Things have changed in the past few months — your dermatologist may be opting for skype appointments and you may not be able to browse the aisles of Target for an hour. The circumstances have changed, but it’s not too late to adapt to them. While we understand you’ve probably perfected your skincare routine by now, you may need to make some last-minute substitutions if supplies are scarce. We’ve compiled some tips on DIY skincare when you’re in between products, according to Dr. Lee.
DIY Face Mask
If you just ran out of your favorite face mask, Dr. Lee’s go-to DIY face mask can be used once a week to reduce inflamed acne, minimize redness and clear the build up of dead skin. Dr. Lee mixes half of a fresh lemon (or a teaspoon of lemon juice), 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a teaspoon of honey until you end up with a paste-like consistency. You can add a bit more baking soda if it looks too runny. Once your mask is mixed, wash your face with face wash and pat your skin dry. Apply the mask to your face and neck in circular motions and leave it on your skin for 5-15 minutes. Use a lukewarm washcloth to gently remove the mask then sub in a cold washcloth to close your pores! Always follow up with your favorite moisturizer and SPF like SLMD Dual Defender.
While Dr. Lee doesn’t recommend popping your own pimples, she understands that sometimes you just can’t help it. At the very least, take some precautions to pop like a pro. Here are Dr. Lee’s 3 basic steps to popping pimples:
- Identify the culprit. Knowing what kind of pimple you’re about to pop might change your strategy or (hopefully) your mind about popping it. You should only be popping pimples that have come to a white or yellow “head” to avoid permanent scarring. Do your research and (if you can’t help yourself) pop accordingly!
- Know when to pop and when to stop! After washing your hands, wash your face with warm water and a cleanser then gently press a warm washcloth against the pimple for a few minutes. This will help soften whatever is inside the pore to help it come out more easily. Use your comedone extractor to apply pressure around the circumference of the pimple to ease out the contents of the clogged pore. Some blackheads will emerge effortlessly, and whiteheads will burst on impact. If you no longer see any “pimple” contents or if you only see blood, it’s time to stop. If nothing is coming out, resist the temptation to keep squeezing; it may not be a pimple that can be popped. Be sure to monitor your popped and unpopped pimples closely and consult your dermatologist if your bump persists or enlarges!
- Treat it quickly. Apply a cold, clean washcloth against the area. Then disinfect it with some rubbing alcohol, or better yet — use a spot treatment like SLMD’s BP Acne Spot Treatment or Salicylic Acid Spot Treatment to keep the area clean, prevent infection, and keep new blackheads and pimples from forming!
Make Some Last Minute Subs
If you’re struggling to replenish your usual skincare products, there are some extremely common substitutes to use in the meantime. If washing your hands constantly or wearing a mask is leaving you skin dry, Dr. Lee keeps a tube of Aquaphor Healing Ointment everywhere to give some concentrated moisture to dry patches. For larger areas of dry skin, try Eucerin Original Healing Hand Creme, which is inexpensive and fragrance-free to avoid exacerbating the dryness. For those of us who suffer from eczema or psoriasis flare ups, snag some 1% Hydrocortisone cream online or your local pharmacy. This mild steroid cream will work to reduce redness, itching and inflammation. To suit your specific skin concerns, ask your dermatologist how you can maintain your skin health while you’re waiting on your usual products!
Try Your Local Target
While you may not be able to get your favorite skincare staples delivered to you ASAP, many products may be available at your local drugstore. SLMD’s Acne System, which includes the Salicylic Acid Cleanser, Retinol Serum, BP Lotion and Facial Moisturizer, is available at select Target stores across the nation! Many SLMD products are also available separately, like Glycolic Acid Body Scrub, Glycolic Acid Body Lotion, BP Body Wash, and Hyaluronic Acid Serum, among others. Find a local target that carries SLMD Skincare and see what is available for pick up, or have it delivered to your door!
Treat Your Body Well
Eating junk food every once in a while won’t prevent you from having clear skin, but there are a few easy steps you can take to form healthy habits that will translate to your skin health. First and foremost, drink plenty of water. When drinking anything alcoholic, drink a glass of water in between each drink (you’ll thank us later:)). Also try to avoid sugary, alcoholic drinks which can lead to skin swelling. If you notice your skin is a bit puffy or swollen, load up on foods that are high in Vitamin A, such as carrots, squash and colorful veggies to restore your glow. Dr. Lee also recommends staying away from dairy, which has been linked to acne due to the hormones in dairy products. At the end of the day, be kind to your body, but don’t sweat the small stuff. As Dr. Lee says “the only way you’re going to get a pimple from eating pizza is if you rub the pizza over your face.”
This is also the perfect time to catch up on your sleep! Lack of sleep not only makes us feel bad, but it reflects in our skin as well. Over time, you’ll begin to see bags under the eyes, and your skin will look more sallow. Bottom line: when we feel bad, we don’t look our best. Get plenty of rest, so you wake feeling confident and refreshed. Your skin will follow your lead!
Skincare is a lifelong journey, so don’t worry if you have to switch up your routine for a few months! Try your best to stay committed to your skin health even if you’re waiting on your go-to products :)