A Step-By-Step Guide to Glowing Bridal Skincare

The countdown to your wedding is on, which means it’s time to start glowing—and from the outside in. If you’re not sure where to get started between microneedling, acne care and fillers, don’t worry. We’ve made you an appointment with one of our favourite dermatologists to help create a comprehensive skincare guide to make sure you look your best, however many or few treatments you had in mind. Here, Dr. Jaclyn Linzon-Smith shares a skincare schedule to guide you through the months ahead until your big day. Pull out your calendar and get ready to refresh. 

1 Year Out

First up on the list is acne care. “If you have severe acne, it’s ideal to start one year in advance because that gives you the option to do oral treatments like Accutane,” explains Dr. Linzon-Smith. Everyone responds differently based on the severity of their acne and their weight, so it’s best to play it safe and get a head start. “Most women in their 30s will take about nine months to be completely clear, and then not need to go on a topical treatment after,” she adds.

Next up is Botox, which is a treatment Dr. Linzon-Smith says is not necessary to start as early as a year ahead, but there are benefits to it. “Starting Botox a year in advance would give you a better result, because a lot of times after getting Botox for the first time, you still have static lines,” she says. “If you start a year in advance, you’ll have a full year of your skin being relaxed, and the static lines will often go away the longer you’ve had the treatment done.”

Last but not least, and perhaps most important is sunscreen. Long-term risks include skin cancer and wrinkles, but there are short-term factors to consider too. “SPF is important because sun damage will lead to pigmentation changes in young people,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. “Before your wedding, you’ll be concerned with pigmentation changes, especially anyone who is prone to melasma,” she adds. 

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+, $42.

6 Months To Go

When it comes to filler, a lot depends on your filler goal and what product you’re injecting according to Dr. Linzon-Smith. “In general, I would say six months in advance is a good time to talk to the dermatologist or whoever is doing it, and you can plan together,” she says. “There are some women who need many syringes, and you can’t put in more than three syringes at a time without it being very painful and changing the way that you look,” she continues. While she suggests six months as an ideal timeframe, she says even three months is usually workable as well, but she advises against doing any big changes or procedures more than one month before. 

“If you’re looking for texture changes, retinoids, which is a topical acne product, should be started six months in advance,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. “As long as you don’t have acne, and you’re just using retinoids for texture change and overall glowiness, an over-the-counter retinoid would be just fine,” she continues. She recommends using it every other day for the first two weeks. “If you have any irritation, redness, peeling, or pain, continue to use it every other day until that irritation goes away. Afterward, you can try to increase use to every day.” Dr. Linzon-Smith suggests stopping retinoids two days in advance of your wedding to avoid any sort of texture change or dryness that will show through makeup. “You want to make sure you have a couple of days off the product for your skin to kind of regenerate itself.”

Glow Recipe Avocado Fine Line Eye Cream with Retinol, $57, at Sephora.

3 Months Before the Big Day

“The optimal time for lasers is three to four months in advance,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. “Some people’s skin doesn’t respond well to laser and gets very red and irritated for months afterward,” she continues. And while a lot depends on what lasers you’re using, it’s best to have a buffer of time. “If a patient is doing an ablative laser, which gives you the best effect, the latest I would suggest is three months in advance, just in case you get that terrible side effect.”

“A lot of people love microneedling, and in that case, you can do it as a once-a-month treatment for three months,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. She advises getting it done professionally too. “The at-home microneedling kits have never been shown to have any kind of improvement,” she advises. “The theory is that it could worsen skin problems because the derma rollers don’t go in at a 90-degree angle, they go in on an acute or obtuse angle, which might damage the skin further,” she explains. 

30 Day Count Down

Your last pre-wedding Botox appointment should be booked weeks before the big event. “Some people see the effects one week afterwards, but some people it’s two weeks,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. “Sometimes, you need to have a touch-up if one area wasn’t properly Botoxed or you got a side effect like your eyebrow went up to the sky. That leaves two weeks for anything to be fixed,” she says. “If you get Botox multiple times before that, you will know if you’re someone whose Botox weans early.”

A month out is the time to do any facials or body treatments you enjoy. It’s also the last time to make any skincare changes to your at-home routine. “Swaps with skincare should never be done less than a month before,” says Dr. Linzon-Smith. “One month before your skin should be perfect.”

CHANEL Le Lift Flash Eye Revitalizer, $209.