I've always had problems with some substance contained in many skin and haircare products but was never sure about what exactly it was. Some nasty rashes in the crook of my arm. Sure, i had been to a dermatologist, but when he asked me in order to detect the trigger substance not to take a shower for a fortnight in the heat of July so that the samples would not wash off, i kindly refused. It was not that bad after all, and when it started to get worse, i could always change my shower gel or then do the test should it get unbearable.
But now i have self-diagnosed (by means of elimination and the remark of a friend who has exactly the same thing) my allergy to phenoxyethanol, a preservative commonly contained in many of these products. Phenoxyethanol, a word that does not even have an entry in wikipedia, that makes me feel so special ..
Ironically, i noticed that i have allergic reactions to most of the Bodyshop products, a company that prides itself in desisting from animal-testing and generally has a reputation for a skin-friendly product line.
So now i can happily browse the shelves scrutinizing the fineprint on all those shower gels, shampoos and so on. Which is kind of annoying but then again, it's better to know and do something about it than to always use new stuff with slight apprehension.
I glanced at the websites of some of the major brands and was disappointed not to find anything on ingredients or possible allergic reactions, not even in the fineprint. Surely there is a need for this kind of information. I assume you can get it somewhere, but wouldn't it befit a company that sells care products to actively show that they care?
One online shop i noticed had a very neat allergy filter feature on its site that lets you mark and filter out pruducts with certain ingredients .. if only that were possible in the supermarket ...
So you could say that i have overcome my little alcohol problem. Here's to that!