How to Look Fresh-Faced When You’re Battling a Cold


You can still pull it together when you’re feeling under the weather. (Photo: Corbis Images)

It’s that time of year again! Unavoidable days of congestion are upon us thanks to all that is flu and cold season, and there’s nothing more sabotaging to your look than a red, runny nose and puffy eyes. Unfortunately, staying home from work, or missing an upcoming sure-to-be-incredible night out isn’t always an option. Here, we lay out the best ways to look healthy when feeling like a whole lot of yuck.

Moisturize the Night Before

A healthy looking face needs a good base in order to look it’s best, so start prepping your skin the night before. “Start with a moisturizing face wash, then apply a toner, and finish with a serum like RMS Beauty Oil ($78),” says makeup artist Vanessa Ungaro of Lauren + Vanessa.

Related: 4 Workout Mistakes Upping Your Risk of Getting Sick This Season

Soothe a Red Nose

Nothing screams “I’m sick” quite like a chapped, Rudolph-red nose. When you sneeze or blow your nose frequently, it can cause red, irritated skin from the constant friction. According to celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar, “even blowing your nose hard can cause enough pressure to break capillaries around your nose and cheeks, which can irritate your skin and cause more redness.” Buy ultra-soft tissues that will do as little damage as possible every time you use them. Then, dab on a rich moisturizer mixed with concealer to soothe and hide the raw skin.

Perk Up Your Peepers

Watery, swollen eyes not only feel uncomfortable, they make you look sickly as well. Soothe eyes by placing cool, damp tea bags on your eyes for 15 minutes. The combination of the cold temperature and the caffeine in the tea bags will help constrict blood vessels and de-puff the area. Need a faster remedy? Try cooling under-eye patches like Patchology Flash Patch Eye Gels ($50) for a quick, 5-minute fix.

Related: 10 Cold and Flu Myths Debunked

Rehydrate Inside and Out

Every doctors first word of advice when it comes to fighting off a cold is to stay hydrated. Thankfully, drinking water won’t only help expedite the flu recovery process, it’ll keep your skin bright and dewy as well.

Stay Upright

When suffering from a cold, the congestion in your sinuses can cause puffiness and headaches. Try to avoid lying down before leaving the house, by sitting upright, you’ll allow fluids to drain from your face, naturally de-puffing you.

Related: Do These 10 Cold Remedies Actually Work?

Less is More

A pale sickly complexion may make you want to pile on the makeup, but try to resist the urge. Since skin is usually dehydrated when you’re sick, slather on a hydrating tinted moisturizer and dab concealer under the eyes and on any red areas on your face. Try Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28) for a more natural look.

Another tip: Stay away from powder. “Powder will absorb any of the moisture that your skin needs, so instead, re-apply your foundation and concealer again,” says Vanessa.


“Having a humidifier indoors can help balance the air out by keeping it moist when the heat is on, especially in the winter months,” says Ildi. Invest in a humidifier to keep nasal passages lubricated, allowing you to heal faster, while also hydrating dry skin.

Read This Next: Is Your Humidifier Making You Sick? 4 Things You Need to Know

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