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10 Steps to perfect skin on your wedding day

Perth Bride Magazine - Thursday, August 21, 2014

When you set the date for your wedding and start making plans for one of the most special days of your life, you realise that you, as the bride, will be front and centre stage, the star of the show. Your wedding day is your day to shine, so you want to look your beautiful best. That starts with radiant, healthy skin. Ideally, you already practice healthy habits like exercise and eating right, and you have a good skin care regime in place. If so, you don’t want it to slide into neglect while you’re making arrangements for a caterer, band, and florist; and if you don’t, now is a good time to start. Either way, this 10-step plan can make sure your skin is glowing on your big day!
 
1) Nourish Your Skin From the Inside Out with Healthy Eating Habits
When: Start right away 
Special attention: 2 weeks before wedding day

You’ve heard it a thousand times, “You are what you eat,” but can you see it? You can if you look closely enough, because what you eat is going to show up in the condition of your skin. Some foods can affect insulin levels, which may lead to inflammation, blotchy skin, and break-outs. Avoid white bread and rolls, pastries & cakes, pasta, white rice, and sugar, including sugary drinks. Nutritionists always advise sticking with a sensible, well-balanced, varied diet, but there are some foods, more than others, that are beneficial to skin.  

Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for skin health, and there’s plenty to be found in low-fat, active-culture yogurt. Your skin will get added benefits from your healthier digestive system. Plums, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are some foods with high levels of anti-oxidants, which experts believe help prevent skin damage from free-radicals. If you’re prone to oily skin and break-outs you may think of oil in food as the enemy, but the truth is a balance of essential fatty acids, such as those found in omega 3 and omega 6 oils, is needed for not just heart health but healthy skin as well. Look for these healthy oils in salmon, walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed. For cooking, use oils labelled “cold pressed” of “expeller pressed,” and olive oil labelled extra virgin. Whole wheat breads and cereals, turkey and tuna, are good sources of selenium, a mineral that may prevent skin cell damage such as happens with sun exposure. Green tea contains polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties.  

Of course, if you have a food allergy, to strawberries for example, all of its antioxidants will be useless. So be careful at the pre-wedding celebrations and don’t eat anything you haven’t tried before. 

2) Drink Plenty of Water

When: Start right away 
Special attention: Week of wedding 

To stay smooth, your skin needs to be kept hydrated from the inside. The general rule you always hear is drink 8 full glasses of water a day, but in reality we need different amounts of water depending on our activities. One thing to remember is, if you feel thirsty your body (therefore your skin) is already getting dehydrated. Drink enough water throughout the day to keep yourself from getting thirsty. The pre-wedding celebrations may include temptations of champagne and wine, among other treats. Be careful there. If you do over-indulge, water may become your best friend. It doesn’t seem to make sense, but drinking water will help bring down the puffiness and bloating. You will look and feel better.  

 3) Get Enough Sleep 
When: Start right away 
Special Attention: Week of wedding 

Chances are you’re still young enough to pull an occasional (more or less) all-nighter, whether for study, work, or play. But not getting enough sleep will catch up with you, and it will show on your skin, especially around your eyes. Your skin needs rest; If you want it to look dreamy, go to sleep. Getting into a good sleeping and waking routine will be helpful during the busy week of the wedding. If you’ve made it a habit, you’ll be less likely to be disrupted by the pre-wedding excitement of things like relatives coming to town, the bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner, and seeing to last minute details.  Learn to sleep on your back to avoid wrinkles and eye-puffiness that come from smushing your face into the pillow. You’ll have the added benefit of not rubbing any skin care night treatments off onto your pillow case. 

 4) Get Enough Exercise 
 When: If you don’t, get started right away 
Special attention: Week of wedding 

If you don’t already have a regular exercise routine, get something started. It takes as little as 15 minutes of walking twice a day to benefit from exercise, and your complexion will look better almost immediately from the increased circulation and metabolism boost.  But if you never miss a gym day, during the week before your wedding you may want to consider not pushing yourself very hard. “Read” your body’s signals, including skin health, carefully, and maybe go for a relaxing walk instead of a run.  

 5) Upgrade Your Skin Care Routine
When: 4 to 6 weeks after you’ve started your healthy eating, watering, sleeping, and exercising habits 
Special Attention: 2 weeks before the wedding

How many of us live with drawers, cases, and cabinet shelves crammed with jars, bottles, and tubes, each with a dab or so left of crème or lotion or potion, but we don’t use it up because we’ve moved on to a different product? Get rid of the old stuff. If it hasn’t gone rancid (smelly or separated), use that last bit of eye crème on your cuticles or elbows.  Get a professional facial at the day spa you plan to go to for the facial you’ll get two weeks before your wedding. 

By now, some of the benefits of the work you’ve been doing from the inside out should be showing up, and a spa professional can help you decide how best to cleanse and treat your skin. You should find out what works best on your skin - and if you have any lasting redness or allergies - before your wedding. And just as you’ll want to make sure your pre-wedding facial is scheduled at least 2 weeks before the wedding, to give your skin a chance to recover and be ready to glow, you’ll want to wait until your freshly polished face shows no inflammation before using any wrinkle or spot treatments. 

6) Find the Products that are Right for Your Skin 
When: 2 weeks after first facial 
Special attention: Day of wedding 

Figure out your skin and which products you need to get it to wonderful and maintain it there. Figure out what make-up look you want for your wedding, who is going to do your make-up, and give it a practice run, so there’s no worries over it on the big day. You’ll be ready with what you need. This is a great resource that shows you the ingredients to look for in skin care products, and ingredients to avoid if you have delicate skin. 

 7) Treat the Skin on Your Body Too 
When: about a week before the wedding 

Don’t forget a spa appointment to get your body exfoliated, treated to a body wrap, and hair removal. Again, you want this appointment close enough to the wedding day that the results will still be showing, yet long enough away that any tender areas will have healed. 

8) Manage Your Stress; Massage a deux? 
When: Learn stress management right away 

Massage about a week before the wedding Stress by itself not only can hurt your skin; it can cause you to lose focus and derail all the good habits you’ve put in place so you can have the beautiful skin you want. To learn to handle your stress there are lots of strategies from breathing exercises to snapping a rubber band.  Massage is a great way to release tension from the body, relax, and feel stress melt away. Don’t get too busy to spend a little down time with your groom-to-be. Maybe you can get a Couple’s massage, and de-stress together? 

 9) Bride’s Choice at the Spa - Finishing Details 
When: Day before the wedding 

So you’ve learned a few things about taking care of your skin, from the inside out and the outside in. If you’ve done the work, you’re ready to be the center of attention, all eyes on lovely you. You just need the finishing details. Maybe you feel your skin needs an hour in a wrap, or perhaps you would rather have a spray tan?  In some cultures, the bride and her female family members, the groom’s female family members, and female friends gather together for the night before the wedding. They celebrate with food, give the bride gifts, and paint her hands and, sometimes, feet, with pretty designs in henna. It sounds like something in-between an old-fashioned bridal shower and a modern-day bachelorette party, but with non-permanent tattoos.  Whether you get spray tanned for a garden wedding in the afternoon, or hennaed for a moonlit evening ceremony, your skin will be lovely. 

10) Get Your Make-Up Done 
When: Day of the wedding 

 You’ve chosen your products and given it a trial run. This should be a breeze! Smile and enjoy your wedding day! 

About the Author Jemma Stergiou is Owner and Director of Keturah Day Spa Group, a leading provider of massage, facials and spa treatments in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Jemma on Google+