Stephanie suffered from long-term cystic acne breakouts and had severe acne scars as a result. We were curious to know exactly how she managed to look so flawless after years of major acne flare-ups. Her beautiful wedding day skin was no accident. She put together a plan to tackle her main skin concerns and she is sharing how to get glowing skin for your wedding day, and her skincare advice for brides-to-be.
Q: We Know Every Bride Wants Radiant Skin, but Did You Have Specific Skincare Concerns?
Coming from a background of cystic and long-term acne, I knew I wanted flawless, glowing skin on my wedding day. That was a must for me. I improved my skin holistically through supplements, exercise, and dietary changes. However, years of cystic acne left behind unwanted redness and indentation scarring. It was my goal for a year prior to my wedding to commit to a series of treatments that would significantly improve the look and feel of my skin.
Q: What Treatments Did You Choose and Why?
My goal was to correct acne scars, texture, and the overall tone of my skin. With that in mind, I chose to do a mix of several treatments. For texture and some bonus tightening, Scarlet RF Microneedling was my top-choice, to improve the tone and pigmentation I did a series of Forever Young BBL Photofacial, and to keep my skin exfoliated and hydrated, I did a monthly HydraFacials along with dermaplaning.
Q: That Sounds Like a lot of Treatments. Did They Help with Your Acne?
It does seem like a lot, but in order to achieve noticeable results, your skin requires ongoing care, at home, and with a professional. For me, the scars were so severe that it took a lot of continuous work to change the texture of my skin. When you are working to tackle big problems, you want to make sure to work with an esthetician or doctor to choose specific treatments that address each concern. Often you will get additional benefits from treatments, but each laser, chemical peel, or facial is designed to treat specific skincare issues. If you have a skincare goal, share it, so you end up happy with the results.
Q: What Would You Tell a Bride 12 Months Prior to Their Wedding to Get Glowing Skin?
One, you need to commit to a plan. If you are doing a series of treatments, stick to it. Often times people give up because they do not see immediate results. Just like weight loss, you have to stick with the program. I would also say, tackle the underlying skin issues and work on improving bigger texture issues.
Many of today’s treatments help to stimulate collagen and cell turn-over, but the results do not happen overnight since major changes to skin take place at the dermal layer and your skin needs time to heal. If you are looking to drastically improve texture and tone, a treatment like ProFractional or a MicroLaser Peel will give you incredible results, but there is downtime associated with these and the full benefits are not visible for several weeks to 2 months. Likewise, if you do a series of treatments like Microneedling RF or Scarlet RF Microneedling, these will help to improve the overall look and feel of the skin, but the results will show up gradually and one day friends will literally tell you that you are glowing!
Q: What Did You Do 12 Months Prior?
June 2019—one year until the wedding. I took it upon myself to start planning early. Low stress before the big day is any bride’s dream. It was time for me to start addressing my acne scars, specifically indentations and uneven texture years of breakouts had left behind. I chose to begin with Scarlet RF Microneedling to address the acne scars along with skin laxity that prior years of tanning beds had contributed to.
You may be thinking a year is a lot of time to prep your skin prior to a major event; however, results from a single Scarlet treatment begin to show about 1-3 months after, as well as continue to improve for 1-2 years after a series of treatments. Collagen remodeling takes time, so this is why I chose to do my most corrective and personal concern treatment first.
Q: What Changes Did You See from the Scarlet RF Treatments?
During my Scarlet treatments, I watched my scaring transform before my eyes. I am a harsh critic on my skin, so even the slightest improvements made me happy. Improved skin tone, texture, and pores were the first changes I noticed.
Right on cue, about 3 months after my first Scarlet treatment, is when I really started to receive compliments on my skin. A few months after my completion of my 3rd and final Scarlet treatment is when I was thrilled with my results. My scars had improved substantially and people were shocked to hear I ever dealt with years of cystic acne-showing pictures of my old skin was no longer embarrassing, just rewarding. On top of the improvement in scaring, my jawline was tighter and I was no longer bothered by early on skin laxity.
Q: Wow! That is Amazing. Why Did You Decide to Do More If Your Skin Looked So Much Better?
While I was thrilled with my Scarlet results, and still noticing improvements to my skin, I still had lots of sun-damage, redness and the occasional breakout is something we all will continue to experience.
Q: What Did You Do 6 Months Before the Wedding?
November 2019—6 months until the wedding and it was my favorite season—Christmas, AKA laser season! I chose to do a series of 3 Forever Young BBL Photofacials to remove sunspots from the summer and neutralize red undertones to improve my skin tone.
Since my wedding would be outside, I did not want my makeup and any foundation to look caked on. I wanted my skin to look natural, not like I was using makeup to cover imperfections, so removing those imperfections was important to me. Each BBL Photofacial improved my skin tone, with results being seen in as little as 14 days. I had no need to wear foundation, no longer saw any hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone.
Q: What Did You Do 3 Months Before Your Wedding?
March 2020—3 months until the wedding. My skin looked great but I was locked in my house for quarantine with no access to skincare treatments. I was planning to get another touch-up Scarlet RF treatment to maintain my series results, but due to quarantine, it meant going back to the basics. I followed a strict skincare regimen that included diet, exercise, and lots of H20, along with medical grade skincare products.
I used SkinCeuticals & NeoCutis medical grade skincare products. They are two of my favorite lines. Both are backed by science for proven skin results. A cleanser, exfoliant, corrective serum, moisturizer, and SPF are an absolute must for improving skin and enhancing treatment results. The key ingredients I used, and continue to use, are Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C (L Asorbic Acid) Retinol, and products containing Growth Factor.
Q: Post-Quarantine, and 1 Month to Go, What Did You Do to Make Sure Your Skin Was Glowing?
Since the stay home order ended one week before the wedding, we decided to move our wedding date to mid-July. A quick ugly cry and a reminder not to stress—it’s bad for your skin! Thankfully, this meant I could get back to professional level treatments in addition to at-home.
June—1 month before the wedding. At this point I was perfectly happy with my skin tone and texture. I had a tan from spending more time outdoors due to quarantine, so I got my monthly dermaplane and a Hydrafacial to exfoliate and clear my pores. I also eliminated alcohol and carbohydrates from my diet. One of my best free skin tips is to avoid processed sugar and consume 2-3 liters of water daily and your skin will absolutely glow.
Q: What Are Your Thoughts on Fillers and Dysport/Botox for Bride-to-Be?
Yes on both is the short answer, and you want to do them about a month before your wedding so you can see the results. Fillers, like Restylane, and toxins, like Dysport and Botox, are great products to help restore volume and freeze muscles, AKA get rid of wrinkles. When you want cheeks to look fuller and you want a smooth forehead, they are great products.
However, I always tell my clients you want to make sure you are treating the problem. These are incredible products to give a more youthful appearance, and I use them, but I use them in conjunction with collagen-stimulating treatments. Together you are getting the full package. Your skin will glow and you have more volume and fewer wrinkles.
Q: One Month Out, Did You Get Fillers or Dysport?
I did. My skin looked great. The tone and texture were exactly what I wanted before my wedding, but to address lip volume and wrinkles—like those pesky 11’s, forehead lines, and crows feet, I decided to get a half syringe of Restylane Kysse for my upper lip and Dysport to help get rid of fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead. A little extra help to freeze a few wrinkles in time!
Q: Okay, Down to the Wire. Your Skin Was Radiant on Your Wedding Day. What Did You a Week Before You Got Married?
July—1 week before the wedding. It’s was finally happening. Time to smooth, cleanse and hydrate my skin so my makeup would look flawless for the big day. I decided to get a HydraFacial the week of the wedding because first and foremost, there is no downtime. That is really important. When you are getting married, the week before you do not want to try a treatment you have never had before. Tried and tested is the way to go.
A HydraFacial is a great treatment for everyone. It cleanses, exfoliates, removes congestion and hydrates using both mechanical and chemical exfoliation to ensure beautiful skin and there is no downtime. And the most satisfying part of the treatment? Seeing your dead skin and blackheads in the collection tank, assuring you your skin is clear and glowing. Another option I also love, which is a newer treatment, is the Carbon Laser Facial.