AGP and Clinical Director at Dr. Laura Clinic in Galway, Laura Lenihan believes in optimal skin health for women at all stages of their lives, using a tailored combination of the right skincare, facial treatments, and injectables. Her unique treatment approach is not just about making people look younger but helping them look and feel their best and the healthiest they can for their age and skin type. Laura is more than just a skincare expert; she’s a revered voice in the realm of skincare and health.

She sat down with SOCIAL & PERSONAL beauty editor Kellie Billings to discuss everything you need to know to achieve a flawless, wedding-ready bridal glow.

When should one commence one’s wedding skincare regime?

Achieving that dreamy, camera-ready complexion takes time and planning. Ideally, a bride should start at least one year in advance for optimal results. Remember, each bride’s skin journey is unique. It’s vital to consult with a skincare professional to get a tailored regimen.

What are the standard products every bride should include in their skincare regime?

The basics everyone should have include SPF, a retinoid, an exfoliating acid, and an antioxidant. For brides, I also suggest adding hyaluronic acid (to illuminate the skin). Your AM routine should focus on protection, with an antioxidant and SPF. In the evening, consider adding a retinoid and an exfoliating acid. Our go-to product for this is AlphaRet Overnight Cream (€135) by Skinbetter Science. It’s a wonderful blend of retinoid and exfoliating acid. Those with sensitive skin should try Anfisa Ân-Dew (€150), which contains Azaelic acid.

AlphaRet Overnight Cream

Anfisa Ân-Dew

Do you have any tips for brides adjusting their skincare routine at home?

Simplicity is key. Get the basics right — cleanse your face twice a day using hydrating and brightening serums and incorporate chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin cells. Nutrition also plays a crucial role. A balanced diet and proper hydration can significantly amplify the results you’ll see from your skincare routine. If you’re sticking with an at-home routine, try to mimic some professional treatments. Try the iS Clinical Active Peel System (€100) or AlphaRet Peel Pads (€130), followed by a nourishing mask.

iS Clinical Active Peel System

AlphaRet Peel Pads

What in-clinic treatment do you consider essential for a bride-to-be?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer because each bride has unique skin needs. At our clinic, we often recommend a course of peels to improve radiance. For brides dealing with redness, we opt for IPL or laser treatments. Microneedling is fantastic for boosting collagen and glow. Wrinkle relaxers can soften fine lines, but always do a test run. Profhilo is another popular option — it’s like the icing on the wedding cake, providing that glow from within.

What should a bride-to-be expect when getting a first facial or skin treatment?

If you’ve never had a facial or skin treatment before, I’d suggest starting simple. A gentle peel can be a great introduction. Once you start seeing results, it becomes easier to explore other options. Don’t feel pressured to opt for injectables; they’re not for everyone.

Are there any particular skincare products or treatments to avoid before the wedding?

Absolutely! Avoid intense treatments like deep peels or laser procedures. Also, refrain from introducing new products into your routine. While there’s a general notion to stop retinoids and exfoliating acids before the big day, it’s not a hard rule. If you’re an experienced user, you might just want to boost hydration closer to the wedding date.

Can you recommend essential products for the morning routine on the wedding day itself?

Certainly. Begin with a gentle cleanser to prepare your skin. Then, apply a vitamin C serum, followed by a hyaluronic acid serum — our top picks are CE Ferulic (€185) and H.A. Intensifier (€115) from SkinCeuticals. Opt for a lightweight moisturiser; we love Obagi Hydrate (€72). Use a hydrating eye cream to brighten the under-eye area and finish with a lightweight SPF — even if your make-up contains it.

CE Ferulic

H.A. Intensifier

Obagi Hydrate

What are the advantages of maintaining your skincare routine post-wedding?

Maintaining your skincare routine post-wedding offers numerous long-term benefits, including overall skin health, prevention of premature ageing, and the management of specific skin issues. By continuing your routine, you can sustain that post-wedding glow and potentially avoid having to restart the process later. Most importantly, for me, skincare serves as a form of self-care, helping you de-stress and feel your best every day.

- Kellie Billings