Has anyone noticed increased sensitivity to unnatural products after having made the switch to natural/nontoxic? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 05-12-2010, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I originally switched to natural/non toxic/ mostly unscented products because of chemical sensitivities and out of wanting my home and body to be more nontoxic in general. I've been at this for years. Last night, I found an unused bottle of Dove body wash under my sink in my stockpile. So I put it on the shower and proceeded to use to wash my armpits and was nauseated by the fragrance. It was wayyyy too much. And this one of the more unscented varieties of Dove, just plain white stuff. So I had to go back to my foam bottle of Dr. Bronners. I've noticed this with other things too, like cleaning products or just anything. I've become MORE sensitive to chemicals. I've read about this happening and was wondering if any of you had the same thing happen.

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#2 of 27 Old 05-12-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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This happened to me. I now get headaches from chemical smells, (including shampoos, cleaning products, etc), and I can't stand the feeling of chemical-laden soaps and lotions.

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#3 of 27 Old 05-12-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Since switching to more natural/non-toxic products, I find the smell of my old products to be quite overwhelming. Products that once smelled clean and fresh to me now smell chemical laden.

Several weeks ago I used some leftover Dove body wash (the unscented kind for sensitive skin) in a pinch because I ran out of my all-natural stuff, and it left my skin feeling dry and itchy. I don't remember having this problem before switching to the good stuff, but I'm wondering if perhaps I just didn't notice it before making the switch or assumed that was how my skin was supposed to feel. In any case, I'm glad I made the switch and have no intentions of looking back!

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#4 of 27 Old 05-12-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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YES! Actually we had been using mostly natural products except for hand soap 'cause my dad had bought us a GIANT bottle of it, and it was making me so nauseous that I finally had to switch to natural handsoap too even though I felt wasteful not finishing the unnatural bottle!

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#5 of 27 Old 05-13-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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I haven't completely made the switch, so I can't say. But now that we're cloth diapering, my DS will get a rash when he's in disposables. I guess that's pretty much the same thing.

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#6 of 27 Old 05-13-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Yes. I posted a while back about some kind of skin burn I got from wearing a baby sling that someone else had washed in what was clearly a mainstream detergent, or with fabric softener, or doused in Fabreeze. My skin got red and itchy and was seriously BURNED from this! Later I stayed at a B&B and woke up with my face/eyelids burning and sensitive because of the pillowcase.

Also, a friend gave us a huge box of hand me down clothes for DD, which was very kind, but the whole box reeked like flowers. Even after I washed them in natural soap and did an extra rinse, I can smell this fake fragrance when DD wears those clothes! Yuck!

I guess I am more sensitive now. It's a real pain.

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#7 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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It's kinda funny, I have to use many natural products (deodorant, shampoo, face soap, laundry deterg) b/c of chemical sensitivities, but I have to use Dove bar to wash my hands and body b/c everything else makes my skin itch, burn, and break/flake-out. I have tried many natural soap. My dd is the same way.

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#8 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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I can't even walk near the detergent and household cleaners aisle at the store because I get ill.

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#9 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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So, just curious...how does this affect you all when you travel or otherwise leave your house? I find I am now carting a lot of products around with me. And my own pillowcase from home. And we hit the grocery store for food, etc, when we visit our parents. I mean, it's nice to be natural, but outside of my house it's kind of difficult.

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#10 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Yes! I am sensitive to frangrances and chemicals as is, but the longer I go using natural and unscented products, the more the conventional things bother me. Like, I once found an old deodorant (secret?) in a drawer and used it one day. The smell and feel of it made me ill and I had to take a shower. I used to wear it daily, and didn't feel crummy putting it on. Same when I smell someone else's dish soap, or the fabric softener on the neighbor kid's clothes. It drives me nutty.

DH, who isn't overly sensitive to chemicals like me, will now notice the strong fumes of bleach or other harsh cleaners when we are in someone else's home. So I think even he has been spoiled by a home filled with mild, natural, fragrant-free products.

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#11 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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Hmm I haven't really had any issues 'out & about'... Yeah I get my own food when I go anywhere, but I've been veg*n for so many years that it's just a fact of life for me. As far as staying in a hotel, I have always brought my own shampoo, toothpaste, etc. anyway but now it's actually easier because we're poo-free, I don't use deodorant, etc. so there's actually LESS to cart around. Fortunately I haven't had issues with pillowcases (YET!), I imagine that would be a bit of a pain!

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#12 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've definitely had the issue when we get hand me down clothes, of sometimes clothes from the thrift store. Recently someone gave my dd a box of clothes and I had to wash them multiple times w/ different combos of borax, baking soda, and vinegar rinses to get out the fabric softener. I can smell people when they walk past me in stores or other places who use Downy or other strong smelling fabric softener. It's gross. The fabric softener smell in particular gives me a headache. Same with perfumes. I just finished reading Debra Lynn Dadd's Home Safe Home book and she talks about MCS, mulitple chemical sensitivity, and I think I had it before, but all my clean living, has sort of made it worse. It's a good book rec for sure. She has a website too, just google Debra Lynn Dadd. She's great.

I just got a Berkey water filter the dechlorinates our city water as well as a dechlorinating shower filter and now the smell of chlorine coming out of the washer and tap is reallllly strong to me. Almost burns my nose. Weird.

When traveling, I almost always bring my own pillowcase and blanket. It's getting to the point where I might just bring my whole bedding set, sheets and all. I also travel w/my own toiletries (don't use the hotel ones) and have even been know to travel w/my natural all purpose cleaner (when we were staying for a week on the beach).

We also moved into an apartment recently, and one of the things I really don't like about it is we can't control the pesticides sprays outside or I actually think they sprayed the inside of the unit before we moved in. Though it's better than my old house, I think that because my old house was a New hous (only a few years old) it was making me sick with all the new house smells (carpet, glue, paint, varnish, etc.).

My friends just bought a brand new $3000 tempurpedic mattress and slept on it the first night they got it. I shudder to think of the off-gassing on that one. I won't be going over there any time soon. I can just imagine the headache I'd get from that one. I just hope they don't put their 9 month old on it. He already is sooo sick, constantly, but they don't co-sleep and he sleeps in another room, so hopefully he won't be on it. Anyways, that was way off-topic....

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#13 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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yup. I never was bothered by chemicals including bleach. now they often give me a headache the rare times I use them

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#14 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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I've always had a sensitivity to smells which has only amplified since we went to more of the natural products. My dh has gone to wearing regular deodorant/anti-perspirant because the natural stuff wasn't cutting it at work. I've had a heck of a time with it. I've had to request that he shower before coming to bed many times. I'm hating that when I wash my clothes with his my shirts pick up the smell of his deodorant. It's becoming quite the issue. I don't remember it ever being this bad before.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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I've always had a sensitivity to smells which has only amplified since we went to more of the natural products. My dh has gone to wearing regular deodorant/anti-perspirant because the natural stuff wasn't cutting it at work. I've had a heck of a time with it. I've had to request that he shower before coming to bed many times. I'm hating that when I wash my clothes with his my shirts pick up the smell of his deodorant. It's becoming quite the issue. I don't remember it ever being this bad before.
DH's products bother me, too. His deodorant is too strong - and I can smell it from the other room. Poor thing - I make him put on hair gel (or when he used it - hairspray) outside in the garage right before he leaves for work. After a long day it doesn't smell as strong. I'd probably die if he wore cologne.

DD has put on lotion at a friends house that made me ill - and I've made her take a shower. Same with febreeze. It's crazy but I can smell it on her after she spends the night at the neighbors and they have either sprayed it while she was there, or it's that saturated in their home. It's not like they spray it right on her - yet it bugs me.

Ditto for the scented hand-sanitizer the kids used at school during the H1N1 frenzy. ick....

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#16 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Ditto for the scented hand-sanitizer the kids used at school during the H1N1 frenzy. ick....
Oh my that stuff makes me feel quite ill as well. I've even found that I have problems with perfume that I used to use and haven't used for quite awhile. I have almost full bottles of some of it and I keep holding on to it. I can't quite get rid of it because I don't want to waste it. At the same time there's no way on earth that I can wear it.

When it comes to deodorant for myself I've noticed that I'm much more sensitive to the other stuff. I used to be able to wear any one I picked up off the shelf. I'm finding now that there aren't too many left (natural or otherwise) that I can tolerate.

I'm also amazed at how much I can smell other people's laundry from their dryer vents. Yuck.
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#17 of 27 Old 05-14-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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Have you tried the unscented Tom's deodorant? It's about the only one I can tolerate now - besides just using baking soda.

There are things that I used to be okay with - like those glade plug-in scented things. Now I shudder to think about them, b/c they would surely give me a migraine. My sensitivity has also definitely gotten worse over the last few years (also when we switched to natural stuff).

The world would be a much better place without synthetic fragrances.

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#18 of 27 Old 05-18-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Have you tried the unscented Tom's deodorant? It's about the only one I can tolerate now - besides just using baking soda.

There are things that I used to be okay with - like those glade plug-in scented things. Now I shudder to think about them, b/c they would surely give me a migraine. My sensitivity has also definitely gotten worse over the last few years (also when we switched to natural stuff).

The world would be a much better place without synthetic fragrances.
I'm currently using Tom's unscented but finding it to be mostly ineffective. Do you find that it works for you? Maybe I'll have to give baking soda a try.

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#19 of 27 Old 05-18-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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I'm currently using Tom's unscented but finding it to be mostly ineffective. Do you find that it works for you? Maybe I'll have to give baking soda a try.

Some days I have to re-apply it a few times. But I think it works okay (I'll have to ask DH if I stink ).

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#20 of 27 Old 05-18-2010, 07:42 AM
 
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I can smell people's detergent from a mile away. It makes me ill. I got my MIL to switch to a more natural, unscented detergent, but my mom still uses what she always has. I made the mistake once of putting on a shirt she brought for me that I had left at her house. She washed it, and it gave me a headache and it's all I could smell. She also regularly febreezes her car, and I just can't go near it.

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#21 of 27 Old 06-03-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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I've been the opposite. I started using natural body and cleaning products because I found out that the chemicals were making me sick. It was really bad, everytime I cleaned the house my husband would come home to find me on the couch with a migraine. Now that I've been using vinegar and baking soda and Dr Bronners, I have a higher tolerance for artificial frangrances. Going down the laundry aisle doesn't make me queasy, or give me a migraine.
I still can't stay in a room with a candle burning for long periods of time, but it's gotton so much more tolerable when I'm out and about, I don't have to worry as much.
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#22 of 27 Old 06-03-2010, 03:15 PM
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Yep, I'm the same way. Strong colognes and perfumes, lotions or hairsprays make me cringe. I do find it easier though, as since I stopped using chemical products, we ended up using less, and finding it less necessary, so we have less things to cart around with us if we're going out.
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#23 of 27 Old 06-03-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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I'm also amazed at how much I can smell other people's laundry from their dryer vents. Yuck.
This one gets me too, ruins a perfectly good day sitting out in my pesticide free yard. And when people spray weedkiller in the neighborhood it's worse.

BTDT with the hand me down clothes smelling of fabric softener, the ebay items that arrive reeking of febreze, avoiding the cleaning product aisle, etc. Hopefully we will eventually reach a point where the majority of earth's people are chemical free, so that we won't have to bring our own bedding every time we leave the house.

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#24 of 27 Old 06-04-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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Yes, and it was really strange. I have always loved the smell of Baby Magic lotion, and have always had a bottle of it around since I was a kid. I haven't used it all over in a while, just for hands here and there. Tonight I was feeling like my skin was pretty dry so I slathered arms, legs, neck, and feet with the baby lotion. Soon after, I started feeling dizzy and lightheaded and really sick, and had to lay down. I can't imagine what else could have done that. I had to go get a shower and wash it off.

I pitched that lotion to the trash and promptly bought some Dr. Bronner's lotion (which is really nice btw).
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#25 of 27 Old 07-22-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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We went shopping at the outlets near the house and it was horrible. I couldn't even go in some of the stores. We went home after a short time because both DP and I had the beginnings of migraines
It kills me that my MIL uses those automatic spray airfresheners DP and I walk around the house and turn them off I don't know how long it takes her to figure out that we turned them off. When I use towels other places IL's, hotels, etc I can really tell the difference

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#26 of 27 Old 07-22-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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I've been the opposite. I started using natural body and cleaning products because I found out that the chemicals were making me sick. It was really bad, everytime I cleaned the house my husband would come home to find me on the couch with a migraine. Now that I've been using vinegar and baking soda and Dr Bronners, I have a higher tolerance for artificial frangrances. Going down the laundry aisle doesn't make me queasy, or give me a migraine.
I still can't stay in a room with a candle burning for long periods of time, but it's gotton so much more tolerable when I'm out and about, I don't have to worry as much.
This has been my experience. Although I may have become healthier in other ways, and perhaps that has helped my ability to deal with fragrances.

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It kills me that my MIL uses those automatic spray airfresheners DP and I walk around the house and turn them off I don't know how long it takes her to figure out that we turned them off. When I use towels other places (IL's, hotels, etc I can really tell the difference )
Whenever we visit SIL, I go around putting air fresheners into deep parts of the closet, turning off the plug-in ones, even tossing some in the garbage. (She has SO many she would never notice, I've come to discover over the years. We visit 1-2 times a year, and the same one that I tucked into a closet would be there the next time I visited.) I'll take them out of the guest room we're in and put them into the adult son's bedroom.

And I don't use laundry detergent when I do laundry (for myself) at relatives' houses. I figure there is enough left-over in the tub for my single load, considering how much they all use.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-22-2010, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's getting to the point where eating fast food makes me sick, the smell of someones perfume is so nauseating I consider moving where I'm sitting, the smell of exhaust make me sick to my stomach. I question how good it is for me to have made myself even more sensitive than I was in the beginning.

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