Expert-Approved Tips for Getting a Flawless Complexion in Time for Your Wedding

Everything you need to know about natural and cosmetic treatments to prep your skin for the big day.

bride wearing tea-length wedding dress holding floral bouquet
Photo: Abby Jiu Photography

When it comes to prepping your skin and getting a gorgeous complexion for your wedding day, our experts agree that the work needs to begin months in advance. Rose-Marie Swift, makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty, says, "Beauty is an inside job. It begins with your gut health, the food you eat, your water intake, and your sleeping habits. For excellent gut health, I recommend taking [probiotics and prebiotics]. Incorporate them into your daily routine and you will notice a significant difference in your skin and internal health."

Eating fruits and vegetables, fish, and healthy fats will also contribute to that natural bridal glow. Start your internal skincare regimen at least six months before the big day. If you're interesting in going the extra mile, Dr. Adam Kolker, MD, FASC, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, explains that there are several professional, in-office treatments worth considering. "The most popular pre-wedding treatments are minimally invasive and minimal downtime procedures, including Botox and injectable fillers—like Restylane and Juvederm," he notes.

Ready to learn exactly what you should be doing to care for your skin ahead of the big day? Here, our experts share at-home and professional treatments worth thinking about.

Find your routine.

The best thing you can do to care for your skin is finding and adhering to a high-quality daily routine. Dr. Kolker says to start every day by using a cleanser, antioxidant serum, and moisturizer (ideally with SPF) every morning, then ending the day with a cleanser, antioxidant serum, retinol or Retin-A (make sure to stop this step two to three weeks before your wedding), and moisturizer. Swift suggests using natural oil serums for optimal moisture and radiance. Just a few drops will do the trick after cleansing (and always use a gentle cleanser, no matter what your skin type). Try Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Serum ($295, or RMS Beauty Oil ($78, "I also recommend gentle alpha- or beta-hydroxy-acid peel and exfoliation two to three times per week, to be discontinued five to seven days prior to wedding day," adds Dr. Kolker.

Face masks can be a great addition to your routine, but Swift cautions against using many of them, since they can be too harsh on the skin and lead to redness and flaking. Instead, she recommends natural products that contain plant enzymes—specifically Dr. Alkaitis face masks ($39,—as they are gentle, yet effective, and leave the skin "flawless," she says. Last, but not least, Dr. Kolker says you can get a gentle, hydrating facial five to seven days prior to the wedding, but do avoid exfoliating options or ones with peels.

Start in-office treatments early.

Some brides turn to the professionals for cosmetic treatments. Dr. Kolker says Botox treatments can soften the frown lines between your eyebrows and transverse forehead wrinkles and the fine lines at the corners of your eyes. Otherwise, injectable fillers are options "to conservatively and naturally plump lips, and to naturally fill any areas of volume loss or shadow (cheeks, nasolabial folds, and occasionally the tear trough between the lower lids and cheeks)," he explains. If you do choose to go this route, Dr. Kolker suggests telling your doctor you're looking for subtle changes or enhancements. What's more, plan to start the process early. "I recommend trying it for the first time well in advance of the wedding, ideally four to six months prior," Dr. Kolker explains. "This gives plenty of time to 'titrate' the perfect dose in preparation for the big day." Ideal re-treatment time should be four weeks prior to the wedding day, even for regular Botox users.

Determine your perfect makeup look.

Of course, a little bit of makeup will always be the perfect finishing touch to a gorgeous complexion. The key is to underdo it—never overdo it, Swift says. "Always do your makeup in natural light," she says. "Don't pile on your makeup, the skin is sensual and beautiful so over-application goes into thick, cakey territory." Her concealer—called "un" cover-up—is aptly named. It has even, sheer coverage that camouflages redness and dark circles while blending into the skin really well. Swift recommends applying it with fingers for minor touch ups.

For fuller coverage, she says, alternate between a concealer and a loose powder using a foundation brush. But only apply powder lightly over the T-zone, otherwise it can create a matte, flat surface texture. "Remember, brides are supposed to glow," she says. For a touch of color, add blush to the cheeks. And then putting on a bit of soft bronzer or luminizer, like RMS Living Luminizer ($38, or Perricone No Makeup Highlighter ($35,, will add the perfect touch. "Add it to the areas of the face that the sun would naturally hit," Swift says. (That's the cheekbones, bridge of nose, a touch on the forehead.) "If you are wearing a strapless gown, don't forget to add it to the collarbones and shoulders," she says. "You will radiate beautifully, guaranteed." No filter needed!

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