This post originally appeared on the Denver Style Magazine Blog here on March 1st, 2017
The season for romance is upon us. Although Valentine’s Day has passed, now is that time of year when it seems like everyone you know is newly engaged or got engaged over the holidays. If you’re the bride to be, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate as you start to prepare for all of the festivities. Many of my clients who are wedding planning often want to know what they should be doing for their skin and when they should do it.
Here is my simple guide to getting skin confident before your big day.
4-6 months before:
Start getting facials. Beauty experts recommend getting regular facials at least 6 months prior to your wedding. Some estheticians offer bridal packages for this reason. Depending on whether or not you have specific skin issues you’d like to address such as acne, rosacea or discoloration, your skin may take time to treat. If facials just aren’t in the budget monthly, I still recommend visiting a professional, at least once. Most estheticians are happy to give advice and point you in the direction of a few products you can use at home that will still have a great impact on your skin.
Start wearing SPF (if you don’t already). I can’t stress the importance of SPF enough, especially in Denver, where we get a lot of extra sun exposure. Sun damage exacerbates all skin conditions and can be permanent. I recommend wearing at least 30 SPF and reapplying every two hours.
Try new things. If you’ve been considering a more invasive treatment, or have been wanting to try a new product line, this is the time to do it. Find what works and what doesn’t so that you have time to tweak your routine leading up. Now is the time to try that fun sheet mask, that CC cream or that anti-aging treatment you’ve been hearing about. If your skin has any kind of reaction or you just don’t love the results, you have time to try something else and move on.
3 months before:
Start a home care routine. Now that you’ve gotten a regimen down, it’s time to get serious about consistency. No skin care really works unless you use it as intended. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing should be twice daily practices. Exfoliation should be done 2-3 times weekly, unless you’re receiving professional exfoliation treatments. You might also want to introduce serums or spot treatment products, such as eye creams or brighteners. Just pay attention to any cues that your skin is irritated by certain products and back off as needed.
Don’t forget your neck/declotete. A common mistake many of us make with skin care is only applying it to the face. Don’t be afraid to use your product (including SPF) on your neck and chest area. You want them to glow just like the rest of you, don’t you? And if you still have excess product, apply it to the tops of your hands. They also need TLC to look pretty for pictures.
Eat healthy and take supplements. Because your skin health is closely tied to internal health, stress in the body can show up on the skin. Lots of water, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats are good for the skin. So eat up! Additionally, if you are watching your fat intake, don’t forget to take supplements. Omegas and essential fatty acids, are important for healthy skin, nails and hair. Taking these along with a good multi-vitamin will help you glow from the inside out.
1 month before:
Do trial runs. As with many things pertaining to a wedding, you’ll want to do a rehearsal with all the moving parts. Make sure your skin care routine jives well with your wedding makeup and vice versa.
Treat other exposed areas. Wedding dresses can present a unique challenge, in that they sometimes show areas of your body that aren’t normal exposed. Luckily there are a variety of ways to get your upper back, the back or your arms and elbows ready for all the attention. Getting a back facial can clear up unwanted blemishes, smoothing out your upper back and shoulder area. You can also treat these areas with the same products you use at home on your face. If you dislike the texture or discoloration of your decollate or the back of your arms, microdermabrasion or chemical peels can treat these areas. Or you can exfoliate at home with dry-brushing, sugar scrubs and regularly apply body cream to soften the skin in those areas.
Don’t pick at anything! Sometimes breakouts are unavoidable. If a breakout pops up close to your wedding, you may be tempted to go at it, but I promise you leaving it alone will end much better. You can spot treat your acne prone areas with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or even tea tree oil, and then as much as possible keep your hands off of them. Popping or picking a zit will only cause it to get more inflamed and can even cause scarring. Take a deep breath and apply a cold compress to the area to help soothe it, instead.
1 Week Before:
Try not to stress. I know. Easier said than done, when you’ve still got eight million things to do and your nuptials are right around the corner. However, the skin hates stress and will sometimes react accordingly with inflammation or breakouts. As much as possible, allow yourself to take breaks and breathe. Even finding 30 minutes in the day for yourself to do yoga, go for a walk, meditate or just do something mindless will be beneficial to your overall well-being and your skin will reap the benefits as well.
Get a facial (if you’re in the habit of getting them). If you’ve been getting regular facials up until this point, chance are good that you and your esthetician are on plan and she knows just what to do when it’s go-time. That said, I still recommend getting your pre-wedding facial a week before the event, as opposed to a day or two before. Your skin may require a day or two to heal following a facial, but a few days after that, it will be at it’s peak radiance. Plan accordingly.
Don’t change anything now. Now, if you haven’t been getting regular facial treatments, I don’t recommend doing so at the 11th hour. You are better off sticking to what you know works. Get lots of rest, drink water, use gentle hydrating products and avoid anything harsh, that you aren’t in the habit of using.
Your big day will come and go faster than you realize. Live in it! Enjoy it! Try not to fret too much about your skin or how you look. Every bride is beautiful