Facialist Debbie Thomas lifts the lid on her pre-wedding skincare routine

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Louise Whitbread
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Ever wondered how the experts prep their skin for a special occasion? Facialist Debbie Thomas reveals all ahead of her big day…

If you’re tying the knot this year, your beauty routine might be on your mind. Whether you’re planning to opt for your tried and tested skincare routine, employ the services of a makeup artist or book in a facial or two, you’ll probably want to look and feel your best.

Expert facialist, Debbie Thomas, knows this better than anyone, having pummeled, massaged and cleansed the faces of her clients over the years. Here, she chats exclusively to Stylist about the skincare treatments fitness regimes she’ll be following ahead of her July wedding. 

What in-clinic treatments will you be indulging in?

My skin is acne-prone, so I want it to look as radiant as it possibly can. I always have sporadic laser treatments, but since February I’ve been more regimented with them. I’m trying to have a treatment every two to three weeks for acne. It’s good to start having these kinds of skin treatments at least three months before the big day, but ideally six months is better. Some treatments take time and multiple sessions to see optimal results.

My treatments include the HydraFacial’s Hydradermabrasion for deep cleaning and hydrating, the Medi + Derma Nanotech Peels for brightening and acne control and the Fotona 4D Facelift (not an actual face-lift) which uses several laser settings to rejuvenate, smooth and plump the skin. I have access to these lasers as they are at my clinic, but I also train on them, as does my team. 

And what products will you be using?

In the morning I cleanse with Medik8 Pore Cleanse Gel, £18, which contains salicylic acid to gently exfoliate my skin and help unblock pores. Then I spritz on Clinisept, £8.50, an antibacterial tonic that not only helps with my acne but also calms down my redness. Following that, I use an antioxidant serum. At the minute I’m using PCA Skin’s C&E Strength Max, £87, and I layer its Hyaluronic Boosting Serum, £98, over the top.

At night I’m using a retinol. I go between the NeoStrata Skin Active Retinol + Nag Complex, £55, and PCA Skin’s Intensive Age Refining Treatment, £98. Both are 0.5% retinol. With all retinol products, do make sure you build up tolerance if you’re new to the ingredient. Start using retinol every fourth day until your skin gets used to it and take a month’s break from it after 23 months.  

What are your top tips for people who’re planning to start a new routine pre-wedding?

Keep in mind that it can take up to six months for your skin to get the full benefit of a new product, especially if you’re using things that work on strengthening the skin on a cellular level – like retinols and peptides.

That makes sense! What will your go-to makeup base product be?

I love the Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation, £45. It gives good coverage, but also treats and calms skin while containing all-important SPF. If I’m going to be out in the sun then I will opt for a higher SPF and reapply regularly to help prevent pigmentation and wrinkles.

Aside from your rigorous skincare routine, is there anything else you’re doing to prepare?

My pre-wedding regime started in October 2017, nine months before the wedding. Before I got married, I wanted to tone up, so I took up yoga. It has helped me hugely in terms of confidence. Now with three months to go I am going to add in some slightly higher impact exercise with a personal trainer. The hardest part for me is time - I’m having to force myself to make time for myself. I see my yoga instructor Seher Khan of Seher WellPower (recommended by the lovely make-up artist Zoe Taylor) twice a week for 90 minutes. She comes to me in my home. My fiancé Richard also joins in and we both love it.

Main Image: Debbie Thomas