Name that additive

10 05 2009

Things I have discovered recently:

  • I am allergic to Life Brand Moisturizing Hand Soap;
  • I am not allergic to President’s Choice Antibacterial Soap.

I’ve known for years that I have trouble with fragrances and scents of all kinds. Most women’s perfumes send me into fits of sneezes, usually within about an hour or two. (I’m also allergic to penicillin, dogs, cats, lawn grass, house dust, and various trees and molds.) But I’ve never figured out exactly what compound or formula sets me off.

Perhaps the lists of ingredients will provide a clue. Here’s the formula for Life Brand Moisturizing Soap (the bad stuff):

  • Aqua
  • Sodium C14-C16 olefin sulfonate
  • Cocamide mea
  • Glycol stearate
  • Sodium chloride (isn’t that just plain “salt”?)
  • Cocamidopropylbetaine
  • Citric acid
  • Parfum (maybe that’s it!)
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Polyquaternium-7
  • Aloe barbadensis leaf extract
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Glycerin
  • Glycol distearate
  • PPG-4-deceth-4
  • Silk amino acids
  • Hydrolyzed silk

Ummm… what is this, anyway? Should I be putting it anywhere near my hands, or should it be handled with tongs while wearing a hazmat suit?

(Aside: I love saying the word “hazmat”. It sounds like something Beldar from the Coneheads would say.)

Now for the President’s Choice Antibacterial Soap (the good stuff):

  • Water
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Cocamide DEA
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium chloride (Salt again?)
  • Triclosan
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Parfum
  • Citric acid
  • Cl 19140
  • Cl 14700

Yes, they have things in there that they don’t even have names for yet.

I guess it’s safe to conclude that cocamidopropylbetaine, tetrasodium EDTA and good old sodium chloride can be eliminated from the list of suspects, as they’re in both compounds. And “parfum” seems to be listed in both, though I refuse to rule it out because of its name. Oh, well – more detective work is required.

But now I’ve learned something else today: they put salt in hand soap. I have no idea why.

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