Nearly every bride considers revamping her health routine when imagining how she’ll look in her wedding dress. But, while we’re busy making plans for shrinking our waistline, something we don’t often think of is planning for the health of our skin. The way we eat, after all, doesn’t just affect our dress size—it affects our skin. And glowing skin isn’t solely based on genetics (thank goodness!). From wrinkle-fighting antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to hydrating healthy fats in fish, the best skin-care routine on the market can often be found in the aisles of your grocery store (or, even better, on the streets of your local farmers’ market).
The relationship between diet and skin truly is a love story—it’s full of ups, down, issues you didn’t even knew existed and, alas!, lifelong benefits if you’re willing to put in work. Today, then, we’ve broken down the three most important diet changes you can make when planning for your big day. Keep in mind, though, the benefits your skin will reap from diet changes can take up to 12 months to appear—so start now and be willing to employ some serious willpower and patience…it will all be well worth the wait when you walk down the aisle rocking that unmistakable J-Lo glow.
Three Things You Can Do For Dreamy, Dewy, Glowing Skin:
Eat Your Colors
La Di Da Beauty Artist Jessica encourages brides to start incorporating ample amounts of fruits and veggies into your daily diet. “You especially want to look for produce with deep colors that are high in antioxidants, like beets and blueberries,” she says. Challenge yourself to add color to every single meal (and we don’t mean with orange powder-coated Cheetos). Replace that piece of white toast with sliced strawberries for breakfast; add red and green bell peppers to that sandwich you’re munching on for lunch; complete your dinner with a bright green side salad.
Eliminate Your Enemies
Start to eliminate foods that can create toxicity in the body. These include refined sugars, alcohol (sorry, winos), caffeine, dairy, excessive grains, and excessive meats. La Di Da Beauty Artist Jessica also warns brides-to-be to be careful with wheat. “For many of us, wheat can be the cause of so many skin issues–everything from dry skin to acne–even if you have no digestive issues with the grain,” she says. “It’s worth taking the time to research and eliminate it if it could potentially make the difference for your skin, aka the largest organ in your body.”
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Start with eliminating one food at a time and keep a journal of how your skin reacts to the diet changes over time. You’ll also want to cut way down on salt (we can’t stress this one enough). Too much salt can cause us to retain water, leading to swelling. Those big puffy eyes you woke up with on Saturday morning? Likely a result of that bag of popcorn you dove into on Friday night. Plus, iodized salt—especially in high doses—can aggravate breakouts. (Insider’s Tip: Just because you don’t sprinkle salt on your meal, doesn’t mean it’s not already full of it. Start reading nutrition labels. You’ll be shocked at how much sodium is in the foods we eat—even those that may taste sweet.)
Purify Your Proteins
Protein is a necessary part of any diet, but the way we get our protein can have so much to do with the health of our skin. Another one of Jessica’s tricks for wedding-worthy, glowing skin is to start replacing the protein you get from red meat and dairy with plant-based proteins and fish at least 2-3 times per week. Dairy is one of the biggest culprits of acne—it promotes increased levels of androgen in our blood, which leads to excess oil production and increased potential for breakouts. Plus, milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone, which can stimulate oil glands in the skin—ultimately leading to more acne. Instead, get collagen-building protein from lean meats and fish or from pasta made from lentils and quinoa (yes, that’s a thing—and it actually tastes pretty darn good).
We get it, girl
Listen, we love a glass of wine and bag of chips as much as the next girl—and we know that changing your diet can be easier said than done. We recommend making changes in moderation at first so that you’re not prone to returning to your old ways. The relationship between skin and diet is such a touchy one—and it can take months for the benefits start to appear. Stick with it and, when all else fails, remind yourself that nothing tastes as good as clear, glowing skin looks (and feels)!
Photography // Anicia Beckwith Photography
Model // Ashley Monet