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There is never a bad time to take care of your skin, but in preparing for your wedding, you’ve probably taken your skincare routine into overdrive. However, in the pursuit of healthy, glowing skin for your wedding day, there’s a risk of going overboard with product, or taking last-minute drastic action. The best pre-wedding skincare is going to be a routine you start a few months out from the wedding, ideally with the helpful hands of a facialist guiding you, but even if you’re going it alone, you’re in the right place for advice.

the importance of healthy skin under wedding day make-up

Wedding day make-up differs to that of most-people’s everyday. To be able to withstand hours and hours, often in the hot sun, hugging, kissing and dancing, and to be able to look flawless even in flash-photography, you are likely to wear more make up than ever before. Here’s what every wedding make-up artist wishes you knew…

the ultimate goal of pre-bridal skin care is to get your makeup artist to feel like you need no foundation on your wedding day.

Moisturiser, primer, foundation, contour, blush, setting powder/spray and more, though, when your make-up artist has the additional challenge of covering dry or very blemished skin, it can look a bit ‘cakey’, or not wear as well throughout the day. The truth is that even the best artists will have a more difficult time turning dry or blemished skin flawless. To achieve the best wedding day make-up finish, work on your skincare routine well in advance

when to start your pre-wedding skincare routine?

Of course I’m going to say as early as possible, but with at least 3-4 months pre-wedding, you have a good amount of time to see a facialist a couple of times (if possible) and/or at least invest in some really excellent skincare – and be diligent about applying it.

I have been an ambassador for Dermalogica since before my wedding in 2015, and I always, absolutely notice the difference in my skin feel, texture and pigmentation when I am using it religiously. You can use ‘MEG10’ to save on your own skincare investment, but let me first help you choose what to use.

If possible, the best thing you can do for your skin is see a professional. I love that Dermalogica offer a 10 minute ‘face mapping’ service They can measure the moisture levels in your skin to see if your skin is dry and/or dehydrated, prescribe a skincare routine to suit, and touch base with you a couple of weeks before the wedding. Whatever you do, do not do anything new to your skin in the last month before your wedding – you never really know how it’s going to react.

good skin starts from within

I know you’ve heard this before, but now’s the time to drink even more water (and less alcohol) than usual. Staying hydrated is a non-negotiable for healthy skin. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so as soon as your body is thirsty, your skin shows it. While water fills your body with what it needs to create healthy skin, too much alcohol dehydrates your entire body. When you are drinking alcohol, it’s even more important to consumer plenty of water, and try not to be tempted by salty foods which also dehydrate. You are what you eat too – quite literally: your skin cells (and every other cell) is made up of what you put into your body, so with every nourishing meal you know you’re doing your skin (and hair) a favour. Pay special attention to what foods or habits get your skin to look better and which ones trigger skin trouble. 

If only it was as easy to do as say, but getting your beauty sleep is an absolute must.  I make sure my bed is a place I feel calm and relaxed, with comfortable linen I want to slide into, a couple of books to look through if I can’t sleep, and a bedroom that smells divine (thank you Glasshouse candles!)

As much as you possibly can, it’s also important to manage stress, especially if you have any eczema or psoriasis. Inflammatory conditions may be at least partially caused by stress, and as stress weakens the immune system, it also disrupts your skin’s natural turnover and collagen production, necessary for your ‘glow.

exfoliate and brighen

Exfoliation encourages natural skin cell turnover and collagen production, leading to bright, glowing skin. Start by exfoliating once a week, working up to 2-3 times per week. This will clear away dead skin cells which can give your skin a sallow, dull appearance. Exfoliation with the right products can really improve the skin’s texture and quality which in turn helps makeup to go on better and last better. I personally like an exfoliating mask (two birds with one stone) but a new planet-friendly lightweight option is the powder daily microfoliant for which you can buy refills! Their words:

Achieve brighter, smoother skin every day with this iconic exfoliating powder. Rice-based powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain,Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to polish skin to perfection. 

You can also use a product like Skin Sonic at home to exfoliate with your everyday cleanser.

is retinol skincare for you?

I’ve long been a fan of using retinol. Derived from vitamin A, retinol increases skin cell turnover, boosts collagen, and helps with hyperpigmentation. The prescription version, aka retinoid, is even more powerful Retinol has been conclusively shown to help repair aged skin, and is the most sought after ingredient in the anti-aging skin treatments.  However, it’s also quite strong, and can be irritating to skin as a first-time user, and especially when it comes to your delicate facial skin, you need to be careful, starting at least a few months out to see if you have a reaction. Dermalogica have a customisable retinol solution with both a repair (retinol) product and a buffer (dilution) cream, so that you can combine the two at a ratio that suits your individual skin (starting with 1/4 serum to 3/4 cream, for example). It’s a bit of an investment, but you can use MEG10 to save sitewide.

massage your moisturiser in

Moisturiser and targeted serums are key to staying hydrated, but incorporating a 1-2 minute massage twice a day as you use them will also improve blood circulation, and skin-cell turnover, as well as making your skin feel great and giving you an instant glow. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of facial massage videos on youtube, or try a Gua sha stone and massage.

I love using Phyto Replenish Oil and Skin Smoothing Cream. See the benefits of facial massage.

treat spots

If you’re unlucky enough to get a spot a few days out from your wedding, avoid the temptation to deal with it yourself. See your regular facialist or a targeted product such as breakout clearing booster with fast-acting Salicylic Acid, or newcomer product sweet spots hydrocolloid patches. If you know you’re prone to getting acne breakouts, dermalogica do an adult acne range which includes a fantastic retinol clearing oil, so I would recommend using that regularly.

make up free days

If possible, and if you feel comfortable, it’s great for your skin to have make-up free days. Wear moisturiser and sunscreen, but leaving your skin clear ensures your pores can breathe and heal if necessary. Often a barrier of makeup increases oil production, so not wearing makeup can decrease oiliness, clogged pores and pimples.

de-stress, don’t panic

If you are having skin issues close to your wedding day, you may be feeling panicked about how your skin will look. To help put your mind at ease, consider getting in touch with your make-up artist and booking in a trial a few weeks out so that you can see exactly how your make-up will sit and look on the day. Hopefully this will help you relax – the last thing you want is to be losing sleep over your skin. xx