Steer Clear of These Skincare Ingredients Right Before Your Wedding

These powerful ingredients might do more harm than good


In the weeks leading up to your wedding, it’s easy to become inspired to experiment with new skincare products, but trust us—this is not the time to introduce new ingredients into your routine. Your quest for a wedding-day glow can actually lead to allergic reactions and unexpected breakouts if you’re not careful.

On the other hand, if you’re itching to try something new, we love your enthusiasm. So to make sure your search for new skincare products goes off without a hitch, we enlisted the help of a few skincare experts. They clued us in to the five skincare ingredients you should steer clear of right before your wedding. If you haven't used these before, avoid them at all costs!


If you’re not used to AHAs like glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acids, refrain from introducing them into your daily routine close to your big day. Founder of her own namesake skincare line, Kat Burki says, “although you may feel the urge to try a peel for maximum radiance, these ingredients can cause irritation and inflammation from the sun. Even if you normally handle these ingredients with ease, the increased stress around your wedding day can create sensitivities you don’t usually experience.”

Essential Oils

Burki also suggests laying off the essential oils as your wedding approaches. “Many brides may feel that essential oils will be calming and beneficial since they are often used in many skincare lines, and are considered gentle and aromatherapeutic.” She debunks the myth, explaining, “they very often lead to irritation, as they are full of allergens and volatile organic compounds. It is best to avoid any essential oils prior to your wedding day, as they can sometimes cause very severe contact dermatitis.”


Chances are, you’ve heard a ton about retinol and maybe are thinking about giving it a try if you haven't already. While it’s great for smoothing fine lines, Gina Pulisciano, aesthetician and founder of Alchemy Holistics warns, “Not only will it make you look red and dry on your special day, but photosensitive. If at any point throughout the day you’re outside—even just for photographs—you’re putting yourself at greater risk for a sunburn.” You don’t want to look red and patchy when you walk down the aisle, so hold off on the retinol until after your honeymoon.

Benzoyl Peroxide

If you’re experiencing a breakout in the days leading up to your wedding, it’ll be tempting to dab on the benzoyl peroxide, but Pulisciano urges, “do your makeup artist a favor and skip any product with this ingredient the day of your wedding. This acne-cleaning ingredient will leave your skin dry, flaky, and irritated.” Plus, she adds, "if you’re new to it, it can cause unexpected breakouts instead of clearing them." If you’re seeking relief from an existing breakout, consider sipping on a glow-getting smoothie instead.

See more: The Wedding Beauty Routine You Need to Start 12 Months Before the Big Day

Shea Butter

This one might come as a surprise to you, but Peach & Lily's Founder Alicia Yoon suggests staying away from shea butter prior to your upcoming nuptials. She says, “It’s so nourishing and buttery soft, and is actually included in a lot more products than one might think. However, this is a very occlusive ingredient and can also easily clog pores leading to breakouts.” If you're seeking a hydrating alternative, Yoon suggests “opting for a light oil like squalane or grape seed oil.”

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