In the whirlwind of wedding prep, we’ll venture a guess that skincare isn’t the first thing on your endless to–do list. There’s a makeup artist and professional photographer on hand to make you look your best, after all. But the coveted inner glow that comes from seriously pampered skin won’t just happen on its own. In fact, the properly prepared bride should begin tackling her new skincare regimen a month in advance. That’s right, we said a month. Sorry ladies, there are no shortcuts to wedding–worthy skin. Luckily, we’ve enlisted the help of two skincare pros to break it down for you, one week at a time. Dermatologist Dr. Graf and Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas (founder of the eponymous skincare line) weigh in on the ideal routine for wedding skincare, from start to finish. Stick to this comprehensive guide, and your complexion will be the last thing you’re worried about on your special day. By Sarah Wu (@makeupmorsels).
4 Weeks Out
For a clinical approach, Dr. Graf insists this is the time for heavy duty improvements: “Four weeks out is the time to do any injectables for the bride (yes they do) and the mother of the bride. It is the ideal time for neurotoxins (Botox) and fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. Address any particular cosmetic issues such as dark undereye circles as well as skin imperfections with acid peels or microdermabrasion. Glytone by Enerpeel has a variety of different peels for a wide range of facial and body concerns. For skin prone to redness and rosacea, get it under control with prescription medications, in–office Mandelic Acid Peels, and at–home anti–redness products like the Avène Antirougeurs Calm Mask and Glytone Rosacure Kit.”
Similar results can be achieved with less invasive procedures. Vargas recommends that brides focus on perfecting their pores: “Typically a month before the wedding the bride is stressed and everything she has so carefully planned is coming together relentlessly! I would recommend a deep pore cleansing to really get the skin nice and smooth for the big day. Having one four weeks out will give the skin time to heal. I would follow with an LED light session so the pores start to shrink and you can get the skin even toned and perfect for the big day.”
3 Weeks Out
As the wedding approaches, Dr. Graf’s regimen slims down. There’s only one thing on the list this week: “Lymphatic Drainage Facials.” These can be done in–office, but you can also perform the face massage at home.
Vargas also recommends facials to resurface the skin: “Three weeks out she should have the first of three microcurrent facials. It de–puffs you and takes the tired out of your eyes no matter how much rest you have gotten! I would also add on my Power Peel—it's a double exfoliation with both a diamond peel and a fruit acid detox peel followed by LED light. It makes your skin completely resurfaced, clear and glowing!”
2 Weeks Out
Dr. Graf recommends a two–part process: Acid Peels in the office and the Glytone Mini Peel Gel at home.
Vargas believes it’s also time to redirect focus to the pores: “I would do a LED Light treatment plus oxygen. LED works in a series. The more you do, the more the pores shrink and the better your skin looks. The oxygen is awesome for bringing a great glow to the skin, which is so important with all the stress and pollution we subject it to.”
Once again, Dr. Graf recommends Lymphatic Drainage Facials to get the skin as healthy as possible.
Vargas also has tips to combat the inevitable last–minute stress: “Last time for a microcurrent facial. As much as you should avoid it, many brides end up trying to manage stress with wine this last week, which leads to puffiness. Microcurrent will make you look de–puffed, it will make your cheekbones high and your jaw and neck really perfect for pictures. This is my favorite facial to give to anyone before a big day like a wedding or red carpet.”
Now that most of the work is done, Dr. Graf recommends one final Glytone Mini Peel Gel: “The bride will know by now how she tolerates the peel and will know whether to do it several nights before.”
Likewise, Vargas keeps the finals steps simple: “Morning of, I would use my Exfoliating Mask in the shower. It will brighten your skin before makeup. Under your makeup, I would use the Daily Serum. It's really great for oxygenating the skin and giving you a rosy glow.”