Wow, I'll keep an eye out for this one. I usually stand by Method's products, so I'll take a look. Thank you for all of the information on Methylisothiazolinone... this has been an eye opening post. I definitely agree that the less ingredients, the better! I hope you can get your immune system built up so your hands improve... I know how hard it can be to have eczema on your hands - even just a little on the knuckles hurts!
After discovering that my skin hates synthetic fabrics (particularly polyester), I tossed out 95% of my wardrobe and bought 100% cotton clothing. I'm still building up my wardrobe, but it's been worth it. Going 100% cotton sounds easier than it is... a lot of things claim to be cotton and all it means is that it's a cotton blend. And that's not what I've been going for. Those of us with sensitive skin whether it's due to allergies, eczema or just being plain ol' sensitive tend to do better with 100% cotton. You'll find that a lot of baby clothing and other items like blankets are made out of 100% cotton. Why? Because babies are extremely sensitive in their early stages.
For those of you who are making the switch as well (for whatever reason - maybe it's not even because you have allergies, here are some tips for those shopping trips you may dread:
- Bring a friend. Finding 100% cotton items involves reading the labels and therefore touching fabric before you know what it actually is. Depending on how sensitive you are, you could end up with some allergic reactions from your investigating. A friend can help you cut down on the amount of stuff you have to touch. Then take this friend out for a meal to thank them ;-)
- Wear gloves. This is a lot easier in the winter when you may already be wearing some due to the weather.
- Shop online. With the lovely feature of search engines built within online stores, you can easily draw up their cotton items all at once. Be aware, though, that not all websites are created equal. Some websites search function doesn't include fabric content. In my experience, it's about a 60/40 chance that the search function will work for me.
- Check out the online shop's return policy. Not being able to try on clothing before purchasing can result in returns, so it's nice to not have to go through a lot of trouble to do so.
- Find a store near you to get familiar with their sizes. Then, go online and shop away! This worked out great for me when I did some shopping at LOFT.com. They had an in-store and online sale going on, so I went in the store and tried on some dresses (as I was shopping for summer) and bought some. I had more money left in my shopping budget for the day, so I went online and snagged some other great deals as well, knowing that the dresses would fit. It was all around an awesome way to do it.
- Hit up the end of summer sales. It's so easy to find cotton clothing when it's summer time. These pieces can be used for layering under sweaters during the colder weather - tank tops, t-shirts and of course long sleeve shirts are great to snatch up for this purpose.
- Develop a few favorite stores and re-visit them again and again. You'll find better and better stores as you go along and you can swap out your top favs. I LOVE finding a new store that carries lots of cotton items regularly. Online I go to: Asos, Polyvore, and LOFT. When I stop by the mall, I go to H&M, LOFT, and Macy's.
Do you have any tips or tricks to add?
I hear ya - being allergic to propylene glycol means investigating every single label... adjusting to that can be really rough. It was for me in the beginning. I felt like it was was one disappointment after the other. And we must be our own advocates - we owe it to our health. Even if it means reading every label! I find it really interesting that it developed after surgery... I wonder why that would happen exactly? Hmm...
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Having a whole bunch of food, food product and preservative allergies means cooking from scratch at home. Since we all lead busy lives, it's nice to have a go-to recipe for the main course of dinner. In our house, my blackened chicken recipe is one of them!
Matt likes to dip his in ketchup. I'll confess that it's actually a tasty addition ;-)
Recipe: Blackened Chicken
- a baking dish (I used a square glass dish and covered it with foil)
- 2 chicken breasts
- canola oil (you could also use any other neutral tasting light oil)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
What to do:
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix together all spices
- After rinsing and patting the chicken dry, rub the TOP part of the chicken breasts with the spices
- Heat a skillet on high and put in just enough oil that the bottom of the pan is coated
- When the skillet is hot, place the chicken spice side down - and jiggle a couple times to make sure they don't stick.
- Cook for 4 minutes, jiggling a couple more times throughout the 4 minutes
- While they're cooking, line your baking dish with foil and lightly coat with olive oil
- When the chicken is nice and blackened, transfer spice side up into the baking dish
- Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until no longer pink.
For those of us with severe nickel allergies... going out in public can be rough. We're hit with a thousand obstacles and when you're like me and you react like poison ivy... the world can be a bit scary.
To demonstrate what a day in the life of nickel allergy is like, I took photos during my commute to work and while I was at work. Every time I came across nickel, I snapped a quick photo. The quickness resulted in some blurry photos (like while taking a photo while going through a revolving door), but you'll get the point. Just think of it as being "in the action" with me. We have to think quickly on our feet every day and that involves thinking about our allergies at the same time!
After I get on the train, I head on home and prepare to do it all over again the next day.
As you can see... developing this allergy in 2009 was quite the journey. No longer could I walk carefree... anywhere in public... but just like anything else, I've started to get used to it and I don't think about it much anymore. I get a routine down and glide through it easily every day :-)