Your wedding will likely be your life's most photographed moment—which means that it's time to take stock of your skin. Though there are plenty of fast-acting treatments available (these often come with a hefty price tag), nothing beats a solid routine built around products that really work. Before you decide on and purchase those products, however, consult an expert (like a dermatologist or aesthetician) who can recommend the best options for your particular skin type. After you get the go-ahead and the skincare lineup, be diligent—consistency is key.
The best way to maintain consistency? Create a system you know you can stick to. To help you do just that, we broke down how to achieve wedding-ready skin into five easy steps (with our favorite products for each!). Still struggling to round up the lotions and potions that hit each category? Consider an effective, works-together range, like Differin's Regimen Kit (the first retinoid FDA-approved for sale as an over-the-counter product, Differin Gel 0.1% now comes with accompanying cleansers and moisturizers), to streamline the process. While maintaining this core approach—cleansing, treating, and moisturizing—is definitely simpler, don't forget about the power of important add-ons like exfoliation and serums. Combine those powerhouse steps with your base and you'll be glowing down the aisle in no time.
First up? A fresh cleanse. Without removing dirt, oil, and every last trace of makeup, the rest of your routine is meaningless. Looking for products that wash the day away? Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk is a soothing option that's good for almost all skin types. The lightweight lotion, featuring jojoba and sweet almond oil, melts on and gently removes dirt sans dryness or irritation. For those who battle breakouts on the regular, look for products with Salicylic and glycolic acid—fierce zit fighters.
Toners deserve a starting spot in your skin care lineup. Why? These workhorses contain active ingredients that can treat, soothe, and hydrate skin. Used after you cleanse, a toner will also remove any additional residue left behind. Origins Zero Oil Toner is worth bookmarking for its degreasing prowess. This mattifying product gets rid of the oil without overdrying your complexion. For brides at the other end of the spectrum in need of a hydration boost, try Josie Maran Nirvana Hydrating Treatment Mist. Its mix of argan oil and coconut water leaves skin in a state of bliss.
It sounds gross, but you have to slough off dead skin cells—they can singlehandedly clog pores, trap oils, and reduce the efficacy of your routine. Exfoliating one to three times a week will help you shed the old and reveal a new glowing surface. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate is famed for its smoothing results thanks to a cocktail of natural fruit enzymes, gentle acids, and microbeads.
Serums get a lot of hype for good reason. These beauty boosters pack a big punch thanks to a powerful mix of ingredients. One of our current favorites is Innovative Skincare Active Serum. This multi-tasking product, infused with potent botanicals, targets a multitude of issues, including acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. Its biggest claim to fame is radiant results—and that's something every bride can get behind.
You probably already know the benefits of moisturizing your skin every day, twice a day—however, you can always up your hydrating game with something new. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense will have brides with dry-skin rejoicing due to its luxurious texture and plumping properties. If you're in the mood to splurge, consider La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Sheer. Enriched with vitamins, minerals, and yes, caviar extracts, this product offers optimal moisture without feeling heavy. Consider the hefty price tag worth it.