How many months prior to their wedding should women start with a skincare routine?

Skincare routine is a gradual process to improve skin quality. Depending upon the skin problem, treatment may need to start at least four to eight weeks before the big day. If you have acne or pigmentation problems, the treatment progresses gradually, and then it has to taper down well before the wedding day. Treatments very close to the wedding day may carry risks of reaction or allergies. If overall skin is good without significant issues, then skin polishing/rejuvenating procedures can be done two weeks prior to the day of wedding. Some skin glow programmes can be done one or two days prior to the wedding day. It’s important to consult the doctor well in advance to know the programme you may need for your skin.

What regimen should women follow to get that bridal glow before their wedding day?

A few days before the wedding, avoid harsh treatments or products. Do not use any new products as you may react negatively to it. The best regime is one that includes plenty of fluids, a good night’s sleep and adequate moisturisers. An organic facial can help to give an instant glow to the skin.

Many brides embark on drastic weight-loss regimens for their big day, and the stress of that and the planning process as a whole can wreak havoc on their skin. How can they protect themselves from this?

The weight loss regime should start at least two to three months in advance and it should be done under medical supervision. An unsupervised weight loss regime may cause acne breakout, or hair fall. Weight loss programmes needs planning. Consult your nutritional advisor who will assess your BMI, skin and hair condition. Based on that they will advice you food management with adequate supplementation for skin and hair so you don’t go through the side effects of sudden and excessive weight loss. Reduce the portion size of your meal – you can increase the frequency but small portion size prevents abdominal bloating and is easy to metabolise. Avoid excessive sugar and consume green tea frequently. Keep yourself active – take the stairs where you can and remember to hold your tummy tight while doing your routine stuff.

If a bride-to-be is prone to bad skin and spots, what can she do?

Acne breakout, dry skin, pigmentation patches and rashes are the most common problem soon-to-be-brides go through. The key is to reduce the sebum content of your skin if you have breakouts by reducing oily and fried food, washing face with cold water, glycol acid face wash, topical antibiotic lotions, and avoiding picking on skin. For dry skin, rashes and pigmentation avoid harsh chemicals on the face, use gentle face wash and apply moisturisers. You can use some skin soothers or medicated creams to reduce rashes and spots, but under supervision.

What general tips would you give soon-to-be-brides for skincare?

Wash your face depending upon the oiliness of skin, moisturise your skin well – provided you do not have acne issues – and avoid harsh chemicals or treatments close to the wedding day. Use makeup just for the main occasion and give some rest to your skin before that. Do not use excessive astringent or makeup removers as it makes your skin more dry and sensitive. A little moisturiser and the natural oil of your skin is great protection.

– Dr Sanjay is a consultant plastic surgeon at Cocoona Center for Aesthetic Transformation.