No skin is one and the same, which is why The Facialist adopts a unique, holistic approach, tailoring a plan to suit individual concerns and goals…

As any bride in the planning stages will know, there is a seemingly infinite list of to-dos leading up to the big day that extends well beyond “I do”. Of course, there are the traditional wedding tropes, like finding the perfect, fits-like-a-glove gown and breathtaking venue. Then there are the tasks that don’t initially cross your mind — those above the neck. Not the jewellery or makeup, but the pre-wedding skin plan.

It all centres around understandable intentions of looking and feeling your best. However, the barrage of opinions around when to start, what to do, and who to see, can naturally send even the calmest of brides into a panicked frenzy, exploring a rabbit-hole of information, often from all the wrong sources. The expectation that come wedding day, you will show up every bit the blushing, glowing, beautiful bride can add a lot of extra pressure.

Many inflammatory skin conditions can be partially attributed to stress, whether it’s fluctuations in hormones or lack of sleep. It’s a chain reaction that can lead to a decidedly un-bridal complexion. “My first tip is not to be stressed about being stressed,” cautions Ashleigh Scott, one of New Zealand’s most respected skin therapists and founder of The Facialist. While acknowledging that that’s easier said than done, Ashleigh advises brides to try to manage their expectations. Of course, it is completely valid to want to feel confident on your wedding day, but your skin will always have texture and pores. Accepting that, first and foremost, will make creating an effective skincare plan a whole lot less stressful, which your complexion will ultimately thank you for.Wherever you are on your wedding journey — whether it’s one year or one month away — consider the below your definitive complexion checklist. And, in the interest of not adding any further unnecessary stress, consider this a loose timeline, not a deadline, with some well-deserved self-care along the way.

STEP ONE

An initial consult with a skin therapist should be your first port of call. “A one size fits all approach just won’t cut it when it comes to skin”, advises Ashleigh. No skin is one and the same, which is why The Facialist adopts a unique, holistic approach, tailoring a plan to suit individual concerns and goals. “Our facials and complimentary skin script service, are specially customised exclusively for you, for best results.”

12 MONTHS OUT

Skincare regime—Now is the time to invest in a good everyday skincare regime, and stick to it daily. After all, in order to maximise the results from your treatments, you need to continue the work at home. The Facialist’s skin script service will curate a bespoke regime fully customised to your skin and needs.

Facials—It’s also ideal to begin a regular facial programme one year in advance. Planning ahead ensures there is ample time to address any major concerns with your skin ahead of your nuptials. In terms of frequency, Ashleigh recommends a facial every four to eight weeks to maintain optimum skin health. “The earlier you start, the better, as this enables us to gauge how your skin responds. Results will always vary from person to person.”

SIX MONTHS OUT

Be holistic—An inside-out approach, looking at diet, lifestyle and other external factors, will contribute hugely to your skin’s health. “Your skin is simply a reflection of what’s happening in your body,” says Ashleigh. “This is particularly important for those with inflammatory skin conditions like acne or rosacea.” Core to The Facialist’s ethos is a 360 lens, so your therapist will ask you about your lifestyle in order to best cater to your needs. Continue with regular facials—The six-month mark is the ideal time for your therapist to reassess your skin and make any adjustments, if required. 

THREE MONTHS OUT

Stick to what you know—From this point, you don’t want to introduce anything new, especially if you have sensitive skin. “Adhere to your regular regime — now is not the time to change it up. The last thing you need is a reaction leading up to your wedding,” cautions Ashleigh.

Stock up—If you are having an out-of-town wedding and won’t be able to get a facial close to the day, find a couple of key products that you know mimic that post-facial glow. This allows enough time to experiment in case they don’t agree with your skin. “Look for an exfoliant and mask with emphasis on brightening and hydration.” Ashleigh recommends the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask and Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask

ONE TO TWO WEEKS OUT

The Yoga Facial—Consider a series of The Facialist’s hero Yoga Facial treatments, which utilise expert massage and lymphatic drainage techniques to lift, tone and firm muscles. “Using minimal products from Janesce skincare, this facial is less about the products and more about sculpting the face,” explains Ashleigh. A neck and eyebrow massage gives the appearance of a lifted face, while gua sha is employed for de-puffing and lymph drainage to reduce puffiness and highlight cheekbones. LED light treatments—This is your ticket to that day-of glow. The best part? You can do these up to one to two days prior to the wedding. Non-invasive, completely pain-free and with no downtime — you’ll be in and out, freeing up time when you need it most. Red, blue and infrared light penetrate the surface of the skin, stimulating collagen and hyaluronic production to hydrate, plump and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. LED also features naturally healing properties to help tackle any last-minute blemishes that may pop up. Bonus: the warm and soothing light is a relaxation station.

Self care—With adrenalin and some natural nerves setting in, try to set aside time to relax and allow yourself to enjoy the process. Make sure to get quality shut-eye, drink lots of water, get outside and embrace moments just for you. For those unacquainted with The Facialist, one promise is certain: a state of relaxation. From the immersive ambience of the lounge and treatment rooms to their hands-on technique, any wedding worries will instantly melt away — even if it is only for an hour. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Don’t be overwhelmed! If your skin is already in good health and you’re just wanting to optimise it, then a few months out from your wedding will be perfectly fine to commence treatments.~A personalised skincare regime is essential. What works for someone else, might not work for you. Take advantage of The Facialist’s free skin script service to get expert recommendations, tailored to you.~Consistency is key: Apply your prescribed cleanser, serum, moisturiser and SPF daily for best results, as well as an exfoliant and face mask weekly.

Loved this article, see more from our friends here The Facialist: Winter Glow Facial in a Box

Location + Skin Specialist: The Facialist, @thefacialist_

Writing: Erin Berryman / Photography: Simon Moore at Bayly & Moore