I’m not sure what the weather is like where you are but, for much of the US, spring has officially sprung! The ground has thawed, trees and flowers are in bloom, and it’s only a matter of time before we hear that familiar buzzing of bees. But with the change of seasons (and those bees) comes an unwelcome guest: seasonal allergies. And if you’re one of the estimated 35 million Americans who experience hay fever, you know that it’s not only miserable for your sinuses and throat, but it can make you look like, and feel like, you haven’t slept in days.
The hallmark symptoms of hay fever are easily recognized: itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, sneezing, and a runny nose. The symptoms are similar to the common cold, but are triggered by seasonal pollen conditions rather than by a virus. Allergists recommend staying indoors during high pollen-count days, keeping doors and windows closed, and keeping your home free of pollen dust by vacuuming carpets, cleaning furniture, and filtering the air. But, who wants to stay inside on a day like today!? If you can bear it, it might be worth popping an over-the-counter antihistamine and braving the world. Before you do, though, make sure you put your best face forward by following these few quick steps:
- Wash your face. This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Pollen is airborne and can stick to eyebrows, lashes, and, yes, even skin. One easy way to minimize your direct exposure to pollen is to wash it off!
- Pay attention to the ingredients in your cosmetics. If you are prone to seasonal allergies, you may also be susceptible to cosmetic allergies. Check the labels of the products you buy and save the “toxic” ingredients for a different time of year.
- Keep it simple and pure. When seasonal allergies are at their worst, give your skin a break. Skip the heavy foundation and, instead, choose a loose powder base like Jane Iredale’s Amazing Base Loose Minerals. For itchy eyes, choose a natural hue for liner and shadow and skip the mascara entirely. Then, opt for a light, clear lip gloss instead of your usual lipstick. (You won’t have to re-apply every time you blow your nose!)
- Smile. Yes, smile. Even if your head is aching and your nose won’t stop dripping, a smiling face works wonders for your outlook–and for the way others see you! Don’t let your seasonal allergies keep you from facing the day with your best face forward.
Pro Tip: When you see the first symptoms of hay fever, pop a small vial of eyedrops in your makeup bag or purse. If you notice your eyes are getting itchy or red, a few small drops will work like magic to clear the discomfort.