$15 ‘lifesaver’ product for bad skin
Bad skin days always seem to arrive at the most inconvenient moments.
Giant blind pimples, weird reactions to new products and gross flaky patches of skin love to show up just as we need our faces to look the best. It's wildly unfair.
It seems we've all developed our own versions of emergency skin rehab in an attempt to swiftly rectify dodgy skin days and ensure a quick return to glowing skin, or at least get things under control so we can get out and do what we need to do.
When skin gets overwhelmed, going back to basics is often what works best.
Forget the fancy serums with lots of active ingredients or tingly acid treatments. Sometimes what inflamed skin really needs is a few simple, gentle products - and to be left the hell alone.
So if you're like me and knee deep in a skin crisis, desperately waiting your skin to return to normal, here are five basic products to help you get there.
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CERAVE FOAMING CLEANSER
Available from: Chemist Warehouse
CeraVe is a simple American skincare brand, similar to Cetaphil, which recently launched in Australia.
Their products are super cheap and effective, plus CeraVe is always name-dropped in interviews with fancy dermatologists about their favourite skincare products.
I recently discovered this cleanser while trapped in a Google search hole, trying to find products that would cure the annoying patch of flaky, dry skin that had crept onto my chin.
I needed something gentle that would take my makeup off properly, but not strip the skin. Many "gentle" cleansers are lovely but don't actually get rid of dirt or clean the pores.
This cleanser is the best of both worlds and after a double cleanse my skin feels clean, but not dry. And best of all, my weird dry patch has completely disappeared. It's a total lifesaver.
CERAVE HYDRATING CLEANSER
Available from: Chemist Warehouse
This is the lighter version of the cleanser above and its consistency is very similar to Cetaphil's classic Gentle Cleanser.
It's great to use first thing in the morning, but it's not appropriate for use at night if you're trying to remove makeup, dirt and sweat. It doesn't have enough cut-through to do all of that.
GO-TO SKINCARE FACE HERO
Available from: Go-To's website and all Mecca stores
When skin is suffering from a reaction or feels very inflamed, the idea of applying our usual active serums containing ingredients like AHAs, vitamin C or retinol can feel like a bad idea.
Face oils are nourishing and hydrating, plus you don't have to bother with any other steps if you don't feel like it.
IMO, Face Hero is Go-To's best product and something I always find myself falling back on when my skin turns to shit.
It smells delicious and the concoction of different oils also give the skin a little brightening effect.
Pop on your eye cream at night and that's all you'll need to help restore your skin.
CLEAN AND CLEAR MOISTURISER
Available from: Woolworths, Coles, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse
This is the most basic moisturiser out there and the packaging is so ugly you'll want to hide it in your bathroom cabinet's bottom shame drawer, but it gets the job done.
It's very light, so if you have that annoying predicament where your skin is simultaneously oily but dehydrated, this is a good product that won't overload the skin and make it greasy, while still keeping you hydrated.
DERMALOGICA CHARCOAL RESCUE MASK
Available from: Mecca, Adore Beauty
OK, so I know we said no actives.
But this wet tube mask - that can be applied and removed in the shower - instantly gets rid of gross blackheads and those weird little white bumps that aren't quite pimples but sort of are (if you know, you know).
Try this mask the night before a big event if your skin is feeling super congested.
It contains charcoal, a natural detoxifying ingredient that helps draw out impurities from the skin, as well as AHAs.
You apply a thin layer onto dry, clean skin after cleansing and wait for a few minutes until it hardens. Then gently scrub away and enjoy that super fresh and clean skin feeling.
If you have a beauty question or product you'd like us to road test, DM on Instagram or tweet me.