by guest blogger,
Rosaline Lowe of Rosaline’s Spa and SkinCare
Most women dream of the day they’ll walk down the aisle with the love of their life. The engagement period tends to be a process of planning for the wedding logistics, but it’s also a ramping-up of the bride’s health and beauty regimen. Here are some important steps to follow to get you to the finishing line looking clear and radiant from the outside in.
1. Look at yourself from the inside out.
It’s a good idea to look at your body type. Most brides tend to diet before their wedding day. If you’re planning to lose a few pounds to fit comfortably into your dream dress, and start a regular exercise routine at a health club, you’ll be on your way to better circulation which will thus help your skin from the inside out. In terms of your body physiology, when you work out, you sweat – thereby eliminating lymphatic fluid and toxins which are your body’s way of naturally cleansing your skin. Not only will you look better, you will feel better from your body’s natural boost of endorphins, the “feel good” hormone!
2. Look at the condition of your skin from head to toe.
Grooming of the hair is very important to African American women, so taking care of the hair is a must. Some African American hair can have a tendency to be dry, so the scalp and hair need moisture on a daily basis. If you are wearing braids or a weave, make sure that the scalp is thoroughly conditioned and visit your hairdresser on a regular basis to keep the hair healthy.
3. What are you putting into your body?
As they say, you are what you eat! The skin reflects what you are eating and drinking. Studies have shown that eating essential fatty acid found in foods such as salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds creates a huge benefit, improving the condition of hair and skin. General good health can be maximized by eating fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, and drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. Some people do have normal, problem-free skin, but others are plagued with skin problems. A large percentage of African-American individuals experience uneven pigmentation or dark spots caused when the skin encounters an abrasion with a pimple, pustule, burn or cut in which during the subsequent healing process in which the skin hyper-pigments due to an abundance of melanin in the skin.
Do not indulge in junk food, but don’t deprive yourself either. A small treat, keeping in mind portion control, is the key.
4. Caffeine and you
Drink caffeine only in moderation, and stick to one cup per morning. Even half decaf and half regular is a bonus! Some studies show caffeine dilates the blood vessels, which can make for a rosy glow – but limit your intake because in some, it can cause redness as well.
5. Limit alcohol consumption.
Wedding planning is full of special events along the way often involving alcohol and revelry. Keep in mind that alcohol can can cause dehydration on the skin and cause a wrinkled, crepey appearance. Eat, drink and be merry but in moderation!
6. Get Your Groove On
Aim to exercise three times a week in order to maintain your desired weight and tone the muscles. Exercise can include weights, treadmill, yoga or Pilates – even walking – anything you can do to keep the blood flowing and your lymphatic system moving.
7. Everything Zen
Though it is challenging dealing with different personalities that go into planning your nuptials, try to practice mindfulness. Practice taking long, cleansing breaths which help to release toxins and relax the body in mind, creating an important synergy which will help you enjoy the moment and deal with stresses that may come your way.
8. Cleanse and hydrate
Clean the skin morning and night using a cleanser formulated for your skin type; your skin care provider can help you determine what’s best. Always remove the day’s makeup so your pores can breathe at night – this will help as you lead up to your important wedding celebrations: engagement pictures, showers, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding day! Use a non-alcohol toner for day or sensitive skin or switch to an astringent for normal/combination skin.
When using cleanser, NEVER use the palm of your hands to remove residue when rinsing. Always use lukewarm soft face cloth or soft sea sponges to remove cleanser along with plenty of cool water to remove debris. Exfoliate once or twice on entire face and body by using a Japanese loofah or a synthetic hand mitt. Use a facial scrub for the face and another for the body. DO NOT USE THE SAME EXFOLIANT ON THE FACE AND THE BODY as the one for the skin should be softer with smaller exfoliants.
9. Go professional
It’s ideal to seek the help of a professional esthetician every 4-6 weeks for regular facials to get your skin in top condition for your day. Skin treatment can vary depending on the condition of your skin and can be chosen in concert with your skin care provider. If the skin is problematic with uneven skin tone, lactic/glycolic or microdermabrasion peels are valuable treatments for the skin because they help to smooth the texture of the skin while improving the appearance of wrinkles and uneven skin tone while removing excess dead cells on the skin. Skins that are problem-free can have regular facials that include enzymes. *Facial masks are a MUST once a week. If the skin is oily, choose a mask that is clay base. If the skin is dry or normal a cream or gel mask should be use. This downtime is not only good for your skin, it’s helpful for your mind. Light a candle and relax, or flip through your wedding planner to cross off your to-do’s!
If your wallet prohibits the ability to seek professional treatments, do not despair; even a good drug store provider can counsel you on the best products for skin. Places like CVS are key for people watching their pennies.
10. Shun the Sun
While it’s tempting to want to grab some rays, always use a sunscreen! Seek one with preferably an SPF of 15 or higher. If you’re of darker skin tone, then 15-20 is fine. If you are of lighter skin tone try to use a SPF 30 or higher.
11. Moisturizer is your friend
Apply moisturizer nightly for extra moisture; your skin literally repairs itself as you sleep and this helps with the process. Be sure to use lightening creams or acids only once per day – the sun is not a good match for these, so use them at night only. Moisturize in the morning also with a non-greasy one that won’t clog your pores and helps set your make-up.
12. Your Perfect Face
If you are planning to hire a make-up artist, always have a complete make-up test-run to make sure the color looks right on you skin tone. It’s difficult to find foundations and powder that blend on dark skins, so make sure that the make-up artist uses the right shade. Remember to speak up if you don’t feel comfortable-- it’s your big day!
Remember: Your wedding lasts for one day, but good skin can last you a lifetime if you follow these easy tips. It’s certainly not easy to plan a wedding with all the stress and nirvana that goes with the planning to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well. It’s hard but worth it when you see your pictures that showcase your hard work paid off! Stick these on a bulletin board or tack onto your fridge to help you stick with these suggestions. Follow the above guidelines, and your day will be a happy and relaxed one. You’ll start your new lives together glowing and healthy!
Rosaline Lowe has been in the business for 23 years and is somewhat of an institution in the Boston area, providing skincare advice to celebs and loyal clientele from near and far who have heard about her special touch. A native of Grenada, she has clients ranging in age and ethnicity, and has developed a cult following by those who swear by her products and treatments. Find her on Facebook and on Twitter