I’m going to take a break from talking about cooking tasty, allergen-free food and focus on a related issue: finding allergen-free personal care and household products.
Finding personal care and household cleaning products that don’t have allergenic ingredients can be a challenge. Furthermore, since hugs, kisses, and general horsing around is common in our household, everyone in the family uses only allergen-free products to avoid accidentally touching Sprout with anything allergenic (e.g. allergenic soap residue, lotion, hair gel, etc. on our hands, face, and hair).
Sprout is allergic to gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats), dairy, eggs, sesame, peanuts, and all tree nuts except for coconut, so we avoid those known allergens in the products we buy.
Also, as a general rule, we avoid artificial scents, artificial coloring, brightener chemicals, and other other things designed to stick to the skin or to our clothes, since Sprout and DH have sensitive skin. We are OK with scents as long as they come from essential oils made from non-allergenic ingredients. As a general rule, we avoid the automatic use of enzymatic cleaners in our laundry detergent, preferring to reserve them for targeted stains whenever stains appear. As it is with all kinds of washing, it is extremely important to use plenty of water to rinse the item clean of the enzymatic cleaner, or any cleaner for that matter.
We have been using these products for well over a year with no reactions. (Of course, your mileage may vary (YMMV), so as is always the case, exercise caution when trying new products.) Plus, they perform well. One of these days, I might get around to listing the ingredients here. Today is not that day. 🙂
- California Baby Super Sensitive Fragrance Free Body Wash/Shampoo – Sprout uses this for bathing and washing hair. (Available at BabiesRUs, Target, Whole Foods, www.diapers.com.)
- Unscented Ivory – Sprout uses this to washing hands. We avoid bathing him with it, since Ivory is rather harsh and drying, but in a pinch we will use it to bathe him. DH and I use Ivory and for bathing and general hand washing. (Widely available.)
- Unscented Dove – We don’t like the smell or feel, but will use it if we have no other choice. (Widely available.)
- California Baby Super Sensitive Fragrance Free Body Wash/Shampoo – Sprout uses this for bathing and washing hair. (BabiesRUs, Target, Whole Foods, www.diapers.com.)
- Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo (labeled gluten-free) – Non-allergenic adults use. (Costco)
- Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Conditioner (labeled gluten-free) – Non-allergenic adults use. (Costco)
- Unscented Ivory followed by a dilution of rice- or corn-derived vinegar – Wash hair with unscented Ivory and water. Rinse. Apply mixture of vinegar well diluted with water to hair and massage. Rinse. (FYI, the vinegar is necessary if you’re going to wash your hair with soap, as it breaks down and washes away the soap residue.) Your hair will feel incredibly clean, conditioned, and soft to the touch. I actually prefer this method to store-bought shampoo/conditioner, though some may not like the vinegar smell that lingers initially.
- Peter Rabbit Organics Garden Fresh Carrot and Pumpkin Baby Lotion – Sprout uses. Parents would use, except dang, it’s expensive! (Whole Foods)
- A high quality extra virgin olive oil from a reputable source (.e.g. Whole Foods in-house brand) serves as a moisturizer in a pinch for both Sprout and adults. Be aware that many olive oils on the market in the U.S. are suspected of being doctored with cheaper, and possibly allergenic, oils.
- Vaseline petroleum jelly – Adults use to moisturize and protect lips, hands, and feet.
- Glide Original Floss (Widely available.)
- Trader Joe’s All Natural No Fluoride Antiplaque Toothpaste with Fennel, Propolis, and Myrrh (Trader Joe’s)
- Solbar Shield Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide SPF 40 (purchased at the Kaiser pharmacy in East Los Angeles)
- Trader Johann’s Virtuoso Lip Balm SPF 15 with spearmint (Trader Joe’s)
We always get the drug that has the least amount of additional inactive ingredients.
- Generic brand of Atarax (hydroxyzine?) – prescription antihistamine that primarily helps to calm itching and skin irritation
- EpiPen Jr.
- Cortizone 10 or Budpak 1% hydrocortisone ointment – We use this on minor irritations if bathing affected area doesn’t stop the itching. We apply this after washing affected area. We avoid applying hydrocortisone onto Sprout’s face, which in the past has reacted very badly to the steroid. (Kaiser pharmacy in East Los Angeles, CA.)
- Family Care Bacitracin (Kaiser pharmacy in East Los Angeles, CA.)
General Household Products
- Mountain Green Sensitive Skin Unscented Liquid Laundry Detergent (http://mountaingreen.biz/) As it is w/all laundry detergents, be sure to rinse TWICE; otherwise, dirt and yucky stuff won’t get washed out of the fabric.
- Dawn regular dishwashing detergent – Annoying smell, but oh well. (Widely available.)
- NOW tea tree essential oil for ant control – Dilute essential oil with water and spray wherever ants are entering house. (Grassroots Natural Market and Kitchen in South Pasadena, CA; Granny’s Pantry in Pasadena, CA; various health food stores.)
- Bio-Kleen All-Purpose Cleaner – Provides targeted enzymatic cleaning action when clothing, kitchen, or bathroom needs it. (Whole Foods, various health food stores in the mainland U.S. H-Market in Saipan.)
- Simple Green – for general cleaning of tub, floor, etc. Would prefer to use Bio-Kleen, as it’s probably safer and definitely smells better, but Simple Green is cheaper and so we use it for bigger general cleaning jobs. (Widely available.)
- Bon Ami, salt, and baking soda for scrubbing. (Widely available.)
- Corn-derived vinegar – Vinegar rinses away soap residue in tubs, sinks, etc. For these larger cleaning jobs, I use corn-derived vinegar because it’s cheaper and widely available. Obviously, corn-allergenic folks will want to use another type of vinegar. I always contact manufacturers to confirm the vinegar source. (Widely available.)