Share on Facebook

Bridal Beauty Countdown: How to Get Glowing Skin in One Month

These are the in-office and at-home treatments you need to get your skin wedding-ready in 30 days.


Daily: Targeted face mask

Early on, get into the habit of a weekly mask ritual. Take two minutes to sit back and de-stress, while giving your skin some TLC. What’s great about face masks is that there’s a formula (or, more likely, a few) to treat whatever ails you, err your skin. Say buh-bye to dullness with radiance-boosting vitamin C. Try: Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask or Que Bella Professional Vitamin C Peel-Off Mask. Hydrate parched skin with a hyaluronic acid-enriched sheet mask like Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask Hyaluronic Acid or Karuna Hydrating+ Face Mask. Congested skin? Choose formulas containing charcoal or clay (these are the best clays for a clear complexion), which help detoxify, purify pores, and banish breakouts. Try: Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask or Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment. Find out more about the best face mask for your complexion concerns.


alba botanicalsvia

Daily: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a non-negotiable all the time, but protecting skin is even more crucial post-treatment when skin is still healing. Be sure to select a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher. Those with a sensitive complexion should opt for products with soothing ingredients like Alba Botanica Soothing Sunscreen Pure Lavender SPF 45 and Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40. Oily skin? Look for mattifying formulas, like Coola Mineral Face Matte Finish SPF 30 and SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50. And don’t miss the myths about oily skin that could be ruining your skin.


Daily: Vitamin C serum

Now is the time to buckle down and get serious about your skin-care regimen. For a radiant, even complexion, Dr. Schwartz recommends applying SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with vitamin C and E and ferulic acid. “These are powerful topical antioxidants that work together to deliver the youthful, glowing look that every bride wants before the wedding.” Other pro picks include artnaturals Vitamin C Serum and Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum. Did you know slathering on a vitamin C in the morning can also protect against free radical assault during the day?


One month out: Radiesse for hands

Your hands will be on display on your special day. And getting a pre-wedding mani is a no-brainer, for some brides that’s not enough. “Your hands probably give away your age more than any other body part,” says David Shafer, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Shafer Plastic Surgery. Radiesse is the first and only FDA-approved treatment used to restore volume in hands. “The injections take just a few minutes and the results are fully visible within two weeks.” Here are nine other ways to make your hands look younger.


One month out: Halo laser treatment

Want baby-soft skin on your big day? Celebs, surgeons, and brides-to-be are buzzing about Halo, a hybrid fractional laser that combines two wavelengths to reverse major damage with minimal downtime. “It uses both ablative and non-ablative pulse to target both deep and superficial layers of the skin. A single treatment can improve fine lines, brown spots, texture, and tone,” explains Mark H. Schwartz, MD, FACS, board-certified plastic surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Learn more about the benefits of laser treatments.

botoxNikolay Litov/shutterstock

Three weeks out: Botox

Wedding planning can be stressful, but you certainly don’t want your face to show it. (Stress isn’t the only cause of lines. This is what dermatologists wish you knew about wrinkles.) Once the skin is completely healed from the laser—which is typically under a week, according to Dr. Schwartz—he suggests Botox to treat the glabellar creases (aka worry lines), crow’s feet, and forehead lines. “The key to a successful pre-wedding treatment is using conservative amounts of Botox. You’ll see results in three to four days and can always book a follow-up visit in needed.” Before you go under the needle, here’s what you need to know about Botox.


Three weeks out: Chemical peel

Consider a mild in-office peel at the three-week mark. It’s important to note that chemical peels come in different strengths—from more superficial glycolic acid peels to deeper phenol peels. Depending on the type you get, you will experience varying degrees redness and swelling, which can last up to 14 days. “After the initial recovery phase, skin will look smoother, brighter, and more even,” says Dr. Shafer. If you don’t have time to get to the doctor, there are at-home alternatives. Just keep in mind that at-home peels aren’t as strong as their in-office counterparts, so it’s essential to follow instructions specifically and continue regular use to achieve desired results. Try: BeautyRx Starter Kit or Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Medi–Spa Peel.


Two weeks out: Eye cream

Stress and lack of sleep can cause dark circles. Starting at least two weeks in advance of your wedding date, Dr. Shafer suggests using a cream or serum specifically formulated for the delicate eye area. Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller features a refreshing gel formula that’s infused with vitamin C, mint, and caffeine as well as a roll-on applicator that helps de-puff and promote circulation. Sonya Dakar Eyeposuction stars an apple stem cells complex that helps flush out toxins, while fighting dark circles, bags, and puffiness. Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream With PSP contains caffeine, bisabolol, and hyaluronic acid to firm and hydrate. Self-conscious about your eye area? These magical makeup tricks make dark circles disappear.


One week out: HydraFacial

To make sure your skin is photo-ready when your special day arrives, Dr. Shafer recommends a HydraFacial session a week prior. This non-invasive facial marries clinical exfoliation, hydration, and antioxidant protection. “Imagine gentle suction removing dead cells, while antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and peptides drench your skin.” And there’s no discomfort or downtime, so it’s perfect for a pre-wedding pick-me-up (and so are these DIY facial treatments).


Night before: Moisturizing sleep mask

The night before is all about beauty sleep. You want to make sure you look and feel your best, so catching some quality sleep is key. (FYI: This is what’s actually happening to your skin while you snooze.) Make your slumbering hours work even harder with a moisturizing, overnight facial treatment, like Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask, Amorepacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask, or Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Slather it on before bed and, when you wake up in the morning, your skin will soft, supply, and wedding-ready.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected].

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay Cohn is an avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents and writes about travel for Reader’s Digest as well as USA Today, Fodor’s, Travel + Leisure, Brides and PureWow. Beyond travel, she covers a variety of lifestyle topics including beauty, wellness and design. Her work has also been published on Well+Good, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart, Domino and Mindbodygreen. Follow her on Instagram @lindsay_cohn