Your wedding day is one of the most exciting times of your life. Unfortunately, the planning (and drama) leading up to your big day can be extremely stressful. You’re supposed to look and feel your very best, but that’s tough to do when stress takes a toll on your skin.

The stress of planning a wedding can cause skin problems you normally would not have. Additionally, you’ve most likely started new medications, such as birth control, during this time. New medications often cause people to break out or have other fluctuations in their skin. When these changes happen, resist the urge to experiment with a bunch of new products. You need a trusted and effective treatment plan to create the perfect pre-wedding skincare routine.

Plan Ahead for Beautiful Skin

Just as you plan every other detail for your wedding day, plan for beautiful skin.

It’s never too early to start prepping your skin for your wedding day. After all, you can’t get perfect skin overnight. But with a few months to work on it, you can help your skin look great on your special day.

Some skin issues take a while to deal with. For example, removing brown spots requires months of aggressive treatments. It can also take several months to get acne under control. Clearing up acne means dealing with trial and error. So give yourself plenty of time to find an acne treatment regimen of oral antibiotics, topical gels, and acne wash that works for you.

If a problem arises, see a dermatologist right away. It takes time for medicines to work. If blemishes leave marks or spots on your skin, it takes even more time for those to heal. The key here is to act soon and start a regimen tailored to you.

Wedding Stress and Acne

If acne is a symptom of your wedding planning stress, your dermatologist will design a treatment specific for you based on your skin type and the cause of the break-out. Your acne may be hormonally-driven, and in this case, you’ll need hormonal therapies that can take two or three months to fully clear the skin. Hormonal therapies might include birth control pills, a medicine called spironolactone, oral antibiotics, or topical acne products.

It’s also not unusual to have a little breakout right around the time of the wedding. As stress escalates, so does the likelihood of a breakout. So plan for it. Go ahead and schedule a dermatologist appointment a few days before your wedding date.

It’s hard to get an appointment on short notice if you have a last-minute skin emergency. This way, you’ll be ready in case something pops up. And you can always cancel if you don’t need anything after all.

How To Create A Pre-Wedding Skincare Routine

Part of preparing for your big day includes following a skincare routine. Again, healthy skin takes time, so it’s important to practice good skin care immediately and to be consistent. This helps the healing process for whatever issues arise and prevents other problems from creeping in. Fortunately, you can take care of your skin by following just a few simple steps.

1. Use a Mild Cleanser in the Morning.

Use a mild cleanser to remove oils and makeup from your skin. We like CeraVe products – both affordable and effective. SkinMedica also makes a great cleanser. Make sure whatever you use effectively removes the oil and products from your skin.

2. Wear Sunscreen Every Day.

Choose a sunscreen to wear each day under your make-up. Make sure it contains titanium dioxide and zinc. Also, choose a sunscreen that is comfortable enough to wear all day. If one bothers you or feels too heavy, change to a lighter product with easy application.

Related: [INFOGRAPHIC] The Dermatologist Recommended Skincare Routine (That Anyone Can Do!)

3. Resist Tanning.

The temptation to tan reaches record highs when planning a wedding. We understand you want a nice glow for pictures, but tanning actually makes pigmented spots and acne worse. You can even get melasma, a hormonally-driven skin pigmentation issue where brown-patchy spots appear on your skin.

Essentially, sun exposure highlights each of these problems. If you want color, opt for a spray tan. You’ll avoid overemphasizing these pre-existing skin issues or causing future damage to your skin.

4. Apply Retinol.

It’s important to wash your face at the beginning and end of each day, but you should also follow the evening wash with a retinol product. Retinol, a cousin to Retin-A, improves the texture of the skin by making it a bit more sheen and silky. If you consider types of paint, your skin usually likens to a flat paint on a wall, but retinol transforms it into a semi-gloss. Your skin color brightens, the texture improves, and make-up even goes on smoother. If anything makes a difference in the appearance of the skin, it’s retinol.

5. Moisturize.

Retinol will make you peel a little bit and you’ll need to follow it with a moisturizer. There are a lot of different moisturizers, but our favorite is CeraVe Cream because it is heavy enough to prevent the skin from feeling chapped or burned.

Last-Minute Blemish Before Your Wedding?

Finally, if it’s a day or two before your wedding and that pimple from your nightmares flares up (or you totally forgot about pre-wedding skincare), it’s not too late! A dermatologist can use a steroid injection in the problem area that will literally make pimples disappear overnight. But acne injections aren’t done without risk, so make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing.

By following this basic skin care routine, your skin has the chance to look its best. And your wedding day will be here before you know it so start your plan for better skin today!