The secret to that wedding day glow (besides the cute groom standing at the end of the aisle)? Giving your skin a good night's sleep. As you rest, your skin works overtime repairing damage, creating new cells, and replenishing moisture, so obviously it's super important to get as much snooze-time as possible before your big day. Though there are a few things you can do before you hit the sack to speed up the process. Below, celebrity dermatologist Doris Day, MDA breaks down how to ensure a flawless, photo-ready face on your wedding day.
Go to bed with a clean face: Never — and we mean never — fall asleep with your makeup on. "Beyond just clogging your skin and causing breakouts, sleeping in makeup can lead to wrinkles down the road," says Dr. Day. Even on those nights when you're too lazy to actually wash your face, take a minute and use a cleansing wipe to remove dirt, oil, and makeup.
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Get on a five-step program: Establish a nightly skincare routine and stick to it — especially before your wedding. Dr. Day breaks down her go-to five-step daily regimen: cleanse your skin, apply toner that fits your skin type with a cotton pad, rub on an anti-aging serum, use an overnight repair treatment, and finish it off with a super-moisturizing night cream. Stay faithful to your ritual every night for a few weeks to see the best results.
Scan the ingredients list: For ultra-smooth skin, look for anti-aging treatments with retinol, which speeds up skin cells' turnover process, leaving your skin brighter and softer with fewer fine lines. Retinol can cause some redness and irritation, so if you find your skin stinging, scale back to every other night. Your other new best friends are peptides, which replenish collagen and make your skin look firmer, and anti-oxidants, which reverse damage from the elements.
Clock those eight hours: You may think you can power through on six hours with a few venti soy lattes, but your skin disagrees. And even if you go to bed a few minutes earlier, scrolling through your Instagram feed may only be keeping you up later — the blue light from your phone can inhibit production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it harder to nod off. Dr. Day suggests switching off your phone before you get into bed, and instead taking a few minutes to clear your mind of stress (no wedding worrying allowed!).
Give your body some love: While you're sleeping, your skin is working hard to repair all the damage it picked up throughout the day, which means the less punishing elements you expose it to, the less work it will have to do come sundown. "Emotional stress, pollution, dehydration, and smoking will all stress out your skin," says Dr. Day, "but the biggest cause of aging is sun exposure! It is so important to protect your skin from the sun every day." Make SPF a part of your morning routine, even during the winter and on cloudy days, and your night treatments will spend less time reversing sun damage and more time making your skin look brighter than ever.