Warmer months are approaching, and with them come formal events, photo ops, and wedding season. Of course, having clear and hydrated skin will always compliment your look, especially at a wedding. But what skincare essentials and treatments are necessary, and how soon should you start preparing before your big day?

The Skin Report is a podcast created to educate listeners on methods to improve skin health for people of all ethnicities and ages. On this episode, host Dr. Sethi shares her professional advice on wedding skincare do’s and don’ts before you say “I Do!” She breaks down topics like exfoliating, nourishing the skin cycle, and treatments to correct uneven pigmentation, sun damage, acne scars, and fine lines. Dr. Sethi also provides a safe timeline for facials and procedures like botox and fillers so that you can achieve radiant skin in time for your next event!

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The Skin Report Season 1 Episode 10: Wedding Prep Timeline – Your Skin:

The Skin Report Season 1 Episode 26: A Beginner’s Guide to Botox:

Skin By Dr. Sethi: Skin Renewal Polish and Mask:

Skin By Dr. Sethi:  Vita C Restore Serum:

Skin By Dr. Sethi: Vita E and F Hydrate Serum:

Skin By Dr. Sethi: Ultra Glow Moisturizer:

Skin By Dr. Sethi: HA Plump and Protect:

This transcript was exported on Mar 28, 2023 -view latest version here.

Skincare can sometimes feel overwhelming. Whether it’s finding the right products, ingredients, or treatments, there’s a lot out there. But not always for people of African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Eastern South Asian descent. That’s why I set out to educate myself and others so that we can all feel beautiful in our skin. Hello and welcome back to The Skin Report. I’m Dr. Simran Sethi, an internal medicine doctor, mom of three, and CEO and founder of Renew MD Medical Spas and Skin by Dr. Sethi. Thank you for joining us for our third episode of the season. As we swing into spring, we tend to see more baby showers, parties and weddings. Whether you aim for a natural look or full coverage, you can never go wrong with glowing even skin. So today I want to go over the dos and don’ts for your best skin care before saying your I dos.

According to The Knot, most couples get married between May and October with months like June and September being the most popular. So whether you’re saying your vows or witnessing someone else’s, April is a great time to practice intentional skincare. Starting your wedding ready skincare routine one to two months before your big day will definitely reap rewards. Besides clear, hydrated skin will complement any outfit. Even heavier coverage products will only look dewy if the skin beneath it is properly hydrated. Nourishing the skin cycle to build a strong skin barrier will deliver clear, smooth and hydrated skin. So what are some skincare essentials? Let’s go over my recommendations and why I’ve included them. The first step I want to tackle is exfoliation, which is important but often misunderstood. Our skin constantly produces new cell, which means it also has many dead cells sitting on its surface, if not sloughed off.

We also accumulate dirt and debris on our skin throughout the day, making it more challenging for skincare to penetrate. In fact, only about 20% of our skincare is absorbed into the skin. However, regular exfoliation will remove this layer of dead skin and debris while clarifying the skin and improving skincare penetration by double. I do want everyone to keep something in mind though, that it is possible and relatively easy to over exfoliate. In our season one episode 14 of The Skin Report, we talked about finding the right type of exfoliant for your skin type and tone to help avoid this. The truth of the matter is that when we over exfoliate, we end up breaking our skin barrier. Breakage of the skin barrier creates skin sensitivities and in darker skin tones will look like overall increased and uneven pigmentation. Exfoliating every time you wash your face and neck may be too aggressive for most skin types.

Instead, consider exfoliating only once a day or every other day if your skin is sensitive or dry. This concept is exactly what skin cycling is about, which we discuss in depth in season one episode 25 of The Skin Report. Now, breaking your skin barrier can happen in several ways, not just through exfoliating too many times in a week. Sometimes certain products are just too harsh for our skin. I suggest avoiding face brushes, large particle face scrubs, high concentration chemical exfoliants. Concentrations greater than 10% are too high for most skin types. So what should you do instead? I always recommend switching to a small particle mechanical exfoliant that uses particles like rice powder, which are small enough to clean pores without irritating the skin barrier. You can also look for a chemical exfoliant with an alpha hydroxy acid or a beta hydroxy acid with a concentration of 10% or less.

The Skin Renewal Polish and Mask is one of our most popular products because it is a creamy blend of tiny exfoliating particles to gently scrape off dead skin cells and pomegranate extract to provide an even deeper cleansing of the pores by acting as a botanical chemical exfoliant. This skin polish works on all skin types and tones without damaging the skin barrier no matter how dry your skin is. By finding the right exfoliant, you will also find yourself with fresh even skin. If you’re preparing for a wedding or just looking for brighter skin in the warmer months, vitamin C is always a must have in any routine. Vitamin C helps fight oxidative stress throughout the day and night, which can show up as uneven pigmentation and fine lines on the skin. Vitamin C has proven to be an effective antioxidant against pollution and UV damage, the most common causes of oxidative stress.

I know there are a lot of vitamin C serums on the market and their prices can vary a lot. How can you know what to look for? Here are my general guidelines. Look at the vitamin C’s packaging. Vitamin C oxidizes when exposed to air immediately and the greatest competition in the skincare market is over who has the most stable forms of vitamin C. However, no matter how stable your vitamin C is, storing it in a clear bottle or a bottle that you open to expose to air like a dropper will most definitely make it oxidize faster and within just a few weeks, render it ineffective. Look for vitamin C in airless packaging as this will keep your products stable and effective just like the day you first started using this. This is exactly why people find that when they first start a vitamin C serum, it stings their skin a little, but then that stinging goes away.

If your vitamin C is in a dropper bottle or any packaging that is exposed to the air, this is happening because the vitamin C has oxidized just after a few weeks. Use a vitamin C serum that contains additional antioxidants or peptides to enhance collagen production. Certain peptides can signal receptors on the skin to produce more collagen. Some vitamin C serums have additional pigment correcting ingredients like bearberry extract or kojic acid. My line’s Vitamin C Restore Serum is a highly stabilized form of vitamin C, not L-ascorbic acid as most vitamin C serums have. It also has marine and plant peptides to activate receptors in the skin’s dermis and build more collagen and elastin resulting in smoother brighter skin. When we return, we’ll cover an important step of every skin tone -moisturizer. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know the right balance for your skin type.

Having dew and glowing skin is the perfect compliment to any wedding attire. We all know moisturizer is important, but there are so many moisturizers out there with different bases, textures and consistencies. It can be overwhelming to sift through the shelves and find something that works for your skin without clogging pores or leaving dry patches. Still, it’s an important step which you should only sometimes skip if you have oily skin. But say you have dry skin, what should you look for? A more lipid rich moisturizer would serve best as lipids are an essential part of our skin cells and skin barrier. Therefore, having a lipid-based moisturizer will help repair breakages and micro tears in the skin barrier. Remember, a happy and strong barrier allows the skin to do its job, which is to protect the skin from inflammation, oxidative damage and infection. My line has two types of moisturizers and for dry skin, my Vita E and F Hydrate Serum delivers vitamin E and linoleic acid, the vitamin F for fat to fortify the skin barrier.

The serum seeps right into the skin within seconds to leave skin smooth but not greasy. For dry skin, a water-based product may not be sufficient, especially in drier climates or in the winter. So if you want to correct skin dullness, uneven pigmentation or excess pigmentation and wrinkles, using a lipid rich moisturizer is a must. For normal or oily skin, however, a water-based product works wonders. In the dryer months or even when your skin needs a little extra love, a richer moisturizer can be used. Overall, a moisturizer with antioxidants or peptide that’s not greasy will hydrate your skin and protect the skin barrier. My line’s Ultraglow Moisturizer combines moisturizing with protection from blue light rays that cause hyperpigmentation and skin aging. In addition to moisturizer, moisture protectant is imperative, though not very well known. Last year, skin slugging on TikTok popularized the concept of moisture blocking.

As we are warm-blooded, our skin is like a simmering pot of water that’s constantly losing water to the air. This is why even after applying moisturizer a few hours later, our skin feels dry and tight again. This happens because we lose moisture to the air continuously. To stop this process and keep your skin dewy and hydrated, you need a moisture blocker like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds onto 1000 times its weight in water and is an excellent way to seal natural oils and moisture on our skin, which again protects the skin barrier. This is why I’ve included my HA Plump and Protect in every skin kit in my line as the serum is a combination of HA and snow mushroom extract, which has been proven to hold 500 times more water than HA. The combined effect leads to exceptional moisture seeling without a greasy appearance.

I personally have oily skin and used to blot my face just a few hours after my morning started, but with the HA serum, my skin looks hydrated and not greasy all the way into the night. If you have a hyaluronic acid-based serum, use it over your moisturizer or serum, not under, and you will see that it performs much better. If you apply a hyaluronic acid-based serum, use it over moisturizer or serum, not under, and you will see that it performs much better. If you have a HA based serum, use it over your moisturizer or serum, not under, and you will see that it performs much better. If you apply the HA first, you’re essentially blocking absorption of any serum you apply above it as its job is to block loss of water. As we enter the warmer season, you can opt for a light moisturizer or no moisturizer at all for oily skin, but still use an HA serum.

To end off any skincare routine, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. In season one episode nine, we broke down the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen as well as how much to apply and how often. To end off any skincare routine, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. In season one episode nine, we broke down the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen as well as how much to apply and how often. This season on The Skin Report, we will also be tackling the most popular sunscreens on the market and letting you know our favorites and the flops. In the months leading up to wedding season or anytime really, I highly recommend incorporating retinol into your nighttime routine. We have an entire series on retinol from last season, which I’ll also link in the show notes below. For now, I will say that retinol smoothens any fine lines, texture and pigmentation on the skin. The key here is to look for an adequate dose or concentration and not dry the skin out so much that you’re going through purging for months before realizing the benefits.

I often see people getting facials for the first time ahead of their wedding. This is a great idea if done on the right timeline. A great investment, facials will not only relieve congested pores, they will also give your skin the opportunity to absorb products more effectively. Remember, when we apply products on our skin, only 20% of the product really penetrates. If you do a facial with microdermabrasion every four to six weeks, you are increasing that product penetration to over 60%. However, there is a proper timeline for facials like I said. You don’t want to wait until the day before your wedding to get your first facial. A proper medical grade facial will include a microdermabrasion and extractions, which should leave your skin feeling a little bruised in extracted areas and a little red for a day. However, don’t let this scare you away. You will glow more a few days after the facial.

If you have congested pores and breakouts, you will want to start your facials at least four to six months before your big day to really help clean and clear your skin. This will ensure that closer to your wedding day, you will not experience that level of bruising. But how can you tell a good facial and good investment from a bad one? A facial with purpose should include extractions, microdermabrasion, LED light, which is optional, and a hydrating mask or serum. In my offices, we offer the DiamondGlow facial, which also infuses serum using negative pressure into the skin for deep product penetration while performing the microdermabrasion. If you’re looking to start skin treatments in the month leading up to tying the knot, there are some great options to correct uneven pigmentation, sun damage, acne scars, and fine lines. I would suggest starting these treatments six months prior to your wedding.

My favorite options are the [inaudible 00:14:14] Pro Laser and Microneedling with PRP, also known as the Vampire Facial, but it’s important to remember that these require a series of at least four treatments spaced one month apart to show full results. Finally, if you are a candidate for Botox or fillers, it’s important to get a consultation and try this at least three months before your wedding so that you’ll know how you look with those treatments and there’s time to make any changes to the injections.

If you’d like a more in depth look and even timeline on skin treatments, you can tune into episode 10 of of 4season one, which I will link below. I will also include my episodes on Botox and fillers that breaks down number of units, costs, timelines, and more so that you can find safe and beautiful treatments. Thank you for listening, and until next time, love the skin you’re in and celebrate your beauty.If you’d like to learn more about science backed skincare or medical aesthetic treatments, please subscribe to and turn on notifications for The Skin Report so you always know when a new episode is up. We have a newsletter that you can sign up for on theskinreportbydrsethi.com so that you can stay up to date on all our new episodes, blogs, products, and more. Additionally, if you have a skincare question or want to make an episode topic recommendation, please message me at theskinreportbydrsethi.com, which is linked in my show notes, and I’ll be sure to answer your question in an episode soon. We’ve received some great questions so far and I will try and answer them at the end of every episode, so keep them coming.

Transcript by Rev.com