No matter how diligent you are about caring for your skin day-to-day with your regular regimen for your skin type, there will always be that one time you forgot to pack every skin essential before jetting off to your travel destination. I know it’s certainly happened to me before. For those instances that you may have forgotten something or have run out without realizing it, there are some quick ways to “sub in” products without compromising your skin’s healthy and integrity. Try these commonly found “swaps” that will see you through until you can get back to your favorites.
Forgot eye makeup remover? Try clear lip balm or gloss for removing mascara, eyeliner and shadows.
Removing makeup at the end of the day is crucial in keeping skin healthy so you don’t want to skip this step. The emollients and oils used in lip balm and gloss can effectively break down eye makeup and mascara. Using your fingertip, wipe your finger over a clear lip balm (your body temperature in your fingers will help to melt it quickly) until you get a good coating. Next, wipe it over the lids and onto upper and lower lashes. Dampen a cotton pad with warm water, and wipe over eyes until all makeup is removed. *This can also be used with a clear lip gloss.
Forgot an acne spot treatment? Try vodka – yes, vodka.
The goal with any blemish is to dry out the infection to get it to heal more quickly. On clean skin, dip a q-tip directly into vodka and apply directly onto a blemish and let dry. Cheers to clear skin!
Out of moisturizer? Try an eye cream.
In a pinch, eye cream can be used (sparingly) as a night moisturizer. Eye creams are formulated with moisturizing agents to keep the eye area moist, but these properties will serve its purpose to keep the face hydrated. Note: Since some eye creams are also loaded with active anti-aging ingredients like peptides and certain vitamin combinations designed to increase the metabolism of aging cells, for younger skin types where the metabolism is already active, it could be too stimulating and increase sensitivity or breakouts. Be sure not to use longer than five days and if sensitivity occurs, discontinue use.
Short on body lotion? Hair conditioner works as a substitute.
Especially after shaving, it’s important to use moisturizer to prevent moisture evaporation and to soften and soothe the skin on the body. Most well-formulated hair conditioners contain many oils, hydrators and emollients like shea butter, argan oil, glycerin, panthenol and jojoba oil all which can be beneficial for moisturizing the skin—in a pinch. Wet your fingertips and apply the size of a dime to the hands and rub together before applying to the body. Water will dilute it to a thinner consistency to prevent unnecessary stickiness.
Used the last of your cleanser? A hot towel wrap with olive oil can be used place of a face cleanser.
Clean skin is healthy skin. You literally cannot skip cleansing if you want great skin, especially at night when you have a day’s worth of grime and makeup clogging pores. Here’s a great substitute for a gentle facial cleanser that uses olive oil and hot towel. Massage a nickel-sized amount of olive oil onto the entire the face and let it sit for 90 seconds. Next, fill a sink with hot water and a hand towel. Ring towel out well and hold to face with pressure for 60 seconds. As you remove the towel, gently wipe over face to remove any greasy residue. Skin should feel soft, clean and refreshed. Olive oil gently dissolves dirt, debris and makeup.
So there you have it. Some quick skin substitutes for those forgetful times in life!
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”