I got married to my amazing husband this past summer and creating the perfect pre-wedding skincare routine was high up on my absolutely humongous to-do list right next to tracking down my dream dress! 😂
A well-tailored skincare routine will ensure you have a healthy complexion for the hundreds of photos that will be taken + a smooth base for your wedding makeup. I’ve always believed that makeup looks ten times better over healthy happy skin and your skin routine is a huge part of accomplishing that! I learned quite a bit through trial and error during the months beforehand and the last few days before our wedding date.
If possible, it’s best to start creating your pre-wedding skincare routine a few months before your wedding date. But don’t sweat it if you only have a few weeks (or even days *gasp*). This wedding skincare crash course will have a breakdown for each and every timeframe that you might find yourself working with. Feel free to scroll down to wherever you are in your wedding preparation timeline or buckle up for the entire post because every section has tips and tricks that will benefit each and every bride (or groom)!
When Should You Start a Wedding Skincare Routine?
Both beauty experts and dermatologists recommend a bride start working on creating her skincare regimen at least six months before the wedding date. This ensures enough time to safely try out new treatments or products that you haven’t had the chance (or budget) to play with before! Many skincare products take 4-6 weeks to show full results. The more time you can give yourself, the better for you and your skin!
Starting your skincare journey 1 year to 6 months before the wedding will give you plenty of time to figure out what products are actually working and heaven forbid you have to deal with a bad reaction to a product or treatment, you’ll have a comfortably large safety net of healing time for your skin.
Showing up to your big day with reddened/broken out skin from a facial gone wrong is definitely a skincare nightmare that we all want to avoid!
Creating Your Wedding Skincare Routine
There is no one size fit all skincare routine that I can throw at y’all because everyone’s skin issues are unique! Here are the basic steps that you need to start creating a rock-solid pre-wedding skincare routine:
What are the must-have steps of a skincare routine?
So first things first! Here are the main components that will make up your wedding skincare routine:
- Cleansing Balm (for removing heavy makeup)
- SPF – Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. (source)
Lemme just say that last one again, slather on that SPF people! I don’t care if your wedding is in the dead of winter, anyone with skin (hopefully that’s everyone reading this 😂) needs to be applying sunscreen if they’re exposing their skin to the sun.
If you already have a skincare routine going that you’re seeing great results from there is no reason to start from scratch just because you’re tying the knot. Feel free to keep those old favorites and just mix in a few new faces!
After you’ve established these “bread and butter” skincare products you can also delve into awesome to have but not 100% essential skincare products like:
- Eye Cream
- Face/Eye Masks
- Facial Mists
- Facial Rolling/Gua Sha
Hammering out the best skincare routine from scratch for the first time is no easy feat if you’ve never done it before. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, go take this how to Build a Skincare Routine Quiz. It’s a speedy 6 question quiz that will give you the tools to move forward in your wedding skincare plan. Once you have those guidelines down, hop back over here!
Don’t Do These Things Before The Wedding
Stay away from any new products up to three weeks before your wedding – this includes skincare, haircare, makeup, or even a new brand of washing detergent! Any kind of allergic reaction could take a couple of weeks to disappear, which is the absolute last thing you need before one of the most photographed days of your life.
Tips on Tanning
Keep a careful eye on your tan lines, especially if you’re planning on wearing a low cut or backless dress. It’s very easy to accidentally acquire weird tan lines after a day at the beach in a strappy bikini and nobody wants those peaking through a lacey white gown! Either make sure to consistently apply a high SPF to avoid tanning or keep a watchful eye on your necklines to ensure your skin tone stays even.
For example, I love wearing the black gothic one-piece below but would be mortified if I ended up with a pentagram shaped tan line on my back! I religiously slathered on SPF for months before my wedding date to prevent any tanning mishaps.
Pre-Wedding Skincare Tips – 6 Months to 1 Year Before the Wedding
Starting a full year before the big date will give you all the time in the world to play with new treatments and tackle skin issues that need to completely disappear before you start taking those forever photos.
This is also a good time to speak with your dermatologist about any major treatments that you want to try + get some quality advice on how to tackle any issues with your complexion. They will be able to advise how to address any major issues and also field questions and explain the risks of treatments that you may want to try out to get that perfect glowing complexion.
Many brides are attracted to treatments like prescription-strength retinol or chemical peels and aggressive treatments like these should always be started when you have ample time for your skin to heal afterward.
“These can include everything from red spots and broken blood vessels to brown spots and even tattoos they don’t want to be seen in those wedding day photos,” says Dr. Jeremy Brauer in this interview with Wedding Wire. “Fillers and toxins can also be used to add volume where needed and soften the appearance of fine lines.”
Pre-Wedding Skincare: The 3 Weeks Before
The clock is ticking! This is the time to buckle down and make sure you’re taking care of skincare routine every day to ensure you have a perfect “clean slate” for your wedding makeup.
You should be exfoliating 1-2 times a week and applying moisturizer in the AM and PM daily. I personally love chemical exfoliants because they give an even level of exfoliation to your face while it’s easy to go overboard with traditional scrubs. If you’re still shopping for a good exfoliant I highly recommend that you give my post on physical and chemical exfoliants a read!
If possible this is also a good time to go makeup-free for a few days before the wedding. This will let your skin shed dead skin cells faster and recuperate if you tend to wear heavy makeup everyday. This isn’t always an option for everyone so if you’re wearing a full face of makeup daily make sure you’re thoroughly cleansing your skin!
Double cleansing is the best way to ensure you’re not leaving any traces of makeup behind. This is where you first cleanse with an oil-based cleanser to break down the makeup and then follow it up with a gentler cleanser to remove any remaining residues.
DO NOT TRY ANY CRAZY NEW SKIN TREATMENTS
I cannot stress this enough! This is a truly terrible time to decide to try out a tempting skin treatment that you have never played with before. Your skin will not have enough time to heal if you trigger a bad skin reaction or breakout within the 2-3 weeks before your wedding date.
This doesn’t only apply to skincare, new makeup or hair products could also spell out trouble for you. I’m not saying you need to go crazy avoiding all unknown products, but if you have sensitive skin or have had reactions/allergies in the past you should err on the side of caution.
If you schedule any facials or treatments that increase the risk of photosensitivity be sure that you are giving your skin ample time to recover before your wedding/honeymoon. This is your time to enjoy sunny beaches and exciting new locations with your partner, nobody has time to hide behind a huge hat or umbrella!
Remember to drink enough water daily! If you have a habit of letting yourself get dehydrated it can take up to a week for your skin to fully bounce back. Dehydration can cause dry skin, worsened fine lines/wrinkles, and dark circles. You definitely don’t want any of these symptoms cramping your style on your wedding day.
Pre-Wedding Skincare: The Night Before
It’s almost here! Try your best to get a full night’s sleep tonight to avoid dark circles and dull skin, beauty sleep is real people!
Dealing with breakouts & other skin disasters the night before:
Pimples always seem to appear at the absolute worst times, and the night before your wedding is a terrible time to be dealing with pesky breakouts. But never to fear! Here are some quick fixes to heal and treat breakouts:
- Pimple Patches – slap one of these handy dandy patches on any problem area to quickly address last-minute breakouts.
- Tea Tree Oil – this is my preferred go-to method. Mix a single drop into your moisturizer and use as a spot treatment to zap away blemishes (I buy mine online from ArtNaturals). And always be sure to dilute your oils! You can read my full guide on using essential oils in skincare here.
- Spot Treatments Gels – salicylic acid will be your new BFF when fighting last minute acne. Try a treatment like the Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment.
Here’s a wedding life hack tip: save yourself some cash by getting a free sample of an acne treatment (or any other skincare product) from Sephora. You’ll get more than enough product to treat any problem areas!
It’s The Big Day! Wedding Skincare Routine Steps
Take your water consumption into thought during the day leading up to your ceremony. Drinking 8+ glasses of water a day is great for maintaining glowing skin but you won’t appreciate the frequent bathroom trips once you change into your dress. Wrestling yourself even once into a restroom while in a form-fitting wedding gown is a big enough of a pain, let’s not add 4-5+ extra trips because you drank a gallon of water that day!
Skin Treatments That Give Instant Results:
Even if you have stayed loyal to a strict skincare routine for months up until today you still may want to try a few of these quick tricks to get an extra boost in the appearance of your skin before your big reveal!
- Caffeine Eye Cream – helps to reduce the appearance of puffiness, under-eye bags, and fine lines. Here’s my favorite brand.
- Facial Rolling – this can instantly give a “facelift”, reduce puffiness, eye bags, + fine lines. Here’s my crash course on facial rolling!
- Hydrogel Face Masks – These masks instantly calm skin and will leave you feeling amazingly moisturized, My Spa Life makes an amazing lace gel mask (click the Insta post below for a full review).
- Under-eye Masks – these will quickly depuff and re-energize tired under eyes
Other Pre-Wedding Beauty Regimen Steps To Consider
Use an Eye Cream With Light Diffusers
In many cases, dark under-eye circles are hereditary and can’t be erased completely. In these cases, the only way to completely erase them is with makeup. Try to find an eye cream that has light diffusers, which reflect light to make the under eye look brighter. The INKEY LIST Brighten-i Eye Cream is an amazing product that blends skincare and makeup together. It gives an instant illuminating and priming effect while treating the look of dark circles with Vitamin C.
Are you washing your makeup brushes often enough?
We’re all guilty of using our makeup brushes far too many times before washing them. Your skin will give you countless thanks if you keep up to date with your brush cleansing routine!
“If not properly cleaned, makeup brushes can carry hordes of bacteria that can cause serious damage to the skin. Not to mention, buildup that gathers on dirty brushes causes them to deteriorate quicker, affecting your makeup application.” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist in an article by Verily.
Losing Weight for Your Wedding
Is weight loss going to be part of your wedding prep plan? It’s very important to use a nourishing moisturizer head to toe, as sudden weight loss can cause unsightly stretch marks.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is my ride or die moisturizer, it’s suitable for all over use and will help prevent any stretch marks and provide some extra nourishment for your skin. It’s also an amazingly rich moisturizer for everyday facial use if you suffer from dry skin like me. This is also a great product to apply after shaving!