6 Anti-Ashy Solutions for Nut Allergy Sufferers
My daughter, Brooke, was diagnosed with dairy, egg, and nut allergies shortly after her first birthday. In addition to having restrictions on what she would eat, the nut allergies in particular posed restrictions on what she could put on her body. She’s allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts, which means shea and other popular butters are off limits. Also, about 50% of those with tree nut allergies are allergic to coconut, and because Brooke was so young the allergist advised against me using that on her as well.
What followed was a period of dry, ashy skin for my family. Like, ashy ashy. We went without lotion as I tried to figure out what I could use on her so we could use it as well. I read the backs of every lotion I could find. I sat on the floor in the body care section of Whole Foods for over an hour reading the back of everything. All of them had shea butter, or coconut oil, or almond oil.
I quickly realized I was going to have to figure out a way to make our own lotion or we were doomed to be ashy forever. Eventually, through much research, I found that the sun didn’t rise and set on shea butter and coconut oil, and I found recipes to easily make lotions and creams. Below are the butters and oils I found and what they are good for. Bonus, they are mostly affordable, easy to find, and our skin has never looked better!
This was a big find for me because most lotions are either shea butter or coconut oil based. Mango butter has an almost identical consistency to shea butter, so I was able to take lotion and body butter recipes that were shea-based and substitute the shea with mango butter. Mango butter doesn’t have a noticeable smell and it blends beautifully with other oils. Also, it can be used alone because it’s super moisturizing by itself, so you don’t have to mix it with other oils if you don’t want to.
Brooke has eczema, which is not surprising given her allergies. My friend from high school, Ashmin, suggested I try avocado oil on her. I was skeptical at first because I’d never heard of avocado oil, but I did know that avocados are rich in fat so I decided to do some research. What I found was a plethora of positive information so I ordered a bottle. Brooke was in the middle of an eczema flare up when the bottle came, and I immediately started rubbing it on the spots. Less than a week later you couldn’t even tell she had eczema. Now, the moment it looks like she’s in a flare up, I start putting pure avocado oil on her and they never get out of hand.
Now, I’m not talking about the Vitamin E that you can buy in regular stores that is light yellow in color. I’m talking about the thick, clear, pure Vitamin E. Just a little bit of this type of Vitamin E goes a very long way. It heals and protects, which is especially important for people with allergies as they often have dry skin or eczema. I view Vitamin E as a preventative oil because using it prevents dry, cracked skin. In it’s clear, pure form Vitamin E has no smell and mixes very well with other oils and butters.
Two years ago I had no idea what grapeseed oil was, but now I can’t live without it. It contains powerful antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids that work together to combat skin issues and it works wonders on eczema. Even though it’s an oil, it’s not oily and it penetrates the skin quickly so it doesn’t just sit there on top of your skin rubbing off on clothes and things you touch. Since it doesn’t have a strong smell, it mixes very well with other oils and butters and it doesn’t compete against any essential oils you add to it. It’s a strong, silent type of oil. Just how I like ‘em.
Safflower Seed Oil
Much like it’s homie grapeseed oil, safflower seed oil has a light, non-greasy consistency and is absorbed into the skin quickly, making it an excellent moisturizing facial oil suitable for all skin types. Thanks to its high level of linoleic acid, it's excellent for helping to balance the sebum levels in the skin. Translation: safflower oil will have you looking right!
Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help heal chaffing and chapping, calm redness, and ease the effects of eczema and rosacea. Its makeup is so similar to the oil (sebum) your body naturally produces that your skin can’t tell the difference. This makes it less likely to build up on your skin and clog your pores, leading to fewer breakouts and less severe acne.It’s also kind of the superstar of oils because it’s a carrier oil that helps the skin better absorb other butters and oils.
I use these oils and butters to make skin cream for my family. We haven't had an ashy day since I started making it, and that’s a blessing because we were out here looking like used chalkboards before. I hope this list helps others fight the good fight against the ash monster!