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Food Allergies and Skin Care

I have several recipes that I hope to post over the next week, but today I wanted to talk about something that I have been thinking a lot about.

I have always had sensitive skin. One of the things I remember buying with the money I earned baby sitting as a teenager was hair care products. The inexpensive, on sale versions that my mom always bought irritated my scalp and left my hair and skin nasty.

I quickly learned that there was something to what is in hair and skin care products and it was worth spending money to find a product that I could use.

I knew there was a difference in skin care products, but I never thought why one would bother me and one would not until recently.

My daughter’s nut allergy has given me a whole new view of what goes into our skin care products. Not only do I have to read food labels, I have to read skin care labels. If you have a nut allergy, I am sure that you are already aware of this.

Around the time that my daughter was first diagnosed with her nut allergy, she started breaking out in a rashes and hives. I could not figure out what it was, but I knew it had to be something. I started reading labels on the skin care products that she was using thinking that it must be something in them that was irritating her.

What I found was that many of the skin care products that we were using contained nut oils. Almond and sesame oil were the most common and both are things that she is allergic to.

I started realizing that not only would I have to rid our kitchen of the nuts, but I had a lot of other products that we could no longer use. From soaps, to lotions, to hair care products our bathroom cupboards also got a makeover.

As I started paying attention to the labels on skin care products, I began to realize that not only do many of them contain nut based oils many of them also contain wheat or oats. This made me step back and wonder if this has anything to do with my years of sensitive skin issues. Maybe it is not just sensitive skin causing my problem, maybe their is more to it than that.

I am still trying to figure out if wheat based products may contribute to my skin issues. I have read mixed opinions on the subject, so I am still reading and trying things. However, what is has made me do is step back and not only pay attention to what my family puts into their mouths, but what we put on our skin.

Food allergies and issues open up a whole new world don’t they?

What are your thoughts on food allergies and skin care products? I would love to know what some of your experiences have been.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I agree that food allergies do raise many questions. My nephew was born with 22 food allergies and now is down to 5 life threatening food allergies. Our family history includes food allergies, but never life threatening. So, we all had a crash course in food allergies. I realized one day that I had purchased milk and honey soap, which means he could not use the soap. It broke my heart and I now make sure I am very aware of what I’m purchasing and that everything in my house he can use and that we always have food here that is allergy free. It amazed me also to see how many parents and kids are going through the same thing.

  2. We have had a problem with tree nuts in products for my daughter. Nut oils are in a lot of lotions and skin care products and she is allergic to tree nuts.

    Also, wheat is in quite a few shampoos, we realized this was causing sores on my husband’s scalp (only after finding out he had celiac). For years he just thought he had a sensitive scalp. I know a lot of physicians say it shouldn’t bother you, since you are not ingesting it, but it seems to more complicated than that.

  3. I have to read every label of every product that walks through our front door-food, cosmetics, school supplies–if it has a label, I read it!

    My youngest is 2 and has severe, multiple food allergies. (dairy, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, broccoli—all confirmed by anaphylatic reactions, sadly.) I learned the hard way when he was first diagnosed that I have to be extremely cautious about label reading. He was about 14 months old the first time I put sunblock on him. Within minutes, he’s in the backyard screaming, crying, clawing at his face and arms. He was covered in hives & I gave him Benadryl and a bath. THEN I read the sunscreen and found the culprit–macadamia nut oil. We didn’t know of his tree nut allergy at this point.
    I then cleaned out our home of his known allergens found in our non-food items. Wheat in shampoo?! Wheat in Play-Doh? Almond oil in my lip balm? Birdseed? Everything got donated to a friend.

    This is one area of food allergies that I think doesn’t get enough attention–how MANY products that aren’t food that contain potential allergens.

    • I NEVER thought to check our sunscreen!! Here I am reading lotions, soaps, and shampoos, never thought to check sunscreen. Thank you for mentioning that one. I am off to check them now!

  4. I have Celiac and didn’t realize that that cosmetics could be a problem until I decided to give myself a makeover and start “taking better care of myself”. After a few weeks of feeling not as well as I should, I thought to check the labels on my new cosmetics. Wheat and oats were in several of them.

    I have since learned to read labels on everything. I am also careful about glue – wherever it is. That bit of glue to hold the last paper towel on the roll or to hold the first sheet of toilet paper? I don’t trust it anymore.

    Also – this is something most people won’t mention – but I have had reactions from feminine products as well, including panty liners. There’s no way to tell what’s in those.

    It’s definitely a whole new way of life.

    Thanks for this site Lynn. I am always excited to see new gluten free sites!

  5. I discovered I have a nut allergy 5 years ago after eating a small piece of Marzipan left over from Christmas. I’m 55 yrs old and that old adage – Teach an old dog new tricks – sure is true. Allergy testing revealed that Almonds are not my worst nut allergy, so we rid our house of all nuts. As a baker I had atleast 2 grocery bags of nuts to dispose of. I hadn’t given any thought to skin creams, but had checked all my nail and hand products and disposed of them as well. Recently I purchased a face cream I’ve been using for about 3 years now and the new label says “contains Almond Oil”. I’ve been experiencing health issues for about 7 months and I’m now wondering if this could be a contributing factor. I started experiencing outbreaks on my face and I’ve also had stomach/digestive issues lately – is it possible they are related??

  6. Hi Lynn,

    Great post. I am allergic to most nuts (except for almonds and peanuts). One thing that also triggers my allergy is apricot kernal oil – apparently the oil in the stone in an apricot is similar to nut oils. It’s often found in shampoo’s and sometimes in apricot danish pastries.

    Just another thing for you to watch out for 🙂


  7. Hi Lynn,

    THANK YOU for your site. I am about 3 weeks into being Gluten free and your site has been a huge help with recipes and information. I already feel better and am hopeful that the improvements will keep coming.

    Thanks again,


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