Brides don’t need anyone to stress the importance of looking good on their wedding day. After all, they already know the photographs they will display for the rest of their lives. The friends and family members they haven’t seen for years and probably won’t see again for a few more years. The fact that they (along with their partner) are going to be the center of attention all night long. But as much as a hair and makeup professional can make a difference. There are some things you can do to help them out. For example, clear skin and healthy hair are easier for any professional to work with.

1.) Get plenty of sleep. As much as you’ve probably heard it, sleep has more benefits than you think. Growth hormones that initiate tissue repair, for example, are most active during your deepest stage of sleep (the stage right before REM. Plus, collagen (responsible for increasing your skin’s firmness) is at its peak during sleep hours. Beauty sleep, indeed.

2.) Drink plenty of water (and ditch the other stuff). Drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your body. It helps to flush out toxins and other waste products (which your energy drink, coffee, and wine are only adding to), and it helps your organs function properly (which can be reassuring with the amount of stress you are probably under). Plus, being properly hydrated helps you have more energy and improves the texture of your skin.

3.) Eat clean food. That means laying off the preservatives and salt, specifically. If you’re drinking plenty of water, let it do its job! Don’t sabotage it by eating crap! Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially those that are darkly colored, like spinach, blueberries, and blackberries) have anti-oxidants and plenty of water. At the same time, foods like bananas, cranberries, and asparagus are natural diuretics, ridding your body of any excess fluid it’s holding on to (hello, no more bloating).

4.) Get plenty of exercise. An adequate amount of exercise keeps you feeling great (literally, it’s the best natural anti-depressant out there) and keeps your looking great. Besides the obvious health and beauty benefits (you’ll look amazing in your wedding dress and be able to dance the night away without feeling out of breath), your skin, hair, and nails will also thank you. Regular exercise keeps cortisol levels (which create wrinkles) at bay and improves circulation, which means less acne, healthier, shinier hair, and the end of yellow, brittle nails.

5.) Moisturize and use SPF. Dry hair and skin are not attractive to anyone, and as much as you love that tan, it only damages your body. Help yourself by keeping your skin moisturized with an SPF-rich lotion, and consider giving your hair a weekly deep moisturizing treatment during the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Lily’s Bridal is Maryland’s Premier Bridal and Prom Boutique. Lily’s Bridal offers wedding gowns and prom dresses. Our plus-size collection is a must-see.