I find it a little bizarre that not many out there are talking about the impact of cosmetics on the life of a histamine or biogenic amine intolerant person. Even when following a low histamine and tyramine diet to the letter (almost impossible but can be done for short periods) I still suffered symptom flare ups. My attitude at the time was: “hey, I’m suffering so I may as well pig out”. Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
Then I read this great book ‘No More Dirty Looks’. It got me thinking. If 60% of what we put onto our bodies is absorbed into our bloodstream, then why aren’t I concerned about what it could be doing to my histamine, tyramine or other amine levels? Cue…
THE PRODUCT ELIMINATION PLAN
1. Go No-Poo.
Do you have a rash on your scalp, jawline, neck, upper arms and or upper thighs? You might want to stop using shampoo. I know it sounds gross, but the hair does clean itself with natural oils. Your hair will look shinier and have more volume than ever. My immune system is so hyper reactive that I don’t even tolerate natural shampoos. But I have found a few that I can dilute and use once a week as long as I don’t get it on my scalp.
2. Stop the gel washes.
As with your scalp, your skin, and all the friendly bacteria that live on it (seriously, look it up! It’s not just in your colon), might not be liking the soapy stuff. I use a natural sea sponge and use it with a bit of bottled water. My face has never looked better! No blemishes, eczema, rash, pimples, nothing! Years of misery at an end. If your diet isn’t doing the trick and all symptoms but your skin rash clear up, it’s time to ask yourself if it’s the face wash and shampoo making your skin blotchy.
3. Bin the nasty toothpaste.
Seriously, there’s a reason it’s almost impossible to find complete toothpaste ingredient lists online. They have horribly nasty ingredients. Try looking that stuff up on the safe cosmetics database and see if you can still put it in your mouth. I use the most natural toothpaste I can - and my dentist says he can’t see any difference and concedes that I shouldn’t develop caries as a result of stopping the nasty stuff.
4. Forget the polish (for now).
I’ve written about this before: have you even stopped to consider what nail polish is doing to your system? Now that my body is free of most allergens I can tell what is actually bothering me. I was so overloaded before that it was almost impossible to tell what was doing what. Now I know my body goes completely berserk with nail polish. I use water based polish (once in a while) and just buff my nails in the meantime. There are a few great brands out there, including one by the ex-cosmetics director of Chanel’s ‘Little Bu’. I’ll review that as soon as I get down to Harrods to score a bottle. I keep seeing brands marketing themselves to kids (i.e. safe for kids), I just don’t understand why it’s not considered ok to market to people on the basis that nail polish can be bad for your health?
5. Embrace natural brands.
Rose Marie Swift (RMS Beauty) is my hero! A trailblazing make up artist to the world’s supermodels (including Giselle Bundchen) who sufferers from chemical sensitivity. Her make up has 4-6 ingredients, mostly raw organic. They double up as moisturiser and make up. Does not raise my histamine or drive my immune system into a frenzy. I do have to stick to the light/nude colours which I love anyway. Reds (carmine) make my lips and eyes swell horribly. I also love my latest discovery Mineral Fusion for eyeliner and Hemp Organics for lipstick. You can find both of those brands at any Whole Foods in the States but not in the UK.
6. Don’t forget the diet!
A photo I recently posted on my Facebook Page prompted over 25 comments asking what my secret is. My glowing skin is completely blemish free and I look closer to my 20s than 40s (or so I’m told!). I’ve lost 35 kgs and feel amazing. Check out the low histamine recipe ebooks that helped me get here, (they're choc a block with low histamine foods) and sign to my newsletter or Facebook Page for news on the upcoming allergenic beauty guide.