Bye, Puffy Face
It's definitely allergy season, as seen all over my puffy face. I've grown accustomed to waking up looking like I've been roughed up a bit, thanks to a super sensitive set of sinuses since, like, ever. My eyes and jawline are particularly subject to inflating at any given time, but particularly during high allergy season, traveling, food sensitivities flaring, or lack of sleep, just to name a few. I've learned a few tricks to help pull myself together since I've worked in the beauty industry all of my adult life.
First off, sleeping with the right pillows can make all the difference. For fellow allergy/sinus sufferers, a slight elevation of the head at night will promote drainage and lead to less puffy mornings. I am obsessed with these Beauty Bear pillows by Nurse Jamie and have been known to gift them to my inner circle. They're designed to be anti-aging, but also help support the head and neck at just the right height. Sleeping on your back is best for both the sinuses and the skin (to prevent crunching your face into wrinkly positions) but if you do sleep on your side, this one cradles the face nicely. Also good for lash extensions!
Next up, lymphatic drainage massage! I apply this practice to my entire body, but pay special attention to my face. A proper lymphatic massage isn't too much pressure, but just enough to move the lymph right under the skin. It should feel amazing, and can be done with any cleanser. If you just close your eyes and feel areas that may be more congested (if you can't see them), you can focus on those areas a bit more. Typically you want to start down the neck to the collarbone, as this is where the lymph empties. In the shower, I use my knuckles to gently stroke under the jawline from my chin to my ears, then down the neck. Next, I use fingertips to massage my face with cleanser, working from the center of the face outward. It can be quick if you're in a hurry, but just feels incredible. You can even include the back of the neck if you hold tension here.
Once I'm done massaging, I rinse my throat/neck and face with ICE COLD water. This can be done in the sink, but is massively effective in the shower! No, it's not easy, but it works. Literally I can feel my sinuses drain immediately, sometimes even enough to make me cough a little. I also include my underarms, around to the spine, and then down my legs in the icy cold final rinse. The cold water causes blood to rush to these areas to warm it up, so it intensely revs up your entire circulatory system. It's invigorating! This is also an ancient yogic practice for superior health and anti-aging.
After I'm dry, before applying anything to my skin, I use a dry brush to repeat the massage movements. This provides a light surface exfoliation, really polishes the skin, and simultaneously moves the lymph. Again-- feels incredible! After I apply my skincare, I use a jade roller that's stashed in the fridge for an extra cold application. The jade roller follows suit by applying a light pressure to move the lymph while the cold stone soothes the surface, takes down inflammation, and actually presses my skincare products into the pores.
Before applying makeup, I go through a series of facial yoga moves! Stretching the jaw, scrunching the nose, smiling BIG, while silly... it helps get that extra bit of movement into the many muscles of the face and work out the excess lymph that has just been stimulated. These can be repeated throughout the day in the car or any moment of privacy to just wake everything back up!
These practices are my ole' faithfuls this time of year, and honestly most every day. They're visibly effective on swollen mugs and have long-term anti-aging benefits thanks to the consistent increase in circulation. Let me know what your favorites are!