Wedding skin care – preparation is key
It’s likely you already know that however good your foundation and MUA may be, the healthier your skin is underneath, the better your makeup will look. Many brides realise this, but forget about it in the midst of other things until just a few weeks before the wedding- way too late to actually make a difference in time for the day itself. If timing isn’t on your side, you could find your impurities coming to a head (quite literally) on the very morning of your big day.
So why is this?
To be able to combat this and ensure a fresh, clear complexion, you firstly need to understand the simple science of skin. Like our hair, skin has a natural cycle which in essence involves production and shedding. Your skin is made up of complex layers less than one cell thick. It is ‘built’ in the base layer and slowly moves up to the external layer (the dermis, the layer we can see) where it is shed. This process is continual. The tricky thing is that this takes time – so if you start too late with the ‘flushing’ process, you’ll end up with a full-on skin emergency right when you don’t need it.
For this reason, it’s simply no good starting to drink enough water to ‘flush’ out impurities just one or two weeks before your wedding day.
Drink it Up
Yes, water is fabulous for skin – and indeed, for your whole body. You know that really, you should be drinking plenty of water (around 1.5 litres a day including water from food) all year round – not just prior to your wedding day. But with busy lifestyles and a taste for tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, our skin suffers as it is exposed to toxins and starved of what it needs to look beautiful.
Avoid diuretics such as coffee and alcohol, as these could thwart your efforts – and don’t forget that sugary drinks can cause spots and premature ageing. Drinking enough water has plenty of benefits for your body – so once you get in the habit, try and stick to it even after the wedding – your skin will thank you.
Whilst hydration from the inside out is key, remember to hydrate topically too with a good moisturiser suited well to your skin type. Unfortunately, our skin is the last part of our body to receive the water we drink – so even if you are drinking enough, it may need a helping hand to top up its moisture levels to keep it looking plumped, smooth and supple. Try to add moisturiser or facial oil when the skin is still damp – as you want to ‘lock in’ the moisture provided by water with your moisturiser, which won’ t actually provide any extra water for the skin (no matter what it may say on the bottle).
What else can I do?
The health and appearance of our skin is determined by a great number of factors. Hormones, stress and age all play a part – so what else can you do?
Although I can clearly hear collective snorts of incredulity, bear with me here. Yes, the build-up to your wedding day is one of the most stressful periods in your life (the pressure to look perfect, the endless cake-tasting, the huge expenditure, the irrational panic that everything will ‘go wrong’) – but invest in some yoga, meditation or whatever works for you in order to relieve stress as this can upset the skin’s balance and is a common culprit behind acne and eczema.
The importance of proper cleansing cannot be stressed enough. Make sure you choose a product which works well for you and your skin – cleansing in the evening especially to remove any dirt and make-up which will have built up during the day. This will reduce the likelihood of pores clogging and spots developing. Clean make-up brushes regularly too as these can harbour acne-causing bacteria if left dirty, and don’t forget to change your pillowcase regularly (even if you don’t change the whole bed) as the build-up of dead skin and dirt can be disastrous for skin.
Whilst you’re drinking plenty of water, make a healthy effort with what you are eating too. Recent research showed that remarkably, eating a specific mix of coloured fruit and vegetables gives the skin an inimitable ‘glow from within’ – a beautiful tone which could not be achieved by real or fake tan or cosmetic products.
Last-minute skin saviours
This one’s for all of you reading this a few weeks before the big day with no prep done in a state of skincare-induced panic. There are a few things you can do prior to the wedding (prep or no prep) which can tone and condition the skin and sort out a few disaster zones. Natural remedies rule when it comes to obtaining fast results –so for pure hydration and soft skin, try anti-bacterial coconut oil – it’ll fight spots whilst keeping dryness at bay. Mix together pure tea tree oil and lemon juice for a potent spot-buster – just dab a little onto the offending article with a cotton bud. Food facials are also excellent to improve skin condition – moisturising and removing impurities all at once. Egg, honey, yoghurt, cocoa and avocado are all fab ingredients packing a skin-loving punch of nourishing nutrients and minerals.