VOGUE BEAUTY, May 2014
Around the same time the neighborhood squirrels get that come-hither look in their eyes each spring, I simultaneously wake to find that my unsexy seasonal allergy symptoms have manifested very visibly on my face. It’s a sort of bee-stung effect that has left me, for decades, merely surviving the month of April. I figured it was high time I learned to live with allergies, and make my visage none the wiser. Leaving no stone unturned, I talked with a nutritionist, a facialist, a dermatologist, and an Ayurvedic practioner for every necessary trick to de-puffing and refreshing in even the highest of pollen counts. Here is everything I learned about getting your face and head back in working order:
• Start your day with a shower to not only wash away the allergens that have settled on your body overnight, but to also break up the mucus that has likely taken up occupancy in your sinuses with a good steam. According to the New York City–based facialist Georgia Louise,you can do a full body rinse as many times a day as you please, which I prefer to interpret as the perfect excuse for booking an afternoon at my local bathhouse, Aire Ancient Baths in Tribeca.
• The same logic applies to washing your face. Try switching to an extra gentle cleanser—likeEve Lom’s essential oil–based formula or Louise’s Hydrating Rose Water—that have moisturizing ingredients to avoid over-drying. Afterward, with your sinuses warmed up, give your face a lymphatic drainage massage by applying light pressure with your fingertips to sweep in upward and outward motions, focused on the sinuses. It will feel extra relieving when done using Louise’s own rose quartz Lift + Sculpt Butterfly Stone, which can be cooled in the refrigerator (or freezer) in between uses and comes with illustrations for replicating her sought-after technique. “Two to three minutes of facial massage will make all the difference in de-puffing your skin and working toxins out of your face morning and night,” she says. “You can even do it while you rub in your moisturizer.” While you’re in front of the mirror, the New York City–based Ayurvedic practitioner Pratima Raichur recommends massaging the inside of your nostrils with sesame oil to cleanse your sinuses and nourish your body.
• Next, zero in on the eyes. Louise recommends making a batch of green-tea ice cubes that can be massaged onto your closed eyelids to soothe itchiness and inflammation. Follow this with redness and itch-relieving eye drops, which should remain on your person at all times. I prefer Rohto’s Cool drops, because its formula features menthol that cools on contact. Once you’ve tried them, there is no going back.