“She just glowed!”—what bride wouldn’t like to be remembered that way? Along with pure excitement, of course, radiant skin will help you achieve that luminous look. Michelle Northup, an esthetician at Urban Nirvana, offers expert advice on how to ensure beautiful, healthy skin on the big day.
The skinny on skin care:
Think about revitalizing your skin-care regimen six months to a year before the wedding. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day, and exfoliate one to three times a week as dead skin cells can leave your face looking grey and sallow—as well as clog pores. • A monthly facial should start three to six months before the wedding for normal skin; six to 12 months for problem skin. Never get a facial two weeks before the event—you don’t know what it’ll draw out. • Diet is paramount! Increase your intake of water to help flush toxins and cut back on caffeine, which dehydrates skin. • A bride’s back is often neglected, yet it’s at the center of the ceremony for all to see. Treat yourself to a back facial or use a loofah on your skin. • See a dermatologist one year in advance to remedy acne, rosacea, or problems that require professional treatment. • Never try anything new on your skin right before the wedding; you can’t be sure how it’ll react.
If you want a little color on your cheeks, arms, and back, there are several healthy ways to attain a tan.
Tools of the Trade
- Sunless tanning lotions have come a long way since the streaky orange days of old. Cruise the drugstore to find a formula that works best for your skin—and always test self-tanners at least three months before the wedding to ensure the color looks natural on you.
- If you don’t trust yourself to get it right, many salons offer “buff and bronze” treatments; a professional will exfoliate and then apply self-tanner to your skin.
- Airbrush tans look wonderfully natural and last for around a week. Find a salon that offers spray-tanning, or try one of the new goof-proof booths—all you have to do is stand there!
- Tanning beds will forever be a no-no—ditto for baking outside slathered in oil.
- YonKa’s Gel Nettoyant is a cleanser and make-up remover for oily/combination skin, $30.
- Exfoliating bath cloth, $2.50.
- Using Phytomer’s Rosée Visage will bring the pH balance back to your face, $25.
- Cetaphil’s moisturizing lotion binds moisture to your skin, $9.
- Phyto Corrective Gel by Skin Ceuticals helps calm your complexion, $45.
- Daily Sun Defense made by Skin Ceuticals protects without clogging pores, $28.
- Exfoliate with this purifying clay mask from L’Athene, $55.
- Cetaphil gentle skin soap bar, $9.
- Massaging body sponge, $4.
- Gel eye mask, $2.
- Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense sunblock, $10.