5 school formal skincare tips

5 school formal skincare tips

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 29 Comments

THE school formal is nine days away.

When I say THE, I’m talking about the only school formal that’s causing a kerfuffle in the SY household … Miss SY’s school formal, that’s what.

There is a trend at many schools to now hold the Year 12 formal earlier in the year. Something I’m very much in favour of. The girls think of nothing else leading up to it. I’m generalising, of course, but given that conversations between Miss SY and her friends have been going on about it since last year, I don’t think I’m too far off the mark.

The timing isn’t perfect – smack bang in the middle of some pretty important assessments and a week after the school musical – but I don’t think there is a perfect time for a Y12er. Life is busy and the finish line is in sight.

At my daughter’s school they focus on raising funds for a charity so it is a Benefit Ball and not all about them. This year will be particularly poignant as two much-loved teachers are giving cancer a kick where it hurts and they’ve chosen a local cancer support charity to which to donate the proceeds (if you’re a business which would like to support the event by donating a raffle prize, please email me!).

We’ve nailed the dress, shoes and accessories; have booked in for hair, makeup and nails on the big day. I’m sworn to secrecy about the dress but I can say it was nabbed on sale back in January and is definitely one that will be worn again. All will be revealed the week after next but if you’re in the throes of formal dress shopping, don’t leave home without first reading this post.

Getting formal ready

Today’s post … and yes, I’m finally getting to the point of it 😉 … is all about what Miss SY has been using on her skin in the lead up to the big day and what school formal skincare tips I can recommend based on that.

Now, I know it seems a bit excessive to be worrying about 16-year-old skin for one night of her life. Oh, ok, you got me. Yes, it is DEFINITELY excessive but so is the whole school formal shebang.

I have reminded my daughter often during this whole process that “back in the day” I bought $30 worth (a week and half of my part-time supermarket deli wage) of pale pink taffeta and a McCalls pattern so my best friend Tracey’s gorgeous mum could whip me up a suitably puffy number. I washed my own hair, brushed it in place Princess-Di style, didn’t wear foundation but in my head felt very 1980s glam. Must have been the white kitten heels and pearls.

Insert many a teenage eye roll here.

Anyhoo, as a matter of goodwill and a gazillion Mother of the Year points, I told Miss SY that I would be her Fairy Formal Beauty Godmother and that she could embark on a series of monthly mini-facials in the lead up to the big day.

This she embraced wholeheartedly, as you would if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a facial. The facials were specifically designed to work on the congestion on her face in her t-zone, something that flares up with the dreaded hormones each month. And I have to say they have been hugely beneficial. She just had the final one of five last week and didn’t require any extractions. Her skin did flare up a couple of days afterwards but has re-settled down.

In between facials I’ve noticed a strange thing occurring. Miss SY had become extremely consistent with her at-home skincare routine. All of her own doing, no prodding required. Plus, two really good products that were sent to me to trial (more on that in a bit) but were more suited to her skin became part of that new routine. She only started using these a couple of months after I gave them to her. Two weeks later she said, “Mum, they really do work. It’s made a difference”.

Mmmm. What would I know, right? 😉

5 school formal skincare tips

1. Do consider a series of facials before the big day if there are skin issues you’d like to tackle long term. It’s best to start at least six months out from the event and to avoid any in the week of the event, unless it’s a calming treatment that won’t get the skin all huffy and puffy before the big day. Ask around for local recommendations in your area and also ask if they can do a package deal for you to reduce costs. Contact beauty training schools to see if they have a day that their students are offering services at reduced rates. Miss SY went to Lime Health and Beauty at Cotton Tree. The treatments were half and hour long and we paid extra if extractions were needed.

2. Get consistent with your skincare routine – morning AND night. It’s no use paying money for facials when in between the salon treatments you are leaving your skin to its own hormonal devices. Miss SY has had success with the Teen Aspect kit (2), a range with a cosmeceutical focus (about $60 for four products; stockists: ph 1800 648 851) which we buy from our local GP. She’s on her third set of the products and they’ve proven themselves over time.

And those products that Miss SY reluctantly used but with which has had surprising results? They are: Sodashi’s Balancing Serum ($106.50), which she applies after cleansing, and Sodashi Balancing Face and Neck moisturiser ($109.30). If you’re wanting to try this range, a great starting point would be the Balance Skin Care Kit (1. $226.60). Yes, it’s quite a bit above what I’d spend on skincare for her but a little really has gone a long way so I’ll probably re-stock. Especially as it’s working and chemical-free.

Teenage skincare

3. Get sleep. Easier said than done, I know. Most teens have a full school schedule, probably play a sport and might have a part-time job … oh and then there is their social life … and their phone. Switch off devices at least 30 minutes before hitting the sack and aim for eight hours each night. Without good sleep bank deposits, over time health will suffer and your skin will be the first to show signs of that.

4. Keep hydrated. With water. Skip the softdrinks and keep “cleansing” throughout the day with good old H2O. No need to get fancy about it. Just drink it.

5. Think about what you’re eating. Not so much, thinking about when you last had a Maccas fix; more, have you eaten two pieces of fruit and a decent amount of veggies today? We can slap all the stuff we like on our face but if we’re not looking after what’s on the inside, it will all be in vain. And pimples just love sugar and fat. Keep them as treats.

Do you have a teenager in the house? Any skincare tips that have worked for them that you’d like to share? 


Comments 29

  1. What mom doesn’t want her daughter to look ravishing on her formal school party. You’re preparation might have felt like a lovely bonding time. I only have boys and they’re adorable but mother-daughter dressing up is fun.


  2. I wasn’t worried about skincare for my formal, but this sounds very similar to what I started to do to get ready for my wedding. I loved the excuse to have regular facials too! BLiss! Fi x

  3. Isn’t it funny what the worries were back then? Yes it was skin, now it is weight! If only those gangly limbed teens knew how good they look!

  4. I’m a big believer that young girls need to start caring for their skin earlier than I did (mid 30’s eek). My own daughter, although only 9, has started to get into the habit of moisturising. She forgets often, and it’s only a very basic cream, but I think it’s vital to start the habits early. I hope MissSY has fun xx

  5. I am making my daughters year 12 formal dress. We have the pattern, fabric, shoes and hair appointment. She now wants a post ball party to be held at our house because it coincides with her 17th birthday and she wants alcohol. It scares me half to death!

    1. Oh you’re an awesome mum! The party would scare me too. The after party tends to be hosted somewhere out of town as it would get shut down anywhere else as soon as it starts. So far, no-one’s put their hand up for it, so we shall see. Last year a group of parents got it sorted with security and supervision etc

  6. I’m sure like Beckie, Miss SY will adore the attention to detail you are giving the lead up to her special day Nikki. What a lovely Mummy you are 🙂
    Beckie loved every second, from ordering her frock {having a bridal boutique at the time came in very handy for choosing something special}, shoes jewellery, and having hair, make-up and nails done on the day made the whole experience so magical and memorable.
    Ask for skin care Beckie has been prone to a few breakouts over the years but thankfully her skin {generally} looks good. It has just changed again though {in the last few months} so she has just started using Estee Launder Advanced Night Repair and Daywear moisturiser – which is working a treat.
    Enjoy every second and I can’t wait to see the pics…if its in 9 days it will be on Beckie’s 21st birthday {Friday} and her party is the Saturday!
    Suite Three will be doing our hair for the evening too 🙂

  7. Hi Nikki,

    We’ve started on the skin care routine and about to up the ante with regular facials and extractions ahead of THE formal in November but we haven’t got the dress or anything else yet.
    At the same age as my girl I was using nutrimetics to control my zits. now my Miss 16 is using ASAP and it is working well.
    But she’s lucky not to have true acne like my other two did – spent thousands on products, facials and scripts. For all you other mums going through this – find a sympathetic dermatologist (Alison at cozmedics on Sunny Coast was our life saver when my oldest was in year 12). She now has people commenting on her beautiful, clear and scar-free skin almost every day. It was money well spent.

  8. May I just say you are a wonderful mama to give your cherub such support- my mum took me to the Ella Bache counter when I was 15 and I was and remain forever humbled at how much she cared about something that was so important to me- being able to show my face! I had many friends with parents who gave them the 80s version of get over yourself

  9. No as you know Nikki Mine are In their 20s but it does not seem that long ago I was where you are now,the year12 formal for my daughter,she had nails,makeup and her hair done like your daughter and bought a gorgeous dress that she still wears to this day,win win 🙂 She was an older year 12 student July birthday and I sent her when she was 51/2 as her birthday is a day before the cut off so she was 18 driving ,working and doing year 12 ,yes they are busy these days and their phone is attached to their hands,and they do have a busy social life.They laugh at how we managed to have a formal in the olden days with no GHD and no fancy nails or makeup available,and facials well they were for the rich and famous.
    I love how your daughters school combines the formal with a benefit ball,such a great idea,and how she has embraced skincare,I think that is one of the best things she can do and she will thank you one day.I can’t wait to see the pics of her, she is a pretty little thing,isn’t she?Nikki please tell her not to colour her gorgeous hair either until she gets greys it is a beautiful colour.Such exciting times ahead of her!

    1. How did we ever cope without ghds! I have to say that she does get her hair coloured – twice a year in the underneath bits so as to minimise re-growth showing up – her choice and I’m ok with that. I’ve coloured my hair since about 18 years of age.

      1. I don’t know how we coped without GHDs Nikki they were not invented so we didn’t miss them I suppose.I’m ok with my daughter colouring her hair as well she has done for quite some years now and your right it is their choice!

  10. I hope Miss SY has a wonderful formal. My Mum was always of the water and Olay ilk, so I am just finding my skin care routine now. I think it’s great that your daughter will have a routine that can grow with her into adulthood.

  11. Back in my day…. Clearasil was a luxury.
    I had lots of zits and was picked on for them.
    My mum, being a single parent, had lots of worries and my skin was the least of them.
    I recently had a case of peri oral dermatitis, and took myself to a dermatologist, who gave me stuff to whisk it away.
    My point- when I have kids, and they get acne, I will be onto it- skin issues cause disproportionate angst.
    You are a good mumma

    Cilla xx

    1. I know. I didn’t have bad zits but the only think at my disposal was apricot kernel scrub. Never moisturised! I figure, I know stuff and can do this for her so I have done. Also, same with my son who’s had acne, GP visit and scripts etc. I know that it can make a difference to how they feel in teenage years. x

  12. reading this makes me excited about having teenagers in the house!! my Lottie is only 9,.but is already ‘product’ crazy! I love it, am in awe of it and am slightly scared of it! lol thanks for the product recommendations Nik,.. I am sure your gorgeous girl will look incredible for the formal! Can’t wait to see what she wears! XX

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