Are celebrities OK?! Skincare-wise, that is. Because if you’ve ever attended a wedding weekend, or had an important work week packed with meetings, you get it: wearing that much makeup for long, sweaty stints basically guarantees at least one juicy pore clog. And at the end of the night, when you wipe off your luster, you might notice your skin looks a little… lack. “A lot of events, parties, and travel can really wreak havoc on skin,” says celebrity facialist Shani Darden, who’s used to taking famous faces through the thick of it. Before an event, clients might visit her LA studio for a little bit of smoothing, brightening, and lifting. But the real seasoned pros also book time for after everything winds down—here’s how Shani recommends rehabbing your own post-event skin.
Give yourself a clean slate
As Shani says, first things first: make sure you have a gentle cleanser you can really go to town with. You want your skin to be clean—no crusty foundation hidden underneath the jaw or bronzer behind the ears. “Your cleanser needs to remove all makeup and impurities without stripping the skin.” Not sure your tried-and-true softie can get everything off? Instead of introducing a new product, which could potentially irritate your skin even more, try supercharging the one you have with gauze. Shani explains, “I love to use cleanser on wet cotton gauze, which helps to lightly exfoliate as well.” You can do this with any gentle cleanser if you feel like it could use a grime-grabbing boost.
“A light lactic acid peel is one of my favorite treatments before and after events to restore glow,” says Shani, who includes it in all of her signature facials. Lactic acid is on the weaker side of AHAs, so it’s the perfect gentle exfoliator for all skin types that have been through the ringer. If you can’t make it in for a peel, Shani points out that it’s just as easy to get in on the good glow at home. All you need is a lactic acid toner or serum instead. You can find lactic acid in her cult-favorite Retinol Reform, where it’s paired with (obviously) retinol for a long-term recovery plan, and it’s also in another Top 25 winner, Sunday’s Riley Good Genes.
Seal with hydration
After you’ve cleansed and exfoliated, there’s only one step left to a total refresh. The whole process of applying heavy makeup and taking it off is drying—a hydrating mask or serum can help replenish what you may have lost. Some of our budget-friendly favorites include Mediheal’s NMF Intensive Mask and Dr. Jart’s Ceramidin Mask, though Shani often recommends the Dr. Nigma Treatment Mask No. 1 to her clients post-event. The deeply hydrating sheet mask plumps and soothes, but what she really loves about it is that the pouch contains enough extra serum to use on your whole body. (Enough to justify the splurge.) The rest of you gets tired, too! And to that point: a glass of water and a good nap wouldn’t be the worst idea, either.Photo via ITG