The Ultimate Wedding Beauty And Grooming Timeline: 6 Months Out
Congratulations on your engagement! We understand how exciting this period of time is, but we also know how stressful it can be. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate wedding beauty timeline to get you and your S.O. looking and feeling your best for the big day. From the surgeries to consider a year (or more!) before you walk down the aisle to the last minute treatments you can enjoy in the final weeks and everything in between, allow us to be your guide to wedding beauty and grooming.
You’re six months away from tying the knot, which means you’ve likely made a lot of progress on the wedding planning front. But how is your skin? In our previous article, we laid out the importance of undergoing larger cosmetic surgeries (think: rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, and gynecomastia surgery) and kicking off multi-session treatments at least a year in advance. Now that you have six months to go before the big day, it’s time to start spoiling yourself with skin rejuvenation procedures, testing out injectables, and continuing the multi-session treatments you have already started.
Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
Breakouts, scarring, rosacea, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sun damage. No matter what your skin concern may be, rest assured that everybody has one. Fortunately, there are a number of professional skincare treatments (think: facials, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and microneedling to name a few) that can exfoliate, hydrate, and revitalize the skin.
“When done under a knowledgeable skincare specialist, facials can introduce glow, declog pores, and help even out complexion, texture, and skin tone,” says Nikhil Dhingra, MD, a board certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. “All of which can make you shine for your big day.”
While facials and other minimally invasive cosmetic treatments can yield remarkable results, the months leading up to your wedding are not the time to experiment with something new. If you have a standing appointment with an aesthetician or dermatologist, by all means continue your visits. But, if you are a skincare newbie, be sure you give your complexion plenty of time to acclimate.
“If you haven’t been regularly getting facials, starting six months before your wedding can be somewhat risky,” Dr. Dhingra warns. “I’ve had patients come in with rashes, eczemas, and newly developed acne secondary to products used during facials. These conditions are not instantaneous to develop and require repeated exposure, meaning that they may not appear in the first month or two but then, as you inch closer to your wedding, there’s a chance of developing a reaction that can take time to quell.”
For brides and grooms looking to brighten their complexion while addressing common concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines, chemical peels can be a very effective treatment. “Chemical peels in the months before a wedding are great,” Dr. Dhingra says. “I would avoid them for the last six weeks up to the event, but they can be useful for texture, pigmentation, brightness, and decreasing breakouts.” Available in a variety of professional and over-the-counter strengths, even the most superficial chemical peels exfoliate the skin — removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Similarly, non-ablative (read: non-wounding) lasers can effectively treat a myriad of skin issues and improve the appearance of the skin. “Depending on the modality chosen, lasers can also be fantastic for collagen buildup, evening out pigmentation, and soothing facial redness,” Dr. Dhingra explains. “My personal pick for a laser in the six months before a wedding is the Laser Genesis, which is a gentle laser that evens out multiple skin concerns.”
You’ll be glowing on your wedding day regardless of your skincare routine. But, if you are looking for an additional radiance boost, microneedling may be just what the doctor ordered. “Microneedling four to six months before a wedding can be great, as the collagen buildup takes several months after your sessions to appear,” Dr. Dhingra says. Combining microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or radiofrequency (RF) can further improve the results, though a series of three to six treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, is usually needed for best results.
Dermal Filler & Injectables
If you are interested in trying dermal fillers or neurotoxin injections for the first time and didn’t get around to taking our advice at the one-year mark, six months should still leave you enough time to determine if they are right for you. Popular areas for soft tissue fillers include the lips, under eye, cheeks, and smile lines, while Botox® and the like treat frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead lines.
Dr. Dhingra recommends trying filler out anywhere from three to six months in advance of the wedding. “Too close doesn’t allow for enough time to adjust things — though, in the right hands, you ideally won’t need aggressive adjustment after injection,” he says. While the results of filler are immediate, it can take one to two weeks for swelling and bruising to subside. And, over the course of the first month, patients can expect to see the product further settle.“Filler ‘settles’ over a month or so after injection into a more natural state where facial contours and volume really take on their boosted form,” he explains. “I advocate for leaving yourself enough time to see these changes.”
If you like you like your filler, great! You can return the month of your wedding for any necessary touch-ups (the smallest tweaks can make a large impact). But, if you are unhappy with the results, hyaluronic acid-based fillers (like Juvederm®, Belotero®, and Restylane®) can be dissolved with an enzyme injection. “Hyaluronidase is the injectable enzyme that, when injected into an area treated with filler, goes to work pretty instantly to dissolve the product,” Dr. Dhingra says. “The effects can often be seen after one session. But, depending on the filler and the amount used, it can take multiple sessions of dissolving to fully remove a product.”
Unlike filler, neurotoxin injections take three to five days to kick in with peak results two weeks post-op. While there is minimal bruising or swelling associated with the procedure, the results cannot be dissolved. Instead, the effects will wear off over the course of three to four months.
Continuing Multi-Session Treatments
Six months away from your wedding date, you are hopefully at least half way done with any multi-session treatments you started. As we outlined in our year-out wedding beauty and grooming guide, tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and body sculpting procedures often require multiple treatments, spaced a certain number of weeks apart to achieve the best results.
While your results may not yet be final, you should be seeing improvements at this point and have a better idea of what you can expect when you reach your last session. If you are not seeing any difference, it may be time to speak with your provider to ensure you are on the best treatment plan for your needs. In the case of laser hair removal, for example, patients with fair skin (less pigment) or a history of waxing may not respond to treatment. Having that discussion now will leave you time to find an option that will work better for you.
Six months before walking down the aisle, it is time to think about your skincare routine and other minimally invasive treatments and procedures (hi, filler and injectables!) you are interested in. As you continue your wedding countdown, be sure to follow our wedding and grooming beauty timeline to keep tabs on what to try and when to try it. Next up in our bridal beauty series, we will cover more beauty tips and treatments like spray tanning, teeth whitening, hair and makeup trials, lash extensions, brow shaping, and more.