If you follow me on any form of social media, or know me in real life you’ll know that I am getting married really bloody soon. Actually, when this post goes live, I will be preparing for my last two sleeps before The Big Day ™ and almost certainly stressing about getting a spot, planning last minute details and praying to catch a 24 hour bug so I can lose those last few pounds. But bridal beauty treatments? Pre Wedding facials? Ummmmm………
Despite the fact that I write about beauty, dream about beauty and buy lots of beauty…..I hadn’t particularly thought about what I would do in the run up to my wedding. I mean, I knew that I wanted to wear makeup, lot’s of it, and I was positive I wanted my hairdresser Vicky to do my hair….but if I’m honest, I hasn’t thought about the rest of it. I didn’t read any bridal magazines or blogs even. Not because I didn’t want to know anything, or lust over pretty fabrics and swoon-worthy dresses; I just didn’t.
For a high maintenance girl, I was pretty low maintenance when it came to my wedding beauty. Which is not how I expected I would be at all. Particularly because of my skin issues. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I have had a tricky time with my face. You could say, I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with it. I’ve had Adult Onset Acne for some time now…..which, let me tell you, is totally shit. I mean, I am in my thirties, and I have to take antibiotics and retinoids and potentially suicide inducing drugs to stop my hormonally spotty teenage skin. Oh, and it’s dry…….dryer than Gandhi’s flip flop to be brutally honest. Anyway, when the lovely people at Cedars Derm contacted me to offer a Dermatologist consultation & facial in exchange for an honest post about them, it couldn’t have been better timing. My GP really didn’t want to keep me on antibiotics for my acne, but agreed to do so until after the wedding, on the proviso that we discussed next steps afterwards — aka referring me to a dermatologist.
So on a grey and freezing cold Wednesday, I charged my phone to 100% (why can’t I get 150%) and hopped on the Piccadilly line. Because I work from home, I don’t get out much — so there were A LOT of Snaps of every element of the day. Once I arrived at the clinic, I was ushered into a welcoming reception area with no red faced scary women (that’s what I had imagined). I had an initial consultation with Dr Sheth, who examined my skin and scalp and asked various questions to establish various things, before telling me what the score was. He explained a few options, and happily — gave me some lots of hope! He suggested I take the letter he would write for me to my GP’s so that I could explore his recommendations. I would love to tell you exactly what he recommended, but I didn’t write it down and still haven’t received my letter! Anyway, I’ll update you when I do.
The consultation was followed by an AMAZING facial peel from the lovely Sophie. Now, I have never had a facial peel, and because Dr Sheth and Sophie had take into consideration the timing of my wedding day (the facial was about 10 days prior) — they picked a really gentle Glycolic acid peel. Sophie described it as an entry level peel, but prepared me for some stinging and itching! First she gave my skin a lovely double cleanse, then applied an itchy, terrible smelling acetone toner (yes, acetone!). The next step was to apply the actual acid, which really wasn’t so bad at all. I’m not gonna lie, it stings — but because I use an AHA acid toner on a daily basis (Pixi Glow Tonic With Aloe Vera & Ginseng 250ml), it didn’t fuss me so much. Sophie buffed it into my skin, explaining that this was for two reasons — to remove dead skin making it more effective and to ease the itching a little! The last steps were the best….a gorgeous cooling mask, and a super moisturising serum. Honestly, my skin has NEVER felt smoother, and I didn’t even look like the lobster I imagined that I would.
Okay, so I don’t mean to be dramatic, but Sophie CHANGED MY LIFE. She chatted throughout the facial about what she was doing, about why and giving me advice on my skin type. I moaned about how dry my skin has been lately, and asked her what she’d recommend for me. After a few probing questions — she told me that I don’t have dry skin, I have dehydrated skin. So I need water, not oil!!!! Let me explain. Dry skin denotes skin lacking in oil, and spotty skin is often overcome with oil. So, using traditional ingredients great for acne (e.g. salicylic) will be great for spots, crap for dry areas. Rich creams for ‘dry skin’ will have a stack of oil in — crap for skin that laughs in the face of oil. So……dehydrated skin needs water. Water! I have always loved anything with hyaluronic acid in but didn’t even realise until I looked at the ingredients list of a few of my fave products.
Another thing she educated me on was the difference between UVA and UVB rays (antioxidant and burn, say whaat?!) which finally helped me to understand why those pesky know it all’s tell you to wear SPF even when you can’t see the sun. Because them UVAnti-oxidant’s be errrrr’ where people.
So I need water, not oil and hyaluronic acid is my best friend…..but salicylic is not.
Sophie cheerily packed me off with a Hyaluronic rich bag of mini SkinCeuticals samples and gave me a quick run through of my pre wedding routine.
A week since the treatment, and my skin has genuinely never been better behaved. I haven’t had a single spot, let alone my usual weekly breakout….so all in all, I would highly recommend this treatment. Full price, the facial peel costs £120 per session and the Dermatologist consultation will set you back £250. This is pricy, but bear in mind that it’s not something you need to repeat too regularly. In truth, I think you could get away with one facial peel every few months or, like I’ve done, prior to an important day like a wedding.
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Disclaimer: My treatments with Cedars Derm were complimentary. Additionally, some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking through these links, I will receive a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own