Allergies & Skincare Ingredients Cheat Sheet


Now that Spring is in full swing, I thought this post would be appropriate. If you’re allergic to certain foods or chemicals, you likely already know which ingredients you need to stay away from. But just in case you don’t, I’ve compiled a list of allergens (common allergens and rare allergens) so you’ll be aware of which ingredients and products you need to avoid in your skin care. Clicking on the ingredient will lead to a list of products it’s found in so you can easily add the list to your “avoid” or “do not buy” list.

Please note: it’s the dose that makes the poison. As with any skincare product, make sure you patch test! It’s likely that these ingredients are used in such tiny amounts in skincare (like 0.1%) that they won’t pose any threat to your skin at all. The amount of processing an ingredient goes through before it’s in a finished cosmetic product likely makes it totally fine to use on your skin. Still, some people have severe contact allergies or even just sensitivities and need to avoid even the smallest amounts.

This list isn’t comprehensive and I will be adding to it from time to time. Also, obvious ingredients that are easy to spot won’t be added (like lanolin or fragrance, for example). Coconut allergy and coconut-derived ingredients are so widespread in cosmetics and skincare that it needs its own post!

I’m allergic to:

Ingredients you should avoid (and the INCI names)

And just in case

Gluten / Celiac / Wheat / dermatitis herpetiformis • Wheat protein = Hydrolysed Wheat,Hydrolyzed Wheat,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Protein,Triticum Vulgare Protein,Wheat Amino Acids

 

• Wheat germ = Extract Of Triticum Vulgare Germ; Extract Of Wheat Germ; Triticum Aestivum Germ Extract; Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract; Wheat Germ Extract,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ Oil),Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil Unsaponifiables,Triticum Vulgare Germ,Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract,Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil,Triticum Vulgare-Wheat Germ Oil

Rye extract, rye germ, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Extract

 

• Barley extract =

barley,barley (hordeum distichim) extract,Barley (Hordeum Vulgare) Extract,barley extract,extract of barley,extract of hordeum distichon,Extract Of Hordeum Vulgare,Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract,hordeum distichon extract,Hordeum Vulgare (Barely) Extract,Hordeum Vulgare Extract,Hordeum Vulgare Seed Extract

• Oats = aminocoat,avena sativa,Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract,Avena Sativa Kernel Extract,Avena Sativa Peptide,avena sativa protein,Avenacare,avenanthramide, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid,Oat Beta Glucan,oat extract,oat peptide,oat plant, colloidal oatmeal,hydrolyzed oats,oatmeal

 

• Chinese pearl barley = Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract,Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract,Adlay,Adlay Millet,Adlay Seed,Chinese Pearl Barley,Coïx,Coix Lachryma-jobi,Coix Lachrymal,Coix Lacryma,Coix lacryma-jobi,Coix ma-yuen,Coix Seed,Coix stenocarpa,Dehulled Adlay,Herbe aux Perles,Hiobsträne,Hiob’s Tränen-Gras,Jobinkyynelheinä,Jobs Tårar,Job’s-tears,Juzudama,Lágrimas de Job,Lagrimas de San Pedro,Larme-de-Job,Larme-du-Christ,Larmes de Job,Larmille,Soft-shelled Job’s Tears,Yi Hato-mugi,Yi Yi,Yi Yi Ren

 

• Wheat bran extract = Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract

Glutamic acid
Sulfur Sulfur, Sulphur, Epsom salts, (maybe) garlic extract Anything ending in –sulphate or –sulfate, like Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, Ammonium Laurel Sulfate
Latex Papain, papaya extract Pineapple extract, bromelain
Eggs Egg White, Albumen, Egg Yolk, Ovum, Crystalbumins, Egg Extract,Egg Protein,Egg-Albumin,Ovalbumin,White Ova,White Ovacyte,White Ovum,Egg White Extract Egg shell powder
Bees, bee stings Bee pollen, bee venom, royal jelly, beeswax (cera alba), honey (mel extract), propolis Sesquiterpene lactone mix Mx-18, CHLOROXYLENOL (PCMX), 2-tert-Butyl-4-methoxyphenol (BHA), Gold(I)sodium thiosulfate dehydrate, Ethyl acrylate
Aspirin Salicylic acid, Anything ending in -salicylate Betaine salicylate (a gentler alternative, some people can handle it, some can’t)
Chemical sunscreens Likely an allergy to:

• Avobenzone = 2-Butyl-2-Methoxy-1,3-Diphenyl-,3-Diphenyl-1-Propanedione,3-Propanedione,4-Tert-Butyl-4-Methoxydibenzoylmethane,Avobenzona,Avobenzone,Avobenzonum,Bmdbm,Butyl Methoxydibenzoyl Methane,Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane,Einecs 274-581-6,Escalol 517,Eusolex 9020,Methoxydibenzoylmethane,Parsol 1789

• Oxybenzone  = 2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxybenzophenone-5-Sulphonic Acid,A-Oxodiphenylmethane,A-Oxoditane,Benzonphenone4,Benzophenone-1,Benzophenone-10,Benzophenone-11,Benzophenone-12,Benzophenone-2,Benzophenone-3,Benzophenone-4,Benzophenone-5,Benzophenone-6,Benzophenone-7,Benzophenone-8,Benzophenone-9,Benzophenone4,Benzoyl-Benzene,Benzoylbenzene,Diphenyl Ketone,Diphenyl Methanone,Diphenyl- Methanone,Diphenylmethanone,Escalol 567,Escalol 577,Eusolex 4360,Kahscreen Bz-3,Oxybenzone,Phenyl Ketone,Sulisobenzone,Uvinul Ms 40,Uvinul Ms40

• Mexenone

Nuts • Peanuts = arachis oil, arachis hypogaea extract

 

• Shea butter or shea oil = Butyrospermum Parkii,Butyrospermum Parkii Butter,Butyrospermum Parkii Nut Extract,Butyrospermum Parkii Oil,Butyrospurmum Parkii,Karite Butter,Shea Butter,Shea Butter Fruit,Shea Butter Nut Extract,Shea Butter Oil,Shea Butter- From The Karite Tree,Shea Nut Butter,Shea oil,Vitellaria Nilotica,Vitellaria Paradoxa

• Cocoa butter = cocoa butter,Cocoa Seed Butter,Cupuacu Butter,Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter,Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter,Theobroma Cacao Butter,Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter,Theobroma Cocoa Butter,theobroma grandiflorum seed butter,Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum),theobroma grandiflorum butter

• kukui nut = Aleurites Moluccana,Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil,buah keras,candelnut oil,candleberry oil,Indian walnut,kemiri,kukui seed oil,nuez de la India,varnish tree

 

• sweet almond = Prunus dulcis, Almond Sweet Oil,Prunun Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil,Prunus Amigdalus Oil,prunus amygdalus,Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil,Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Seed Extract,Prunus Amygdalus Dulis (Sweet Almond) Oil,Prunus Dulcis,Prunus Dulcis oil,Sweet Almond Oil,Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Meal

 

• brazil nut = Bertholletia excels, Bertholletia excelsa oil,brazil nut oil,brazilnut oil,oil of brazil nut,Bertholletia Excelsa

 

pine nuts

Lychee nuts

Chestnut

Bitter almond = Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil

 

• Hazelnut = Corylus rostrate, Corylus Americana, Corylus avellana, Corylus Avellana (Hazel Nut) Oil,Corylus Americana (hazel) seed oil,Corylus Avellana Hazelnut Seed Oil,Corylus Avellana (Hazelnut) Seed Oil,Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Nut Oil,hazel seed oil,hazelseed oil,filbert oil,Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil,Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Oil,Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil

Walnut = Juglans regia, Juglans nigra, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Oil

 

• Pecan = carya illinoensis

• Cashew nut = Anacardium occidentales

• Macadamia nut = ethyl macadamiate,Macadamia (Ternifolia) Nut Oil,Macadamia integrifolia,Macadamia nut,Macadamia ternifolia,Macadamia Ternifolia nut,macadamia seed oil

Anything ending in –cocoate, -macadamiate

Peanut allergy = MAYBE vegetable oil

 

Avocado • Avocado oil, avocado extract, Persea americana, Persea gratissima Avocadomide DEA
Milk • Lactic acid, milk protein, casein, whey protein, lactose, yogurt, cheese

Note: Commercial lactic acid is produced synthetically. But, better safe than sorry.

Donkey milk/jenny milk, camel milk (if you want to be extra cautious)
Soy • Glycine soja =

Genistein,Soy Isoflavone,Soy Protein,Soy Isoflavone,Glycine Soja Protein,Hydrolyzed Soy,Soybean Protein,Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract,Glycine Max (Soybean) Symbiosome Extract,Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract,Glycine Soja (Soybean) Phytoplacenta Extract,Glycerin Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract,Glycine Soja Seed Extract,Soybean Seed Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract,soja,Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract

 

• Natto gum

 

• Edamame

 

• Guar gum

Anything ending in –glycinate, maybe also lecithin (which can be derived from soy)

 

Dust mites • Snail extract = Helix aspersa extract,snail ferment filtrate,snail helix,snail mucine,snail mucus,Snail Secretion Filtrate,Snail Slime,snail mucin,Helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates
Hay fever / Pollen / Ragweed / Compositae family • Milk thistle = blessed milk thistle,cardus marianus, lady’s thistle,Marian thistle,Mary thistle,Mediterranean milk thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle,Scotch thistle,Silybum marianum,silymarin,variegated thistle

 

• Cogon grass = blady grass, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract,Imperata Cylindrica Root,Imperata Cylindrica (Root) Extract

 

• Calendula = bisabolol, marigold, a-bisabolol,alpha bisabolol,bisobolol,Dragosantol,Levomenol

 

• Daisy extract = Bellis Perennis, daisy flower extract, tansy extract,tansy flower extract

 

• Artichoke = Cynara scolymus,Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract

• Chamomile = Chrysanthellum Indicum,Anthemis Mixta,Anthemis Nobilis,azulene,Camomile,Camomilla Rectita (Matricaria) Flower Oil,Chamaemelum nobile,Chamomile,Chamomilla Recuitita,Chamomilla Recuitita (Matricaria) Flower Extract,Chamomilla Recuitita Flower Extract,Chamomilla recutita,Matricaria chamomilla,matricaria extract,Matricaria Flower Extract,Matricaria recutita,Ormenis multicaulis,Roman Chamomile,Camomilla Recutita (Matricaria)

Dandelion extract (Taraxacum)
• Feverfew = Chrysanthemum Parthenium,Extract Of Chrysanthemum Parthenium,Extract Of Feverfew
• Pyrethrum / Chrysanthemum
• Ragweed (Ambrosia)

 

• Burdock root = Arctium Lappa,Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract,Arctium Major,Arctium Majus Root (Burdock) Extract,Arctium Majus Root Extract,Arctium Minor, Beggar’s Buttons,Burdock Extract,Burdock Root Extract

 

• Echinacea = Cone-Flower,Coneflower Extract,Echinacea,Echinacea Angustifolia (Coneflower) Extract (Coneflower),Echinacea Angustifolia Extract,Echinacea Angustifolia Flower Extract,Echinacea Angustifolia Root Extract,Echinacea Purpurea Extract,Echinacea Sanguinea,Echinaceae,Echinacin,Ecinacaea,Ecinacea,Kleine Sonnenblume,Schmalblaettriger Sonnenhut,Snake Root,Snakeroot,Sonnenhut,Stone Flower,Stone-Flower,Stoneflower,Cone Flower,(Cone Flower),(Coneflower)

Sunflower extract and sunflower oil

 

Safflower extract and safflower oil

Fish and shellfish • Starfish extract (maybe, click for more info)

• Caviar = roe eggs, salmon hatchery water (again, maybe)

Marine compounds, just in case your skin is sensitive to algae or seaweed, etc.

 

Highly unlikely you’ll be sensitive to this, but some Asian beauty companies do use Oysters and pearl powder, so maybe avoid those if you’re allergic to oyster.

Aluminum Alumina (found in OTC microdermabrasion skin care products) Aluminum as a prefix (aka Aluminum chlorohydrate)
Caffeine • Caffeine = Coffea Arabica,Coffee Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract,Coffee Extract,Coffee Seed Extract,Extracts Of Coffee,Guarana Extract,Guaranine,Methyltheobromine,Paullina Cupana,Theine

 

• Chocolate = Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract,Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Leaf Cell Extract,Cocoa Seed Extract,cocoa polyphenols,cacao extract,theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract,Theobroma Cacao Extract,Theobroma Cacao Extract (Cocoa),Theobroma Cacao Fruit Powder,theobroma cacao(cocoa) extract,chocolate,Cacao Seed Extract

Yerba mate, caffeic acid, tea extracts, cola, guarana (paullinia cupana seed extract)  and kola nuts
Mushrooms Tricholoma nauseosum,tricholoma matsutake,phellinus linteus,silver ear,tremella fuciformis sporocarp,tremella fuciformis,agaricus bisporus (mushroom) extract,lentinus edodes,agaricus bisporus (mushroom) stem extract,agaricus bisporus extract,agaricus campestris bisporus ext.,cordyceps sinensis extract,corthellus shiitake extract,cyathus stercoreus mycelium extract,ergothioneine,extract of agaricus bisporus,extract of mushroom,fomes officinalis,fomes officinalis extract,fu ling,ganoderma lucidum,ganoderma lucidum (reishi mushroom) extract,ganoderma lucidum extract,hericium erinaceum extract,hoelen,inonotus obliquus (mushroom) extract,inonotus obliquus extract,mushroom stem extract,pleurotus ostreatus (mushroom) extract,polyporus umbellatus extract,poria cocos extract,reishi mushroom,tricholoma matsutake,t.matsutake This is not a comprehensive list, there are many more kinds of mushrooms used in skincare.
Mold / Mould Aspergillus ferment An unlikely allergy, but some may want to avoid it
Common preservatives • Parabens such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.
Imidazolidinyl urea
Quaternium-15
• Phenoxyethanol
• DMDM hydantoin
• Formaldehyde• Isothiazolinone and, especially, methylisothiazolinone
These are the most common preservatives people have allergic reactions to.
Melon Cucumis melo
Mango Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter,Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil,Mangifera Indica Mango Seed Butter,Mangifera Indica Seed Oil (Mango),mango butter
Sesame seeds Sesame Seed Oil, Gingilli Oil,Oleum Sesami Indicae,Sasame Oil,Sesame Oil,Sesame Seed Oil,Sesamum Indicum,Sesamum Indicum Oil,Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil,Sextra,Szezám Olaj,Til Oil, sesame seed extract
Strawberries Fragaria Vesca Fruit Extract, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Fragaria Vesca, Fragaria Ananassa,Fragaria Ananassa,Fragaria Chiloensis,Actinidia (Strawberry),Actinidia Fruit

 

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