Five days before my wedding, my face looked like this:
The culprit? A cheap, faux-silk sleeping mask from Rite Aid that I used to block out the sunlight during an outdoor Breathwork session. I didn’t think twice about wearing it, even though I have crazy-sensitive skin–it just didn’t occur to me that my sensitivity would extend to fabric masks in addition to face masks. I slathered on my usual de-puffing serums and creams, went to bed, and prayed for a pre-wedding miracle. But the next day, my face looked like this:
Again, MY WEDDING WAS IN FOUR DAYS.
After calling my mom in tears and drowning in self-pity for a sec, I got down to business. Two days (and just $1) later, my face looked like this:
The cure? Chamomile tea ice cubes.
I owe my wedding day glow to my incredible facialist, Hayley of the Therapeutic Skin Coach. I emailed her pictures of my swollen eyes and within an hour she wrote me back with a few suggestions–chief among them, chamomile tea ice cubes. Now, I keep a batch ready to go in my freezer in case of skin emergency. If you’re experiencing your own inflammation crisis (whether that’s swollen eyes, an emerging cyst, or an allergic reaction), here’s how to tackle it.
- Boil a pot of water, then let the chamomile tea bags steep for at least 5 minutes
- Pour into ice trays and pop in the freezer
- Once frozen, grab a single cube and wrap it in a thin cloth or paper towel
- Press onto the affected area, keeping the ice cube moving, until it’s melted
- Repeat as needed
Of course, plain old ice would help reduce inflammation as well. But chamomile tea brings so much more to the table: it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and can fade redness and fight breakouts.
A word of caution: While these ice cubes will take your swelling down in no time, they can also cause some dryness. After icing, make sure to add moisture back into the skin (I used extra strength Eucerin and it worked like a dream) and you’ll be de-puffed just in time to walk down the aisle–or, ya know, do whatever you have to do that day.