There may be things you can’t control on your big day, but getting blemish-free skin can be achieved. You don’t need to do a total lifestyle overhaul – a few small changes can make all the difference.
Turn your plate into a colour palette and make sure you get as many antioxidants as possible. The stuff that gives vegetables and fruits their rich colours are called bioactive compounds, which contain a bunch of goodness proven to keep you living longer with vitality. Think red, orange, blue and purple – the brighter the kaleidoscope on your plate, the brighter your complexion! It is also recommended that you have five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Fruits contain more carbohydrates than vegetables, so stick to no more than three pieces of fruit per day. Vegetables, on the other hand, are rich in nutrients, yet low in kilojoules, making them figure-friendly. Other skin-friendly foods are those containing healthy fats and vitamin E, such as seeds, nuts, avocados and omega-3 – rich fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines. Drinking lost of water will also help flush toxins from your body and give you a cleaner complexion – make sure you drink between six and eight glasses a day. For the ultimate glowing skin, stay away from alcohol, refined sugar, pre-packed foods and fizzy beverages.
Planning a wedding is stressful – and even if everything seems like it’s going well, a few days before the wedding will be panic stations, no matter what. Stress will induce an increase in adrenalin and cortisol, as well as alter the local systemic immune system. This, in turn, will reduce the defense mechanisms of the skin and will create changes in the surface pH, as well as in the consistency and quality of sebum that is produced by the sebaceous glands. This sequence of events will cause the sebum to clog the pores and local inflammation and consequently infection will set in. “Stress can also change the levels of androgen hormones, which will aggravate this adverse chain of the events. Try to follow a good skincare regime, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and breath. Take a few de-stressing breathes and remember that everything will work out in the end.
Prevent breakouts by cleansing your kin properly every day and removing all traces of make-up, oil and products. “Choose a cleaner with the same pH as the skin (between 4.5 and 5.5). If you choose an alkaline cleanser you will change the pH of your skin’s natural protector, the acid mantle. The pH of bacteria is alkaline, so when you wash with an alkaline cleanser you create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in. You should also be cautions against using products that contain lanolin and mineral oil, as these cause more breakouts on an oily skin. Exfoliation is also key: by removing dead skin cells you allow fresh, healthy skin cells to come to the surface and this gives you a cleaner complexion; exfoliating around two to three times a week is recommended for the best results. If you have oily skin, invest in a clay-based mask to help remove excess oil and calm inflammation. Use a mask at least twice a week.
Make-up can hide a multitude of sins, but you don’t want to look like you’ve caked on layers of foundation to hide nasties. Make sure that alterations in your skincare and make-up routine are in place at least two months before your wedding. Reactions and breakouts can occur when you introduce new products and your skin may need time to adjust. Look for light, luminous and oil-free foundations and test products before you commit. Ask staff at the make-up counters to help you find the right formula, texture and colour for your skin.
Yikes! You have just woken up on your big day and you have a spot the size of your engagement ring! What’s a girl to do? “Ice it – literally for 20 seconds and not longer. Rubbing a piece of ice on the spot will reduce the inflammation”. If the blemish has a white head, carefully extract it. Some extractions can make this worse, so be extra cautious. It is also recommended to apply a topical anti-bacterial treatment to the spot, which kills unwanted bacteria, speeds up the healing process and reduces inflammation. Look for a product that unblocks, cleanses and tightens pores. It slows down sebum production, is anti-bacterial and dries out blemishes. It also accelerates the healing process.