Skin Deep

You survived your teens years—the bad fashion, the even worse decisions, friendships and skin. So now you’ve made it into adulthood, ready to leave your checkered (and pimpled) past behind you by doing one of the more adult things you can do: You’re getting married. Thank goodness you no longer get acne, right? Wrong.

The sad truth is, the incidence of adult acne is on the rise (some blame the climate, others blame the hormones in our food—I prefer to think my face is expressing my true state of maturity) and never is that telltale hormonal acne more prevalent than in times of stress. That’s right. At the exact moment you want your skin to be at its clearest for the photos you’ll eventually show your grandchildren, your pores erupt in a minefield of deceit and betrayal on your chin, jawline and forehead. (And cheeks and neck, too, if you’re especially lucky.) It’s about as much fun as when you sprouted a giant zit in the middle of your nose right before prom . . . but at least your braces distracted from it last time.

So what’s a speckled bride or bridegroom to do? While the stress isn’t going to let up anytime soon (probably sometime around your second anniversary), there are things you can do to help, ahem, smooth things over.

The first is to see a dermatologist (my favorite local practice is Calkin & Boudreaux Dermatology; find them at These docs are specialists in skin ailments, and they can often prescribe a regimen or medicine that will take care of your blemishes faster than any drugstore product—namely vitamin A, commonly known as Retin-A. This hard-working cream clears pores, battles breakouts and resurfaces the skin like no other, but a doctor needs to tell you exactly how to use it so your face doesn’t peel. (Also not a good bridal look.)

The second is to try and take some time to chill out amid the kerfuffle that is wedding planning. Keep standing dinner dates with friends, take up (or go back to) yoga at a studio like Zuda Yoga ( or the Sacramento Yoga Center ( Your face will reflect your inner state, and if you feel freaked out inside, your skin will only follow suit. (This is easier said than done, considering I took up yoga right before coming back to California to get married and remember counting the number of sun salutations I was doing compared to the number of invitations I could have been addressing. But it’s the thought that counts.)

The third is to accept that your skin will not look perfect on your wedding day—nor will your hair, nor will your waist, nor will nearly anything you’ve planned since the moment you said “Yes.” And you know what? That’s OK. They make makeup to cover redness, powder to conceal shine and there’s Photoshop for everything else. But what all those little irksome pimples and pustules can’t mask or mar is that you’re probably going to be wearing the biggest, slap-happiest grin on your face—or crying all your mascara off—because you get to marry someone you love.

Someone you love who also knows where you keep your concealer.

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