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Have you looked recently looked at the ingredients in a shampoo bottle and tried to interpret, let alone pronounce the various chemicals? I wish you didn’t need a science degree to understand so many of the chemicals contain within the cosmetic products we use.
All of my life I accepted my scalp itched and dandruff was a side effect of the itching. Tyring various shampoos high in pyrithione zinc I believed they would work as marketed, and actually resolve the issue. When diagnosed with my systemic nickel allergy, I was first told to eliminate anything and everything I used that contained fragrances from my shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, cleansers, lotions, chapstick and laundry detergent. I began my fragrance free routine using All Free & Clear laundry detergent and Cetaphil soap and lotion. However, finding adequate hair products posed quite a challenge. Given samples of Free & Clear to use, I was at a loss. Though it reduced the need to itch my scalp, my hair felt dry and brittle.
For a long time I used Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree shampoo. It’s paraben free, but contains, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Overtime, my scalp became sensitive to SLS, a cheap bubbling agent added to many cosmetic products like shampoo and toothpaste. Having to find another shampoo that I not only liked, but was free from nickel, foods high in nickel like soy, oats, nuts or seeds, fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) seemed nearly impossible.
Luckily, my dermatologist’s office had samples of Cleure, a fragrance free and SLS free shampoo and conditioner. Cleure does contain 3 different ingredients that are all derived from coconut. Despite the coconut, I thought I would give it a try and it’s been great for nearly a year. It’s one of the only shampoos that has totally resolved my scalp from itching and consequently my dandruff.
You might already know I am a fan of skintifique. Dedicated to creating nickel free products, they’ve recently rolled out a new online tool called Flamingo (affiliate link) that makes it easier to search for the best cosmetic products for your skin.
Using their menu on the upper left hand side, you can create a sensitivity profile to identify specific brands that exclude specific chemicals. Or you can go through a series of menus searching for cosmetic products that you can custom filter that either contain specific ingredients or avoids certain ingredients if you have a nickel allergy.
Flamingo is still in development. If you know about products that work well for you that aren’t in their database, they’d love any feedback. It can be a little difficult at first, so they’ve created a tutorial that explains the tool’s various features.
What about you? How have you found the nickel free cosmetic products you like and use? I’d love to hear you experience in the comment section below.