Get your skin ready for a wedding or other big event with this plan that let's you skip the doctor's office.
Spring wedding? Summer high school reunion? You, of course, want to glow at any big event, but who has time to keep running to a dermatologist’s office for facials?
Here are some simple steps you can take on your own to prepare and nurture your skin in the weeks, days and hours before a big event.
One month before
“Fresh skin takes time,” says Dr. Kristina Goldenberg, a dermatologist and an owner of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York.
At this stage, the goal should be to first remove dead layers of skin. Goldenberg says that it typically takes at least 28 days “for new cells to come in and old ones to be sloughed off.”
EXFOLIANT: Offering impressively high levels of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, Drunk Elephant’s TLC Sukari Babyfacial ($80 at drunkelephant.com) is a smart choice for cleaning pores and ridding skin of dead cells. It also soothes and hydrates.
SERUM: For a highly concentrated, oil-free serum that improves the appearance of dark spots, promotes even skin tone, adds radiance and reduces the appearance of acne marks and scars, try Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum ($79 at us.caudalie.com).
POWDER: Become a mix-master by blending Vitabrid C12’s FACE Brightening Powder ($60 at barneys.com) into your existing moisturizer or serum. Its 12-hour delivery system with vitamin C complex brightens skin as it minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
SUNBLOCK: During this stripping/rebuilding process, sun protection is crucial. Stick with a breathable block of SPF 50 that has UV protection, but that also moisturizes and soothes. Dr. Jart+’s Every Sun Day SPF 50 Sunscreen ($34 at Sephora) does the job, thanks to calendula, aloe vera and hollyhock.
One week before
“One of the benefits to superficial exfoliation, which you’ve been doing over the past few weeks, is that it prepares your skin for better penetration of the topical products you’re going to use now,” says Dr. Lee Ann M. Klausner, a facial plastic surgeon in New York.
CLEANSER: PÜR Joystick Exfoliating Deep-Pore Cleanser ($26 at purcosmetics.com) is an exfoliating cleansing stick — with charcoal and Moroccan red clay to help detoxify — that foams on contact to remove pore-clogging dirt, oil and impurities.
SERUM: Eliminate surface shine and minimize pores with ZO Skin Health’s Ossential Instant Pore Refiner ($60 at zoskinhealth.com), a lightweight, dual-action serum. It prevents breakout-causing congestion and provides long-term defense against inflammation.
MOISTURIZING MASK: Erno Laszlo’s Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask ($90 at ernolaszlo.com) offers “Smart Hydrators” that repair and replenish lost moisture, while brightening and strengthening skin while you sleep. Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids boost skin’s collagen and elastin.
The night before
“Stress shows on your skin, which can lead to dryness, flakiness, blotchiness and acne,” says Dr. Melissa K. Levin, a dermatologist in New York.
The culprit is cortisol, a steroid produced in the adrenal glands that is elevated by stress. Cortisol breaks down collagen, weakens facial elasticity and increases inflammation and oil production, among other unwanted effects.
“Pampering yourself with low-impact, mini spa-like treatments the night before is a good way to naturally lower cortisol while taking a moment to be good to yourself and focus on your skin,” Levin says.
HANDS: For silky, smooth hands and nails (especially important on a wedding day), use Masqueology Moisturizing Hand Masks ($15 for three pairs at masqueology.com), which are packed with coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera and anti-aging properties.
MASK: Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($45 at glowrecipe.com) is pillow-proof and is formulated with soothing, amino acid-rich watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid and pore refining AHAs that exfoliate and clarify.
EYES: Sonya Dakar’s NutraSphere Eyeposuction ($175 at sonyadakar.com) contains ingredients that drain excess fluids underneath the eyes that can cause fat deposits, puffiness and dark circles. In the morning, eyes will appear perkier.
The day of
You’ve already done all the hard work. But sleeplessness and stress can look terrible on anyone.
“That’s why there are temporary instant helpers and hiders that cheat the shot,” says Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, a dermatologist and owner of Ingleton Dermatology in New York.
MASK: Seven minutes is all you need with Dermarche Labs’ Roloxin Lift Gold Instant Wrinkle Smoothing Mask ($33 for three at Nordstrom) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores while adding a bright, smooth, luminous look.
EXTRA BOOST: Two drops of NIP + FAB Viper Venom Fix Blurring Shot ($25 at Ulta) added to your moisturizer or foundation creates a temporary Botox-like effect while hiding pores, smoothing out lines and offering the appearance of a retouched finish.
SERUM: Brighten skin and improve cell turnover with Joanna Vargas Daily Serum ($85 at Nordstrom). It contains chlorophyll to oxygenate, hyaluronic acid to provide moisture and galactoarabinan for glowing skin.
EYES: Remove dark circles and dullness and reveal brightness in just 15 minutes, with Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Smoothing Eye Mask ($65 for 12 pairs at shiseido.com).
Then get out there and glow.