You’re getting married and you have a million things to do. Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times in your life. All that excitement and stress (remember, excitement can register in your body as stress as well!) can take a toll on the skin and cause unwanted breakouts, inflammation, cold sores, and eczema flare-ups just when you don’t want them the most. In order to avoid the unknown and unwanted, you need to have a plan so you’re as beautiful and healthy on your big day as you’ve always dreamed of being. Even if you’re not getting married, these same tips are great for any major event like class reunions, major presentations, or “running” into your ex. 😉
Here’s the key, though: You have to start planning far in advance, ideally longer than six months out! If you’re only a few days or weeks out from the big day, there are only limited options available to you— and more importantly, a few big last-minute no-no’s.
One Year-Six Months From the Big Day
Good for you! You’ve started thinking about this far enough in advance that you have a lot of options! With a little bit of skin-TLC and some professional help, you’ll look even more amazing for your Big Day!
Do start getting facials. The longer you get them, the better the results. Starting this early before your Day gives you time to try different facials and get used to the products your esthetician uses. Word of warning, though— not every esthetician is created the same. Try a few out, pick one you feel comfortable with, and whose advice works for you.
Do get any advanced treatments now. If you’re looking to do something more advanced, like a chemical peel or IPL laser to address fine lines, wrinkles, or sun damage, start those treatments now. Do not do these within six months of your wedding and honeymoon. You want to give your skin plenty of time to recover, especially if you’re planning a sunny honeymoon! But, here’s the most important part about advanced treatments— you must go to a medical professional (do not go to anyone without formal medical training, regardless of whether they are certified or not!!!) for a consultation and to have the procedures done. Do not buy a Groupon or trust someone without medical credentials to do advanced procedures on your face (or anywhere else, really). It is not worth the few bucks you’ll save to risk permanent damage to your skin because someone isn’t detail oriented, properly trained, or working with improperly calibrated equipment.
Do get on a daily skin regimen. Your daily routine should take you about two minutes, twice a day. Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize and Protect. Your esthetician can and should help you pick out the products that will work best for you after giving you a thorough skin consultation. You can read a detailed outline for daily skincare here.
Do call a doctor if you have skin problems as a result of a medical condition. If you have a skin issue that needs a doctor’s attention, call your dermatologist now. It can take months to get an appointment, so don’t wait. In my experience, it often takes at least three months for results to really show from prescription treatments, so you’ll want to get started as soon as possible.
Do start exercising. I know this doesn’t sound like a skin care tip, but it is. Your skin is your largest organ, and whole body health matters. Sweat helps flush toxins from the body and exercise is a very healthy outlet for your excitement and stress! I’m sure you’d rather turn that extra energy into a smoking hot body than unwanted breakouts, so get that body moving!
Don’t worry. If your wedding is within the next six months and you’re just now reading this, that’s ok. All this advice can carry forward – just get started now, and hold off on the advanced treatments that can take a while to heal from!
Three to Six Months Out
Do drink water. You should be getting 1oz of water for every 2lbs of body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you should be getting 75oz of water each day. The only substitute for water is ice water. If you’re adding lemons, crystal light, anything else that isn’t just ice, or drinking water that comes in a bottle with an adjective in front of it (like fitness, vitamin, etc), your water isn’t water anymore and doesn’t count.
If you hate drinking water, I suggest doing shots. Of water, not liquor. Every time you walk past a water fountain or the water cooler at work, drink a shot’s worth. These small amounts really add up, and once your body starts to get hydrated, you will start craving H2O. Your whole body will thank you, not just your skin!
Do start thinking about diet. Lots of brides are on a diet, but that’s not what I mean. You need to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. You need to be eating the healthy foods that provide macro- and micro-essential nutrients for your health, and your skin health! Click here for a list of very skin healthy items to add in!
Don’t starve yourself. I cannot stress this enough. Your body needs fuel to meet your goals. Depriving your body of its needs will lead to sallow, unhealthy looking skin. You don’t want to look sallow, do you? That word just sounds horrible. Sallow. Not to mention, if you don’t eat, you’ll be a very grumpy person all the time during what should be a very happy time! So eat. It’s vital to your happiness and reaching your skin goals. No excuses.
One to Three Months Out
Do say goodbye to CRAP. Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods are not your friends. At this point, you should already be used to a healthier diet, but it’s time to get strict. Stop sneaking the Jordan Almonds and calling everything a “taste test”. If it’s your actual wedding taste test, or your bridal shower, please enjoy those events fully! If it’s just you picking food for yourself, cut the CRAP.
Do try Spray Tan. If you want a bronze glow, a spray tan is a relatively healthier option than a real tan. Schedule an appointment for a trial about six weeks before your wedding date. Your tanner will be able to suggest the best directions for the week of the wedding, but in my experience it’s best to get it done two days before the date. So, if your wedding is a Saturday, get sprayed on Thursday. Important caveat— a spray tan does put a lot of chemicals into your skin, so don’t go overboard and get spray tans every week, now. I only suggest them relative to the damage an actual tan causes— the healthiest option is no tan at all, and have your photographer give you one in post-processing. 😉
Do your make-up trial. You want to be sure your makeup plan not only looks the way you envision, but also ensure that your skin doesn’t react to the products your makeup artist uses. If you’re thinking about using airbrush makeup for your wedding day, I totally recommend it. I’ve seen brides with airbrush makeup get dunked in oceans, and the stuff doesn’t move. With that in mind, make sure you have an oil facial cleanser. You’ll want to use that to remove any airbrush makeup, since water and regular cleanser don’t cut it.
Don’t cut corners. You might be starting to get busy and bogged down in your checklist. Family drama may be taking up your time, and it may seem like an extra step to do your skin routine, make it to the gym, or even bother making yourself dinner. Take care of yourself, and don’t lose focus on all the hard work you’ve already done.
One Month Out
Don’t try new things. This isn’t the time to get creative and try that beauty product you keep hearing about, or that mask you keep seeing on pinterest. Also, don’t make the executive decision that since using a product once a day is working well, using it three times a day will be three times as good! You have your routine, stick with what you know. You don’t want to risk reactions and inflammation this close to the Big Day.
Do get your last facial. Do not treat yourself to a facial the week of the wedding. Get your last one done 10-15 days out. On the day of your wedding, you’ll likely be wearing more makeup than normal. If your skin is still sensitive at all from your facial, irritation is very possible. Also, if you are insisting on getting a real tan, DO NOT TAN WITHIN 48 HOURS OF YOUR FACIAL. This very often leads to a rash that will not be gone before your wedding.
Do take Bachelorette Party precautions. If you know you’re going to be consuming larger than normal quantities of alcohol start the evening by hydrating in advance. Anecdotally, I’ve also seen that taking 200mg of ibuprofen before you start drinking can help manage inflammation. Have a great time, but remember to alternate your drinks with water. Once the night is over drink some more water before bed, and consider another dose of ibuprofen. Your skin, body, and head will be very appreciative.
The Week Of
Do get sleep. It’s easy to think everything must be done right now by you, and you alone, but this attitude can take away from your ability to take care of yourself. Unless the crisis you’re handling is stopping a meteor from hitting the earth or a missile attack, it can wait until tomorrow or be delegated to someone else. Pack it in and get some shut-eye. You don’t want to be covering huge, dark eye-circles on your wedding day.
Don’t forget what’s important. You’re getting married. If, at the end of the day you are married to the person you love, your wedding is a success. If the wrong flowers show up, if someone is trying to make the event about them, if your beautiful outdoor wedding is showing forecast for a hurricane, or if you’ve followed my advice and you still have an unexplained breakout….let it go. All the worry and stress won’t change any of these things, but it will aggravate your skin, general happiness, and take the focus off the important part— your new life with your wonderful new spouse, and the hilarious stories you’ll have if things “go wrong.”
The Day Of
Do exfoliate. This is the only time I will ever tell anyone to exfoliate in the morning. You want to give your makeup artist the smoothest pallet possible to work with, and that means a freshly exfoliated face. However, that doesn’t mean you can go overboard and scrub your face off. Just do your normal exfoliant from the skin care regimen you’ve been doing for the past few months. Spray your toner, put on a light moisturizer, and leave your face alone. Your makeup artist will handle the rest!
Do have a great time! The day is here, you’ve worked hard to look fabulous in all your photos, but no cosmetic or skin care can take the place of a real genuine smile. So be joyous, it will make you glow!
After…and the days beyond
Do use an oil cleanser. No matter what your skin type, you’ll need an extra step to get the larger than normal amount of makeup off. If you’re worried about the oil on your skin, feel free to follow with your normal cleanser.
Don’t stop now! You’ve spent the past few months learning great habits for beautiful skin and a healthier body. Keep them up, and enjoy the benefits for life!
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See you next week!