By Becca Jones
Wouldn’t you know it, stress and weddings go hand-in-hand—as do stress and acne. But a giant, red pimple is certainly not on any bride or groom’s vision board, because if there were any good time for a breakout, weeks before your big day is not it.
Thankfully, there’s skin and acne experts like Danielle Gronich and Kayleigh Clark who’ve been there and seen that all before, as co-founders of CLEARstem, an anti-aging and anti-acne skin care line. (Gronich is also the owner of San Diego Acne Clinic.)
The two were kind enough to answer a few FAQs regarding how to make sure your skin is stress-free and glowing on your big day. Ladies, take it away!
How far in advance of the wedding should brides and grooms start paying special attention to their skin?
DG: At least two months. If somebody is breaking out, maybe three months. If you’ve been using products for a while that have kept you clear when you weren’t stressed, keep with those. Don’t make any drastic changes at least the month before the wedding. [At San Diego Acne Clinic] we want to have time to correct that and identify what we think went wrong.
Ahead of a wedding, brides and grooms are obviously more critical of their skin… and picking at it more. What recommendations do you have to prevent that?
DG: Dim the lights in the bathroom! Some people have really fluorescent bathroom lights. You know they’re really, really bright. You hop in there and you’ll get in the mirror and start seeing things people in normal lighting would never see.
Also, avoid using magnifying mirrors. Those can be very dangerous. You’ll start looking at one individual pore, trying to clear it out, and before you know it you’ve ripped your face.
When you have the urge to pick at your skin, what can you do instead?
DG: Neurotransmitter-wise, when people are picking they’re searching for dopamine or serotonin. There are other activities that immediately provide that, like turning on music or going for a walk. You can put a clay mask on, so you have that feeling of satisfaction of doing something beneficial for their skin. Or you can do a little ice facial. Take a couple ice cubes and swirl it around the skin for up to a minute. That always feels good and it calms inflammation.
Are there any dietary changes brides and grooms can make to help clear their skin or prevent breakouts?
KC: The big one is removing dairy. Dairy is the worst food trigger that exists. If you’re truly willing to make some moves in your diet, dairy is the very first one. Sugar is the second. Processed sugars? Yes, but also be aware of high sugar in root as well. If you’re having a massive acai bowl every day for breakfast—that also has granola that has sugar in it, that also has bananas and strawberries on top—you’re eating three times your daily amount of sugar. Gluten is, of course, also a trigger for a lot of people. If someone really doesn’t want to cut out gluten from their diet permanently, it might be a good idea to cut it out at least two months before the wedding. Anyone can do that! Alcohol and caffeine are the other two.
No caffeine or alcohol, really?!
KC: Switch from a coffee to a matcha. Coffee gives you a blood sugar spike—it makes you crave more carbs and it raises testosterone. Because matcha has l-theanine in it, it doesn’t give you a blood sugar spike, so it’s a much cleaner than caffeine or coffee would be. Instead of alcohol, make mocktails. Pouring soda water in a glass with splash of clean juice and having the feeling you’re having a drink, without the alcohol, sometimes releases the same dopamine and serotonin hormones that make having a drink feel good.
Any parting advice?
KC: When people get married, they’re doing a lot of makeup trials. [Often times] the makeup used are the big brands—they are pore clogging. So, even though it looks amazing, when they’re doing their trials, remember just to wash it off quickly! You’re not going to want to walk around in those heavy, pore clogging ingredients all day.