We’ve blogged about food allergens in skincare before, in our very first post, in fact, and we know it’s a topic of concern to many of our readers – and many who visited our stand at the recent Allergy and FreeFrom Show North.
So we were really pleased to learn recently that the Anaphylaxis Campaign had recently produced a new factsheet, Cosmetics, Personal Care Products and Medicines, highlighting the issue of food allergens in non-food products.
Some of the content surprised me. “It is important to point out that little is known about the allergenic risk from food ingredients that are present in the products covered by this fact sheet” … and one cannot help but ask why? Why hasn’t there been much research into the risk food allergens pose in products that you may not normally associate with food or indeed risk?
I realised this problem when I researched my article on Gluten Free Skincare on Skins Matter – the issue of whether the (large) gluten molecule – or the smaller fragmented gluten peptides – could penetrate the dermal layers hasn’t been properly explored. Many with coeliac disease have a ‘no tolerance’ approach, despite the general lack of evidence. They don’t want gluten in their home – be it kitchen, or bathroom. And who can blame them?
The wise advice from the AC is to play it safe on the matter, and some of the examples they provide do make you think: lupin derivatives in cosmetics (which we have yet to come across in either the FreeFrom Skincare Awards products, or products submitted for review on the Skins Matter site), egg derivatives in some shampoos (ditto), and sesame oil in ‘some’ moisturisers and soaps (actually, in quite a lot of products – at least in our experience).
For some time now, we have been promising to compile a dedicated directory in the Skins Matter Directories of skincare ranges which are ‘free from’ the key food allergens found in cosmetics (wheat/gluten, dairy, nuts/peanuts) and we promise – again – that we are going to be working on kick-starting this properly very, very soon – a fledgling directory is already live on the site, and we can expand on it in coming months. (If you represent a brand that is entirely free from one or more of these allergens – ie all products are free from them, without exception – do drop Alex a line or leave a comment. )
Meanwhile, here are some useful links regarding food allergens in cosmetics (do let us know of others):
* Gluten-Free Skincare – from SkinsMatter.com
* Food Allergens in Skincare – from Sugarpuffish (with some interesting comments from allergic cosmetic users)
* Cosmetics / Personal Care Products Factsheet – from the Anaphylaxis Campaign
* Free From Skincare – from my Allergy Insight Blog (includes Latin names for food allergens)