Follow a regimen. Twice a day. Everyday.
This is the single most important thing you can do to get your skin to look its best.
What does an ideal regimen look like?
Cleanser + Toner + Serum + Eye cream + Moisturizer + Treatment (acne, spots, etc) + Sunscreen (in the mornings only).
Don’t skimp on any step. Think of it as a balanced meal for your skin. Every product has an important role to play. By removing one, you’re compromising on the health of your skin.
Stuff I ♥: Here’s a list of my absolute favourite products:
Cleanser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel (for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin) and Chanel Mousse Confort Rich Foaming Cream Cleanser (for dry, normal skin).
Toner: I’m simply obsessed with Forest Essentials Facial Toner Pure Rosewater.
Serum: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair hydrates and repairs, while Skinceuticals CE Ferulic gives you the highest wattage glow!
Eye-cream: Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash are simply fantastic.
Moisturizer: Forest Essentials Light Hydrating Facial Gel Pure Rosewater is a winner for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin types, while La Mer is a must-have for dry skin types.
Acne Treatment: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel is God sent.
Sunscreen: Both Neutrogena UltraSheer DryTouch Sunblock SPF 50+ and La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Dry Touch Gel-Cream Anti-Shine are really, really good.
Invest in high quality products.
Every product you touch to your skin should nourish it. If a product strips your skin or causes it to burn or leaves it red or makes you breakout, drop it immediately. It has no place in your regimen. You want products that love your skin and make it look and feel soft, plump and illuminated.
This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune. If something you’re currently using works for you, then stick to it. But if you think you can do better, then find the best product out there to help you get the best skin you can have.
Steam your face.
If glowing, bright, healthy, flawless skin is what you are after (and come on, who isn’t?) then steaming should be a very important part of your beauty ritual.
This age-old practise does wonders for your skin. How?
1. Steaming improves blood circulation, giving you a warm healthy glow.
2. When you steam your face, you sweat out toxins.
3. By warming up the surface of your skin, you make it more receptive to treatments like masks, serums, acne topical ointments, etc.
4. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, steaming can make it clearer. The steam deep cleans your pores, helping your skin get rid of accumulated dead skin cells, oil and bacteria.
5. Steam softens and loosens blackheads and whiteheads.
When to steam?
Before putting on a mask or serum, after cleansing and exfoliating. Do it twice a week for not more than one minute.
How to steam?
You can simply boil a pot of water and then place your face over the pot, with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam. Or you could soak clean towels in hot water, wring them out and place the hot (make sure not too hot) towel over your face.
Exfoliate your face and body twice a week.
There’s a reason your skin always gets that afterglow everytime you exfoliate. You’re literally removing the dead skin cells that make your skin look dull and uneven. By exfoliating twice a week, you unclog pores, prevent fine lines and speed up the fading of acne scars, spots and other discolorations. Also, whatever products you use after exfoliation are absorbed far better by the skin and are therefore a lot more effective.
But don’t just focus on your face. The rest of you is equally important.
Scrub your entire body using circular motions as it’s more effective in freeing ingrowth hair and getting rid of those pesky bumps.
Spend extra time on drier parts like your elbows, knees and shoulders.
And buff that butt! Many women don’t scrub their bums as often as they should.
Indulge in a good scrub twice a week and your husband won’t be able to keep his hands off you. That’s called the perfect honeymoon 🙂
Take a break with a face mask.
Planning a wedding is stressful. Well, that’s an understatement…!
But if you’re stressed, your skin will be too.
So before it starts acting up, take action and slap on a face mask. It will calm you down too.
The mask you choose depends on what your skin needs at the time.
If it’s dry and dull, a sheet mask drenched in serum will give it that much-needed moisture boost.
If it’s greasy or acne-prone, a clay mask will pull out all the excess oil and deep clean your pores.
Use a mask atleast twice a week during these pre-wedding months to make your skin look more rested and brighter.
Don’t forget your neck and decolletage.
Your neck and cleavage are as much in focus as your face. Especially when you slip on your wedding dress and jewellery. So don’t neglect them even for a second.
Rule of thumb: Whatever goes on your face, also goes on your neck and decollete. Simple.
Start getting regular facials.
The best part about being a bride – you can indulge in some much-needed pampering. And nothing beats a facial.
Apart from being extremely relaxing (and which bride doesn’t need that?), a facial also increases blood circulation, improves collagen production, reduces puffiness and smoothens out fine lines. The professional extraction deep cleans your pores like nothing else can.
Always go to a professional who will tailor the facial to meet your skin’s needs.
Ideally, you should start 6 months before your wedding day, never at the last minute as you could breakout and that’s the last thing you want. Get a facial once a month and have your last pre-wedding facial approximately a week before the wedding. You don’t want to take any chances now.
Keep your kisser in perfect condition.
That first kiss as man and wife. You will remember it forever. So make sure it’s nothing short of perfect.
To get soft plump kissable lips, gently exfoliate your puckers every night with your toothbrush after you’ve brushed your teeth. Then immediately massage in a lip balm that will seal in the moisture and prevent your lips from chapping.
Stuff I ♥: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is just brilliant! I keep it in my bag at all times. The minute I feel my lips drying up, I just pat it on.
Shape your eyebrows.
It’s best to start a few months in advance, so you have enough time to get it right.
Thick eyebrows are the rage right now and you may want to grow yours out. Once they are all thick and ready, it’s time to shape them. Don’t try doing this at home. Go to a professional. They do it all day so they are less likely to make mistakes and can get you the perfect shape. Once you’ve arrived at the shape you love, stick to it till the end.
Tip: To thicken your eyebrows, apply a thin coat of castor oil over them every night. Other oils that also help are olive, almond and coconut. Alternate them for best results.
Lengthen your lashes.
Nothing says romance and femininity quite as well as long, thick eyelashes. To get those gorgeous flutterers, all you need is a cotton earbud and some oil.
At bedtime, soak the earbud in top grade castor or olive oil and coat your lashes. Wash it off in the morning. It’s really that simple. And it works. But give it a month or two to see maximum results.
Plan your hair removal.
If you’re going to be waxing, time it right and get waxed no later than 72 hours before the wedding day. Also make sure you’re a waxing regular and your skin is used to it. You don’t want to try for the first time right before your wedding and end up all red and bumpy.
For the pre-wedding wax, grow out your hair to atleast 1cm or more to get the cleanest wax. The longer the hair, the smoother the results.
Tip: Smooth out any post-waxing redness or bumps with diaper rash cream. It’s magic!
Moisturise every inch of your body.
If you want to glow from head to toe, do this every single day.
Moisturize your whole body within 3 minutes of stepping out of the shower, while your skin is still damp to lock in the moisture. Start from your legs and move upwards. Don’t forget your butt, tummy, breasts and shoulders.
Tip: Take a few minutes to really massage the lotion into your skin. This will improve blood circulation, tone your skin and reduce any puffiness.
Oil your hair.
This is one of the most important steps to grow long, thick, shiny hair.
Everytime you oil your hair, you are giving it an intensive conditioning treatment. This means less dryness, split ends and frizz.
When you massage the oil into your scalp, you’re improving blood circulation, encouraging your hair to grow much faster. And it’s also a great stress buster!
Apply oil once or twice a week. Leave it in your hair for atleast 1 hour before shampooing it off. Choose from either pure olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil – or better still, mix them all up.
Stuff I ♥: I love to alternate between different hair oils to get the most nutrition as each oil has it’s own awesome benefits. So if it’s Kama Ayurveda Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil one day, it’s Pahadi Local’s Gutti ka Tel the next, and good old olive oil (from my kitchen) after that.
Cut your hair to grow it.
This actually makes sense. You want long hair that’s healthy, not scraggly.
So make sure you snip all the unhealthy bits. I like to call it the ‘Investment haircut’. It sets the tone for your future hair.
You may have to start with much shorter hair than you’d like, so do this atleast a year to 6 months before your wedding day. Then, get regular trims every 2 months. Stick to one hair stylist so she sticks to the plan and doesn’t take off more than what is necessary.
Pay extra attention to your hands and feet.
Everyone wants to see that gorgeous ring. You’re going to be walking down the aisle in stunning peeptoe shoes. You will be shaking hundreds of hands. You will be dancing all night. Your hands and feet have a lot of work to do. So make sure they get the tender loving care they deserve.
Slather on a thick body butter and rub it into your hands and feet right before sleeping. Wear socks to retain body heat and seal in the moisture overnight. Also massage a few drops of your favourite oil into your cuticles and nails to keep them moisturized.
Get a manicure and pedicure done every 3-4 weeks. Stop applying any nail paint about 2 months before your D-day. Just let your nails breathe and recover from any damage. Get your final mani-pedi done a day or two before the wedding. French manicures are classic and timeless.
Drink at least 15 glasses of water.
Forget the standard 8 glasses. Double it. If you want your skin to glow, fill up on water. Water flushes out the toxins, irrigates your kidneys and throws out the sugar. It clears your skin, keeps it plump and hydrated and reduces the occurance of spots. So keep a bottle of water with you at all times and…chug!
Fish Oil Capsules are great for your skin and hair. They have Omega-3 fatty acids that keep your skin supple and moisturized, reduce inflammation, acne and many other skin problems. It also lubricates the scalp making hair shinier and and preventing dandruff.
Vitamin C is another hero. It boosts your skin’s collagen production, making your skin more plump, supple and bright. And it makes your hair thicker and fuller too.
It will take a few weeks to notice a difference so don’t stop if you don’t see immediate results. Keep taking them religiously.