Wedding Day Damage Control: How to Triage 4 Skin Care Emergencies on Your Big Day

Call Beauty 911! The bride has puffy eyes, dark circles, and a blotchy, red face with two zits. “ – Screams the Maid of Honor   

Don’t panic. And don’t let your neurotic Maid of Honor make you nervous. You’re going to look just beautiful when you walk down the aisle! Let’s triage those skin care emergencies that have plagued brides-to-be from time immemorial.

1. Puffy eyes

Your grandfather’s moving toast at last night’s rehearsal dinner made you cry.  Those sweet tears combined with the sleepless excitement of your upcoming nuptials left you a puffy-eyed bride.  Fear not: we can nurse those eyes right back to normal.

Dermatologists recommend applying cool compresses to the puffy eyes. A compress can come in the form of an eye mask kept in the freezer or refrigerator, a wet, cool washcloth, cooled tea bags or cold cucumber slices. Leave your compress on for 5-10 minutes. This should help constrict the blood and lymph vessels and reduce swelling. Additionally, sleeping or sitting upright, doing some exercise, and having a little caffeine (due to its diuretic properties) can help drain fluids from your eye.

So just sit up and chill with a cool compress, while your Maid of Honor makes you a cup of coffee. Then, take a morning jog and a relaxing bath – your wedding day is here and the puffiness is gone.

2. Dark Circles

Unfortunately, that sleepless night also left you with dark circles under your eyes.  Now, on morning of your wedding, it arguably looks like you’ve sustained punches to both eyes during a drunken bar brawl at the bachelorette party. But wait: no need for a meltdown.  We can doctor those dark circles away.

To begin, be sure to moisturize your face. Try a product that is primarily hyaluronic acid. That should really hydrate the delicate skin around the eye, especially when it’s mixed with a drop or two of pure argan or emu oil.   

Next, apply a little make-up. Because foundations tend to be less opaque than concealers, use a foundation under your eyes.  If the circles still appear much darker than the remainder of your face, try a slightly lighter colored liquid concealer with light-catching pigments. After this, dab loose mineral powder under the area to complete the look.

Now Ms. Bright Eyes, you can tie the knot without looking like you were out the night before “tying one on.”

3. An Allergic Reaction?

If you awaken on your wedding day and find your flawless skin is red and blotchy in a way it has never been, you might find yourself

asking, Was it something I ate, or something I used on my skin?” In some cases, you might actually need to go to see a doctor, particularly if these symptoms are combined with throat swelling and difficulty breathing.  Usually, however, they do not constitute an emergency.

If you have an allergic reaction or if your face is simply red and blotchy, you can apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas. This will help reduce any inflammation and lessen redness.  Then, to rid yourself of the redness entirely, apply yellow/green tinted concealer on the discolored areas. The opposite of green is red; therefore, the combination will create a flesh-toned hue. Using a good quality yellow/green tinted moisturizer is also an option and particularly useful if your skin is dry.

With your perfect looking complexion, you’re now ready to marry the man of your dreams at and live happily ever after.

4. Unsightly Zits

You’ve got something borrowed, something blue, something old and …two new zits! You thought you’d had everything covered, though it seems you failed to read up on the latest Proactiv reviews and assumed popular products were a cure-all. So, unhappily, two pimples have arrived to help celebrate your big event.  

Although this seems like a major emergency, it’s really a minor one.  You don’t have to wage war against these wedding day invaders. Remember that poking and prodding your pimples will only make them worse!  

Gentle exfoliation and cleansing followed by a small amount of anti-blemish cream are the first steps to hiding your unwelcome guests. Next, apply a primer to even out your skin’s texture. Then, use a concealer on and around the pimples. A word of caution: Don’t overdo the makeup so that it looks caked on.

If any or all of these triage efforts don’t resuscitate the Bride’s happiness on her big day, just ask the wedding photographer to work some post-production hocus pocus. He can make all those skin imperfections magically disappear! And then remember your big day like it everything was perfect.


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