How To Survive a Bad Skin Day

How To Survive a Bad Skin Day

Bad skin days suck. Breakouts suck, and so do those dry patches. Can we all agree on this one?

I’ve struggled so much with my skin in the past, I’ve always felt jealous when someone said “OMG I’m having such a bad skin day” while having a microscopic pimple on their chin. I’d think to myself “bad skin day? Really? I have more of bad skin life.” Nowadays, my skin is definitely doing much better than it did in my early twenties, but I still get occasional breakouts or experience awful dryness/redness once in a while. The good news is, they don’t freak me out nearly as much as they did.


For dehydrated skin

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask. These sheet masks are great for dealing with dry-looking, tired skin. A fusion of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids revitalizes and moisturizes skin, leaving it feeling soft, smooth and nourished. You can easily use these (or any other sheet masks) in the morning while getting ready. After I’m done, I like to gently pat the remaining essence into my skin. Face mists are also great for that quick relief.

For dull skin and clogged pores

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel (Extra Strength Formula). This peel has been a staple in my routine for a few years now. They help with dull skin but also with acne marks, clogged pores and sudden breakouts. My acne-prone skin seriously loves these and I never let myself run out of them. Don’t let the “extra-strength formula” scare you off- my skin never stings, burns or feels irritated after using these. They also come in the original, less intense formula. REN Flash Rinse 1-Minute Facial is also great for a quick pick-me-up for your skin.

Another quick thing I do when my skin looks dull is to put some ice and cold water in a giant bowl and submerge my face in it for 10 seconds. I do this 3-4 times. It tightens the skin and helps with redness and puffiness. This is probably one of the very first beauty “hacks” I’ve ever learned and it seriously works. If you didn’t get enough sleep, had too much to drink the night before or your skin is looking tired and puffy for any other reason- try doing this.



When having a “bad skin” day, I suggest you stay away from full coverage foundations as they can sometimes accentuate small imperfections. Instead, go for something very lightweight with less coverage. I always keep my makeup to a bare minimum when experiencing sudden breakouts or dryness. I always felt like caking it up only makes my skin feel and look worse than it actually does. Trust me, you’ll look much better if you have a little breakout showing through here and there, than if you cake up on your concealer, 3 layers of foundation and powder. Concealer is definitely your best friend on bad skin days, but always remember to work in thin layers- both with your concealer and your foundation. L’Oreal’s True Match foundation is great for this. It doesn’t provide a whole lot of coverage, but it’s enough to battle occasional redness, it feels incredibly light and natural on the skin. It also works great with dry skin. Clarins True Radiance is awesome too. I also love this tinted moisturizer/foundation from Guerlain– wish it wasn’t so highly fragranced, but it makes my skin look SO beautiful.


Nothing works better for me for sudden breakouts than Tazorac– even when it comes to those painful cystic acne breakouts, it heals them overnight. Literally. A great over-the-counter product for cystic breakouts is this Buffering Lotion from Mario Badescu. I’ve used it for years and always travel with a bottle of this, in case of a skin emergency. I also love Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask. It’s great for dealing with those minor breakouts. I use it both as a spot and an all-over treatment.


Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil is my answer to dry skin. If I could, I’d bathe in this stuff. When I apply this on my skin- especially when it feels dry- it’s like a drink of cold water on a hot, sweaty, summer day. It brings instant relief to dry skin and leaves it feeling super smooth.  If I am planning on wearing makeup I stay away from oils and instead, I apply a thick layer of Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and gently blot the excess with a tissue. It’s the best thing ever, for dry skin. It’s rich, thick, creamy and most importantly, fragrance-free so it won’t irritate your skin. I wouldn’t have survived those last couple of months being on antibiotics, Tazorac, Acanya and Retin-A Micro, if it wasn’t for this cream. My skin was peeling, it was red, burning, irritated and the Cetaphil cream seriously saved my life along with this essence.


Every single time I read an interview or a beauty article about someone with great skin, one question always keeps coming up: “what’s your secret?” and the answer is always the same: “honestly, I just drink a lot of water, blah blah blah.” Will water magically smooth out your wrinkles or heal your acne overnight? No. BUT, if you drink lots of water on a regular basis your skin will thank you, trust me. Whenever I’m too busy during the day to either eat right or happen to drink too much tea or coffee, I always make sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day. This alone helps my skin look better, even if I happen to be exhausted and/or had barely any sleep (and trust me, lack of sleep is one thing that will always show on your skin).


At the end of the day, remember that while you might not be able to keep your eyes off those small, occasional imperfections, no one else pays much attention to them. A pimple is just a pimple, it will heal and it will eventually go away, so try not to stress about that sucker too much.

I’d also recommend that you stay away from trying new products when you’re having a “bad skin” unless you patch-test them first!

How about you guys? Do you have any other tips for dealing with those bad skin days?


  • Reply
    September 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I’ve always opt for a sheet mask too for rescuing my troubled skin :)

    Oh Dear Bumblebees

  • Reply
    Kim Petersen
    September 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Im lucky in that I’ve never suffered too bad from breakouts but i have wanted to incorporate a peel into my routine for some time but they always sounded frightening. This one sounds like it’s good, thanks for sharing! Happy weekend! XO – Kim

  • Reply
    Zoe Mountford
    September 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I wish I could use coconut for my dryer skin but I am allergic, I here it is so good for you though! x

    Zoe Mountford x

  • Reply
    Ambar Syed
    September 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Lots of great product recommendations in this post! I need to pick up the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer when I go to Canada in October. I’ve heard Cetaphil are a great brand for sensitive skin too!
    – Ambar x

  • Reply
    Katie S.
    September 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I always turn to masks. I stockpile all sorts of different ones so I have something for every type of bad skin day. I also find that when we change seasons my skin freaks out. I just ride it out and use a spot treatment until it all clears itself up!

  • Reply
    tia katarina
    September 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    This is such a helpful mask, I’ve been having such bad breakouts since I swopped pills but I’m hoping it’ll ease up soon. I love the sound of this Dr. Dennis product, I haven’t heard of it before but I must give it a try. I know what you mean about the lighter coverage foundations, I tend to just use a tined moisturiser on bad skin days.

    Tia | The 10am Blog

  • Reply
    September 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve wanted to try Mario Badescu for so long now!
    Kathy x

  • Reply
    Jasmine Secret
    September 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I have been having really bad breakouts lately ;.;

  • Reply
    September 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Interesting tips love, always enjoy your view points :) I definitely have to wear a full face makeup when I have bad skin, it’s just something I have to do for myself haha especially since my skin it’s not just one or two bad little spots, it’s like a buuunch of things all together (from red discoloration, PIH, acne, etc). Plus having very oily skin makes it even worse :( makes me wish I had dry skin in these cases haha maybe I could wear lighter makeup! SK-II masks sound so nice, I need that money tree so I can buy a bunch of them! haha


    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 11, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Mika! I have naturally extremely oily skin and the only reason I’m so dry now is because of all the acne meds I take and use on my skin. That’s why when my acne was bad I couldn’t pile on makeup because I was so oily literally nothing would keep it from melting off haha ;) It gets just so uncomfortable, I’d rather go for a lighter coverage. Or, I just wouldn’t leave the house- seriously my skin was horrible. Cystic acne was so bad I couldn’t even sleep because it hurt when my face would touch the pillow. God am I happy those days are gone!! I was miserable haha ;)

      • Reply
        September 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm

        Oh that’s right! I keep forgetting we kind of have the same skin type. Yeah when you’re just so oily, makeup won’t stay on! That’s how I am this whole summer here in SoCal, I’ve barely worn any makeup haha well, also helps that I haven’t gone out much but the times I have I’ve tried to cover up as much as I can while also being kind of light at the same time or else I’ll just be an oily mess! Yeah I’ve struggled with very bad acne all of my life, so I hear you! I’m Miss Cake Face honestly I take that title lol!!!

        I’m so glad your skin is better, you’re a beautiful woman so you deserve to have beautiful skin <333333

        • Reply
          Paula @
          September 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

          hahaha I’m sure you’re not a Miss Cake Face lol! Stop it! Ugh I know acne sucks so badly, it’s crazy that my skin is clearing up just now, at 27. Aww thank you so much Mika! Now I just need to work on getting rid of my scars lol :)

  • Reply
    Caked To The Nines
    September 11, 2016 at 5:26 am

    I will definitely be checking out these skincare products for sure! My skin has gotten better, but it’s still not at the level I want. I totally feel you! I hate when someone says they are having a bad skin day and it’s one tiny pimple. I just sit there like oh… okay. LOL

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Haha yes! Most of my friends who complain about their skin look flawless without makeup. I’m always like “shut up, you don’t know shit about bad skin” haha ;)

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Ever since I hit puberty I’ve had bad skin. Now that I’m 22 it’s much better, but still not perfect (will it ever be…?). I’m always looking for products to help with my acne and scarring, so thank you for this article! It’s so useful, I’ll definitely be checking out some of the products you mentioned (oh and drink water.. haha!) xx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

      You will get there! I’m 27 and my skin is just starting to clear up now! Cutting out dairy and meat really helped my skin, too!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Monforton
    September 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I’m in the same boat- I’ve had breakouts for the past 20 years- much better now, but I still know what a real ‘bad skin day’ looks like! I really love the Eve Lom Rescue Mask and I should really give that REN 1-Min Facial a try! :)

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    How apt this post is for me atm! My skin has suddenly disobeyed me – I think it’s probably a mix of hormonal and maybe reaction to new products but I’ll definitely be trying some of your suggestions, and upping my water intake – I’m useless at getting enough to drink! Thanks for sharing


  • Reply
    Sandra Silva
    September 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    I need that SK-II mask for sure! My skin is so dehydrated after my summer holiday, I can actually feel it!

  • Reply
    Jasmine Harding
    September 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Such a great post lovely and so many amazing product recommendations! I love using hydrating products on bad skin days and swear by the Mario drying lotion for blemishes!

    Jasmine | xx

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    September 12, 2016 at 3:11 am

    I’d say my go to method is chocolate ice cream, but then again, it does not really help much, does it?

  • Reply
    Margaux White
    September 12, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Thank you for these tips! I’m going through really bad periods of this and it is so frustrating to wait for my skin to get back to normal ? will give a try to few of your gems! x
    Margaux ・

  • Reply
    The Gossip Darling
    September 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Excellent post!!! My skin is horrible!! I am one of those people who layers on the foundation when I have a breakout and it’s not good. I need to also wear less makeup during the warmer months.

    Mel |

  • Reply
    Jasmine Talks Beauty
    September 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I always reach for the REN Flash Rinse when my skin looks dull or lacklustre! I also try to drink as much water as possible :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  • Reply
    Danielle Beautyblog
    September 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Bad skin days are the bane of my life! I drink a lot of water when I’m at work then tend to forget about it when I’m at home so need to be more regular with it! Definitely try to use old favourites when I have a break out too at risk of making it worse!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • Reply
    Ela BellaWorld
    September 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Having a breakout is one thing then when you also end up having dry patches, everything gets out of control! Whenever season changes, my skin starts acting up too and with one mistake, I end up having the worst skin day ever! Drinking plenty amount of water really helps with keeping the skin hydrated and radiant looking, tea or coffee, they don’t count as water some people don’t seem to understand that :) Also totally agree with staying away from high coverage foundations when you have a bad day, it would be the worst decision :)

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 13, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Oh yes, coffee does the opposite instead of hydrating skin haha ;) I used to love going for full coverage foundations- but sometimes even that doesn’t help haha :)

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