By Amy Lawrenson
Today the ELLE office is filled with sneezing, itchy-eyed staffers. There is only one thing more annoying than the symptoms of hay fever, having to listen to people sniffling...
So top of the list – tissues. Give your nose a good blow, you’ll feel happier and those around you won’t be so irked.
While I can't wave a magic beauty wand to make your symptoms go away (I'm not a doctor, after all) I can advise on some products you should have to hand (alongside your tissues and Piriton).
Keep these DuWop igels, £17 (simplebeauty.co.uk), in the fridge to pop onto eyes first thing in the morning or last thing at night to take down any puffiness. The blue ones are best for hay fever symptoms as they contain soothing chamomile. If you want to go old school and keep things cheap, always have a cucumber on ice for affordable eye slices.
During these pollen-filled times switch your usual eye cream to Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel, £14.99 (victoriahealth.com). It's hypoallergenic and has a light, cooling texture. Just what itchy, irritated, red eyes need.
Look for a good quality concealer that will cover any redness around your eyes and nose, but won't irritate your sensitive skin. Try Clinique Redness Solutions Corrector, £16, the yellow hue cancels out any redness and the one universal shade works on all skin tones. For added coverage follow with Clinique Airbrush Concealer, £16, under the eyes and around the nose. (Both at clinique.co.uk)
If you want to treat the symptoms internally - look to the Organic Pharmacy for its Hayfever Relief kit, £37.96. It includes, along with other goodies, Sneeze Away Tincture containing chamomile, elderflower and nettles (naturally anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-histamines). Add 15 drops of this to a little water and down it like a shot - it relieves an itchy throat and nose from the inside-out.
If you want to nip your hay fever in the bud before symptoms arrive, keep in mind Weleda's Hayfever kit, £13.45, for next year. It takes an isopathic approach - the idea is that you treat your condition before the symptoms present themselves. In this case 4-6 weeks before you usually suffer start taking the Mixed Pollen 30c tablets, they contain a minute amount of the substances that cause hay fever - grasses, cereals, weeds along with early and mid blossoming trees; it prepares your system for summer's onslaught. You also get a nasal spray should you start getting a few mild hayfever symptoms while you go through the course. Worth a try, I say.