face wash and face lotion

It’s red carpet season! Here is some expert advice and an ideal timeline on how to make sure your skin looks its best for your next big event.


If you haven’t already, make an appointment with a dermatologist and make a plan to address specific skin concerns in anticipation of your big event. It can take 6 months or longer to control acne and pigmentation so give yourself and your doctor enough time to get you the results you deserve. Have your dermatologist create a tailored regiment for your skin. This should include a face wash, an antioxidant serum with vitamin C, a moisturizer, a zinc-based sunscreen and a vitamin A or AHA based cream for your skin. If you suffer from dark circles, crepey skin or puffiness around your eyes, an eye cream to combat your concerns will also be helpful. It takes 90 to 120 days for you to see the results from an updated skin care regimen, so you’ll need to start early and stick with it. 

Also, if you are considering any injectable treatments like Botox or fillers, now is the time to learn more and see if they are right for you. I recommend going to a physician (MD) trained in cosmetics, like a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Talk to them about your goals and concerns with the treatments. If you decide to have something done, also ask for a two week follow up so you can review your results with your physician. Botox typically lasts 3 months while fillers can last 6 months to over a year. It will be far less stressful for you to experiment long before your big event. And, if you love the results, you can schedule your next treatment with the correct timing of the event.  


Now is the time to start skin treatments (ex peel or laser) that promote cell turnover to get that glow of healthy skin. Skin products such as antioxidant serums and retinols will improve your results and speed the recovery for these treatments. Options can be a superficial peel or lasering such as with the Clear and Brilliant laser, intense pulsed light (IPL), or fractional resurfacing. The more gentle the treatment, the more treatments you may need to get outstanding results.  For example, you will need six peels compared to three Clear + Brilliant or IPL treatments. Get your last treatment one month prior to your upcoming event.


If you decided you liked your injectable treatment, now is the time for the final touch up.. This way if anything is not perfect, there is still time to correct it before the big day. 


Exfoliate and moisturize your body! Use a chemical exfoliation product that has AHA or BHA (in a wash or lotion) to break down dead cells on the top layer of the skin, thereby allowing further penetration of the moisturizer. Do not exfoliate with physical scrubs, loofah or brushes because those often remove living cells as well, causing damage and dehydration to the skin.

Do not tan! Tanning is terrible for so many reasons. It is simply radiating your skin causing mutations that lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and age spots. As a dermatologist, I want people to embrace the color of their skin. If you must do something, find a self-tanner that works for you and practice with it until you get the glow you want.  Also, self-tanner on the face rarely looks good and is hard to remove so if you really need that sun-kissed glow go get yourself a bronzer.


Stick to the skin care routine that has worked well for the past year. Now is not the time to experiment. It is a time to celebrate!  Keep in mind that alcohol and salt can make you puffy, especially around the eyes, so consider saying “no thank you” to that fourth dirty martini. Exercise to help deal with last minute stressors and ensure better sleep. Then go have the time of your life! 

Until next time,

Heather D. Rogers, MD

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Meet the author: Board-certified and practicing dermatologist, Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, is the founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. She studied at Stanford, University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. She lectures nationally, is well published, and an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Highly respected among the skin care community, Dr. Rogers has been annually named “Top 1% of Most Honored Doctors in the US” by Castle Connolly.

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