Constantina Demos’ wedding skin prep if you want real results

Wedding season is fast approaching and it’s safe to say planning your big day brings with it new levels of stress and an endless list of to-dos. So we’re bringing you a bridal beauty breakdown to get you prepped and ready. From on-the-day tricks, to treatments and expert advice we’ve got you covered.

Ah, the stress of planning a wedding. As if keeping the guest count as low as possible, sticking to a budget, and finding the perfect dress isn’t enough, there’s also the whole beauty and wellness thing. Luckily, our real life bride series is here to help you deal with the bridal beauty countdown clock so you can prep, plan and primp your way to your big day with ease. From a wedding makeup artist’s own experience to a skincare-obsessive’s routine we’ve got you sorted.

Constantina Demos, founder of Attacher Store and assistant editor at Virgin Australia magazine married her partner in 2016 in Sydney. Here, she shares all the serious skincare steps and hardcore wellness changes she made to her routine in the lead up to her wedding.

Diet and Exercise

12 months out

Once I had the venue booked for our wedding (about 12 months out from the big day) I started to get serious about my health and beauty regime. I’ve always been super intermittent with eating healthily and exercising – I was a binge-dieter – but I decided I wanted to spend the next year working on my health and beauty in a holistic way. Being a person who eliminates stress by planning every second of their day, I found having a more structured approach to my health an easy way to eliminate another thing to stress about. I was doing HIIT classes four or five times a week and did a massive diet overhaul.

6 months out

Because I was working out so much and eating well I had to work on healing my body simultaneously. This involved infrared sauna sessions to help relieve tension in my body and regular 15-20 minute long stretching sessions. I also decided to do the Sydney Bridge Run which fell a month before the wedding. Having a stressful job and planning a wedding wasn’t ideal, so it was nice to have another goal that was personal and didn’t involve deadlines or anything to with the wedding. It made me realise that there’s still a whole world revolving that doesn’t involve your wedding. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype.

Bridal skin

12 months out

I was also inspired by stellar reviews celebs and friends had shared of Dr. Nigma Talib’s Younger Skin Starts in the Gut ($23.35, at Booktopia). This is a skin bible to glow-y people like Kate Bosworth, and if I was to emulate anyone’s skin on my wedding day, I figured Kate Bosworth would be it. Her skin is ethereal. I cut out alcohol for six months – bar the couple of glasses of bubbles I had for my birthday – I also eliminated dairy, processed sugar and most gluten. This was going to help with hormonal breakouts and dark circles around my eyes and overall tone and complexion. I’ve been fortunate enough to not suffer from acne but I did have a lot of blocked pores and blackheads occurring in hormonal areas. Dr. Talib helped eliminate a lot of these problems through my diet and by making my gut healthy.

Because I was trying to eliminate clogged pores and blackheads I started working to lightly resurface my skin with chemical exfoliants. At home, I was mixing pharmacy products with lush products.

At this time I was doing an at-home chemical peel to see if it helped my skin before heading in to do a treatment. I was using Dermalogica’s Rapid Reveal Peel ($128, at Dermalogica) every three days and then once a week. This helped lift some nasties, but some remained so I went in to do some Pro Power Peels at Dermalogica). When I did this I would switch to a simple hydrating moisturiser – minus the glycolic acid. Anything to avoid dry and flaky skin.

Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Daily Cleanser (unfortunately discontinued) has two key ingredients: AHAs and BHAs which worked at removing dead skin cells and preventing blocked pores. A double cleanse goes a long way, too. I was following this with Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Toner ($48, at Sephora) to avoid dehydration. Then, I’d apply Aesop Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum ($73, at Adore Beauty) and my trusty The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG ($12.70, at The Ordinary) (more like a serum). Finished off with a hydrating moisturiser like Alpha-H Balancing Moisturiser ($62, at Sephora) packed with glycolic and hyaluronic acid (I swapped between a few different ones at the time, but always with hyaluronic acid) and sealed it all in with La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+ ($29.99, at Priceline). I was also doing pharmacy hydrating masks at home.

6 months out

I was still off dairy, alcohol, sugar and gluten (90/10 ratio in terms of consistency) at this stage and felt like this was really working for my skin. I did this up to the wedding but indulged when it was time to celebrate like at my hen’s party. I was no longer doing at-home peels and was heading in for them about once every month or two, followed by LED light treatments to heal and repair the skin.

I also started including The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder ($65, at The Beauty Chef) into my routine to help give my skin a boost.

3 months out

Before my wedding I started treating myself to some lush at-home masks. I was really happy with where my skin was at, but it was looking a little dull from exercise and stress. I would alternate between Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask ($120 for 4, at Estee Lauder) and La Prairie’s Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask ($325, at La Prairie) which both worked at brightening my complexion. I used them right up until the night before my big day.

Hair and Body

I had regular haircuts (every 10 weeks) and keratin treatments (every 12 weeks). I also did a colour and cut about three weeks before, not the week before as it gave my hair time to settle. Then, just before the wedding I had a Shellac manicure and pedicure.