The 6 Skin-Care Steps Black Brides Should Never Skip

We spoke with Urban Skin Rx founder Rachel Roff for her expert tips on treating dark skin

Bride solo shot with bouquet

Photo by Betsy Newman

With your wedding day right around the corner, there are a few things you need to get in order. While finding a venue and a wedding dress probably are your first order of business, that doesn’t mean you should leave getting your skin in shape until the last minute. In fact, there are a few skin-care steps black brides should never skip.

Urban Skin Rx founder Rachel Roff opened her med spa Urban Skin Solutions back in 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina, to offer skin care and laser treatments to people with darker complexions. Her business has grown to include the Urban Skin Rx line of skin-care products—now sold at CVS, Target, and Ulta—catering specifically to melanated skin and gaining famous fans like celebrity bride and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Eva Marcille, who used the line while prepping her skin for her wedding. According to Marcille, the products corrected her blemishes without sacrificing the integrity of her pigmentation.

“Urban Skin Rx definitely got me to my wedding, through my wedding, and to my honeymoon—because honeymoon is a makeup-free situation," Marcille explained to Brides. "You have to be able to wash your makeup off after your wedding and still be the bride that you were before." Marcille credits the brand’s 3-in-1 Even Tone Cleansing Bar and the Super C Brightening Serum for her flawless wedding-day skin.

As for getting your own skin wedding-ready, Roff swears by vitamin C for evening out complexions, recommending brides use a vitamin C rich product (in conjunction with a sunscreen) in the morning and retinol at night. Roff notes that the most common skin issue she sees in women with darker complexions is hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which she says products rich in hydroquinone and kojic acid could help alleviate.

As you find the products that work for you and your skin, here are six skin-care steps black brides-to-be should take note of.

1. DON’T change things up less than two weeks before your wedding

While your new miracle product could be your saving grace, Roff recommends steering clear of adding anything new into your routine two weeks before the wedding in case of an allergic reaction or any drying effects.

2. DO start a corrective regimen at least six weeks before your wedding

If you suffer from any severe skin issues like hyperpigmentation that take time to correct, start early and develop a plan—whether that be over-the-counter products or professional treatments—to get your skin wedding-ready.

3. DO use a physical sunscreen

Sunscreen should be a part of your skin-care routine regardless of your skin tone, but exposure to sunlight can only make issues like dark spots and hyperpigmentation worse. Roff recommends using a physical sunblock because it “reflects the rays rather than absorbing them.”

4. DON’T pick at your skin

“I know with melanin-rich skin sometimes even if you get a pimple and don’t pick at it, it can leave a dark spot,” Roff said. With this in mind, it is super important to be patient with your skin and avoid picking at any breakouts that may pop up. A dark spot will take longer to heal than the pimple will.

5. DO try dermaplaning

One of Roff’s favorite last minute treatments for brides is dermaplaning. The process uses a scalpel to shave off the dead skin and hair. “It just basically makes this super smooth canvas, and your makeup goes on flawlessly smooth,” she explained. ”Because it’s used with a steel blade you can’t have an allergic reaction to it, so it’s my go-to treatment within a couple days before your wedding.”

See more: How to Plan and Start a Wedding Beauty Regimen

6. DO find the root of the problem

Beauty really isn’t just skin deep. For brides hoping to get rid of their dark marks, Roff recommends figuring out what causes them in the first place and correcting that issue. “We get a lot of clients that say, ‘I get ingrown hairs and dark marks, will your products help?’ I like to be very honest and say you have to stop what’s causing the dark mark before you can fade it," said Roff. “So if you are having dark spots from hair growth, you have to get laser hair removal with a laser that is good for dark skin like a YAG laser.”

Got all that, brides?

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