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Ask Jean: A Natural Cure For Sinus Trouble?

We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: feedback [at] goop [dot] com, or tweet us @goop. Below, a q for our new beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean,
Sinus infections not only make me feel like hell, I look like hell. Especially around my eyes! The cold that caused it has cleared up, but I’ve got an interview tomorrow and I just want to look human. I don’t want to keep taking decongestants—what do I do? —Amy B.

The opposite of pretty is a sinus infection. People prone to them can end up in a never-ending cycle of antibiotics, decongestants, and misery. This trick takes more effort, in a certain sense, but is drug-free and pretty amazing in terms of effectiveness:

1. Every four hours, boil a little water in a pan.

2. Turn off the water (super-important), drop 3-5 drops of cold-pressed lavender oil (Aveda makes an excellent one, $17 at, or go to Whole Foods or any health store—just make sure it’s cold-pressed) into the water.

3. Quickly (and carefully) inhale the steam through your nose. You are not steaming your face, here: The goal is to get as much lavender-infused (lavender is antibacterial, antiviral, and possibly anti-fungal) steam up into your sinuses as possible.

You will know you’re doing it right if it’s super-not-pleasant. You might even gag a little. But your kitchen will smell fantastic, and…it really works. Combine it with salt (a neti pot, or Simply Saline spray) and you’re really cooking with gas.

For the puffy undereyes, the Clarisonic Opal ($185, is not cheap but in my opinion, the best thing. Use it with any undereye cream, and it really does make a difference. It also feels fantastic if you have any sort of congestion (as does the regular Clarisonic Mia 1 Brush, $99,; use it in a steamy shower and you will instantly feel better).

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