If your primary concern is eradicating sun spots or hyperpigmentation before your wedding—whether that be on your face or body—speak with your dermatologist about the possibility of laser treatments. According to Hirsch, laser treatments work by sending pulses of highly concentrated light to the affected area—they penetrate the skin and heat up and destroy the hyperpigmentation. This results in the hyperpigmentation spot turning into a scab, flaking off, and revealing brighter and more even-toned skin underneath. “Depending on how severe the scarring is, I will generally do about three or four laser treatments before the wedding day in order to see optimal results,” says Hirsch. Because of this, she recommends coming in for a laser consultation about four to six months in advance of your wedding. This gives you enough time to assess how your skin reacts to the treatments—and gauge how long the downtime will be for your particular skin type—while also having the flexibility to tweak the treatments as needed.
Three Months Before the Wedding
Start New AHAs and BHAs
Acids such as AHAs and BHAs are generally not as effective at rebuilding collagen in the skin as retinoids are, but they are capable of providing fantastic results when it comes to hyperpigmentation, dullness, acne, or textural issues. Not all acids are created equal—their strength can range between 1 and 20 percent in over-the-counter products and they can come in many different cosmetic formulas (cleansers, toners, serums, and exfoliating pads, among others). In order to integrate an acid into your at-home skin-care routine while also ensuring that the percentage is right for your skin, it’s recommended to start with low- to medium-strength products (around 1 to 10 percent in AHAs and .5-1 percent BHAs ) and then increasing only if necessary. If you experience any kind of irritation, redness, or flakiness after you begin using the product, it’s likely that the formula is too strong for your skin and you should stop using it. Dermatologists and aestheticians are also wonderful resources for analyzing your skin in person and helping you find the right percentage formula for your unique skin type. Three months from your wedding date is an ideal window of time for you to begin using a new acid product and assess how your skin is responding without fear of irritation on your wedding day.
One Month Before the Wedding
Go in for Your Final Injectables Appointment
Every person’s timeline is unique to their skin type and dermatologist’s advice, but generally speaking, your final Botox appointment should be done no less than one month prior to your wedding day. That way, the treatment will have settled into your skin, while still giving a little bit of time to heal in the event that swelling or bruising occurs.
Don’t Start Any New Treatments or Products
During the final weeks leading up to your wedding day, you should avoid trying any new products or treatments in order to avoid an irritation or flare-up. “The last thing you need a few weeks before your wedding is a bad reaction to something new you tried. So just keep using things that work for you—now isn’t the time to change it up,” explains Pavitt.
One Week Before the Wedding
Get Your Final Facial
One week before your wedding is an ideal time to receive your final facial. Pavitt says that the last treatment should focus on keeping the skin hydrated and healthy and avoid any kind of extractions or peels that might possibly leave the skin red or irritated. “Oxygen therapy and hydrating serums as well as ultrasound modality to decrease puffiness are great treatments to ensure your skin looks beautiful and glowy a week from the day,” says Pavitt.
Ditch Acids and Focus on Hydration
In order to avoid any possible skin irritation on the day of your wedding, some dermatologists and aestheticians may recommend that you stop using exfoliators or retinoids about a week prior to your wedding. “Acids and retinoids can trigger flakiness, dry patches, and irritation. Just to be safe, holding off the week before is an easy way to avoid a crisis the day of your wedding,” says Pavitt. Instead she suggests opting for hydrating and calming serums, essences, or toners to soothe and quench the skin.
Day Before the Wedding
Prepare the Perfect Canvas
According to Daniel Martin, the celebrity makeup artist responsible for Meghan Markle’s jaw-dropping nuptial glow, the day before your wedding, your skin care should focus on delivering layers of hydration and soothing ingredients to your complexion. Martin explains that the ideal base for wedding makeup is calm, moisturized, and firm skin, that way the makeup artist can focus more on enhancing your natural glow rather than concealing or correcting. “Look for products that provide deep hydration such as hyaluronic acid or ingredients that support your skin’s natural barrier—I always recommend Tatcha’s Overnight Repair Cream to calm and plump the skin,” he says.
Day of the Wedding
Look for Water-Based Skin Care
Martin explains that his approach to bridal skin care and makeup is similar to how he prepares celebrities for the red carpet. Your makeup should photograph well, last long, and require minimal touch-ups. Because of this, Martin recommends preparing the skin with water-based skin care rather than oil- or silicone-heavy products. Water-based formulas provide a lightweight, nongreasy feel while still deeply quenching the skin and locking down the pigment of your foundation. “They are also less likely to pill or separate your makeup, so you can apply layers of product on top without interruption,” says Martin.