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6 Beauty Treatments to Boost Your Wedding-Day Confidence

Posted on: April 10th, 2023 by Kristen Chang

This article was edited by Stefan Lowenstein, MD.

You have just one shot to look your best at your wedding. It’s a day that will live on in photos and videos, shared among family, friends and possibly descendants. Then, there’s the honeymoon. Not that you weren’t already feeling the pressure! It’s enough to stress out even the most level-headed among us.

Don’t fear! California Skin Institute offers a wide range of treatments to help stave off your inner bridezilla (or groomzilla). Whether your wedding is slated for May or for the top wedding month of October, you have time for treatments, recovery, and full, beautiful results.

Consider saying “I do” to any of these popular treatments and procedures. But be sure to discuss goals and timing with your skin expert well in advance. They can help you choose and schedule the best options for you.

1 — Botox and Fillers — Inject yourself with beauty.

Botox and fillers are the top cosmetic treatments for brides and grooms — and sometimes for the entire wedding party! Both injectables do wonders to ready you for the spotlight and for #nofilter photos too. 

Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau and now long-acting Daxxify (aka Daxi) all magically wipe away wrinkles. At least, that’s how it seems! In reality, they’re neuromodulators that use botulinum toxin to force target muscles to stay relaxed. This allows the overlying skin to lay flat rather than bunching up to form wrinkles. 

Botox is great for softening crow’s feet, a downturned mouth, walnut chin, neck bands and bunny-nose wrinkles, as well as furrows in the forehead and between the eyes from all that worrying about the wedding! You can also get Botox just below your eyebrows for a little lift or in your armpits to curtail nervous sweating.

Dermal fillers provide a lovely, rejuvenating complement to neuromodulators like Botox. You can use them to plump up lips, contour cheekbones, strengthen the chin and jawline, and lift your brows. They’re also great for addressing volume loss in the cheeks, nasolabial folds, temples and your hands that need to look good modeling the new rings.

The most widely used fillers, including Restylane, Juvederm and Belotero, are made with hyaluronic acid. Found naturally in the body, this gel-like substance adds instant volume. Plus, it continues to draw additional moisture into your skin. Hyaluronic fillers come with various viscosities, specialized uses and features — like numbing Lidocaine — for easier injection.

Timing: Recovery and Results

If you have somewhat reactive skin, you may experience mild bruising or swelling in the days after Botox or other neuromodulator injections. They normally resolve within a week or so, and full effects should show 1 to 2 weeks after treatment or just 2 days after Daxxify. Wrinkles should keep at bay for 2 to 4 months, or 6 to 9 months with Daxxify.

Fillers are slightly more likely to cause minor bruising or swelling. It depends on factors like skin sensitivity, product viscosity, injection location, and how well you follow pre- and post-procedure instructions. Reactions are usually completely gone by the time that full results show, roughly 2 weeks after treatment. 

Treatment endurance is mainly related to injection site and molecule size and structure. For instance, thick, firm Juvederm Voluma XC can stick around for a year or even two, and Restylane Kysse shows in the lips for about a year. Ultra soft, spreadable fillers such as Belotero Balance and Restylane Refyne generally last for around six months. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and everyone’s body metabolizes filler differently. If for some reason you don’t want to wait for your hyaluronic-acid filler to subside, there is a safe and convenient enzyme your licensed practitioner can use to dissolve it.

2 — Laser treatments — Rejuvenate skin the high-tech way.

Lasers have represented the pinnacle of skin rejuvenation technology for years. They work to give skin a picture-perfect finish on your face, neck, hands, chest… just about anywhere. They help get rid of wrinkles, fade hyperpigmentation, and improve skin color, texture and scarring — all welcomed prep for the big event.

At the most powerful end of the cosmetic laser range are the intense, ablative Ultrapulse CO2, Fraxel Repair CO2 and Lutronic eCO2. They deliver dramatic results by using a high-intensity beam of light to vaporize your top layers of skin. However, it might be less practical to schedule in before your wedding, as you might need to wait several months to see the full effects. 

At the less-invasive end are wonderful devices for easy wedding preparation. A popular laser for brides-to-be with dark to light skin is Clear+Brilliant. It removes skin cells at the top layer and it’s fractional, so does so only partially, but in a strategic pattern. This approach reduces recovery time, while still getting rid of dull, damaged skin and helping minimize shallow wrinkles and acne scars. Clear+Brilliant can also be used with the optional Permea handpiece to lighten brown spots. 

If you’d like slightly more obvious results, try Fraxel Restore or Fraxel Dual. Also using a fractional approach, both penetrate down into the dermis to stimulate collagen remodeling for firmer skin. Fraxel Dual also stimulates cell renewal at the skin’s surface.

Additionally, you can use certain lasers to diminish the appearance of spider veins (telangiectasia, or broken capillaries), rosacea, port wine stains or general redness. Devices like the Excel V and Vbeam heat up blood vessels, causing them to break down and disappear — a nice way to get your legs beach ready for the honeymoon!

Timing: Recovery and Results

The Ultrapulse CO2, Fraxel Repair CO2 and Lutronic eCO2 ablative lasers usually require only one treatment, but also more wait time until desired outcome. You shouldn’t count on going to work or social engagements for 3 to 14 days, possibly longer for a large or deep area. Payoff starts in 3 to 6 months when the redness usually fades and skin starts looking fresh, firm and more youthful.

After Clear+Brilliant, your skin may look mildly rough and irritated for a couple days. Then it calms down and starts looking softer and brighter 1 to 2 weeks after each treatment. Most patients book three to five sessions for the most beautiful outcome. 

With Excel V, you typically experience only minor redness for a day or so and see full results 2 to 6 weeks after each session. Two to four sessions normally suffice.

3 — Thread lift — Turn back time with a non-surgical facelift. 

Not ready for a facelift? No time before your wedding? You can still get a thread lift to enjoy more subtle rejuvenating effects. Sometimes called a “lunchtime facelift,” it doesn’t require anesthesia, surgery or downtime. A thread lift can temporarily reverse sagging of the forehead, under-eye area, jowls, neck, mid-face and eyebrows without incisions to remove excess skin or to reposition underlying tissue. It can even be used to lift or straighten your nose or create “cat eyes.”

A quick and easy procedure using local anesthesia, your provider simply pulls ultra-fine PDO (polydioxanone) sutures along, under the skin. Using the threads’ tiny “barbs” for grip, they draw skin up and back to expertly create a taut, natural-looking lift. Plus the sutures stimulate fibroblasts to generate more new collagen for an added firming boost. If you’ve ever considered getting a facelift, a side perk of the thread lift is that it can help you imagine how you’d look after the surgery.

Timing: Recovery and Results

Immediately after a thread lift, your face will look smoother and more lifted and refreshed. You might be a little bruised or sore for a week or two, but should be able to use makeup to return to work right away. Skin tightening begins to wear off after about a year, as the sutures dissolve. However, the secondary firming effect from extra collagen production has been reported to last 3 years or more. 

4 — CoolSculpting — Freeze away unwanted fat. 

White silky fabric, cinched waist, fitted bustier, no sleeves… wedding dresses aren’t known for being kind. If you want to wear a challenging one with a genuine smile — and not just teeth clenched in discomfort — try CoolSculpting. It gets rid of unwanted pockets of fat that don’t go away no matter how much you diet and exercise. Use it against a bulging tummy, arms, thighs and love handles. Don’t forget the neck and double chin. 

A non-surgical alternative to liposuction, CoolSculpting freezes fat cells while leaving your skin’s surface intact. Your lymphatic system then clears the dead cells out of your body, for good. Get ready to flaunt a sleeker silhouette on your honeymoon, too.

Timing: Recovery and Results

You should be good to go back to work the day after CoolSculpting, and minor swelling and redness usually dissipate in the following weeks. Within 3 weeks after treatment, fat normally starts to go away, reaching full fat reduction between 2 and 6 months. Bear in mind that your goals for a trouble area could require two to five 30- to 60-minute sessions, with 1 to 5 months in between. 

Removal is permanent, but beware. Too much wedding cake could feed any remaining fat cells. Maintain your results for many anniversaries with a healthy diet and exercise.

5 — Facials and peels — Glow for the photos. 

Facials are a way to both freshen your complexion and manage the stress of wedding planning. You stimulate circulation with skilled massage and lavish your skin with nourishing ingredients, like antioxidants and humectants. At the same time, pampering yourself with a facial can relax you and bring down your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that wreaks havoc on your skin. Despite the name, facials are good for beautifying the neck, hands and chest too.

If your skin is looking dull, sun damaged or lightly wrinkled, have your aesthetician give you a peel using glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA) or the stronger TCA (trichloracetic acid). They remove dead and damaged cells and trigger skin turnover to reveal a more even, vibrant complexion. Boost results by applying a rich peptide, antioxidant or hydrating mask immediately afterwards.

Timing: Recovery and Results

Your skin will look more moist and supple immediately following your facial. In fact, getting one right before your wedding will only add to the blushing dewiness of your skin as you make your vows. If you opt to exfoliate, the time to wait before any photo shoots will depend on your skin sensitivity and treatment concentration. With glycolic, you should time it for at least a week before any pics, just in case you do continue to peel. TCA peels can require anywhere from a week to a month. Remember that new skin is also more vulnerable to UV damage, so diligently wear that strong, full-spectrum sunscreen.

With or without exfoliation, your results will be more apparent after a series of treatments. Ask your California Skin Institute licensed aesthetician to recommend the amount of time to wait in between.

6 — Microneedling — Smooth, refine and enliven skin.

Microneedling has become a standard feature in wedding-prep regimens due to its quick, photo-ready results. You may have heard about it on social media, which is peppered with before-and-after pictures. Effective on skin of all shades, you can do microneedling just about anywhere to diminish sun damage, enlarged pores, acne blemishes, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines, laxity and wrinkles. 

Also called subcutaneous collagen-induction therapy, microneedling uses extremely fine and sharp needles to prick tiny puncture wounds in the skin’s surface. This spurs natural healing processes that bump up production of the proteins elastin and collagen. The result is thicker skin that looks plumper, smoother, and more even and radiant. Microneedling with a MicroPen device gives your practitioner a high level of control, enabling them to customize settings for your comfort level and unique skin challenges. 

You can further amplify the benefits of microneedling by adding a complementary treatment. For instance, following it with a mask or serum will deliver ingredients like antioxidants, peptides and niacinamide deeper down into the skin. Another common way to supercharge results is to couple microneedling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma). This enhances penetration and absorption of PRP — rich with your own blood platelets, proteins and growth factors — to speed healing and maximize collagen growth.

Timing: Recovery and Results

Mild, benign inflammation lends your skin a plumped up and rosy look right away, with the increase in collagen and elastin becoming apparent more slowly. You should see improved appearance for a couple weeks. For more noteworthy, lasting rejuvenation and cumulative effects, schedule a series of sessions spaced a month apart. 

Importantly, only trust an experienced professional to microneedle your skin in order to reduce risk of infection or other unwanted effects. They will ensure that the needles are sterile and sufficiently sharp and will have been formally trained in how to use them.

Look your best on the big day. 

Let California Skin Institute help take some pressure off you, bride- or groom-to-be. Make an appointment to discuss your wedding beauty preparation as soon as possible. One of our experts can help you choose the best beauty treatments for your particular skin and goals and optimal results by your wedding day. Just remember to breathe. You’re going to be gorgeous! 

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