"Good skin takes work," says Danielle Edwards, education manager at Dermalogica Canada. "You can't just start taking care of your skin the night before your wedding and have it looking fantastic on the wedding day – it's not going to work."
It takes a minimum of three months to get skin into tip-top shape, and Edwards suggests implementing skin care into your wedding planning to keep things on track: "Just like dress fittings, they need to include products and facials as part of their routine and budget for the big day."
Need help getting your skin ready for your wedding? Here are some easy tips to get you glowing.
Create a core skin-care routine
The key to beautiful skin is to follow these three easy steps: cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize.
"It all starts with cleansing, morning and night – and I emphasize the night," Edwards says. "Going to bed with your makeup on is just a sin, as far as professionals are concerned!" Cleansing skin removes dirt, oil and bacteria, which can help keep pores clear.
Once you have cleansed your face, it's time to exfoliate. Whether you exfoliate daily or weekly depends both on the product you're using and your skin type. If your skin gets irritated or feels raw, change to a gentler product or reduce the frequency you exfoliate. Regardless of how often you exfoliate, it’s a crucial step for beautiful skin: "You need to get rid of those dead skin cells," Edwards says.
The most important step is hydration. "Moisturizers get quite a bad rap, because a lot of them are too heavy for oily skin, but there are some great oil-free moisturizers out there," Edwards says. Every morning, use a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher – no excuses.
You might have to undergo some trial-and-error with your products, but once you find products that work for you, you’ll see a big difference in your skin.
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Getting professional help
Along with using a core skin-care regime, Edwards recommends getting professional facials once a month. "The beauty of a professional skin treatment is not just for the relaxation, but also so they can use more intensive, professional products, such as deeper forms of exfoliation, deeper masking," Edwards says. "They can also check your home skin-care routine and make sure that it's still doing what it's supposed to be doing. Skin changes so much, particularly for women with their hormones and in the Canadian climate."
"If you start [your routine] six months before the wedding, you're going to have great skin, because you're having facials regularly."
Treating problem spots
Whether it's unruly acne or unbecoming wrinkles, the important thing to remember when attempting to resolve your particular skin issue is to spot treat. "You want to have your core routine suited to your general skin type, your skin condition, and then specific products formulated to target the pimples, for example," Edwards says. If you only get wrinkles around your eyes, there's no point in putting wrinkle cream on your entire face.
Pre-wedding day dos and don’ts
For pre-wedding prep, Edwards recommends getting a facial two days before the big day and applying a facial mask the morning of, to add a healthy glow to your complexion. Be sure to mention you're getting married in a few days at your facial: "Most skin-care professionals tend to do things a little differently that day; we don't tend to do extractions, we just make sure the skin has a glow and add a lot of hydration to the skin," Edwards says.
The biggest pre-wedding no-no is trying any new products on your skin right before your wedding; many tales of wedding woe begin with "I tried a new product…."
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On the big day
It's not uncommon for brides to be up at the crack of dawn, whether from nerves or to get ready, or a combination of both. Edwards recommends applying a tried-and-true facial mask to boost hydration and help reduce puffiness in your skin first thing. If you have bags under your eyes, puffiness can be reduced by cold compresses or gently massaging the eye area to help drain excess fluid.
Should you wake up the morning of your wedding with the biggest zit known to humanity, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. Picking at a zit will only make the inflammation worse, making your pimple more obvious. A good makeup artist will be able to make short work of that zit, and if you've followed your skin-care routine faithfully, a pimple or bags from a sleepless night will be a snap for your makeup artist to hide.
Taking it all off
Chances are, on your wedding day, you will likely be wearing the most makeup you have ever worn. It will be applied, reapplied and touched up all day, making removing all traces of makeup an essential part of your wedding night.
Edwards recommends using a cleansing oil, such as Dermalogica Precleanse, to pre-wash your face before you use your regular cleanser. The cleansing oil works on the principle that oil attracts oil, meaning all the dirt and sebum is removed from your face prior to washing, making it easier for your cleanser to effectively clean your face. Be sure to use a makeup remover to gently remove mascara and eye shadow (don't tug on the skin), and don't be afraid to cleanse again if there are still traces of makeup left on your face. If you can't find a cleansing oil, just wash your face twice: once to remove makeup, and once to cleanse your skin.
Check out more great skin-care tips here.
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