For those of you with daughters, especially, look out for "fancy" lotions! The other night I took my girls to a class at the park district to learn how to create their own body lotion and lip gloss. I know, they really need that at ages 6 and 9 but they begged me to go and I caved.
Now, most of the "little girl" type of lotions and cosmetics that I've come across over the years do not contain nut oils. However, that didn't stop me from asking the teacher if any of the products the kids would be using had nuts or nut oils.
She couldn't have been nicer or more convincing--"Oh, no I never use that stuff. Too many kids are allergic."
I left feeling pretty confident and hung out about 5 minutes away for the duration of the 1-hour class (allergy moms tend to stay close) but when I arrived for pick up, my daughter had that "look" that told me something was wrong.
The teacher had used almond scent, flavor and we think, almond oil. Even though my daughter didn't use the scent or flavor (and frankly, it was probably artificial, but how the heck do I know), she couldn't use any of her products since the base they used to make everything was "a mix of oils" according to the teacher. (My daughter asked.) So, who knows what was in there? After the almond scent, I wasn't taking any chances.
Now, maybe this teacher thought I was only concerned about peanuts. (I said all nuts, don't know how much more clear to be!) Unfortunately, almond is one of my daughter's top 5 allergens and in the past, she has broken out when she used cherry/almond lotion at a friend's house. If it got in her eye or mucous membranes, she could have a severe reaction. So, scary stuff!
Whew, boy. I ended up buying safe Bonne Bell stuff for her on the way home and she gave me her products to keep.
What would I have done differently? First of all, avoid lotion and potion making classes unless I personally have inspected each and every product.
Second, I would have corresponded directly with the outside company offering the classes prior to the beginning of the workshop (turns out the company is not affiliated with our local park district).
More educating needs to be done--our park district is clear about their food allergy awareness with regards to cooking classes, but nut oils in cosmetics are not on their radar. Time to start contacting all parties involved.
Just wanted to give a heads-up so that you don't get stuck with the same problem. Has this ever happened to any of you?