With your big day just around the corner, you might be tempted to go on overdrive when it comes to your skincare routine. But before you start pushing the pedal on serums, saunas and squats, here's some advice from experts on how to roll out your beauty regimen for #happybride.
Keeping stress at bay
While planning a wedding can be joyful, it can also add a lot of stress to your life. In the run-up to her wedding, Raveena Taurani, Head Chef and Founder of Yogisattva Café, keeps reminding herself, “a wedding is just a part of your life, not your whole life.” The full-time entrepreneur has been juggling her wedding preparations while running her café. As for skincare, she is continuing the routine she has been following for years. This includes a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning, followed by exercise, meditation and journalling before breakfast. “Working towards your personal health shouldn't just be a wedding goal, but a lifelong goal,” says the bride-to-be.
“Unfortunately, it’s very common for the bride to deal with stress-induced acne and hair fall,” says Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, a Delhi-based dermatologist, and founder and MD of ISAAC Luxe. “It occurs due to the stress hormone (cortisol) being released which increases oil production in the body and leads to acne breakouts,” explains the expert. To prevent this, she suggests maintaining good hygiene by replacing your pillow case routinely, not over-exfoliating and picking your skin and regularly conducting routine blood analysis tests to check for hormonal dysregulation. To manage stress, Dr. Mittal Gupta recommends eating clean, meditating and making a conscious effort to be happy.
Eating healthy and staying hydrated
Taurani advises brides to steer clear of crash diets as these can disrupt hormones and affect overall health. “Avoid processed foods and sugars and eat real food,” says Taurani. “Don't underestimate your home food for all its nutritional benefits. Remember, before quinoa and avocado, your home-cooked dal, rice and sabji always worked for you.”
“Avoid simple carbs and include complex carbs in your diet, like whole grain wheat, ragi, oats, brown bread and brown pasta. Add salads, protein, and green vegetables to your plate,” says Dr. Mittal Gupta, explaining that lentils are an excellent source of proteins and minerals, with kidney beans, chickpeas and kala chana great on your plate.
The importance of plain and simple H2O cannot be emphasised enough. Dr. Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director, Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, says it’s important that brides-to-be stay well hydrated. “No matter what your skin type is—oily, dry, normal or a combo— it craves water. It’s no secret that drinking eight glasses of water a day is the simplest and cheapest way to keep your skin hydrated and looking fresh,” says Dr. Agarwal. Another easy tip is to snack on naturally hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumbers.
Aishwarya Sawarna Nir, founder of Global Beauty Secrets, recently got married. She recommends that brides also take supplements (after checking with their doctor) like biotin, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D. “The latter two especially if you’re a winter bride and not getting enough sun,” notes Sawarna Nir.
DIY skincare: aye or nay?
While Dr. Agarwal advocates holistic skincare, she is not a big fan of DIY with off-the-shelf ingredients. “Most of our kitchen ingredients are often adulterated with chemicals, colourants and metals to achieve an attractive quality. This can have disastrous effects when applied to the skin, which is most vulnerable closer to the wedding due to the high stress-induced cortisol levels,” she says, cautioning that sometimes home remedies can lead to serious adverse effects.
Dr. Mittal Gupta recommends sticking with tried-and-tested routines and working only with home remedies that suit you. “It is suggested that one should not indulge in any new skincare remedies and not experiment with your skin when the wedding is one month away!” says Dr. Mittal Gupta. But there are some homemade recipes one can opt for as a face mask to get lovely bright skin. The expert suggests using a facemask with equal amounts of sandalwood and honey; or a banana, honey and yoghurt mask ( ½ a banana, one tsp honey and one tbsp of yoghurt).
For brides who would like to enjoy DIY rituals, Sawarna Nir recommends doing a patch test on their skin first. “No two natural ingredients have the same chemical composition and together their formulation isn’t pH tested. So a patch test, especially with DIY formulations, is a must,” she says. Apart from using products from her own label, such as the Ghrit Aarti Skin Salve and the Chandani Avahana Ubtan, Sawarna Nir also included a few favourite DIY decoctions such as a gram flour, honey and yoghurt mask in her skin rituals.
Spotlight on skincare
If you want to opt for cosmetic treatments, Dr. Mittal Gupta recommends following cut-off dates. “Deep chemical peels, eyebrows or facelifts and scar reduction procedures should be planned between 9-12 months before the wedding. Moderate chemical peels and any injectable chemical procedures like Botox and laser hair removal should be planned six months before. And procedures like dermaplaning, laser skin resurfacing and micro-needling with PRP can be planned for the month before.” Just before the wedding, she recommends only simple facial treatments for a bridal glow. She also cautions against using active ingredients like azelaic acid, glycolic acid or retinol, within the run-up to the wedding, especially if you haven’t ever used them on your skin previously, without consulting a dermatologist, as they can cause redness and rash.
Age no bar
As love stories and marriages evolve, there has been an increasing number of mature brides with different skin concerns. Dr. Agarwal suggests addressing concerns around skin ageing by incorporating products with vitamin C, retinol, peptides and ceramides in your skincare regimen and using sunscreen regularly. “Newer technologies like hi-definition focused ultrasound and monopolar radio frequency to contour and define the jawline and reduce undereye bags can be done three months before the wedding for optimum results,” she says, while other popular options include Botox and dermal fillers. “But don’t forget the importance of diet and exercise in your lifestyle.”
Once the whirlwind celebrations come to a stop, this meticulous routine can fall by the wayside, but being mindful of your sleep, diet and exercise can help retain the glow.