Few things are higher on a bride-to-be’s wishlist than glowing skin. However, with the stress of wedding planning, keeping your face blemish-free is a challenge. On the other side, any misstep with your makeup or skincare on the day of the ceremony can trigger a breakout or rash that will be captured forever in your photos.
With the stakes so high, it’s important to start your perfect skin plan early. Dermatologists recommend taking steps as early as three months in advance to clear up and brighten your skin.
If you’re a few weeks out from your big day, here’s an action plan for achieving a goddess-level glow.
Review Your Skincare Routine
If your current skincare routine isn’t giving you the results you want, start trying out new products around three months before your wedding. This timeframe is long enough that you will be able to test out several products and compare their results.
Skincare routines are divided into three categories; morning, evening, and supplemental. Morning and evening routines should be consistent. Supplemental treatments, like scrubs, masks, and facial massages, should be scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
The ideal routine will cleanse and moisturize your skin. Seems simple, but finding the right combination of products that match your skin type will take time. If you’re not sure of your skin type, there are several tests you can try at home.
For example, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and leave it bare for 60 minutes. After this time has passed, assess your skin in the mirror. If you notice any shine or grease, you have oily skin in those areas. Flaking indicates dry skin, while irritation signals sensitive skin. If you see all of the above, you probably have combination skin.
Once you know your type, you can choose products that complement your skin. If you have other skin concerns, like cystic acne or hyperpigmentation, consult a dermatologist for more individualized recommendations.
While your face will be the star of the show, don’t forget to care for the rest of your body. Use a sugar scrub to buff away dry skin in the shower. After you towel-dry, slather on a thick moisturizing cream with ingredients like shea butter and lanolin. Remember to use a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or above on any exposed skin, including your face, neck, collarbones, and hands.
Start from the Inside Out
A good skincare routine can minimize breakouts, but truly healthy skin can only come from a healthy body. Besides genetics, diet, lifestyle, and hormone levels also affect your skin’s appearance.
If you are predisposed to skin conditions like eczema, you may need to talk to a dermatologist about oral or topical solutions that reduce inflammation, itching, and infection.
Unbalanced hormone levels cause several skin issues, like acne and dry patches. Taking a hormone test can help you determine if an imbalance is the cause of your skin problem. If so, a combination of supplements, specialized skin products, and healthy lifestyle changes can bring levels back to normal.
While a nutritious diet alone won’t clear up hormonal or genetic-related skin conditions, it can lower the chances of a flare-up. Eating vegetables and fruits with high levels of antioxidants can oxidative stress, one of the leading contributors to systemic inflammation and acne breakouts.
The best sources of antioxidants included green vegetables like spinach and kale, citrus fruits, and green tea.
Get a Good Facial
No matter how religiously you follow your skincare routine, dead skin cells and oils will collect in your pores. This is a natural part of your skin’s cycle but can cause problems like blackheads.
Facials use gentle chemicals to dissolve dead skin and clean out impurities from your pores. Exfoliating facials slough off the dull outer layer of old skin, revealing younger, fresher cells underneath.
Depending on the type of treatment you get, you may experience temporary redness. For this reason, schedule your last facial at least a week before your wedding day.
While they are safe to use on delicate facial skin, they are not intended for everyday use. Likewise, if you have very sensitive or reactive skin, you may need to skip this step altogether.
Take a Makeup Break
While wearing makeup won’t necessarily harm your skin, taking a short break from foundations and concealers can bring some benefits. For example, if you often fall asleep in your makeup, you are risking problems like clogged pores and damaged skin cells. This is because makeup contains ingredients that disrupt your skin’s natural oil production. This can trigger your skin to produce more or less oil, resulting in oiler or dryer skin.
Forgoing makeup for a few days a week will give your skin a chance to retain its natural oil levels and appear more balanced. Another benefit of a makeup hiatus is that you will be able to determine if you’re allergic to any ingredients. After wearing the same products day in and day out, you may not realize that some symptoms, like eye irritation or redness, are caused by your makeup.
If you notice any unexplained conditions that seem to disappear after a few days going makeup-free, it may be a good idea to replace your current products with versions formulated for sensitive skin.
Don’t Experiment Last Minute
Your wedding day will be exciting enough without having to deal with a random outbreak or rash. You can lower the chances of shocking your skin by forgoing any intensive beauty treatments in the days leading up to the ceremony. The morning of, only use products you are familiar with and work with your makeup artist to ensure that all the cosmetics used are hypoallergenic.
If you want to have a natural, but safe, tan use a spray tanner at least 48 hours beforehand. That way, the spray has plenty of time to settle and you can catch and address any missed patches or streaks.
You can follow a similar rule of thumb for exfoliation. While routine exfoliation makes it easier for makeup and moisturizers to adhere to your skin, it also opens the possibility for a bad reaction. You can start skipping this step in your skincare routine about 7 days out before the big day.