How to Alleviate (Almost) Any Skin Ailment in 5 Minutes or Less

Because pimples and flaky skin tend to show up at the most inopportune moments.

How to Alleviate (Almost) Any Skin Ailment in 5 Minutes or Less

The funny thing about skin is that it rarely cooperates. Or, sometimes it does for just long enough (3 weeks, maybe?) to give you that incomparable, give-up-anything-for-it, great-skin high. But the minute you have anything even remotely important going on—you know, other than a Netflix date with your cat/couch—it’s game over. Oh, so, you’ve got plans with Bumble guy #15, whose bio, unlike the other trolls, didn’t elicit an eye-roll? Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news—but unless you’re somehow immune to stress and cortisol and all the fun stuff it does to our complexions (i.e. redness, dry spots, pimples of every nature), odds are, some type of skin ailment will conveniently arise beforehand. So we had to ask: Wouldn’t you guys like to have a few fail-safe, fast-acting tricks up your Rag & Bone sleeve for when you literally have like, five minutes to do damage control? (We’ll just assume you’re all silently screaming, ‘yassss!’) Well, us too.

Thus, we did what we do best. We brought in backup—or in this case, five industry experts (a.k.a. fairy godparents) to divulge their best, crunched-for-time skincare secrets. We’re not trying to fool anyone: we know, and so do the below derms and experts, that good skincare is a long game, but the next time you have a potentially life-altering event lined up, and a hulk of a pimple decides to sprout mere minutes prior, the good news is you’ll know exactly what to do.




“[A] facial massage helps to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage, which can reduce blotchiness and redness. Look for products containing soothing ingredients like stem cells, aloe vera, chamomile extract, soy and oat extract.”— Dr. Lancer, celebrity dermatologist and founder of Lancer Skincare


“Directly apply a warm milk compress to calm the skin, it acts as a vasoconstrictor for the blood vessels.”—Dr. Howard Sobel, aesthetic dermatologist and founder of DDF Skincare


“If your skin is inflamed, red, or breaking out, you should always apply your products in a downwards motion on the face, towards the sides of the neck. This encourages lymphatic drainage and brings down redness immediately.”—Joanna Vargas, celebrity esthetician and founder of Joanna Vargas Skincare



Big Pores

“I always tell people they should do a DIY mask before they do their makeup. It’s very easy to use kitchen ingredients on the face and if you are using fresh ingredients they will work quicker. Leave a mask (1/2 cup yogurt, ½ cup mashed strawberries, ¼ cup honey) for five minutes and your skin will be glowing!”—Joanna Vargas


“The quickest way to “shrink” pores is by dissolving the dirt and sebum with something like salicylic acid.  Try using a salicylic acid based exfoliant on warm, damp skin, followed by a salicylic acid cleanser.”—Dr. Lancer



—Dry Patches—

“Dry patches can be treated using a hydrating facial mask or aloe.”—Shani Darden, celebrity esthetician and founder of Shani Darden Skincare.


“To quickly remedy rough or scaly skin, massage a teaspoon of olive oil or grapeseed oil over the entire complexion.  Apply a hot towel to the face, and relax for about a minute.  Gently wipe away the excess oil with the towel, and follow with a gentle, physical exfoliation. Cleanse skin with a non-foaming, non-drying cleanser and pat dry. Add a few drops of your oil to your usual moisturizer and gently massage in to skin. Your complexion should feel hydrated, soft and supple.”—Dr. Lancer



Inflamed Blemishes

“Dabbing hydrocortisone on an irritated pimple or whitehead helps reduce redness and inflammation.”—Shani Darden

“You can reduce the redness of an irritated pimple by applying a few drops of Visine on a cotton ball. A whitehead can be gently opened up and a dab of salicylic acid based cover up which will conceal and heal.”—Dr. Howard Sobel


“A quick fix for a pimple is dab a bit of yogurt onto it. The lactic acid along with the probiotics will clam it and heal it fast!”—Joanna Vargas



A Shiny T-Zone

“I would use the Éminence Organics sunscreen powder to eliminate oiliness. It's great because it contains zinc which eliminates the excess oil without signaling the skin to produce more oil.”—Joanna Vargas


“Use a glycolic acid pad (5%) and wipe directly on skin.”—Dr.  Howard Sobel



Pronounced Fine Lines

“Treating and lessening the appearance of pronounced fine lines and wrinkles usually takes serious dedication in daily skincare, but if you have a big event you want to look great for, a lifting sheet mask is an excellent option. Sheet masks are designed to deeply infuse the skin with hydration, which helps to plump skin cells in the epidermis. The result is an immediately smoothed and lifted appearance. “—Dr. Lancer


“A 5 minute solution to correct fine lines or wrinkles would be to use a good moisturizer with Hyaluronic acid as the major ingredient. It holds 1000X its weight in water so it will immediately plump the skin. Make sure to apply to damp skin for maximum results. I also recommend using a product with glycerin such as DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer that deflects the light, and ultimately hides the appearance of the wrinkles.”—Dr. Howard Sobel


“I use my Exfoliating Mask. I love it because you can even use it around the eye area to address fine lines and it really makes the skin look fresh.”—Joanna Vargas




“Exfoliate dry dull skin away, leaving a refreshed complexion. Then apply a few drops of a good face oil — this will give skin an INSTANT glow. Look for flax seed oil. Follow with a brightening serum that contains daisy flowers or lactic acid.”—Sonya Dakar, founder of the Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic and Sonya Dakar Skincare


“Increase circulation by washing the skin in a circular motion with a washcloth or use a battery operated device such as the DDF Revolve 500X.”—Dr. Howard Sobel


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