BOOK FREE CONSULTATION


THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE

Some ladies  have been planning their 'Big Day' since they were little girls - they knew their dress before they knew their husband-to-be. Other ladies take wedding planning in their stride and as it comes. One thing unites all brides... wanting to look gorgeous on their wedding day, and our ultimate wedding countdown is here to help. 

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupThe average engagement is just over a year, and it's no surprise that much of that is spent planning and organising. The venue has to arranged and THE dress found, then you have to clothe the rest of the bridal party, pick the flowers, book the cars, buy the thank you gifts... the list goes on. But one think you don't want to forget is yourself! All eyes, and cameras, will be on the bride... will you be ready?

As with all things wedding related, timing is everything. If you leave your skin care regime to the last minute you may find you don't have the look you were going for. To help you schedule everything in we’ve asked our team of experts to weigh in on what appointments you need to book and exactly when to do it, giving you plenty of time to look the best version of yourself before you walk down the aisle.

 

8 MONTHS PRIOR

Yes really! You will want to start thinking about overall skin, nails and hairs goals at least 8 months before the big day to ensure you have the results you want in time. 

Treat scars, stretch marks and pigmentation

If you have any skin concerns on your body or face like acne scarring, pigmentation or stretch marks, its best to get the situation under control well in advance. Dr Ana Prasad explains

For scarring, pigmentation and stretch marks we have to start treating the deeper layers of the skin first. Just as with the foundation of a building, if you don't have a strong base to start from the end results won't be long lasting. This means that while we're initially helping to promote collagen and elastin you may not see results, however as the deeper layers of the skin strengthens the surface of the skin will dramatically improve.

If you have any specific skin concerns or lumps and bumps you're unhappy with we recommend your visit  your dermatologist.

 

Get rid of unwanted hair

When you are only one week away from the big day the last thing you want to think about is those pesky unwanted hairs. You could wax, but then you have to grow the hair out, which (we think) isn't the most comfortable feeling during the warmer months. If shaving is normally your first choice of hair removal Kate Whitling, our Non-Surgical Manager, suggests this might not be the best option either

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupShaving before your wedding day will cause a drying effect on your skin. This is especially a problem if you have booked yourself in for a tan - so throw away the razor!

A course of laser hair removal results in permanent hair reduction, and can be used to treat almost any area on the body. We would suggest a minimum of 6 treatments, 6 weeks apart to be hair free and silky smooth in time for your wedding (and honeymoon). Laser hair removal is arguably less painful than waxing, any discomfort that is felt is not long lasting, and even better it stops uncomfortable ingrown hairs. We've have written a quick guide to hair removal if you'd like to learn more. 

 

6 MONTHS PRIOR

Addressing skin concerns cannot be performed overnight, and we firmly believe anyone who sells you a ‘miracle’ product that works immediately is being misleading. Excellent and long-lasting results come from a holistic approach to skin care. Kate Whitling explains

The best results come from a combination of healthy eating, treatments that penetrate the lower layers of the skin – the dermis and hypodermis – and topical treatments that address the concerns of the epidermis.

Finding the right combination of treatments and creams can be a minefield, so our experts have compiled a brief guide to start you thinking about any problem areas you might have and how these can be addressed. However, if you’re unsure visit your Dermatologist to determine which specific skin needs you need to target.

 

ACNE PRONE SKIN

Acne ranges in severity from a few blackheads or pimples to numerous pustules, papules, pustules, with large cysts. It cannot be cured, but all four grades can be successfully treated. Acne should be initially treated with skincare products specifically designed for acne. For mild cases this could address all concerns, but for more severe cases they act as preparation for a course of treatments. Kate Whitling explains

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupFour weeks of skin preparation with the DermaClear range will start to draw out any impurities, and will nourish the skin to be in a good state to begin treatment. We would then recommend a course of Salicylic Acid Peels which will help reduce oil production and calm inflammation. We would suggest four weeks between each treatment, and allow 4 weeks post final treatments as there may be some tweaks to your regime as your skin becomes more tolerant.

Higher grades of acne will require a consultation with a dermatologist, who may provide a topical or oral medication to help with the symptoms. 

 

FINE LINES + WRINKLES

One of the most common skin concerns are fine lines and wrinkles. There are a number of treatments to address lines and wrinkles, but a gentle way to start can be with active products and either facial resurfacers or anti-ageing skin peels. Early evidence of lines and wrinkle can often be address by everyday essential products with active ingredients and skin resurfacers like the Anti-Ageing Peptide Resurfacer or Rejuvenating Pumpkin Resurfacer.

For slightly deeper lines we recommend starting with a targeted serum such as the DermaQuest Stem Cell 3D Hydrafirm Serum, part of our anti-ageing skincare range, as this will give an instant boost to dull, ageing skin. Two-four weeks of home care will prepare the skin for a course of Anti-Ageing Peptide TCA Peels to reduce fine lines and wrinkles along with stimulating collagen growth. 

 

DRY SKIN

Dry skin can be a problem for spring brides. Over the winter months it’s not unusual for our skin to dry out as a result of running between heated cars and buildings and the cold outdoors. If may seem counterintuitive, but you don’t necessarily need moisture but you do need hydration. Our DermaQuest Hydrating B5 Serum will nourish, hydrate and rebuild your skin barrier which has been compromised. Once your skin’s integrity is repaired then a course of C-Infusion Peel will exfoliate away dead skin cells, hydrate and repair your skin’s barrier.

 

Dr. Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist, adds:

An aggressive facial just before the wedding is a big no-no. Depending on the facial, it could take days (even weeks) for the redness to full subside. In order to achieve maximum results, one often needs a series of facial treatments to see the full effect and there is often at least a 2 week break between each treatment. I also always advise fastidious sun avoidance before, during and after such treatments to prevent unwanted skin hyperpigmentation.

Some good questions to ask when considering a new skincare range. THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical Group

  • What active ingredients are in the products and how do they work?

Some key ingredients for an effective range includes Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA/BHA), peptides, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes.

  • What are the particle sizes of the ingredients?

Not something we normally think about, but the larger the particles the less refined and effective the product. Your skin is the protective barrier of your body, big particles won’t penetrate – or if they can penetrate the epidermis they may not get to the deeper levels of the skin. This is a tough question and may take you being a super-sleuth. Most sales people will automatically reply ‘microscopic’ but that doesn’t mean they really are small enough, ask questions about how deeply the products will penetrate.  

  • What does the product do and how? 

Have you heard 'Jack of all trades and master of none'? No single can product meet every skincare need - for the best results products and ingredients should be personally combined based on preferences and requirements.  

  • Are the products tested on animals?

Testing on animals is unnecessary. The practice does not give you any benefits from your skincare, it simply means an organisation can trade in China. 

  • How long will the products take to work?

A product may artificially provide excellent results immediately but provide no long-term benefit. Skincare products that work from the lower levels of the skin up can mean there are no evident immediate results, and conditions can even worsen for a short period. However this is because causal factors are being pushed up from the dermis and hypodermis and after the initial period the results are deeper and therefore longer lasting.   

 

Start addressing your diet

There is a strong possibility that you have been watching what you ate since you set the date (or before) but are you eating the right things? Healthy eating isn’t cutting foods out; it’s about eating everything in moderation and ensuring you include a few extra good bits. Our nutritionist, Helen Bond, advisesTHE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical Group

Along with drinking plenty of water, plant-based foods - especially colourful fruits, green leafy veg, and low GI carbohydrates, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds are your skin’s secret weapons. Now would be the best time to remove processed, refined sugary foods from your diet, not only harmful to our teeth and potentially our waistline, but increasingly there seems to be evidence that sugar could be damaging to our skin.

Skin, hair and nails are significantly affected by diet, and poor diet will lead to these looking unhealthy.

 

Skin

Your skin needs fats! Healthy unsaturated fats to help maintain a healthy skin barrier, cutting these fats out of your diet will most likely leave skin dry and prematurely-aged. Good fats to consume are avocados, seaweed, chai seeds, flaxseeds, coconut oil, oily fish and nuts.

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupIt also needs antioxidants. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells and lead to early signs of ageing. They also help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Some of our favourite antioxidants include dark chocolate, black beans, red grapes, spinach, kale, broccoli, berries and, of course, green tea. As tempting as it is you shouldn’t try have your daily fix of antioxidants with punnets of blueberries, as we mentioned the key to healthy eating is diversity within your diet.

Finally your skin needs vitamins, particularly A, C and E. Vitamin A is transformed into retinol in the body which helps to keep the skin firm by increasing the skin’s collagen production, creating healthy cells and increasing skin supporting substances. Orange coloured vegetables are a good source of vitamin A.

Vitamin C is not only good for production of scar tissue, blood vessels and cartilage, but it also acts as a powerful antioxidant, and helps to promote collagen generation – so a bit of an all-rounder! It’s not just oranges that are a good source of vitamin C; you could also eat apricots, peppers, tomatoes, apples, papaya, mango, cauliflower, dark leaf green, kiwi, pears... the list goes on!

Last but not least Vitamin E, which is an excellent and powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E cannot be produced by the body so you need to ensure you’re eating enough of it. Fortunately it can be found in a variety of delicious foods including almonds, tofu, fish (including salmon and trout), seeds (including sunflower, pumpkin and sesame), avocados, spinach, prawns and olive oil. 

 

Hair and Nails

Glossy hair and manicured hands are certainly a wedding goal, and are very achievable as hair follicles are the fastest growing cells in the body. However, they are also the first cells to be affected by a decrease in nutrients; the body prioritised where the reduced nutrients should be focused and it doesn’t see your hair as a priority. To keep your locks thick and glossy and your nails long and strong you need to ensure your diet has a healthy combination of protein, iron and vitamins...

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupDid you know that hair strands are 90% protein? If you don't eat enough protein-rich foods, such as quinoa, lentils, nuts and animal products (including meat, eggs and cheese), your body will cut off the supply to your follicles. This not only stops growth, but also makes hair and nails dry and brittle.

Iron, which contains ferritin, also helps the body to produce hair-cell proteins, thereby encouraging growth. Red meat is a well-known source of iron, but you can also eat fish, scallops, apricots, soy products, kidney beans, chickpeas, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. You should always try to eat foods that are high in iron with foods that are high in vitamin C, as the vitamin C enhances the absorption of the iron.

Vitamin D is also a hair and nail saviour as it helps to keep hair follicles strong and aiding the absorption of calcium which encourages nail growth. You can find vitamin D in mushrooms, tofu, oily fish, eggs and pork... And of course sunshine (just remember to wear your SPF!). Combine with calcium, such as kale, nuts, dairy products, spinach and sardines, to enhance the benefits. 

 

1-2 MONTHS PRIOR

Guarantee a sweat-free wedding

What temperature is just right for your wedding day?

There’s a reason why weddings are popular in the warmer months – who wants pictures of their guests shivering under layers of clothing? Or yourself for that matter! A warm and sunny day is the ideal, but between weddings abroad and the erratic British weather there is the ever increasing risk of sweat patches. Not a good look! Increasingly we have had brides and grooms coming in together to address their damp concerns with a Hyperhidrosis treatment. Hyperhidrosis is where Botox is used to reduce the activity of the sweat glands. The treatment starts to take effect 7-10 days post treatment and generally lasts between 3-6 months, so it should see you through your honeymoon too!

 

THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY WEDDING COUNTDOWN GUIDE | Harley Medical GroupFinal body prep for the wedding and honeymoon

You’ve done all the right things, your body is almost a temple and your friends are learning a whole new way of life as you explain how much more energy you have nowadays. Yet still there is a little area of stubborn fat that just won’t shift. On the plus side it means you’re human, but that doesn’t help when it comes to feeling perfect of the day of the wedding.

There is a way to reduce areas of fat that don’t require you having to recover from surgery. Our non-surgical fat reduction treatment, Promax, mimics your body’s natural fat reduction process by depleting fat cells and breaking down triglycerides for the body to use as immediate energy, rather than blasting/removing them. This is a much safer and gentler alternative to other liposuction/body sculpting treatments, with no recovery time! This non-invasive, painless body contouring treatment reduces fat in stubborn areas such as your inner thighs, arms, hips, stomach and chin. Promax also reduces cellulite and tightens skin, all in your lunch hour. 

 

Things to think about... 

We didn't want to focus on surgical procedures on this blog, but we know many brides (and grooms) see their up-coming nuptials as the perfect excuse they've been waiting for (not that you need one!) to have a procedure. One thing we would encourage you to consider is recovery time. As our Medical Director, Simon Smith, explains

Recovery from a surgical procedure is almost two-fold; first you recover from the surgery itself i.e. the incisions heal and bruises fade. This generally takes a few weeks for most procedures and people. However, with many procedures the final results cannot be seen until sometime after surgery. Liposuction, for example, can take up to six months for the ultimate shape to be evident, while Rhinoplasty takes approximately a year for the swelling to fully subside and the final result be revealed. 

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about how we can help you get ready for your big date (or someone else's!) contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation