The shafted art of skincare before your wedding gets a quick and simple guide so you can wake up on the big day with that envious lit from within glow.
The clock is ticking. The window of time leading up to your wedding is closing. You’ve aligned all of the stars, so that what is arguably the most important day- at least the most expensive day- of your life, goes off without a hitch. The flowers, the food, the drinks, invitations, dress, suit, photographer, but one of the most neglected high value items of the whole event, gets left behind- your skin. You will be the center of attention (sorry Mr. Groom), photos and videos of you will be captured and remain as the only evidence of this momentous occasion for eternity. You will spend more than you would probably like, on a makeup artist to have you looking exactly as you want, but the harsh reality is, your makeup artist can only do so much.
After years of working with brides and seeing the disconnect between what people want and what they can actually have, I've been inspired to put together this list of the most important things you can do leading up to your wedding, so that no matter how much stress falls on your shoulders- or how little sleep you're getting- you will appear as a radiant angel sent from the heavens.
1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
This one is easy, It is no secret that if you fail to hydrate yourself from the inside, your skin will not have the plump and bouncy glow that you had when you were five. If you are instead, surviving on caffeine, think sag, think bumps, think dry dry dry because that coffee is sucking your water tank empty. Keep a water bottle with you at all times- I find ones with a straw make it more accessible to drink at anytime...truthfully, I am guilty of just walking around with my water bottle on hand and straw in my mouth. Don't judge. How about taking it to the next level with one of those hydration backpacks? Whatever you need to up that water intake! BONUS: The more water you drink, the more time you will be spending alone in the bathroom- ahh peace and relaxation where nobody can bother you.
2. TREAT YOURSELF TO A FACIAL... or 10
Not part of everyone's wedding prep, but gaining popularity for its R&R bonus- another activity for solo peace and quiet! The thing about getting facials is, most people will book it closer to the wedding after a) not having one before or b) not having one more frequently. Much like going to physio, or a personal trainer, one appointment is not going to change 20+ years of not doing something. Getting one facial right before your wedding is not a quick fix, it may work like that for some people but if taking care of your skin has never been high on your priority list then you may need a little more support before the big day. Also, if you have never had one before and decide to book one right before your wedding, you run the risk of having a reaction, or heaven forbid…a breakout. Breakouts are completely normal, as most facials draw out all of the backed up garbage in your pores and turn your dermis into a fully functioning plumbing system- like plunging a drain to clear a clog…it's not pretty, but I’m trying to get you on the magic skin train! Even when using the most researched five star product, everyone's skin is different and will handle things differently, therefore, can cause you to have an adverse reaction. And if you’re stressed, or just run down and hanging on by that last drop of coffee, your body may be in protection mode, if you do something to your skin that you’ve never done before it may just instinctively react to ward off anything it senses danger from, for example, a scary topical ointment it’s never seen before. My suggestion is to start a few months before and at least do two before getting married, if not more…heck start right when you get engaged. I’m here with the controversial opinion of, you don't need to go to the gym to “fit into the dress”, you need less stress, which can be achieved by sitting down for a facial every month, you’ll thank me later.
3. HOME CARE
If you do not want to make the commitment to go to your new best friend, madame (or monsieur) facialist, or even if you do but you want to level up your game, there are little things you can do in your own home to pamper your skin. You can start with something as simple as a jade roller or gua sha stone- these tools are great for relieving tension at the end of a day where you've given everyone in your path the "wtf" look. Do your night time routine, finish off with a face oil, and gently glide these tools over your face and neck, and feel the frustration and lines melt away.
If you want to go a little further- but still keep it simple- nothing works better than a good steam; pour a bowl of boiling water and put your face over it - CAUTION: Not too close, it will burn- and drape a towel over your head and the bowl so you have a little steam cave, and boom, makeshift at home spa- Pro Tip: add in a few drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus to make it extra relaxing and beneficial for your skin. The steam, just like a steam room, will rid toxins from your skin, as well as open your pores, making it a perfect time for any tweezing- the hairs will slip right out! Next, I always suggest a good exfoliation to get rid of any layers of dead skin cells that have been piling up and tiring out your skin. This can be done with something as accessible as sugar, honey, and coconut oil, or as bougie as my favorite Skin Polish from Dr. Zo Skin Health. Removing all of the layers of dead skin cells will not only give you an immediate glow, but allow for better absorption of your serums and creams now that they have access to your pores. Your skin can shed every 2-4 weeks, so again, this is not a quick fix but a new regime to add to your lifestyle- and don't forget the lips! As a makeup artist, I tell all of my clients to scrub their lips the night before/morning of the wedding and add a generous amount of lip balm so they are soft, hydrated, and ready to make that lipstick plump and juicy looking.
Another one of my at home favorites are sheet masks, overnight masks, or any kind of mask really. After your exfoliation, nothing will absorb better than a ceramide rich sheet mask full of moisture, vitamins, and happiness, and if you’re thinking to yourself “but i’m oily, I don't need moisture, I need matte matte matte” then I suggest that you visit a skincare professional, because more often than not, my “oily” ladies are actually just dehydrated, making their skin produce more oil and somehow making their skin look both dry and oily at the same time…which is another topic I could go on for hours about, but I’ll leave it there for now.
As you can see, the list is not long, but each of these things either alone or together will make a world of difference and give you that ethereal glow for your big day, and above all, remember that consistency is key. As previously mentioned, make sure none of these things are done for the first time too close to your wedding and always try new products in a small area before putting it all over your whole face, but if all seems well, then treat yourself to a nightly pamper leading up to the wedding! Not only will it help your skin, but it will give you some uninterrupted “me” time that you probably so desperately need and deserve!