It all started in March when I woke up like this…
Hello Angelina Jolie lips. I had an allergic reaction to some lip gloss I was wearing the day before. My lips were super itchy, puffy and painful. It happened again in May but was even worse. I had some really painful blistering. I’ll save you from the pictures and just let you imagine.
After I had the second reaction I decided I wanted to get chemical allergy testing. My allergist did a patch test, which consists of putting 32 chemicals on your back under a bandage and leaving it there for 48-72 hours. From this test he concluded that I have contact dermatitis, an immune response that causes your skin to react to chemicals it no longer likes. My allergist explained that this can happen at anytime and doesn’t necessarily happen on first contact with a chemical. Which is why it took 23 years to have these tests done.
As you can see, I reacted to a few of the chemicals. The major ones were Diazolidinal Urea, Imadazolidinal Urea, Quinoline Mix and Disperse Blue.
As soon as I got home I began researching these chemical ingredients. Diazolidinal Urea and Imadazolidinal Urea are formaldehyde releasers that act as preservatives and softeners in many soaps, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and cosmetics.
Quinoline Mix is an antifungal and an antibacterial also found in corticosteroids which are used in anti itch creams… Hey, let me put a rash on your rash. Ugh.
And finally Disperse blue is the blue dye in textiles. Yes, I am allergic to the color blue. That doesn’t stop me from wearing it, though. I just have to wash new clothing items a few extra times now.
The biggest problem I found when researching was that there are lots of other names for the Urea chemicals: Imidurea, DMDM hydantoin, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-broom-2-nitropane-1, 3-diol (bromopol), bronopol, quaternium 15, N hydroxymethl, 5 dioximidazolidin, tetramethylhydatonin urea, Germall II…
Yeah, it got a little overwhelming. Turns out a ton of my products contained these chemicals. Here’s a little preview of some products I can no longer use. Don’t worry, I’m not throwing them away. First pick will go to my family and friends.
The only problem with this test is that there are only 32 chemicals tested that commonly cause allergies or contact dermatitis. Whichever chemical caused the initial reactions, wasn’t tested. I still don’t know everything I’m allergic to. For now I stay away from most lip products unless they have just a few simple ingredients. My allergist told me to stay away from drugstore cosmetics. He said Sephora is safer place because they use less of these preservatives and nasty chemicals in higher end products. Sorry, dad!
I also concluded that the chemicals I’m allergic to are all synthetic. I’ve started the switch to more natural products. So far I’ve switched most of my skincare and body care. Here’s what I’ve been using.
Acure pure mint + echinacea stem cell shampoo volumizing, Acure pure mint + echinacea stem cell conditioner volumizing, Acure argan cell stimulating body wash, Acure facial cleanser gel superfruit + chlorella growth factor, Acure argan stem cell + chlorella growth factor brightening facial scrub, Acure night cream: argan stem cell + 2% chlorella growth factor, Acure oil control facial moisturizer: lilac stem cells + 1% chlorella growth factor, Acure facial toner balancing rose + red tea, Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Age Defying Eye Cream, La Vanila The Healthy Deodorant, Dr. Sponge™ Original Facial Cleansing Konjac Sponge.
I found that Acure has a lot of great, middle of the road priced, natural products. I like everything that’s in my everyday routine so far. I’ll update you once I’m happy with my routine and my skin settles down a bit from all the change.
I got a lot of my product recommendations from a couple beauty gurus on YouTube: Kendra Atkins and Shannon Sullivan. Both have had issues with gluten and have thus switched their diets and beauty routines to natural products.
Kendra also turned me on to an app called Think Dirty. It allows you to scan in barcodes or search your products to learn about the potential toxicity of the chemicals you are using. It helps a lot when I have to read every single label and know exactly what each chemical does. A few products that I thought were healthy/natural were not. You’d be surprised. Here’s some screenshots of my app so you can get an idea of what it’s like. You can click the thumbnails to see the pictures up close:
Have you tried any natural products recently? Let me know in the comments below if you have any recommendations!