Moisturize a flakey nose
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Nostrils can get red and flakey from all that blowing and wiping. Jamie Greenberg, Zyrtec celebrity makeup artist, likes to dab the dry area with a nice rich emollient or oil. One option is coconut oil—research in the International Journal of Dermatology found that it was an effective moisturizer for dry, inflamed skin. As for products, Greenberg likes Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream, formulated to soothe rough, cracked, and red skin. Or try Milk Makeup Hero Salve, packed with mega moisturizers like shea butter and jojoba and grape seed oils. Or try one of these homemade facial masks to moisturize your skin.
And prevent future redness
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“As old-fashioned as it sounds, a handkerchief may be kinder and gentler to your skin than facial tissues,” says Abigail Donnelly, MD, FAAD, dermatologist at Forefront Dermatology in Carmel, Indiana. “No matter how many ‘soothing moisturizers’ the manufacturers claim to put in their product, you are still essentially rubbing your face with finely ground wood!” she says. Overtime, all that rubbing action irritates. Go for one made from cotton, silk, or linen.
Sport a hat and shades
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For one, you’ll disguise red eyes and take the focus off puffy skin, but wearing a cute broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses serves a bigger purpose: “It will reduce the amount of pollen that gets blown into the face and eyes that triggers symptoms,” says Dr. Donnelly. Another bonus? Extra sun protection. These are other natural ways to reduce allergy symptoms.
Cover up allergy “shiners”
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It may look as if you got clocked in the eye, but nope, those dark circles are courtesy of your allergies. Start with a good eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump undereye skin, says Dr. Donnelly. A well-moisturized eye area allows concealers to glide on smoothly. Speaking of concealer, you’ll want to grab one that’s orange-based. “It will cancel out the blue tones under eyes,” says Greenberg.
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What you put into your body is just as important as any concealer or moisturizer you’d put on skin. “Once your skin is swollen, you can improve the situation,” says Dr. Donnelly. “Staying well hydrated keeps mucous thin and prevents further congestion, which can help decrease puffiness,” she says. On the flip side, avoid things that will dehydrate you, like alcohol and excess salt, which exacerbates symptoms. Here are clever tips to stay hydrated (without guzzling water).
Hide red eyes
When eyes are red, itchy, and burning, you have eye allergies. Artificial tears and short-term use of decongestant eye drops can help ease symptoms, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, but you’ve also got to mind your eye makeup. “Less is more when you’re dealing with red eyes,” says Greenberg. A swipe or two of mascara is sufficient. To prevent it from running down your face when your eyes water, use a regular mascara as the first coat, then seal it in with a coat of waterproof mascara, says Greenberg. “Then take the focus off the eyes and wear a bold lip,” she says.
Go for mild
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When your skin is angry from allergies, you want to baby it with a light hand. “The more products—washers, toners, lotions, treatments—that are applied to sensitive skin, the more chances for increasing irritation,” says Dr. Donnelly. Opt for cool water, mild cleansers, and basic moisturizers. You’ll be back to your pretty self in no time. These are beauty products dermatologists wish you would stop using.