Can This £8 Treatment Really Help Cure Our Hay Fever Symptoms? We Put It To The Test

As we enter peak hay fever season, you may want to add this handy balm to your handbag.

hayfever balm

by Rachael Martin |
Published on

We’ve officially entered spring and while this change in season signals the joys of warmer weather and brighter nights, it also brings with it a not-so-welcome guest. Hay fever. Suffers will no doubt be well-acquainted with the myriad of symptoms the allergy brings - expect sneezing, stuffy noses, itchy eyes and blotchy skin. As Grazia’s self-appointed hay fever expert (what a title), I’ve been using my suffering as an excuse to find out which hay fever remedies really work. Thus far, I've been popping antihistamines in advance and have stocked up on my trusty 99p hay fever wipes. The latest in my arsenal? A barrier balm, available at Boots.

Firstly, for context, what actually triggers a hay fever sufferer? When pollen tries to enter the body, the immune system attempts to expel it in any way possible – often via sneezing, runny eyes and the rest of the irritating symptoms you’ll experience. Naturally then, a great starting point is ensuring pollen doesn’t get into the body in the first place.

Rachael Martin
Rachael is Grazia's hay fever expert, having suffered for years

According to the NHS, investing in a barrier balm has the potential to alleviate suffering. After doing a little research, the HayMax Pure Organic Drug-Free Allergen Barrier Balm, £8.49, has become my go-to. In my experience, the initial threatening tingle of irritation begins in mid-April, so I begin any treatments from there onwards in the hope that my body has built up some sort of defence. Over the past few weeks I've been applying a small amount of this barrier balm around the rim of my nostrils and the hollows of my eyes. Unsurprisingly, this hay fever remedy works as the name would suggest – by creating a barrier to ensure fewer allergens get into your body, ultimately preventing the symptoms from coming on quite so hard.

Shop: The Best Hayfever Balm

Best barrier balm for hay fever

One pot goes a long way – even with consistent reapplication. One Boots reviewer wrote, I find Haymax very helpful during the hayfever season. You need to constantly rub it on, I usually 'top-up' every 2-3 hours and you must do it everytime you blow your nose but it's very helpful. I suffer from mild hayfever so can't comment for people with high hayfever but I would definitely recommend it. It's not a solution but it definitely helps.


  • Suitable for everyone, including children and pregnant women


  • It's not a total cure

Overall rating:

If you’re after a drug-free, natural hay fever solution then this easy-to-apply barrier balm is not to be sniffed at – if you’ll pardon the pun. While it’s important to note that it’s not a cure, I do believe this balm helped minimise my irritated itchy nose – the brand claim it stops a third of pollen from getting into the body which is impressive stuff. While I initially thought it could be a faff, it’s far from it. Non-sticky and greasy, it takes mere seconds to apply and reapply when needed. I won't be giving up my antihistamines anytime soon, granted, but I will be using the HayMax Barrier Balm consistency alongside them. It’s a 4 out of 5 for me.

Rachael Martin is Grazia’s Junior Beauty Editor where she covers all things beauty, health and wellness.

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