If it’s your big day (or your best friend, sister or cousin’s wedding weekend), you’ve likely already figured out your outfits, planned your makeup looks and prepped your body for three full days of dancing. But your skin prep is just as important—how you treat it in the run-up, as well as the morning-of, will show up in your final look. Here’s how to prime it for the best possible results.

Figure out what you’re looking for 

If you’re a bride-to-be and you’re not sure where to start, it is best to make an appointment with a dermatologist or aesthetician to discuss what your wedding day skin is. They’ll be able to get you on the right regimen, and you’ll have a ritual that you can follow.

If you’re a wedding guest, the stakes are pretty high too. You’ll have the photos forever, and with all the different makeup looks you’ll be trying, you’ll want to have your skin being the perfect base. As opposed to just purchasing every product you can in an effort to get glowing skin, take some time to figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Is it reducing acne? Do you desperately need to hydrate your skin? Do you need to work on anti-ageing? Answering these questions will help you take the steps you need. 


Allow for enough time before starting a new product

If you’re trying a new product, like retinol or salicylic acid, you’ll want to add it to your routine 3-4 months before the big weekend. It is best to adjust your dosage and application method as you get used to the ingredient you’ve picked. Retinoids, for example, can cause a retinisation period—which includes dryness, peeling and redness—as your skin gets used to it. To prevent that, sandwich the ingredient with a soothing pick like the Ceramide SuperCream Moisturizer to strengthen your skin barrier and prevent some of the ill-effects.


Exfoliate 

You’ll want to find an acid that works for what you need. AHA’s (or alpha hydroxy acids) are able to improve cell turnover and provide great results when it comes to dullness, acne or texture issues. BHAs (or beta hydroxy acids) break down the bonds between dead skin cells, so they can be swept away. The result? Glowy skin. 


Look to ingredients that’ll brighten

Pick an antioxidant to boost skin glow: vitamin C—like the Foxtale C For Yourself Vitamin C Serum—is good for most skin types and helps with pigmentation, reducing free radical damage, brightening the skin and boosting collagen production. It upgrades your skin's natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells. If you’re new to the ingredient, start using it a couple months before the wedding weekend. On the day of, use Vitamin C along with hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid to create the perfect canvas for your makeup.


Stop spots in their tracks

If you have pimples that have just popped up, tackle your trouble spots by using a drying lotion with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to flatten and soothe them. It is best to prevent your skin from drying out, so make sure to layer the  Ceramide SuperCream Moisturizer along with the spot treatment to protect the skin from peeling or redness.


Make your skin the perfect canvas

The ideal base for makeup is hydrated, firm and supple skin, so your makeup artist can focus on enhancing your features rather than concealing and correcting. Look for ingredients that’ll hydrate and balance your skin, especially ones that’ll support your natural skin barrier. Water-based products, like layering serums and gel-creams are helpful, because they sink into your skin and prevent your foundation from slip-sliding all over your skin later.