Updated 4/19/21. Over the course of my 30+ year career as an esthetician, I’ve helped many brides prep their skin before their big day (including myself—I prepped my own skin for my wedding in 2006!). In this post, I’ve distilled all of my experience down into a fail-proof, six-month guide to ensure you have glowing skin by your wedding day, too.
Six Months Before the Wedding
Find a Reputable Skincare Professional
Six months is the perfect amount of time to ensure that your skin is clear, smooth, and glowing for your big day. It’s important to find a skincare spa or clinic that offers a wide range of skincare services to give your skin everything it needs.
Schedule a Consultation
What may be the perfect skincare regimen for your friend may not be the perfect skincare regimen for you, so be sure to ask a professional all your questions—particularly those about the cost of treatments, potential side effects, and the results you can expect.
I highly suggest that you book a virtual consultation with a Renée Rouleau esthetician. During the six-step personalized session, you will learn all about your unique skin type and how to care for it. Plus, you can ask specific questions about your skincare goals and concerns, whether that’s wedding-related or not.
Fit It In the Budget
Generally, a good skincare routine—including both professional and home care products—can range anywhere from $1000-$2000. Tip: if the budget is tight, let your maid of honor know that getting your skin in its best condition is a priority. She could plan a shower during which everyone pitches in to give your skincare services as a gift.
Patch Test Your Skin
When starting a new skincare regimen, be sure to do a patch test first. After all, allergic reactions can take up to four weeks to heal. How do you do a patch test? Rub a small amount of product on the side of your neck and wait 24 hours. If redness or irritation occurs, avoid using the product.
Follow the Plan Set Forth by Your Skincare Professional
A variety of skincare procedures such as ultrasonic exfoliation, facials, microdermabrasion, light therapy, oxygen, microcurrent, and chemical peels will all be beneficial in getting your bridal glow. It’s important you follow a skincare professional’s guidance since it will be tailored specifically for you and your unique skin concerns.
If You Have Breakouts:
This will minimize dry skin cells, which will lessen clogged pores and blemishes and fade post-breakout scars. Look for products that contain exfoliating acids and enzymes, such as my Triple Berry Smoothing Peel.
Keep the Skin Clear of Breakout-Causing Bacteria
Products that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree help eliminate bacteria, which, in turn, prevents breakouts from occurring. Try my AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel, which contains a blend of salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids to clean deep within the pores.
Keep the Skin Hydrated
If you’re prone to breakouts, your skin needs water-based moisture to keep cells healthy and discourage dead skin cell buildup. Use an oil-free moisturizer, such as my Skin Recovery Lotion. It uses comforting and hydrating ingredients, to keep skin balanced and clear with fewer visible blemishes.
If You Have Discoloration and Dark Spots:
Use a Skin-Brightening Ingredient
Ingredients like vitamin C and kojic acid suppress melanin cells and accelerate the fading process of dark spots (you can get stable vitamin C in my Vitamin C&E Treatment). It’s important to combine skin-brightening ingredients with regular exfoliation and the daily use of sunscreen. The former breaks up pigment cells, while the latter prevents new dark spots from forming.
If You Have Redness and Rosacea:
Avoid Washing Your Skin with Hot Water
Hot water is one of the top rosacea triggers. Cleansing your skin with cooler water will reduce redness and keep the skin calm.
Use Soothing Ingredients
Soothing ingredients include chamomile, azulene, and sea whip. All of these help to comfort the skin and reduce redness, which makes them great ingredients to use if you have rosacea.
Make Sure to Get Facial Treatments that Cater to Sensitive Skin
Facials can be extremely calming for sensitive skin, but before you get one, make sure that your esthetician has experience in caring for this very delicate type of skin. They will know which treatments and ingredients to use, and just as importantly, which treatments and ingredients to avoid. On that note, avoid strong chemical peels, which can exacerbate redness and irritation.
Three Months Before the Wedding
Make a Commitment to Avoid Picking Your Skin
Breakouts usually last just three to five days, but when you pick at them, it can cause a red mark, which could linger for three months. I know it’s tempting, but you can make problematic skin much worse by picking. In fact, picking can force bacteria deeper into the skin, which could result in scarring and even more breakouts! Instead of picking, schedule regular facials, during which your pores can be professionally cleaned. Having a twisty toy nearby never hurts either.
Cut Back on Invasive Treatments
If you have been getting laser treatments or a series of skin peels, now is the time to start cutting back and enter maintenance mode instead. Hopefully, those aggressive procedures helped clear breakouts, post-breakout scars, and discoloration. Now, shift your focus to maintaining the results. Schedule a professional facial every three to four weeks for the remaining three months.
One Month Before the Wedding
Now you’re on the home stretch, and it’s not the time to experiment with new products or services. Keep everything gentle. Don’t overdo it on professional treatments or aggressive skincare products.
Avoid Dairy if You’re Prone to Acne Cysts
You might have heard that greasy food and chocolate can cause breakouts. When it comes to breakouts—especially those that are cyst-like—in the chin and jaw areas, they’re most often related to dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt, milk, and cheese. Try cutting back to see if your skin clears up! In the meantime, read up on treating acne cysts.
Sleep a Full Eight Hours Each Night
Sleep is not only important when it comes to keeping dark circles at bay, but it is also the time when your body is most metabolically active, ridding itself of toxins that would otherwise wreak havoc on your skin. Sleep also reduces stress, which is the number one aggravator of acne.
Keep Your Skincare Products Cold
When nerves are high, it can cause increased blood flow to the skin. What can you do to counteract this? Store your skincare products in the refrigerator to keep them cool, so when you go to use them, they will calm and soothe your skin.
Three Days Before the Wedding
Get Your Final Facial
The final facial before your wedding should be all about skin smoothing by way of gentle exfoliation and hydration. Make sure your esthetician keeps extractions at a minimum to avoid unnecessary redness.
Don’t Experiment with New Products
You don’t want to risk an adverse reaction to a new skincare product in the final days before your wedding, so stick with the tried and true products in your regimen.
This one’s especially important for people who are having a destination wedding. If you’ve traveled somewhere tropical, you might be tempted to eat all the seafood that’s available to you. Just know that many people are allergic to the iodine that is commonly found in shellfish. This can result in serious skin and body reactions, so now’s not the time to indulge if you haven’t before.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol leads to puffiness, so for every alcoholic drink you consume, follow it up with a four to eight-ounce glass of water, which will prevent unnecessary puffiness. Or, simply avoid it altogether.
Avoid Crying (If Possible)
This one’s tricky, as it’s only normal to shed a few tears at all the celebratory speeches that accompany weddings. However, if at all possible, avoid crying, since it causes the eyes to swell, resulting in excessive under-eye puffiness. If you end up shedding a few tears, it’s not the end of the world. Read up on what you can do to alleviate under-eye puffiness.
The Day of the Wedding
Apply a Gel Mask
Gel masks, like the Rapid Response Detox Masque, are water-based, so they won’t add any oil to the skin, thus interfering with wedding day makeup. Instead, they calm the skin and give it a smooth, healthy, and hydrated glow.
Drink A Lot of Water
To prevent puffiness, whether that’s from crying, alcohol intake, or something else entirely, drink ice water throughout the day. Not only is this beneficial to the skin, but it’ll also prevent your mouth from going dry due to nerves (it’s a win-win).
Practice Deep Breathing
There is nothing better for calming nerves than frequent and intentional deep breathing. Try to relax and enjoy the moment. Your big day is here.
Next, how to handle wedding skin emergencies, from surprise blemishes to flushed skin.
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Her hands-on experience as an esthetician and trusted skin care expert has created a real-world solution — products that are formulated for nine different types of skin so your face will get exactly what it needs to look and feel its best. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”
I love your website and I plan to fly to Dallas to have an appointment with you, but until then I’d love some guidance on light therapy. I am confused about this red light and blue light therapy I am hearing and seeing so much about. Is there anyway you can go into some detail about light therapy? Are the LED machines better than a full body florescent tanning bed (converted) situation? I have acne and brown spots that I would love to get under control and I have been trying to decide if light therapy would be a good choice. They seem to be expensive and I’d love to give it a try, but I don’t want to waste my money. Any info/insight would be very helpful. Thank you!
Posted By: Cari |
Hi Cari, We incorporate some red light therapy into one of our facials but it’s a very mild treatment and does not work to lighten brown spots. The treatments you are speaking of are probably done by a doctor so you’ll want to consult with one in your area. For brown spots, we suggest our Triple Berry Smoothing Peel and Vitamin C&E Treatment. You can read more about how to fade skin discoloration here https://blog.reneerouleau.com/2011/09/a-safer-alternative-for-treating-brown-patches-on-the-skin/
Posted By: Renée Rouleau |