On top of typical wedding day prep, such as booking a venue and
hunting for the perfect dress, building up a good skin care regimen is vital to achieving that glowing bride beauty look on your big day—and of course, masking the stress it took to get there. Like every aspect of wedding planning, “People can’t just start 48 hours before and hope for the best,” says Penny Kendall-Reed, a Toronto-based naturopathic doctor. “That’s where makeup comes in!” We asked Kendall-Reed for her must-try skin care steps to get a healthy, youthful complexion that naturally glows in the wedding spotlight.
Wedding day skin care prep step #1: Take skin-hydrating and firming supplements.
When to start: T-Minus six weeks.
“Whenever you’re doing anything with the skin internally, in terms of food or supplements, you’re looking at three weeks because our skin turns over from the bottom layer to the top and takes three weeks to do that,” says Kendall-Reed. She suggests taking hyaluronic acid topically or ingested in pill form to build up firm, youthful-looking skin before your big day. “Take them for wrinkle prevention as they decrease inflammation—inflammation breaks down collagen and causes wrinkles,” says Kendall-Reed. “Think of it as your internal, natural botox.” She also suggests taking Omega 3 fish oils to prevent dehydrated and inflamed skin, which creates a photo-unfriendly rough and dry surface.
Wedding day skin care prep tip #2: Keep away from the rays.
When to start: T-Minus four weeks.
“First of all, for at least 4 weeks prior to your wedding, dress appropriately!” says Kendall-Reed. She suggests sporting a baseball cap, long-sleeved, breathable tops—especially those that provide UV protection— and sunglasses. Use a good quality sunscreen that limits the absorption of both UVA and UVB and reapply liberally throughout the day in the sun. If you want a sun-kissed glow, go for a self-tanner or tinted moisturizer instead, she says.
Read on for more wedding day skin care prep tips…
Wedding day skin prep tip #3: Switch up your diet.
When to start: T-Minus three weeks.
bridal-ready skin, it all comes down to what you eat before. To ensure skin reflects a healthy glow, Kendall-Reed suggests cutting out inflammatory foods: both the histamine-producing kind (strawberries, peanuts, spicy foods) and anything that increases prostaglandins— another type of inflammation, seen in deadly night shades foods like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers (green and red and yellow) and eggplant. “Outside of that, if you are sensitive to dairy or wheat, or any food makes you bloat, then avoid it,” she adds. “Bloating is usually a direct inflammation in the bowel, which will also inflame the skin.”
Up to 48 hours before your wedding day, eliminate all forms of sugar and salt. “Skin cells try to cool themselves down by holding on to extra fluid whenever they’re hot or inflamed, so you’ll look bloated— one more thing you don’t want,” she adds.
Your best dietary bet? “Lean proteins, like whey protein powders or egg whites, Greek yogurt (if not dairy sensitive) fish, chicken and turkey—keeping red meat to a limit of once a week,” she says. “Fish is the best one here, as it also has the Omega 3 fats—as do walnuts.”
Wedding day skin prep tip #4: Naturally ready skin for bridal makeup.
When to start: T-Minus one week.
“I would never use a new product the week of your wedding—always test it prior,” says Kendall-Reed. If possible, she suggests avoiding the use of sunscreen on the day-of as it creates a shine that’s reflected in wedding photos. To avoid having to reapply mattifying makeup throughout the day, use a silicone-based primer instead to hide wrinkles and matte skin, such as Yves Saint Matt Touch or M.A.C. Prep Prime Skin. “Then your makeup artist really takes over from here.” To even out skin tone and create a glowing base, Kendall-Reed suggests using Radiance SkinResponse serum (approx. $62) from her European skin care line, Age Aware Skin Care, available at
Wedding day skin prep tip #5: Stay naturally glowing and bloat-free all day.
When to start: T-Minus several hours.
Those late nights of preparation in the final days before your wedding can wreak havoc on your complexion— the last thing you want is
tired-looking skin when all eyes are on you. If you wake up with sleepy, swollen eyes on your wedding day, use a cool compress under the eye to decrease inflammation. “You can also use a tea bag—that has been activated by heating in hot water— then let cool and apply to the eye,” says Kendall-Reed. To keep a fresh look throughout the day, top up each hour with a glass of water—two if the occasion calls for a caffeinated or alcoholic drink.
To avoid a bloated belly, steer clear from cruciferous foods like broccoli and lentils and opt for fish and salad instead. Kendall-Reed suggests having a protein shake or meal replacement, since they’re pre-digested, which means your body doesn’t have to do any work to break them down so you wont bloat with them. A good rule of thumb, beauty-wise and in all other facets? “Never try anything for the first time on the day of your wedding,” says Kendall-Reed. Some surprises are best left for your new life together.
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