How to Handle a Pre-Wedding Breakout


There's never a good time to see a big, red zit popping up on your face—especially right before your wedding. A major breakout a few days before the big day can seem like a total disaster. But, since stress can cause acne breakouts to occur, and wedding planning can be stressful, it isn't too uncommon.

So we asked a couple of dermatologists to get some expert advice on how to handle a dreaded, last-minute pimple—depending on when it pops up.

10 Days Before the Wedding

If you get a zit 10 days before the big day, you have some options. "First of all, it's incredibly important to establish a hands-off policy," says Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. "You might think you're doing your skin a favor by popping a pimple, but you can force bacteria deeper into your skin and actually prolong the healing process from a few days to a few weeks." He also recommends making sure you wash off your makeup each night, and to start using an exfoliator.

Michele Green, MD, also a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, agrees you should consult an expert: "If you get a breakout 10 days before your wedding, you should go see a board-certified dermatologist. You can be prescribed oral antibiotics and topical cream to help reduce the breakout."

Meet the Expert

  • Joel Schlessinger, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist with over 20 years of experience treating various skin conditions.
  • Michele Green, MD, is a world-renowned cosmetic dermatologist in NYC and has received numerous awards for her work.

5 Days Before the Wedding

Schlessinger says to avoid adding new products into your skincare routine since there isn't enough time to adjust or recover if your skin reacts badly to anything. He suggests focusing on things you can change without worrying. "Replace your favorite makeup products for brand-new compacts, since makeup can often become contaminated, leading to breakouts. Also, cut out dairy products, since the hormones found in dairy products are known to make acne worse." And believe it or not, he says the same goes for protein supplements.

Green recommends microdermabrasion as a great procedure to get in the days leading up to the wedding. "It exfoliates and removes the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells (that can clog your pores) and entails no discomfort, downtime, or recovery," she says.

2 Days Before the Wedding

Once again, go see your derm. "A cortisone shot helps reduce inflammation and flattens out those big blemishes, sometimes within a matter of hours," Green says. If that isn't an option, simply spot treat and remember to keep your hands off.

The Night Before the Wedding

"Spot treat, and then the day of, conceal the blemish with makeup," Schlessinger says. "Don't forget—your photographer can edit out any imperfections." Plus, your makeup artist knows all the tricks for hiding any blemishes.

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