Facialists break down the best step-by-step beauty routine for brides-to-be

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Reduster

Expert facialists Linnéa Wagnås, known as ‘The Skin Coach,’ and Karolina Malmqvist, from the sought-after Stockholm clinic Haelo, reveal essential and vital skin prep strategies tailored for every skin type and schedule. Discover everything you need to know to say 'I do' to a flawless wedding day glow

Let’s face it: amidst the whirlwind of choosing the perfect venue, tasting cakes, dress fittings, and tracking budgets, it’s all too easy to neglect your skin. Whether you’re battling bridezilla breakouts or simply aiming to enhance your natural radiance, starting your skincare journey well before your wedding day is a must.


Looking to turn your skin woes from ‘for worse’ to ‘for better’? Skincare prep is key. Here, we tap expert facialists Linnéa Wagnås, known as ‘The Skin Coach,’ and Karolina Malmqvist, from the sought-after Stockholm clinic Haelo, to arm us with insider wedding day tips.

6 months before the big day

The first step the experts suggest is to find a facialist you like and trust. After all, it is the facialist’s hands in which you will put your trust (and face). “Make it clear to yourself what you want to achieve by the wedding day,” says Wagnås. “It is important that you have a skincare routine that is adapted to your goals and your skin,” a sentiment with which Malmqvist agrees. “By setting up a treatment plan with the professionals, you don’t have to take chances on what’s right for your skin, and you can budget for it in advance.”

But why should you start your skin journey at least six months out? “The skin has a cycle of about one month, when we are young, to replace your entire skin with new skin cells,” says Wagnås. “That is why you often see results after four weeks of starting with a new product.” Wagnås also explains how six months before the wedding is the perfect time to start with any advanced treatments. “If your main concerns need treatments like micro-needling or IPL for vessels and pigmentation, you will have six cycles to achieve the effect before your big day.”

When it comes to at-home routines, our professionals advocate for a simple yet effective base: a gentle milk cleanser, exfoliation - preferably with fruit acids (AHA, BHA) –, a water-based serum, face cream tailored to your skin type, and, of course, SPF. “LED is also a beneficial (though slightly pricey) addition that caters to all skin conditions and types,” assures Wagnås. “And incorporating a purifying, calming, and anti-inflammatory face mask with green clay into your routine one or two times per week is the optimal way to enhance your skin's health.”

For dry skin

The general suggestion for dry skin types is to focus on deep-cleansing treatments using AHA or BHA. These ingredients help remove dry, old skin cells that are in the way. Next, it is important to kick-start circulation with a massage to take care of dry lines. “I would use microcurrent in combination with iontophoresis,” says Wagnås. “This approach is unparalleled. It helps to deliver hydration deep into the epidermis and, at the same time, stimulates the muscles. It's like a Pilates session for the face.” Malmqvist suggests PRX, a salon treatment that plumps the skin and smooths out fine lines.

For acne-prone skin

When it comes to oily or combination skin, it is essential to get your sebum production under control. For active acne, Malmqvist recommends regular chemical peels that target inflammation. “Dermapen can also be effective for enlarged pores and an uneven texture,” she says. Wagnås, on the other hand, loves the 'old school' treatment and uses 'high frequency' wands that treat the skin locally with ozone. “This method heals and dries out pimples faster,” she says.

For any issues with acne scarring, Wagnås would advise consulting with a therapist to see if laser or micro-needling might be an alternative. “It's not a one-size-fits-all treatment—so talk to the expert to make sure it's tailored to your skin,” she says. Malmqvist recommends starting a course of Dermapen every 6 weeks before the wedding to “work on the structure of enlarged pores and even out skin tone.

For sensitive skin

First of all, cold water is key. “Avoid steam and extractions when the skin is most reactive and, should it be necessary, wait until the skin barrier is intact,” says Wagnås. A weak barrier is often the cause of reactive or inflamed skin, and repairing the skin should be your priority at this point. “Take a break from overly strong acids or retinol. It is so common that clients sabotage the skin’s natural protection with products that are too strong,” says Wagnås.

Malmqvist’s favourite treatment to help strengthen a weakened barrier is IPL. “It soothes inflammation in the skin,” she says. She suggests trying a run of four to six treatments once a month in the lead-up to the wedding, making sure you use products that work to soothe irritation and redness and strengthen the barrier at home.

3 months before the big day

Three months out, it is time to 'level up your water intake,' according to Wagnås. "This may seem like a boring and obvious tip, but it's absolutely the most important, along with sleep," she says. When there are three months to go, stress and pressure start to become more apparent, which translates visibly directly onto your skin.

"Start thinking from the inside out," Wagnås adds. "Drink celery, lemon, and ginger juice every morning. Move your body outside and breathe fresh air to unwind before the evening. Try an ice bath or ice shower. Meditate. Book a body massage," she says. "And add any tools as needed, along with your steady routine, to enhance the routine. Include Gua sha, LED, and microcurrent..."

For dry skin

Layering is key for dry skin at this point. "Apply products in layers," says Wagnås. Moisturizing masks are key—whether they be potted or in the form of sheet masks. Start adding a finishing serum or oil on top of your face cream to maximize hydration and to strengthen the lipidic shield overnight. "Continue with deep and lifting massages," says Wagnås.

For acne-prone skin

"Continue what you have been doing since the six-month mark," says Malmqvist. "The earlier you start your journey, the better, but at three months, it is still possible to achieve great results," adds Wagnås. "And don't try anything new," urges Wagnås. "Stick to the plan. Do not change your makeup, but test it out well in advance so that your skin does not react to something new. Focus on hydration and try to find ways to relax. Stress triggers cortisol, which in turn triggers acne."

For sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is another skin type that benefits from continuity. "Cold water and gentle products that respect the skin barrier are still key," says Wagnås. "Add healing ingredients such as Centella asiatica, silk peptides, and perhaps a lymphatic massage."

1 month before the big day

A month out, the number one focus should be to de-stress. It may be easier said than done, but it’s essential to your skin health. “Beyond all the things you’ve already been doing – cleansing, hydrating, and protecting – now is the time for lots of lymphatic massages and striving to oxygenate the skin,” says Wagnås. “And do the things that make you feel good to de-stress.” But don’t try anything erratic. “Please don’t try anything new,” urges Wagnås. “No extractions, no peels, or invasive treatments. Go safe and use soothing, hydrating products.”

One trick to try involves ice. “Make yourself an ice bucket,” exclaims Wagnås. “If you are short on time or need a quick glow-up, fill a bowl with ice-cold water and 10 ice cubes. Cleanse the skin and then dip your whole face into the water. Hold your breath for three seconds. Get up, reload, and do this five more times. Finish with serum and cream.”

Malmqvist notes that if you have been on regular treatments until now, you and your skin therapist should know what works for your particular skin. “Depending on the person, I would definitely recommend a light acid treatment in combination with a moisture boost about two days before the wedding,” she says. “It creates the perfect texture for wedding makeup.”

For dry skin

"Exfoliate and apply a deep cleansing mask regularly a month out," says Wagnås. "Then follow this up with serum in layers, a nourishing cream, and oil on top. Try your hand at gua sha, and then make sure to get a good night's sleep." Malmqvist agrees, adding, "Hydrafacial can be a good treatment as it combines cleansing and exfoliation with deep hydration."

For sensitive skin

To ensure your skin remains calm, Wagnås suggests keeping all skincare products in the fridge. “I’d use Future 5 Elements’ Soft Treatment Gel in a thin layer over the face and a compress soaked in ice water or massage with ice,” she says. According to Malmqvist, IPL is perfect a month before the wedding as it reduces redness and calms the skin. “Alternatively, consider a light acid treatment with lots of moisturizing and strengthening products,” she says.

For acne-prone skin

"In the last month, and especially the week before, I would use Future 5 Elements' Heritage Mask and Flash 10 as a spot treatment every night for three consecutive nights, finishing with a High-Frequency Wand on top," says Wagnås. "Beauty Drops No. 3 layered on top of the pimple every hour can also help speed up the healing." Beyond her tips and tricks, Wagnås urges you not to let a pimple ruin your day. "If you wake up with a pimple on the big day, be kind to yourself," she says. "Don't let your pimple ruin the celebration, and find ways to focus on the positive, like marrying the love of your life."