Read any top tips on how to deal with your hay fever and petroleum jelly (AKA Vaseline) will always feature on the list. But proceed with caution, it's not as innocuous as you might think.
One of the best ways to reduce and prevent hay fever symptoms is to reduce the amount of pollen and allergens you’re exposed to. Vaseline is greasy, sticky stuff and if you apply some around your nostrils it’s pretty effective at trapping pollen before it can get up your nose and trigger a reaction.
But it’s a chemical by-product of the oil industry and there are a few things to consider before putting it on your skin.
Vaseline is what’s known in the cosmetics business as an occlusive. Rather than hydrating the skin (which is not possible since it contains no water) it just seals in whatever moisture is already present on the skin. So if your skin is already sore and chapped from constant nose blowing, Vaseline might still help to trap the pollen but it won’t help moisturise and heal your skin.
Occlusives prevent your skin from breathing and can also trap dirt and block pores which is double trouble if you’re prone to acne breakouts. And because it forms a waterproof barrier on the skin, Vaseline can be difficult to wash off at the end of the day.
Our skin absorbs minute quantities of the creams, lotions and gels we apply to it. Although petroleum jelly is refined to remove impurities, it’s still a petrochemical and you might want to rethink how you use it.
Check the label of your hay fever balm – it might not have ‘Vaseline’ in the name but some have petroleum jelly as their main ingredient.
Natural plant based balms containing coconut oil, sunflower oil rapeseed oil are a breathable and sustainable choice. Just as effective at trapping pollen and allergens, they allow your skin to breathe and will soothe sore skin with their natural moisturising action.
Breaze Allergy Barrier Balm is a gently, soothing blend of coconut and sunflower oil and also contains a blend of essential oils. Each ingredient is recognised for its natural aromatherapeutic benefit to support easier, more comfortable breathing. It traps up to 30% of pollen and other allergens before they get up your nose.