WEDDING SPECIAL: THE ONLY SKIN CARE PLAN YOU NEED
Your wedding date is set. You just paid the deposit at the venue. What’s the next big thing on your wedding to-do list? No, it’s not the photographer or the makeup artist. It’s your skin care plan!
You should have a basic skin care routine in place as soon as the date is set, but for all practical purposes you should start taking serious care of your skin 3 to 6 months before your big day.
Unless you’re blessed with amazing skin genetically, you have to put in an effort to get flawless, radiant skin. And while all those lotions and facials help, there’s no substitute to a healthy glow that comes naturally when you’re taking care of your body & mind. Which is why I’m tackling the difficult, yet more effective ways to get better skin first –
Step 1: Drink 2 liters of water everyday
It helps flush out all the toxins from your body. How to keep a check on your water intake? Firstly, have a separate bottle just for yourself (you can even label it “Bride To Be”!) so you know when you’ve finished your quota of 2 litres. But if it’s not practical, then download an app on your smart phone that tracks your daily water intake. There are apps now that track your intake from a variety of sources – such as different sized bottles, cups and glasses! – so no more excuses. Just drink that water.
Step 2: Drink coconut water daily
You will literally glow from within. It’s a yummy way to get clear skin, and your body will thank you for the added health benefits. If you can’t buy 1 coconut everyday, you can buy them in bulk (no more than 2-3 though) in a single shopping trip. Avoid stocking up for the whole week because they go stale quickly. And consume it immediately after it’s been opened – coconut water tastes best when had fresh.
Step 3: Have multi-vitamins
Consult a doctor before you pop any pills, but having multi-vitamins in the months leading up to your wedding will provide a ton of health-boosting, and therefore skin-glowing benefits.
Step 4: Workout 3-4 times a week & eat right
There’s nothing revolutionary about this piece of advice. You know it all, you just have to do it. Exercising & steering clear of junk food flushes out the toxins from your body, which directly affects the health of your skin. A healthy body reflects on your face. There’s nothing more I need to say.
Step 5: Be happy
A fit body plus an unhappy mind do not equal to a beautiful face. Although exercising does affect your mood positively with all those happy hormones that are released during a workout, you have to make an effort to feel all sunshine-and-bright-blue-skies inside your head. This is especially important while you’re planning your wedding, because juggling the massive task of wedding preparation along with a full-time job might cause some serious stress. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to stay positive is to write down 5 things you’re grateful for every single morning. If you try this out, I guarantee (and I don’t use that word lightly) you’ll breeze through those months with a big smile on your face! Add a 5-minute meditation session to your morning routine, and you’ve achieved wedding planning nirvana!
Now for the easier bit. While taking care of your mind & body requires atleast half an hour of daily commitment, most of the steps below require a grand total of 5 minutes per day.
Step 1: Cleanse twice a day
I know some of us feel lazy at night, but you must wash your face at night before you hit the bed. And definitely take off your makeup! Sleeping with makeup on is one of the quickest ways to get a pimple on your face. Make sure your makeup remover is also completely rinsed off your face, because some of the removers tend to leave an oily residue on your skin that doesn’t come off even with a face wash. I use a cotton pad soaked in rose water to ensure my skin is squeaky clean after removing makeup.
Step 2: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
The #1 reason for a bride to moisturize twice daily is so that her makeup goes on smoother on D-day – it will not settle into fine lines, spread effortlessly and won’t flake. If you’re thinking this is all theory with no proof, I’ve personally tried & tested this, and it works! I have combination skin which led me to believe I shouldn’t moisturize because it makes the skin oilier. But once I started doing the morning-evening moisturizing routine regularly, the natural oil-secreting tendency of my skin actually reduced & makeup goes on so much more easily! The reason is – your skin produces oil to make up for the lack of moisture. Provide the skin what it needs, and your body will adapt and stop producing all that extra oil on your face. Try it for a month & you’ll see the difference.
Step 3: Apply sunscreen diligently
Whether you’re in your early 20s or late 30s, signs of sun damage can start showing up on your face any time. Yes, I’m talking about those brown spots & more subtle discolorations that pop up on your skin without warning, and don’t seem to be disappear no matter what you do. As a bride, you’ll of course have the whole pack of concealers ready to hide the spots, but isn’t it better to prevent them as much as possible? Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before you step out into the sun (an SPF of 30 to 50 is good enough), and re-apply every 2 hours if you’re outdoors for long.
Step 4: Indulge in weekly DIY treatments
Exfoliate and use a face pack at home, once a week. For girls with oily skin, a multani mitti face pack works great (try Himalaya Herbals) while for those suffering from dry skin, a honey-based pack provides a much needed moisture boost (try Forest Essentials).
Step 5: Visit a dermatologist
If you suffer from skin issues such as acne or discolouration, make sure you visit a dermatologist atleast 3 months before your wedding day. The treatments take time to show visible results, so start as early as you can. Do you need to visit a dermatologist even if you have no skin issues? I’d still say yes (go for just 1 or 2 appointments), because the doctor can guide you through what pre-bridal & general skin care steps you actually need to take – from peels to facials, you can customize it according to your skin type & needs. If you depend on the lady at the salon, she’ll probably sell you the entire 6 month pre-bridal package!
Step 6: Relax with a few facials
Does every bride need a facial? Probably not. But should every bride get a facial? Mostly, yes. Unless your dermatologist insists you don’t need one, you can indulge in a few. 2-3 facials before the wedding is usually good enough. Make sure you get your last one atleast 48 hours prior to your first wedding function, as you should steer clear of makeup immediately after a facial. And don’t try a facial for the first time in your life 1 month before your wedding! Please try it atleast 2-3 months in advance to see if it suits you.
Step 7: Don’t try anything new in the last 30 days
That expensive new moisturizer you just received as an early wedding present? Or that overnight treatment (“guarantees a beautiful bridal glow”) you read about in your favourite magazine 10 days before the wedding? Step away from the shiny new container. Now! Nothing new touches your skin in the last 1 month before your big day. No new treatments, facials – not even a new makeup remover or face wash! Stick to what has suited your skin in the past. Now is not the time to experiment.
Follow even 80% of the tips you’ve read here, and you’ll have your guests wondering the secret to your fantastic skin! Loving your body & taking care of your skin over the course of a few months will definitely make a huge difference, and it will show all over your face. And remember to add the perfect accessory to your bridal glow – a big, happy smile!