The last few days have been pretty miserable, the pollen count has been high so my Hayfever (an allergy to pollen) has been making life difficult. Think streaming eyes and nose, itchy irritated eyes and sometimes hives (yes really) as well as constantly sneezing. I know for a fact I'm not alone so I have routed around my stash and my handbag to share my essentials to help make the pollen season that little easier...
The Body Shop Aloe Eye Defence £11/15ml - link
The Body Shop Aloe Defence is a light silky serum which has been created to hydrate, dry yet stressed out skin - a great, all round eye product especially for sensitive eyes. If you find eye cream in general leaves your eye area irritated and/or streaming with tears (I often blame fragranced products for this) then this is what you have been looking for. What makes this such an important addition to my routine is that it can be used barrier against pollen to prevent irritation from happening. I was told that it works by trapping the pollen and preventing it from entering the eye. I like that it is lightweight, nourishing and soothing - the barrier against irritation is merely a bonus.
HayMax Balm £5.99/5ml - linkOne of my biggest annoyances in regards to Hayfever is the constant sneezing, my nose often ends up a bloody (not a curse but in the literal sense) mess due to all the wiping and force of sneezing. Lovely I know! To help combat the problem for a good few years now I have been using HayMax. In a nutshell this is a balm that you apply at the entrance of your nose (around the nostrils is what works best for me) which acts as a barrier to trap any pollen and of course prevent you from inhaling it. The beauty of this product is that it is 100% natural and can be used as frequently as you wish. More importantly it works, I sneeze far less when I use than I do without it. I have been told that petroleum jelly would perhaps do the same thing but I have not put it to the test (nor am I all that willing to put it into practise) but it is good to know if caught short.
Clarins Extra Comfort Anti Pollution Cleansing Cream £22/200ml - link
Adding a cleanser to this post may seem odd but when you think about it as well as removing make-up and grime from the day, allergy sufferers will want to ensure that all traces of pollen are rinsed away from the skin too. Enter Clarins Extra Comfort Anti Pollution Cleansing Cream - not only does this gentle butter (moringa, mango and shea) based cleanser leave the skin deeply cleansed with next to no effort, nor does it strip the skin but it also removes all traces of pollution which of course includes pollen. I can not recommend it enough even if you do not suffer from Hayfever/allergies.
Come the evening my eyes are particularly tired, painful, itchy and generally irritated - they stream all day long and tend to be a little bloodshot. Over the years I have learnt that Optrex Actimist 2 in 1 Tired and Uncomfortable Eyes is my saving grace. Yes at £12.79 it isn't exactly budget friendly but it does all it says on the tin. This lightweight mist is applied over closed eyes - you simply shut your eyes and mist for instant relief that both cools and clams. Yes I do tend to use this in the evening but I can personally vouch that it doesn't remove eye make-up, for that reason I do keep mine on me at all times.
Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion £13.25/150ml via John Lewis - linkIf you are looking for soothing a little more traditional or dare I say it luxurious, Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion is your go to guy. There is not an evening in the last few weeks in which I have not soaked a few cotton pads in this refreshing, hydrating and soothing liquid. I tend to pop the cotton pads over my eyes, find a good pod cast and bliss out for an hour or so (I have also been known to take Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion on long haul flights). Not only does Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion cool and calm but I find it helps reduce signs of puffiness and redness - a must for any irritated eye area.
Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara £19/6g via Feel Unique - link
Now I would recommend any waterproof mascara over regular mascara - streaming eyes and mascara don't generally bode well. Typically I'm not a huge fan of waterproof mascara as I find it clumps and weighs down my flimsy eyelashes. For that reason alone I recommend Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara, as this was created for the humid conditions of Asia it gently surrounds and coats the eyelashes with "tubes". It doesn't flake, smudge or smear and is never heavy nor crispy - spider leg lashes are not something you have to worry about with this mascara. Rather it gives the impression of soft, fluttering eyelashes with plenty of volume and length. When it comes to the removal stage you need is water - yes it really is that simple! I deem this to be the one mascara anyone with sensitive eyes needs to try!
I really do hope that at least one of the products above will help all those suffering from the high pollen count lives a little easier. In the same vain other than traditional antihistamines, if you have stumbled across a must try product for Hayfever do let me know!