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This is how to prep your skin for your wedding day

The ultimate guide to getting your skin nuptial ready, no matter how much time you’ve got till you say, “I do”

After months of rearranging, cancelling and delaying nuptials, wedding season is finally back on! But whether your big day is booked in months away, or you’re sick of waiting and just want to get wed asap, you can still achieve your best skin yet. After all, with months of lockdown living, and missed aesthetic top-up appointments, it can feel like you’re starting from scratch when it comes to your beauty regime. But not to worry. We have the ultimate guide to getting your skin nuptial ready, no matter how much time you’ve got till you say, “I do”.

One month to go… 

Only have a few short weeks before you’re strutting down the aisle? Then it’s essential to book in with an expert immediately. “Book a consultation and have a thorough skin analysis with a skin therapist as soon as possible to ensure you can implement your skin treatment plan for optimal results,” says Senior Aesthetician, Aimee Piper, from EV approved Vie Aesthetics.

Once that’s done, a good place to start is with in-clinic facials. And, Head of Beauty at Vie Aesthetics, Amie Hibbert recommends opting for multifaceted treatments. She says: “Go for something like the Vie Aquafacial, which is a 10-step luxury facial that detoxifies, cleanses, hydrates, firms, nourishes and brightens skin. This means it’ll tackle a wide range of issues in one go.”

Luckily, you still have time to turn to your toxin treatments, too. Working by relaxing muscles, botulinum toxin delivers quick results to tackle both wrinkles and sag. “If you're short on time, toxin treatments will have the biggest impact,” says Dr Emmaline Ashley, Aesthetic Doctor and EV expert. “Botox only takes 2-3 days to kick in and the full effects appear after two weeks.”

Meanwhile, at home it’s all about hydration, hydration, hydration, to get glowy skin fast. Turbo-moisturising molecule, hyaluronic acid, is a must have for every bridal beauty bag. Just be sure to apply this humectant hero on damp skin to avoid drawing the water from the lower levels of your skin to the surface, which will actually dry skin out instead. And choose a product, such as Zelens Z Hyaluron Hyaluronic Acid Complex Serum Drops, which has low and medium molecular weights of HA, making it easier to penetrate deeper for highly-mositurised skin.

Of course, no lit-from-within glow can be achieved if you’re not exfoliating properly. Plus,  removing dead skin cells allows the rest of your products to be absorbed better. Thankfully the days of physical facial scrubs have been banished, instead it’s all about AHA acids.

And glycolic acid, which has the smallest molecules and therefore penetrates best between the skin cells, is the ultimate weapon against dull, uneven textured skin. Find it in radiance-boosting Alpha-H Sleep Power Peel or ZO Skin Health Enzymatic Peel, which also contains papain (from papaya fruit) and bromelain (from pineapple) enzymes.

With hydration and exfoliation ticked off, combat spots and improve skin texture by adding niacinamide to your beauty arsenal. A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is great for brightening hyper-pigmentation, strengthening the skin barrier and reducing breakouts by reducing sebum production. We love The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, which can be layered underneath your regular moisturiser each day.

Three months to go… 

If you have less than three months to go before your big day, then yes you can start using actives such as retinol. But only in much lower doses. However, to see the best results with this  powerhouse that’s derived from vitamin A, then a stronger, retinoid prescription only version, is required. Promising to increase cell turnover, boost collagen and improve skin texture, it’ll also smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, too.

“There can be an initial drawback at first when using strong ingredients,” says Dr Ashley. “That’s why it’s important to allow for an adjustment period where temporary side effects like redness, flaking or even purging, can occur.” If you’re completely new to retinol, Sunday Riley’s Luna Oil is a great way to start, before upgrading to their A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum, which is packed with 6.5% retinoids.

Also, even though results are instant and on average last between 12-18months, our experts agree that you need to allow for more than a few weeks of grace if you’re booking in for dermal fillers – be that a mid-face rejuvenation with cheek fillers, jawline contouring or nose reshaping.

“Fillers when done well will be subtle, but you will get an immediate result. However, if you’re a first-time patient and have never had an injectable, we wouldn’t want to encourage it in the weeks before your big day,” says Dr Ashley.

And even if you have had dermal fillers before, you still need to give yourself a minimum of a month before your wedding.
“While any preliminary swelling after an injectable usually settles within the 2-3 days, some swelling can linger for the first two weeks. And it takes a full month for the filler to fully settle,” says Dr Ashley. “Plus, while the risk of things like haematomas, which are small collections of blood in the soft tissue, are extremely small, if it does occur then it can take up to two months to heal.”

Twelve weeks before your big day is also the perfect time to start a full course of facials. A course of six-eight will allow you to keep on top of any skin concerns and really give the best results. But, just remember to leave two weeks between any injectables and treatments with facial massage to ensure your injectables stay in the right place.

Six months to go… 

Lucky you! With time on your side, there’s simply more treatments you can have to achieve your best glow.
First up, is the tried and true chemical peel. While some very superficial peels that refresh and brighten your complexion are available for those pressed for time, skin-boosting in-clinic chemical peels will always  deliver more noticeable results.
Done monthly, 4-6 sessions will get you the best skin results, which is why you need to start six months before your big day.

“Skin Peels are a great way to rid your skin of toxins and replenish it from deep within,” says Piper. “I recommend the ZO 3-stage Peel and ZO Stimulator Peels, as they are ideal for brightening, rejuvenating and smoothing skin, while reducing acne scars, blemishes and fine lines,” she adds.

While, Ashley recommends you “make sure you have your last chemical peel six weeks before your wedding.”
The same also applies for microneedling. Improving overall skin quality, as well as reducing the appearance of pores and scarring, microneedling offers the best results when a series of treatments are done. “I’d recommend 4-6 treatments at least 4-6 weeks apart,” says Ashley.

If you want to boost the benefits even further then the Morpheus8 treatment is definitely one to try, as it combines microneedling with radiofrequency for flawless results. “It’s suitable for tackling fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and can rid you of acne scarring and hyperpigmentation,” says Piper.

Also, while some fillers can be done closer to your wedding day, anyone wanting to have a tear-trough treatment should only do so if their nuptials are a good few months away. “This is because sometimes some swelling can appear two months down the line,” explains Ashley. Instead she advises that those looking to fill under the eyes should do so a minimum of four months ahead of any big event.

Emmaline Ashley, Aesthetic Doctor

I'm Dr Emmaline Ashley, the founder of Ashley Aesthetics. I'm passionate about beauty, wellness and science. I wanted...

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