Every wedding movie we’ve seen so far includes an instant, dramatic, snap-of-the-finger glow-up of the bride on the D-Day. She’d be stressing about the wedding, getting cold feet, dancing her feet off during the sangeet, and yet, look her most stunning self on the actual wedding day and the reception (which is the last ritual and technically the bride should be exhausted and worn out by then). Well, brides-to-be, these are just movies. In real life, you need months of prep, care and healthy diet plans for the kind of flawless skin we see on screen. Don’t fret: we’ve done the groundwork and spoken to celebrity dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad and curated a bridal skincare regime for you that will leave no room for sudden breakouts, unnecessary dullness, and even rule out any chance of unexpected skin irritations, allergies or rashes.
According to Dr Jaishree, skincare is a lifestyle rather than a cosmetic process, and you do need at least a few months in hand to reach your goals of flawless skin. While about a year is the ideal time you need for flawless, wedding-ready skin, she gives us a simpler, shorter plan for brides getting married early next year. Here is a six-month plan with a list of dos and don’ts to get you started.
T- 6 months
Dr Sharad: This is the time to start building rituals that’ll improve the health of your skin. As a bride, you should figure out the minute details about your skin, starting from skin type and texture, to all the concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation or dark circles, wide pores or even fine lines. Six months is a good time to target and treat these concerns. You can consult a dermatologist around this time, as a few treatments may take a while to show results.
Your daily routine should include a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen every morning. You can also add an essence or serum before your moisturiser that specifically targets your concern. Also, make sure you pick the right moisturiser and sunscreen depending on your skin type and the climate. Before bedtime, remove your makeup however tired you are. Apply an under eye serum and then use a moisturising gel or a serum for your entire face. You must also start deep nourishing body treatments. While going to a spa will help you relax as well, you can do this at home using nourishing body oils or a moisturiser post your daily showers on damp skin.
Dr Sharad: Consult a dermatologist now, if you haven’t yet. Find out your skin type and all the skin concerns so you know exactly what to look for and what to avoid in products. If you have sensitive skin, the dermatologist can advise you on the right daily routine.
Devote this month in finding the best products for you and sampling them right away, so that you have enough buffer time in case any of them don’t work out for you. Also, take note of your diet. Restrict sugar as much as possible, and avoid foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, and fried, greasy food like pizzas and burgers. If you can, avoid dairy as that can also trigger acne and disrupt your oil control. You can stick to yoghurts and paneer are safe, but a glass of milk or a bowl of sugary cereal can be steered clear of.
Dr Sharad: Your regimen is sorted and you’ve been regularly treating your skin for over a month now. Let your body adjust and get used to your routine this whole month, including your dietary changes. Start to add more glasses of water and nourishing fruits to your diet (like watermelon and papaya) that will ensure good health from inside out.
This is also the month where you can consider and try out various hair removal techniques, including lasers, as it takes a few sessions to see visible results. Also consider relaxation, mindfulness or other forms of mental wellness techniques that will help you manage the wedding-planning stress.
Dr Sharad: This is your final trial month. Try not to introduce anything new to your routine after this point, to avoid any mishaps. This is the perfect time to get a complete makeup trial. Choose the look you wish to sport on your D-Day and think of it as a rehearsal for your wedding. You will get to know exactly which products suit you, your skin tone, your skin type, so there won’t be any surprises later.
It is also time for you to start with a few brightening rituals. If you haven’t yet added vitamin C to your routine, start now. Otherwise, you can go for clinical treatments like chemical peels, laser toning or skin booster injections for that extra bridal glow. These are all safe and aid in making your skin tone even and radiant. These treatments usually take about three months to show results with regular, once or twice a month consultations.
Dr Jaishree: The celebrations begin. From now until the D-day, your calendar is likely packed with parties with friends and family, and it’s easy to get caught up in the wave and fatigue yourself. Instead of cutting down too much though, you can think about recuperative detoxes whenever you aren’t partying. Try cleansing juices, green foods, brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are enriched with antioxidants, and yoga. Don’t experiment with skincare, and don’t forget the sunscreen, no matter what. Consider sleeping masks and under-eye rollers to keep the puffiness at bay, whether it's under your eyes, or your entire face. Try to opt for minimal makeup looks, but if you wish to go all out, I’d recommend using your bridal makeup that you’ve already tried and tested to avoid any skin mishaps.
T-1 month or a few days to the wedding
Dr Jaishree: With the wedding day is so close, I can’t stress enough on the fact that you need to stress less. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If your 8-10 hours of sleep isn’t getting fulfilled at night, try taking power naps during the day. You need to really take care of your diet, without skipping meals. Exercise as much as you can - take the stairs, go for regular walks, or dance (perfect, if you’re already practising for your sangeet). Try eating a lot of fruits so you’re full and nourished even at the busiest of times.
If you’re using actives in your skincare or have undergone any treatments, you cannot forget your sunscreen. Nail care is also a must. Schedule in a pedicure and manicure and keep a coat of clear polish on to avoid staining during your pre-wedding rituals like mehendi or haldi. A few days before is when you stress the most. Try and let go of things you can’t control, and focus on enjoying the wedding you worked so hard to plan!