Your big day is right around the corner and you've got all your wedding details ironed out. The dress has been altered and is tucked away in your closet, your florist has all the drop-off instructions for your bouquet and centerpieces, and you've secured a hair and makeup stylist to turn you into #MrsFlawless.
There's one little thing you may not have planned in advance, though: your skin-care routine in the weeks and days leading up to your nuptials. We spoke to Kally Papantoniou, dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology P.C. in New York, who shared with us this detailed bridal skin-care regimen, which will ensure your skin is looking gorgeous on your wedding day.
Two Months Out: Facial Test Run
Prewedding facials are very popular, as they can clear out gunk and goo, buff away dull skin, and revitalize your complexion. That said, you should be careful with what you do to your skin close to your wedding day. For that reason, Papantoniou recommends doing a facial test run two or three months prior to your wedding. "You don't want to have marks or an allergic reaction the day of your wedding," she explains.
This way, you'll know when to schedule your actual prewedding facial, depending on how aggressive the trial-run facial is.
Two Weeks Out: Facial & Exfoliation
"If you have blackheads and clogged pores and need a good cleaning, I would make a facial appointment no later than two weeks before the wedding. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a blemish on your day," advises Papantoniou.
At home, you should continue your normal skin-care regimen. This is also a prime time to do gentle at-home exfoliation. If you exfoliate too close to your wedding day, it can irritate or dry out your skin and cause makeup to crease and flake.
One Week Out: In the Home Stretch
In the week leading up to your wedding, you should be very mindful of what you're eating. You should also stay hydrated and be extra gentle with your skin.
"Now is not the time to use harsh creams or acne treatments," says Papantoniou. "Take a break from all drying agents, make sure to moisturize well, and use hyaluronic-acid serums twice daily to plump up dry skin and fine lines."
She says to use only products you're familiar with and have been using for a while. Don't experiment with any new products—no matter how tempting—because you don't know how your skin will react.
One week out is also an ideal time to schedule a complexion-brightening facial. "I would opt for an oxygen facial, which plumps and hydrates your skin, or facials that are aimed at gentle exfoliation and hydration," says Papantoniou. Just make sure you've done a test run on any facial you get this close to your wedding.
The Day Before: Get Some Rest
Rule number one: Get excellent sleep the night before your wedding.
"Also, apply a hydrating mask that you have already tested on yourself, and follow that up with a hyaluronic-acid serum," says Papantoniou. "Finish with your favorite night cream, or you can even do a calming aloe mask or chamomile cool compress."
If you have the unfortunate problem of a surprise zit, don't fret! If you have time to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist, do so. She can inject the problem area to quickly reduce inflammation and kick that sucker to the curb. If you don't have time, apply a sulfur acne spot treatment before bed. Do not use salicylic acid to treat your pimple; Papantoniou warns that this can cause the area to become red and peel.
Your Big Day Is Here!
"The day of the wedding, use a gentle cleanser, do not scrub, and make sure to use just your hands to cleanse," advises Papantoniou. "Also hydrate your skin with a hyaluronic serum and use a light moisturizer."
If you have a blemish, put a cool compress over the area to help further reduce inflammation and conceal with cosmetics. "The best cover-up for red is a green concealer," she says. "Follow that up with your foundation or skin-toned concealer to blend, and set it with powder so it stays."
Most important, use cosmetics that hydrate the skin. You can also carry a facial mister on the day of your wedding to help keep skin looking fresh and bright. Finally, keep a touch-up cosmetic bag on hand. You can put your maid of honor or mother on touch-up duty!