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Nut allergies and organic skincare

I have a severe nut allergy. The kind where I have to carry adrenalin everywhere I go. Which means I am constantly asking restaurants/cafes/friends ‘are there any nuts in this?.’ Most people these days realise that nut allergies can be life threatening and act accordingly, but it’s something I am constantly worrying about.

There are days when I wish I didn’t have to think about it and that I could go to Laduree and eat my body weight in macarons or buy one of those teeny tiny Perspex clutches without measuring it to see if my Epipen will fit in it. Praise sweet Jesus that donuts are nut-free. Insert bad joke drum thingy.

So when I started making the move to organic and natural skincare I came across a new challenge. A lot of products contain nut oils, especially the purer, high quality ranges.

Sweet Almond oil in particular is wonderfully nourishing oil for the skin, and therefore is used by a lot of the brands we carry at Natural Supply Co. It’s great for moisturising, but if you’re like me, not so great when it can cause allergic reactions. Red, blotchy hives on the face brings a new meaning to ‘glowing’ skin.

For those of you out there who face the same challenges as me identifying safe products for yourself or if you have children with severe nut allergies, I have compiled a ‘to be avoided’ list of nut related ingredients commonly found in skincare. Unfortunately, unlike food products, toiletry ingredients can be listed using the Latin or botanical name,  and without allergy warnings which has caused me no end of confusion.

The advice from allergy awareness groups like Anaphylaxis Campaign is ‘if you are allergic to a food, and know it is present in a non-food product, avoid using that product.’

This is not an exhaustive list so, as always, speak to your healthcare professional and be vigilant in reading labels. If in doubt, contact the company who makes the product or the store where you bought it.

Examples of nut ingredients are:

Almond – prunus amygdalus 

Almond, bitter – prunus amara

Almond, sweet – prunus dulcis

Argan oil – argania spinosa

Brazil nut – bertholletia excels

Cashew – anacardium occidentale

Hazelnut – corylus rostrata/Americana/avellana

Horse chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum

Kola nut – Cola vera

Kukui nut – aleurites muluccana

Macadamia nut – macadamia ternifolia/integrifolia

Peanut – arachis hypogea, arachis oil, arachidyl behenate

Pistachio – pistacia vera/lentiscus 

Tamanu oil – calophyllum inophyllum

Walnut – juglans regia/mandshurica/nigra

N.B Shea butter is made from an African tree nut and there is debate about whether it is a really a nut or a seed but just be aware it can cause some people problems

Here at Natural Supply Co we list all the ingredients for every product we carry online so you can check before you buy. If you have any questions about the ingredients please email me on sarah@naturalsupplyco.com

Stay tuned for details of my nut-free natural beauty product hit list.

Oh and if you come across a BB cream that is nut-free please let me know!

Sarah x

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