It can be very hard to find personal care products your body will tolerate when you live with a Mast Cell disease or other allergic condition. I had a lot of fun putting together this list of soaps, cleansers, and body washes based on feedback from other people in the mast cell patient community. This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is there any guarantee that the body wash or soap tolerated by one person will be tolerated by the next. This is just starting point for people to experiment and learn what might work for them.
Alaffia® soaps were a popular pick. They offer unscented African Black Soap in both liquid and bar forms. The shea butter in their soaps is Fair for Life Fair Trade certified, and their Palm Kernel oil is orangutan safe. Find the ingredients for the unscented liquid African Black Soap here, and the ingredients for the bar soap here. Alaffia’s Everyday Shea unscented body wash was mentioned as well, and you can find it’s ingredient’s here.
Also recommended was Avalon Organics® Scalp Treatment Tea Tree Shampoo for use as a body wash. The Avalon Organics® website reports that it’s GMO-free, vegan, biodegradable, paraben-free, phthalate-free, NSF/ANSI 305 certified, contains no synthetic fragrances or color, and is has no harsh sulfates. Find the full ingredient list here.
Aveeno Active Naturals® makes several body washes and a bar soap. According to the Aveeno® website, their Gentle Scent™ body wash is clinically shown to be as gentle to sensitive skin as fragrance free products. I could not find a full ingredient list for these products.
Babyganics® makes a fragrance-free, foaming shampoo + body wash combo that was recommended. It’s has no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, or dyes and has plant based, certified organic ingredients. Click here for a full ingredient list.
Bubble and Bee Organic’s soap was mentioned. At the Bubble and Bee website, you’ll find not only organic body care products, but a blog about natural health topics. The all organic brand makes an unscented all-over soap bar with sustainable palm oil. The full ingredient list is here.
Caprina by Canus Goat Milk Soap with lavender oil was recommended. The pH of goat’s milk closely matches the ideal pH of human skin. Don’t worry if you can’t tolerate scents, the bar comes in a fragrance-free version too. All Canus products are phosphate free. Ingredients found here.
CeraVe® made the list. The brand offers its soap in both body wash and bar form. CeraVe® also has a body wash formulated especially for eczema. The brand’s products are paraben and sulfate free and are accepted by the National Eczema Association. Ingredients for CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash can be found here.
DermaVeen® Extra Gentle Shower and Bath Oil is a soap free liquid made of colloidal oatmeal. It has no sulfates, lanolin, parabens, artificial dyes or fragrances. I couldn’t find a full list of ingredients on the manufacturer website.
Dove brand was mentioned several times. People liked both their White and Sensitive skin beauty bars. The classic white bar is scented, and loved by many for its moisturizing properties. The sensitive skin variety is unscented. The sensitive skin bar’s ingredients are here.
Dr. Bronner’s® Soaps got several votes. According to the manufacturer’s website, Dr. Bronner’s products are certified organic to USDA National Organic Program and Oregon Tilth standards. The soaps are also certified fair trade, not tested on animals, Non-GMO, vegan, and made with certified kosher virgin coconut oil. The soaps come in liquid and bar form, and the fragrance-free baby formulation was a popular choice. Find the ingredient list here.
EO® Product’s Everyone 3-in-1 Soap was mentioned. The liquid soap, which comes in an unscented variety, can be used as shampoo, body wash or bubble bath. It’s certified non-GMO, gluten free, cruelty free, and has no synthetic fragrances. Full ingredient list is here.
Grandma’s Pure & Natural™ Lye Soap may have the simplest ingredient list of any of our contenders. According to the website, it is made from only food grade lard, water, and sodium hydroxide, which is lye with retained glycerin. It’s free of dye and fragrances.
Herbon natural products from Australia offers soaps without dyes, animal products, synthetic ingredients, formaldehyde, phenols, lanolin, or artificial perfumes. Their soaps are not tested on animals. Herbon’s baby soap is formulated to cleanse sensitive skin, the full list of ingredients is here.
Philosophy brand got a vote. I didn’t see an unscented version of any of their products, but for those who tolerate fragrance, they make liquid gels designed to multitask as shampoos as well as bath and shower gels. Ingredients for their ‘fresh cream’ shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath are here.
Sappo Hill Natural Fragrance-Free soap is my personal pick. It’s free from parabens, phthalates, and detergents and it’s vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free. It has a short ingredient list of Non-GMO Food Grade Oils of Certified Sustainable Palm and Coconut, Water, sodium hydroxide (which doesn’t remain in bar after saponification), and glycerine.
Vanicream™ Cleansing Bar makes an appearance as a bar free of dye, fragrance, lanolin, paraben, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers. It’s also gluten-free and non-comedogenic. It’s part of the Vanicream™ line, which was created with sensitive skin in mind. Find the full ingredient list here.
Another good resource to use when considering soaps and other skin care products is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. There you can search for products or individual ingredients and learn what the relative risk to humans is based on available data.
Have you found an allergy friendly soap or bodywash? Share your experience in the comments.
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