How To Prep Your Skin For A Big Event, From A Celeb Esthetician
Let's be real: Most of us want our complexions to look extra radiant for an important event, whether it be a wedding, a photo shoot, or even just a special social outing. Even if skin care is your middle name and you're committed to a daily routine, there are certain steps you can take to supercharge your complexion for the big day, should you want to.
To the same degree, there's a list of things you should always avoid in the days leading up to your event, as a few products or treatments actually come with some downtime. To break down exactly what to do (and what to avoid), we tapped celebrity esthetician Candace Marino—here's the 101 on big event skin prep, from the pro who makes your favorite A-listers glow:
Start in-office treatments early — like, months early.
If you're gearing up for a wedding, "The skin prep should come before the dress," Marino tells mbg. Yes, this often means months prior—maybe four or five months, if possible. Even if you aren't walking down the aisle, spacing out your treatments is key. "Starting regular facials a few months before something big is always ideal, as it gives your facialist time to get to know your skin and begin prepping it for the event," she continues.
This means last-minute facials with extractions, deep chemical peels, microneedling, etc., are a definite no-go if you only have a week or so left. Plus, a one-time pass likely won't deliver dramatic results. "It's important to remember that one facial, laser, microneedle, or peel is a treat, and about four is considered 'treatment,'" Marino reiterates.
Especially if you want to fade dark spots, minimize breakouts, work on any kind of scarring, ease fine lines, or have any other larger skin goal, then it may take a few months to get you there. That being said, a lymphatic drainage massage or hydrating facial may be beneficial days before a special day—just be sure to let your esthetician know you have a big event coming up.
Don't underestimate the power of at-home skin care.
"At-home skin care is also the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to having beautiful skin," Marino states. "What's done in the treatment room contributes to about 20% of how someone's skin presents, and 80% of it is related to a consistent at-home routine," she says.
A few months before your event, try your best to nail down a skin care routine that works for your skin and that you will commit to. Here are a few tips:
- Start skin cycling for safe but noticeable results—here's everything you need to know.
- Invest in an at-home microcurrent tool for facial sculpting and wrinkle prevention.
- Start using retinol a few months before your event to help treat acne and improve skin aging—but don't start it less than two months out in case your skin initially purges.
- Dry brush your body before hopping in the shower—don't neglect body care!
Pick your day-of skin care wisely.
Putting anything on your skin the day of an event can be nerve-wracking, but Marino has a secret weapon she uses on all her clients to ensure their skin is looking its best: Enter, the Olga Lorencin Red Carpet Facial In A Box.
This three-step facial in a box includes a gentle, no-peel lactic and mandelic acid treatment to gently slough away dead skin cells while simultaneously hydrating the skin; a blend of aloe vera and amino acids to "steam clean," the pores; and a calming and moisturizing mask that conditions the skin to reveal a dewy, sparkling complexion.
"This facial can actually be done the same day as the big event, leading up to makeup," Marino says. "I use the professional version on my clients before big events; it warrants the most unbelievable glow, with no downtime, and makes everyone camera ready—it's called the red carpet facial for a reason," she continues.
The set includes up to 14 treatments, so you can test it out once or twice in the months leading up to your big day to see the glow for yourself and make sure you love it. A bonus: Knowing you have a tried-and-true skin prep routine may even calm some of your pre-event jitters.
Most of us would love for our skin to look extra radiant the day of a big event, and now you know the basic prep steps and what to avoid. As Marino says, at-home routines are crucial for radiant complexions, so even without any in-office treatments at all, consistency will get your skin glowing all the same–here's how to put together an expert-backed evening skin care routine from start to finish, if you're ready to level up.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.