It was a regular summer Friday. My sister asked me to come meet with her and her boyfriend at the Gramercy Park Hotel. He is a filmmaker and she said there is a video shoot happening in one of the suites. It just so happens that the Gramercy Park Hotel is one of my favorite places in New York. Of course I did not want to pass up on the opportunity to explore one of their lavish suites. I would be there! Little did we know that once we arrived, there would be a big surprise in store. My sister was engaged! After some tears and many glasses of champagne, my mind immediately dreamed up a wedding skincare routine.
Besides understanding the basics: staying calm, hydrating, using SPF, exercising and eating healthy, what you might not realize is that your skin will need as much attention as the wedding planning. Ok, so I was not the bride in this story, however, as the maid of honor my skin would need prepping just the same. When it comes to skincare, I am always ready to volunteer as a test subject. I advised my sister on the basic pre-wedding skincare essentials, sought my own dermatologist advice and the best places to get your facial prior to the big day. I picked up quite a few tips along the way. Here is what I learned.
You are engaged, now what? You have 1 Year To Go: Make your dermatologist and aesthetician appointment. You want to test your aesthetician to make sure they are right for you. Getting a facial a week before the wedding will make things a lot easier if you know the person and what they can do for you. Some dermatologists have aestheticians right in their office. For those with fussy, oily or sensitive skin, a medical facial might be the best way to go. Seeking help outside of your dermatologist’s office means that you should go to the best. This is my list of places I trust.
Rescue Spa 29 East 19th St (a place my sister chose for her facial)
Joanna Vargas New York Spa 501 5th Ave
Face Gym Saks Fifth Avenue, Beauty on 2
Georgia Louise Atelier 114 E 71st St
The Red Door Salon & Spa 200 Park Ave S
For further help, I went to Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. Here is what she had to say.
“Using SPF everyday will be the corner stone to looking and feeling great. I love ISDN Eyrfotona Actinica is it is a non-nano, elegant physical blocker with the addition of photolysase, which is an enzyme that helps repair DNA damage. So, it is not only protecting you from UV damage, it is also repairing past damage. Having a good regime or gentle cleanser, topical antioxidant, SPF and ceramide based moisturizer is key. Remember, everyone’s skin is different so work with your friendly, board-certified dermatologist to make a customized plan for you skin.
If you are considering having botox and or filler, a month out is the time or sooner. On average, it takes two weeks for botox to kick in fully, so you want to make sure things are perfect before the big day. I always have patients come in two weeks after their treatment for a follow up and, if needed, a touch up to make sure you look perfect. For filler, you can be swollen and or bruised after treatment, so you don’t want to do it too close to the big day.
Before the wedding: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Remember to drink plenty to water, and hydrate your skin from the outside. A hydrating mask once a week can be a great addition at this point.
On the day of the wedding, stick with your products, do not try anything new or add at this point!”
Look In My Bag For Tried-And-True Wedding Skincare Essentials
Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser – Gentle cleansers that will not irritate the skin are your best friend. Confession: This is the first Drunk Elephant product I tried and I am hooked.
These three peels/treatments helped make my skin extra glowy, bright and new before the wedding. I alternated using this trio one month before the wedding.
Circcell’s Fruition Brightening & Polishing Mask can be used on a frequent basis. It’s like a tropical harvest in a jar, leaving your skin looking and feeling rejuvenated. I have dry and sometimes sensitive skin, I used this product one once every two weeks.
MyChelle’s Perfect C Pro Speed Peel is the strongest out of the three. This product has staying power. MyChelle has remained in my skincare arsenal for years. The peel is quick, your face will be red for a few minutes, and your skin will feel the softest it has ever felt. There is noticeable brightness, freshness and best of all, your makeup will glide on on a lot more smoothly.
I take my serums seriously. My skin is so dry I usually opt for face oils, and because I like to mix things up, I switch it up between Boscia’s Rosehip Omega Face Oil, Pure Mana Hawaii’s Soul Serum and Mileo’s Maroc D’Azur Plumping Serum. What I use depends on how my skin looks and feels. On the day of the wedding, I used Boscia and Mileo New York. I felt my skin needed comforting and powerful anti-oxidants. Pure Mana Hawaii is my daily serum and, over time, it has helped prevent and minimize any lines before the big day.
As soon as I found out my sister’s wedding would be a destination affair, I ran out and bought Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. There were no regrets. The last few months before the wedding, the mask has served me well as an overnight treatment and refreshing primer under my foundation. Today, I like to mix it with my foundation for a cooling feeling and a dewy look. Once I run out, I am ready to buy another.
Nighttime Routine. The week before the wedding I started using my Foreo’s UFO and the “Call It a Night” mask. Then I followed up with Babor’s Active Night Fluid. Babor’s ampoules are known to be stronger than any serum and I would have to agree. I found the combination of the two treatments helped me wake up with beautiful skin and it was the right skin prep for my individual needs. It should be mentioned that Foreo’s technology helps you cut down on your skincare routine time, so you can spend more time doing other things that matter, like sleep.
Don’t neglect your neck and décolletage. They will be front and center at your wedding, especially if you wear a dress that accentuates them. My motto is: Whatever you do for your face, do it for your neck and décolletage. This means, masking, serums and hydration.
On the day of the wedding, I mostly left my skin alone, but because I travelled and felt I needed a little extra glow, I reached for my Repêchage Brightening Miracle Mask With Laminaria Complex. This mask makes any dullness or hyperpigmentation go away. When it comes to your wedding, spa brands (such as Repêchage) are the smartest way to go.
The day after the wedding I rejuvenated with a fun and very effective gold foil leopard mask from Skin Forum.
Additional Product Tip: For really magical skincare results, ask your aesthetician about Biologique Recherche. Their exfoliants are a cult favorite among beauty editors and celebrities alike. They are well worth the investment for all skin types.