It's the dream for everyone to wake up on their wedding morning looking already picture perfect, or at the very least, with blemish-free skin. If you're prone to break outs, there are a few things you can do to avoid a spot popping up on your wedding day.
Firstly, identify what's causing your spots
Skincare expert and international facialist Abigail James believes that diet and drinking enough water can have an effect on your skin's health (as can your hormonal cycle and stress factors). Before reaching for the salicylic acid, she advocates making sure you are hydrated and employ techniques to de-stress. Some helpful tips include:
Up your cleansing game
If your blemishes aren't linked to dehydration, diet or hormones, then perhaps you're not cleaning your skin properly.
"What really makes a difference is making 100% sure you get all your makeup off at night," advises Paula Begoun, founder of research-driven skincare brand Paula's Choice.
For some this means cleansing twice (also known as the double cleanse), first with a gentle cleanser, like Avène's Extremely Gentle Cleanser, followed by a more targeted formula like SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel.
Don't forget to hydrate
After cleansing it can be tempting to forgo a moisturiser in order to avoid the risk of clogging your pores. But according to Gigi Shaker, Medical Aesthetician at Young LDN, this is a rookie mistake you won't want to make.
If your skin is oily, we recommend trying a mattifying lotion or gel in place of a heavy moisturiser. Effaclar Duo+ Anti-Blemish Cream by La Roche-Posay has a cult status in the beauty industry for its soothing texture that unclogs pores and helps reduce redness caused by blemishes.
For dry skin, try benzoyl peroxide's gentler sister Azelaic acid in Paula's Choice daily skin clearing treatment, a light lotion that'll help smooth your skin's texture with no flake in sight.
If you're concerned about ageing, Murad's Anti-Age Blemish Control Range including the Advanced Blemish & Wrinkle Reducer, contains collagen and retinol to stimulate cell turnover, plus salicylic acid to target spots.
Invest in an overnight product
If spots are still appearing, it might be worth adding a product to help your skin repair itself overnight. "The day before your wedding, use an overnight acne treatment mask to help prevent anything popping up while you sleep,' suggests Abigail. Something like Vichy's Night Detox controls sebum production and tightens pores so you'll wake up with clearer, refreshed skin.
"A gentle clarifying mist will also help to ensure that no break outs happen overnight," says Gigi. "Try to find a mist that is gentle enough to not dry the skin out but very effective at keeping spots at bay."
What to do on the morning of your wedding day
1. Don't pick at it!
The number one rule: Do. Not. Pick. It's so much easier to treat and cover up skin that is still in tact and hasn't been pierced by squeezing, as tempting as it may be.
2. Treat the area
"In the event of a spot coming up to witness your nuptials - dab the area with benzoyl peroxide (like ZO Acne Control)," says Gigi. La Roche Posay's Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector is also great for fixing an on-the-day blemish, while Dr Sebagh's Breakout Spot-On helps speed up the healing process.
Don't have a suitable product to hand? You could create your own at-home treatment. A favourite of Alice du Parcq, beauty writer and bridal expert, is to crush an aspirin tablet (where salycilic acid derives from) and add water to make it into a thick paste. Leave the past on the spot for 10 minutes to calm redness and swelling.
After treating the area, Gigi recommends giving yourself a mini facial that includes a brightening sheet mask to remove any puffiness and tighten skin.
3. Conceal it
After a spot treatment and sheet mask, the blemish should hopefully have calmed down and be ready to be covered with concealer. For coverage you'll want a thick textured, long lasting formula that can be blended seamlessly over powder or liquid foundation. Some popular concealers that won't budget include Mac pro longwear concealer and or Revlon Photoready Concealer.