If there’s one thing that’s certain when it comes to a wedding, it’s that all eyes are on the happy couple. We’ve been conditioned to take notice of the bride’s hair, skin, makeup and dress down to the tiniest detail. The beauty of being betrothed is that you’ve found someone who loves you just the way you are, so you don’t have to change anything about yourself before the big day. However, if you’re looking to dabble before the wedding with some in-office skin treatments, here we have dermatologists lay out the ideal timeline to make appointments.
One year before: More intensive collagen-stimulating treatments
Experts recommend getting some of the more intense treatments out of the way early on. New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD advises doing “more intensive collagen stimulating treatments including Ultherapy and laser resurfacing like Fraxel or Erbium, Stem Cells or even Plasma Pen for an eye lift” a year out from the wedding.
Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD notes that getting these treatments further out allows “the downtime to improve color and texture with resurfacing with lasers and other energy-based devices or peels which often require multiple treatments.”
One year before: Full body skin exam
In the chaos of wedding planning, don’t forget to schedule your annual skin exam with your dermatologist with plenty of time before the wedding. “Many brides don’t realize that the number one cause of cancer death in your 20s is skin cancer and incidence only goes up with age,” says New York dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD. “If there is anything concerning, it’s better to deal with things not too close to major life events.”
One year before: Tattoo Removal
One year out is the absolute last chance to begin removing a tattoo before a wedding. “If a bride is looking to remove a tattoo, the only laser that stands a chance in a year is the PICO laser,” says Dr. Markowitz, so commit to that laser or start earlier.
One year before: Body tightening and contouring
Dr. Waldorf notes that certain face and body tightening and contouring treatments take time for results to appear. She says generally four to six months are required to see improvement, so she recommends starting a year out to give yourself plenty of time.
One year to six months before: Filler
“For the older bride who may need more to improve volume, texture and tightening, start at least a year prior,” suggests Dr. Waldorf. “That gives you time to build volume with filler gradually, whether with gel fillers or bio-stimulators.” Meanwhile, Dr. Russak recommends starting six months out, so anywhere in the time frame should make for great wedding day results.
Six months before: Neurotoxin
Some neurotoxins are more fast-acting than others, so talk to your dermatologist about your timeline before booking a treatment. Dr. Waldorf suggests getting a neurotoxin treatment six months before. “That way, you have a chance to have the treatment, see the full results at two weeks and get tweaks to get it perfect. Then you can confidently repeat it a month before your wedding.”
Six months before: Clear + Brilliant
Dr. Russak advises patients to do a series of five Clear + Brilliant skin treatments beginning six months out from the wedding. She says it’s her office’s “go-to wedding prep.”
Three to six months before: Other bio-stimulating treatments
Dr. Markowitz suggests a variety of skin treatments in the three-to-six-month window before the wedding. With Sculptra, she suggests a derrière lift/shaping and non-invasive facial volumizing. She also recommends a non-invasive neck or face\brow lift for, which she uses Sofwave for rather than Thermage or Ultherapy, and micro-needling with PRP for texture smoothing and pore tightening.
“Even though most bio-stimulation procedures have little to no downtime, these energy-based and injectable technologies like Sofwave and Sculptra require time to stimulate collagen. While some can see fantastic results in as little as three months, I have seen continued improvement at four to six months,” says Dr. Markowitz. For energy-based technology and micro-needling, start further out and then get a refresh closer to the wedding. However, Dr. Markowitz warns “no treatments within two weeks of the big day.”
Three to six months before: Laser hair removal
When it comes to hair removal, Dr. Markowitz suggests leaving time to account for different hair growth cycles. “If a bride wants laser hair removal, she may want to start six months prior to the big day as hair removal can take multiple sessions,” she explains.
Three months before: Skin brightening and hyperpigmentation lightening
A few months from the day you say “I do” is the perfect time to tackle any sun spots or melasma with a bit of skin brightening. “I use state-of-the-art PicoWay by Candela Medical for full face, chest and targeted freckle therapy. This is the only painless and most limited downtime procedure that provides an efficient way of lightening pigment.”
Three months to two weeks before: Acne and rosacea treatment
“Brides with any acne can have laser treatments two weeks before the wedding, but starting three months prior gets better outcomes, especially if you’re adding any skin heating for both prevention and overall skin glowing effects,” says Dr. Markowitz. The same logic goes for those seeking in-office treatments for rosacea.
Two months to two weeks before: Neurotoxin and filler refresh
Dr. Waldorf recommends a neurotoxin refresh a couple of months ahead of the wedding. “Two weeks prior to any event is the absolute minimum for injectables, filler and Botox but the better approach is two months prior, leaving room for touch-ups and lasting results,” says Dr. Russak. This is also when you would want to get any lip enhancements, notes Dr. Markowitz.
One week before: Skin radiance treatment
“Skin radiance is a must one week out,” says Dr. Markowitz. For this skin treatment she uses the Candela Nd-YAG one week before the wedding to ensure perfect, radiant skin on the big day.
One week before: A facial
Schedule a facial one week out from the wedding for a moment of relaxation and time to yourself, which will also promote clear, glowing skin. Dr. Russak says she has a customized event facial called R+ Glow, which can include “hydration and antioxidant infusion, gentle exfoliation and extractions, dermaplaning, oxygen therapy, LED light, gua sha and more depending on your skin’s needs.”