You said yes, and now you are planning your wedding. While there are certain tasks that every couple must tackle at the beginning of their engagement, one thing that is often overlooked right after the engagement is skincare. Most brides (and grooms for that matter!) want to look their best on their wedding day. The fear of waking up with a monster pimple to ruin your photos is real. To tackle any skin issues you have, and get a clear, glowing complexion on your wedding day, you need to start soon.
After Your Engagement – 1 Year Out
If you want to improve your skin for your wedding day, you should start as soon as possible. Begin by thinking about any skin issues that you currently have that you would like to treat. Do you have acne? Fine lines? Rosacea? Or eczema? Is your skin discoloured, or too dry or oily? Some skin concerns you can tackle on your own, such as dry or oily skin, while others may need to be handled by a dermatologist.
If you have acne, rosacea, or eczema, or if you have a scar that you are self-conscious about and want to minimize, then getting a referral to a dermatologist is the first step on your skincare journey. A dermatologist can help determine what kind of treatment you need, whether that is medicated creams, a new skincare line, procedures with an esthetician, or possibly medication. They are an amazing resource, and if you have more serious skin concerns, they should be your number one resource.
For those who do not have medical concerns regarding their skin, a trip to an esthetician at a trusted spa is in order. Depending on your skin concerns they will be able to recommend new products and treatments. One thing to keep in mind whenever you are receiving product recommendations, however, is that many spas, influencers, and online beauty gurus have official and unofficial brand affiliations. You want what is best for your skin and so do not be afraid to get second, or third opinions. Also, ask for samples! You may be able to try a product out for a week or two before committing to a purchase.
Three significant factors in skincare get left by the wayside by most people. That is food, hydration, and stress! Many people have food sensitivities that can cause breakouts. Common culprits include refined sugar and grains, dairy, fast food, and chocolate. There are many plus sides to cutting these foods out of your diet, though a little chocolate indulgence now and then does not hurt. Making sure that you stay hydrated is another key piece of the skincare puzzle. Your skin is the largest organ in the body, and by eating right and staying hydrated, you give your skin the best chance at staying healthy. The other factor in this trio is stress. If you are stressed out your body will produce more cortisol (the hormone in charge of fight or flight). Cortisol signals your skin to produce excess oil and so can cause you to break out. Keeping stress, especially additional wedding stress, under control is key to keeping your skin clear.
At a year before the big day, if you are considering doing any kind of laser hair removal or electrolysis, you should get that going. Both procedures can take months to get the results you want and can cause skin discolouration, sensitivity, and redness. You want to be fully recovered from these treatments before the wedding.
6 Months Out
At this point, you will want to start amping up your skincare regime and getting some treatments tailored to your individual concerns. Treatments such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, and microneedling need time to heal, so you will want to start them around half a year before the big day.
If you are treating discolouration, light scars, or fine lines, then microdermabrasion is a great option. Microdermabrasion is an intense exfoliation using crystals that removes the surface layer of the skin. It can be done at a spa and leaves your skin pink and sensitive but does not require any downtime. Dermabrasion is done at a doctor’s office, and you will be taking medication during the procedure to numb the area and help relax you. Dermabrasion is much more intense than microdermabrasion. It is used to help correct significant scarring, so most people do not need dermabrasion and should instead opt for microdermabrasion.
Microneedling is a popular way to improve wrinkles, fine lines, and acne and pox scars, as well as plump your skin. It is sometimes referred to as “collagen induction therapy” because it stimulates your skin to produce collagen naturally. Microneedling can be quite painful, but it truly does depend on your personal pain threshold. Some people find it mildly annoying while others shed tears during their appointment! Just be prepared for the possible pain. Microneedling also takes some time to heal, and if you are using it to get rid of scarring, you will need to go for monthly appointments up until the month before your wedding. If you are going to improve fine lines and plump your skin, then you can go once at six months, and once at three months, to reap the benefits. Do not get this treatment less than a month before the big day!
If you do not have any of these skin conditions (lucky you!) you can opt to start getting facials to help improve the look of your skin starting at six months out. Monthly facials will help correct any minor skin concerns you have and will help keep your skin clear of blackheads for the big day. Do not forget about your décolletage if your dress has a low neckline. Your esthetician can treat the area around your shoulders, neck, and chest so that you look your best.
This is also the last chance to start new products. If you start a new skincare regime much closer to the date, you could still be battling a “new product” breakout on your wedding. One great product to try out is a brightening serum. This is not a skin whitener or bleach product! Brightening serums, when used regularly, give your skin a lit-from-within glow. They can also help in evening skin tone and revitalizing dull skin.
One Month Out and Up to the Big Day
At this point, you are going to want to focus your efforts on hydrating, some gentle exfoliation, and moisturizing. You should already have your skincare routine going strong, and the best thing to do is keep it up before the big day. For some brides, they may want to treat themselves to a spray tan and if this is the case for you do a test run two days before your final wedding dress fitting to see what you will look like in your dress. If you love the way you look, then two days before the big day get your tan redone so it will look just right.
If you are a bride with a short engagement, then see an esthetician. Many things are achievable in a few months or even weeks before the big day. While some procedures need longer timelines to heal from there are many treatments, including facials, that can give you great results in a pinch. Just try not to introduce any new products into your routine less than a month to two weeks before the big day in case you react; this includes makeup, hair products, soaps, laundry detergents, and perfume!
The night before your wedding take a look at the skin on your face, chest, shoulders, and even back, and if it looks like you may have a pimple forming (some people do get pimples when they are under stress) then do some spot treatment overnight. There are lots of great options including creams, masks, and stick-on pads that can zap zits before they become a problem. You can also do a sheet mask the night before for an extra boost of moisture.
No matter what, you are going to look nothing short of amazing on your big day. Take care of yourself in the time leading up to your wedding and your skin will take care of itself.
by Kate Eadie