Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Sometimes Natural Skin Care Isn’t Better

Allergic Contact Dermatitis/Argan OilI am my own best guinea pig when it comes to experimenting with so-called “natural” organic beauty care. I mean it just seems right that when some beauty oil  is derived from nature in an organic form, it’s going to be good for you to slather it on – true? At least that is what my common sense told me. Or maybe that was what the organic natural marketing hype was telling me. Anyway, sometimes I need to just find things out for myself – and what does and doesn’t work on my skin.

Right now I am nursing my skin back to normalcy after developing allergic contact dermatitis from argan oil. Yes, 100% organic virgin argan oil. What could possibly go wrong with that? Apparently, with my skin, a lot. I have no known allergies, so I slathered my face and neck with full-strength 100% argan oil and went on my merry way on Sunday. I started noticing redness later on in the day, and by evening I was a full-blown inflamed red mess. Yikes! Ouch!

I put two and two together and decided that it had to be the argan oil. I did a Google search and found many other people who have had the same skin reaction. It turns out that this is a contact allergy to argan oil, and possibly to other tree nuts (almond oil, macadamia nut oil, shea nut butter, and ginko biloba). Since I used it full-strength, it caused a more severe reaction, but I am kind of glad I did because it alerted me to what possibly caused other skin reactions I’ve had. Since cosmetic companies are on the “natural” beauty bandwagon, they are freely putting these potentially irritating tree nut oils in many of their products. Shea nut butter and almond oil seem to be in everything, and argan oil is the latest on the beauty buzz bandwagon. Really bad news for those who are sensitive to it.

Now I am wondering if that what was causing the mysterious rashes on my face, neck, and décolletage that seem to come and go? A glance at the ingredients list on a lot of the products I use show that almond oil,Allergic contact dermatitis - Argan oil shea nut butter, ginko biloba, and macadamia nut are in a lot of them. Of course, not full-strength amounts – but possibly enough to cause a slight rash or redness.

I am going to be a lot more aware of what I put on my skin. I never in a million years thought I would be putting a petroleum-based product like Aquaphor on my skin, but that’s what I am currently doing.  There is not a single plant-based “organic” ingredient in it, but it is quietly doing its job to protect and heal my skin from the ravages of argan oil. Sometimes natural isn’t always better!



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