As springtime hits, a relatively underestimated health and beauty battle has the potential to play havoc with the way Australians look and feel, new research from ZYRTEC® reveals.
Research polling more than 1,000 Aussies aged 18+ found that Allergy Face – a term describing the visible signs of hayfever allergies such as watery eyes, a red nose and a puffy face – could be affecting the daily lives of many Australians, with more than half (54 per cent) of respondents who believe they don't suffer from hayfever, admitting to displaying the physical symptoms*.
The research reveals Allergy Face is causing a significant emotional toll on sufferers, with almost one third of female respondents admitting to feeling self-conscious (29 per cent) and unattractive (28 per cent) when experiencing the visible signs. This results in disruptions to their beauty routines, with 73 per cent of females affected wishing they knew how to more effectively conceal their hayfever allergy symptoms using make-up.
Former Miss World Australia, Madeline Cowe, explains her battle with hayfever allergy symptoms.
"I have lived with hayfever allergies since I was 10 years old. I grew up on a farm and would often get itchy eyes and a runny nose from grass and pollen, making me look and feel awful," said Cowe.
The research also found that Allergy Face is preventing some Australians from doing things they love the most, with respondents admitting it has stopped them from attending outdoor events (24 per cent), going out to dinner with friends (18 per cent) and even missing work (22 per cent).
Cowe strongly believes the physical symptoms of hayfever allergies shouldn't hold us back, "I'm embarrassed to admit I've had to leave work early and cancel plans with family due to my Allergy Face. Beauty and image are important in my industry, but it's also essential to look after your health and feel your best at all times. ZYRTEC® was the first solution I found that provides fast, powerful relief around the clock, allowing me to get on with my day without disruptions."
Director of Regulatory Affairs for ZYRTEC® and scientist, Dr Andrew Harris, PhD agrees more needs to be done to raise awareness of the physical signs of hayfever allergies in Australia.
"It's staggering to think that a large number of Aussies could be suffering unnecessarily because they've misdiagnosed their hayfever allergy symptoms," said Harris. "It shows more education is needed, as it's important for those living with hayfever allergies to seek relief with the right treatment to maintain quality of life".
This spring racing season, Cowe will face up to her hayfever allergies by wearing a show-stopping living dress made from 1,200 high pollen count flowers. Designed by Australian florist, stylist and artist, Jasmine Christie, the dress uses 58 meters of fabric, 1,200 meters of thread, weighs 23 kilograms and took a total of 150 hours to stitch.
A hayfever allergy sufferer's worst nightmare, the floral 'torture test' has been designed to start a conversation and enable education about hayfever allergies and their impact on confidence and quality of life.
Whatever hayfever allergy symptoms you may experience, ZYRTEC® can help you get on with your day, and keep unwanted beauty challenges, like puffy faces and red noses at bay.
For more information, visit: www.zyrtec.com.au
Always use as directed. Please read the label before use.
Question: Were you surprised that many Australians may unknowingly suffer from hayfever allergies?
Madeline Cowe: I was surprised when the ZYRTEC® research revealed 54% of respondents who believe they don't suffer from hayfever, admit to displaying the physical symptoms, seasonally for a long period of time.
I've lived with hayfever allergies since I was 10 years old, I grew up on a farm and noticed from an early stage that I would get itchy eyes and a runny nose when around grass and pollen. It would make me look and feel awful.
It's startling to think that a large number of Aussies could be suffering unnecessarily because they've misdiagnosed their symptoms. With this campaign, we're hoping to raise awareness of the physical signs of hayfever allergies so those suffering can seek relief to maintain quality of life.
Question: How does hayfever affect you in spring?
Madeline Cowe: Dust and pollen are my two main triggers so unfortunately I can experience symptoms all year round. However, spring is particularly bad with the higher pollen count. My early signs are watery eyes and a runny nose, when I feel these come on I act on them straight away to help prevent more severe signs like sneezing.
Question: What's the worst part about suffering from hayfever?
Madeline Cowe: For me, it's the Allergy Face - the watery eyes, red nose and puffy face. Working in the modelling and fashion industry, I can't afford to suffer from Allergy Face. My industry demands long days and shooting on location, so you never know what the surroundings could be. Because of that, I have to be prepared. ZYRTEC® was the first solution I found that provides fast, powerful relief, allowing me to get on with my day without disruptions.
Question: Can you tell us about the show-stopping living dress made from 1,200 high pollen count flowers?
Madeline Cowe: The dress was designed by Australian florist, stylist and artist, Jasmine Christie. It's made from 11 different varieties of high pollen count flowers (1,200 in total!), uses 58 meters of fabric, 1,200 meters of thread, weighs 23 kilograms and took a total of 150 hours to stitch. It's amazing!
I challenged myself to wear the dress to spring racing season to show other allergy sufferers that allergies don't have to hold us back, you can still go out and have a great day at the races if you're prepared.
Question: How do you treat your hayfever?
Madeline Cowe: By recognising my triggers and acting on them quickly. I've been using ZYRTEC® my whole life and it is something that has always worked for me.
Question: What advice do you have for other hayfever allergy sufferer?
Madeline Cowe: It's important to have a few tricks your my sleeve so you're prepared for whatever the season may throw at you. My top tips to avoid the Allergy Face this spring include:
Wash your clothes and bed sheets regularly to avoid the spread of pollen in your home
Download a weather app that not only shows you the climate but also the pollen forecast
Keep some antihistamine tablets on hand - these products can relieve some of the worst symptoms quickly, and last a full 24 hours
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Madeline Cowe: No two days for me are ever the same, so I always plan it out the night before. But on one of my more 'normal' days of work I will wake up early and either head to an F45 class or go for a run. Once I'm home I'll have my coffee and something light to eat before I head to work. At night if I don't have an event on or plans with friends I will use it to my advantage and stay in pamper myself a little with a face mask and a good book or use the time to reply to emails/messages. I do try to stay off my phone as much as I can after about 9pm and try to be in bed by 10pm, but that can be hard sometimes!
Question: What's next, for you?
Madeline Cowe: For me I would love to branch out into presenting. I've had experience in the past and it's something that I love to do and would love to do more of. It is on my list of what I want to achieve in 2019!
Interview by Brooke Hunter