Wedding skincare bootcamp: How to get your acne under control for your special day

You can find a lot of timelines outlining when to start certain products and treatments before your wedding. These are helpful guidelines, but when you’re acne-prone, the reality is that your timeline depends on where you’re at when you start. For that reason, our main piece of advice is to start prepping early and if possible, seek guidance from a professional. From there, you can devise a plan that works for you. 

Establish Your Routine

Achieving the skin of your dreams relies on a consistent, personalized skincare routine at home. Remember that some ingredients take weeks to months to show results, especially when targeting breakouts and hyperpigmentation. You want to ensure you have enough time to let them work their magic, as well as get through any adjustment period. 

If you wish to work with a dermatologist or esthetician to prep your skin, plan your first appointment 3-4 months before the big day and leave enough time to see results. Many estheticians also offer virtual consultations, if you’re not able to make an appointment in person. These experts can create a personalized game plan to tackle your major concerns. At a minimum, they can help determine the right home care routine you can stick to.

Here are some things you might work on at home or with your professional team based on where you are on your acne journey:

If you have active breakouts…

  • Start on a retinoid or the right exfoliating acid for your skin type (if you have at least 4-6 months before your wedding to allow for any adjustment periods).
  • Monthly facials to do extractions, calm existing breakouts and correct texture via peels, microneedling or lasers, as time allows.
  • Establish a homecare routine you can stick to that addresses your concerns and minimizes healing time.

If your acne is mostly under control, but you want to minimize the risk of any flare-ups…

  • Optimize your homecare routine, making sure you have everything you need to prevent and treat the occasional pimple. This might mean a spot treatment, weekly mask or daily serum. Check out this guide for some suggestions based on the type of acne. 
  • Keep pimple patches handy and ice to reduce swelling and discomfort. 
  • If not already using, add in some AHAs to increase radiance and ready your arsenal of dedicated hydrators and plumpers.
  • Schedule monthly facials to clear pores, kill bacteria before it surfaces and improve texture via peels, microneedling or lasers.
  • Brighten, lift and tone via peels, microcurrent and sculpting massage.

If you have no active breakouts, but lingering scars and want to glow…

  • Optimize your homecare routine to fit your goals, by incorporating AHAs, pigment-inhibitors (ex: alpha arbutin, kojic acid, licorice root and resveratrol) and hydrating products to get that smooth, plump canvas! 
  • Schedule monthly or every other month facials to help lift discoloration and improve texture with peels, microneedling and lasers.
  • Get your last facial the week before your wedding day and focus on lifting and hydrating. Make sure your facialist knows your wedding day is coming up so they don’t do anything that requires downtime. 

If you are getting married next week and a dreaded pimple arises…

  • Ice! 30 seconds on and off for 2 minutes, twice a day.
  • Don’t pick! Put on a pimple patch. Avoid spot treatments, which may be drying and cause flakes.
  • Visit an esthetician for some LED therapy or high frequency.
  • Visit a dermatologist to get a cortisone shot to quickly bring down the size.

Regardless of where you’re at in your acne journey, or how much time you have to prepare, here are three things to keep in mind: Nothing new before the wedding! If you’re following our advice, you’ll already have your routine sorted out, but regardless it’s a key reminder: don’t try any new products in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Stick to your routine and trusted products. Even if your friend swears by the glowy peel pad the night before, just don’t! 

  • Texture over tone. Makeup can cover any discoloration, so the primary focus should be creating a smooth, bouncy, hydrated canvas for makeup. 
  • Practice makes perfect. Whether it’s botox or makeup, make sure you’ve tried everything before the big day. Have your makeup trial on top of the exact skincare you’ll be using that day and schedule enough time to have a buffer for your professional treatments.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Every day, no exceptions. You won’t be able to see true progress unless your skin is protected from the sun!