Monday, September 14, 2009

are you kidding me?!

I have posted before that I have a sensitivity to MSG and that it triggers migraines in me. Truthfully, it is more accurate to say that I have a sensitivity to glutamate, which is why I can't eat natural, organic things like brown rice and autolyzed yeast. I have learned to read labels very least for the things that I eat.

But I discovered a whole new wrinkle in this whole glutamate-sensitivity thing. It's one I never would have expected! Part of me still can't quite believe it. :-p

I have very sensitive skin and have always had to be careful to select gentle soap products. I recently started making homemade laundry detergent (partly because I'm cheap, but partly because I like how gentle it is). I am still searching for the perfect shower soap. But my face has the perfect skin care routine. Since I was 19 years old, I have used Mary Kay's Classic skin care line. I wasn't interested when they launched the new Timewise line; I'll stick with what works, thank you! I get lots of compliments on my complexion, and the products are safe for me. (My love for the skin care line, when I had tried SO MANY other things and found them lacking, was a big part of the reason I became a consultant).

Our house has two bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. Because I prefer the upstairs bath and shower, I had all my Classic line products stored op there. The downstairs bath is a shower-only stall, and frankly I don't like it. But we are having problems with a leak from the upstairs shower, so I have been showering downstairs more and more often.

I found it difficult to fit all my skin care supplies around the tiny sink or in the limited space of the shower. And because of this, I made a terrible mistake. After 13 years of successfully using the same skin care line, I got brave and bold and decided to branch out. It took up less space! And it seemed to be okay; I wasn't having my normal irritation or breakouts.

But as the weeks wore on, I noticed something vaguely unsettling: I felt better on the days I splurged and showered upstairs. I told myself it was psychological; I preferred the upstairs bathroom, and I wasn't showering up there often because of the leak, so it was a special treat. I tried to talk myself out of this silly idea that there was any real difference.

Late last week, it occurred to me why I felt better after showering upstairs. I was getting a slight headache each day that I showered downstairs. Not a full-blown, not-me-for-a-loop migraine, but enough of a headache to be an annoyance. Now I was really convinced that it all psychosomatic; I was somehow letting my dislike of the downstairs shower make my head hurt!

But quite by accident, I stumbled across the actual cause. I still can't quite believe it. But there on the ingredients list of the moisturizer I was using downstairs was glutamic acid. Unbelievable. But apparently I was absorbing just enough traces of glutamate through my skin to cause a slight headache! Sheesh.

So now add reading toiletry ingredients' list to my things to do. And yes, I am absolutely back to using my Classic Mary Kay...even if I shower downstairs. Lesson learned.

I just had to learn it the hard way. :-p