An Expert’s Guide To Pre-Event Skin Prep

Any serious beauty expert will tell you the secret to smooth, glowing skin is good prep work. If you’re looking to boost your complexion ahead of a big night out, we’ve drafted in skin expert and Salon C. Stellar founder Andrea Pfeffer to give you her key advice – from the importance of a double cleanse to why you should always keep your tools in the fridge…
By Rebecca Hull
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Photography: STOCKSY UNITED/OHLAMOUR STUDIO

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Always Start With A Double Cleanse

“A good cleanse is always key, but especially before any events where you want your complexion to take centre stage. Do a double cleanse and really massage the skin as you go to stimulate blood flow – your fingers and knuckles are all you need. The first cleanse will remove dirt and pollution, while the second will boost your circulation, which is essential for getting rid of any puffiness.”

Give Gua Sha A Go

“If you have the time before an evening out, a 20-minute Gua Sha routine can make all the difference. Use one with your favourite facial oil, gliding the tool gently around your skin. Not only will it help circulate blood flow – to help brighten skin – it aids the decongestion process, flushing out any waste from your lymph nodes so you are free from puffiness. The results are temporary, but a quick sculpting session can transform your skin ahead of any evening out – it’s what I do for all my clients before they hit the red carpet. You have to put in the effort to see results, so make sure you carve out time.”

Layer Up For Hydration

“Layer up with hyaluronic acid (HA) – which is known for its hydrating properties. As well as serums and creams, I recommend using a good overnight mask that has this key ingredient inside. Come morning, you will see skin is brighter, plumper and healthier looking. It will also feel smooth and ready for any make-up application. Stick to ingredients like HA and avoid using retinol throughout party season – cold weather means your skin takes longer to balance out, so retinol can cause flaking and more of a reaction in these conditions, which is exactly what you don’t want before heading out.” 

Keep Mists Nearby 

“Serums, masks and creams aside, I keep a good, hydrating face mist to hand. They help maintain the fresh look of make-up, while leaving your skin with a dewy, fresh finish. I like to mist one on over the top of a mask to seal moisture further into the skin. There are so many great ones out there, all with different benefits for your individual skin type. They work well misted on top of serums, too.” 

Use Sheet Masks

“I am often asked if they are worth it. They really are. I’ve often used them on clients ahead of big events. They are packed full of intense serums and beneficial ingredients – plus, they are convenient to use when you need a quick fix. Seal them onto your skin, then once you peel them away, squeeze out and massage any remaining serum into your skin – your complexion will drink up the formula. If there is any excess, use it on your body. Massage in with a Gua Sha tool or your hands and fingers. Make sure you cleanse before doing any of this and, again, use a firm pressure as you go. It is true that products – including sheet masks – absorb much better when your complexion is warm and stimulated.” 

@ANDREA_PFEFFER

Benefit From The Cold 

“It is not a myth: keeping your products and skin tools in the fridge is hugely beneficial. The cold temperatures will keep your skin calm on application, and it will also help ingredients like antioxidants, growth factors, probiotics and peptides stay potent for longer.” 

Exfoliate Once A Week 

“Ahead of any event, try to incorporate some exfoliation once or twice a week – but never overdo it. Always follow up with skin-quenching serums, which will absorb much better as a result of any dead skin cells being whisked away. I recommend exfoliating with gentle acids – soak a cotton pad with your chosen formula and run it around your skin. Avoid following up with an acid-based serum – this heightens the chance of reactiveness and sensitivity. Instead, lock in moisture with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or skin-plumping ceramides.”

Look To Vitamin C 

“If you want to brighten dull, lacklustre skin, you can’t beat a vitamin C-based product. I like this key ingredient inside an oil as I use my Gua Sha, but there are some brilliant serums out there too. Begin usage a week before any event, and you will start to see a healthier glow ensue with skin that looks smoother and firmer.” 

Steer Clear Of New Products

“It should be obvious, but avoid picking your skin or carrying out any intense exfoliation on the day’s leading up to your event. I also advise all my clients to stay away from new products before heading out. This is your time to be safe and stick with what you know works – deviating just before a night out can end in disaster. Likewise, avoid heat treatments – like a hot wax – on your face before any event. You want all redness to be kept at bay.” 

Finally, Do Book A Facial

“If you’re short on time and need results fast, book in for my ‘The Best Facial’. You’ll have an experienced therapist design the treatment on the spot. They will cater to your individual needs with the right tools and choose a carefully curated edit of skincare to boost, nourish and soothe your complexion. In my opinion, ‘cookie cutter’ treatments just aren’t worth it. You need something that is personalised to you, so you avoid skin flaking or breaking out. Try to book in for a treatment a day or two before any event – this will mean your skin looks its absolute best.” 

Follow @Andrea_Pfeffer & @SalonCStellar for more skin advice & tips

Visit Andrea’s new clinic Salon C. Stellar for facials & personalised treatments

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