Countdown to Prom: The Ultimate Beauty Checklist

March 20, 2018
Claire Rodgers
By: Claire Rodgers | by L'Oréal
Countdown to Prom: The Ultimate Beauty Checklist

We know, we know: Prom isn’t for a couple of months. But gorgeous skin doesn’t happen overnight—you have to plan for it. For a complexion that looks picture-perfect on prom night, you should begin your prep work now with targeted efforts. And that’s precisely why we tapped medical esthetician and consultant Jamie Steros for help creating the ultimate prom beauty countdown. 


Before we get into the beauty countdown, we’d like to draw attention to a prom-related contest being held by one of our favorite skin care brands, AcneFree. In case you missed the news when it was first announced, AcneFree is giving this year’s prom-goers the tools they need for prom-ready skin AND a chance to win $1000 towards his/her dream prom.

Here’s how you can enter the AcneFree Promposal Contest:

Step #1: Follow @acnefree on Instagram if you haven’t already.
Step #2: Upload a photo or video of your “promposal,” and a brief description of how it all went down in the caption. Make sure to include the words “Contest Entry” in your caption.
Step #3: Tag @acnefree and submit using #AcneFreePromposal. 

Contest rules: The promposal must be one you have either given or received and the entrant must be in the photo or video submitted. To be eligible to win, you must submit your promposal by 11:59 P.M. EST on April 22, 2018. For a full breakdown of contest rules, visit



Did you know that new skin cells last about a month before they fall off? The more time devoted to skin cellular turnover, the better, as it can help reveal healthier and smoother-looking skin. With two months to prom, Steros recommends a combination of exfoliation, hydration, and skin protection. In the morning, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply a hydrating serum, and finish with an application of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher before heading outdoors. “By night, I recommend cleansing, using a treatment serum that hydrates and exfoliates at the same time, followed by a lightweight night cream,” Steros says.

If you have acne-prone skin and want to help keep breakouts at bay, AcneFree recommends using the 24-Hour Acne-Clearing System two months out. The kit features the AcneFree Purifying Cleanser, Renewing Toner, and Repair Lotion for a 3-step routine of cleansing, toning, and hydrating the skin. The Purifying Cleanser deep cleans to remove pore-clogging dirt and oil, the Revitalizing Toner helps reduce oil and refines pores, and the Repair Lotion delivers a continuous release of micro-size benzoyl peroxide that’s designed to be easily absorbed into the pores.  


When you’re one month away from prom night, pay a visit to a skin expert for help addressing any lingering concerns. “With one month to prom, I usually will suggest that a client discontinue the use of their retinoids and instead swap in hydrating products such a moisture-rich face mask to plump dry cells and give the skin a glow.” Steros also recommends a hydrating facial. “They’re perfect as you will get the balance of exfoliation and moisture that can help improve all-over radiance of the skin,” she says. As for what you should steer clear of at this point, Steros recommends avoiding skin-drying ingredients and/or harsh peels. If you’re prone to breakouts, ask your facialist to avoid extractions during the procedure.   

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about breakouts on your face, but they can appear on your body too. If you’re dealing with body breakouts, use AcneFree’s Body Clearing Acne Spray two to three times per week up until prom day to help keep them under control. The continuous spray is formulated with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin B3 and aloe and can help clear body breakouts.


We all love to try and test new products, but to help prevent an unwanted reaction, we recommend sticking to products that are tried-and-true this close to prom day. In other words, stick to the same routine you’ve been following from the 2-month countdown date. If pimples are surfacing, don’t stress out! Stress can exacerbate the look of your blemishes, or cause more to appear! Instead, turn to a fast-acting spot treatment. AcneFree’s Maximum Strength Terminator 10 is the strongest benzoyl peroxide acne medication available without a prescription, and can be used 1-3 times per day, as needed. Just be sure to follow up with a hydrating moisturizer to keep excess dryness at bay.  


One week out, Steros expresses the importance of getting enough sleep, sticking to a well-rounded diet, and drinking plenty of water. Now’s not the time to pull an all-nighter, as lack of sleep can cause your skin to look worse for wear. In terms of your skin care routine, “I would continue the regime listed above, as it is well-balanced and a perfect way to prepare for a special event,” Steros says.

acnefree therapeutic sulfur mask


The night before prom calls for some much-needed R&R. Draw up a bath, put on some music, whip out a book and pamper your skin with a mask, like AcneFree’s Therapeutic Sulfur Mask. The formula helps to clear acne, absorb excess oil, and unclog pores. The key here is to make sure you’re not stressed out or nervous, as both could keep you from getting a good night’s rest.


The big day is here! Go about your normal routine of gently cleansing your skin of dirt, oil, and impurities. Steros recommends following up with a vitamin C serum and a lightweight moisturizer. From there, you can go about creating a gorgeous makeup look to match your outfit.

Read more

Back to top