Beautiful bridal skin starts from within, with healthy eating and hydrating habits. Combine your good diet and plenty of water with a solid, sensible skincare regimen, and you’ll be well on your way to a complexion that’s ready for its close-ups. So, what does the path to great skin involve, and what should you do when you encounter the occasional speedbump? Glad you asked! Get a flawless “bridal artistry” canvas by following these four essential bridal skincare tips!
1. Start Early
If you’ve started thinking about bridal skincare a year or so before your wedding, congratulations! Assessing your skin type, identifying problems (periodic breakouts, dry skin, oily T-zone, rosacea, eczema, etc.) and thinking about seasonal adjustments to your skincare routine, well ahead of time, is the best thing you can do to ensure a beautiful complexion by the time the big day arrives. If your skincare routine has taken a back burner to pressing tasks like work, school, wedding planning and, you know…life, don’t fret. You can amp up your skincare regimen, and even make big changes, in just a couple of months.
For starters, focus on hydration by increasing your intake of water and decreasing your intake of alcohol. Work on reducing your consumption of processed foods and very salty foods (which can lead to a host of skin problems including puffiness, breakouts and redness), and adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet, including avocados (which are high in omega fatty acids), cranberries (packed with vitamin C, along with inflammation-reducing ellagic acid), and leafy greens (rich in lutein, a powerful collagen booster). Adding these superfoods to daily smoothies or juices is a great way to get them into your system quickly, on the go. Next, it’s on to a daily cleansing routine you can stick to!
2. Clean & Moisturize
There is no one “right” cleanser or moisturizer for every bride. If you have a dermatologist or aesthetician you see on the reg, you’ll want to consult that specialist to determine a brand or product that’s best suited to your skin type and the problems you want to correct. Generally speaking, though, almost all brides benefit from daily cleansing with a gentle, oil-free cleanser followed by an alcohol-free toner.
Apply a skin-specific moisturizer to your clean, patted-dry skin—products with hyaluronic acid work well for most skin types, as they help skin maintain water content. For daytime moisturizing, include a product with SPF 30 or higher, whether it’s included in your moisturizer or applied afterwards. And don’t forget your lips! Apply an SPF-30+ lip balm daily, before heading outside, and keep extras in your handbag, office desk and car for reapplication throughout the day.
3. Schedule Treatments
While you might be tempted to try some of the zillions of home skin-treatment products or devices on the market today, it’s best to leave specialty skincare to the pros. At-home peels, microdermabrasion scrubs and extractions can lead to irritation, redness—even scarring. Don’t risk it!
Again, if you have the luxury of ample time before your wedding, you can schedule a preliminary consultation with a dermatologist or experienced aesthetician to assess what you need, then get those appointments on your calendar, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling them later. One or two chemical peels during the year leading up to the wedding are all that most brides need when it comes to this deep-exfoliation process that helps with reducing sun damage, hyperpigmentation and fine lines (and requires several days to a couple of months for recovery, depending on the intensity of the treatment).
If your budget and schedule allow, monthly facials, done by a trained aesthetician, are a great way to exfoliate, banish blemishes, deeply hydrate and support the at-home skincare regimen you’ve so faithfully maintained.
4. Healthy Habits
Small daily habit changes can have a big impact on your skin. And many of them have nothing to do with products you apply or treatments you undergo.
How long has it been since you washed your makeup brushes and sponges? If your answer is, “Uh…I’m supposed to wash them??” now is the time to get busy. Plenty of cosmetic brands have their own cleaning solutions for makeup brushes and sponges. So, if you have a favorite brand, check out what they offer, and stock up on something for deep cleaning, and perhaps a package of cleaning cloths for quick brush-head tidying on the go. An alternative option: Simply suds up your brushes with a gentle shampoo, rinse them well, and air-dry them on a silicone mat, or hanging with the brush heads facing down. Not only will you remove gunk and bacteria, but your makeup colors will come out truer, too!
Along with dirty makeup brushes, cell phone screens are notorious for transmitting bacteria to the surface of your skin. The solution: Use earbuds, AirPods, headphones or your phone’s speaker setting, instead of holding your phone against your cheek. It’s amazing how much of a difference this small change can make in reducing skin-surface bacteria and minimizing outbreaks, especially on the side of your face.
Still dealing with the occasional blemish? Zap your zits gently with a dab of good ol’ fashioned benzoyl peroxide, applied directly to the pimple. You may need to repeat this process for a few days before the blemish is fully banished (resist the urge to squeeze—you’ll only make it worse!). But this time-honored bacteria-reducing preparation is still your best bet for quick and gentle spot-removal at home.