I would sometimes get swollen, irritated eyes, after a photo shoot. It was extremely painful, I couldn’t work as a model because I looked like bees stung me multiple times in my eyelids. Not one cream would soothe the irritation, they would actually all hurt. The only thing that worked was a fresh Cucumber. Slice it and pour the juice over my eyes. That would soothe it! All natural. Anyway, I didn’t know where my allergy came from, so I got a food allergy test, but nothing significant came out. Then I went to the hospital and had a bloodtest, and another test , with stickers on my back. Each sticker was an additive, that you can find in most common day to day skin/ hair care products, or products you use around the house. The stickers stay on 3 days, and afterwards you can see what you are allergic to.

book a consumer's dictionary of cosmetic ingredientsFor me it was a straight winner: Diazolidinyl Urea, and his brother Imidazodinyl Urea where so irritated, it was obvious they were my allergy problem. I was happy I knew, but then I started checking skincare products, and these things are in so many products! This because they are cheap preservatives. But just knowing they can form formaldehyde which is extremely toxic and can cause cancer, I knew I had to eliminate them. Thank God more and more products are produced without it. My growing interest in finding out what is exactly in makeup, skin and hair care, made me read about all the additives in products and food. And trust me you won’t be happy if you find out what all those ingredients are that you can’t pronounce, that are in your nice day cream! So be smart and check all the products you use, included shampoo and body lotion. You can buy one of those books with the list of all used cosmetic additives, or search online, and see what is in your body care products.

If you have an allergic reaction, you should ask your doctor/dermatologist if he can arrange a test for you. You will be so happy when you find out! I have the book “A Consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients” by Ruth Wither, it lists all additives and explains exactly what they do! I think this book everyone should have on their book shelve, as it is always smart to read what’s in the products you use every day.

Nowadays I ALWAYS read ingredient lists, and I haven’t had an allergic reaction ( knock on wood) since. And from the moment I found out what my allergy was, when I did a photo shoot, I ask the makeup artist and hairdresser if I could check their products. Or I would bring my own. Being informed is half way to eliminating pain and discomfort!

Love, Lonneke