Friday, December 8, 2017

Coconut free lotion!

THIS.  Coconut free lotion is what fills my inbox almost daily with emails begging for ideas, help. . . asking what to use for certain conditions, multiple allergies, on babies, on scent sensitive kids, and the list goes on.

I usually suggest coconut free lotion-type things found at the drug store that are almost straight off the periodic table:

Mineral Oil (Baby Oil is just a scented version of this) 
Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
Vitamin E
Lanolin (like in breast feeding ointments)
Aquaphor (a mix of several of these elemental ingredients- one of my most used lotions)

Despite being able to use these generic ingredients, I miss "real" lotion.  But, there is a new one that just came out from Pectolite called none other than "Coconut and Palm Oil Free Body Lotion".  

Pectolite sent it to me to try out and I've been using it for a couple of weeks once the cold chapped air finally got to me and I'm happy to report it is really good stuff.  

It has some really creative (and coconut-free) ingredients: 
Water (Aqua), Cupuacu (Theobroma Grandiflorum) Butter, Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius ) Seed Oil, Rice (Oryza Sativa) Bran Oil, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Seed Oil, Hydroxystearyl Alcohol and Hydroxystearyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Olive Oil (and) Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) (and) Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Kokum (Garcinia Indica) Butter, Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Seed Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil , Xanthan Gum, Lactobacillis Ferment, Gluconodeltalactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance and/or Essential Oil(s)

The lotion absorbs well, isn't greasy at all, and is long lasting.  Some of you with bad reactions to petroleum products might especially enjoy it.  My lotion was completely unscented and it just smelled faintly of olive oil.  You can order it in several scents that their coconut free soaps also come in.  I did have to shake it up after it sat for awhile since I didn't use a pump and it has a tendency to separate a little bit.  I didn't use it on my face, but it moisturized and was very healing on my hands, legs, and even feet! My skin seemed rejuvinated and it never made me itchy or red!  

If you want to try it, go to (not .com)

Happy Winter!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bath Geek has Coconut Free Soaps

Bath Geek has just introduced a coconut free line of soaps and other products like bath bombs!

They sent me a couple soaps to try out and these are a little different than other soaps out there.  They are 100% olive oil Castile, which has a reputation for feeling a little slimy, but used in some applications the form of lather also has some benefit.  For example, they are awesome for shaving with because slimy is good when you want it to have a lubricant for your razor!  And honestly, they hold together much better than the Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap.

Bath Geek's soaps use a sugar and multiple-lye formula. Lye and potash soap doesn't mean it has lye in it- it means that that is what is used to change the oil into soap.  I noticed that they pack a powerful cleaning punch!  For example, my magicmarker-stained three year old girl came out cleaner than usual as did the super dirt stained knees of my six year old boy.  They are nice slippy slidey coconut free soaps.

However, I found they can also could be a little more drying than other soaps, but this might be due to the cure time of the soap since the ones I got were super fresh.

Go ahead and try them out- they are having a special sale for all of us who are allergic to coconut!

For a 15% discount off all orders (except gift cards) at 
use the code: FROMBECKY
Offer expires Valentines Day 2018.

PS- Bath Geek's owner, Ai, has a really informative blog with all kinds of nerdy things about allergies!  For example, check out this post about Glycerin and Allergies.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

A new shampoo find- it has soap nuts!

People with coconut allergies are always looking for new shampoos! Here is one that contains soap nuts.  Thanks to Amy for finding this!  She says that the conditioner smells like barf but it works well.  Also, they contain apple cider vinegar.  Read the reviews on the page and you can see that it might be worth the money.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Non-stick Cooking Spray Alert- PAM now contains coconut!

Nooooo!!!  PAM, you have failed us.  WHY did you add coconut to your original pan spray?  It's NOT original pan spray anymore.  The original didn't have coconut in it.

Beware, everyone.  Always read labels, even of things you have used for years and years!

Aargh.  That was a close call.  I'll be sticking with the store brands for now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Toothpaste without Coconut

I found that after a couple of years my favorite sls-free or coconut-free toothpaste products have come and gone, so it is time for an update on the toothpaste scene.

I want to start by reminding everyone to be aware of the many sls-free toothpastes that are also flouride free.  This may not be what you are looking for if you are into cavity prevention.  The only times I have ever gotten cavities in my life is when I used flouride-free, sls-free toothpaste.  So maybe flouride and sls are both considered poisonous to some people who also demand that all of their products be made by solar power.  However, I find that one of the points of brushing my teeth is to NOT get cavities while at the same time NOT dying from an allergic reaction.

Closys  -it's got flouride and very simple ingredients. About $11.
 Ingredient list: sodium fluoride, water, hydrated silica, sorbitol, stabilized chlorine dioxide, cellulose gum, dibasic sodium phosphate, titanium dioxide, flavor, sodium phosphate, sucralose.

Weleda Ratanhia Toothpaste - it's got a rare medicinal plant (that thank goodness isn't related to coconut).  Calcium carbonate is a main ingredient.  There is NO flouride, however.  About $8.
Water (Aqua)Calcium CarbonateGlycerinMagnesium Aluminum SilicateAlcohol, Flavor (Aroma)*, Krameria Triandra (Ratanhia) Root ExtractCommiphora Myrrha Resin (Myrrh Resin) ExtractXanthan GumAmmonium GlycyrrhizateLimonene*.
* from natural essential oils

Tom's of Maine used to have such awesome toothpastes that they have now taken off the market.  They have only kept their flouride-free sls free ones, but sls-free does NOT mean coconut free in these new pastes, unfortunately. Booo!

Please comment with your favorite toothpaste!  Or invent your own so that we don't have to spend a fortune on this stuff.

Friday, July 29, 2016

I really am ALLERGIC TO WATER (Coconut water filters)

Out of all the substances on the planet, one would think water is the safest for people with allergies.  Not so if you are someone who is allergic to coconut.

In the distant past I remember getting an email or two from readers who asked me about the safety of coconut carbon filters.  I always replied with a big, honest "Sorry, I have NO IDEA what you are talking about."  Logically, a water filter is supposed to filter, not add stuff to the water, right?

Then I had an experience of my own.

I went to my allergy doctor about a year ago for an annual check up.  The kind of little check-in where he refills the epi -pen and steroid prescriptions,etc.  I happened to mention to him that it almost always felt like I had a lump in my throat.  When I swallowed, it felt like something was catching. . . and sometimes my throat itched a little bit.  I thought it was probably unrelated to allergies, but had him look.  He said he DEFINITELY thought it was allergy related.  It went away whenever I took zyrtec, after all.  He had me do some exploring to try and see what it was, but we couldn't identify any brand new allergies, and he doubted it was environmental because of how it manifested in in a condition called Eosinophilic (ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik) esophagitis.

After a few months it subsided on its own and I didn't figure out the cause. . . until I realized. . .

Several months ago, we had a water leak in our kitchen.  We had to unhook all our relatively new marvelous reverse osmosis water system and start drinking regular tapwater for a few months until we reconstructed our damaged walls and cabinets, etc.  During that time I had no allergic problems at all.  The lump in my throat went away.  When our reverse osmosis was freshly installed again along with all  its brand new filters I took a long drink from a tall glass of water.  I hadn't eaten anything for a long time before or after.  There it was, my throat was itching.

My husband contacted the manufacturer of the water filters because he has actually worked on water purification systems for a few of his projects as an engineer.  He knew that the best filters in the business, used to purify water for medical-grade soaps and liquid medications, were all coconut based.  But I didn't think that our home would have such a filter.  It turned out that it did.  Not only that, but the filter company is used to responding to questions about coconut allergies! Our upgrade to an excellent reverse osmosis system included an upgrade to serious coconut fibers.

As it turns out, the company does have a fix.  Unfortunately, you have to bypass the final filter that adjusts the actual taste of the water to avoid the one that has coconut. But, the manufacturer was awesome and sent us the little T-shaped part for free.

I am very allergic to coconut, but I never thought I was sensitive enough to react to the minute particles that might find their way into water from a coconut carbon filter!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

If I'm allergic to coconut, am I allergic to BABASSU?

Many people have asked the question, "If I am allergic to coconut, then how likely am I to be allergic to _________".    Fill the blank with things like palm oil, dates, babassu oil, or even pineapple.  We start to fear anything that grows on a palm-ish looking tree.

Well, it depends.  Let's do a little elementary taxonomy lesson before I tell you about my personal experience.

All living things are grouped into categories.  This method of grouping is called taxonomy.

When we talk about foods and anything that grows, it is all in the plant kingdom (plantae).  There are a zillion different kinds of plants, and out of those there are tons that we eat.  Botatnists can map them out into smaller and smaller groups depending on their genetic makeup.

For example, you may have heard that potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes are all in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).  It is extremely rare to be allergic to all nightshades.  (As an unrelated side note, nightshade intolerance is more common.)

Different tree nuts are all in the same family and class, but are different orders.  Yet, busy allergists commonly mix all the nuts together into "tree nuts" and tell patients to avoid all of them.  People who are allergic to one tree nut are very commonly allergic to one or more others.

Palm is a family called Arecaceae.  Try spelling that without looking!  Coconut is in this palm family along with things like date palms, which are in a different genus.

Let's now compare Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) vs. Babassu (Attalea Speciosa).  They are not only in the same order, but are in the same subfamily and tribe, which aren't shown on my chart but are specific subcategories that come before genus.  Babassu is basically coconut's closest plant relative.

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) is in the center, Attalea Speciosa (Babassu) is right above it!

I have been sent several samples by three different unrelated companies to try products with babassu oil.  Two of them claim "coconut free!" on their websites.  However, I have had powerful allergic reactions to them every time.  However, I do not have reactions to many products containing palm oil, which is also in the same genus and tribe.  Palm oil is tricky because it can be sourced from all different kinds of palms.  I have occasionally reacted if I eat a product with a lot of it.  I would never attempt to eat hearts of palm.  No thank you.

In summary:
YES, if you are allergic to coconut you will most likely be allergic to babassu.
It is somewhat likely you will react to palm.
It is unlikely that you will be allergic to dates.

You absolutely should not be allergic to pineapple unless it's an unrelated allergy.

I welcome feedback from people who are actual botanists, of course!  My knowledge of nomenclature is admittedly primitive.