Allergies have been at the forefront of my mind lately, partly because the change in weather has brought on hay fever symptoms, but also because it is getting harder and harder to avoid things I am allergic to and it is driving me mad.

So my allergy journey started with pollen, and I ended up spending most of my childhood trying to avoid the damn stuff, which by the way is nigh on impossible and really annoying when all your friends are out playing in the park and you can’t join them. You could go the the park, what’s a few sneezes I hear you say, well my response to pollen was nasal but it wasn’t to sneeze repeatedly I got nose bleeds, and when my nose started to bleed, my word did it bleed. One time didn’t have any tissues and there was enough blood pooling on the floor to make a horror movie director proud. Before you start giving me advice on how to deal with nosebleeds, trust me when I tell you my parents tried them all, as did the ear nose and throat specialist they took me to and he couldn’t get the bleeding to stop either. The only advice he could give was to stand over the sink until it stopped and that if I had more than one in a day I would need a blood transfusion to deal with the blood loss.

When I was maybe five years old, a friend made me a daisy chain and put it on my wrist, within minutes my wrist began to sting and itch, the daisy chain was swiftly removed but the petal imprints caused by the allergic reaction took a few days to disappear, so I added daisies to my allergies list.

Cut to me at ten years old with a face mask on and cucumber slices over my eyes because I had seen people doing that on TV, was very relaxing until my eyes started to swell to the point at which I could barely see. Add cucumber to the list.

It took me a while but I worked out that the allergies to daisies and cucumbers were related as they are both a part of the asteraceae plant family. a family which also includes Chamomile and Sunflowers and would explain why my skin was sore from using facial oil, after checking the ingredients list it contained sunflower seed oil.

I have been having a fairly difficult time lately trying to find skincare which is suitable for my dehydrated and sensitive skin which does not contain cucumber, chamomile or sunflower seed oil, it is frustrating as you stand there scrutinising the ingredients list of every product and trying the remember every variation of this plant family and all the bloody Latin or Greek names they use for ingredients.

Unfortunately for me this is a near impossible task, and I sometimes miss hazardous ingredients and end up looking like this

Allergy Face.JPG

I am becoming increasingly frustrated that cosmetics companies do not seem to have to highlight potential allergens on their ingredients list like food manufacturers do. I know there is a difference, food allergies can be much more severe and in some cases can be life threatening. But surely if an ingredient is known to be an allergen and if it has the potential to cause harm companies should be required to highlight them.

What are your thought on ingredient labelling in skincare? Do you agree with me that there need to be better regulations or do you think I am overreacting because my face is on fire yet again?

If you have any recommendations on products or brands for me to try please let me know.