Is Your Skincare Causing Allergies?
According to medical research, one in every hundred people is allergic to certain skincare products and you could be that person without even realising it! Allergies are when your body thinks it is being attacked – your immune system considers a product or a food as being “foreign” and potentially harmful so it reacts to it. However, we are all different. While your closest friend might be allergic to a moisturiser that you swear by, you might be allergic to her chosen eye cream –the important thing is to understand what your triggers are and why you get a reaction. It’s hard sometimes to know what is causing your allergy and normally a process of elimination will help to identify the culprit but there are some known skincare ingredients used in many products which are recognised as major triggers.
It’s worth questioning whether you know if you are having an allergic reaction because you will not necessarily react the same way as someone else. Some people have severe reactions such as swelling or chronic eczema whereas others might have slightly reddened skin, some itchiness and flaky skin in a localised area or a light rash. Skincare products normally cause a reaction on the face and/or neck, but the reaction can appear on hands too if it is a hand-cream or if you use fingertips to apply a product. In almost all cases the irritation will disappear very quickly, within a few days and normally it last no longer than a week but if you keep getting similar reactions it would be wise to visit your GP. Symptoms of allergic reactions to skincare include:
- Itchy skin
- Red, inflamed skin
- Flaky, extremely dry skin
- Burning sensation
If you are suffering an allergic reaction and think it might be coming from your skincare there are a few things you can do. Firstly, if it is not responding to an antihistamine then book an appointment with your doctor to get it treated. You could also request allergy testing to find out if a specific ingredient is causing the problem. Have you checked the ingredients on the back of your skincare? If you don’t yet use Naturology and your skincare is not all-natural then it’s likely that a chemical is causing the problem. There are numerous irritants in skincare, here’s the list of some potential offenders:
- Fragrance – this normally hides a load of unfriendly chemicals and many fragrance combinations are linked to allergies and dermatitis, check your moisturiser/eye cream!
- Triclosan – this is a known skin irritant.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – this is a surfactant and is used in cleaning products as well as skincare products such as foaming cleansers! It is a skin irritant.
- Formaldehyde – this preservative causes allergic skin reactions (as well as being known as a human carcinogen with cancerous properties). Check your cleanser!
- Propylene Glycol – this is a known skin irritant and causes hives and dermatitis, check your moisturiser!
- Methylisothiazolinone (MI) - this causes contact dermatitis, check your moisturiser and face/eye cream.
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to use natural products on your skin and to drink plenty of water which helps to flush out toxins and impurities. It’s recommended that you drink 2 litres a day which also hugely benefits your skin, hydrating it, cleansing it and plumping it up! You should re-examine your skincare as a priority. Just because something is labelled as organic or natural doesn’t mean it won’t trigger an allergy but it is less likely to because the ingredients are supposedly natural. Again, some companies label their products as natural or organic when they still use chemicals. This is because the skincare industry is not well-regulated and ingredients labels have very sketchy rules attached to them.
The advantages of Naturology skincare is that it genuinely is up to 98% natural and we are completely honest about what goes into our skincare products. Every one of our products is properly and carefully labelled so you are 100% confident in what you are using. Where we can’t use natural we use very carefully selected ingredients. It is impossible to produce completely natural skincare with a long shelf life because like food, it deteriorates so the ingredients on our labels which are not natural are very gentle preservatives and emulsifiers.
Our ingredients are derived from natural sources which means we extract from fruit such as citrus, berries and super fruits, we also use herbs, flowers and plants. Everything we put into our skincare is rich in vitamins and minerals with powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants act as a battleground fighting against free radicals which attack your skin. The beauty of natural skincare is just that, beauty! It promises to raise the stakes against aging, fighting wrinkles and fine lines, it plumps, hydrates and enriches skin leaving you with stunningly radiant, youthful complexion and no allergies!
- Mark Wallace