How to get wedding-ready skin

20 Mar 2018

Ensure a gorgeous and healthy wedding glow by following this skincare ritual in the lead up to your big day

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When planning for a wedding you will be under a huge amount of stress as deadlines loom and the big day gets closer. While this can put a strain on your mood and you may notice a change in your behaviour, this pressure can also take its toll on your skin without you realising it.

That's why it's imperative that you get into a habit of nourishing and caring for your skin to ensure you look your best on the biggest day of your life. The earlier you start your regime the better the results, with clear and luminous skin being your ultimate goal. Here are the key steps to take to give your skin the overhaul it deserves.

Eat (and drink) yourself pretty

Working from the inside out, your diet is a constant reminder that what you put into your body will impact on your outward appearance. As such, a diet rich in vitamins and minerals will keep your skin in tip top condition. Omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in herring, salmon and mackerel are necessary for plump and supple skin. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli promote your iron intake, and sweet potatoes, tomatoes and walnuts also have essential benefits. Green tea also boasts detoxifying properties with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as being known as a metabolic booster - perfect if you're trying to lose a few pounds too. 

And that's not to say you can't have a little treat now and again; dark chocolate with a high cocoa bean content contains vital antioxidants and red wine has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing... when consumed in moderation, of course. 

Hydrate

Ensure skin retains its pH balance by maintaining hydration levels throughout the wedding planning process. The National Health Service (NHS) advises that, in climates such as the UK, we should be drinking around 1-2 litres of water a day. 

Mr Paul Banwell, plastic surgeon and skin specialist from the Banwell Clinic, says: "Everyone talks about drinking plenty of water but this cannot be overemphasised. Poorly hydrated skin will look sallow and dull and even make-up cannot necessarily improve your complexion for those all-important photographs. Water is liquid gold. Try a molecular water spritz too; they are charged with anti-evaporation molecules, which stick to our skin cells and create added moisture, keeping skin fresh and dewy."

"For an additional hydration boost, I'd suggest using an ingestible collagen drink, like Skinade," continues Paul. "Products like this contain hydrolysed marine collagen, which is able to naturally boost the body’s production of collagen directly in the bloodstream. As collagen production decreases, so does our skin’s ability to retain moisture. When you add environmental aggressors which cause dull, rough, dry skin, an extra dose of collagen is vital to help maintain a healthy collagen matrix and improve hydration in your skin."

Get into a habit of drinking water now and you should easily maintain this routine after the big day too. Why not buy a beautiful bottle to help you remember to meet the daily requirement, such as this Etsy personalised bottle for brides-to-be

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Exfoliate

This extends to the body as as well as the face. By scrubbing with an exfoliant on a weekly basis, your skin will feel smoother and look clearer as a result by removing dead skin in an instant. Body exfoliants are typically much more abrasive than facial exfoliants, so always buy separate products designed for each purpose. Brush your skin with a body brush to begin then use exfoliating gloves for full-body exfoliation or dampened hands for the face to apply the exfoliant. Spread in circular motions across the skin, paying particular attention to knees, elbows and heels where the skin is thicker. You can also treat your feet to a foot mask, £9.99 from Superdrug, after each exfoliation. 

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Treat

From signature spa sessions tailored precisely to your skin-type to DIY treatments applied at home, regular facials are both a luxury and necessity in the run up to your wedding day. Feed the skin with natural ingredients that won't trigger sensitivity or cause irritation; stick with brands and products you know and have used before. Consult with your beauty therapist before choosing your facial and determine the right procedure and ingredients for you. If you're looking to save some pennies, take a look at these at-home face masks from Seoulista Beauty inspired by the K-Beauty trend sweeping the globe or try a DIY recipe using contents from your kitchen cupboard. 

Cleanse, tone, moisturise

It's the age old ritual that has been passed through the generations simply because of its effectiveness, also reminding you to remove your make-up before bed. By cleansing, toning and moisturising every evening you'll be ridding your skin of all the chemical nasties and environmental agressors accrued during the day, refreshing the skin and leaving it to revitalise throughout the night. Pay attention to your Y-zone (lower face, neck, and décolletage) as well as your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin and mouth area) when applying each product. Moisturise your whole body regularly too.

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Don't forget your lips

Your lips are also in need of some TLC every now and again, so how about trying a lip scrub on a weekly basis to remove dead skin cells? Mix a tablespoon of brown sugar with a squirt of honey and drop of vanilla to form a paste then massage into the lips before rinsing off. Apply a non-petroleum based lip balm afterwards and keep your lips soft, smooth and perfectly kissable. 

Protect

When out and about always remember to wear SPF. Many foundations now carry SPF, but sometimes they aren't a high enough factor or are spread too thinly to properly protect your skin. As well as applying a sunscreen to other exposed areas of your body, also buy a facial sunscreen which is usually a lighter and less oily formula specifically designed for the face. Reapply regularly and don't forget commonly forgotten areas such as the ears, lips and back of the neck. Check UVA and UVB ratings before you buy. 

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Take time out

The stress of planning a wedding can cause breakouts when you least expect them, so take time to relax and rejuvenate by booking a spa day, taking a long walk or going out for dinner. Even better, if you practise meditation or have always been interested in finding out more, now is the perfect time to do it. Switch off your mobile phone during these times and reconnect with the world in person, giving your body (and mind) a well-deserved rest.