Salicylate free cosmetics

Salicylates are compounds which occur naturally in the plants we consume — many fruit, vegetables, herbs and botanical extracts are rich sources, as are toothpaste and mouthwash, as are aspirin and other painkilling and cold/flu medication, which sometimes contain synthetically derived salicylate compounds.

Salicylate intolerance or sensitivity is an under-recognised problem with an unknown number of sufferers. Symptoms mirror those of more conventional allergies, and include gastro symptoms, asthma / breathing difficulties, skin rashes, and neurological complaints.

Avoiding salicylates is extremely difficult, and the low-salicylate diet restrictive. The guidance of a dietitian is required for anyone diagnosed with a salicylate sensitivity, or any woman following the Guaifenesin Protocol — a treatment of uncertain value for fibromyalgia, which requires salicylate avoidance.

Salicylate avoiders also struggle with cosmetics and skincare, for which information is difficult to come by. Fruit extracts and essential oils are likely to be high in salicylates. Salicylate derivatives include methyl salicylate, sodium salicylate and calcium salicylate. Salicylic acid — also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) — is also a common troublesome ingredient, acting as an anti-acne agent, exfoliant, and anti-dandruff ingredient.

Seed butters and oils, and waxes, are generally safe — these include soybean oil, corn oil, wheatgerm oil, beeswax, shea butter, mango seed butter, candellia wax and cocoa butter.

Here are a few companies offering specified low-salicylate / salicylate-free products.

 

Cleure (US)
This brand offers a huge range of cosmetics, including moisturisers, sunscreen, make-up, body washes, hair care, toothpaste and much more. It’s salicylate free, as well as free from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, SLS, fragrance, gluten, parabens and more. Find their website here. Many Cleure products are available through Amazon sites worldwide.

MySaliFree (Europe)
This is a lovely Austrian brand of salicylate-free products, which include face creams, lotions, cleansers and a shampoo, and which uses gentle sal-safe ingredients such as rice bran oil, shea butter, xanthan gum and glycerin. Learn more about them at their website here, and you can order a selection through Amazon UK.

Andrea Rose (US)
Calling itself ‘the first and original salicylate free company’, Andrea Rose offers products from its own range ‘Personal Basics’, and also stocks some products by other brands which happen to be salicylate free, such as Elta MD and Free & Clear. Skin care, oral care, hair care and sun care are available. They are also fragrance free. Find the website here.

Eye Care Cosmetics (International)
This French brand of salicylate-free cosmetics includes all make-up for eyes and lips, as well as facial cleansers and some creams, including eye creams, as well as nail care products. Find their products on Amazon UK, Amazon US, or through their French website here.

NATorigin (Europe)
This brand is from the same ‘house’ as Eye Care Cosmetics, and has even greater ‘free from’ credentials for those with particularly sensitive eyes or skin, and requiring high-tolerance / low allergen cosmetics. Order through their UK site or their France site.

Anderson Aromatics (UK)
Small Scottish natural and handmade brand, which offers three ‘SAL free’ products — a Moisturiser, a Soap, and a Facial Oil Cleanser.

freezeframe (Aus)
CE Sonia Amoroso told us several of this Australian brand’s products are safely sal-free. They are: REVITALEYES, BOOST SERUM, NIGHT AND BODY BLUR. Find the website here.

 

Other sources

To avoid reinventing the wheel, you’ll find some extensive lists of salicylate-free / low-salicylate ingredients and products elsewhere on the web, and the following links may help. When it comes to recommended products, bear in mind that ingredients change regularly so always double-check.

Guaifenesin Protocol Check List — from the very useful Christine’s Cozy Corner blog.

SalSearch — to look up salicylate status of ingredients, from a German Fibromyalgia site.

Salicylate-Free Product Lists — courtesy of the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center.

 

I’ll add to the resources listed here on an ongoing basis, but if you have any other suggestions for safe brands or products, or specific requests for sal-free cosmetics, leave a comment and I’ll look into it in further detail.

 

Thanks to Pam (@PamAllergy on Twitter) for help with this article.

6 Comments

  1. Tella

    This is useful but can you recommend some toothpastes please?

    Reply
    1. Alex G (Post author)

      Hi Tella. I think Cleure have some, but I will do a separate article on low salicylate toothpaste shortly. All the best, Alex.

      Reply
    2. Alex G (Post author)

      Hi Tella. As promised, here’s the piece on sal-free toothpastes (some other oral care products such as mouthwash too).
      http://www.allergy-insight.com/salicylate-free-toothpaste/
      Best wishes, Alex.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Salicylate free toothpaste | Allergy Insight

  3. Peggy Webb

    Useful info. I’m dealing with fibromyalgia, IBS, tinnitus, acid reflux,dry itchy skin, depression, anxiety, hypothyroid, and, most recently, rosacea. The latter took me totally unaware. I have always taken care to avoid fragrance, alcohol, and sunscreen when choosing skin care products. I was able to tolerate some ceteryl or seateryl alcohol, but lately, everything I try on my face makes me itch, burn, and turn red, really red. I’ve neen reading about salicylate sensitivity, and I believe many of my problems point to that. Your article provides direction for investigation. Thank you. What specialty should I persue when lookong for a physician who could advise and support me in in my desire to find solutions in a diet that attacks all my health issues?

    Reply
    1. Alex G (Post author)

      Oh dear – that’s a lot to deal with Peggy. Sorry to hear this. First thing I’d say is to bear in mind that food may be a factor in only a few of those many conditions, not necessarily all. I’ve just published a book about IBS and know there’s a lot of involvement with food in that, but some of the others may be less clear cut. With so many conditions and so many foods potentially related to them, I would urge you to seek out a registered dietitian (RD). RDs use evidence rather than speculation to ascertain what the problem might be, and if it comes to pass that food restriction is needed, an RD will ensure you’re following a complete diet, which isn’t deficient in any essential nutrient. I’ve heard so many stories of people experimenting alone, and spiralling into an extremely restricted diet which makes them feel worse. Hope you find someone suitable. By the way, cetearyl alcohol and other alcohols you see in cosmetics aren’t alcohols in the traditional sense. You may also find my article on Allergen Free Cosmetics of use: http://www.allergy-insight.com/allergen-free-skincare/

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close