We always want to put our best face forward, but upcoming events like weddings, proms, family portraits or reunions are times when we really want to look our best – and part of feeling your best means being comfortable in your skin. If you’d like to try something new with your skin, or even if you want to make sure that you’re maintaining the current level of your skin, it’s important to come up with a reasonable timeline for the steps you’d like to carry out before your big day.
Four to Six Months Out
Four to six months before an event is a good time to sit down with a skincare professional and talk about your options if you’re interested in noninvasive procedures like chemical peels or Botox® injections. Depending on your skin, the effects of most of these last four to six months, so you will still be enjoying the results of the treatment in time for your big day.
If you’ve never had skin treatments before, giving yourself a six-month head start will allow you to see how your skin reacts to the procedure. While the healing time with injectables like Botox™ is nearly instant, chemical peels, depending on the depth of the treatment, may require a few days to a week for your skin to be photo ready. The best thing to do is set up a consultation with a reputable cosmetic and plastic surgeon’s office to discuss the timeline involved before your event and what your skincare concerns might be. This also gives the skincare professional an opportunity to look at your skin and make recommendations based on your individual needs.
If you’d like to try any new makeup products for the potential photos, a couple months ahead of the event is the time to test it out. You want to make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions on your big day.
Of course, if you’re not wearing sunscreen or if you’re not drinking enough water (most people should be drinking about two liters of water per day), now is the time to start. In fact, sunscreen and water should be part of your daily regimen regardless of upcoming events.
The Month Before
Exfoliation is part of a good skincare regimen, not only because it can help gently deep clean your skin, but because sloughing off dead skin cells helps encourage healthy cell turnover, and healthy cells equals a healthy glow. If your daily skincare regimen does not include gentle exfoliation, now is the time to incorporate it and keep it!
Look for a mild exfoliant and a facial brush that isn’t too harsh on the skin. If you have questions about what kind of exfoliant to look for based on your skin type, make an appointment with a skincare professional who can help you determine your skin type. Remember, keep drinking water, exercise daily (don’t overdo it or change a normal routine too much – 20 minutes of cardio a day is good if you don’t currently have a routine) and wear sunscreen!
The Week Before
It’s getting close and now isn’t the time to reinvent the wheel. Keep up your skincare regimen, which should include exfoliating, cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Continue drinking your recommended daily intake of water to stay hydrated, which will help with the elasticity of your skin and improve that healthy glow that is so sought after. Keep putting on sunscreen and exercising. Now is also the time to make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. A good sleep schedule will not only help you mentally, but it you will look and feel refreshed for the days ahead.
The Night Before
There’s a new product out! You can’t wait to try it! This new product will be the answer to all your skincare needs! And just in time for your wedding in less than 24 hours! Nope. Don’t do it. The night before the big event is not the time to gamble on the potential reaction your skin could have on a new product you’re unfamiliar with – you could undo all you’ve been trying to achieve.
The night before your event should be dedicated to three things:
- Your normal skincare regimen
- Drinking LOTS of water
- Getting a good night’s sleep.
You'll be more likely to wake up feeling refreshed on the big day!
Alisa Baker is a physician assistant to plastic surgeon Dr. Jamal Bullocks, M.D., F.A.C.S. She administers Botox®, collagen filler (Juvederm®) and chemical peels; performs minor surgical procedures; and assists Dr. Bullocks in the operating room.