Between having Celiac disease, cystic acne, and a ton of allergies (ever since I was a little my family calls me as a ‘walking allergy’ because I have so many lol), I have to be extremely cautious of what goes on my skin. I am SO sensitive, that I just don’t have the luxury of impulsively buying whatever is recommended to me at The Bay or Sephora. For me, buying a new product requires a lot of research and reading a lot of product reviews. I thoroughly research the ingredients and the brand to make sure it is safe for my skin before I would even consider taking the plunge (I swear in another life, you would think I was Olivia Benson). I know it sounds exhausting, it is, and for the longest time I wouldn’t even bother. It always felt like such a hassle and by the end, I was so frustrated that even if I did find something, I wouldn’t even buy it because it didn’t seem worth it anymore. So I went years without wearing makeup and would wash my face with a bar of soap (I know, I’m cringing too).
But there came a point in time where I wanted to start wearing makeup and feeling confident in myself again. I was entering a male-dominated field and I felt that if I didn’t walk in with confidence, no-one ever would take me seriously. I know we shouldn’t tell ourselves that confidence comes from the way we look but for me, it does sometimes. Now, hear me out… I find that if I have a sharp suit on, killer heels, and flawless makeup, I instantly feel confident in myself which sprinkles over to my work, my presentations, even my Q&A’s. It is like I gave myself the world’s greatest pep talk without even having to say anything.
With all my allergies and sensitivities, I was so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to find products that were safe for me to use and wouldn’t give me a face full of sores (I’m telling you, my skin gives the word ‘sensitive’ a whole new meaning)! I swear there is nothing worse then putting on makeup and worrying about what your face is going to look like when you take it off. Then I stumbled onto SkinSafeProducts…and the rest is history.
I cannot tell you how life changing this website is for anyone who suffers with allergies, ingredient sensitivities, or any health conscious consumer curious of an ingredient list. It is truly amazing and I highly recommend it (no this is not sponsored, it really is amazing). SkinSafe is a free website (or download the mobile app here) where you can manually search or scan their database for any product too see if the ingredients are safe for you. It was developed by the MayoClinic, backed by science, and skin patched tested, so you can feel confident following their guidelines. Honestly, I don’t buy anything anymore without scanning it through SkinSafe database. And if, for whatever reason, you cannot find your product, you can upload a picture to the website and request a testing to be done on it. I swear it is a great website for those like me with sensitive/allergy prone skin.
You can create a profile and personalize it to include all your allergies/sensitivities, then use the ‘Safe for Me’ filter, and SkinSafe will filter products based off your profile. Or, you can simply type in a product you are looking for and it will show you everything you need to know about the ingredients list and who it is safe for. Remember each product is patch tested then labelled using their ‘badge’ system for a quick and easy reference.
For instance, if you are looking for something that is ‘hypoallergenic’ or unsure of what ingredients bother you, look for the ‘top Allergen free’ badge next to the products. This will guarantee that you will be avoiding the most common allergy causing ingredients (you can find that list here). Since I have Celiac disease, I have to make sure that all my products are gluten free as well, so I look for the ‘Gluten Free’ badge along with anything above the 91% safeguard (if it is ‘top free’… bonus… ‘baby safe’… double bonus! I mean, if it is safe for a baby it should be safe for me too)!
It is through SkinSafe that I am able to confidently wear makeup again and know that I am safe when doing so. I didn’t even realize how many amazing brands are out there that also take care in what we put on their skin. This website has helped me find some pretty amazing brands that I would not have found otherwise.
For the gluten free, acne prone skinners out there not too sure where to start, here are a few of my favourites:
- BareMinerals is a brand I have loved for so many years. They are vegan, cruelty free, and post their ‘free of’ list directly on their website, right under each product, so it is easy to find and consumer friendly. Honestly, I could recommend so many producst from this brand because the ingredients and quality is truly remarkable. But I must say, that I swear by the blemish rescue foundation kit. It is a full coverage foundation, yet feels so light on my skin, all the while fighting acne while you wear it (it doesn’t get much better than that!)
- Hourglass Cosmetics is another great brand! Not all of their products are gluten free but SkinSafe is great at letting you know which ones are. If you are looking for some recommendations, I absolutely LOVE their N28 Primer Serum. Now I know technically, this is a primer but I use it as a moisturizer. Since moisturizers aggravate my cystic acne to no end, I started using this instead, and boy is it amazing! The 28 oil and vitamin blend is the perfect combination for hydrating my dry skin (and the smell is so calming), just remember that a little goes a long way. As for makeup, my tried and true favourites are the Ambient Lighting Palette (I use all 3 all over my face for some candlelit glow-y goodness) and the Ambient Lighting Bronzer in the shade ‘Nude Bronze Light’ (I have tried so many bronzers lately but this one takes the cake every time)!
- Tarte is honestly a brand that just doesn’t get nearly enough love as it should! Not only is it a gluten free brand but it is formulated without so many harsh ingredients, it’s incredible. As soon as I stumbled across this brand, I instantly fell in love. I just bought a few goodies last month at the Sephora VIB sale and they did not disappoint. Their new Surfer Curl mascara will take your eyelashes all the way to heaven, let me tell you. They make my eyelashes so full it is amazing and with a little warm water, it comes right off! Another staple in my collection is the Frixxxtion exfoliating stick. This may be an oldie but it sure is a goodie. It is definitely on the gentler side, but that is was makes it so good! It is a three-in-one stick that exfoliates while reducing shine and purifying your pores (I know… a gem…you’re welcome!)
- Obagi Clenziderm MD This little trio here is my clear skin haven. It is a bit pricy but I promise you, you will love it. I swear, I have never experienced the sensation of ‘letting your skin breathe’ until I tried this. Holy moly, she is a game changer!
- Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm this makeup removing beauty is a tried and true favourite and holds a SkinSafe Top Allergen Free Badge. If you are someone who still finds yourself getting breakouts even after you’ve cleansed your face, this is something you need try! To be honest, when I first tried it, I was a bit confused on how it worked but I promise you, it is worth all the hype!
If you are someone like me who shy’s away from trying new beauty products, I hope you find SkinSafeProducts a helpful tool and it brings the joy back into your shopping experience. Let me know what your favourite products are, as I am always looking for new gems!
This is not sponsored and all of my opinions are my own.