September 24, 2014

What's The Connection Between Allergies And Acne?

If you have filled out my Eval by Email® Skincare Consultation Form, you may have noticed a section dedicated to listing your allergies -- anything related to food products, environmental allergens, or even medication. When it comes to tackling your skincare worries, it's better to be on the detailed side about everything you use topically or ingest. My new clients are often very surprised when I tell them about there possibly being a connection between acne breakouts and  allergies.

A few clients have even submit Yelp reviews mentioning the difference in their skin after assessing their allergies and skincare product usage.

Melissa P. from Wisconsin:
I have been struggling with acne for a long time before I met Daniela. The damage was done (scars, red marks, self-confidence) and I figured there was no hope. I randomly found Daniela from a friend's FB post. I contacted Daniela and did her online survey. I noted the allergies I had along with the products I used.
Within 2 days, Daniela had assessed my problems over the internet to a T. Turns out I was allergic to everything in the facial products I had been using!!!! I tried Daniela's products she recommended over the last few months and doing everything she said.   
Here's where the story gets really good.....
My skin is gorgeous!!!! 50% (MAYBE MORE) of the red marks and scars are gone! My confidance has been restored. My friends and family compliment my skin vs. look at me with a pained look. 

Consider the following:

Allergen => Sensitivity => Inflammation => Immune Response

At the very basic level, acne involves inflammation in the skin. Can there be connection between the two? Perhaps! When inflammation occurs in the body, inflammation in the skin can take a little more effort to heal. ...Well, that’s my theory anyway!

As your body reacts to an allergen entering your system in a certain way (like a histamine reaction to an environmental allergen entering through your nose) it is conceivable that the same allergen could also cause a reaction entering another part of your body (like through the top layer of your skin).

Let's say that you're allergic to flowers... A skincare product heavy on floral botanicals could actually cause a slight reaction even if you're not orally or nasally ingesting the allergen. Although hives can occur, I’m referring to very slight allergic sensitivity in the skin's pores that could cause just enough inflammation to create a tiny bit of swelling, which then leads to the formation of a small pimple.

Inside your hair follicles, which are the pores that have your oil glands attached, dead skin cells mix together with your oil. Most of the time the majority of this mix gets pushed out by further oil production, while some gets stuck behind to make tiny blackheads.  If the lining of the pore gets swollen enough by irritation for any reason, and if to add insult to injury there is a pore clogging ingredient getting in the way, oxygen could eventually run out of the pore -- when this happens, the bacteria deep inside get a chance to thrive and a pimple is formed.

Source: Gluten Free Booty
Bell peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants are examples of a family of plants referred to as nightshades

Someone who can’t eat these vegetables will probably not want them in their skincare either. These products might potentially cause an underlying allergic reaction leading to acne breakouts.

If you happen to be allergic to the family of nightshades, it would be best to be cautious of products lines like "Yes To Tomatoes" since products with Lycopene may be derived from tomatoes. Goji berries are another nightshade.

I've also suspected that a botanical related to a different highly allergy-inducing botanical could cause a slight reaction as well. Take chamomile, for instance. Ragweed, wheat and chamomile are related to each other. Someone with a fierce ragweed allergy could potentially react to a skincare product containing chamomile or a product that heavily includes an ingredient called Azulene, which is derived from chamomile.

Whenever a client tells me they’re allergic to ragweed I ask if they have trouble digesting wheat, and a surprising amount of the time they tell me yes.

This is the reason that I am so careful to ask about all allergies before a facial, and why it’s such a specific and detailed part of my Eval by Email® form -- it can very often give me insight as to what exactly is happening with a client’s skin. It also lets me know which of my products are better for them to stay away from.

Personally, I am allergic to ragweed and sensitive to wheat, and I suspect that I’m becoming sensitive to rice as well. When I tested positive for an allergy to grass, the test showed that I was also allergic to trees and ragweed. (Wheat and rice are both grasses.) I've been taking prescription anti-histamines for years, but every two years or so they stop working and I have to adopt something else. Side effects have always been dogging me...
Until I found Allerase.

Not only does this supplement work just as well as my $150 Rx anti-histamine, it also helps to alleviate my food sensitivities a little as well. I was especially excited to find this product because it contains none of the foods that I'm sensitive to, including corn! I highly recommend it. :)

So, here's to your continued good health! I hope you and your loved ones get through this ragweed season with your noses intact.

Please feel free to email me with any questions at all about skincare products, allergies, and acne.  If you suspect that there may be connections between your seasonal allergies and breakouts, let me know in the comments below. We just might be able to figure out what's going on with your skin!

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