It’s magic. You have met your Prince Charming and you are now about to enter a new phase of your life. Your family, friends and photos will bear testimony to the fact that you did so confidently, being your radiant best.

OK, so that takes a bit of work. Not too much, but yes, a bit. Here are nine ways to show your skin some special love.

  1. Remember that stress messes

Planning a wedding can be stressful. And so can preparing for your life ahead.

Stress releases hormones that stimulate the production of sebum – the oily substance which, in excess, can combine with dust particles or natural skin debris, and form a follicular plug that blocks the pore. This increases the chances of infection and aggravates the formation of acne. That’s what those pre-wedding breakouts are all about.

Now you can’t change the way your skin works, but you can certainly manage the triggers. Find ways to de-stress. Refrain from hitting the panic button, or your skin will do the same. Make time to pursue your hobbies, take long walks, and find more reasons to smile. (You don’t want to lose to the bridal blues!)

  1. Get those eight hours and forty winks

(Don’t burn your candle at both ends)

Wedding celebrations could start days ahead of the event – parties, dinners and late nights- making your nights shorter. Preparations, invitations and trousseau shopping could fill your already long days with hectic activity.

Lack of sleep, fatigue and tiredness could make those dreaded dark rings circle your eyes.

Ensure that you get the rest your body requires. Aim to get eight hours of undisturbed sleep at night. And grab those much invigorating forty winks when your energy levels feel down. These short, daytime naps have been proven to be highly beneficial.

  1. Drive out those digital distractions

(Don’t dial up skin damage)

Granted that there are a lot of sweet-nothings to be exchanged with the groom. And that there are friends to be spoken to and wedding invitations to be extended. Granted, also, that this makes your phone a permanent feature of your hand. But could this cause any harm? Probably yes. And for a variety of reasons.

Phones, due to the constant handling, are a hotbed for bacteria. Researchers have pegged the bacterial count at 25,000 germs per square inch – much more than the bacteria found on a toilet seat! These bacteria could make you ill. That’s clearly something you want to avoid. Ever wondered how your phone could cause acne, eruptions or spots on the facial skin? Here’s how it goes. Everything you touch, touches your face. Germs hop aboard your hands and then on to the large, generous area of your phone screen. From there, it’s a short step to your face. And that’s not all. As your phone heats up, it creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive and multiply. The heat from your phone also causes hyper pigmentation. While this is a long-term development, a few weeks may be enough to start creating uneven skin tone.

So, please keep your handset away from your face by using earphones. And keep the germ count down by wiping down your handset with antibacterial wipes. Wipe down those tablets and computer keyboards as well. And always keep hand sanitizers handy.

Now on to lines and creases. Yes, in the tender twenties too! Why? Because the skin around your neck is very thin and sensitive as compared to the rest of your body. The collagen layer is fine and delicate. When you constantly peer down at your phone or tablet, it can cause the thin skin on your neck to develop deep lines. And don’t forget those fine creases around your eyes. They develop when you keep peering at screens all day. Now for those long, nightly chats. Studies show that the blue light from digital screens can disturb the production of melatonin (the sleep promoting hormone). Disrupted sleep patterns can only aggravate dark circles and creases around the eyes.

  1. Don’t let the sun eclipse your glow

While on the subject of pigmentation, we cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to protect your skin. Wedding preparations take a lot of doing. Fixing venues and Finalizing menus. Distributing invitations to family and friends. Rehearsals and trials. Direct and indirect exposure to sunlight.

Overexposure to sunlight causes sun damage which could cause dryness, sunburn, hyperpigmentation and premature aging of the skin.

To ensure that you preserve that glow, slather on the sunblock before stepping out and reapply every couple of hours. Also, use products meant for use post sun-exposure. Your skincare advisor will be able to recommend something which is ideal for your level of exposure.

  1. Scrub to shine

The outermost layer of skin is made up of dead skin cells which are patchy and dull. The self-renewal mechanism of the skin cells ensures that the dead skin is shed regularly and fresh radiant skin is exposed.

Dirt, debris and pollutants trapped below the dead skin cause blackheads, whiteheads and other blemishes. Exfoliation helps speed up the skin renewal process, keeping the skin looking more youthful.

Exfoliation can be done with chemical peels, laser treatments and microdermabrasion techniques, by a skincare expert. More superficial exfoliation by scrubbing with abrasive materials- like apricot, salt, sugar….and the list is endless- helps to physically scrape off the layer. With exfoliation the skin gets more receptive to creams, lotions and other skincare products- adding to its virtues.

  1. Beware the bloaters

Pre-wedding parties are a great time to let your hair down and connect with friends and family. Great food and even greater drinks. But beware of the sodium-heavy salty starters. Excess sodium causes water-retention, making the face puffy and the complexion dull. Reach out for the healthier options like vegetable sticks. And keep an eye open for the sodium in the dips as well.

Eat right. Brides are busy girls. Rushing around preparing for that big day. And meal times often whittle down to food grabbed while on the go. Often this is food laden with preservatives, lacking in nutrients or devoid of fiber. Just empty calories.

Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sugars. Milk, fruit and vegetables. Vitamins and anti-oxidants. You need them all. And in the right quantities.
Do consult a dietitian and chalk out a well-balanced diet. Ask about nutritional supplements that could give you that boost of health.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate

In all the excitement of the planning and preparations it is easy to forget to stay hydrated. Worse still- sugary sodas could edge out water.

Water helps the body and skin flush out toxins. It also helps plump up the skin-making it appear smooth, taut and radiant. So keep well hydrated.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Green tea, vegetables and fruits with a high water-content, and soups also hydrate the body. Alcohol, on the other hand, dehydrates.

  1. Trust expertise over experimentation

In an effort to look ravishing on the big day, it can be tempting to experiment with the skin. Lotions, creams, make-up and skin treatments. But it could backfire. Some products could trigger undesirable effects on some skin- while bringing out the best in others. Consult a skincare expert and follow a regimen that has been tailored to your unique requirements.

  1. Tend to the light within

Now this one’s a true inside job. And you know who’s in charge? You. Spend quality time with the people you love. Bask in their positivity. And spread the joy. Don’t forget to keep aside some quality time with the most important person in your life- yourself. And then watch the glow radiate from deep within.

Do remember to stick to your skincare routines during your honeymoon as well. And above all- be happy and stay happy. Let the love light show!

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