Skin Prep for Parties & Special Events: A Timeline, Tips & Product Recs

Joelle Klein

by | Read time: 4 minutes

Let’s face it, we all want to look sensational and glowing for big (and small) social events. And these days, when it comes to social engagements, whether it’s a wedding, a holiday party, a school reunion, or even a fun night on the town, your skin and makeup need to look flawless for the event itself – and the endless social media posts after the party. In other words, you’ll want to shine at the shindig, and be ready for your close-up.

What can you do, what products do you need, and how far in advance do you need to get started? Here are some tips to help you look your most radiant for all festivities.

Woman Applying Face Mask as Skin Prep for Special Event

Skin Prep Timeline

Start early

In some cases, such as a wedding, anniversary, or reunion, you have plenty of lead time. Skin treatments need time to work their magic, so ideally, you should start your skin-enhancing routine about three to four months prior to the big night. This is especially important if your skin goals are to reduce fine lines, dark spots and acne.

Products and ingredients

Look for skincare products containing licorice root, bearberry extract, and vitamin C that can help brighten your skin and fade dark spots, and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to do all of the above and reduce fine lines and acne. Glycolic and lactic acids are two top-performing AHAs.

Weekly or monthly facials

You can splurge for monthly facials at a salon or stock up on at-home facial treatments that you can do weekly. Facials are like getting to the gym for your workout – you need to do them regularly for them to make a difference.

Skin-healthy diet

You can improve your skin by what you put in your mouth. Vitamins A, C, D, E and K, for example, are known for their skin-enhancing properties. These essential vitamins can be found in supplements and foods. Some of the best foods for glowing skin include salmon, walnuts, avocado, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

One week countdown

With a big party one week away, you can still boost your skin’s glowability for the big night. For starters, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. According to WebMD, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Getting 7 to 9 hours is the key. If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, you’re at risk for dark puffy eyes, dull skin and even thinner hair. Hey, they don’t call it beauty rest for nothing. Other things you can do 3 to 7 days out include:

Bag bags with tea bags

An easy way to tackle dark circles and puffy eyes is to relax with cooled tea bags under each eye. Brew them first, then let them cool down and rest with bags on your bags for 15 to 30 minutes. The caffeine in the tea reduces swelling and constricts blood vessels.


To ensure your skin and body are not dry, drink plenty of water. Water flushes toxins from your system and keeps you hydrated. Other ways to avoid dehydrated-looking skin are to take warm, not hot, showers and immediately apply moisturizer afterward. Also, break out the humidifier and be sure to cover your hands and face in windy, cold weather. And did we mention using a good moisturizer?


No picking or squeezing! Be patient and breakout the heavy guns to treat your breakout. Use spot treatments with salicylic or glycolic acids to dry out those spots. Other products that help calm a breakout include tea tree oil and aloe vera.


One week out is the perfect time to start exfoliating … your lips, body, and face. Chances are, after all, you will be revealing skin on your arms, shoulders and maybe elsewhere. The key is to use gentle products gently every other day to avoid irritating or drying out your skin. For your body, use a natural bristle brush to slough off dry skin or an exfoliating shower scrub. For your face, you can exfoliate with a physical exfoliator such as a washcloth or facial sponge or a chemical exfoliator with AHA or lactic acid. And, you guessed it, moisturize after exfoliating to lock in moisture.

Your feet

Don’t forget your feet, especially if you’re going to be wearing open-toe shoes. One of the easiest ways to beautify your feet is with an overnight foot treatment that can turn the gnarliest-looking, dried and cracked feet into smooth, moisturized feet. Be sure to plan this treatment before your mani/pedi.

The big day

After a restful night of 7 to 9 hours of sleep, it’s time to try to stay calm. Stress is not pretty! Indulge in one more at-home facial treatment and eye de-puff session. For extra pore-tightening and bright skin, splash on some ice-cold water and then moisturize about 15 minutes before you apply makeup. And, don’t forget to breathe, smile, and have a great time.

Featured Products

Pacifica Vegan Collagen Skincare Trial Kit
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