Despite several false starts to spring, it seems like we’ve finally seen the last of winter. But for hay fever sufferers, the warmer, sunnier weather has a sting in its tail: pollen season.
There are approximately 15 million people with hay fever in the UK – that’s about one in five of us. Puffy eyes, runny noses and itchy skin are just some of the symptoms we have to deal with – often for weeks or months at a time.
Taking anti-histamines and rocking wraparound sunglasses aren’t the only things you can do to ward off the worst of your pollen allergy. The makeup and skincare products you use can also have an effect.
Know Your Enemy
Histamines are released by your body in response to allergens (in this case, pollen), in an attempt to rid them from your system. While they’re really important for dealing with real threats to your body, histamines also cause hay fever symptoms! Antihistamine tablets block histamines from being released and causing all those nasty symptoms, but can sometimes dry out the skin. The skincare and makeup tips we’re about share don’t interfere with histamines – but you can use them alongside antihistamines to tackle hay fever.
Building a barrier
During hay fever season, your skin may become irritated and inflamed, or at least more vulnerable. It’s best to cut down on harsh, drying cleansers and other skincare products containing ingredients like fragrances, drying alcohols (isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, ethanol)and parabens. It might also be worth holding off on your usual regular exfoliation as this might further irritate your skin.
Instead, your goal should be to use rich moisturisers and serums to protect your skin as much as possible. Look for hypoallergenic products that are fragrance free, as well as thicker creams and balms that are designed to lock in as much moisture as possible.
When applying eye cream (or products to other irritated areas), be sure to carefully press the product onto your skin, rather than rubbing it in.
Review your makeup products and throw out any that aren’t in date. Wash your makeup brushes thoroughly, and as often as you can. This’ll reduce the chance of bacteria affecting your already inflamed skin!
Finally, if you don’t already, switch to showering before bed. This’ll wash the pollen out of your hair so it doesn’t bother you overnight. The classic tip of applying Vaseline around your nostrils before bed also works!
Treating your symptoms
Still dealing with puffy eyes and inflamed skin? Here are some tips for managing the symptoms.
- Press a damp, cold cloth around your eyes twice day to reduce swellings and remove pollen.
- To hide redness, use long lasting concealers – preferably in yellow or green tones.
- Opt for water-resistant or waterproof makeup (particularly mascara)
Tailor these tips based on the symptoms that affect you the most, and any other skincare issues you have to contend with.
And if you’re really suffering – speak to your GP.
Do you have any other beauty tips for hay fever sufferers?