When your allergies are in full bloom, are you tempted to hide inside until your most visible symptoms subside? If so, you certainly aren't alone. The less than appealing effects of allergies can make it very challenging to look your best. But with a little extra care, you can minimize the signs and put your most attractive face forward all of the time.

The Look of Allergies

As if it weren't enough to have to deal with the constant sneezing that typically accompanies your worst allergies, you may also find that the runny nose, dark circles, swollen eyes, chapped lips and raw, red skin can deeply shake your confidence. With so much to deal with, it can be difficult to face your colleagues and friends when you look like such a mess.

Take Control

The experts say that you don't have to bury yourself inside until your allergies go away. Today a wide variety of cosmetic aids and allergy-relief products exist that can make you feel and look better fast. Review the following strategies for ways to overcome the worst symptoms and look your best, no matter what the season.

Strategy #1: Refresh Your Eyes

You've probably heard of the saying that your eyes are the windows into your soul. When your allergies make them red and swollen, though, you may wonder what message you're sending to the world. That's why it's worth it to take the time to refresh your eyes. Lay a cool compress (or some people suggest trying cucumber slices or teabags) on them for about 20 minutes to reduce puffiness.  Also keep eye cosmetics to a minimum. Some well-blended concealer underneath can minimize dark circles and a little highlighter on your brown bone and strategically applied on the bridge of your nose and cheek bones can help diffuse light away from problem areas. Also avoid using kohl eyeliner or glitter eye shadow, since these can further irritate your sensitive eyes. If you do want to try to make your eyes look more defined, try a white pencil since the brightness can help counteract redness. Also, opt for water-proof mascara, which won't smudge. You may not be able to make your symptoms go away, but you can give a better appearance by making your eyes look well rested.

Strategy #2: Stay Hydrated

It may sound too good to be true, but drinking lot of water is an easy and all-important step to get you through your worst allergy symptoms. The experts say that when you get plenty of fluids, this helps to replenish the deep layers of your skin in order to maintain its firmness and avoid that sagging effect you can get as you age. It can also keep skin moist, and offers a more radiant complexion. Finally, this can also be helpful to minimize dark under-eye circles. So drink up as much as you can -- within reason, of course!

Strategy #3: Be Selective

Allergy skin is usually very sensitive, so you'll need to be extremely selective in the skincare and makeup products you select. Dermatologists say that some of the items you're using might be irritating your eyes and skin and make them look even worse. Therefore, look for products that are non-allergenic and when possible, opt for those made for ultra sensitive skin. Further, if you suspect some of the products you use can be causing a reaction, talk to an allergist and even get consider getting tested to determine what things you should avoid in the future.

Strategy #4: Treat Your Symptoms

While you're focused on how you look, you don't want to forget to also pay attention to how you feel. In fact, when you control your allergy symptoms, you can improve your appearance in the process. Therefore, take allergy control medications as needed to get a handle on the sneezing, running nose, itching and tiredness you may feel when your allergies are in full swing. Allergy-relief eye drops (either over-the-counter or by prescription) can often remove eye redness and itchiness. Some experts suggest keeping your eye drops in the refrigerator, since the cool solution can be extra soothing. In addition, get plenty of rest and eat a balanced diet to help you look your best.

Strategy #5: Seek Professional Advice

If you need some expert advice on how to mask your biggest allergy symptoms, a professional makeup artist can help you to strategically put your best face forward, despite the allergy challenges that exist. While the tips listed in Strategy #1 can be important to make your eyes look their best, you may also want to try some other cosmetic products to make the rest of your face look just as good. For instance, a moisturizer, followed by a well-applied foundation can often help mask that telling redness and chapping. In addition, a little blush can make you look more vibrant. Remember that don't have to spend a lot to get the best effect, but a few well chosen products can make a real difference in helping you feel and look your best.


American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)