Hydrating and moisturizing sound like they mean the same thing, but—at least in the beauty industry—they don’t.  Moisture has to do with putting oil(s) into the skin; hydrating puts water into the skin.  Moisturizing isn’t good for all skin types or climates.

Hydration and exfoliation make for glowing, dewy skin.  So: drink lots of water and avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol.  For external hydration, find a hydrating mask.  Your esthetician can prescribe one that’s right for your skin; she’ll also have access to the better ones.  If you are acne-prone, exfoliation and hydration are still good for you, but look for a hydrating mask that is non-comedogenic; it’ll be more jelly-like rather than creamy.

What Else Complements Your Newly-Radiant Skin

1. Well-shaped eyebrows

2. Teeth-whitening

Consider them little helpers.

If You Break Out More Than Five Days Before The Wedding …

“If it’s just one or two spots (not a big breakout): Clean your face then run a washcloth under the hottest tap water you can get, and put it on the affected spots for 5-10 minutes.  The hot compress will help bring it to the surface.  Then you can use two q-tips to extract it, or you can take tissue and wrap it around your fingers and gently try to extract it.  Follow this up with an antibacterial compress like your toner, benzoyl-peroxide, or other acne spot-treatments.

If You Break Out Less Than Five Days Before The Wedding, LEAVE IT ALONE!

“A scab looks worse under makeup than a zit does.”

Additional Tips For Men’s Skincare

“The same basic skincare information applies, but because men shave—and breakouts and rashes from shaving are especially unflattering in person and on-camera—there are some special notes just for guys.

  1. Only exfoliate at night, or as far away from shaving as possible.
  2. Use a tea tree oil hair conditioner as a shave medium or put a few drops of tea tree oil into a cup of aloe vera for an anti-bacterial (but still soothing!) aftershave.
  3. Men shouldn’t overlook their eyebrows either, just don’t overdo it!

Thanks, Jillian!!  Check back in a bit for a do-it-yourself lip scrub recipe.

photo: Gia Canali


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