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Personal Care and Beauty Tips

By: Courtney Weaver

Have you tried on makeup and it felt unbearably thick on your face? Or maybe there’s uncomfortable tingling/itching. One testimony from an Aspie who was interviewed for the book Aspergirls (one of my favourite books ever) mentioned that she wanted to claw makeup off her face when she tried it. One of the distinguishing traits associated with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is having a particular sensitivity. This can vary from person to person. Some good examples include sound sensitivity and touch sensitivity. In the case of makeup or other personal care products, if you have a reaction to them, your reaction is also a tactile (touch) kind.

Others may consider this wacky but this kind of reaction to personal care items and cosmetics might actually be a very good body defense mechanism that is letting you know that you should not be applying this soap, lipstick etc. on your body. I learned from a couple of moms who have taught children on the autism spectrum as well as an organic make-up artist that there are a lot of chemicals which are not good for your skin that are in a lot of beauty and personal care products. This is allowed due to no seriously reinforced legislation on what goes into these kinds of products.

But don’t worry. This is not the case for every personal care or beauty product. I’ve got a variety of products from different brands, from L’Oréal Paris to Covergirl to Burt’s Bees. How can you figure out what are good cosmetic/care products the next time you go shopping? Do you have to buy very expensive organic products? The answer is no, you don’t necessarily have to buy costly organic products (unless that is the only thing that your body will not react to). I will put down a brief list of chemicals to look out for the next time you go shopping. I found the names of these chemicals in a cosmetics paper published by Queen’s University (The Perils of Cosmetics). These include: parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde and carcinogens. How can you figure out if any of these are in a product?

There are some basic steps that you can take. First, you must look at the ingredients list in whatever it is you are thinking about purchasing. Or look at any labels on the product stating something like “paraben free”. If neither of these are indicated on the product itself, you can always look up the product’s ingredients online (usually on the website of the company that makes the product or if not, on drugstore.com. I’ve found it very handy). Make sure that the website is a legit one (e.g. there’s a company address provided somewhere at the bottom of the page). If organic products are the only things that you can apply on yourself, Burt’s Bees is a good go-to brand since it is not so expensive.

Now, these tips are for those who are interested in personal care/makeup but found that they are sensitive to, or even get reactions from, these types of products and/or want to live a healthier lifestyle.

I hope that these tips have helped and that you start feeling better skin-wise and mentally. When you feel good inside, it gets reflected on the outside to others.