Jacqui Felgate: ‘I spend most of spring with a blocked nose’

Spring has sprung, but it also brings hay fever and allergies, writes Jacqui Felgate. The House of Wellness TV co-host shares her tips for looking her best this season.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spring.

After a long, cold and dreary Melbourne winter, it’s like waking up from a slumber and feeling as though everything is brighter, lighter and more beautiful.

Longer days leading to warmer nights, blossoms on trees, and our gardens once again coming back to life.

It really is a magical time of year.

But when it comes to beauty, I don’t look my best come September.

Hello, hay fever!

I suffer from hay fever and allergies.

I generally wake up around 5am, sneezing my head off, with my nose streaming.

Needless to say, my husband is far from impressed.

I’m not sure how much dust is floating around our home, but I sleep quite well in winter and summer – during spring, though, I really suffer.

When I head outside, it gets even worse.

If I come into contact with plane trees (they’re ubiquitous in the Melbourne CBD), that’s it; I can succumb to full-on sneezing and coughing fits.

It’s certainly a First World problem, but it does make life a little uncomfortable.

I spend most of spring with a blocked nose and often look like I have a raging cold.

It’s hard to look and feel your best

The Mayo Clinic, United States, says hay fever causes symptoms such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

And I sure experience them all!

According to the Mayo Clinic, hay fever is caused by an allergic response to a harmless indoor or outdoor substance the body identifies as harmful.

I do pop the odd antihistamine, but my attacks usually occur in the very early morning; and I can often start my day with watery eyes, and my make-up looks terrible.

I remember reading beauty magazines, growing up, and seeing all these amazing photo spreads about looking and feeling your best in spring – but, to be honest, it’s when I generally feel my worst.

I have eczema, too (the joys!), and this also flares up in spring.

My beauty tips to survive spring

I’ve found a few things that can help.

For me, it’s taking the time to hydrate both inside and out – that’s my No.1 thing.

A beautiful face mask, a serum (why did I only start using serums in my late 30s and 40s?) and moisture, moisture, moisture!

What’s on the inside counts too, so I try to drink more water – and I do really believe this helps.

But I should drink even more.

I find with kids that I’m so busy running around, doing the day-to-day tasks and working, that I often forget to drink enough throughout the day.

And I can see it in my skin – when I’m dehydrated, even just a little, I look exhausted.

Balancing act

Another trap I fall into in spring is drinking more alcohol.

Earlier this year I took a full month off drinking, and I could literally see the difference in my skin.

But I love wine, especially when the weather is getting warmer.

Those lighter evenings are just perfect for barbecue and a glass of rose.

And I won’t be giving it up again anytime soon.

Life is all about balance.

This spring, I’ll be welcoming the sunshine – and I won’t be letting my puffy eyes and runny nose stop me.

Read more on hay fever and allergies in spring:

Written by Jacqui Felgate.