8 Weeks to Perfect Wedding-Day Skin
Apr 14, 2014 06:01PM
● By Anonymous
8 Weeks to Go
The stress of planning a wedding can easily lead you to binge on junk food. According to registered dietitian Carlene Thomas, proper nutrition can lead to glowing skin, so if you haven’t been focusing on your diet so far, two months out is the time to get serious about consuming plenty of fresh, colorful produce, lean meats, healthy fats, and, of course, plenty of water. Thomas recommends focusing on some key nutrients—iron, for example, helps healthy cells transport oxygen, she says, so boost your consumption of spinach and lean beef. Antioxidants, which target toxic-free radicals that can age your skin, come in the form of colorful produce such as sweet potatoes, berries and leafy greens, as well as indulgent dark chocolate. Healthy fats in the form of avocados, nuts, and salmon keep your skin supple and moist. Avoid alcohol and caffeine whenever possible, and instead guzzle between two and three liters of water per day.
6 Weeks to Go
With a month and a half left until the big day, now’s the time to make sure you’re using the perfect skincare products. “You never want to try new products right before a wedding,” says Debra Jaliman, board-certified dermatologist and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. “Believe me, I've seen my fair share of brides coming in to my office with red, peeling faces and swollen eyes with allergic reactions because they decided to try a new face wash, make-up, or whatever else somebody decided to sell them that week.”
Jaliman recommends items that contain salicylic acid, which unclogs pores, and benzoyl peroxide—but search for something with a low concentration of the latter so it doesn’t dry out your skin, leaving it flaky and itchy. If you struggle with dry skin, search for skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin, she suggests.
In addition to cleansing and moisturizing, start exfoliating at least twice a week, says skincare expert Celeste Hilling, CEO of Skincareauthority.com. “Regular exfoliation speeds up the cell turnover process, which allows the body to produce moisture-bearing properties,” she says. “Exfoliation also helps to plump the skin by churning up elastin and collagen production.” She recommends exfoliating products with glycolic acid, which sloughs off dead skin cells, so they can be replaced with new, plump cells.
4 Weeks to Go
If you’ve been indulging in dermabrasion, glycolic peels, or any sort of chemical face treatments, the one-month mark is the last time to visit your favorite skincare professional. Even if you’ve successfully undergone treatments in the past, applying anything chemical to your face runs the risk of redness, irritation, or an allergic reaction—and who knows how long the side effects could last. Schedule your last treatment for four weeks out from your wedding day, and then keep up your skincare routine to make the effects last.
2 Weeks to Go
If you want to indulge in a deep cleansing facial before your wedding, talk to your esthetician about what is least likely to cause a reaction. She can recommend a naturally deep-cleaning and exfoliating treatment that will allow pimples and toxins that are lurking just under the epidermis layer to surface and clear before you walk down the aisle. If you want to have a pimple extracted at this point, consider thoroughly if the risk is worth it—a good spot treatment might clear it up more successfully and with a lower risk.
If your schedule and budget don’t allow for a trip to the spa, mix together your own skincare face mask at home. A number of easily available grocery store products—including sugar, honey, avocado and yogurt—can be blended for a moisturizing or exfoliating at-home treatment. “I love a mask made with green clay and aloe vera,” Hilling says. “You can pick these up at natural food and drug stores. In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons green clay and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Add rosewater until you reach a consistency you like. Apply to skin for 10 minutes for a healthy, all-natural glow.”
Wrinkles don’t always correlate with age, says Dr. Debra Jaliman; rather, it’s a question of muscle strength. “I sometimes see women in their early 20s that have such strong muscles they're making very deep creases between their eyebrows. And other women in their 40s may have barely a frown line,” she says. Therefore, it’s not about whether you’re old enough to receive Botox before your wedding, but rather if you think it would be beneficial to your overall appearance. If you decide to go this route, visit a medical professional to do the injections, and get the process done at least three weeks before your big day. Any closer than that, and you not only run the risk of not being able to see the Botox’s effects—which can take up to 10 days to appear—but also of unfavorable reactions.
Three Days to Go
The days leading up to your wedding can be some of the most stressful a woman will ever experience—and that boosts the potential for an ugly red zit to pop up unexpectedly. If you have the time, head to your dermatologist for a cortisone injection, Jaliman says. “It’s quick and easy and relatively painless and it works amazingly well,” she says. “If that’s not an option, take a salicylic acid mask and use it on the pimple to try to dry it out. Sometimes an over-the-counter cortisone cream can help because it can take the inflammation down if the pimple is very red.”
Whatever you do, don’t pick at the pimple! Even if you manage to pop the sucker, the redness, inflammation, and scab left will be visible in photos.
Day of the Wedding
If you’re still dealing with a red pimple on the day of your wedding, soak a tissue or cotton ball in Visine—you’ll likely have it on hand to combat red eyes due to happy tears—and press it against the spot. This will help counteract the redness. From there, apply a lighter shade of concealer than you would normally use, and then apply your foundation and regular concealer as normal. Set the makeup with a finely milled face powder.
After the Wedding
Once the wedding is over, don’t let the exhaustion of the day stop you from properly cleansing your face—after all, you’ll likely be wearing more makeup than ever. Use a makeup remover to slough off the mascara and eye shadow, and then use your regular cleanser to get rid of all traces of makeup.
Even though wedding day stress can wreak havoc on your skin, a proper regimen and healthy diet can counteract its effects. It might seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it when you admire your wedding day photos for years to come.
Soothing Oatmeal-Yogurt Face Mask
Treat your skin to this at-home, all-naturalface mask that helps clear up acne without drying up your face.
1 tablespoon oatmeal, finely ground
1 tablespoon organic yogurt
A few drops of raw honey
Mix the yogurt and oatmeal in a small bowl. Warm up the honey and then stir it into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture. Apply the mask to the face and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse it off thoroughly with a warm washcloth and apply moisturizer.