Unless you're from a planet where people look perfect all the time, you've had at least one midday beauty mishap in your life. You know what we're talking about: You go to the restroom and discover a pimple – no, a volcano – has erupted on your cheek. Or your eyebrows have decided that dry skin is "in" this season. Or your forehead is so oily people can probably see their reflections in it.
And there you are, in a public restroom without any of your usual beauty fix-it tools. What's a gal to do?
Fret not. American Academy of Dermatology-certified dermatologists Mary Lupo, MD, and Camila Krysicka Janniger, MD, are here to share simple, clever ways to troubleshoot common beauty issues on the fly using everyday items you can find almost anywhere.
1. Dry Skin
Despite treating your skin to a healthy dollop of oil-free moisturizer in the morning, you might find your face getting dry –– or even worse, flaky –– during the day. Annoying, yes, but it's natural for that morning moisturizer to wear off after a while, especially if you work in an air-conditioned office.
Instead of trying to scrub the dry flakes off your forehead, nose, and cheeks (which can cause irritation and redness), Dr. Lupo recommends giving your face a "quick water splash followed by a lotion massage for 20 to 30 seconds." Gently massaging your skin with lotion, baby oil or even a tiny drop of olive oil will remove flakes and hydrate it for a few hours, tiding you over until your nighttime beauty routine.
2. Oily Skin
Battling shine is a 24/7 job for people with oily skin, but there's a solution if you happen to run out of blotting paper: Vegetables. "Apply cucumber juice or lemon juice mixed with a little water or both together in equal amounts to your face," Dr. Janniger recommends. "After a few minutes, wash off."
Leftover oatmeal can also be useful. Just cook it, cool it, and wash your face with it. Even more brilliant, says Dr. Janniger, is keeping an aloe vera plant on your desk: "You can cut a leaf and squeeze a little juice from it to apply to oily skin."
But if you don't have time for a food face wash, try this simple-but-brilliant beauty hack: Grab a toilet seat cover found in most bathroom stalls, rip off a small piece and use it to blot your face just like you would with regular blotting papers. No toilet seat covers? Dr. Lupo recommends simply splashing your face with water and blotting with a tissue. It's not exactly a facial, but it'll do the trick.
3. Blotchy Skin
Red, blotchy skin typically crops up thanks to sudden temperature changes. It can easily be covered by makeup, but what happens when your foundation is nowhere to be found? Tea bags! Avoiding heat and sun exposure is the best way to reduce redness, Lupo says, but cool compresses with chamomile tea can help in a pinch.
It's also important to avoid hot beverages that cause flushing (especially caffeinated ones), as well as alcohol and spicy foods. Janniger suggests drinking lots of ice water –– a good health and beauty tip regardless of your situation.
4. Puffy Eyes
When your eyes puff up after a night of poor sleep, it's another good time to turn to tea. That's right, it wakes you up and reduces puffy under-eye circles. "Soak tea bags in hot water, then allow them to cool and place them over both eyes for five to 10 minutes," Janniger says.
You can also use slices of cold cucumbers or even an ice cube wrapped in a tissue, Lupo suggests. Hold it under the eye for one to two minutes until puffiness is ancient history.
And if you seem to always suffer from dark and puffy eye circles, it's time to reduce your salt intake and up the H2O, Janniger says.
5. Pop-up Pimples
We've all been there: Your skin looks great all day, and then, without warning, there's a giant pimple that looks like it has plans to take over your entire face. Janniger's solution? In-office "cryotherapy!" Apply an ice cube or a mixture of lemon juice mixed with honey directly on the pimple. Useful and delicious.