One of the cardinal beauty rules is that your makeup will only be as good as your starting canvas; this means having hydrated, undamaged and well-cared-for skin. In the run-up to the wedding, most brides treat themselves to a litany of products and treatments to achieve pure perfection; and while months of love and care play a vital role in your overall look, the skincare you use the night before your special day can make or break your your look on the day.

Treatments To Avoid

In general, you should avoid trying anything brand new and never before tested on your skin at least a month before your wedding day, let alone the night before! Some products can break this rule; primarily anything with active ingredients that you've used in the past with no issues although it may be prudent to do a patch test on another part of your body in case it causes redness, rashes or even an allergic reaction.

If you haven't tried chemical exfoliants before then don't bother now, you may end up irritating your skin and causing a flare-up of redness or sensitivity that can throw a wrench in your wedding day plans. Don't even think about a peel or laser treatment after the two-week mark either, you have no clue how your skin is going to react and now is not the time for experimentation.

Treatments To Try

It can be easy to get caught up in pre-wedding jitters and take it out on your skin so having a clear and defined list of the basics that you stick to is vital. You have to keep in mind that the skincare you apply the night before is going to be a little different than the routine you've been following for months. You can't expect dramatic overnight changes, this is about prepping your skin to be the best canvas for your makeup artist to work with, which means your skincare should focus on delivering layers of hydration and soothing ingredients to your complexion. The ideal base for wedding makeup is calm, moisturized, and firm skin.

Cleanser

Going to bed with clean skin is one of the most important steps in this routine, you don't want any little spits popping up while you're off in dreamland so getting your skin as clean as possible is vital! This is where you stick to your tried and true, if you haven't used an oil cleanser before/you only ever use oil cleanser then this is not the time to switch things up. Be kind to your face and neck not only with the products you choose but how you apply them! There's absolutely no point choosing the most gentle face wash on the market if you're going to use it to rub your skin raw or scald yourself with hot water.

Neostrata PHA Facial Cleanser

Dermalogica Precleanse Cleansing Oil

Comfort Zone Remedy Cream to Oil

Mist

A soothing spray can be a great addition to your regimen especially if you're trying to curb your nerves while trying not to take it out on your skin. Use it post-cleanse to lock in hydration and prime the skin for your moisturising treatments. Since it absorbs so quickly you can give yourself a spritz occasionally without dripping all over the floor!

Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist

Caudalie Beauty Elixir Prep, Set, Glow Face Mist

NuFACE Supercharged IonPlex Facial Mist

Moisturiser

Hydrated skin is essential for a healthy glow, adding a gentle hydration product can make a huge difference not only in the look of your skin on your wedding day but also in the feel!

Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix

Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair

DRMTLGY Barrier Repair Mask

Blemish Control

If you've woken the day before your wedding to find a new addition to your face then don't panic and certainly don't pop it. Depending on the side and severity of the pimple there are some ways to remedy this predicament that don't involve digging around in your skin and causing more damage than you started with.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

Hero Mighty Pimple Patches Original

Neostrata Targeted Clarifying Gel

The Essentials

First things first is sleep, making sure you're well-rested and refreshed for the big day can have more of an effect than you would think. Inadequate sleep actually raises your cortisol levels. This hormone triggers inflammation, which breaks down the proteins that keep your skin smooth and glowing. This can make your skin more prone to acne and more sensitive to allergic reactions and causes dark circles and puffiness. Also, if you are tired from lack of sleep, it can cause your blood circulation to work less efficiently, causing your skin to appear blotchy, pigmented and drab. Make sure you're getting a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep the night before!

Another huge factor in your wedding day skin is hydration, drinking lots of water is key to maintaining your skin elasticity and bounce, making the difference between looking fresh-faced and looking on the verge of sickly. Avoiding anything that can be dehydrating or sleep-hindering is a must for the day before your wedding, that means cutting down on coffee, alcohol, sodium-heavy foods smoking or over-exposure to the sun. Not only will this keep you looking fresh on your big day, but you'll feel fresh too!

- Gráinne