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Every bride should feel beautiful on her wedding day, but sometimes complexion issues like acne or redness can get in the way of making us feel our most stunning selves. Luckily, we've got the dermatologist-approved remedies for even your most distressing skin issues so you can stop worrying and start focusing on that walk down the aisle. Whether you have six months or just a week, here's the fix for every complexion woe.
Long-term: Starting at least two months out, use a benzoyl-peroxide cleanser to zap bacteria and a treatment with salicylic acid to exfoliate, says New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler. Try Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser ($9, Neutrogena) and Olay Fresh Effects Clear Skin Spot Zinger ($7, Olay).
Quick Fix: A cortisone shot will make a zit disappear in a day or two. Can't get to the derm? Rub an ice cube over your trouble spot to reduce swelling, then dab on eye drops, like Visine ($7.19, available at Walgreens), to take down the redness. Finish with concealer.
Long-term:Every morning and night, smooth on a moisturizer with glycerin or hyaluronic acid, like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream ($26, Clinique). Then, once a week, use a gentle scrub. (Try Fresh Sugar Face Polish, $62) Just don't go crazy: "If your face is squeaky clean after rinsing it, you've removed the good oils along with the bad," says Wechsler.
Quick Fix: In-office microdermabrasion a week before the big day leaves skin soft; salicylic-acid peels, like M-61 Power Glow Peel ($28, M-61), deflake at home.
Long-term: Three months out, battle sun spots with a melanin inhibitor. Wechsler swears by Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Concentrate Double Action TXC ($195, Chanel). You'll also need a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; the sun makes spots more prominent and can undo any progress you've achieved. Derms love Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($32, Elta MD).
Long-term: Although you can't actually shrink pores, exfoliating weekly with a scrub makes them look smaller, says Wechsler. Try Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator ($58, available at Sephora). Then, at least three months before your wedding, start applying a product containing retinol every night before bed. We like Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair ($85, Dermalogica).
Long-term: Make sure all of your products are fragrance free and hypoallergenic. We like the uber-gentle Simple Micellar Cleansing Water ($7, available at Ulta). "External factors like sun, smoke, and pollution can sensitize skin too," Wechsler says. But you can't live in a bubble, so apply an antioxidant serum to help protect against these aggressors. We love SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($162, SkinCeuticals).
Quick Fix: Calm your skin with a soothing mask containing cucumber, aloe vera, or chamomile, like Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask ($45, Peter Thomas Roth).