Every bride wants to look and feel their best on their wedding day, and luminous skin plays a big role in boosting day-of confidence. A flawless complexion doesn’t happen overnight, however, so many brides-to-be follow a detailed skincare regimen up to a year before they tie the knot to achieve this sought-after radiance. And while your pre-wedding beauty routine will vary depending on the person, one integral component for most is getting frequent facials. These spa treatments for the face guarantee a natural glow and a blemish-free base to let your wedding makeup products work their magic.
According to licensed esthetician Shannon Marks, most brides should start getting facials every month at least three to six months before the big day. “This will give the skin enough time to respond to the treatments and show improvement,” she explains. If you’re dealing with a certain skin concern, such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or fine lines and wrinkles, Marks recommends working with an esthetician even sooner and receiving more consistent treatment.
Regardless of your skin type, Kira Igbowu of Full Frontal Beauty & Esthetics suggests starting your facial regimen at least three months out. “Once we hit the three-month mark, a monthly facial is imperative as the focus should now be on hydrating, plumping, calming, and feeding the skin with all the yummy goodness it needs before the big day,” she says.
Since every bride has a different complexion and desire for their day-of skin, though, many facials are tailored specifically to their needs, which is why Marks advises everyone to do an in-person consultation ahead of starting any treatment. That being said, we talked to a handful of estheticians to get a rundown on the most popular facials for brides, the treatment process for each, and the end result. From acne-targeting treatments to hydrating ones, here are the best facials to get before your wedding day.
Meet the Expert
- Shannon Marks is a licensed esthetician with seven years of experience and is the owner of Shannon Lee Esthetics in New York City.
- Kira Igbowu is the founder and chief skin therapist at Full Frontal Beauty & Esthetics in Brooklyn. She’s been working in the skincare industry for nearly 20 years.
- Carol Dobson Zubrin is an organic esthetician and holistic facialist with more than 18 years of experience. She’s also the owner of Purity Organic Facials in San Luis Obispo and Templeton, California and Purity Organic Spa in Los Angeles, California.
- Taylor Worden is an esthetician at Taylor Worden Skin in New York City who has been working in the skincare space for 10 years.
According to Everyday Health, a loss of collagen naturally happens as we age, leading to dull skin, uneven pigment, loss of volume, fine lines, and wrinkles. And since collagen is responsible for the skin’s structure and elasticity, a facial that increases this protein in our body is loaded with benefits for future brides. Specifically, with a collagen facial, you’ll be able to reverse any collagen loss and restore your skin’s vibrancy and youthfulness.
Organic esthetician Carol Dobson Zubrin offers a Phyto Collagen Renewal Facial, which incorporates a mask infused with plant collagen to reduce the appearance of unwanted lines and correct your skin tone. She shares that the treatment is a favorite with her clients because it’s perfect for any skin type and is often a go-to before significant events, including weddings.
HydraFacials are another popular choice for brides-to-be. During this spa treatment, your esthetician will use a hydrodermabrasion device to cleanse, exfoliate, and extract your skin before delivering serums. Almost immediately, you’ll notice firmer and more hydrated skin, which is why this treatment has become a highly-requested choice. “A HydraFacial can improve the overall health of the skin, leaving it brighter and more radiant for the bride’s big day,” Marks says. The best part? Since the facial is pretty gentle, any skin type will be able to tolerate it. You can also customize it so that it targets your specific concern, whether it’s acne, hyperpigmentation, or dry skin, Marks adds.
During this facial, LED lights penetrate the skin, which allows the body to increase cell turnover and jumpstart the skin renewal process. As a result, this treatment boosts collagen production, decreases hyperpigmentation, reduces wrinkles, and fights breakouts, leading to more volume and radiance for any type of complexion. Zubrin suggests her Pure Luxury Facial Treatment if hyperpigmentation is one of your concerns. It uses red or blue LED light therapy combined with a collagen mask to conceal sun spots, heal the skin, and create an undeniable glow.
Radio Frequency Facial
Looking for a nonsurgical alternative to a facelift? Igbowu recommends including radio frequency into your pre-wedding facial plan. This treatment uses an electromagnetic device that generates heat to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which lifts sagging skin, according to the skin therapist. You’ll also notice a more youthful appearance, better texture, and fewer fine lines.
Another type of facial that guarantees similar results to a facelift is a microcurrent facial. Igbowu explains that this painless, non-invasive treatment uses low-voltage electricity to stimulate the facial muscles, creating a lifted, tightened, and toned effect. Not only are the results instantaneous, but this treatment will also prevent future sagging. It's also a great choice as it accommodates any skin type and requires zero downtime.
Lymphatic Drainage Facial
To Zubrin, a must-have facial for all brides is one that incorporates lymphatic drainage. “It’s a gentle, incredibly relaxing facial massage that drains toxins, bacteria, and chemicals that are collected in the lymph under the skin, toward the lymph nodes, so that your body can eliminate it, and new, fresh lymph takes its place,” she explains. “It’s my clients’ all-time favorite and the most effective treatment that I do.”
But what does this facial actually entail? A provider will use their hands or sculpting tools to gently massage the face, which increases circulation and rids waste, according to mindbodygreen. This movement also prompts the lymphatic system to heal, leading to an improvement in puffy, dry, dull, sensitive, or acne-prone skin.
Our skin relies on oxygen to create new cells, and a lack of oxygen makes the skin look dull and drab. Enter: the oxygen facial, a go-to with celebrities, like Madonna and Ashley Graham. With this treatment, your provider will use a wand to deliver high-pressurized oxygen to the skin’s surface, according to Healthline. The end result? Less fine lines and wrinkles, a boost in blood circulation, and an increase in collagen production for clearer, softer skin. Generally, this type of facial is gentle, so any future bride will benefit.
Dermaplaning is the latest buzzword in the beauty space, and it’s a favorable option for brides-to-be. This non-invasive facial treatment uses a scalpel to exfoliate the skin and remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells, leading to a brighter, softer, smoother complexion, according to Igbowu. “It’s painless, has zero downtime, and the results are immediate,” she concludes. Not to mention, dermaplaning allows serums and makeup products to penetrate your skin, delivering better results. Just a word of caution: If you have sensitive skin or are dealing with breakouts, this treatment has the potential to inflame your skin.
Although chemical peels often get a bad rap as harsh treatments that require a long recovery, Marks explains that VI chemical peels with medium strength are suitable for all skin types and concerns. This kind of peel contains ingredients, such as salicylic acid, vitamin C, and phenol, which remove dead skin and reveal a more youthful appearance and even skin tone. The esthetician mentions that it also fights acne and hyperpigmentation. “I love to perform this peel weeks prior to an event for that perfect glow the day of the event,” she says.
Since no two brides have the same skin, a custom facial will suit your specific needs, concerns, and skin type. Every process is different, but usually, your esthetician will start by cleansing the surface of your skin, determining a treatment plan after a skin analysis, exfoliating the skin, removing impurities with extractions, and completing the facial with customized masks and serums, according to Marks.
Esthetician Taylor Worden explains that she only offers customized facials at her New York City-based spa, Taylor Worden Skin. Her treatments typically focus on lifting, depuffing, and hydrating through exfoliation, LED light, massage, microcurrent, and masks. Regardless of the type of facial your esthetician creates for you, though, your skin will look glowy and bright afterward.