Home Health & Wellness Pollen Bomb: “I’m a Doctor – Here’s How to Allergy Proof Your Skin from Hayfever Symptoms”

Pollen Bomb: “I’m a Doctor – Here’s How to Allergy Proof Your Skin from Hayfever Symptoms”

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With searches for searches for “hayfever” increasing by 93% in the past week as the sizzling temperatures has also made pollen levels spike.

But here’s a comforting fact: you’re not alone. Hay fever is one of the UKs most common allergies, affecting a whopping 49% of the population. And with Google searches for “hay fever” spiking by a staggering 93% in the past week**, it’s clear many are feeling the itch. 

To help, Cult Beauty teamed up with Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Pharmacy to help you navigate the nasty hayfever symptoms. 

What skin concerns to occur during hay fever season

“Exposure to pollen can cause skin sensitivity – even in those who have not previously had typical hay fever symptoms in the past. When the skin comes into contact with the allergen, this can spark a reaction even if pollen has not been inhaled and other hay fever symptoms are absent. This exposure tends to cause redness, dryness, itchiness and dark puffy circles under the eyes,” describes Dr Deborah Lee.  

But that’s not all, “prolonged exposure to pollen also disrupts the protective skin barrier allowing allergens to enter the deeper layers of the skin more easily.  This can also impair collagen production. As collagen is the most important connective tissue in the skin (which acts as scaffolding to all the other skin cells), when collagen production is reduced, this tends to make the skin lose volume and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.” 

How to adapt your skin care routine for hayfever season 

Being hyper aware of what we’re using on our skin and how we’re using it is key when tackling hay fever season. With that in mind , Dr Deborah Lee shares her tups and tricks on how to switch up your skincare routine during allergy season:

  • Hero hydration. Typically, your complexion becomes dry and irritated during hay fever season, which could cause it to become dehydrated and feel rough to touch. Therefore “staying hydrated is key. Use skin products that contain hyaluronic acid as this helps the skin retain water.
  • Amp up your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is needed for skin health as it is a cofactor for collagen production. Helping with water retention, it has powerful antioxidant effects. To ensure the vitamin C reaches your dermis more effectively, it’s best practice to incorporate it into your routine in the form of a supplement
  • Protect your skin barriers. As we know, those with allergies such as hay fever tend to suffer from sensitive skin. “This means the skin barrier function is weakened and it’s all too easy for allergens and harsh chemical products to enter the deeper layers of the skin. Avoid using skin care or make up products that contain artificial colourings or fragrances, essential oils, or exfoliants such as retinol. Instead opt for products with gentle ingredients such as hyaluronic acidceramides or panthenol (provitamin B5). It’s best to always patch test a small area of skin the night before, before using any new product too.

The best skincare routine for allergy prone skin

  • Gently remove makeup. Start by removing any make up you may on. Be extra careful around the eyes, a common sensitive spot for allergy sufferers. Micellar water is a great option because its tiny oil particles attract dirt and debris without irritating the eyes. 
  • Warm water cleansing. Wash your face with lukewarm water to avoid stripping your skins natural oils. Pat it dry gently instead of running with a towel.
  • Cleanse twice a day. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser morning and evening to remove pollen and other allergens that settle on your skin throughout the day.  
  • Use a hypoallergenic toner. Use a hypoallergenic toner specifically formulated for sensitive skin. This will help balance your skin’s pH without causing irritation. 
  • Moisturiser with ceramides. Look for a fragrance free moisturiser containing ceramides, which help strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. Apply it within minutes of washing your face to trap moisture while your pores are slightly open. 
  • Sun protection. Finish your routine with an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher. If you have sensitive skin, avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone. Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide are gentler alternatives. 

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