The pandemic might have made it harder to visit a skin-care professional for a facial or other treatments, but you can still achieve that wedding-day glow at home with an assortment of products and even massages that you can do yourself. Many skin-care professionals also offer virtual consultations as well as online tutorials.
Home treatments should start three to six months before your wedding day. “Keep in mind that it takes time for your cells to turn over and a transformation doesn’t happen overnight,” said Shani Darden, an aesthetician based in Beverly Hill, Calif., and the founder of Shani Darden Skin Care, which offers virtual appointments. “Sticking with a consistent routine will yield wonderful results.”
Choosing the right products is also key. Here are a few favorites from beauty experts, along with tips for creating a personalized bridal skin-care regimen.
Vivant Pure C+E
Vitamin C helps rebuild collagen, brightens the complexion and protects skin from free radicals in the environment, like pollution and ultraviolet rays. “Vitamin C is an antioxidant that also helps fade hyperpigmentation,” said LaKeisha Dale of MelaSkin Studio in New York City. “Use this serum in your morning routine before SPF, which you should apply even if you’re indoors and get a lot of natural sunlight in your home.” This vitamin C formulation includes vitamin E for a double dose of skin-protecting antioxidants, as well as niacinamide, a form of vitamin B-3, to treat inflammation.
Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform
For youthful-looking skin, incorporate retinol into your nighttime beauty routine starting six months before your wedding day. “Retinol is not only amazing for its anti-aging benefits, but it also helps minimize blemishes and acne scars, and does so much over all to keep skin smooth and glowing,” Ms. Darden said. This serum combines retinol with lactic acid to increase collagen and cellular turnover and reduce discoloration from hyperpigmentation. “I also like lactic acid because its gentle enough for sensitive skin, doesn’t cause dryness and improves hydration,” Ms. Darden added.
YSL Pure Shots Soft Polish Double Essence
Used in place of a toner, an essence preps the skin for the rest of your beauty routine, increases hydration and targets concerns like dullness and lack of firmness. Apply an essence after your cleanser to help serums and moisturizers absorb better into the skin. Made with alpha- and lipo-hydroxy acids, plus argan oil harvested from Yves Saint Laurent’s gardens in Morocco, this bi-phase essence gently exfoliates to refine pores, then moisturizes and plumps skin for a luminous complexion.
Chanel Huile de Jasmin
Facial oils nourish, restore and moisturize skin with just a few drops. “I love this oil used after a serum to lock in its benefits and especially during a facial massage, which you can do at home, for a lit-from-within glow,” said Melanie Grant, an aesthetician based in Sydney, Australia, and a Chanel skin care expert. Made with pure camellia and jojoba oils, along with jasmine flower extract and squalene from olives, this Chanel product revitalizes and protects skin. “The nutrient-dense formula is rich in fatty acids and botanicals that instantly boost nourishment and hydration without causing congestion,” Ms. Grant said. If you’re using a gel or lightweight moisturizer, layer facial oil on top; but if your moisturizer is richer, apply the oil first.
Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool
Practiced three to five times a week, facial gua sha (pronounced gwah-shah), used in traditional Chinese medicine, helps to refine skin texture, sculpts features and lessens the appearance of fine lines. This handmade tool, crafted from nephrite jade, allows you to reach multiple surfaces, including your cheekbones, jawline, under eyes and neck. “Good technique is key,” said Sandra Lanshin Chiu, the founder and owner of Treatment by Lanshin in Brooklyn. She offers virtual tutorials and classes that teach basic to advanced facial gua sha. “It’s important to learn from a licensed acupuncturist to get real, skin-changing results. And use an authentic gua sha tool from a brand owned by a licensed traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.” The tool also makes a thoughtful gift for bridesmaids.
Biologique Recherché Masque Biosensible
A gentle skin care approach in the weeks leading up to the wedding can help to replenish skin affected by stress, lack of moisture and irritation. “This mask is excellent for all skin types, especially those experiencing sensitivity and discomfort,” said Mariam Saprichyan, aesthetician and an owner of Kariné Kazarian Luxury Skincare in New York City. “It helps to detoxify pores, restore the barrier of the skin and soothe the upper layers.” The oxygenating complex, along with fatty and hyaluronic acids in this mask, leave skin calm and smooth, creating the ideal canvas for your wedding-day makeup.
Price upon request, shoprescuespa.com
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
If you don’t have a facial mist in your beauty bag, maybe it’s time to consider one. “Massaging a mist into your skin just before a serum or oil is essential for hydration,” said Ms. Chiu, who is licensed acupuncturist. “It’s also great for prepping skin for a massage or facial gua sha.” This moisturizing facial mist is packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil and grape seed oil.
Starting at $22, joshrosebrook.com
PCA Skin Micro Peel At-Home Kit
“When skin is exfoliated properly, other skin-care products penetrate more effectively,” said Dr. Vivian Bucay, a dermatologist based in San Antonio, Texas. “This at-home peel is a great alternative to an in-person facial and delivers immediate, beautiful results.” The kit refreshes skin with a detoxifying charcoal mask, enzymatic treatment peel and plant stem cell-based rejuvenating serum. “The enzymatic treatment works better at brightening and smoothing than a physical scrub, which can be too harsh on skin,” Dr. Bucay said.
Naturopathica Virtual Brightening Facial
Up the ante on your at-home facial with one virtually lead by an aesthetician. This set includes everything you need for a complete facial, from skin-brightening treatments to one-on-one time with a Naturopathica skin care expert who will guide you through techniques. The 60-minute session is also a fun idea for a virtual spa bridal shower for you and your bridesmaids.
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Sugar Scrub
Not only your face deserves a beautiful glow. Made with clean, sustainably-sourced ingredients like organic sugar, white kaolin clay and sandalwood powder, this hydrating body scrub leaves even the roughest elbows and knees smooth and supple. And the aromatic-blend of orange peel, cedar wood and balsam torchwood oils might make you daydream of an exotic destination.