Bridal Prep by Tiffany Clay, MD
Bridal prep is very extensive. There’s the dress, food, makeup, decor, guest list and of course the beauty routine for the bride. Every woman wants to look her best on her wedding day. Brides want to put their best face forward and often do facials, chemical peels or other procedures to get themselves prepared. I am about six weeks out from my own wedding and I am working on maintaining clear flawless skin for my big day.
The process of getting a facial includes cleansing the skin, evaluating the skin (is it dry, oily, are there clogged pores), extractions of blackheads and whiteheads from congested pores, a light chemical peel or microdermabrasion to remove dull dead skin and deep moisturizing if needed. Chemical peels use acids such as lactic acid, glycolic acid and retinoid acid and sometimes skin lighteners including hydroquinone to exfoliate or brighten the complexion. The downtime after a chemical peel usually starts on day 2 and you may still be peeling up to 2-3 weeks after the chemical peel. Other minimally invasive procedures such as micro-needling or lasers are used to encourage collagen production or even out skin tone usually result in mild redness and have about a week of downtime. After any of these procedures everyone should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin from discoloration and sunburn. Brides should seek out a sunscreen that works well for their skin type and start using it months before the wedding. It would be disastrous to start a new sunscreen close to the wedding that causes you to have a rash or acne flare-up.
Some brides may treat themselves to facials regularly however if a bride is having a facial for the first time here are a few tips. I suggest getting a facial at least 2-4 weeks prior to the wedding. When having a new procedure done you may experience an allergy, irritation, or acne which would be troublesome if it occurred during the week of your wedding. Skin allergies may occur from using a new or a tried-and-true product and the allergy typically takes several days to appear. No one wants to walk down the aisle with a red, itchy face. An allergic reaction can be treated and cleared within 2 weeks so don’t play it too close to the wedding day. Skin irritation after a procedure may result in dryness, peeling, redness or skin sensitivity. This problem can resolved in a couple weeks as well. Acne can be a serious emergency wedding week. I would hate to have a large acne breakout the week of my wedding. The general stress of a wedding may incite acne so lets avoid other contributing factors. The acids and enzymes used during a chemical peel or facial may temporarily clog the pores or they may uncover underlying inflammation, both of which could lead to pimples. My personal plan is to get a facial five weeks prior to my wedding and then again two weeks before the wedding all while keeping it simple with gentle products. Finally, I do not suggest trying anything new including new procedures or new products.
If you are planning on doing a spa day or self-care day during the week of the wedding I suggest getting a gentle facial free of enzymes or peels and asking the aesthetician to use products that you have tried in the past. It’s not a bad idea to get a facial a few months before the big day and then stick with the same routine for your pre-wedding facial.
Tiffany Clay, MD sees patients in our East Cobb, Buckhead, and Midtown offices.