How to Prep your Skin for the Main Event
Updated: Mar 14
Originally posted on www.alyssaparkerphoto.com
Dress? Check. Shoes? Check. Hair? Check. Makeup? Check. As you’re crossing off your to-do list for the big day, it’s easy to forget about prepping your skin to look amazing on and off-camera. Makeup works best on well-taken care of skin and, as a makeup artist and esthetician, I make it a priority to get my clients on a regimen well before their event. It’s never too early to begin getting your skin ready for its close-up, in fact, you need to start NOW.
Don’t be overwhelmed- you have enough on your plate (and stress wreaks havoc on your skin). It’s all about fixing your skin over the next couple of months and you don’t need to spend a ton of money! There is no such thing as an overnight fix and you want to look and feel your best!
6 Months Before
If you’re planning to get any aesthetic laser treatments, you’ll want to start now. It can take several sessions over a period of 3 months to start seeing changes.
Start seeing an esthetician and booking facials every three weeks. They can tailor the best facial treatments to target your concerns. They can also start you on a skincare regimen to maintain your results.
If you take anything away from this post, please wear sunscreen every single day (yes, even if it’s cloudy outside). Look for a face and body sunscreen (typically two different sunscreens) with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen is the #1 way to prevent damage to the skin and skin cancer. Your future self will thank you.
You may want to look into starting to incorporate a retinol into your evening skin care routine (every other night). Retinol helps promote cell turnover, stimulating the production of new cells. It can help fade dark spots, acne scars and minimize fine lines. Check with your dermatologist to see if a retinol is ideal for you.
Please don’t fall asleep with makeup on. Say hello to clogged pores, acne, blackheads and gross pillowcases (which can harbor bacteria and cause even more acne). Wash ALL of facial your makeup off every evening with a facial cleanser or cleansing oil, no matter how tired you are. Eye makeup should be removed using an eye makeup remover or micellular water. Sorry, those disposable makeup wipes do not count.
If you don’t drink water, start NOW. You will want to drink about 4-6 glasses a day, depending on your activity level. Hydrated skin=glowing skin!
You really are what you eat, and your skin will be the first to show it. Eat a well-balanced diet- don’t starve yourself or go on a “liquid diet” just to fit into your dream dress. Sure you may drop weight, but your skin will reflect the lack of nutrients you are depriving yourself.
3 Months Before
If you really want to tackle stubborn acne scars, you may consider microneedling by a licensed professional (microneedling can also treat fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and produces collagen). Throw away that roller you purchased at Marshalls for $10. Those create more harm than good. Microneedling isn’t a walk in the park and does leave you red but the results come pretty quick.
If you have a lot of pigmentation you’re looking to get rid of, you may want to book a series of peels with your dermatologist or esthetician. You will want to book at least 3 treatments, 4 weeks apart.
2 to 3 weeks before
You will want to schedule your last laser treatment at least 3 weeks before your wedding.
Schedule any final waxing/threading appointments. You will want to let any post-treatment redness, reactions, etc. subside.
1 week to 3 days before
Schedule your last facial, preferably a gentle facial or even a gentle peel to get your glow on.
If you’re feeling a little pale, you may want to get a spray tan. If you’ve never had a spray tan before, you will want to do a trial run or get it done for your bachelorette to make sure you are satisfied with the depth. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go tanning, even you want to sit outside in the sun. Its extremely difficult to cover tan lines and, even worse, a sunburn. Even if you tan or burn-then-tan, you are causing long-term damage that will surface down the road, and trust me, that’s not cheap to get rid of.
If you see a blemish or zip appear all of the sudden (probably due to stress), please do yourself a solid and don’t pop it. Don’t pick it or try to extract it on your own. Get an over-the-counter spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide, which will get to the zit before it comes to the surface.
1 night before
Remove all eye makeup (mascara bits and all) using eye makeup remover or micellar water. Wash off all makeup using a facial cleanser or cleansing oil (remember, no makeup wipes).
Moisturize the heck out of your skin (face and eye cream)! Now is not the time to experiment with new products. Your esthetician or dermatologist can recommend a skin regimine (see above) - the last thing you need is a reaction on the morning of your event!
Exfoliate dry/cracked lips with a lip scrub or sugar mixed with water. Lipstick does not work well on flakey lips. Apply Aquaphor or a lip balm right after.
You may have a few glasses of wine or cocktails the night before. For every glass of alcohol, you will want to drink at least one glass of water. Hangovers look as bad as they feel- they cause your skin to be dehydrated and dull.
Get plenty of rest (at least 7 hours)! You’ll want to wake up looking refreshed and ready to take on the day!
Wash your face with a super gentle cleanser. Avoid any scrubs or harsh ingredients (hopefully at this point you won’t need it!).
Sheet masks can provide some last-minute hydration to the skin. Avoid clay masks or any masks that contain exfoliants, such as glycolic acid. If you want to use clarifying masks, use them a few nights prior. If you’ve never used a face mask before, you’ll want to test it out at least 3 weeks before the event to make sure you do not have any adverse reactions.
Moisturize and apply eye cream. If you’ve read this entire post you know you HAVE to apply a moisturizer with SPF because Veronica told you so, look for sunscreens without zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which may cause flashback. A staple in my kit is La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Facial Sunscreen.
Go easy on the mimosas and caffeine, which can dehydrate you and your skin immediately. Water is your friend, even on the morning of.
HAVE FUN! Let go and celebrate all you’ve done to lead up to this day! Continue with a morning and evening skin care routine to maintain your fantastic results!