Sunscreen, sunblock, lip balm, soap

Has anyone had a reaction to sunscreen, lip balm, or any other item that is applied to the skin?

I am most concerned about lip balm because it could obviously be ingested.

Badger talks about the issue, saying its lip balm, sunscreen, and soaps aren't peanut safe because they are produced in a facility with peanuts, and Badger addresses other common allergens as well on their FAQS page. They did an outstanding job giving the information so that people can make their own decisions. Their link is:

http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-42-frequently-asked-questions.aspx

By LSUTigger on Sun, 04-27-14, 22:56

I always check the chap sticks my daughter uses. I have never seen a warning label so now I am wondering - is it required for manufacturers to labels makeup and lipsticks, chap sticks, glosses, etc. If they have any kind of nut element or "made in a facility " warning? Is there a requirement for lotions too? What are the rules for these products?

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By Player11753 on Mon, 04-28-14, 13:13

It is a shocking fact that there is no requirement for a "made in a facility" warning on foods.

So, I am guessing there is no such requirement for other products.

I think the only way to get the labeling is for us to constantly contact companies whose products we are interested in to get the information from them and get them to start labeling their products. I think this is more than reasonable given that a reaction to their products could be fatal.

I also feel strongly that it should be printed on the product label, consumers should not have to go find it on a website! That is unreasonable to expect!

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By aluchay on Fri, 04-25-14, 23:38

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com is answering one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

There are many ingredients in cosmetic products that can cause allergic reactions. Fragrance is one of the most commonly used ingredients in skin care products, but it can cause allergic reactions. As it is used to make your lotions and soaps smell good, it is present in most cosmetics. Some studies have even shown that as many as 1 in 5 people has a reaction to these chemicals! You will most likely see it labeled as “parfum” or simply “fragrance.”

Another ingredient that has high allergenic potential is preservatives. Preservatives reduce the amount of bacteria in lotions and other topically applied products (e.g., lotions, soaps, shampoo, etc.) but they can also wreak havoc on your skin. Many preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin, release formaldehyde, a highly-irritating chemical that is used in preserving decayed bodies.

Finally, food allergens of course have high allergenic potential. If you are allergic to peanuts, you will want to watch out most obviously for peanut oil. However, peanuts don’t even have to be present to initiate a reaction! As written by a dermatologist in the New York Times, “it’s the protein in the nut that causes an allergic response.” Often chemicals are used to extract the protein, although certain companies refuse to divulge the information on exactly which chemicals they are using.

Chapstick, one of the most popular lip balms, indicates there could be traces of tree nuts in their products, so be sure to watch out.

We found a similar question to yours in our community boards, and there are useful responses! Click here to read them.

We also posted this question on our Facebook page, and you can see what our fans had to say here.

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By Player11753 on Sat, 04-26-14, 01:36

Thank you aluchay for your answer and the link. I will especially check my tube of Aveeno, and their site, because this is a product we have been using. There have been no problems, but that doesn't necessarily means it's safe, of course.

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By Saralinda on Thu, 04-24-14, 02:17

About 40 years ago, I was prescribed an ointment for a vaginal infection. After using it for about 2 days, I became so ill I could barely get out of bed. Having nothing better to do, I read the list of ingredients on the Rx. The ointment had a peanut oil base! I called the Dr. right away, got a prescription for another remedy and was well within hours!

I have no idea what the ointment was so I can't tell you what to avoid, but I can tell you that my medical records all have my peanut allergy flagged.

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By Player11753 on Thu, 04-24-14, 13:57

Thank you Saralinda for sharing your experience. I think I have to routinely ask about this whenever I need a product even topically applied. If the doctor doesn't know, I certainly hope the pharmacist can tell me!

Badger (they make lip balm, sunscreen, soap, and other products) actually addresses the issue on their FAQS page. They say there could be peanuts in some production facilities on some of their products, and also address other common allergens. I have not come across any other company that addresses the allergy issue, but I will try to share what I find out.

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