Gracing us with all those itchy, puffy, sneezy symptoms, hay fever is the seasonal side-effect we could really do without. “What starts as mild irritation can end up impacting our daily quality of life, not to mention our eye health,” says optometrist, Nicola Alexander-Cross. In fact, symptoms like these are the main reason she, along with co-founder Natasha, created Peep Club – a brand devoted to soothing and preventing symptoms of Dry Eyes.

What is Dry Eyes?

“Dry Eyes encompasses everything from mild irritation (itchiness, a tired and heavy feeling, or overly watery eyes) to severe and even sight threatening issues” says Nicola.

Sounds similar to our Spring-sparked hay fever, right? That’s because it is. “Although the cause is different (Dry Eyes is a medical condition, whereas hay fever is a reaction to pollen), these two types of eye irritation have a lot of similarities,” says Nicola, “and our methods for soothing such irritations can crossover, too.”

Itchy, red eyes? Soothe them with top tips and product recommendations from Peep Club ahead of hay fever season.

Peep Club

1.Pollen protection

“The key cause of hay fever is a reaction to pollen, and the best way to defend eyes from this powdery substance is to create a layer of protection,” says Nicola. “The natural way to do this is to create tears,” Nicola adds, and Peep Club Instant Relief Eye Spray, £15 / 17ml (approx. 300 doses), can help. It uses Sea Buckthorn Oil, designed to lock in the moisture of tears and naturally protect eyes from drying over time. It also contains Sodium Hyaluronate to strengthen tears at a cellular level for better hydration throughout the day. Simply hold the spray 15-20 cm from the face and spritz across closed eyes, applying 1-2 times per eye. The Instant Relief Eye Spray can be used up to 4 times per day, or as often as needed.

2.Invest in an eye spray

“Eye sprays or drops can help to strengthen and build the eye barrier which helps by providing an extra layer of defence against allergens. The key to this though? Make sure that it’s preservative free.”

3.Round-the-clock rehydration

“Spring in the UK is usually a time of low humidity” says Nicola “and that can prove problematic for eyes that are susceptible to irritation”. With its moisture-replacing mist action, compact size and cable-free design, Peep Club Hydrating Portable Humidifier, £55, is ready to rehydrate and subsequently soothe irritated eyes. It works by naturally re-establishing a healthier environment for your eyes by replacing lost moisture into the air around them. Nicola’s tip? “Before hay fever season starts, place this handy hydrator on your bedtime table. When used overnight, your eyes – even when closed – soak up the benefits of this continuous rehydration.” It’s a sure way to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.

4.Cleansing with care

If eyes are irritated, it may be tempting to rinse the pain away, but you could end up causing more harm than good, especially when using soap or cleansers. “Fragrance, alcohol, preservatives and even essential oils can cause issues when used on already-irritated eyes,” warns Nicola. That’s why she advises stepping away from these types of products and instead treating eyes to Peep Club’s 100% organic Soothing Coconut Eye Balm, £20. It’s free from all known eye irritants, and instead is packed with antibacterial coconut and soothing chamomile. The star of the balm, however, has to be Cureberry. Lauded as a powerful antioxidant, this superhero ingredient helps shield the eye area from external aggressors, pollen included.

5.Don’t forget about your lashes!

Pollen can settle in eyelashes resulting in ongoing irritation to eyes. To overcome this, Nicola advises cleaning your lashes regularly throughout the day. “This can be done easily by keeping a cotton pad, such as Peep Club Reusable Velvet Bamboo Pads(£15), in your bag, applying a few spritzes of Instant Relief Eye Spray and swiping over eyes to gently cleanse lashes.”

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