We all want that bridal glow everyone is always talking about, but how exactly do you whip your complexion into shape before the Big Day? Especially when dealing with wedding planning stress. Scheduling treatments or “me time” as far in advance as possible is a great place to start. We’re bringing together some of the best advice from estheticians and dermatologists in an easy-to-follow timeline.
Most experts recommend adjusting your routine a year in advance, so that’s what this guide is based on. If your Big Day will be here sooner, don’t fret. Focus on doing what you can, like keeping your skin hydrated and drinking plenty of water. Skip any aggressive treatments if you have less than six months left and pick up where you are on the timeline.
Getting into good skincare habits is always beneficial, but don’t take changing your appearance before your wedding day too far. You are beautiful just the way you are; we can’t say this enough! Enhance what your Mama gave you rather than aiming for perfection made more for social media filters than reality.
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12 Months to the Big Day
Get into a Skincare Routine & Schedule Treatments
The countdown is on, and what better way to get those bridal vibes going than kicking off a year of self-pampered bliss. Get your calendars ready and circle in appointments to get your skincare routine started. Meet with a trusted dermatologist or esthetician at a well-known Medi-spa to identify the best treatment plan for your needs and budget.
If you have areas of concern or sensitive skin, be sure to speak up. Let them know what you’re looking for, from mild facials to microdermabrasion. Share the season you’ll be getting married in since specific treatments can have adverse effects in extreme heat or cold.
When it comes to your daily routine, simply enhance it. So, if you are currently using a cleanser and moisturizer, you might want to add a serum, exfoliant, or toner into your arsenal. Pay attention to the ingredients; products with hyaluronic or ferulic acid help lock in your skin’s moisture, so that’s a great place to start.
Everyone’s skin is different, so be mindful that what works for someone else might not work for you. It’s always best to consult with experts to get a plan tailored to you and give new products or treatments a few months for your skin to adjust to them. If you’ve already booked the makeup artist for your Big Day, you might also want to seek their guidance.
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Keep Hydrated & Get Your Nutrients
While it’s essential to moisturize and keep your skin hydrated on the outside, it’s even more important to ensure your skin stays hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water. Consuming healthy fruits and vegetables, like watermelons, cucumber, tomatoes, or kale, made up mostly of water, is another great way to keep hydrated.
The common adage that “you are what you eat” is especially true for your skin. A protein-rich diet also high in vitamin C will keep your skin’s collagen levels high, maintaining elasticity and firmness. If you aren’t getting enough nutrients, consider taking a supplement. Many dermatologists recommend vitamin C to boost clarity or Imedeen tablets to improve skin texture.
11 Months to Go
Use a Body Scrub
It’s common to focus on your face when thinking about skincare; after all, it’s the part of you that is always most apparent. Many brides forget to consider their bodies when thinking about glowing skin. Elbows and knees, in particular, tend to suffer from dryness. Try to indulge in your shower time leading up to your wedding by using a natural bath salt or scrub. If there’s time, throw some into a bath and enjoy the relaxing time soaking in the tub.
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If you want to try microdermabrasion to improve your skin’s texture and make pores appear smaller, now is the time to start. Don’t begin these treatments too late, or you could end up with redness just before your wedding day. Consult with professionals and see if they recommend this or a glycolic peel as the most appropriate exfoliate treatment for your skin.
10 Months Away
Dermatologists will tell you that SPF is not meant only for the summertime. Get into a good habit early and mix a light sunscreen into your daily foundation or moisturizer. Even in the dead of winter, UV rays can damage your skin. New facial formulas are lightweight and not chalky like sunscreens of the past, so don’t be afraid to add this to your skincare routine. Don’t forget to use an SPF stick on your lips to combat dryness.
Get Those Sheet Masks Ready
There are many great sheet masks to choose from, but we recommend sticking with ones focused on improving your skin’s moisture. Even if you have oily skin, you can still benefit from a moisturizing mask. You might also want to use a clay purification mask once a week. Those with dryer skin types can also do this less often, once every two to three months.
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9 Months to Your Wedding
Book Deeper Treatments
Now is the best time to focus on beauty treatments that require a bit of downtime like dermaplaning, microneedling, IPL, Clear & Brilliant lasers, fillers, Botox, or chemical peels. If you are interested in this, be sure to fit your appointment in around the nine-month mark or earlier.
This will allow your skin some recovery time, so you’ll be glowing by the time your wedding is here. Just be sure not to overdo it; too many aggressive treatments at once can have the inverse effect and leave you looking less than stellar.
6 Months Till You Walk Down the Aisle
Give Your Skin Enough Time to Recover
If you are close to your wedding and want an impactful treatment, there’s still time. While you’ll likely have a more limited number of treatments, six months still allows you the time needed to let your skin regenerate after intense treatments.
If you are considering Botox, this would be the last month recommended for an initial injection. You’ll want to see the results after about a week when the neurotoxin settles in. In case too much appears “frozen,” this is usually enough time for it to fade. You can always go back for a touch-up later if you need a bit of a refresher.
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3 Months Until You Say “I Do”
Stick with Your Routine
The Big Day is nearing soon, so now is not the time to start messing with your skincare routine. Keep doing what you are doing and begin to wind down more aggressive treatments such as dermaplaning or microneedling sessions.
If you’ve gotten fillers or Botox, schedule your final appointments now according to what your doctor recommends. You don’t want to risk getting an injection too close to your wedding day because there was a lack of scheduling availability. Booking early will make sure you achieve your desired look without being overdone.
Hands Off Any Pimples
This is usually when brides start to feel the stress of wedding planning build. Sometimes this can appear on your skin in the form of a breakout. If this happens, try not to worry. The best thing you can do is not touch your face and not pick at pimples. Instead, dab a bit of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on the spot and wait for it to dry up. Call your dermatologist to book a cortisone shot if it turns cystic or won’t disappear.
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1 Month To Go, Can You Believe It?!
Stay the Course
By now, your skin probably has a healthy glow. There’s likely a ton to do, like finalizing your seating chart, but this isn’t the time to skip your skincare routine. Keep at it and focus on gentle at-home exfoliating once a week. Keep nourishing your skin with moisturizer and stay hydrated. Skip any lasers, peels, harsh treatments, new products, or retinol that can cause inflammation to your skin, and ask your team of skincare advisors for their last recommendations to prep your skin for the weeks ahead.
Test Out Your Tan
We are not talking about an actual tan here; we’re talking fake tans. If you plan to enhance your look with a spray tan before your Big Day, we recommend testing it out in advance. The one-month mark is a great time to consult with the spray tanner you entrust to give you that extra wedding glow. This way, you’ll be able to adjust the tanning formula and get the ideal shade you had in mind for your Big Day.
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1 Week Before Your Wedding
Give Your Skin a Boost
To give your skin that extra boost before your Big Day, book a hydrating facial. See if your provider offers a service that combines this with microcurrents or vibration. It will help promote collagen growth, reduce puffiness, and allow serums to deeper penetrate the skin. Light therapy is another favorite treatment for the week before your wedding. Patented red and blue LEDs help heal and smooth skin while reducing fine lines, inflammation, and pimple-causing bacteria.
Moisturize from Head-to-Toe
As your wedding nears, you don’t want to forget about body skincare. Keep using scrubs in the shower and pay extra attention moisturizing head-to-toe afterward. You might even want to book a last-minute full-body microcurrent or oxygen treatment to prep your skin.
The Night Before
Treat Yourself to a Spa Bath
Weddings are beautiful celebrations of love and a lot of fun, but they can also be exhausting when you are the bride. Take time tonight to destress with a relaxing bath. Think of it as an at-home spa treatment and add milk, honey, lavender, or rose water to your bath. Play some meditative music and soak until you start to get sleepy. Then head right to bed so you can wake up early refreshed and excited to walk down the aisle!
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The Morning of Your Big Day!
Bring on that Bridal Glow
Your wedding day is finally here, and we’re sure your team of vendors will capture all of your radiant beauty! You’ve worked hard to keep your complexion looking its best, and it shows.
Follow the tips your makeup artist gave you for your morning skin prep, and as long as it doesn’t conflict, use a lightweight sunscreen for added protection. Grab your touch-up kit, full of blotting papers, lipstick, and anything you need to keep your look fresh. Now go enjoy every moment of this amazing day!