How to Get Perfect Skin in Time for Prom, According to Experts

The clock is ticking, besties. The countdown to prom is officially underway. You’ve already picked out the prom dress of your dreams or prepped thee hottest prom suit, along with stashing an emergency kit in case anything goes wrong on the big night. Then there’s hair, makeup, and of course, skincare. TBH, a flawless complexion sets the base for a 🔥 prom night glam. So while you sort out your look, get a jump on a skincare plan that’ll ensure a smooth, clear canvas for whichever makeup slay you settle on.

Consider this an assist for your prom-related skincare questions and concerns. No matter if your routine is super-simple or if you’re layering on tons of products after your #EverythingShower, there are expert-approved tips that can help you can take to your skin to the next level just in time for the big night. Speaking of experts, we’ve tapped Hyram and Dr. Andrea Suarez, two of YouTube’s trusted skincare creators, to spill all the deets on what you should do to prep your skin for prom.

How should you prep skin a month before prom?

“Beginning your skin prep journey a month before prom will have you well on your way to healthy, glowy skin for your special night,” Hyram says. The Selfless by Hyram creator suggests starting “by regularly exfoliating every other night to ensure your skin is glowy and free of dull, dead skin cells” and applying a skin hydrator “overnight to ensure your skin is properly moisturized well before the event.” And, of course, no skincare advice is sound without dishing on sun protection, so Hyram recommends wearing sunscreen every day (before prom and beyond) and reapplying as directed.

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Along with enforcing a consistent skincare routine, Hyram says a month before the big night is the perfect opportunity to explore new treatments, like facials, or viral hacks, like slugging, for the first time. If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently, then you’ve probably noticed tons of videos about applying layers of petroleum jelly or Vaseline to give your skin an additional moisture boost. “Slugging consistently the month of prom will help balance your skin’s moisture and boost the health of your skin,” Hyram says.

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Facials, on the other hand, can be customized with ingredients that brighten, hydrate, and reduce hyperpigmentation.”Try one out at least a month before prom to ensure your skin has adequate time to adjust and recover,” he says. Like most skincare treatments, facials can cause irritations and breakouts in some skin types, so Dr. Suarez, who goes by Dr. Dray online, recommends seeking out a professional facialist with experience “doing facials for people with your skin type.”

While most skincare-related tips are centered around applying products directly on the skin, there are some lifestyle habits that may impact your skin, too. Staying up all night sending TikToks to your bestie may be a part of your day-to-day routine, but Dr. Dray recommends putting that on hold, at least until after prom, because it could be causing a negative impact on your skin. “Make sure to focus on getting good quality sleep,” she says. “Poor sleep can disrupt your skin barrier and aggravate skin conditions like acne.” So, “prioritizing sleep will pay off in the long run, not only for your skin but also for your total body health.” Instead of late-night binging, Dr. Dry recommends “developing a bedtime routine, including turning off TVs, computers and devices at least an hour before you’re ready to turn it in. According to the board-certified derm, the light can disrupt your sleep cycle, so be sure wrap up your screen time every single day. Yep, that means on the weekends, too.

What’s the best skincare routine a week before prom?

Things just got real, besties. When you’re a week away from prom, it may seem tempting to switch things up, but Dr. Dray advises against it. “Now is not a good time to introduce new products or ingredients which could irritate or aggravate the skin.” Instead, she recommends focusing on “cleansing daily with a mild cleanser to remove dirt, sebum, and cosmetics” and following up with sunscreen. Hyram agrees and recommends adopting the four basic steps of skincare, which include a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen to make sure your skin is thriving when you pose for prom pics. Once you’ve got your daytime routine locked down, Hyram suggests creating a bedtime routine with “rich moisturizer every night to ensure your skin is in its most healthy state.” If you notice your skin is craving some extra TLC, grab a gentle exfoliating face mask “to make sure your skin is free of any excess dead skin cells and in its best shape” once or twice the week leading up to prom.

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How you should prep your skin on the day of the prom?

Congratulations! The day you’ve been dreaming of is finally here. To ensure your skin stays at its best, Hyram recommends sticking with your “tried and true products for the best results.” When you wake up on the day of prom, he suggests using a “hydrating face mask to give your skin that extra glow.” Dr. Dray recommends “washing with a mild cleanser” and applying a “lightweight moisturizer before applying any makeup” to “minimize any skin irritation or breakouts triggered by makeup and working up a sweat on the dance floor.”

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Which TikTok hacks or ingredients actually work to get clear, glowing skin?

There’s no denying it. Your FYP page is probably filled with different tips, tricks, and hacks to help achieve clear, glowing skin. While the hacks are endless, Dr. Dray recommends testing out incorporating niacinamide. “It helps with both oily and dry skin and can help reduce breakouts,” she says. “Niacinamide also can help with evening out skin tone and reduce redness.” According to Hyram, mandelic acid is another viral ingredient to include because it’s an exfoliator that helps “boost the glow of your skin and hydrate your skin barrier.”

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Can you share recommendations for the best skincare emergencies leading up to prom?

No matter how much effort you put into a skincare routine, there are times when a blemish appears out of the clear blue sky. If one pops up on your big day, there’s no need to get frightened. “Whatever you do, don’t pop or squeeze a pimple,” Dr. Dray warns. Instead, she recommends acne treatments like pimple patches “to help keep you from picking and allow the pimple to heal.” Hyram agrees. Before applying a pimple patch, he suggests applying a salicylic acid serum spot treatment, covering it with your favorite moisturizer, and sealing it off with a pimple patch “to ensure the fastest recovery.” If it’s a severe breakout, Dr. Dray recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist” to inject a tiny bit of steroid medicine into the pimple to help it shrink down fast.” This method helps get rid of blemishes in no time, but it comes with a hefty price tag. In order to give your skin time to heal, try not to opt for this method within a week of your big day.

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Are there any ingredients or treatments that you should pause or avoid just before prom?

There are some ingredients that usually work well for the skin, but you should probably take a break from when you’re gearing up for prom. According to Hyram, ingredients like denatured alcohol or fragrance could cause adverse reactions, so steer clear of them. He also urges not to use “any new powerful formulas” because it could lead to irritation. Hyram also warns against “overly-powerful exfoliating products and peel-off face masks.”

Outside of skincare products, Dr. Dray suggests skipping out on tanning beds and sunning tanning leading up to prom as “UV rays from tanning beds and sunbathing prematurely age the skin” and increase the risk of skin cancer. If you want the glow of a tan, she recommends using a sunless tanning product, since it’s a “safer option to get that tan look.”

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Assistant Editor

Jasmine Washington is an Assistant Editor at Seventeen, where she covers celebrity news, beauty, lifestyle, and more. For the past decade, she has worked for media outlets, including BET, MadameNoire, VH1, and many others, where she used her voice to tell stories across various verticals. Follow her on Instagram.