Let’s face an honest truth here, everyone gets skin retouching. It doesn’t matter how perfect your skin is, it will be analyzed, scrutinized, and inspected on a quasi-microscopic level! Some photographers want skin to be perfect, as where some rather seek to make the skin look as perfect as it could while looking as natural as possible, all of which requires tons of work. No matter what, you’re getting retouched. A large portion of portraiture editing is spent doing skin retouching, and you can help the photographers out by reducing the amount of time they’ll be spending making these touch ups by caring for your skin, something you should do be doing anyways.
Get plenty of sleep
There’s nothing more important than sleep; a good night’s rest will help your skin glow. This isn’t only something you feel is real because you’re well rested and feel ready to go, there’s actual science behind this. Sleep actually regulates the moisture levels in your skin and helps set the PH balance, and when it is thrown off your skin can become dull and dry and can also lead to breakouts. A lack of sleep will also cause blood vessels to dilate which leads to redness and dark circles around the eyes. Your body also retains more sodium which leads to water retention and puffiness. Sleep also regenerate cortisol levels in the blood which helps retains elasticity and fights wrinkling.
Hydrate and Hydrate!
Drink plenty of water! This is just as important as sleep. Your body is made up cells, and cells are mostly made up of water, that means that water is top priority in maintaining proper health. Dehydration causes your skin to become dry and flaky. Over time skin has less resilience and becomes more prone to wrinkling. Drinking water also helps the body clear itself of toxins. You lose a lot of water in a day, and water is directed towards your major organs which your body considers a priority, which is why it is recommended you drink 8 glasses of water a day. It’s also a good idea to use hydrating moisturizers after bathing and showering, using Hyaluronic Acid prior to using hydrating moisturizers can help ensure your skin retain water well, as well.
But first, Exfoliate
Hydrating your skin might be extremely important but it won’t do much good with a pile up for dead skin cells blocking your pores, and this is why exfoliating is another crucial step. Deep cleaning exfoliating scrubs and washes are excellent. I would be weary of using exfoliating brushes however, as these can damage the skin and can take weeks to heal, do not use anything harsh on your face a few days prior to the shoot in order to avoid redness.
Shaving and Waxing
If your shoot requires you to shave or wax it’s always a good idea to do so ahead of time. You don’t want to show up at the shoot with wax bumps and blemishes or razor scars. Also, make sure you prep the skin before a shave as well, use hot water to dilate the pores and lubricate the skin with shaving foam, gel or soap. Basically, don’t do a dry shave. Also don’t go clogging those freshly waxed pores with heavy creams and give time for your body to heal.
Finally, the dreaded zits. I find the best way to approach outbreaks is to just leave it be. Photographers will fix the problem anyway. There are plenty of recommendations on how to pop a zit and if you really feel you have to do it, just do properly by sanitizing and disinfecting what-ever tools you are going to use and don’t go in with your bare fingers since you risk damaging the surrounding skin, which will just make things a lot worse.
So to recap what you want to do is to just be careful with the way you treat you skin, you want to get plenty of rest and hydrate. Avoid going out too late before a shoot, limit alcohol and other diuretics. Skin is, after all, the largest human organ and one that needs to be taken care of for both pictures and for you overall health!