Photo: Arthur Belebeau/Trunk Archive
Whether you have two months, 30 days, or one week, we're here to help you get picture-perfect in time for your wedding! And one of the most important steps to loving your wedding-day look is to put your best face forward — literally! We've already revealed how to get great wedding-day hair and nails, but now we're tackling your skin.
At 60 Days: See a Skin Specialist
Phase one of complexion perfection: Visit a derm or aesthetician to tackle any major issues. Here's what to ask for, how many visits you'll need, and what it will cost you.
Best for: Fading leftover red acne marks or brown spots and patches to even out skin tone. Have sensitive skin? Opt for a gentle lactic-acid peel instead; it doesn't penetrate as deeply.
Number of treatments: One to two per month, and the last one can be performed two weeks before the wedding.
Price: From $150 per visit, but ask about bridal discounts. That goes for all treatments!
Best for: Smoothing texture to give you baby-soft skin. "It's a great way to remove the top layers to reveal a flawless complexion without downtime or discomfort," says New York dermatologist Judith Hellman.
Number of treatments: A total of six at a spa or derm's office, spaced out every two weeks. The last one can take place the week before the wedding.
Price: Starts at $150 per treatment.
Best for: Getting your glow on — both physically and mentally. A series of professional treatments will deep clean clogged pores and provide some well-deserved pampering. You can also boost results further by adding a peel of microdermabrasion at your session.
Number of treatments: One per month. Finish with a calming, hydrating facial three to seven days before the wedding.
Price: Around $120 per treatment.
Clear and Brilliant Lip Laser
Best for: Antiaging. This 30-minute procedure — a dermatologist favorite — stimulates collagen to reduce fine lines, brighten dull skin, and minimize the appearance of large pores, says New York dermatologist Diane Berson.
Number of treatments: One per month. "You can finish as late as two weeks prior to your wedding day," Berson says. "I love this as a pre-wedding treatment because it gives you the benefits of a rejuvenating laser with much less downtime."
Price: $400 to $500 per visit.
At 30 Days: Derm It Yourself
No time to see an MD about every single little complexion concern? Pick products with these power ingredients and watch your issues disappear.
Salicylic acid: It prevents blemishes, refines pores, and exfoliates.
Retinoids: A family of antiaging rock stars, battle acne, dark spots, and wrinkles by improving cell turnover (that means dead skin sloughs away faster), so everything looks clearer, glowiest, and all-around better.
Benzoyl peroxide: It zaps acne by killing the bacteria that cause it. Use a 10 perfect cream em a spot treatment or a 5 perfect formula all over to prevent future breakouts.
Hydroquinone: A strong bleaching agent, lightens the skin by inhibiting the enzyme that triggers melanin. It's available at up to a two perfect concentration over the counter.
Soy protein: This gently evens tone and smooths texture.
Vitamin C: It prevents excessive melanin formation and is top-notch for overall brightening of the skin.
Kojic acid: This is a milder alternative to hydroquinone that's derived from mushrooms, impedes melanin production to reduce spots.
Niacinamide: It strengthens the outer layer of the skin and reduces inflammation, calming redness. (Bonus: It's a great antiager!) >
Bisabolol: A chamomile extract, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-irritant properties. It soothes on contact and works nicely in a moisturizer or as a spot treatment. Keep in your bag for emergency flare-ups.
Green tea: It is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, whether you drink it or apply it via a moisturizer. Tip: Look for a formula that's beige or brown. "If it's white, the green tea could be low in concentration and not as effective," says dermatologist Judith Hellman.
Dryness & Fine Lines
Hyaluronic acid: It attracts and absorbs moisture, keeping skin plump and hydrated and improving elasticity. Use it in a serum or lotion and apply it directly after cleansing, when your skin is damp and most receptive to soaking in lots of water.
Glycerin: It pulls in water, then seals it into the skin, and its barrier-protecting properties prevent irritation. Use it in cleansers or moisturizers to leave skin smooth and supple.
At 7 Days: Zit Control
A pimple is bound to pop up just before the biggest day of your life. If this happens reach for cortisone says dermatologist Diane Berson. "You can get an injection three to four days before, but not the day of. Got a doozy on the big day? Ice it for a few minutes, then dab on redness-reducing eye drops. Avoid spot treatments, which make it tough for makeup to adhere. Instead, apply cream concealer and powder. No one will be the wiser.