A woman’s wedding day is a once in a lifetime event, a ceremony captured forever in photographs. Having healthy and radiant skin on this life-changing day is important for all brides. To make this happen, it is essential to set up a treatment plan at least six months prior to the wedding so you can have the complexion you crave on your big day!
The first step in a customized bridal treatment plan is the consultation. A review of basic skin typing can help keep your skin on track. We'll start with a questionnaire about your skin concerns, diet and medications, in order to determine what's most important in achieving your beauty goals.
Goal: Maintenance and prevention. // Characteristics: The skin is clear and smooth and doesn't need much repair. // Needs: Maintain a good moisture balance.
Goal: Balance. // Characteristics: The nose, chin area, and possibly the forehead have larger follicle openings, indicating more oil secretion. Other areas of the face have smaller, more compacted follicle openings with possible flaking. // Needs: Balance the two areas so their differences are not so extreme. Treat them as two different skin types.
Normal to Oily Skin
Goal: Deep cleansing and hydration. // Characteristics: This skin is only slightly oily. It is characterized by larger follicle openings that fan out across the cheek area. // Needs: For both in spa and home products, use hydrating ingredients.
Goal: Deep cleansing and sebum management. // Characteristics: This skin has active sebaceous glands; it is shiny and feels thicker. It has enlarged follicle openings (the first clue of excess oil production), which may be filled with dirt or grease or both. // Needs: Proper cleansing is vital for the health of oily skin to keep follicle openings clean and clear.
Normal to Dry Skin
Goal: Keep moisture in the skin. // Characteristics: This skin type is similar to dry skin, but with only slight surface dehydration. This skin has fine surface lines. // Needs: Clients must keep an intact lipid structure to improve moisture maintenance.
Sensitive (can be both a type and a condition)
Goal: Calm, nourish and manage healthy lipid and moisture content in the skin. // Characteristics: As a type, sensitive skin is thinner with less of a stratum corneum for protection; therefore, nerve endings can be felt more acutely. A simple way to test for sensitive skin is touch blanching: apply gentle pressure to an area of the face and release. If the skin color changes to white, it is sensitive. // Needs: Use products that are formulated specifically for sensitive skin.
Never perform a treatment for the first time the last week before the wedding to avoid an unexpected reaction.
Treatment Planning, Frequency and Home Care
A bonus benefit of beginning wedding prep treatments at least six months prior allows you to identify the treatments that work best for your skin. Never perform a treatment for the first time the last week before the wedding to avoid an unexpected reaction.
Each of the following skin conditions should receive a targeted facial featuring extractions and a customized mask at the indicated intervals.
Acne: Every two weeks
Ingredients and home care: Gentle benzoyl peroxide cleanser and spottreatment product, along with an antioxidant serum
Skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation: Every three weeks
Ingredients and home care: Products containing vitamin C and E in the morning, a pure retinol product and a serum designed to lift existing discolorations with ingredients such as hydroquinone.
Aging: Every four weeks
Ingredients and home care: Peptide-infused products along with vitamins C and E in the morning and a pure retinol serum in the evening.
Sensitive skin/rosacea: Every four weeks
Ingredients and home care: Natural moisturizers such as coconut oil and natural oils from wild plant such as aloe can provide essential acids to the skin without causing breakouts or further irritations.
The Lifestyle Factor
Of course, true improvements can only be seen when treatments are supported by a healthy lifestyle, and clients understand that healthy living is essential to support the effects of your services.
The condition of one’s skin is greatly influenced by what they eat. In order to achieve the ultimate benefits of any spa treatment, optimal nutrition is key. Protein rich foods such as fish, lean meat and eggs supply the amino acids necessary to make collagen; fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines contain beneficial omega fats that promote hydrated, youthful skin; hazelnuts, almonds and chia seeds are packed with zinc, which helps heal blemishes, inflammation and redness.
Salty and sugary foods should be minimized—especially in the final days before the wedding—as they have a drying and aging impact on the skin, robbing the skin of that healthy glow.
Planning a wedding is often a stressful experience, prompting an increase in cortisol that can lead to dehydration, washedout skin and fine lines. Practice healthy exercise habits, get enough sleep and engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation and massage.
The negative impact of smoking on the skin’s appearance is enormous—just one cigarette robs the skin of vital oxygen for 90 minutes. If a person smokes more than one cigarette in this time period, the skin becomes chronically oxygen deprived.
The Final Countdown!
DAY 14: A hot stone massage is perfect at this time, when stress is starting to sink in. Utilize pressure points and use variations of temperatures to relax the muscles and melt away tension.
DAY 12: Practice of breath work. Try five minutes of this each day. Practice yoga or Pilates to help de-stress.
DAY 11: Prep the skin for spray tanning with a gentle granular scrub with honey to help remove dead skin. Conclude treatment with a soothing body moisturizer.
DAY 10: Time for a spray tan trial. Make sure to include contouring of the collarbone and neck. Assess how the colors develop on your skin and take notes so you can adjust accordingly.
DAY 5: Perform a soothing facial that focuses on hydration; forgo the extractions in this treatment to prevent bruising or redness.
DAY 4: Indulge with a relaxing, full body aromatherapy face and body massage.
DAY 3: Apply the final spray tan and contouring. This application should be a breeze, since you have already broken the ice with the trial run!
DAY 2: Classic manicure and pedicure that includes a paraffin treatment for the feet and hands.
DAY 1: Before you go into a full face of makeup, perform a 15-minute face massage to plump your skin, and apply a hydrating sheet mask to face, neck and décolleté to help make your skin glow.
By Tina Zillmann, LE, CLHRP
Written for LNE & Spa Magazine, April 2017