How to sort out spots before your wedding day

08 Feb 2022

Ensure calm and clear skin on your wedding day with this expert advice for banishing break-outs 

Image: Curology via Unsplash

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It can be one of a bride-to-be's worst fears; having a break-out just before or on the day of the wedding. Break-outs can knock confidence and, on a day when you want to feel your best, leave you feeling distracted and miserable. 

While prescribed medications can be sought, it is a harsh fact of life that hormonal fluctuations can take hold when we least expect them. However, if you are prone to acne or annoying flare-ups, there are some steps you can take to prep your skin in advance and pave the way for a more honed and hygienic skincare routine.

Ensure you radiate nothing but happiness on your big day with this invaluable advice from the experts. 

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Above: Joeyy Lee via Unsplash

Don't squeeze and consider your treatments 

First and foremost, spots should never be squeezed, picked at or disrupted in any way as this can lead to scarring. 

Spot treatment Acnecide recently joined up with consultant dermatologist Dr Catherine Borysiewicz from The Cadogan Clinic in London, who says: “There are many ‘remedies’ that are best avoided. Applying toothpaste to a spot has no real evidence. Although some toothpaste ingredients have a possible antiseptic effect, the other ingredients are likely to further irritate the skin.

"It is better to use skincare products that have been specifically developed for use in acne-prone skin with proven efficacy.”

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Above: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

Don't overload your skin and think about ingredients

Be conscious of overloading your skin with products. Cleansing your face twice a day is sufficient and dermatologists advise to avoid harsh products that strip the skin of its natural oils and upset its microbiome. 

Catherine says: “If you have dry, sensitive skin use a lotion or cream cleanser. Whereas, if your skin is oilier, you may prefer a foaming cleanser. Active ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide or AHA/BHA, can be found in cleansers to enhance their effect on acne-prone skin. Reducing the number of products you apply to your skin by using multi-tasking products can have dramatic results."

"Avoid oil-based, skin-clogging products and always remember to remove your make-up every day."

Tea tree oil is generally considered a good spot-fighting treatment, but there is a new natural saviour coming to the fore. Rosemary is currently growing in popularity among acne sufferers. In January 2022, Google searches for 'rosemary' in beauty products soared by 300%.

While rosemary leaf extract is a potent antioxidant, protecting the skin, reinforcing blood capillaries and tightening loose skin, rosemarinic acid – the main componenet in rosemary leaf extract, serves to calm skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Its anti-inflammatory properties are key to this purpose, reducing swelling and puffiness, and helping to heal burns and soothe the skin. 

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Above: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

Go waterless 

In a similar vein, going waterless with your beauty regime may be the answer to all your skin woes. 

Waterless beauty products were a breakthrough beauty trend of 2021 and are set to soar in popularity in 2022. Soaps, cleansers and emulsifiers found in many beauty products, compounded by the effects of heating, air conditioning and the weather, can disrupt the natural composition of the skin and cause the protective barrier to break down over time. This can lead to break-outs, skin damage and premature ageing. 

Water-based moisturisers have a tendency to sit on the skin's surface and while they are partly absorbed into the skin's protective barrier, the moisture can quickly evaporate. Waterless products, such as Lyonsleaf, use concentrated plant-based oils and operate on the notion of repairing and maintaining the outer skin barrier to seal in the moisture more effectively. Allowing the skin to self-regulate, they work to avoid clogging the pores and let the skin breathe as it should.

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Vicky Lyons, founder of Lyonsleaf, says: "At Lyonsleaf we first decided to be water-free because it allowed us to be 100% natural and avoid emulsifiers and harsh anti-microbial preservatives like parabens, because we know they often irritate sensitive skin and the long-term effects are really not understood.

"From a bride's point of view, of course you want to look your best on the big day and using a water-free primer will physically seal in moisture much longer than a water-based product, plumping the skin to reduce the appearance of any fine lines and keeping it hydrated and glowing all day long."

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Above: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

Face the facts

While face masks have become part of our everyday lives, they have also spurred skin problems such as 'maskne' – causing further skin irritation and spot-prone skin to break out. 

Catherine says: “Before you wear your face mask, cleanse the skin with a wash containing benzoyl peroxide or a BHA such as salicylic acid. Do not overload the skin with moisturisers or make-up products and apply a clean, washed or disposable mask. After removing in the evening, cleanse your face and apply a localised spot treatment to any break-outs.”

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Above: Junior Reis via Unsplash

Check your products and clean your make-up brushes

Oxbridge, a distance learning college, has revealed that 1 in every four of us continues to wear expired make-up, and 1 in 2 women do not wash their make-up brushes. 

Georgia Oxley, a make-up artist based in Sheffield, says: "Make-up products going out of date is something most people are unaware of. Each product has a certain month life span from the minute they are opened and there is a reason for that.

"Using products after their expiry date can lead to break-outs, skin reactions and premature ageing due to the change in the original product after being exposed to bacteria. Using expired products is just as bad as using dirty make-up brushes and not cleaning them as regularly as possible."

Simply look for the expiry icon on the back of your products, which indicates '6M', '12M', '18M' or longer expiration dates once opened. 

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Above: Jakob Owens via Unsplash

Georgia adds: "Make-up brushes again collect bacteria both off your skin, the air and where you store them. They can also carry the expired make-up you may not be aware of. Dirty make-up brushes can lead to all sorts of skin conditions, including ones like dermatitis and herpes simplex. 

"If you invest in your skincare routine and you don't clean your brushes, you are then undoing all of your skincare efforts. Moral of the story, throw away expired make-up and clean your brushes regularly."

Make-up brushes can be cleaned using a mild soap and warm water, or a brush cleanser that has been specifically formulated for this purpose such as Mac's Brush Cleanser, £12. 

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Above: Leonardo Miranda via Unsplash

Sleep well

Finally, it's so important that you get plenty of sleep in the run up to your wedding day. Your energy levels will likely be at an all-time low as the pressure to organise the biggest day of your life takes its toll. Sleep is vital for skin cell regeneration and reparation, as well as restoring energy levels, yet according to the NHS as many as one in three of us have poor sleeping habits. 

Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of natural beauty brand Green People, advises how poor sleep can impact our skin: “Research has proven that good sleepers have lower intrinsic skin ageing and their skin barrier recover 30% faster than poor sleepers. Poor sleepers also suffer from high levels of trans-epidermal water loss which can lead to dry skin. Preparing your skin for sleep is really important, to ensure it works hard at night to remove toxins and restore a healthy complexion."

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