A luminous complexion is the best canvas for your wedding day makeup (obviously, right?). But with an overwhelming—and sometimes contradictory—amount of skincare advice out there, figuring out how to actually attain said complexion can be confusing. However, as it turns out, it's all much simpler than you think. According to celebrities' favorite estheticians, there are nine cardinal skincare rules you must follow. Adhere to the advice of these pros—who treat celebs from Emma Stone to Kelly Rowland, by the way—and it'll earn you the best skin of your life by your wedding day.
1. Start Six Months Ahead of Your Wedding Date
Across the board, the experts we spoke to agreed on giving yourself six months to start your vigilant skin routine. “Six months gives you plenty of time to try new products and see what works well with your skin,” says Joanna Czech, celebrity esthetician and owner of Dallas spa Joanna Czech. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss quote, but just as you are uniquely you, so is your skin. “Everyone will have different needs, based on skin type, but I think the most important thing is to create a set of pre-wedding skincare goals with an esthetician you trust,” says Tammy Fender, holistic skin guru, esthetician, and owner of Tammy Fender Spa and Skincare. If you’re unsure of the type of facial you should first book, Czech recommends starting with deep cleansing facials to, “get all the bacteria out of your skin for your wedding day.”
2. If You're a Newbie, Don't. Get a Facial the Week Before
Every bride craves that post-facial dewiness for their wedding week, but what if something goes wrong? “Don’t get a facial the week before your wedding if it’s your first facial or with an esthetician you’ve never seen before,” warns celebrity facialist Georgia Louise, owner of New York City’s George Louise Atelier and Georgia Louise skincare. “However, if you have a facialist who has been taking care of your skin months prior to the wedding, then definitely go for a pre-wedding glow a few days before your big day. But no extractions, peels, or trying anything new. This is not the time to experiment,” says Louise.
3. Practice Healthy, Clean, Eating
Groundbreaking? No. But oh-so important. Eating clean, nutritious, whole foods does the body (and skin) good. “Eating healthy is obviously good for many things, but if you want glowing skin, it is more important than you think to have a good diet,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare Collection. “I find that the best skin diet is one that involves eating veggies of different colors for every meal and a green juice every day. There is really no substitute and it works on everyone,” Vargas explains. For healthy and hydrated skin, it is also vital to get your moisture from the inside out by incorporating supplements like “essential fatty acids, omega 3-6-9,” says Rita Glibaukiene, esthetician at Exhale Spa. Glibaukiene recommends Nordic Company’s Omega Woman and “Vitamin D3, which increases the immune system and gives energy and reduces your stress." And obviously, drinking a ton of water is also vital.
4. Avoid These Foods and Drinks
A little indulgence here and there is hard to avoid (and not to mention, totally unrealistic to completely cut out), but reality check: Most of these delicious treats are dimming your skin’s glow. As the saying goes, everything in moderation, but do your best to cut down on these skin-dulling culprits. “Stay away from salty and spicy foods, as they may trigger an unpredictable breakout and a bloated face and stomach,” says Christine Chin, celebrity esthetician and owner of New York City’s Christine Chin Spa. While you may indulge in a mimosa or four at your bridal shower, it may be the last time to luxuriate in bubbly. "Don't drink alcohol the week of your wedding. Most brides are stressed and relatives arriving daily doesn't help. But drinking will make you puffy and tired looking, so try and skip it,” encourages Vargas. Other skin triggers include “sugars, dairy products, and foods that contain gluten. These provoke acne, irritation, and inflammation,” notes Glibaukiene.
5. Self-Care Is Essential
We all know your body and mind are interconnected, so now is definitely the time to take care of yourself more than ever. The way you honor your body and what it needs is just as important as the potions and elixirs that you slather on your skin. "I’ve seen amazing results through working with clients holistically, which usually involves not only regular facials, but some subtle lifestyle shifts in diet, exercise, and sleep patterns,” says Fender, who advises clients to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. To diminish stress, it also may be time to add some body treatments into your routine. “Acupuncture balances the body by working on the digestive and hormonal systems. And of course it is such an amazing tool to reduce stress and anxiety leading up the wedding,” explains Britta Plug, holistic facialist and owner of Studio Britta in New York City.
6. Don't Stray from Tried-and-True Products
In today’s blossoming beauty market, it feels like a new serum and moisturizer pop up on our Instagram feeds every minute. However, now is not the time to experiment with new products. “Stick with the tried and true. Don’t experiment with new products because you run the risk of having an adverse reaction to something on the big day,” says Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and owner of Renee Rouleau spa in Austin, Texas and Renee Rouleau Skincare. So what should your routine look like? “Two times a day, do gentle cleansing, toning, and moisturizing,” instructs Chin. Rouleau also recommends a water-based gel mask like Bio Calm Repair Masque. "Gel masks calm the skin from wedding day nerves and give your skin a smooth, healthy glow,” Rouleau says.
7. Splurge on High-Tech Tools for Home
High-tech tools for your face can help you maintain and extend the post-facial glow. Shani Darden, celebrity facialist and owner of Shani Darden Skin Care, loves the magic of LED which stands for light-emitting diode. LED lights come in different colors for different concerns. “I recommend that brides invest in an at-home LED device or see their esthetician for a treatment. LED light therapy will boost collagen in the skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, speed up healing, and increase circulation,” explains Darden. Her go-to at-home LED mask is the Deesse. “A quick 20-minute Deesse Mask session the morning of your wedding will leave your skin glowing!" Another wearable device to use the day of your wedding is Georgia Louise’s Pulse+GLO Ion Enhancer, a galvanic current device that looks like an extended pair of headphones for your skin. “You can use it the night before or morning-of for a boost of hydration and glow your guests will surely notice. The 20-minute galvanic current technology pushes active ingredients from your sheet mask faster and deeper into the skin,” explains Louise.
8. Utilize At-Home Remedies in Your Pantry
If you’re looking for a natural home remedy to complement your current routine, Nadia Dekhkanova, esthetician and owner of Tribeca Beauty Spa, has a few tricks up her sleeve. “Tea bags and cucumbers can turn into cold compresses to remove signs of late nights and heavy alcohol and salt intake,” says Dekhanova. For a face mask that you can find in your fridge, Dekhkanova recommends an unlikely combination. "Blend strawberries and sour cream to create an all-natural at-home mask that helps brighten your skin, fade discoloration, tighten large pores, and reduce puffiness. Sour cream is rich in lactic acid which helps to dissolve dead skin cells, promotes cell turnover, stimulates collagen production, and improves your skin’s ability to maintain healthy hydration. Strawberries contain vitamin C, ellagic acid, and salicylic acid.”
9. Indulge in a Massage (for Your Face)
Jade rollers, gua sha, cryotherapy balls: These skincare tools and toys may sound like the latest fad, but our experts love the way they work. For those looking for a sculpted look, try a flat jade or rose quartz gua sha. “I love gua sha facials for brides. In addition to being super effective for getting you sculpted, toned, and glowing, they promote tension release and deep relaxation that is especially important during busy wedding prep time,” explains Plug. (You can watch her Instagram video demonstration here.) Joanna Czech is such a fan of facial massage, she created her own tool to make it easy. "Facial massage improves circulation, keeps the skin tight and lifted, helps increase muscle tone, and stimulates the production of collagen. My facial massager was created to help make facial massaging easier and to compliment your professional treatments. It can be used to drain, de-puff, and can also be used over your favorite mask or serum for maximum product absorption,” explains Czech.