HOW TO: deal with pesky skin breakouts before the big day


You know the drill: spots always pop up at the worst possible time. It’s worth preparing for this possibility in the run-up to your wedding. What’s the alternative? Waking up on the morning of your big day and having a bridezilla-level meltdown while your sneakiest bridesmaid films it for her Snapchat story? No thanks, #pizzafaceproblems.

Even the most can’t-believe-it’s-not-instagram-filtered skin can be prone to the perfect-pimple-storm of late nights and stress that those last few weeks of the countdown involve – not to mention the processed food that many of us succumb to (because who has time to cook when you underestimated how long it’d take to stencil a table plan?).

Starting out
There’s tips and tricks to tackle blemishes that appear in the last week or on the day, but you should lay the foundations of breakout prevention long before then: “Book a consultation with a skincare specialist to get appropriate products and a facial plan in place as soon as possible,” says Ashleigh Malone, Aveda spa ambassador and therapist at James Dun’s House in Glasgow. “But a regular routine of basic cleanse, tone and moisturise along with a serum and weekly exfoliation and mask will see amazing results.”

And it’s not just what’s on the outside that counts. Makeup artist Julie Diplacito has this advice: “Drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables can really help the luminosity of the skin.” Try cutting out (or down on) fried and processed meals and prioritise alkaline food. Ditching dairy is also thought to improve skin quality.

Aim for eight hour’s sleep, try to avoid touching your face with dirty hands, and up the frequency of washing your pillowcases and makeup brushes. “Stay clear of face wipes, as they will dry out the skin and make you more prone to spots,” adds Julie.


Wishing the last few weeks away
While you might be keen to put in that extra effort as your wedding draws closer, don’t switch your skincare products too much or go on crash diets as both can have an adverse effect on your skin. Yes, you might be able to lose ten pounds on a cat food diet, but you’ll be miserable, it’ll wreck your skin and it will cause havoc with your final dress fittings.

Heavy exfoliation can bring spots out, so don’t use a harsh scrub or go nuts with your Clarisonic. Trying out an untested facial treatment is similarly ill-advised. Don’t let your pal talk you into a chemical peel or microdermabrasion if you’ve not had a series of these procedures over the last six months or so.

Aveda Outer Peace Acne Spot Relief
Outer Peace Spot Relief, £21, Aveda

The final countdown
It’s now mere hours until you are walking down the aisle. A gargantuan – well, according to you anyway – spot has erupted on your chin. “Don’t panic! One things I’d recommend is a neutralising green mask applied to the area, and my go-to product for tackling tricky zits is Aveda’s Outer Peace Blemish Spot Relief. It literally zaps the blemishes away so it’s always good to have in your makeup bag,” says Ashleigh.

“If you have any skin concerns then mention them to your makeup artist as they happen,” says Claire Aitken of Spotlight Bridal Makeup, Hair and Beauty. “Don’t leave them until the morning of the wedding, as there may be something we can help with ahead of time, or bring specialised products along on to the day to help.”

Your teenage self is whispering that it’ll be a doddle to pop. DON’T LISTEN: repeat, do not put your hands – clean or not – anywhere near that pimple. “The worst thing you can do is pick at spots,” says Claire. “It is so much easier for us to cover a blemish with product than try to deal with seeping or dry skin.”

Leave the little blighter in the capable hands of your MUA. They’ll be well-versed in how to camouflage inflammation and redness.  “It’s important to build up product, while still making it look minimal,” says Julie. “Concealer is best for disguising breakouts, but the trick is keeping the balance between spots looking covered but not cakey.”

Our final piece of advice: smile! Don’t let paranoia that your skin isn’t perfect – is anyone’s? – affect your confidence on the big day. “Nothing helps you have a glow more than being at ease and smiling,” points out Ashleigh. We couldn’t agree more! Your photos will last a lifetime: your photographer can Photoshop your skin but he can’t magic a grin onto your face if you’ve spent the day worrying about how you look.