I had a suspicion that many of my allergic symptoms were due to mast cell degranulation. I finally had enough when one say I ate Peanutbutter Reese cups and I had intense itching from head to toe. That day I had a craving for salt & sugar. It occurred 2 days earlier with Oregon cookies. Enough with this. I found a practice (Clinical Paradigms) willing to hear me out & help me figure this all out.
Identifying Mast Cell Triggers
They taught me how to identify triggers and symptoms of mast cell reaction. My mind was blown! I could never figure out why I had severe headaches, runny nose, facial swelling & fatigue after getting dressed for an outing. I discovered that my skincare products were the culprits. The worst offender of all was my perfume. Before going out my make up, skin would be on point. After 30 minutes, my face would be swollen, eyes puffy & miserable. Sometimes, I experienced shortness of breath & severe fatigue.
Research & Development
First order of business, I stopped using perfumes. I was so attached to my Chanel Chance. That was a difficult break up. Next I started learning how do make my own skincareproducts. I did not want to copy someone else’s recipe, I wanted to know the science behind it. I read many articles, studied multiple recipes & techniques. I settled with cold process soap making. I also took it a step farther and started making my own moisturizer, lip balm, & bath salt. I decided to use shea butter for it’s moisturizing effects, olive oil & apricot oil for it’s low propensity to cause allergic reactions. Initially I did use coconut oil but quickly found out it causes me to have anaphylactic reactions.
For fragrance, I decided to use organic essential oil. I did research on the synthetic fragrance versus plant based fragrance (commonly known as essential oils) and was quite surprised at the results. I knew I was sensitive to synthetic fragrances, so it was a no brainer for me. However, I did discover, I could not tolerate all essential oils. My goal was to create a skincare line that was allergy conscious, corn, dairy, gluten, soy & nut free. Eventually I expanded to coconut free as well.
The FDA website was tremendously helpful. I truly enjoy making my own skincare products because the ingredients are simple, yet beneficial. As we know, not everyone one with MCAS will have the same symptoms, to fill that need I can customizable any product to fit my needs when they change. Have you ever considered making your own skin care products? Leave your answer in the comments below.