Pimples are a bride’s worst nightmare. Adult acne affects about 20 percent of adults, many of whom never suffered from it as teenagers, says Dr. Paul Cohen, a Toronto dermatologist with the Rosedale Dermatology Centre.
- Go for a facial every three to four weeks to clean out skin and remove toxins.
- For more frequent breakouts visit a dermatologist for an intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, which targets oil gland production.
- In very severe cases, the prescription drug Accutane is also an option. It can offer amazing results, but it has some very serious side effects.
- Steer clear of anti-aging products until you’re at least 30, and switching up your skin-care routine can often clean up skin.
- Take a look at the factors in your life that may affect your skin. “Hormones, stress and environment all play a role," she says.
- Call your dermatologist if you feel a spot lurking beneath your skin’s surface. In special cases (i.e. your wedding day) he/she will inject steroids into your spot (prices start at $150 per treatment), making it disappear completely within 24 hours.
- Use a spot treatment containing salicylic acid and apply a yellow-based concealer before your foundation, to camouflage the redness. Try: Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster, ($66, dermalogica.ca).
The older we get, the longer our skin cells hang around. The result: tired, dull-looking skin that makes you look older than you actually are.
- Get professional microdermabrasion. Skin cells are exfoliated using very fine aluminum oxide crystals, exposing the younger, smoother skin underneath. A series of treatments yields the best results.
- Keep up the look at home by using an exfoliant every other day, and be sure to wear sunscreen to protect your delicate visage.
- Epidermal peels ($200–400) are topical preparations, including lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which improve skin surface texture. Schedule a peel for two weeks before your wedding to ensure maximum results and healing time.
- At-home microdermabrasion and peels will help re-texturize skin when used a few times a week. Use the night before your wedding for a glowing complexion, but don’t try anything new for the first time immediately pre-wedding. Try: Clinique Turnaround Radiance Peel Once-A-Week System ($65, clinique.ca).
3. Dark and Puffy Under-Eyes
An excess build-up of blood and fluid under the eyes can make even the brightest of eyes look tired. Often this condition is hereditary, making it a result of genetics, not necessarily sleep deprivation.
- Restylane, an injectable cosmetic enhancement, will help with both puffiness and dark circles. For best results, a Restylane treatment (starting at $650 per treatment) should be done a few weeks before the wedding.
- Invest in a great eye cream, to give the product time to work. Try: YonKa Paris Phyto-Contour for puffiness and dark circles ($52, at select spas or 1-800-361-1263).
- Throw in a rejuvenating eye treatment with the last facial. It will leave you looking and feeling refreshed.
- Woke up puffy as a blowfish? Put some cold tea bags or cucumber slices on your eyes and relax for 10 minutes. It’s not an old wives’ tale—these kitchen staples really do have anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce bags in a pinch, Cohen says.
Rosacea is a vascular disorder that is very hard to control. The condition can cause facial redness, visible spider veins and pustules.
- Get to a dermatologist who can recommend topical creams to calm redness; antibiotics to treat pustules; or a series of IPL treatments for maximum results.
- Ensure your skin-care routine is suitable for sensitive skin and focus on keeping skin hydrated with very gentle products.
- Use anti-redness products to calm blood vessels. Cooling products containing aloe vera and camphor will also help. Try: Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream ($53, clinique.ca).
- Steer clear of common rosacea triggers including red wine, spicy food and sun exposure.
- Stay calm! Stress can aggravate rosacea, so take a deep breath and relax.
5. Fine Lines
Like it or not, certain people are genetically predisposed to wrinkle, and dry, fair skin is a wrinkle’s best friend.
- Invest in a series of glycolic peels or microdermabrasion treatments. If you have four to six months to get results, you may also wish to explore the more expensive (but very effective) Erbium laser peel (starting at $500).
- Keep skin well hydrated. Serums will help boost the effects of ordinary moisturizers, so look for one containing vitamins A, C and E. Gel-based masks will also give parched skin a much-needed drink of water. Try: Pure + Simple Vitamin Serum ($25, pureandsimple.ca).
- Invest in an illuminator and apply it where you want to make light bounce off of the shadow the wrinkle creates.
6. Brown Spots
Lentigines, often called sun spots, may appear as freckles on the back of the hands or on the sides of the face. They are the result of hormonal upheaval, usually caused by pregnancy or the pill, combined with sun exposure.
- Ask a dermatologist about laser or light treatments (about $500) and prescription-strength skin-bleaching creams.
- Very light spots may respond to over-the-counter products. Try: Reversa UV Anti-Spot Lightening Cream ($36, drugstores).
- “Deeper peeling is the only way to get rid of brown spots,” says Kristen Ma, co-founder of Toronto’s Pure + Simple Inc. Ma’s spa offers an amino acid peel that targets excess pigmentation and helps lighten it.
- Shop for a camouflage cream that perfectly matches your skin tone at your favourite makeup counter.