The Bridal Beauty Look: Go for the Glow

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Every bride has her own unique and special beauty that shines through on her wedding day. The setting, the gown, the flowers, the bridal party, ….. all that surrounds you on those first moments as you begin your walk down the isle towards marriage are in the eyes of the audience. You are making a lasting memory in those instants, so what is it they will remember most about you, and what will be reflected in your photos and video long after the event?

Vibrancy…..radiance…sparkle……glow…..that special loveliness that emanates from a young lady in one of the happiest events in her life! What is the point of reference to these often heard comment about brides during their wedding day? The skin! Your skin is the resonance of all that is emoting within you. It reflects your beauty as well as your quality of health, your moods, facial expressions, actions and emotions. It is also the canvas that upholds the enhancement, illumination, and decoration with color, otherwise known as makeup!

The Chemistry of Beauty
Scientifically speaking, a radiance or glow means that the flush tones of the skin are more translucent, thus a natural blush or brightness to the skin is noticeable. This area of the skin is referred to as the stratum corneum, and it reflects a healthy blood circulation and skin that is free of cellular build-up or damage, and irritation. Skin that is uncared for, dry, flaky, or broken out for a variety of reason causes the epidermis (the very top layer of skin) to become more opaque in appearance, giving a dull look, and the appearance of skin tone that looks slack and uneven textured.

Skin is affected by many factors both internally and externally. Stress, hormones, and medications can play havoc with the skin. Drugs and alcohol (including caffeine and nicotine) constrict blood vessel flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the skin. Eating too much fast food or junk food, lack of sufficient water intake, and poor quality food sources further decrease nutritional support for skin. Constant exposure to a polluted environment causes a chain reaction of skin cells being attacked and scavenged by a process called "free radical oxidation". Sun exposure is a big enemy of skin and causes rapid acceleration of skin cell death. This can result in permanent skin damage, or even skin cancer.

The skin is the most proactive organ of the body, and it can be quite "vocal" about the abuse, neglect, or attacks it takes on a daily basis. Your skin is the first line of defense against invasion and it often shows the results of the battles. Just beneath the skin's surface are nerve cells that connect with the next layer (dermis) and act as the skin's stimulus to react immediately to whatever is happening on the surface. Hormone receptors are also lodged in skin cells, and a surge of estrogen or cortisol (the stress hormone) can also kick off a variety of systemic skin reactions such as acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, etc. Your skin can contract, expand, turn colors, or erupt in a variety of ways (both topical and systemic) to protect you and your internal organs from serious attack, and even invasion. We tend to think of skin as more a partner in a beauty regimen rather than a warrior on a battlefield. But, if you can combine both thoughts as you care for and make choices in how you live in your skin, then you will have a much better appreciation and understanding of what this amazing organ does. It is quite possible to enhance and improve on what nature and genes have bestowed upon you.

Nurturing the Skin You're In
Skin responds quite well to tender loving care and specialized treatments, and there are things you can do on a daily basis that will help put you on the road to clarity and radiance in looking your very best. This begins with what we put into and do for our bodies such as a nutritious diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, minimizing stress, and avoiding drugs and tobacco products. Most importantly is protecting the skin daily from environmental conditions by using a targeted skin protecting regimen.

There are two sides to this coin. First of all, what we do for the body from the inside is the basis for healthy glowing skin. A diet high in fiber, nutrients, and water intake helps the body to flush out waste and toxins that can add to skin problems. The body requires a certain amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential acids to repair and build skin cells that have been damaged. Anti-oxidant nutrients help protect our skin from the free radical oxidation. Avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco will help prevent restriction in your circulatory system which plays a crucial role in skin metabolism and cellular regeneration process.

Secondly, proper topical care for your skin type with a targeted daily regimen is what keeps the skin looking youthful and healthy. It is a proven fact that regular skin care can compensate some for biological and environmental influences which can prevent skin from achieving its optimal appearance. Choose products that clean without stripping down the mantle of the skin. Use moisturizers that are free of petroleum, mineral, or animal based oils and avoid the greasy residues. Control sebum (natural oil) production on skin to keep blemishes and break-outs in check.

Scared Straight
The most important item of your beauty regimen is the use of a sun screen/block that has a minimum SPF of 15 to protect the skin from UVA and UVB ray damage from the sun. A tan is something we have somehow come to associate with "healthy looking skin". In stark reality, this is an injury from the sun that has caused quite a bit of damage in exchange for a "little bit of color". Permanent underlying damage to both cells and genes occurs every time skin absorbs direct rays of ultraviolet sunlight. Some cells are killed immediately. Others are wounded, spilling out chemicals that irritate tiny blood vessels, causing irritation and that tell-tale crimson sign of a burn. UV rays also breakdown collagen and elastin fibers that result in drooping and sagging of skin, and the weakening of blood vessels that cause spider veins. Free radical production also kicks in, those corrosive little molecules that alter cellular DNA and damage the genes. Long after a tan fades the genetic damage remains, showing itself later on as brown spots, mottled pigmented areas, moles, and the biggest threat of all: skin cancers. A tan doesn't seem very pretty after all when you put it in the light of reality!

Extra Helpers
Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes, so now you have a resolve to take good care of the skin you own, because it is the only one you will ever have! Even if you have been careless in the past, you can stem the tide of further damage with a good regimen and smooth out some of the mistakes of the past.

In the last decade there has been an even greater explosion of products and techniques as a result of significant discoveries, advancements, and improvements in dermatology. The development and marketing of drugs, procedures, and cosmetics have given people an edge over the aging process as well as repairing and healing skin from damage and disease.

Chemical peels, dermabrasions, laser therapies, hydroxy and glycolic acids, retinoids, enzyme treatments, are just a few of the many options that have given the consumer solid ground to slow down and even reverse the signs of aged and damaged skin, while improving the clarity, texture, tone, and metabolism of the skin. Some of these products and methods can actually help remove some of the surface damage from sun exposure, while others can help heal skin breakouts and diseases. Whatever your skin condition, the most important component of any treatment or regimen is skin protection with a broad spectrum sun screen, and that means year-round protection, not just summer! Sun screen is a crucial part of a daily skin regimen for the obvious reasons previously discussed, and it is your first line of protection against the development of skin cancers caused by the sun.

Makeup enhances the natural beauty of every bride, and in which skin is the basic ingredient. The road to a radiance, and that special bridal glow starts with skin that has been cared for, nurtured, and protected. All brides have a feature that is lovely to their uniqueness, and makeup applied to a carefully tended skin will bring out that individuality. Makeup can create illusion to correct minor imperfections but it is that radiance that brings forth a personal style and character that shines from glowing skin.

Photo Credits: Top Photo-Hair and Makeup by Sabs Hernandez, Photographed by FILROBES, Accessories and wardrobe by OLEIC, Model Kate Bella / Middle Photo-Hair and Makeup by Sabs Hernandez, Photographed by FILROBES, Accessories and wardrobe by OLEIC, Model Angie Sandel / Bottom Photo-Makeup by Sabs Hernandez, Hair by Vianney Guese of L'Oreal Paris, real bride of Sabs -Maan Malabanan.

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