I’ve never been married, but I was practically handcuffed to my sister during the six months leading up to her wedding. As her maid of honor and ceremony officiant, I happily joined in on every cake tasting, dress tailoring, and makeup trial for moral and sometimes even physical support (in photos you can see the whites of her knuckles from how tightly she held onto my arm). Because of this, I do feel as though I was granted an intimate look into the intense pressure placed on brides for everything, and I mean everything, to be nothing short of perfect on that special day.
This obligation extends beyond the traditional wedding tropes like finding the elusive, fits-like-a-glove dress and breathtaking venue—a lot of it centers around looking your best. There’s a widely adopted belief that on your wedding day, you are to show up as the most radiant and elegant version of yourself. This pervasive pressure explains why so many brides panic during their search for pre-wedding skin care; it’s also why early on in aesthetician school, we were taught that brides-to-be are our most reliable customers.
All this to say, the first and perhaps most crucial step in prepping skin pre-wedding is managing your expectations. It is, of course, completely valid to want to feel beautiful and confident on your wedding day, but your skin will always have texture and pores. Accepting that, first and foremost, will make creating an efficacious and realistic skin-care plan a whole lot easier.
So as opposed to binge-purchasing every product in sight, take some time to evaluate what exactly you want out of your skin care. Setting specific goals for yourself—whether that’s reducing acne, increasing collagen or elastin, or simply hydrating the skin—will ultimately allow you to create a routine that makes sense for you and puts you on track toward an attainable skin-care plan for your wedding day.
Keeping track of the timeline leading up to your wedding is also a crucial aspect of creating a pre-wedding skin-care plan. You want the benefits of all your products and treatments, while making sure none of the possible negative side effects pop up on the big day. To help get on track and better understand how certain treatments work, we spoke to experts, some of whom have worked with celebrities in preparation for their wedding day, about what products and treatments they recommend, as well as the best times to start and stop using certain skin-care products.
Six to 12 Months in Advance
First Time Trying Injectables
According to Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a board-certified dermatologist based in Boston, if you’re hoping to try out injectables like Botox or a filler ahead of your wedding, the best thing to do is grant yourself as much time as possible. “In an ideal world, I would have people come in as early as a year before their wedding to create a plan—that way, we can discuss what you’d like to achieve and work together to ensure that you will have the best results on the day,” says Hirsch. She explains that giving yourself more time will also allow for more careful allocating of funds and open up the possibilities to more types of treatments. “Ultimately, more time equals way more options for you, not only just in terms of procedures, but, importantly, in terms of downtime and cost,” she adds. But, of course, not all weddings are planned a year out. In these cases, Hirsch recommends coming in at least six months in advance for an initial consult and injectable treatments. “While my general rule of thumb is the more time the better, six months is a decent amount of time for your dermatologist to get a grasp on your expectations and also see how your skin responds to the treatment,” she explains.
Six Months Before the Wedding
Start a New Retinoid
Jumping into laser treatments to reduce acne scarring without fixing the root of the problem—the acne itself—is probably not the best use of your budget. If there is still active acne, it’s best to start off by working with your dermatologist to create a plan to keep your blemishes at bay. A tried-and-true way to treat acne, rough or congested skin, and hyperpigmentation issues is by applying retinoids, a vitamin-A derivative that, when used topically, increases cell turnover and makes way for fresh, new cells to reach the surface of your skin.