Everything seems to be going as planned for your wedding, then bam—out of nowhere, you're left dealing with a beauty crisis you definitely don't have time to squeeze into your schedule. Whether it's a spray tan gone wrong or a zit that decided to pop up, here are some fixes to get you through some of the most common beauty blunders.
Your spray tan didn't go quite as planned.
Be sure to try your spray tan out ahead of time and consult with a technician to find out when to schedule the service before your wedding. If you do have any mishaps—like blotches, weird lines, or an orange glow—there are some solutions. "The best way to remedy an orange glow or other application errors is within the first few hours of getting the spray tan since the color isn't completely absorbed yet," says Lana Pinchasov, MS, RPA-C, a dermatology certified physician assistant at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City.
To fix yours, Pinchasov first recommends soaking in the bath for a few minutes, then using a gentle scrub and an exfoliating mitt to gently rub away excess color, streaks, or lines. If you want to remove the entire spray tan, try a product like Bronze Buffer ($10, bronzebuffer.com), or create a paste from baking soda, lemon juice, and an exfoliator like sugar or salt. Just go easy on the rubbing—you don't want to scratch off your skin.
A monster zit pops up during the worst time.
Waking up a few days before your wedding with a giant pimple isn't quite the gift you were expecting, but there is an emergency solution. "Get a cortisone injection at your dermatology office. Many derms can accommodate same-day injection appointments, and this method is the quickest and safest way to get rid of a monster zit," Pinchasov says. "If you're looking for an over-the-counter option, a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide is a great way to reduce an acne breakout at home. Apply the spot treatment to the pimple immediately once you notice it and continue twice a day until it's gone. And it's very important not to pick or squeeze a pimple, as this can leave scars." Pinchasov says to give something like Neutrogena's On-the-Spot Acne Treatment ($7.99, ulta.com) a try, or use an at-home remedy like applying tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar directly to the spot, which can help kill the bacteria and improve the appearance.
Your teeth are looking a little yellow.
If you want to ensure your pearly whites look great on your big day, think about heading to your dentist for a whitening procedure. "Definitely visit your dentist in a pinch for a quick yellow teeth fix. In-office whitening can give you immediate results, while home whitening products typically take longer to work," says Anya Brodsky, DDS, owner of New York City-based Brodsky Dental. "That said, I never like to change someone's smile right before their wedding. I usually recommend that you whiten your teeth at least a month prior to your wedding; the color stabilizes after about 1-2 weeks."
If you're in a bind and need a quicker whitening boost, snag Tarte's Pearly Girl Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen ($22, sephora.com). Many people see results after the first use.
You break out in hives or a rash from stress.
"This is actually more common than you'd think, especially with all the stress building up before a wedding," Pinchasov says. "The best thing to do is take an antihistamine immediately." After popping the pill, Pinchasov also recommends taking a quick, cool shower or an oatmeal bath to help soothe the itching and clear up the rash or hives. "Stress hives are usually short lasting so you can be rest assured they'll likely clear up on their own once the stress factor has subsided," she says. A massage or a few minutes of meditation to de-stress can help speed the process along.
You got a bad sunburn and your skin is peeling.
No one wants to look bright red in their wedding photos. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can help your inflamed skin. "A sunburn that's still red and painful should be treated with a hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera ($11, amazon.com) twice daily," Pinchasov says. "Aloe vera helps give the skin a cooling sensation, and both hydrocortisone and aloe vera reduce inflammation and slow down the skin shedding process." To get rid of flaky skin, Pinchasov recommends gently exfoliating with a scrub to remove any peeling skin followed by a moisturizer applied generously, like Tarte's Maracuja Oil ($48, ulta.com). "It's an oil, but it's so light, non-greasy, and feels great. It's also paraben-free and hypoallergenic," she says.
You have major irritation after getting a wax.
Did your wax result in major irritation? To give your skin some relief, start damage control immediately. "Apply some hydrocortisone cream—over the counter is 1%, which is a start, but 2.5% is the prescription strength, which is more effective—as well as aloe vera immediately after waxing to both prevent and treat irritation," Pinchasov says. On top of applying a calming cream to ease irritation, avoid fitted clothing: "Make sure any clothing is of breathable cotton fabrics. Also, avoid waxing while you have your period or the week before because at that time the skin is the most sensitive," Pinchasov says.
You have under eye circles from a lack of sleep.
If wedding planning has been keeping you up all night, it might show. "The puffiness or under eye circles related to lack of sleep can be difficult to treat, and the obvious 'get more sleep!' isn't always an option," Pinchasov says. "Try to always sleep on your back at least for whatever sleeping hours you have to prevent fluid from pooling under the eyes. Upon awakening if you notice the under eye circles, apply a cool compress or a cold spoon to the eye for a few minutes to wake up the skin and reduce the puffiness."
A great remedy to give your eye area some relief is to put tea bags over your eyes for a few moments; the caffeine can be very helpful for puffiness and tired-looking eyes, says Pinchasov. Just make sure to chill the tea bags beforehand—hot water can make them look worse!—and don't leave them on for more than 5 minutes at a time. "For prevention, use a brightening eye cream daily with ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine to keep eyes looking fresh and youthful. My favorite is Lumiere by NeoCutis ($97, dermstore.com)," she says.