How To Prep Your Skin For Your Next Big Event

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

When we think of ourselves at some of the most important events in our lives, we typically envision looking and feeling our very best. Whether your next big event is a wedding, bat or bar mitzvah, family reunion, vacation, etc., there are bound to be cameras capturing all of the highlights. But worrying about how you look should be the last thing on your mind at your next event – this is a time to focus on memories, after all. Luckily enough, with proper prep work in the weeks prior to the event, giving your skin some extra TLC can completely transform your look — and your confidence — from the inside out. 


Most makeup artists will agree that the skin canvas underneath the makeup is just as, if not more, important as the makeup itself (via Mario Badescu). Just like a painting, a smooth and clean foundation for makeup is what allows for even blending, better color pay-off, and an all-around more polished look. You will thank yourself later on for putting in the extra work to achieve great results, especially in pictures. According to blogger Romy Van Haeck of Rusty Revolvers, prepping your skin for your next big event is a process that should begin at least three weeks before your big day.

Good skin care isn't limited to just facial care

So, where should you begin? Chances are, rocking a killer outfit is on your agenda for the event. An outfit showing off your arms, legs, or back should be taken into consideration when planning your pre-event skin prep work. Focusing on these areas will ensure that you get the jaw-dropping, light-up-the-room glow that we all crave. The first step begins with exfoliating and moisturizing. When combined, exfoliation and moisture stimulate cell turnover, which aids in revealing smooth, bright, glowing skin (via Healthline). Try buffing your skin before showering with a natural-bristle brush; according to Puracy, working from the bottom of your feet up to your heart with a gentle touch is best. You can also opt for an exfoliating shower scrub to remove dead skin cells from the surface. (Note: Make sure to use either a dry brush or a body scrub, as using both at the same time could irritate the skin).


Using a body lotion post-shower is what will replenish the skin after exfoliation by sealing in hydration (via L'Oréal Paris). You can also reach for an in-shower lotion, which is particularly cool because you apply it while you're still wet from the shower, meaning even more moisture being locked in.

Get your glow on

Now that your skin is properly exfoliated and moisturized, this is the perfect time to start adding some color to the mix. While both doctors and scientists agree on the risks associated with sun tanning, using a self-tanner can really amplify the look of healthy skin. St. Tropez's Ultimate Glow Kit is an absolute win for both learning newbies and self-tanning pros. 


For a more makeup-focused tan, the founder of organic tanning brand Vita Liberata, Alyson Hogg, tells Harper's Bazaar, "Skin can appear more translucent with age, on the face and body. Our Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish is a make-up artist favorite. It offers flawless coverage, with a natural tan tint and light reflecting particles for photo-ready skin." She goes on to say, "Women love it because it masks blemishes and imperfections — think age spots and varicose veins — evens skin tone, nourishes and conditions skin and thanks to its light reflecting particles gives a beautiful temporary glow which creates a more youthful appearance." This product's formula also doesn't contain harmful skincare ingredients, making it good for everyone and every skin type.


Give your regular routine that extra push

Whether you're a regular at your local spa or you've never stepped foot in one in your life, working with a skincare professional to develop a customized facial prior to your event can ensure success. Your skincare expert will curate a specialized plan for your skin based on your skin type and the results you're looking to achieve. There are a number of different treatments to choose from beyond just a simple facial. Skin therapist Ashley H. of HeyDay Skincare reveals, "LED red light therapy combined with face massage to stimulate collagen and plump up the skin is a great option." 


According to the Cleveland Clinic, red light therapy is a low-level laser light therapy used to reduce wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne. Another red carpet favorite among celebrities is the oxygen facial, which promises fewer fine lines and wrinkles, improved blood circulation, and collagen production (via Healthline). The treatment is done using a wand that streams serum-infused, high-pressurized oxygen onto the face. These serums are loaded with plenty of antioxidants for packing nutrients into the skin. Microdermabrasion is also an awesome choice if you suffer from hyperpigmentation and unwanted face texture.

What are some products to invest in during the weeks leading up to the event?

Masks, antioxidant-moisturizers, and even vitamins are perfect ways to dig below the skin's surface and work from the inside out. Your skin works in a cycle, which renews itself every 27 days (via WebMD). Some people track this cycle so closely that their entire skincare routine is centered on where their skin is at in the cycle. Again, this is why it's important to begin skin preparation well in advance before your event. 


In many cases, adding new products and regimens to your skin will launch a process called skin purging; all of the dirt and oils beneath the surface are drawn out, causing breakouts and redness (via Medical News Today). Within a few days, bright, beautiful, clear skin is revealed. Keeping this in mind, let's dig into some products that are ideal for event-day skin. Make sure to keep your daily routine simple with just a few added steps; this will make certain your skin remains calm and less irritated.

Use face masks

Since we're discussing event-day skin, this more often than not means a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thus, why not invest in a once-in-a-lifetime product? The La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask might be just that. This product works while you sleep, which is always a plus, and as its name suggests, it's made with caviar, which may be the skincare ingredient we never knew we needed. It's apparently also a feat of science. According to La Prairie's website, the beauty brand's "breakthrough caviar science has enhanced natural Caviar Extract with bioengineered forms of the ingredient's most potent components, previously impossible to isolate."


If a $425 face mask is something you simply cannot do budget-wise, a more affordable option is the Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask. This mask is great for all skin types and promises to enrich your skin like, perhaps, never before. It will make you glow, so why not try it the night before you event? Packed with Japanese beautyberry, two types of vitamin C, and AHAs from seven fruits, unveiling luminous, soft skin has never been easier (via Sephora).

Cleansers and moisturizers

While some people find that using a weekly mask may feel indulgent, the simple matter-of-fact is that masks deliver instantaneous results. By investing in a quality mask, you can quite literally change the surface of your skin that very same day. Seeing such quick results can be super motivating, too. While the majority of products tend to take some time to see results, the fast action a mask can deliver will help you stay inspired to keep up with your routine. In order to get the most out of your masks, however, being sure to cleanse pre-mask and moisturize post-mask is ideal for ingredients to go far into the skin.


A perfect cleanser choice for softening your complexion is Kinship's Naked Papaya Gentle Enzyme Face Cleanser. With exfoliating papaya enzymes along with jojoba and sunflower oils, this cleanser is like treating your skin to a tropical getaway. Then, finish off your cleansing and moisturizing routine with Tatcha's Water Cream Pore Minimizing Moisturizer for an all-skin type favorite. This moisturizer goes on smooth and doesn't feel heavy but still deeply nourishes the skin, making it one you'll always want to have in your arsenal.

Take vitamins leading up to your event

Faking a glow can be done with the right amount of product, but there's just something different about a luminous, full-of-life glow from within. One of the most amazing things about vitamins is how they work on the inside to improve the outside. When someone has the right amount of vitamins in their system, this can lead to fewer dark spots on the skin, less redness, fewer wrinkles, and reduced excessive dryness (via Healthline). Furthermore, Vitamin C is crucial for a glowing and even skin complexion, along with other health benefits like cancer-fighting properties (via The Times of India). Vitamins D, E, and K can deliver a strong punch against sun damage, while biotin is great for aiding in fatty acid production — something that promotes healthy skin. When all of these are used together, they can create healthy, nourished skin that, when combined with moisturizer, is more radiant than ever.


The ultimate powerhouse daily multivitamin that gives you all of these amazing beauty benefits — plus more — is New Chapter's Every Woman's One Daily Vitamin. Free of allergens, pesticides, glutens, and heavy metals, this small-but-mighty supplement carries over 25 vitamins inside, including ones needed for beauty support. Fermented biotin supports keratin production, while vitamins B, C, D, E, and K protect collagen for a firm and nourished skin.

Just add water

We all know that drinking plenty of water is skincare 101, but what is it about water that leaves us looking so luminous? According to Pure Luxe Medical, maintaining a good pH balance in your skin is important. On a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the highest acidity level, a normal pH value of 7 sits right in the middle. That's exactly where we want our skin to be, and it just so happens that 7 is the pH level of water. It makes sense, then, that drinking water is going to balance your skin to that same level, too. Margarita Lolis, M.D., tells Byrdie, "The truth is that when you drink water, it doesn't automatically go to the skin – it hydrates cells once absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by the kidneys," Lolis explains. "So, at the cellular level, drinking water is great as it flushes the system and hydrates our bodies overall."


Water is also excellent in the weeks prior to your event for a skin detox. Since drinking water flushes out harmful toxins in the body, this is especially helpful in aiding overall skin health (via Pure Luxe Medical). Instead of reaching for a juice cleanse, water can do the trick just as well.

Get your heart pumping

Many people fear that exercise has a negative impact on the skin, but this couldn't be farther from the truth! Dermatologist Dr. Amy McClung tells U.S. Dermatology Partners, "In addition to more effectively delivering vital nutrients to the body's cells, improved blood flow also means toxins are removed from the body more efficiently." Naturally, the less toxins we have in our bodies, the less they'll manifest in our skin before a big event.


According to Dr. McClung, "If you think about your bloodstream as a highway for your cell's essential nutrients and waste removal, exercise increases the highway speed, which means that all the nutrients are getting where they need to be more quickly and waste or toxins are leaving the cells more quickly. So, your cells are getting more of what they need and being less affected by potentially damaging waste by-products and toxins. It's a win-win for all of our cells, including those that make up our skin."

On top of that, exercise also can also lower stress levels. "By decreasing stress, some conditions that can be exacerbated by stress can show some improvement," says Brian B. Adams, M.D., associate professor and director of the Sports Dermatology Clinic at the University of Cincinnati (via WebMD). We all know that stress causes major tolls on the skin, so easing up on some of that tension is going to have a positive effect on the skin leading up to your event.


To do your best, you need to rest

A recent study published in Royal Society Open Science revealed the negative effects that inadequate sleep had upon facial appearance and social appeal. In the study, 25 participants were photographed after 2 days of sleep deprivation, and then once again after normal sleep. Researchers asked 125 raters to vote on how willing they would be to interact with those who were photographed. As you may have guessed, the results concluded that raters were less likely to interact with the participants who showed a lack of sleep. Not only that but the sleepy participants were also perceived as less attractive. Much of this has to do with the negative effect lack of rest has on the skin. 


"The value of sleep with regard to beauty is that it gives your skin time to rebuild itself," Karin Olszewski, R.N., tells Samaritan Health Services. According to Olszewski, the ability of the skin to retain moisture, protect, and heal all combat the signs of aging — a process that happens mostly during sleep. That being said, definitely be sure to get your rest as part of your big event skin prep.

The riches of nourishment

Just like the other organs in your body, food has a major impact on the skin. Healthline explains that fatty foods, such as fatty fish and avocado, are essential in keeping the skin flexible, supple, and moisturized. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, try to think of your food as a "rainbow," with a wide array of colors in every serving. Strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, bell peppers, and citrus fruits are all loaded up with vitamin C, which, of course, is perfect for glowing skin (via the Cleveland Clinic). Tomatoes are super easy to work into regular meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner alike — and contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can help smooth the skin.


Ever heard of polyphenols? These guys are the chemicals we hear about when someone says, "Wine and chocolate are actually good for you!" Polyphenols contain strong antioxidant properties. They're so strong, in fact, that Science of Skin describes them as "your body's very own hit squad, fighting off the naughty free radicals and stopping them from harming your healthy cells (keeping your skin looking healthy and glowing)." Please, by all means, feel free to grab that glass of wine at the end of the day before dinner; we promise we won't tell!

So, the big day is here: what last minute tips can you try?

By now, your skin should be past the purging stage and used to the new products you've incorporated into your routine. You should be well-hydrated with water, replenished with vitamin-rich food, rested, and your blood pumping freely with regular exercise. After making sure all the products you've purchased sit well with your skin, you can add in some last step, event-day items for an extra touch.


You can always use under-eye patches to help de-puff your eyes, brighten dark circles, and add a refreshing boost to the area are astonishingly helpful before applying event-day makeup. While these do their magic under the eyes, a rose quartz face roller will help you stimulate blood flow to the face. Dermatologist Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton tells Net-A-Porter, "I always start my event-day skin prep with a fruit-acid cleanser, which I typically leave on my skin for one to two minutes before rinsing off. This will give me a nice exfoliation without being too aggressive." 

Cleanse, apply serum, and moisturize at least 15 minutes before the makeup application to allow everything to absorb properly into the skin (via Good Housekeeping). Be sure to apply a strong primer to the face, like Urban Decay's All Nighter Face Makeup Primer, for a better hold on your makeup that will have you all set and ready to go for your long-awaited event.