Everything is coming together. Your custom bridal gown from Azazie fits beautifully, you found the perfect veil and shoes, and you’ve discovered a color palette on Pinterest to die for. As you plan your wedding, however, it’s important not to neglect your health, especially the largest organ in your body: your skin.
By taking these four steps in the months leading up to your big day, you’ll be walking down the aisle looking as radiant as you feel.
1. Stay hydrated
Before you break out lotions or moisturizers, make sure your body is properly moisturized on the inside. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day and eat moist, cooling foods like cucumber, lettuce, watermelon, berries, or grapefruit to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation. Limit alcohol and caffeine and avoid salty foods, which can cause water retention and leave skin looking puffy.
Sumbody points out indoor air quality is a major factor in dry skin. Use a humidifier and stay away from harsh soaps and skin products containing alcohol, petroleum byproducts, or ingredients that end in “cone,” such as dimethicone. These polymers used to treat dry skin can make it worse over time.
2. Reduce stress
Planning a wedding can be exciting, but it can also be a logistical nightmare that leaves you feeling anxious and exhausted. “Many inflammatory conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and keratosis pilaris, may be at least partially caused by stress,” dermatologist Dendy Engelman tells Brides. “As stress weakens the immune system, chronic inflammation worsens.”
To avoid breaking out in hives on your big day, ask for help when you need it, whether that means delegating a few wedding tasks to your bridesmaids or consulting a professional if your anxiety becomes unmanageable. Exercise regularly and de-stress with a guided meditation app. Treating yourself to a massage or facial will do wonders for your skin and your mood. Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep to clear your head and those pesky bags under your eyes.
3. Be sensible about supplements
Countless products promise to transform your skin overnight using the ancient healing power of a plant you’ve never heard of. While traditional herbal remedies can be helpful, no magic pill will remove a decade’s worth of wrinkles. Focus on giving your body the building blocks it needs to make repairs and guard against future damage.
Jennifer Rock of The Skin Nerd recommends 1000 mg of vitamin C daily. The antioxidant boosts your immune system and combats free radicals that damage collagen and make your skin appear saggy. When applied topically, vitamin C is also helpful for acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Look for a serum with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), the most shelf stable form of the vitamin, and hyaluronic acid, which helps keep skin moist and plump.
Hello Glow recommends a daily dose of fish oil; among their many health benefits, the omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate eczema and other inflammatory conditions. Other potentially beneficial supplements include vitamins A, D, and E, zinc, evening primrose oil, and coQ10. Always consult your doctor to make sure a supplement is safe for you and won’t interact with prescription medications. Pregnant women, for example, should not take vitamin A, products containing retinol, or the prescription acne medication Accutane.
4. Stick to a clean routine
According to The Glow Getter, there are roughly 10 hairs, 15 oil glands, 100 sweat glands, and hundreds of capillaries in every three square cm of skin. Below the surface, your face is hard at work; in fact, it’s shedding about 600,000 tiny flakes of skin per hour, so it needs a little help to clear away the debris.
First, apply a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to your dry face, then rinse afterward. Second, use an alcohol-free toner, which will remove any remaining cleanser, clear traces of makeup from your pores where your cleanser can’t reach, and shrink large pores to give your skin a more even appearance. Third, apply any acne medications, serums, or moisturizers.
For your morning routine, finish with a moisturizer with sunscreen and don’t forget the SPF protection for your lips. While you may think sun-kissed skin is a good look, overexposure to natural sunlight and tanning beds will cause more harm than good. The Knot recommends a daily moisturizer that works as a gradual self-tanner like Jergens Natural Glow.
Most sources agree exfoliating, or removing dead skin, is the key to a glowing complexion, but you can have too much of a good thing. Beauty Crew warns that using abrasive sugar scrubs and gloves can scrape off the old skin before the skin below is fully developed, leaving your face vulnerable to redness or infection. Chemical exfoliants that trigger dead cells to shed while leaving the skin intact are a better choice for regular use. Surface-Paris suggests exfoliating every other night.
What’s your secret for radiant skin to match your wedding bliss? Share your thoughts in the comments.