by Catherine Q. O'Neill
photo by Katie Jones Oh, pollen season. That bittersweet time of year when spring has sprung and antihistamine is the first step in your beauty routine. Actress (and allergy sufferer) Debra Messing knows it well, and that's why she's teaming up with Zyrtec to help women find a solution to the dreaded--not to mention ruddy, sneezy, and puffy--"allergy face." We sat down with the actress for her tips on getting through the season with, well, grace:
Have your allergies ever affected you on set? "When I was shooting The Wedding Date, everyone had been instructed not to wear floral perfume because I'm really allergic. And a woman was brought in as an extra makeup artist, and she had rose essence on. My entire face turned bright red, my eyes watered, and my throat started to close up. We had to shut down production for several hours. It was embarrassing."
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How do you avoid outbreaks now--especially during allergy season? "When I found Zyrtec, it was a godsend. It gave me an incredible sense of relief knowing I could go to work, go to the park with my son, or go to events outside. I keep it in my bag alongside my lip gloss."
Are there any beauty products that help you with symptoms? "Saline drops are really helpful for me. They clear my eyes of any sort of allergens. I also like to use a mist, like Evian spray, all over my face--even over makeup--to refresh it and clear everything out."
What's your skin routine like before a day of filming? "Every morning before makeup, I get a big bowl of ice cubes and put in some witch hazel. I soak a washcloth in it and put the towel on my face for a minute. It wakes you right up, tightens your skin and pores, and gets the blood flowing. Even if your call time is 4 A.M. and you're a walking zombie, it wakes you up immediately."
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And after a day of filming? "I really love Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk. I rinse with warm water and I put the cleanser all over my face, then I get a hot washcloth to take everything off. When I was doing Smash, we would do two to three washcloths each day."
When you get some alone time, how do you like to relax? "I indulge in relaxing baths. Kneipp has essential bath oils that moisturize, make you sleepy, or help with a cold. At the end of the day, even if I get home at three in the morning, I sit in the bath. If it's just for five minutes, it makes me feel like I've taken all the stress from the day away."
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by Catherine Q. O'Neill