Before founding Yours Only, I went through years of having ups and downs with my health. Dreamy self-care indulgences like fancy face creams could bring on a slew of not-so-nice symptoms. From stomach aches to fatigue, the occasional case of hives and worst of all brain fog, gah! The bathroom had gone from a sacred space to a place of defeat.
After bouncing from specialists to specialist, a dietician officially diagnosed me with a food chemical intolerance. While I was glad to finally have something to point fingers at, I was intimidated by what this meant.
Steering clear of certain natural chemicals like salicylates and amines, found in not only food and cleaning products but also makeup and skincare did not sound like a fair trade for my night-time skincare routine. But finding products that my body loved, meant that my skin stopped throwing tantrums and started to (dare I say) glow?
Making the switch to a natural chemical-free routine isn’t just for those with an intolerance like me, it can do some good for those who simply want to give it a go.
Swap chemicals for this cute, sensitive-friendly makeup routine
So you want to reinvent your every-day makeup look with low chemical products but the thought of doing hours of research is a bit meh, give my routine a go:
Start strong by prepping your skin with CLEAN and COAT
Follow up with the treasure that is Ellis Faas Skin Veil foundation.
Add a Mecca Max concealer to polish off that base
Add lots of mascara, lots. Clinique has plenty of options from extreme volume to curling mascaras
To finish the look off, dust a bit of Mecca Max’s bronzer and illuminator to takes the look from ordinary to magnificent.
Finish off with BALM. My fave.
No need to trade in Mecca for the chemist, a low chemical product list is not that tricky to find. But before you proceed to checkout, this website can check any product for salicylates. It’s done me good over the years, so use it wisely.
A hot tip: Next time you’re shopping in stores for skincare or foundation, ask for a small sample pot to take home. Rest assured they are very happy to oblige; they want to keep your skin safe too.
Making the switch to a low chemical routine isn’t just for those with an intolerance like me, it can do some good for those who simply want to give it a go.
Build an allergy-friendly cleaning cupboard
Something simple that not everybody knows is that it is super easy to make your cleaning products. Rather than buying detergents from the supermarket full of irritants, you can brew up your very own natural cleaning potion from vinegar and baking soda. Don’t believe me? Vinegar is proven to kill salmonella and E.coli while standard detergents can’t. Trust me when I say, those are two bacteria you don’t want to run into in a dark alley.
You will need:
Spray bottle, funnel, baking soda, and vinegar.
Remove the top of the spray bottle and pop the funnel into the opening, pouring in half a cup of vinegar
Add in two tablespoons of baking soda and watch on cautiously as a miniature explosion ensues (no need to worry though)
Fill the rest of the bottle with water and let it settle for a short while before screwing the top back on
Give it a shake before use and you’re ready to clean! To get the most out of this hack, you should make a new batch weekly.
There’s no point in having a clean space if you’re itching 24/7 from using fabric softener. Make use of your left-over vinegar (or Epsom salts works too) as a natural alternative.
What to say no to for a fuss-free skincare routine
When it comes to skincare, a lot of natural products contain high levels of salicylates and biogenic amines, which can be hard to tolerate for some and harder to avoid for most.
While these two chemicals might not affect everyone as they’re typically found in fruit, veg, meat and coffee, being diagnosed with a food chemical intolerance means that these two are on the do-not-even-think-about-it list. So unless I want to spiral down into symptom hell (can confirm this is a real place) then I had to say goodbye to a lot of things including coffee, yes coffee (say a prayer for me).
When it came time to create Yours Only and bring to life my beauty babies CLEAN and COAT, I opted for a part natural, part safe synthetic ingredient list and I love them. Not only are they very allergy and intolerance friendly but they’re so damn cute, I have hundreds of shelfies of them in my phone already. Just your average pageant mum over here.
How to keep your life free of chemicals
A low chemical routine is like discovering an allergy-reversing spa. But the effects are easily sabotaged by other unsuspecting products. Strong perfumes, candles, and other fume-y things could be keeping those headaches around. No hard-working gal deserves this, so I decided to launch Allergy Proof™, a podcast dedicated to helping women with health issues crack the code on living well. Listen and subscribe to be part of the community.