While there is pressure to look your best on your wedding day, the good news is that you have months to prepare. Having a goal date on the calendar, in this case, your wedding day, is always helpful when trying to stick to any sort of routine. If you take the time to develop a few new habits (word on the street is that it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a habit stick) and incorporate them into your beauty routine, you’ll notice significant results. We’ll walk you through how to develop a wedding day skincare routine so that you can look your best and feel confident in front of the camera when the big day arrives. The best part is that you can do this entire routine at home.

Girl, Wash Your Face

You can wear all the makeup you want, but nothing makes up for healthy skin that is well taken care of. You’ll not only feel great when fresh-faced, but you’ll also have the perfect blank canvas for makeup to go on smoothly and evenly. Here are a few steps to incorporate into your skincare routine at home for beautiful glowing skin on your wedding day. Whether you prefer a natural wedding day makeup look or a bold wedding day makeup look, your skin will be prepped and primed for whichever style you choose.

Cleanse

Skin is complex, we get it. After years spent in the chairs of estheticians and dermatologists, we know it can take a lot to get skin looking its best. But, proper cleansing is a good start. Wash your face both morning and night with a gentle cleanser. Be generous with the amount of time you spend cleansing, as your skin can benefit greatly when you give it time to absorb the product and then truly rinse away any dirt, bacteria, and dead skin. Spend extra time massaging your cleanser into the areas that get the most congested, which, for most people, is along the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). Rinse well and pat dry.

Hydrate

Thirsty skin is angry skin. Whether it’s summer or winter, your skin needs to be moisturized regularly. Find a hydrating formulation that makes your skin sing (read: not breakout), and use it daily. Once-daily is often enough, but if your skin tends to be dry, use moisturizer both morning and night. If your skin ever feels extremely dry or just in need of a boost in hydration, use an overnight hydrating mask to replenish it. Facial oils are another great way to lock in moisture and give your skin a shot of powerful ingredients, such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, at the same time. However you go about it, hydrate. Your skin will thank you later.

 Develop a Wedding Day Beauty RoutinePhoto Credit // Unsplash

Exfoliate

A lot of skin problems can be solved with consistent exfoliation. And, by consistent, we mean weekly, not daily. Daily exfoliation will strip your skin of all it’s beautiful barriers and healthy oils, while weekly or bi-weekly exfoliation will rid it of dead skin cells and promote cell turnover to promote radiant skin. There are a million and one ways to exfoliate, be it with a gentle exfoliating cleanser, a towelette peel, or a mask. Adding this step to your skincare routine at home in the months leading up to your wedding will guarantee a brighter, more youthful complexion on your wedding day and beyond.

But, don’t just exfoliate your face, exfoliate your entire body. Exfoliating your body will offer the same benefits as exfoliating your face, such as promoting cell turnover and preventing breakouts. Plus, it reveals baby-soft skin that will not only feel better, but will also be a smooth surface for a spray tan or self-tanner, body oil, and lotion to cling to, helping it go on evenly.

Protect

Use sunscreen. Regardless of skin type, your face will never be the same if you don’t apply sunscreen every day, multiple times a day. It’s your best protection against wrinkles and fine lines, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation, and these are only the visual side-effects. With all of the powerful formulations on the market, plenty of which are affordable, you have no excuse to not apply sunscreen. When searching for the best wedding day makeup products, make sure to include sunscreen on your list. There are priming products with SPF that make your makeup go on better, there are foundations with SPF so that you don’t have to double-dip, and there are even setting sprays with SPF so that you can easily reapply throughout the day without messing up your makeup.

Mask Up

Sheet masks, foaming masks, eye masks—the list goes on. There has never been a wider selection of masks to choose from, a lot of which offer powerful and instant results. Stockpile a few, such as a charcoal one for breakouts, depuffing eye patches with green tea, and a soothing formulation to combat the stress of wedding planning, and you’ll be in good shape when you need a 10-minute rescue plan. As with any beauty products, test masks at a risk-free time (read: not the week of your wedding), so that you can find the ones that work best for your skin type and concerns, and reach for them without worry when the day approaches for you to show off your bridal glow.

Vitamin C

If you want an allover even skin tone on your wedding day, incorporate a vitamin C serum into your skincare routine and witness its powerful results. That’s right, this ingredient is one that you will actually notice visibly changing your skin. With consistent use, dark spots and fine lines begin to fade, so it’s easy to see why women (and men) everywhere sing its praises. While you’re at it, eat more foods that contain vitamin C, too, to let more than just your skin in on the secret.

Get a Facial

While you can do everything in your power to achieve flawless skin at home, there are just some things that you shouldn’t take on. Head to a professional esthetician to get extractions so that you don’t end up with additional acne scars that you have to bleach away before your big day. A facialist will not only clear your pores of all that unwanted gunk, but he or she can also offer insight into the products and treatments that your skin needs to absolutely glow. Sure, it can seem a bit sales-y, but estheticians are passionate about skin, and know what they’re talking about. You will glean a lot more specific, helpful advice from someone staring into your pores than you can from a Sephora email. Embrace his or her advice, and watch your skin transform in time for your big walk down the aisle.

 Develop a Wedding Day Beauty RoutinePhoto Credit // Unsplash

Pay Attention to Your Diet

You are what you eat has more truth to it than we once thought. The foods and superfoods you consume can make or break your body, hair, and skin. So, the simplest and most important step of your bridal skincare regimen is eating (and drinking) a nutritious, healthy, and balanced diet.

Eat Clean

We would be missing a key ingredient to shelf-stable skin if we left out diet. And, by diet, we mean the entire scope of foods and drinks you consume, not a particular fad-diet or deprivation way of eating. Eating “clean” means focusing on real foods found in nature. Focus on consuming fresh produce, healthy fats, and protein. Some of the best foods to achieve skin that both looks and is healthy are avocados, salmon, and vitamin-C rich veggies, such as beets and carrots. However, you may experience the most amount of change in your skin by removing, rather than adding foods. If you’re up for the challenge, and want to see a big shift in the health of your skin, cut out sugar. If your skin is ultra-sensitive you may want to consider cutting out dairy, too.

Take Beauty Supplements

While you can get a lot of your necessary nutrients from food, there are some nutrients that are less present, if at all, in a regular daily diet. You can reap their benefits by taking supplements. For instance, collagen is a form of animal protein that helps improve hair, skin, nails, and joints. However, if you don’t consume a lot of fish or dark meat, you probably aren’t getting enough collagen into your system. This is where collagen protein powder, a supplement that you can add to smoothies, coffee, soups, and more to achieve plumper, firmer skin, is beneficial.

There are a number of other beauty supplements that can also be game-changing when added to your pre-wedding beauty plan, and, thus, be beneficial to take (with the consent of a doctor) in the months leading up to your special day. To name a few, biotin makes your hair and nails grow, vitamin D makes your skin glow, and vitamin C helps combat sun damage. Taking a daily multivitamin is a great place to start if you just want to dip your toe into the world of supplements and get a slew of essential vitamins in one tiny pill. And, a daily probiotic is another essential supplement to ensure that you have a healthy gut, which in turn, ensures healthy skin.

Developing a wedding day skincare routine that you can easily accomplish at home is not only an investment in your beauty, but also in your health. The long-term benefits of a good skincare routine means that you’ll be looking and feeling younger, and have glowing skin to show for it for years to come. And, of course, on your wedding day, too.