Have Allergies? These 7 Beauty Tricks Might Be Life-Changing

Updated: Dec. 17, 2020

Skin experts reveal how your makeup routine can help mask common allergy symptoms, from a red, itchy nose to puffy eyes

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Hide those allergy eyes

The warmer months are fast approaching, and with flowers and trees blooming, spring is in the air. And so is pollen. If you struggle with allergies, you’re probably familiar with spring allergy symptoms, like sneezing, itchiness, and puffiness, that can take a toll on your appearance.

So, how do you care for your skin while experiencing allergies? You’ll need to update your beauty and makeup regimen. We spoke with skin experts who share their skincare tips and tricks to mask your allergy symptoms.

coconut oil
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Moisturize a flakey nose


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Nostrils can get red and flakey from all that blowing and wiping. Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg likes to dab the dry area with a nice rich emollient or oil. One option is coconut oil—a 2014 study published 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 ($20), formulated to soothe rough, cracked, and red skin. Or try Milk Makeup Hero Salve ($19), 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.

white handkerchiefs
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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, 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. Over time, all that rubbing action irritates. Go for one made from cotton, silk, or linen.

sun hat

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.

neutrogena hydro boost gel cream
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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.

takeya water bottle
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Battle puffiness


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What you put into your body is just as important as any concealer or moisturizer you’d put on your skin. “Once your skin is swollen, you can improve the situation,” says Dr. Donnelly. “Staying well-hydrated keeps mucus 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. Keep a water bottle—like this well-reviewed 18-ounce Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle filled and at your side at all times. Here are clever tips to stay hydrated (without guzzling water).

lumify for red eyes
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Hide red eyes


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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. Here’s how to tell if your red eyes are a sign of eyelid dermatitis.

cetaphil facial moisturizer
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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.