All of you know that I insisted on using hyopallergenic components when I began Oh, So Fitting due to my own sensitive skin. Well, my troubles don't end with nickel and they became really bad in my late 20s. I was working in Phoenix, AZ at the time and I can honestly say that I seemed genetically engineered to react to everything in the state! It's the only time in my life when I had an allergist and dermatologist within 5 minutes of my house, and I visited them like I was Catholic and they were the Pope. It was nearly always mass at their office.
The first time I visited my allergist with a swollen face, swollen eyes and skin that had been itching for days, he said "Look, you've got to stop using ANYTHING that isn't hypoallergenic. That includes your lotion, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner. Anything that can get on your hands can get on your face. Anything that goes on your hair will get on your face, so stop using everything!"
He then handed me a sample of a super, hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner. I glanced up at his mostly bald head and at his few wisps of waving hair and sighed. None of these products are going to work, I knew. (I have really, thick curly hair and a ton of it!) The shampoo turned out to be as strong as dish detergent, which was bad, but I could work with it. (I still use it sometimes even now). However, the conditioner was basically opaque, water. My thick, curly hair laughed at it. It taunted the conditioner; called it names. Had my hair and this conditioner been kids, my hair would have pushed it down on the playground and not even bothered to steal it's lunch. Thus began my hunt for hypoallergenic replacements for everything in my house.
The things I look out for are:
- lanolin, because it's a common irritant and I'm allergic to it. (It's found in a lot of beauty products and comes from sheep wool.)
- perfume's, scents and dyes, because you don't know what's in them.
Body Lotion: Vanicreme is a great option for those with very sensitive skin. It comes in a light and heavy version. However, I'm currently loving target's unscented body lotion. It's their generic Up & Up brand so the price is great. I add a little coconut or olive oil to it and it's perfect.
Hand Lotion: this one's tricky unless you want to constantly have to refill a travel size bottle all the time. I've done that before with Vanicreme because it doesn't come in a travel version, but target's unscented body lotion does. I stock up on those so I always have one handy in my purse.
Chapsticks: Be careful here. They (the Illuminati, the Russians, big business, I don't know who?) love putting lanolin in chapstick, so read the ingredients carefully. I personally just buy small tubes petroleum jelly. It also comes in a purse size version. You can find them in the baby section or chapstick aisle. It's hypoallergenic and only contains one ingredient.
Hand soap: This took some searching for, because you use so much of it everyday (or maybe I'm a germaphobe) and it's very tempting to get one that smells nice. I've found generic baby wash to be a great option. It's cheap, you can find it anywhere and it's geared towards those with sensitive skin: babies. You can also even find some with gentle scents.
Face Lotion & Sunscreen: I'd stick to Neutrogena or Target's knock off brand. They are hypoallergenic and come in a million formulas. Whether you have oily or dry skin, or need a low or high SPF - Neutrogena will have a formula for you!
Face Soap: I just use generic, baby wash. The same one that I use for my hands.
Body Soap: Either generic baby wash or Target's unscented bar soap. Dove's is great too, but I think you are paying for the branding.
- Deodorant: Almay's clear gel sensitive skin is my favorite, because it doesn't leave a reside. If you prefer a solid, try Dove for sensitive skin, and Vanicream.
Whew! That was a lot! Now, I'd like you to share. What are your favorite hypoallergenic skincare products?
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