Courtesy of Fairchild Archive
Stressing about your skin before your wedding day? Join the club. Nothing is more horrifying in the midst wedding planning than an acne breakout. It's tempting to try and kick your skincare routine into overdrive before you walk down the aisle, but don't start scrubbing and slathering just yet.
In reality, your quick fixes may be doing more harm than good. We got the scoop from dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, about the biggest skin mistakes you're making, and how to fix them before your wedding.
1. You won't leave your skin alone.
You've heard it a million times, but there's nothing worse you can do before your wedding than pick at your skin. Left alone, a pimple will disappear within a week, but that angry red mark — or worse, a bleeding scab — that comes from picking at it can last for months. Try a spot treatment, like Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17, available at Amazon), and cover the blemish with a Band-Aid when you're home to keep your hands off of it.
2. You get a little too into your new skincare regimen.
You may be ramping up your workouts before your wedding, but the same rules don't apply to your face. Don't be tempted to pile on the anti-aging or skin-clearing products for a quick fix: overdoing it can lead to redness, irritation, and even breakouts, Dr. Zeicher says. "Some ingredients, like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol, can throw off your skin for the first few weeks you use them," he says. "Don't dive into a new routine right before your wedding; instead, stick to gentle, simple products, and use them every day."
3. You can't stop layering products.
If one anti-aging cream has great results, two will work even better, right? Not quite. Mixing ingredients can seriously mess up your skin and even lead to allergic reactions, Zeichner says. Stick to one anti-aging cream at a time — treatments with 0.5% retinol, like StriVectin Advanced Retinol Night Treatment ($109, available at Ulta), are proven wrinkle-reducers. Make sure to give it six weeks to start working before you try anything new.
See More: Perfect Complexion Tips from the Experts
4. You're way harsh on your skin.
If you have a pre-wedding breakout, don't reach for a scrub. Over-exfoliating is one of the fastest ways to get red, peeling, and over-sensitive skin for your wedding day, Zeichner says. Sloughing away at breakouts every day dries out your skin, which sends your sebaceous glands a message to produce extra oil, leading to more breakouts. Same rules apply to drying toners. If you've got oily skin, gently exfoliate twice a week with a natural scrub, like Origins Never a Dull Moment Face Polisher ($42; available at Amazon), and follow with a light moisturizer.
5. You're chasing that wedding-day glow.
You already know that laying out and, even worse, hitting the tanning bed leads to skin cancer and premature aging. If that's not reason enough to convince you to skip that pre-wedding fake bake session, don't forget about the red face, peeling skin, dark spots, and tan lines you'll be rocking on your wedding day. Stick to self-tanner instead, but make sure to start a few weeks before you walk down the aisle, and skip the night before to avoid any mishaps.