It’s not even technically winter yet (the season actually starts on the 22nd of December), but our skin is not loving the dry weather. While we’re stocking up and slathering on our favorite moisturizers, it got us thinking about pre-wedding skin prep—specifically how to keep the dry and chilly weather from winning. We asked New York-based celebrity dermatologist Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum the questions she most frequently is asked by brides, and we have all of her answers below! For tips on how to look good going sleeveless to her product recs, slap on that face mask and scroll down.
How far in advance should one start thinking about their skin before the wedding day?
“It varies depending on the specific patient concerns, but I usually recommend about six months prior to the date. However, it’s never too early to start.”
What’s the best skin prep for wearing a backless or sleeveless dress?
“When wearing a backless or sleeveless dress you want to ensure that the skin on your body is in as good health as the skin on your face! Exfoliate one to two times per week to remove dirt, debris, and dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Make sure to use a moisturizing body wash in the shower, followed by a body moisturizer to keep the skin supple and glowing. Body acne should be treated by a dermatologist with a topical or oral regimen if needed.”
What are the best ways to hydrate winter skin and the best way to prep skin specifically for winter weddings?
“Layer hydration, beginning with a hydrating cleanser in the shower, and then by applying a deeply hydrating lotion or cream to damp skin. For very dry skin, re-apply moisturizers again before bedtime. Take short showers, five minutes maximum with lukewarm water (never hot, as hot water will sap the skin of its natural lipids). Pat the skin dry and immediately apply moisturizer. Apply something with a dewy finish about 30 minutes before getting into your gown, allowing time for the product to absorb and not transfer.”
What products do you recommend using in the weeks leading up to the wedding day to make sure your body skin is in tip-top shape?
“I love Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash—it contains proglycerin which not only pulls in moisture but also locks it in as well. It also contains shea butter and petrolatum to keep the skin hydrated and glowing.”
What are the best treatments for achieving that day-of glow?
“There are a few procedures we do for brides to achieve that coveted glow. Depending upon your skin type, chemical peels and laser treatments, such as the Clear and Brilliant treatment or Fraxel treatment, are great to exfoliate the dead skin cells and even out tone and texture. The Hydrafacial is also a great go-to treatment as it exfoliates, cleanses, and then infuses the skin with an individualized tailored treatment plan ranging from glycolic acid to salicylic acid to other collagen inducing serums.”
How do I get the groom’s skin looking its best?
“For problematic skin, have him see a dermatologist asap. Mild chemical peels, hydra facials, and one or two skincare products to use daily can be transformative.”
What is the best way to cover acne-prone skin?
“Prescription oral and topical acne medications work really well, especially when used in conjunction with medical skincare treatments. However, that would need to be started months prior. If coverage the day of is needed, derma-blend make up is incredible at concealing lesions and scars.”
What is the latest date a bride can do a clinical treatment before the wedding?
“Depending on the treatment, one to four weeks. I would perform a Clear and Brilliant or Fraxel treatment four weeks in advance; however, a peel can be done two weeks in advance and a Hydrafacial one week in advance. Never do a new procedure for the first time prior to your wedding, always have it done months prior to ensure no adverse reactions.”
It’s a day before the wedding and someone gets a pimple (like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding), what do you recommend doing?
“You can use a spot treatment containing acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide; however, be sure to not overuse a spot treatment, as it may cause an irritation. If it’s particularly problematic, I’d recommend my patient come into the office for a cortisone injection if possible. For very acne-prone patients, I may prescribe a short course of preventative acne medication leading up to the wedding to ensure skin is clear and perfect. If you cannot get to a dermatologist for a cortisone injection, which will decrease the size of the lesion within 24 hours, then ice the lesion for a few minutes to vasoconstrict the blood vessels, which will decrease redness, and subsequently apply a tiny amount of hydrocortisone cream 1% on the lesion to decrease inflammation. Do NOT use hydrocortisone cream repeatedly, as it can paradoxically cause acne flares.” Duly noted!