Reduce puffy eyes and redness with the esteemed facialist’s spring skin protocol.
Rule number one of skincare: Don’t touch your face. But try telling that to an allergy sufferer mid attack, when the brain instinctively directs hands to scratch a tingling nose, apply pressure near nasolabial folds, and wipe tears from watery eyes. This is all before one's brain has had the chance for common sense to point out what Beverly Hills-based aesthetician Gina Marí does: “You don't know what type of pollutants you have on your actual fingers, so the less you put your fingers on your face, the better.” Of course, she understands this is difficult, which is why the Noble Panacea ambassador has created a protocol for decompressing, calming, and cooling prickly skin embroiled by puffiness and pressure.
Marí's process—which taps cryotherapy and lymph drainage to reduce pressure and puffiness around the eyes, nose, and cheeks—won’t just relieve agitated, prickly skin, it will ultimately calm the signals from the brain that implore the sufferer to claw at their eyes and face. “Specific types of lymphatic movement done with the fingertips can be extremely effective and useful to drain the lymph,” Marí says. What’s more, this de-puffing technique can help slow the frequency of nose blowing, an action that compromises capillaries and skin tone. “Aggressive rubbing and nose blowing can descend delicate capillaries, causing overall redness,” she says.
Ahead, the skin pro walks us through her self-healing technique to restore calm and relief to an allergy-afflicted face. The best part? Touching is encouraged—just be sure to wash your hands first.
01. Calm & Depressurize Irritated Eyes
On clean skin, apply a cooling eye mask, like Knesko Black Pearl Detox Collagen Eye Mask. “The charcoal can pull out impurities and cut itchiness,” Marí says. As the eye mask calms swollen or itchy skin under the eyes, Marí suggests using her self-massage technique to further reduce bloat and begin to drain the lymph: Anchor index fingers near the center of the forehead at the hairline, then use thumbs to apply light pressure while tracing the arch of the brow, above bone, starting at the inner corners and ending at the temples. Repeat a few times.
The esthetician says this protocol can take an indulgent 10 minutes or more to complete—or whatever time you can spare. “Just a few movements around the eye area will really help to push that lymph through for increased circulation and decreased puffiness,” she says, adding the process may also help ease sinus pressure and calm irritation.
Kanesko Skin Black Pearl Detox Eye Mask
02. De-Puff & Reduce Itchiness Around the Eyes
After removing the eye masks, apply a very small amount of eye cream to the pads of your ring fingers. Use just enough product to assist with glide, but not so much that you might further irritate sensitized skin. “The goal is to be able to move the fingers across the face without rubbing or tugging at the tissue,” Marí explains. Then delicately dot the product along the orbital and brow bones.
Marí suggests choosing a formula like Noble Panacea Vibrant Eye Infusion, which contains caffeine to address darkness and puffiness, ginkgo to regenerate and protect skin from oxidative stress, and oat amino acids to soften and soothe the skin. Resist the urge to rub the cream. Instead, using your ring finger, gently press the product into the skin. “This light tapping assists in lymph drainage and stimulating circulation,” Marí adds.
Noble Panacea The Brilliant Vibrant Eye Infusion
Next, further relieve sinus pressure around the eyes by placing thumbs at the innermost base of the eyebrows and the index fingers at the top of the forehead, near the hairline. Gently knead the thumbs in a circulation motion for 20-30 seconds to release tension and open up the eye area. “This will also create a visible lift and added brightness,” she says.
Post massage, apply a second, very small dose of the eye cream to the index and middle fingers. “It’s important to rehydrate the area if your eyes have been watering, but use a light hand,” she says. “Applying too much product can cause it to run, which can further irritate watery eyes.”
Next, tap your index and middle fingers into the skin with delicate and quick movements, moving from the edge of the crow’s feet to the innermost part of the under eye before moving upward and around to the brow bone. Repeat this series of movements three times. “This will bring circulation to the area, reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, and minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles,” she says.
This will bring circulation to the area, reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, and minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles…
03. Reduce Redness & Cool the Skin
After soothing the eye area, help relieve the prickly, tingly, and hot sensation that can materialize near cheeks by harnessing the power of cryotherapy. After soaking a washcloth in a bowl of icy water, squeeze excess moisture from the cloth and delicately place it on your skin to cool itch and contract the capillaries. “This will decrease the appearance of redness,” Marí says. To place the washcloth on your skin, hold each end of the washcloth by its corners, then center the cloth at your chin and wrap the fabric around the face, covering chin, cheeks, outer eye area and forehead. Once the cloth warms to room temperature (about 10 minutes), remove it from the skin. Repeat the process once or twice, if needed, using fresh washcloths soaked for a few minutes in an ice bath.
If short on time, try a skin-care product that mimics the experience, like Mila Moursi Cryo Serum Ice Cube Infusion, a serum treatment that’s fashioned like ice cubes and is used on skin straight from the freezer.
Mila Moursi Cryo Serum Ice Cube Infusion
Noble Panacea The Absolute Intense Renewal Serum
04. Press & Roll On A Hydrating Serum
Apply a hydrating and calming serum next, such as Noble Panacea Intense Renewal Serum, which contains tea extracts and a vegan ingredient shown to stabilize skin cells. Just like with other steps in Marí’s protocol, the technique used to apply the serum is just as important as the product applied. Rather than stimulating skin with the tapping technique previously used, press the serum into the skin using a rolling motion and gentle pressure: start at the base of the palms and end with the fingertips pressed into the skin. When applying the serum using this method, begin from the inside of your face at the jawline and roll upward toward the orbital bone, repeating the motion by moving outward, toward the edge of the face. “This method not only evenly applies the serum to the skin, but continues to push that lymph through for further drainage and depuffing,” Marí says.
...maximize drainage by starting at the center of your face, then gliding the roller past ears and down the nape of the neck to guide the lymph to release.
05. Soothe Sinus Pressure
Try a third method of massage next: Anchor index fingers at the base of the brow bones and use the thumbs to apply light pressure to the skin, starting at the nasolabial folds and sweeping fingers outward and upward to meet the temples. Repeat a few times. “This self-massage technique will help relieve sinus pressure that can come with allergy-related congestion,” Marí says.
If you’re in a hurry, similar results can be achieved with a cooling facial massager, like Revive Revolve Contouring Massage Roller, a newer discovery to Marí that she swears by. “Even if they first feel cool to the touch, a lot of jade rollers and Gua Sha tools will warm to room temperature pretty quickly after being taken from the fridge,” she says. “This tool stays cool, even out of the box, so you don't have to keep it in the fridge necessarily to get the benefit of the cooling sensation.” She suggests using such a tool to roll beneath the cheekbones and jawline to drain the face of excess fluid.
“When using these tools, maximize drainage by starting at the center of your face, then gliding the roller past ears and down the nape of the neck to guide the lymph to release,” she says. The method can also release tension for those who experience migraines, the skin pro says.
RÉVIVE RéVolve Contouring Massage Roller
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
06. Correct Dry & Irritated Lips & Nose
As a final step to erasing the tell-tale signs of spring allergies, Marí suggests applying a lip mask to dry, inflamed lips and the edges of the nose, if chapped or flaking from excessive nose blowing. The facialist’s go-to soothing balm is Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask because it contains “hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and additional oxidants to really deliver relief to chapped lips,” she says. A dab of eye cream or a lip mask can also be used on corners of the nose to soothe redness and along the vermillion border of the lips to address fine lines.