Allergy Alert: 16 Food Ingredients to Look for On Skin Care Labels

If you have reactions to specific foods, you’re probably scrupulous about checking food labels. But are you also reading skin care product labels? Learn why you should and how.

If you or members of your family have adverse reactions to specific foods, you are probably scrupulous about checking food labels in food stores and supermarkets. But do you check the labels on skin care products?

Many soaps, cosmetics, and “personal care” products contain food ingredients to which some people may have a sensitivity. Any preparation that is applied to the skin, eyes, mouth, hair, or nails should carry a list of ingredients to enable consumers to identify products that might be harmful to them. Unfortunately, ingredients are listed using their Latin names, which may not be instantly familiar. An example is “arachis oil,” which is the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) name for peanut oil. The solution is to have a list of the Latin names of ingredients you want to avoid, and to refer to it when buying such products.

Below are some common food ingredients with their INCI names as they appear on the packaging of skin care products.

• Avocado (Persea gratissim)

• Bitter almond (Prunus amara)

• Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa)

• Coconut (Cocos nucifera)

• Cod-liver oil (Gadi iecur)

• Egg (Ovum)

• Hazelnut (Corylus rostrata/americana/avellana)

• Melon (Cucumis melo)

• Milk (Lac)

• Mixed fish oil (Piscum iecur)

• Pea (Pisum sativum)

• Peanut oil (Arachis oil)

• Sesame (Sesamum indicum)

• Soy (Glycine soja)

• Sweet almond or almond oil (Prunus dulcis)

• Walnut (Juglans regia/nigra)

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest