The ultimate pre-wedding skincare plan.
From six months before to the morning of, we break down everything you need to know about pre-wedding skincare.
The ultimate pre-wedding skincare plan.
From six months before to the morning of, we break down everything you need to know about pre-wedding skincare.

Let’s talk wedding skin prep. In the run up to your wedding day there are a million and one things to think about – not least the inevitable pressure to look your absolute best.


As such, pre-wedding skincare can be a little overwhelming, whether you’re a skincare novice or devotee. But it doesn’t need to be daunting – in fact, mapping out your pre-wedding skincare plan is a pretty simple process. There are a lot of options out there, but whatever approach you’re taking, timing is key. You don’t need to do anything radical – a few well-timed routine tweaks can make a world of difference to your wedding day glow.


From six months before to your wedding eve, consider this your pre-wedding skincare cheat sheet.



Six months before.

Add retinoids to your routine.

If you’re new to retinoids or retinol, it’s best to phase them in at least six months before your wedding. Often touted as the gold standard in anti-ageing, retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, which helps support skin’s natural renewal, shedding dull surface skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For a gentle yet effective approach, try Clinique Smart Clinical Repair™ Wrinkle Correcting Serum, a laser-focused retinoid serum with hyaluronic acid and peptides to help strengthen, hydrate and smooth. It’s gentle enough to use twice a day, but if you have particularly sensitive skin you can start out using it every other evening and build it up from there. Alternatively, a skin cycling routine may be the best approach for you.


Wear SPF everyday, whatever the weather. 

You’ve probably got it covered, but this is your gentle reminder to wear SPF every day, come rain or shine. This isn’t just applicable to pre-wedding skincare – a good everyday SPF will help prevent visible sun damage and signs of premature ageing, and it’s particularly important when using powerful actives like retinoids. Try Superdefense™ City Block SPF 50 Daily Energy + Face Protector – a lightweight, sheer formula with a blend of mineral and chemical sunscreens, hydrating hyaluronic acid and a hint of tint for those no-makeup days.


Three months before.

Introduce a liquid exfoliator. 

Exfoliation is the key to smoother, more radiant looking skin, so a liquid exfoliator like our Clarifying Do-Over Peel is a great addition to your pre-wedding skincare routine. It contains a 7-acid blend of AHAs/BHA/PHA, including glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid, to sweep away dead skin cells and support skin’s natural renewal process. Our first at-home peel, it’s ideal for use two or three times a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity. After your evening cleanse, sweep a saturated cotton pad over clean skin and follow with your usual serum and moisturiser.


Double down on cleansing. 

If you aren’t already, now is a good time to get in the habit of double cleansing every evening. For your first cleanse, opt for Take The Day Off™ Charcoal Cleansing Balm, a balm-to-oil formula that effortlessly dissolves makeup, SPF and oil with detoxifying Japanese charcoal. Remove it with a warm muslin cloth, then follow with your second cleanse – ideally a gentle foaming or gel face wash like Liquid Facial Soap.


All about hydration. 

As your wedding date approaches, don’t neglect the skincare basics. Quench thirsty skin from the inside-out by upping your water intake, then focus on external hydration, courtesy of our Moisture Surge™ range. The bestselling Moisture Surge™ Auto-Replenishing Hydrator delivers weightless, dewy hydration with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera bio-ferment and a blend of vitamins C and E. There’s an intense formula for drier skin types, alongside a Hydrating Concentrate to layer under your moisturiser and Hydro-Infused watery lotion to help prime skin for serums and moisturisers. Planning a summer wedding? The aloe-infused facial mist is the perfect final step to lock in moisture, plus it’s great for a quick refresh on the big day.



One month before.

Keep it simple. 

By this point, you should have your pre-wedding skincare routine locked in – including a tried-and-tested spot treatment like Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel, just in case. In the last few weeks before the wedding, avoid experimenting with new products – no matter how tempting. New ingredients could potentially irritate the skin or cause breakouts, so it’s safer to stick with products you know are working for you.


Up your mask usage. 

If you’ve found a great face mask for your skin type, it’s time to ramp up the usage to at least once a week. Our pick for glowing skin? The Moisture Surge™ Overnight Face Mask with murumuru butter, activated aloe vera water and panthenol. Apply a layer before bed, once a week, and wake up to dreamy-soft, dewy skin.


One week before.

Cut out retinoids and exfoliating acids.

With the wedding fast approaching, it's a good idea to cut out any active ingredients with the potential to irritate or inflame your skin. This includes retinol/retinoids, vitamin C and exfoliating acids like AHAs/PHA/BHAs. Instead, stick with your usual double cleanse, hydrating serum/lotion and moisturiser to soothe, calm and nourish your skin.


Don't panic if you break out. 

No matter how well you’re looking after your skin, things like stress and hormones can still cause blemishes to pop up uninvited. First and foremost: don’t panic, your makeup artist will work her magic on the big day if needed. Until then, the best approach is to is spot-treat and absolutely do not pick, pop or squeeze as this risks infection, causes scarring and will make it harder to conceal. Instead, apply a warm compress a few times throughout the day to help open the pores and bring the blemish to a head. Then, spot-apply a topical clearing gel to help treat and clear the affected area.

The night before.

Enjoy an at-home mini facial. 

Whatever your wedding eve plans, find some time to treat your skin to a relaxing at-home facial using your usual skincare products. 


It’s all about setting the scene: light your favourite candle, run a bath, make some herbal tea and put on a relaxing playlist. Start with a double cleanse, removing with a warm muslin cloth, apply a hydrating essence or lotion, then massage the skin using your favourite moisturiser for 5-10 minutes. You can either finish up with a soothing facial mist or a nourishing overnight mask.



The morning of.

Keep it simple.

On the morning of your wedding, the last thing you want to do is overload your skin with anything heavy or oily. Instead, stick to lightweight, hydrating products with hyaluronic acid to help plump, prep and prime your skin for makeup (find out how to create a natural wedding makeup look with our guide). Another wedding skincare tip: keep your Moisture Surge™ in the fridge overnight to really perk up your skin in the morning.



If you have any questions about pre-wedding skincare, book in for a Skin School session to chat it through with one of our expert consultants.



Words by Shona Wallace, September 2023.