By Marsha Fottler.
Along with the darling buds of May comes the rain of pollen meaning that legions of people routinely wake up with red, itchy, swollen eyes. Allergy pills and eye drops help, especially the prescription ones, but there are side effects, most significantly dopiness that makes you crave a nap.
There’s also relief as near as your kitchen inside your refrigerator. My dermatologist revealed a secret to me at a social gathering while we were having dinner. I didn’t bring up the subject; he just looked at my eyes and knew I needed help.
His advice was to procure a quart of buttermilk. Pour a little into a bowl with ice cubes. Dip cotton balls into the cold milk and hold on your eyes for several minutes. Repeat until you’ve spent about 15 minutes soaking your eyes in milk. Do this in the morning and at night before bed. The lactic acid in the milk reduces redness and puffiness and it relieves the itch, restoring your eyes to their normal appearance.
You can use regular milk or fat free too. But during the procedure regular milk runs all over your face and down your arms. Because the buttermilk is so thick, it stays put. I generally pat additional cold buttermilk all over my face, creating a mask. It’s so good for your skin. Those ancient femmes (Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, etc.) were no fools for bathing in milk.
If you have buttermilk left over in the fridge, make pancakes on the weekend. Be well.