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Your steps to wedding-ready skin are here!

With all eyes on you (the beautiful bride!) come your wedding day, the pressure is on to look your best. But help is here thanks to Joanne De Wet, spa manager at Cape Town’s 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa. From easy lifestyle tweaks to at-home skincare ideas (and pro treatments if you prefer to leave it the experts), Joanne shares her tips for healthy, glowy skin.

Six months before

“At this point, it’s time to perfect your everyday skincare regime, so that you’re putting in great groundwork for a gorgeous complexion come your big day,” says Joanne. “First up, make sure you cleanse, tone and moisturise your face at least once daily. Ideally, you should follow this regime at night before bed and again in the morning. There is a wealth of products out there suited to all sorts of skin types, so find a cleanser, toner and moisturiser that works for yours, whether you have oily, sensitive, dry or combination skin.

“And get into the habit of performing weekly facials on yourself at home, to boost circulation and plump up skin. Start with a good cleanse, exfoliate to remove dead skin cells (adding to dullness) and boost circulation with this massage: using your knuckles, work over your facial muscles moving slowly, in an upwards direction. If you don’t already, use a rich face serum at night (a potent product that hydrates and kick-starts collagen production) and a good eye cream (to reduce fine lines and any dark circles, also used at night).”

Lifestyle tweak to make now: “Regular exercise boosts circulation, helps firm and tone all over and is a great stress-reliever when it comes to wedding planning,” advises Joanne. “Try and incorporate regular exercise – even if it’s just a short, brisk walk – into your week now, so that the effects will be visible in six months’ time. Keep a bottle of water at your desk or in your handbag to ensure you get plenty of hydration throughout the day, too – also key for a healthy complexion.”

Salon treatment to try: “Book yourself in for a facial, which should be done monthly up until your wedding day, to revive dull skin and restore radiance,” says Joanne. Why not try a Dermologica Ultra Calming Facial (from R790), which helps to repair and soothe stressed, sensitive skin?

Three months before

“Now is the time to incorporate products that target body issues like cellulite into your regime,” suggests Joanne. “Invest in a great firming cream and apply daily to key problem areas – such as thighs and legs – after you’ve exfoliated.”

Lifestyle tweak to make now: “If you’re struggling with red blemishes, try drinking green tea regularly (high in antioxidants). Battling zits? Eat more kidney beans, which are high in zinc,” offers Joanne.

Salon treatment to try: There are a number of great treatments that target tricky cellulite, but Joanne recommends “Elemis Body Sculpting Cellulite and Colon Therapy (from R850) – a detoxifying body mask that helps to smooth the appearance of cellulite, boost circulation and reduce any fluid retention.”

One month before

“Keep up with your now-established skincare routine of cleansing, toning, moisturising and treating your skin with a serum – consistency creates the best results!” explains Joanne. “But now you can also introduce weekly body treatments at home to ensure you glow all over. A good place to start: buy a loofah and a body scrub that contains small beads or granules and use it daily in the shower to exfoliate all over. Then calm skin by following with a rich moisturiser. Sloughing away dead skin and hydrating will help you glow, and ensures your body is in great condition for any beauty treatments (like a self-tan) that you might introduce closer to your big day.”

Lifestyle tweak to make now: “Stock up on fruit (like pomegranates, which contain polyphenol antioxidants to fight free radicals, and strawberries and oranges, which are rich in vitamin C) and snacks such as walnuts (which contain essential omega-3 fatty acids to aid your skin’s elasticity) to munch on throughout the day – they’ll give your body the nutrients it needs to care for your skin.”

Salon treatment to try: A holistic body wrap or massage treatment is ideal to calm, rejuvenate and awaken tired skin – especially when your nuptials are just around the corner (and the stress is no doubt getting to you!). A traditional Rasul Chamber Ceremony (which uses steam, heat and mineral-rich mud) helps to detoxify and restore. Even better, Rasul can be enjoyed with your partner – so your man can catch a pre-wedding break with you, too!

One to two weeks before

“Any waxing should be started now – leave it later than a week before and your skin could look irritated and red on your big day,” says Joanne.

Lifestyle tweak to make now:  “Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E, which is great for brightening up your complexion, and helping to prevent dry skin (like parched lips, for example). Try eating a handful a day,” advises Joanne. “You also need to start ensuring (if you aren’t already!) that you’re getting a good eight hours of sleep a night – lack of rest several weeks before can still impact your skin on your wedding day.”

Salon treatment to try: “The Elemis Fruit Active Glow Facial (from R790) is ideal at this point to inject glow back into tired skin, all the while offering a good, deep cleanse to prep skin for your big day,” advises Joanne.

The night before

“Cleanse, tone and moisturise as always,” says Joanne. “If you’ve applied self-tan, skip your normal exfoliation regime (it’ll just remove your bronzed glow). If not, then when you do exfoliate be super, super gentle so you don’t create any redness in your skin for your nuptials tomorrow. Avoid using any new products on your skin, like a face mask that you haven’t tested before – the last thing you want at this point is an allergic reaction!”

On the day

“Make sure you cleanse, tone and moisturise again in the morning to create a clean, refreshed canvas for your wedding makeup,” explains Joanne. “But don’t apply any products (like your moisturiser) that contain SPF – these reflect light and will make you super-shiny in your wedding photos. Instead, use a moisturiser that isn’t loaded with SPF, or try face powders that contain SPF but are formulated not to make you look shiny in pictures.”

What are your beauty tips for glowy skin? Tweet us at @GLAMOUR_sa with  #GLAMWedding to share.

Sarah Browning, 24, is the managing editor of GLAMOUR. She moved to SA from London three years ago and lives in Cape Town. In this  #GLAMWedding Wedding Blog, Sarah’s sharing her wedding-planning journey with you.  Join the conversation! Tweet your thoughts to Sarah via  @GLAMOUR_sa using  #GLAMWedding.

Follow Sarah on Twitter:  @sarahmbrowning

Find out more about the #GLAMWedding blog  here!

Click here to view a real wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa!

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