Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Allergy Emergency

I love spring time. I don’t love all of the pollen it brings. Many of us, especially in the South, suffer from seasonal allergies. Runny nose, scratchy throat and red eyes are not the best look. So here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up to help you combat those histamines your body is producing and to help look your best through it. Allergy season: one of the few times when my medical training and beauty training coincide. 

          Five Tricks to Look Good During Allergy Season

  1. The best way to fight seasonal allergic rhinitis is to prevent it by regularly use an antihistamine. My favorite is Allegra (fexofenadine) because it doesn’t make you drowsy, since it doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. (And here's a $5 off coupon for it!) Most antihistamines can cause dry mouth, so make sure you stay hydrated!
  2. Puffy eyes? Keep a couple of spoons in your freezer and place the rounded/convex part over your eyes for a few minutes, until they’re no longer cool, in the morning to help reduce the swelling. You can also steep a couple of green tea bags in cool water for a few minutes and apply a tea bag to each eye for about 10 minutes to reduce that puffed up look.
  3.   Red, itchy eyes? Rohto eye drops are great to combat redness and they make whites of your eyes look whiter. Side note: they have a bit of a tingle when you put them in.
    Another great strategy is to use a flesh toned eye pencil to rim your lower waterline. Using a white pencil can actually enhance the red and make it look worse. So to balance it, use something close to your skin tone. I love the Wonder Pencil from NYX and it’s only $4.50.
    Eye redness busters

  4. Red, chapped nose? I hear ya, sister. Soothe your schnoz by dabbing a little Egyptian Magic on it nightly before bed. This is a bedtime ritual that I’ve gotten my husband, the constant-nose-blower-who-is-allergic-to-absolutely-everything, to adopt too and it has helped tremendously in keeping the chapped nose look at bay in our house.
  5. Dark circles? This can affect people due to all sorts of reasons – genetics, lack of sleep, allergies. If it’s allergy related (I know mine tend to get worse during this time of year), an antihistamine should help. And a little concealer definitely helps. Use a salmon/pink toned one to neutralize the blues and purples of dark circles. I love Erase Paste by Benefit applied before foundation.

And now a little controversy: what about local honey? This is a suggestion I’ve heard quite a few times. Local, raw honey can contain some trace amounts of pollen from the bees that make it, in theory “immunizing” you against those irritants, kind of like allergy shots. However, according the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, this is not necessarily true and studies have shown little difference between those allergy sufferers who use raw honey and those who don’t. However, if you don’t have any allergy/adverse reactions to honey, drizzle over fruit and yogurt or use in a smoothie. My mom swears by it. The ACAAI does not. But now you’re educated on it, so you can make your own informed decision.
I like honey, so I still use it. And either I've convinced myself that it helps, or maybe it really does help. Just don’t give raw, natural honey to infants; there’s a risk with botulism there.
These little tricks have served me well over the past few years in helping me feel better and not look like a gross snot monster during allergy season. Hope they help you, too! Do you have any tried and true tricks to get you through spring allergies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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