This is kind of the prequel for my post about my heavy-duty skin saver, Sisley Black Rose Cream Musk. In the midst of a skin emergency, when there's a specific and very visible skin issue, I resort to these six more-or-less quick fixes. A flaky patch, a welt-like redness, clogged pores, and actual breakouts-- here's what I use. Some of these have active ingredients that might not suit everyone. Take it into account, especially if you already know that salicylic acid does your skin more harm than good.
3M Nexcare Acne Care
Probably the weirdest product in my arsenal. These are round little stickers that you put on a fully developed pimple. The sticker draws the icky stuff out and deflates the zit withing hours. Once done, remove the sticker and apply a calming product or the BHA lotion below. Available from Asian markets that have a drugstore area, but easiest to just buy through Amazon or eBay, priced at $6-$8 for a box of 36.
Paula's Choice 2% BHA Lotion
This is basically a very mild exfoliant with the benefit of salicylic acid that gets into the pores and cleans them out. Somehow, it also calms red patches and deals with flakes around the nose, making sure nothing unsightly develops there. ($22, 3.3 oz paulaschoice.com)
Time Laboratories Argiletz French Green Clay 8 oz clay (not pictured because I forgot to grab it).
This is actually a dietary supplement that you're supposed to mix into water and drink, but I and many others use it as a clarifying and calming mask. A thick paste is more absorbent but also drying, so I create a more diluted mixture that doesn't strip my skin but does clarify and helps with inflamed red patches ($11 on Amazon).
Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum
Mario Badescu offers some stronger products to deal with serious breakouts (some people swear by the buffering lotion), but I'm not a fan due to smell and extreme drying effect that is harder to treat than an occasional breakout. However, this salicylic acid gel (2%) does the job and simply gets rid of bumpy areas and flakes. ($20, 1oz, at Nordstrom, Ulta, and mariobadescu.com).
Hummingbird Ranch Propolis Skin Cream
I already reviewed this one in detail, but must include it here because it's my ultimate remedy for just about everything. As thick and balmy as this cream is, it never clogs my pores. On the contrary: it seems to prevent impending doom if I apply it soon enough. It's a wonderfully effective natural anti-inflammatory. ($7.50 humminbirdranch.biz).
Jason Natural Cosmetics Pure Natural Hyper-C Serum Anti-Aging Daily Spot Treatment
Vitamin C is the answer for a multitude of skin issues, but is especially effective when you're trying to restore clarity once the skin freakout has subsided. This gel is sticky and smells of a sweet orange (it contains fragrance), but is basically an enriched aloe leaf juice that's packed with botanicals that as long as you're not allergic to any of them will help skin perk up quickly ($36.95 on drugstore.com. Press sample).