With wedding season approaching, here are some ways that you can prepare. . . whether you are the bride-to-be, a bridesmaid, mother-of-the-bride, or simply a fabulous guest, the following suggestions can help you to look your best.
Your wedding WILL be one of the most special days of your entire life. As such, you want to look your very best by enhancing your natural beauty. Ladies, always remember that your fiancée proposed to you looking exactly like you did at that very moment in time (natural). With that in mind, there are several phenomenal treatments available that will be sure to enhance and optimize your natural beauty just in time for your big day! Just like you are meticulously planning every detail of the wedding day events, you should also be planning the overall timeframe for which you will follow to achieve your “beauty goals” (i.e. clearing up on any facial or body acne, exercising to optimize your physique, having laser treatments to remove your last boyfriend’s name tattooed on your body, etc). It is important to plan in advance, scheduling these treatments appropriately to allow adequate healing time.
To enhance your skin’s glow, remove unwanted brown/sun spots, and eliminate those pesky “broken capillaries” that tend to cluster on our cheeks and around our nose, I recommend having one or more intense pulse light (IPL) treatments. IPL uses specific wavelengths of light to selectively target two main pigments: browns (melanin) that manifest as freckles/sun spots and reds (hemoglobin in red blood cells) that manifest as ugly red branching capillaries. IPL can safely be used to treat the face, neck, chest, back, arms, and legs. Strapless dress? No need to worry about those freckles all over your back and upper chest after a series of IPL treatments. Furthermore, there is absolutely no downtime after and IPL treatment so you can get right back into your daily routine after a treatment. Following an IPL treatment, your sun spots typically appear darker (and lighter ones you may not have noticed also become more noticeable), then begin to resemble coffee grinds as they fall off over the subsequent one to three weeks. For moderate sun-damage, I recommend at least two treatments starting at least 2 months before the big day.
To permanently remove unwanted hair on your underarms, bikini area, legs, arms, face, neck, etc., you should consider a series of laser hair removal (LHR) treatments. It’s best to first meet with your doctor to discuss laser hair removal, as the choice of laser that we use depends upon how dark your natural skin color is, as well as the color of the unwanted hair, and occasionally, the coarseness of that hair. I recommend that you commence your laser hair removal treatments as soon possible after that engagement ring is placed onto your finger, as you will need multiple treatments, optimally spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. No one can tell you the exact number of treatments you will need, so, the sooner you start, the better. Treatments are relatively painless and have no associated downtime. It’s best if you shave a day before or the day of your LHR treatment, as the laser is actually targeting the stem cells located at the base of the hair shaft, which is about a millimeter under the surface of the skin. If the hair is too long, the energy from the laser will be absorbed by hair before it reaches the stem cells. On the other hand, if you make the mistake of plucking, tweezing, or waxing the hair before a LHR treatment, that “magical” millimeter of hair below the surface of the skin will be absent, so there will be no hair pigment remaining to absorb the laser energy, which heats up and destroys those stem cells (stem cells themselves do not have any pigment/melanin, so they can’t absorb the laser energy without that little bit of hair present). Expect an average of approximately 5 to 10 treatments. Every person is different, some lasers are more powerful than others, some doctors have better training with lasers so they can use more aggressive settings safely, and, different parts of the body respond to LHR treatments quicker than others.
For soft sultry lips, I recommend Juvederm or Restylane injections. These are both composed of hyaluronic acid, a soft, smooth product that naturally enhances lip fullness with minimal swelling. I recommend treating your lips at least a month prior to your big day. These products, as well as other fillers, can also be used along your smile lines to soften unwanted wrinkles, referred to as your “parentheses”. Again, I recommend treatment at least a month prior to your wedding. Results last approximately 6 months to a year. The “net effect” of this procedure is that – even months later when the filler has been broken down – you are still left with more collagen at injection sites than you had before the procedure, as anytime your cells that make collagen (“fibroblasts”) are stretched, as they are when the filler is injected, they get kicked into becoming more active and producing more collagen.
Botox should also be high on the list of “must haves” for brides-to- be. Similar products like Dysport and Xeomin work like Botox to soften the muscles that are causing you to have frown lines between your brows (“the 11’s”), around your eyes (“crow’s feet”), and can even lift the lateral arch of your eyebrows. This provides a beautiful, natural looking brow lift for your big day. Botox/Dysport/Xeomin injections can actually be considered “preventative”, in that people who start softening the muscle movements when they are younger prevent the formation of the permanent wrinkles – from years of repeated muscle contractions associated with facial expressions – that are etched into the resting faces of older people even when not making facial expressions. Injections are relatively painless, and the effects are seen approximately 3 to 5 days after your visit. I recommend treatment at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding to allow maximal effect. Results typically last about 4 months.
Lastly, are you worried about underarm sweating causing “sweat rings” on your dress? Or, even worse, excessive sweating + a spray tan + a white dress = nightmare! You no longer have to worry about this, as Botox/Dysport/Xeomin can be injected into your underarms to prevent sweating. Results typically last about 6 months, and, again, take 3 to 5 days to kick in. This is also a Godsend in terms of saving money on dry cleaning costs.
With a bit of planning, these treatments can fit within both your bridal budget and your wedding-prep timeline!