If you are considering going under the needle(s) before your wedding, you are a truly modern bride. Looking wedding-ready these days comes down to coming up with a full-service beauty plan, which may include some high-tech treatments and no-downtime, non-invasive procedures. We asked dermatologist and medical aesthetics physician Dr. Julia Carroll of Toronto’s Compass Dermatology for her advice on what treatments to consider in advance of your wedding day and what you should know before signing on.
What are the top five most popular treatments you recommend for brides-to-be in the run up to wedding day?
“For a bride around the age of 30 I would suggest focusing on a mix of face and body treatments. I love CoolSculpting which is a non-invasive fast removal perfect if you have a dress that is particularly form fitting. In essence we help shape the body to look it’s best—we can sculpt excess fat from the abdomen, arms and flanks. Basically if you can squeeze it, we can freeze it! For the skin, I am obsessed with microneedling. It’s really great for refreshing the skin and lots of my younger patients are doing this. It helps with pores and fine lines, and its collagen induction therapy, which helps to thicken the skin and make the skin more resilient. It also helps with acne scars and some pigmentation. Laser treatments are also amazing because they make skin glow. For wrinkle-relaxing injections it’s about softening those very fine lines. Often I’ll do what I call ‘millennial dosing” which is just a little bit of an injection to ease the edge of crow’s feet which happen when you smile in all those wedding photos.”
How far in advance of a wedding day should you start thinking about any of these treatments and receiving them?
“I think as soon as that ring hits your finger you should be calling your dermatologist, if not before. Ideally, I love if I have a year because I really like to do things methodically and plan them out. Just like you want your brows to be perfect and your hair colour at its freshest for your wedding, it’s the same thing with treatments. To line it all up perfectly, I love a year. For example, something like CoolSculpting you’ll want to do at least six months out. Microneedling is something you can do closer to the wedding day. You can do it within a two-month range but if you do it four months out, you’re going to realize the full benefits. With wrinkle relaxers, four weeks is nice but usually, with my brides, I’ll do something four to five months before the wedding much like you would try out your hairstyle or your makeup, and then we plan to top it up just before the wedding. With lasers, if you can give it four to six months you’re going to see the immediate benefits but also the long-term results. In general, a year is ideal, six months I can work with, but two weeks is tough.”
Why is it important to seek a cosmetic medical pro for treatments (i.e. there is a lot of injectables happening outside of medical cosmetic clinics)?
“We have to remember that neuromodulator, commonly known as Botox, is a drug and should be administered under the supervision of a physician. Fillers are a medical device and as much as they have long-term safety records, things can go wrong. It’s imperative to have a physician if not doing the procedures, at least present on the facility so if something goes wrong you have the reassurance they’re there. Also, there’s an art to these procedures and you don’t want someone who just took a fly-by-night course. I’ve been doing this since 2005. It’s been a journey—trends change and things go in and out of style within this world. It takes a long time to be able to analyze a face, see what people need and make them look natural. If it seems like a too good to be true deal, then it’s probably too good to be true. Buyer beware.”
Any other words of professional wisdom when it comes to pre-wedding beauty treatments and procedures?
“For brides, less is more. I think you really want to have movement and emotion in your face. The skin is so important—if your skin is in great shape then you’ll need less makeup and you can go for a more natural look. As a dermatologist, one thing that I’ll also often do for my brides is a full skin check including checking moles. I’m concerned about skin health because you want to start this new chapter of your life with a clean bill of health, so it’s important to make sure all your moles are okay and there’s nothing concerning going on. I’ve found cancerous lesions on these routine checks and I was glad we found them earlier rather than later as this person goes into their new chapter of life. As you’re sitting down and forming a relationship with your dermatologist, it’s a good time to focus not only on the wedding and the wedding photos but your long-term goals. What are the things that are important to you? It’s important to make a long-term plan to keep your skin the best it can possibly be.”