9 tried and tested ways to stop hay fever in its tracks

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Hay fever season is upon us, and there are a handful of tried and tested techniques and savvy products that can help the itchy eyes and running nose. 

Runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, constant sneezing – hay fever season is officially upon us and the symptoms are as strong as ever. 

If you’re suffering this season, don’t worry. You’re not alone. According to the NHS, around a fifth of the population is thought to suffer from those dreaded hay fever symptoms, and the number is estimated to double, yes, you read that correctly, by 2030 – not cool.

With summer on the horizon, those sniffles are only set to get worse, but it might be worth kicking the doze-inducing antihistamines to the curb in favour of these savvy tricks… 

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1) Combat itchy eyes with eye drops

After sneezing fits, itchy, bloodshot, watery eyes is definitely the most miserable hay fever symptom. If you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve had to reassure people that you aren’t crying this season, invest in eye drops. And no, they aren’t just water. 

With clever ingredients to stop the production of histamines, you can expect a whole lot less irritation and redness. 

  • Try: Murine Hayfever Eye Drops


    These easy-to-apply eye drops harness sodium cromoglicate to reduce the body’s response to hay fever allergens, and we can confirm they work a treat to eradicate soreness. Simply tip your head back and place one or two drops into eyes four times a day.

    Murine Hayfever Eye Drops, £10.65

2) Switch up your eye cream

It isn’t just a lack of sleep that can cause puffy eyes - increased pollen exposure has an inflammatory-like effect on this ultra-thin and super-sensitive area of skin, immediately inflating eye bags. 

If your current eye cream isn’t cutting it, shelve it in favour of a product bursting with antioxidants.

  • Try: Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector


    Caffeine and antioxidant green tea make this the ultimate eye cream for perk up skin, while the clever cooling massage tip works wonders to soothe irritation.

    Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, £32

3) Dab a balm around your nostrils

According to the NHS, dabbing a thick balm around your nostrils will trap pollen particles and keep them out, so you can forget about any sneezing fits – clever, no? 

  • Try: Glossier Balm Dot Com


    This multipurpose balm is silky, not sticky. Dab it around sore, red nostrils to moisturise skin and shut pollen out.

    Glossier Balm Dot Com, £10

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4) Waterproof your eye make-up

If your eyes always start streaming mid-mascara application, make it waterproof. 

Thanks to innovations in mascara technology, waterproof mascaras condition as they coat lashes, preventing that dreaded dry, crispy feeling.

  • Try: benefit BADgal BANG! Volumising Mascara


    Compatible with sensitive eyes, this mascara lengthens, thickens and curls lashes all without flaking onto cheeks. It boasts a hit of vitamin B5 to reinforce flimsy lashes and dries in seconds, so you don’t have to worry about panda eyes.

    benefit BADgal BANG! Volumising Mascara, £22.50

5) Take a probiotic supplement

study found that probiotics consisting of both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria helped to alleviate hay fever in some sufferers. So, as well as fending off things like bloating and stomach cramps, they can also keep symptoms such as sneezing and a bunged-up nose from rearing their heads.

  • Try: Ultra Maxiumum Acidophilus 60 Capsules


    With 20 billion active cultures including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, these capsules contribute to optimum gut health and can help keep hay fever symptoms at arm’s length. Simply take one capsule daily, before meals.

    Ultra Maxiumum Acidophilus 60 Capsules, £18.99

6) Use essential oils to clear your airwaves

You might already incorporate essential oils into your nightly soak, but they are also brilliant at blasting blocked airways. Opt for eucalyptus and citrus essential oils over rose or lavender, as they’ll invigorate and revive the senses much more effectively. 

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7) Use a colour corrector

Enlist a green-toned colour corrector to neutralise the redness that tends to peek through, especially around your nose.

  • Try: Vichy Dermablend Colour Corrector Green


    Vichy’s colour corrector is non-comedogenic, making it perfect for skin vulnerable to acne, hypoallergenic for those prone to sensitivity and delivers 24-hour wear – something we can vouch for. Dab it onto skin with a damp make-up sponge before layering on your concealer and foundation.

    Vichy Dermablend Colour Corrector Green, £15

8) Invest in a pollen filter

Pollen is microscopic, so even if you’re shutting yourself away indoors, it can still find a way to invade your living space. Your best bet? To invest in an air purifier. Not only will it obliterate those pesky pollen particles, but it also works to eliminate things like smoke and indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene, often found in manufactured woods, glues and household cleaning products. 

Bye bye, itchy eyes.

  • Try: Dyson Pure Cool Link Tower Purifier Fan


    This air purifying fan may be pricey, but it has been proven to automatically remove an enormous 99.95% of allergens from the air, making streaming eyes a thing of the past.

    Dyson Pure Cool Link Tower Purifier Fan, £499.99

9) Safeguard your skin, too

WGSN reported that data presented by Estée Lauder Companies at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology showed that pollen comprises a notable quantity of particulate pollution, and has been shown to harm the skin, mainly causing a damaged skin barrier. 

When the skin’s barrier is compromised, dryness, redness, itchiness and inflammation can hit. The solution? Antioxidants.

  • Try: Avene A-Oxitive Defence Serum


    Antioxidant vitamins C and E, in this fast-absorbing serum works like a suit of armour against pollen pollution. It also contains hyaluronic acid so you can brave the day without the fear of a flaky face.

    Avene A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum, £27

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Images: Unsplash / courtesy of brands


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