Written by Melissa Willis
So your big day is six months away, most of the really big items on the list are done and now its time to think about YOU! (You are a bride, isn’t it all about you anyway?) Your wedding day is your time to shine and you want to be at your very best. Wedding dress, hair, and makeup must be flawless but the skin under the flawless makeup has to be perfect as well. Here is your countdown for getting your skin in picture perfect shape before the big day:
Water: You either love it or you hate it but it’s hard to dispute its benefits. I have a friend who drank a gallon every day during his modeling career and he never had a single blemish, EVER. A gallon of water a day might be a bit hard to swallow especially when you add in all those trips to the ladies room, however, if you can drink 6-8 glasses a day, the difference will be clear. Water flushes out impurities in your entire body and it is one of your best defenses against skin imperfections that always pop up at the wrong time. Add a lemon slice to your water and you’ve got a natural diuretic, add an orange slice for taste, or add a cucumber slice for a spa experience. Dressed up or dressed down, water is a lifesaver. If you are the type who retains water, drink more to bust through that (trust me you’ll know when it happens). Six months out, step up your water intake and find the amount that is right for you.
Skin care: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, find a skin care routine that works for you and stick to it. Six months out is a good time to look into that. Make sure it is appropriate for your skin type and use it as instructed. Check your skin weekly to make sure you are getting the results you want. Find what works for you. If you like to keep it simple, find a cleanser and a moisturizer that works and use it faithfully. If you’re OK with 18 steps morning and night, go for it. Make sure that whatever it is, you can commit to it for best results. You are getting married; you totally get the commitment thing, right?
Wash your face before bed: We’ve all skipped it, some more than others, but six months out make the commitment to do this every night before your wedding no matter how hard it is. Nighttime is the time that your skin renews and repairs itself. Give your skin the tools to do that by starting with a clean face. They say that every night you fall asleep with your makeup on ages you by 13 days. I don’t know if that’s true, but who wants to take the chance?
Take care of the skin on your body: Five months out is a good time to step up your skin care for the rest of your body. Many brides are wearing strapless and backless gowns these days so it is important to make sure that the skin on your neck, chest, and back is looking awesome. Unfortunately, with our hot climate, heat rashes are common and sometimes breakouts on the back can be inconvenient and even painful. There are great body washes on the market that can help with that but you may need to seek the care of a dermatologist. Five months out gives you plenty of time to do that. Another great tip for body care is to exfoliate at least twice a week. Get a scrub with some grit to it and exfoliate your whole body. We all have dead skin cells that need to be removed and a good scrub or a loofah will do that. Isn’t it glamorous to talk about dead skin? Not really, it’s got to go!
Tan lines: Tanning isn’t good for the skin on the face or the body. Period. However, I am aware that many women are still tanning in the tanning bed or in the sun. Please be aware of your tan lines for your wedding. That bachelorette weekend was great but your tanned (or even burned) skin with a clear outline of your bikini straps will not do you any favors in your strapless or off-the-shoulder dress. Be careful out there.
Take care of your neck and chest: Sunscreen on the neck and chest is a must. You can lie about your age all day long but your neck and chest will tell the truth. A gorgeous dress loses a lot with a dry, wrinkled décolleté. Keep that area moisturized day and night (you’ll thank me later). Start being vigilant about that about three months out. It’s a habit that will really pay off.
Microdermabrasion: About two months out, have some microdermabrasion done or get a kit and do it yourself. I recommend two months out just in case your skin is slow to recover. Microdermabrasion is a heavy exfoliant that really gets into the pores to clean out any impurities. Another reason to do this 60 days out is just in case there is any kind of reaction; if there is, you’d have plenty of time to clear it up.
Stick to the routine: 30 days before the wedding is a busy time and a critical time for your skin. Stick to whatever routine you have developed that is working for you. This is not the time to try new things. If your skin doesn’t like something you try, you might not have time to really get it cleared up before the wedding. Also, the idea that chocolate makes you break out is a myth that was busted years ago, however, if you know of a food or even a beverage that makes you breakout, steer clear 30 days before the wedding. Why take chances if you don’t have to?
Alcohol: We do love to let the good times roll here in New Orleans but alcohol can really do a number on the skin. Alcohol is very dehydrating to the skin and that is not what you want just before your wedding. Have a glass of water between drinks or have your drinks watered down.
The big day is finally here: Get a good night’s sleep the night before your wedding. Try to relax as much as you can. Don’t forget to drink your water the day before and even while you are getting ready. Make sure to follow your skin care routine before your makeup goes on and don’t forget about moisturizing your neck and chest.
30 days before the wedding is a busy time and a critical time for your skin. Stick to whatever routine you have developed that is working for you.