10 Tips to Manage Oily Skin Before Your Wedding Day

Create a pre-wedding skincare routine to help you glow.

Bride holding a baby's breath bouquet

Stocksy / Studio Firma

Every bride dreams of walking down the aisle with a flawless complexion, but certain environmental factors can get in the way of achieving a natural glow. Whether it’s due to the stress of planning a wedding, increased humidity levels, or simply genetics, oily skin is a common skin complaint that many brides-to-be have. According to esthetician Ile Bailey, oily skin occurs when sebaceous glands in your skin produce too much sebum. While sebum lubricates your skin and protects it from excessive moisture, it can also create a greasy appearance and may lead to breakouts.

Luckily, there are steps you can take and tips you can follow ahead of your nuptials to keep oil production at bay. By implementing these expert-approved tips into your pre-wedding skincare routine and using the right products, you’ll notice a smoother texture, smaller pores, a more youthful appearance, and a brighter complexion by the time your wedding day arrives. Not to mention, your confidence will skyrocket because you’ll look and feel your best for your vow exchange. It’s important to note that in order to actually see results, you’ll need to incorporate these tips for oily-prone skin into your regimen up to a year before you tie the knot.

Here’s how to treat oily skin before your wedding day, according to the experts.

Meet the Expert

  • Ile Bailey is a licensed esthetician with 13 years of experience and the owner of Ile Esthetic based in Santa Monica, California. 
  • Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Entière Dermatology in Manhattan. She’s been working in dermatology for 11 years. 
  • Holly Byrd Miller is the CEO of Makeup by Holly Beauty Partners, an award-winning agency that specializes in bridal beauty and fashion services for clients nationwide. She’s been working in the beauty industry for 11 years.

Tips to Treat Oily Skin Before Your Wedding Day

To reduce an oily appearance and enhance a luminous complexion by the time you get married, follow these tips from the experts. 

Consult Professionals

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, so working with a skincare professional to help you achieve a healthy, oil-free complexion for your ceremony and reception is a worthwhile endeavor. Whether it’s an esthetician or a dermatologist, these experts will pinpoint the root cause of your oily skin and suggest the best course of action by creating a tailored skincare routine that meets your needs.  

Avoid Excessively Washing Your Face

It might seem counterintuitive, but scrubbing your face several times a day to diminish the all-over shine will only exacerbate the issue. Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin explains that frequently washing your face strips your skin of moisture, which causes the sebaceous glands to generate even more oil. Instead, Levin suggests cleansing your face twice a day—in the morning and evening—to remove dirt without producing more grease. 

As for the type of cleanser to use, Holly Byrd Miller of Makeup by Holly Beauty Partners recommends looking for a gentle formula because harsh chemicals will irritate the skin and trigger an increase in oil production.

Moisturize Your Skin

Putting a coat of moisturizer on your face might seem like the last thing you want to do if your skin has a consistently slick complexion, but like we mentioned above, dry skin can cause your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive. Regularly moisturizing your skin will hydrate your face and effectively tackle oiliness, according to Levin. After you wash your face, the dermatologist advises using an oil-free moisturizer. 

Look for the Right Ingredients

A radiant complexion sans oil depends largely on the products you’re using on a daily basis. Whether you’re on the hunt for an effective cleanser or toner, Bailey has a list of ingredients she always prioritizes for her clients with oily skin concerns. To start, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) are exfoliating agents found in most products for oily skin that unclog pores and produce new skin cells. According to the esthetician, retinol is another item that creates a poreless complexion and encourages cell turnover, yet it also produces collagen and decreases hyperpigmentation. It’s usually found in serums or creams, Bailey says. You also can get a prescription strength retinol from a dermatologist. Since dry skin and oil tend to go hand and hand, hyaluronic acid will lock in moisture and avoid triggering an overproduction of oil. That being said, it’s important to avoid doing a complete overhaul of your skincare products, especially the closer you get to tying the knot.

Get Regular Facials

If facials aren’t part of your usual skincare regimen, now is the time to start. Bailey advises getting a facial once a month every month during the six-month time period before your wedding. The beauty expert suggests discussing your skin goals with your esthetician or dermatologist and having them recommend a facial that works best for your skin type.

Consider Chemical Peels

Whether you have acne-prone skin or your oily complexion is causing breakouts, using chemical peels can help control the amount of grease and pimples seen on your face. According to Levin, salicylic acid peels will diminish oil while treating acne. Another option is glycolic acid peels, which Levin says will brighten your skin, increase the production of collagen, and fight breakouts. 

Use Facial Masks

For a relatively affordable and low-maintenance skincare hack for oily-prone skin, consider cleansing face masks to zap oil on and below the surface. To decrease sebum production, look for ingredients, such as salicylic acid, charcoal, tea tree oil, avocado oil, kaolin, or clay. Miller says putting a mask on your face for 20 minutes twice a week is all you need to minimize unwanted grease. To maximize the results, she recommends using these masks right before bed. “The treatment will be able to penetrate thoroughly while you sleep, and your skin tone should be bright and glowing when you wake up,” she says.

Try At-Home Remedies

While store-bought masks are effective at treating slick skin, you can also make your own DIY-friendly version at home. According to Bailey, Manuka honey is loaded with antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that soften, soothe, and hydrate the skin, which make it a great solvent for face masks. Try mixing two tablespoons of honey with one tablespoon of aloe vera and one teaspoon of lemon juice, which are ingredients with additional healing benefits. Lather it on your skin and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. This concoction is gentle enough to use every day.

Drink More Water

One of the best at-home remedies for vibrant skin and overall health is your water consumption. Hydrating your skin from within is just as important as using topical products that moisturize the skin to decrease oil production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises drinking nine to 13 cups of water every day as part of a healthy diet.

Maintain a Nutritious Diet

The food that you eat also has a direct impact on your skin’s health. According to Miller, sugary snacks and simple carbohydrates are linked to an increased production of sebum. Instead, load up on foods with a high-water content, like fruits and vegetables, because they're a moisturizing agent for your skin that also combat oil. 

How to Prevent Oily Skin on Your Wedding Day

Although most of the prep work happens in the months and days leading up to your wedding, there are certain steps you can take to prevent oil on your wedding day. During your makeup consultation, Bailey encourages you to discuss your skin concerns and inquire about the products your makeup artist intends to use. The esthetician, who was also a bridal makeup artist for many years, warns against using thick and creamy products and rather suggests oil-free items that reduce shine. “I would lean towards a soft matte look and then use highlighter to give a natural, non-greasy glow,” she shares.

Throughout your special day, your oily texture might start to reappear, especially if you’re throwing a spring or summer wedding with balmy temperatures and humid conditions. To tame the unwanted oil, have blotting powder or blotting papers on hand. “This way, if you get too shiny, you’ll have an easy fix,” Bailey explains.

Related Stories