Stop for a second and think about how you experience the world around you. A big part of this experience happens through your skin; it’s how you feel everything. As your biggest organ, that outer layer handles a lot. From sunlight to wind to cold temperatures to chemicals and more, your skin comes into contact with numerous things.
Is it any surprise, then, that your skin might have a problem every now and then? When that happens — especially when it’s unexpected or it hurts — it can feel like a 5-alarm fire. Your number one priority is likely finding relief for these exterior issues. To do that, you’ll need some help.
Having multiple tools in your skincare emergency kit is a great idea. Keep these six products on hand, and you’ll be prepared to get any skin problems under control.
1. Salicylic Acid
If you struggle with acne regularly, talk with your doctor about an acne treatment you can use daily. You might be lucky, though, and only get a zit every now and then. However, that often means when one does appear, it feels like a skin emergency.
Pimples can pop up at the worst times. To fight these individual breakouts, try an over-the-counter product that contains salicylic acid. This spot treatment works into your pores to fight the zit. It also reduces any soreness, redness, or irritation you might feel.
2. Cooling Eye Mask
Maybe you had a late night, or perhaps you’re not drinking enough water. Too much salty food could also be the culprit. Whatever the cause, when you look in the mirror, they are there. We’re talking about those dark, puffy bags under your eyes that make you look tired (and older, ack!).
Don’t worry. A cooling eye mask can help erase their appearance. Using one for just 5 minutes may be enough to constrict the blood vessels under your eyes. That reduces the inflammation, shrinking the bags to give you a fresher looking face.
Did you wake up to an angry zit or dark bags under your eyes with no medication or mask around? These are the times having concealer on hand is helpful. Even if you can’t completely get rid of these skin emergencies immediately, you can hide them.
Concealer goes a long way toward smoothing out your skin. Whether it’s a blemish, those perky dark circles, or even skin spots, this cream makes them less noticeable.
Choose a product that’s a close match to your skin tone. If you’re covering up dark spots, opt for one that’s a shade or two lighter than what you’re covering up. It will help mask the skin offenders and blend in with the rest of your skin.
It might be green and goopy but in a skin emergency, you’ll want a bottle of aloe within grabbing distance. Whether you’re treating a sunburn or a burn from your stove, aloe’s cooling sensation may offer relief. This product also has many other great uses for treating your skin.
Have you ever noticed discomfort and itchiness when small scratches heal? Aloe can alleviate these symptoms. Using aloe several times a day will speed up your healing and fight bacteria to prevent infection. It also helps keep scarring from cuts to a minimum.
Additionally, aloe is a good way to treat cold sores when they make an appearance. Just like with scratches, dabbing aloe on the spot with a cotton swab reduces pain and speeds up healing.
5. Lip Balm
You may think of chapped lips as mainly a winter problem. The truth is, this painful, burning issue happens frequently and at any time of year. Too much sun exposure or not drinking enough water might dry out your lips. Licking them in cold weather can also cause chaffing.
To prevent or heal sore, cracked lips, keep a lip balm in your pocket or bag. Look for products that use either cocoa butter or sunflower oil. Lip balms that contain hyaluronic acid are also effective for reducing dryness. Use it throughout the day to keep your lips healthy and soft.
6. Hand Cream
When you think of a skin emergency, it’s easy to picture your face. But if you think about it, a skin crisis can appear anywhere. In fact, your hands are a particularly vulnerable spot, so keep hand cream around.
Frequent hand washing (especially during a pandemic) and cold weather can also dry out your hands. Before you know it, that skin is red and irritated. It might even crack and flake, causing additional discomfort.
Applying hand cream several times during the day will help heal your skin. Remember to wash your hands with warm (not hot) water and use hand cream immediately after. This prevents cracking and keeps your hands soft and moisturized.
Your skin is the strongest and one of the most sensitive parts of your body — all at the same time. The slightest changes in your environment or daily regimen may create unwanted skin emergencies. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for them to go away on their own.
The trick is to stay prepared for anything that can happen. If you have a few products on hand, you’ll be ready for random skin issues. Keep these six types of products in your skincare kit so you’re prepared when any unwanted problems occur.