Monday, June 22, 2015

What AREN'T You Allergic To?

I did a post last week about LUSH. I love LUSH, which surprises most people because I am allergic to everything. People think, "Laura, LUSH stuff has a smell and you said you were allergic to stuff that has a smell. Are you saying you're NOT allergic to smells?" This is when we get Sciencey.

I am allergic to lots of things. Some of them are the normal sorts of things everyone is allergic to, like mold. But, for the most part, I am allergic to fake stuff. This means if something as a fragrance that is made in a lab and not made from squeezing fruit and berries, I am allergic to it. If it is made out of petroleum byproducts, or petrochemicals, I am allergic to it. If it is used to keep meat or salads shelf-stable for months, I am allergic to it.

Here is a Venn diagram:

The natural things I'm allergic to include: wasps, mold, mangoes, tomatoes, and Seth MacFarlane.
The reason why LUSH works is because 1. they stick to natural ingredients as often as possible and 2. they disclose EVERYTHING. What's nice about LUSH is that I can actually compare the list of deadly deadly chemicals to their ingredients and know that if I use this soap or that conditioner, I won't get sick. Usually I can only tell if something's going to give me a reaction by doing a patch test on my arm and waiting for a problem, even with so-called "fragrance free" products...which aren't always fragrance free. My reactions can range from: nausea, headache, asthma reaction, sneezing, rash, chemical burn (this was unpleasant), joint pain, lightheadedness, and probably death.*

This is where I continue to advertise for companies without getting paid, because I found two other sources for bath and body products that people like me, with hideous allergies, can check out.**

Lavanila Laboratories was my big find of this year. Lavanila makes all sorts of natural products like deodorant and body butter, that have NOTHING unnatural in them. I would have Lavanila's baby if it were a person and not a company. Their stuff smells amazing, works incredibly well, and I can trust that anything I order from them will be safe for me to use.

Another company for allergy-friendly products is The Honest Company. I haven't tried a lot of their products, but I ordered sunscreen from them this year after I discovered why I was feeling sick every time I used normal sunscreen.*** The Honest Company makes sunscreen without chemicals, so it's safe. I also want to try their bug spray, since--you guessed it--I'm allergic to DEET, too. They make all sorts of things, including cleaning products, and since I'm allergic to the vast majority of commercial cleaning products, I'm interested in trying some.

* Death hasn't happened yet. We'll see.
** Seriously, feel free to pay me. My dream job is to be paid to use stuff I already love.
*** Sulfa, an antibiotic that I'm allergic to, is related to PABA, which is in, like, every sunscreen ever. I'm also allergic to other sunscreen ingredients, so it's just safer for me to avoid sunlight and, failing that, to go with all-natural sunscreen.

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