How to Help Clear Acne Before Your Wedding Day

Weddings come with many hopes, dreams, and pressures attached. And if you have acne – forget it! You’re always worrying about how your skin will look for the ceremony and the numerous pictures taken on the big day. Enough already!

While it's true that nothing can guarantee clear skin on any given day, let alone your special day, there are many things you can do to improve your odds. The key is to cultivate healthy habits, which, with the support of the right preventative products, can make a big difference. Easy-peasy, right?

Understanding the Causes of Acne

Acne happens when sebaceous glands produce too much oil and clog hair follicles, which are also known as pores. Acne makes itself known in various forms, including pimples, cysts, whiteheads, and blackheads. The most fundamental thing to know about acne is that it's a process that develops over weeks, and taking preventative measures well before your wedding day helps break that cycle early on.

There are a number of different factors influencing your skin's behavior, and genetics play a significant role when it comes to acne. Other factors, you'll come to understand as you continue reading, are within your control even as you continue as you plan your big day.

Understanding the Causes of Acne

Stress and Acne

Take a deep breath and relax. No, really! One of the major contributors to an acne breakout is stress, which impacts the hormonal balance in the body. Stress hormones accelerate oil production in your skin and can lead to acne eruptions.

Planning a wedding is a uniquely stressful experience, so this factor merits special attention. There are various strategies recommended by experts for managing stress, such as massage, yoga or regular workouts that can help to relax your body. A healthy sleep schedule will also enhance your focus and energy, helping your body better cope with stress.

There are a number of important tips specific to wedding planning that can help reduce your stress levels considerably:

  • Take breaks as needed and resist the urge to let the event completely take over your life
  • Talk out problems or anxieties with friends and family members
  • Keep organized with files, budgets, and to-do lists
  • Take a trip out of town when you sense a serious need to decompress
  • If possible, hire a planner to reduce the workload of dealing with vendors, décor, and bookings
  • Keep everything in perspective; don't sweat the little things, and remember the most important thing is saying "I do"

Dealing effectively with stress and keeping an even keel isn't easy when you're in the midst of planning one of the most important days of your life, but it can be a key factor for healthy looking skin.

Diet and Acne

It's common for diet and weight loss to become a major concern as your wedding day approaches. Diet is known to influence the clearness of your skin, even if it's no longer considered to be a primary cause of acne as experts once believed. The good news is that many of the same foods you may choose as part of a weight-loss diet also fit well with an anti-acne diet.

There are foods that can potentially cause acne triggers, although whether they do so will differ from person to person. Dairy products are one of the main culprits, as are foods with high glycemic loads, including pasta, white rice, white bread, and foods high in sugar.

Dermatologist Mary Sheu, M.D. Lays out some further fundamentals: "Avoid excessive sugar, desserts, and sodas . . . In terms of healthful foods, leafy greens and a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C and beta-carotene can be helpful because these nutrients have an anti-inflammatory effect."

Although not all dietary causes and solutions are entirely clear, these are good signposts you can use to keep track of how your skin responds to certain foods. Along with a food diary, you can start building an effective anti-acne diet tailored to your skin.

The main thing to keep in mind with any diet is not to overdo it — your diet should not be starving you — and avoid fad diets that involve completely cutting out entire food groups. As with wedding plans, it's important to pay attention to your diet and keep it in perspective.

Your Environment and Acne

Among the biggest environmental contributors to acne you might face are pollution and exposure to grease or oil, which can be overcome with rigorous daily hygiene.

Long hours exposed to the sun can also severely dry out skin and cause acne as the skin secretes oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. On the other hand, heavy sunscreen can clog pores and also lead to acne. If you're taking a trip to the beach to get a break from wedding preparation craziness, avoid prolonged sun exposure and use a sunscreen that's designed for acne-prone skin.

Hygiene, Cosmetics and Acne

One of the best ways to compensate for all the acne-causing factors you can't control is to simply practice good hygiene and skin care. Showering after sweating or playing sports, washing oily hair 3-4 times weekly (use dry shampoo for off days) and washing your face twice daily is recommended. Avoid sharing your makeup tools with other people, since sharing tools means sharing bacteria that in turn can cause breakouts.

Finally, use cosmetics, make-up and a skincare regimen that are specifically designed to break the cycle that causes acne. Proactiv's product line takes a comprehensive approach to the fight against acne and making it a part of your regimen helps to ensure your skin is the clearest it can be for your wedding day.

There's No Magic Bullet... but Healthy Habits and Choices Make a Difference

It's worth pointing out that there's no single thing — no tai chi class, yoga routine, superfood or skin care product — that can guarantee freedom from acne breakouts. But living and eating healthy, managing your stress levels and practicing good hygiene (with the support of acne-fighting systems like Proactiv) help lead to the best possible outcome on your most special day.