Your Dermatologist-Approved Timeline for Pre-Wedding Skin Treatments

Follow these expert guidelines for perfect wedding-day skin.

close up of bride's face

Photo by love is my favorite color

Facials? Love ‘em. Peels? Yes, please. While you might have a few tried-and-true skin care treatments you enjoy treating yourself to, you might also be the type of engaged person who's traditionally relied on a basic cleanser and a good moisturizer to keep their skin in check. Whichever camp you fall into, creating a pre-wedding regimen can be confusing and downright intimidating. Suddenly, the pressure of doing everything at the right time—so that your skin won’t go rogue—is more than anyone can bear.

Even our loyal friend Google is not shy in telling us its opinion on what skin treatments we should get and when ahead of a wedding, but when we actually consulted with an expert, we learned that the mapping out your regimen is far more simple than it seems. Here, plastic surgeon Dr. Gerald Imber explains how and when to schedule your preferred skin treatments ahead of the big day.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Gerald Imber is an internationally renowned plastic surgeon of Youth Corridor Clinic.

Skin Treatments to Book 12 Months Before the Wedding

If you've never received any prior skin treatments, you should first schedule your initial appointment at a reputable medical clinic. Facilities that focus on cosmetic treatments are best for someone looking for long-term care, especially for engaged couples who are on the hunt for a pre-wedding skincare plan.

Once you've found a clinic you trust, narrow down your desired results in order to communicate what you want from your medical professional. For instance, are you hoping for lustrous skin? Do you want to calm down any redness? Reduce shine in your T-zone? Be specific! What more, be sure to ask for a treatment plan that consists of an at-home routine, and don’t be shy about requesting treatments you may have wanted to try in the past.

According to Dr. Imber, you should also remember to mention your wedding details (this includes your honeymoon plans). “If you’re having a fall wedding, you want to avoid laser skin rejuvenation, IPL, or deep chemical peels in June and focus more on skin tightening and lighter, more superficial chemical peels,” he shares. That's because extreme heat or cold, sun exposure, and wind chill can all negatively affect the skin when receiving treatments like deep chemical peels, dermaplaning, microneedling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma), laser, and IPL (intense pulsed light).

Skin Treatments to Book 9 Months Before the Wedding

At this stage, you can now undergo treatments that require downtime, such as a deep chemical peel, which jumpstarts the skin’s exfoliation process and encourages faster skin cell turnover. The end result? Blemish-free, smooth, and glowing skin. Microneedling with PRP is another good option. This somewhat scary-looking treatment works for just about everyone. It uses cellular elements from your own blood to promote cell growth for an even-toned complexion.

Again, no matter what treatment you receive, make sure you remind your doctor/aesthetician of the results you want to achieve. Having open communication ensures that you really maximize each appointment.

Skin Treatments to Book 6 Months Before the Wedding

Missed out on the above? You still have time to undergo some skin rejuvenating treatments like microneedling with PRP, laser, or IPL. Your first treatment may require more downtime, but six months gives you ample time to shock your skin, followed by one to two additional peels before you say "I do." It's also important to use this time to focus on a maintenance and hydration routine, in order to maximize the results of what you've been getting done. Be sure to consistently use gentle cleansers, hydrating serums, and plenty of SPF following your treatments.

Skin Treatments to Book 3 Months Before the Wedding

Three months marks the last time you should consider trying anything new in case your skin reacts negatively. “Being so close to the big day, focus on treatments you have already received and do not introduce anything new into your routine,” advises Dr. Imber. It's better to be safe than sorry, so focus on gentle skin prep rather than something harsh and invasive.

Skin Treatments to Book 1 Month Before the Wedding

Unless you absolutely need to receive a treatment, it's best to stay away from visiting your doctor's office. By now, if you started early, you should have the results you set out to achieve at the beginning of this timeline.

For those looking to squeeze in one last derm visit, though, avoid anything intense like extractions and deep peels, and zero in on mild exfoliating treatments and products that nourish and enrich your skin. Lastly, ask your medical professional for specific tips on how to prep your skin the week before your celebration—plus, how they would recommend dealing with any stress-induced acne if anything appears unexpectedly.


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