External appearance gets a bad rep thanks to old school phrases like ‘Beauty Is Only Skin Deep’ and ‘Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover’. Obviously we don’t advocate making assumptions about anyone based on how they look or dress but there is definitely an upside to looking well groomed. And if the staggering several-million pound net worth of the beauty industry is anything to go by then it seems like almost everyone else also has the same idea. Also let’s face it, when you’re about to be introduced to a few hundred (or possibly few thousand) new individuals at one mega event, you’re going to take any necessary steps to look your absolute best.
If you’re about to be married then you’ve probably already read countless articles about that elusive bridal glow. In other words, that flawless lit-from-within complexion that comes from true love and inner peace. But if you wake up each morning and haul your tired ass out of bed to finish yet another day of endless to-do lists, your face might be telling an entirely different story. So much so that you’ve likely convinced yourself that the bridal glow is a fairytale just like Sleeping Beauty because only she could’ve got enough rest for that kind of skin.
However as you do the customary browsing through wedding magazines, Pinterest pages and celebrity social media feeds, you realise that some brides do indeed sparkle (literally and figuratively) on their wedding day. Sure, famous names might have access to exotic skin rejuvenating ingredients that cost more than your entire wedding budget. But if you’re willing to be disciplined and consistent then that elusive ethereal skin is totally achievable with products from regular corner shops as well.
Before you groan at the thought of adding yet another daily chore to the grind remind yourself that like the gym, a skincare routine is a habit with lifelong benefits. If you still simply cannot be bothered or find it impossible to find time to fit in a lengthy 10-step skincare routine everyday then we’ve boiled it down to the bare minimum. Our cheat version is guaranteed to take under 10 minutes each morning and evening while also giving you that gorgeous radiant skin for your big day.
Sounds simple enough but you would be surprised how many of us don’t do this step correctly. Cleansing the skin with the correct products primes it to be able absorb all the nutrients from other skincare like toners, serums and creams. Many people don’t understand the benefits of double cleansing but taking the extra effort will really ensure your skin is free from any nasty blemishes and spots during the wedding.
Double Cleansing Is Worth The Extra Time & Effort
Morning: Assuming you’ve slept in with products on your face overnight, your morning cleanse should be gentle so as not to strip the skin of natural oils but effective enough to get rid of product residue from the night. A light water based cleanser followed by a mild facewash should do the trick.
Evening: You could be a full-face of makeup gal or a basic tinted moisturizer and mascara lass. Either ways you’ve got to get that gunk off your face before you go in with anything else. Your evening cleanse is way more important than your morning one because leftover makeup is a major cause of skin problems like pimples, dryness and enlarged pores. Regardless of the quantity of makeup on your face, you need to cleanse with an oil-based or balm-based cleanser to dissolve everything. Follow this up with the same facewash from the morning or something a little more hardcore if you want a good scrub.
You can also add in an exfoliating step once or twice a week to really get rid of all the grime. Over the counter exfoliators with walnut or other kernels can cause more harm than good so avoid those at all costs. If you’re adventurous enough then experiment with very low percentage chemical peels but if that’s too scary for you then go in with mechanical brush exfoliators. Yes, this is a bit more time consuming but we promise it’s going to make your skin squeaky clean and luscious for the wedding.
If you’ve been under the impression that toner is nothing but water that will do nothing or worse, astringent that will dry out your face then you haven’t been introduced to new-age toners. Depending on your skin concerns there is a toner for everything from acne to dull skin to rosacea. It’s just about finding one that addresses you own specific issues. If you already have pretty healthy skin then depending on your skin type, a moisturizing or mattifying toner will really prep the skin for your intended final makeup finish.
Modern Toners Can Fix A Wide Range Of Issues
It’s easy to complicate things with different kinds of toners for the morning and evening. If you have the spare change then by all means pick from a variety of toners for different times but in the interest of keeping things easy and pocket-friendly, the same toner can work brilliantly for your morning and evening routines.
An often-ignored step especially with younger girls who seem to think they will never age. The skin around the eyes is especially delicate and also a dead giveaway for too many late nights, stress and horrid food habits. A good quality eye cream is a sure fire way to trick others into thinking you got your 8-hour beauty sleep and your recommended 5 daily fruit and veg servings.
An Eye Cream Can Be Your Secret Beauty Weapon
Just like toner things are less complex with eye cream so you can easily use the same one for morning and evening. If you’re prone to dryness under the eyes then opt for a most emollient formula for the night to keep the skin hydrated. You wouldn’t want your long-wear concealer to crinkle over the dry skin making it look like you have lines and wrinkles.
This step is likely to get very expensive because we’ve all fallen victim to clever marketing claims that promise movie-star skin in a jar. Again for the sake of sticking with the basics and keeping in mind that a busy bride-to-be is going to be pressed for time, we haven’t separated the serum and cream steps. Simply put serums are more potent active ingredients to address problem areas of skin whereas creams are less concentrated and more hydrating. If you’re in your early twenties and have flawless skin with no concerns then you don’t need any serums. But if you’re older or have certain issues you want to tackle before the wedding then this is the step to correct them.
Different Serums & Creams Can Work Wonders On The Skin
Morning: For those of you who don’t have any specific concerns, a quality day cream or moisturizer is all you need at this stage. Because the weather is likely to affect your skin you can switch between a water based cream during summer and an oil based cream in the winter.
If you’re looking to fix problems then this would be the step to use either an essential oil or serum with the associated active ingredients. Generally speaking serums containing Vitamin C, Azelaic Acid and Kojic Acid are fantastic to treat to fine lines, ageing, dullness, hyperpigmentation, freckles and sunspots. While serums containing Salicylic Acid, AHAs and BHAs are ideal for skin prone to blemishes and acne.
Evening: The evening routine of serums and creams can remain exactly the same as the morning one. However there are some ingredients like Retin-A and Retinol, which are extremely popular in anti-ageing serums that are better suited for the evening as they cause sun sensitivity. Any over the counter serums and creams will mention the ideal time of use on the packaging. Additionally you can also opt for more hydrating creams and serums at night so the skin can really soak them in while you sleep and be extra plump in the morning. A sleep mask is a great way to give the skin an added oomph especially if you’re getting pretty close to the big day.
We have made this a separate step because many people assume that using sunscreen is optional especially during colder months. However if you want to truly care for your skin and keep it looking tight and taunt for as long as possible then sunscreen is a must for every day in your morning routine. You can change the SPF depending on the season but ignoring this step is definitely detrimental to long-term skin health. It must also be noted that creams that include sunscreen do not provide adequate protection so you must top off with a product specially made for sun protection.
Sunscreen Is A Daily Necessity
Bear in mind that some sunscreens will cause flashback in your wedding photos so do some trials to find one that doesn’t create a white cast. For any events in the evening or night you can skip sunscreen altogether. But for anything in the day and/or outdoors, it’s best to either find one that doesn’t interfere with photos or to ask your makeup artist for recommendations.