Getting married is…a lot. The pressure for everything to be perfect is beyond intense. And it comes from everywhere—yourself, society, social media, your fiance’s uncle who has been calling everyone in the fam to make fun of you for having your pronouns in your email signature, etc., etc., etc.
(Pro tip not related to skincare: Hiring a planner is absolutely worth it, especially if you’re neurodivergent like me. Shout out to Emmily Jones, who has been my life and sanity-saver.)
Ofc, this intense pressure extends to appearance as well.
My insecurities about my appearance on a regular day have been amplified by about a zillion since becoming engaged. In particular, the feeling that my face is, to quote Clueless, a full-on Monet (from far away, my skin’s OK—but up close, it’s a big, old mess).
This is the part in my rant where my mom would probably tell me to take a deep breath and eat a snack. She’s not wrong.
(Elephant in the room: Obviously, there’s a lot to unpack here re: unattainable beauty standards, but that’s an article for another day.)
Back to skincare.
I am the kind of person who walks into a room and immediately forgets why I went in there. I utter the phrase, “I can’t find my phone,” approximately 17 times a day, and I’ve accidentally left my keys on the roof of my car in broad daylight more frequently than I’d care to admit.
What I’m saying is that without guidance, a timeline, and a whole lot of calendar reminders, my pre-wedding skincare routine would be non-existent.
So I set out to find a skincare expert I could trust in my (relatively) new-to-me home, Salt Lake City. SkinSpirit was my go-to for all things face in Los Angeles, and when I found out they had a location about 10 minutes away from me here in SLC, it felt like kismet.
With the help of their pros and Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr. Kami Parsa, I was able to come up with a wedding skincare timeline that I (think) I can actually stick with.
Disclaimer: First off, please remember that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for me may not work for someone else.
However, the below can be used as a general guide for timing ahead of any big event. Many of the treatments can be customized according to your specific concerns. The timing is especially important in order to get all the bennies and avoid any side effects on the big day (ugh, I know, but there’s only so many times one can type “wedding”).
Once a month
My SkinSpirit esthetician, Oakli Wismer, listened closely to my concerns and suggested I get started with a monthly treatment of dermaplaning followed by a DiamondGlow Facial.
Dermaplaning is a treatment that uses a gentle blade to remove dead skin and facial hair. This helps products and treatments penetrate better. I’ve only done this at home before, but I have a short attention span, so getting it done by a pro really sloughed those dead layers off.
Afterwards, Wismer told me I had a lot of dead skin cells that, combined with Salt Lake City’s cold, dry weather, was making my skin super dry. She suggested making some tweaks to my at-home routine (more on that in a bit).
Once a month
The DiamondGlow Facial is a tip-top treatment for good reason. It’s done with a patented, recessed diamond tip wand that provides exfoliation, extraction, and infusion. Basically, it deep cleans pores and infuses the skin with a corrective serum tailored to your needs (such as clarifying, hydrating, or anti-aging).
Wismer did some additional extractions during my first treatment to really clear out the gunk in the pores around my nose, chin, and jawline. As I continue to get facials and follow a home regimen, the amount of time we have to devote to this will go down.
Understandably, my face was a little red and splotchy for a day or so after due to the extra extractions. Despite that, the rest of my skin immediately took on a plumper, glowing appearance.
She also made some great recommendations I wouldn’t have thought of myself—like extending the DiamondGlow Facial to my neck and decollete area because my gown is off-the-shoulder.
As needed, as part of the monthly facials
There are a range of peels available, but Wismer and I settled on a light peel as needed. They can be added to one of my monthly facials (more convenient), and they have minimal downtime with a variety of options for my changing skin needs (hydration, help with pigmentation, etc).
3 to 4 treatments, spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, with the last treatment no less than 1 month before my wedding
On Dr. Parsa’s recommendation, I’m planning to add this treatment into my pre-wedding regimen. “Morphues8 is a minimally-invasive, fractionated radiofrequency, microneedling device that delivers heat to the subdermal tissue to simultaneously tighten skin and stimulate collagen production,” Dr. Parsa explains. “Collagen stimulation repairs and remodels tissue, minimizes pores and acne scars, and improves the skin’s overall complexion and texture.”
Because there’s some downtime with the treatment, Dr. Parsa recommends having the last treatment at least a month before the wedding.
Every 3 to 4 months, with the last appointment one month before the wedding
I had a consultation for injections with Natasha Peterson at SkinSpirit, and she said I could get Botox as usual (so, every 3 to 4 months), with my last appointment a month before my wedding day in case of any effects like bruising or swelling.
I get it done mostly on my forehead and between my brows. The last time I went in, Natasha also gave me a “Botox brow lift” which…wow. Made a huge difference.
First appointment no less than 6 months out, with follow-up/touch-ups no less than 1 month out
I’ve had lip filler before and loved it, but because it’s $$$$, it’s been over a year and a half since my last appointment, and it’s pretty much all gone.
To make the most of it before my wedding, it was recommended to get it done no less than six months out. This leaves enough time to recover if anything goes wonky and come in for a touch-up if I want.
Ofc, one can’t simply get treatments and neglect a daily routine. Everything’s gotta work in harmony. Again, I am forgetful and easily overwhelmed, so I’ve decided to really commit to the three most important elements: antioxidants, retinol, and SPF.
Antioxidants can help prevent UV-induced sun damage and protect skin from free radicals.
I’ve been writing about beauty for about a decade, and the number one thing I’ve learned is the importance of wearing sunscreen. Every day. Even if it’s gloomy. Even if I’m mostly going to be inside. Not only does SPF help protect from skin cancer, it also helps to prevent premature aging, lines, and wrinkles.