Spring’s arrival marks a new season of growth after a long and dormant winter.
Too bad your seasonal allergies didn’t remain dormant, too.
The runny nose, the itchy, watery eyes, the sneezing, the dark under-eye circles. One look in the mirror is enough to send you back to bed, convalescing under the covers for eternity. Or at least until wintertime when 4:00 pm sunsets are the norm – who invited Daylight Savings Time to the party, anyway?
While the sight of your own face experiencing allergy symptoms might drive you to throw sheets over all the mirrors in your house, your delicate under-eye area needs your help amidst the re-emergence of seasonal allergens.
Today we’ll be discussing the causes and common eye symptoms of seasonal allergies, as well as how to heal your pretty peepers, so you too can emerge healthy, fresh, and ready to welcome a new Spring season.
Causes and Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
The seasonal transition from winter to spring is often characterized by an increase in irritants and allergens such as dandruff, tree pollen, and grass pollen. Other year-round allergens can factor into your overall skin health too, including dust, mold, and fungus.
In turn, these pesky allergens produce all too common side effects for allergy sufferers: itchy, red, or watery eyes, sneezing, sinus pressure, and worse yet, dark-under eye circles.
Plagued by a dark under-eye area? Despite seasonal transitions, lifestyle factors have the potential to take you from looking fabulous to looking fatigued in a flash. A lack of sleep, dehydration, sun exposure or sun damage, as well as thinning of the skin, are the most common offenders. The formation of dark circles beneath your under-eye area can also be a by-product of your body fighting off seasonal allergies, common colds, or sinus infections.
Commonly referred to as allergen shiners, blood is delivered to the veins in the under-eye area when allergic reactions take place within your sinus cavities. Natural histamines released by the body to fight off allergies are the culprit for itchy eyes. Our innate tendency to alleviate that itch, in tandem with nasal congestion from sinus infections, leads to increased swelling and dark circles under your thin and delicate eye region.
How to Manage Your Eye Skincare Amidst Seasonal Allergies
Taking refuge in bed sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it? Don’t retreat just yet. Here are three ways to manage your baby blues despite seasonal allergies.
1. Consider Over the Counter Antihistamines
Over-the-counter antihistamines play a vital role in blocking or halting your body’s natural histamine production, subsequently reducing the presence of seasonal allergy symptoms. Many antihistamines are combined with a nasal decongestant to keep stuffy noses and sinus infections at bay. These serve as your best bet for warding off allergen shiners that commonly originate from nasal cavity concerns.
Common examples of over-the-counter antihistamines include non-drowsy products such as Allegra and Claritin. Benadryl is another popular over-the-counter antihistamine. Often producing drowsy side effects, it is best taken before bedtime. Discuss with your primary health care provider, to find out which over-the-counter antihistamines are right for you.
2. Invest in an Eye Cream
Springtime not only brings about seasonal allergies but also the reappearance of that bright yellow orb in the sky, better known as the sun! The thin and sensitive skin surrounding our under-eye area is especially susceptible to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Frequent application of an eye cream not only mitigates the effects of the sun, but also reduces eye symptoms resulting from seasonal allergies. Eye creams containing Vitamin C are a great place to start. A beloved antioxidant, Vitamin C is known for its brightening properties, while diminishing sunspots and under-eye circles.
Skincare lovers are prone to heightened skin sensitivity, or photo-sensitivity, with the usage of Vitamin C, as it reduces levels of melanin, our skin’s natural protective barrier against the sun. While thorough sunscreen application is important all year round, it is especially pertinent when using eye products containing Vitamin C. While you’re at it, pop on a cute hat for added protection, and invest in a pair of high-quality sunglasses. Sun squint ain’t cute.
Proven to increase collagen production, peptides are another wonderful ingredient to look for when purchasing your next eye cream. Delivering a hydrating boost that quenches your under-eye area, peptides actively decrease puffiness and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
Lastly, chamomile contains anti-inflammatory properties, helping to calm reddened skin, and soothe itchy eyes. Placing cold chamomile tea bags over your eyes also helps to minimize puffiness.
3. Assess your Lifestyle
Seasonal allergies may result in dark circles for a portion of the year. However, dark under-eyes can also develop as a result of your genetics, and lifestyle choices, both of which play a significant role in determining the longevity and health of your skin.
Checking in with yourself about how much sleep you’re getting each night, and staying well-hydrated throughout the day, are important factors to consider for skin health. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Have trouble getting in your recommended 3.7 liters (or 15.5 cups) of water per day? Smart water bottles track your water intake, illuminating at regular intervals to help you get back on track in meeting your daily water goals.
A balanced diet and regular exercise are equally crucial factors when assessing your lifestyle, and overall skin health. Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating a variety of healthy foods per day and making water your drink of choice. The arrival of Spring also signals the start of outdoor activities perfect for sunny weather, like hiking, trail walking, kayaking, and cycling.
Need an extra hand in assessing your eye area skin?
Our Discover FX Introductory Session works to connect the dots between skin science and your skin history. Facial Expressions’ uniquely educational process is designed and customized to meet the skin needs of each new client, providing real, lasting holistic skincare solutions.
Book online for your Discover FX Introductory Session today!