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Fashion / Weddings

Wedding Dos and Dont’s

A Chic Houston Doctor’s Six-Month Plan to Bridal Bliss

BY // 01.22.16
photography Jenny Clifton Antill

He proposed. You said yes. What’s next? You get your skin-care guru on speed dial, silly.

The bridal beauty countdown ideally begins six months prior to the I Dos, says Dr. Jennifer Segal, owner of Houston-based  Metropolitan Dermatology Institute — and one of the chicest skin docs we know. After all, February is wedding month at PaperCity. Check out the extensive wedding coverage in our latest print issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 1, and look for more bridal stories online throughout the next six weeks. Now back to the Doctor and her skin saving tips:

Philosophy: For brides (and mothers of brides and grooms, for that matter), it’s better to start early, get a program in place, address any issues well ahead of the actual event, and make sure all is beautifully maintained in the last few weeks.

Goals: As a dermatologist (and former bride), my goal for my patients’ pre-wedding treatments is to make skin appear beautiful, glowing, camera-ready and predictable (no breakouts). It’s crucial that everyone look natural — their best self, without any cosmetic giveaways that appear unnatural. (Remember that photos endure forever.) With the many noninvasive tools in our beauty toolbox, this can be done thoughtfully and correctly.

Don’t schedule drastic or new treatments immediately before the big day. It’s important that everyone goes into the wedding events with confidence, feeling their best and without any surprises.

Do treat:

  • Acne or rosacea breakouts.
  • Sun damage, brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Overall skin quality — seek a glow.
  • Dark circles under eyes, frown lines around the mouth (looking sad/mad/tired).
  • Unwanted areas of fat (especially belly, love handles, backs of arms).
  • Sweating! Underarm sweating can show in clothing and be a source of stress for brides and mothers of brides and grooms. A simple treatment eliminates this and is a game changer (not to mention bridal-gown saver).

6 Months Out:

  • Address quality of skin and skin concerns. Begin a skin-care regimen to address any and all of the above.
  • Determine in-office procedures such as chemical peels or laser treatments (for blood vessels, skin resurfacing, skin tightening) and set up a schedule of treatments, as these may require downtime.
  • Determine the role of injectable treatments such as botulinum toxin (crow’s feet, forehead/frown lines) and fillers (to diminish dark under-eye circles, address jowls or turned-down corners of mouth, or simply to enhance or plump the lips in a natural way — I do not do duck lips!). Educate yourself about these tools and schedule treatments at least three months before the wedding. Botulinum toxin treatments last approximately three months. For first-time Botox patients (especially brides), treat early, make sure that you like the results, and maintain it if you do. If for any reason you do not like the results, this gives enough time for the Botox to wear off before the wedding. For fillers, I always use hyaluronic acid products that can be dissolved if the patient does not like the result, but last nine to 12 months if they do. Again, this is merely a precaution, as patients generally love the result — it’s just good to know that there is the ability to erase the changes if one would like to. For grooms, under-eye dark circles can be corrected with fillers.
  • Determine the role of a tightening treatment (I love Ultherapy) for neck and jawline, and have it performed six months out, as the results maximize at six months.
  • Consider Coolsculpting for unwanted areas of fat, ideally for areas that don’t go away even with exercise and diet, such as belly fat, love handles and backs of arms. Results take six to eight weeks to fully take effect, and two treatments are often required.

3 Months Out: Reassess treatment program.

  • Determine that your skincare regimen is effective and that injectable treatments are natural and beautiful. Retouch/maintain Botox treatments.
  • Treat with a Silkpeel Hydrafacial as a practice run. This is a wonderful treatment for the week of the wedding, and it’s best to try ahead of time to make sure there are no surprises. This treatment can be performed on face, neck, décolletage, arms and back to give the skin a beautiful, even glow without downtime.
  • Continue chemical peels or other in-office treatments as needed. Back peels for acne are wonderful.
  • Perform additional Coolsculpting if needed.

1 Month Out: Reassess and maintain.

  • Treat underarms with Botox to prevent sweating. This treatment lasts four to six months and is a comfortable, quick procedure that’s incredibly effective. This is one of my favorite treatments and a fantastic gift for brides.

1 Week Out: Reassess and maintain.

  • Continue skincare regimen. Keep it simple, gentle and consistent.
  • Perform Silkpeel Hydrafacial face and body treatments so that skin is even, soft and glowing for all events.

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