How to Get the Perfect Skin Complexion for Your Wedding

Hair & Beauty

Looking for the perfect wedding day skin complexion? Um, of course you are! To help achieve a smooth, clear wedding-day glow, we asked Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a dermatologist who's helped scores of brides achieve complexion perfection, to share her magic.

Brides: One of your specialties is treating brides. What are their three top skin concerns?

Macrene Alexiades-Aremakas: Acne, rosacea and redness, and sun damage—primarily brown spots and fine lines.

Brides: Each case is unique, but how do you typically tackle acne?

MA: It can take up to four steps: Put the correct topical regimen of prescription skin care in place—possibly along with monthly peels; Up the ante with stronger medication if need be, including antibiotics or oral contraceptives; and if skin still doesn't clear, I use stronger peels or lasers. As a last resort: Accutane.

Brides: How about rosacea? That seems to be on the uptick.

MA: I put a prescription skin-care regimen in place first, followed by lasers to zap capillaries and clear up redness.

Brides: Sun damage?

MA: I start with anti-aging skin care, including my 37 Extreme Actives cream, and add lasers to eliminate brown spots and stimulate collagen. Regular peels can help with sun damage, too.

Brides: Can wedding stress exacerbate an existing skin issue, like acne?

MA: Yes. That's why I give my brides carte blanche to come in anytime the week before for a "wedding emergency" treatment. I inject any cysts that emerge with cortisone, so they're completely gone on the big day.

Brides: Many brides are constantly trying the "next big thing" in skin care. Is there a downside to switching products too frequently, or using too many?

MA: I call that "status cosmeticus!" It's important to be on the correct regimen. But that sounds simpler than it is; it takes science and art. So it's best that brides see a good dermatologist a year in advance to get their regimen in place, be it anti-acne or anti-aging. If they can't do that, they should at least look to products developed by a derm. Only with long-term use will they accumulate good results and transform their skin.

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