Wanna know what frustrates and infuriates me?

19 November 2012

Answer: Trying to find a suitable face moisturiser!

Far out this has been a lifetime bug bear of mine.
I am terribly sensitive to creams and products...always have been.....my parents have spent a small fortune over the years trialling creams....and attempting to eliminate and identify what exactly I am allergic too.
This has continued on and on over the years....
In the last 10 years or so I grew tired of wasting money on expensive creams I couldn't tolerate...and I just stuck to my good old faithfuls....always a glycerine / sorbolene type cream....usually QV.

However.....I have been on a quest of late to rid my home of all chemicals and product toxins....and my good old faithful cream was on my list to replace....seeing as it contains lots of nasties on my list.

I started searching for a replacement....
I have read label after label.....read reviews.... googled.... and ummed and ahhed about what to try.
I know I am VERY sensitive to lavender .....and unfortunately a lot of natural products contain lavender....so some of my initial favourite options were immediately ruled out.
I've also been so bitten over the years....wasting 100's of dollars on products I couldn't tolerate....so I am so reluctant to spend high end dollars.
(although I would be very happy to if I knew it suited my skin...and could trial it first.....so obviously I will be keeping my eye out for samples from now on.)

Then I stumbled across the Sukin range.... an all organic range.... with lots of good reasons to use them...including sustainable... Australian made....no nasties.....and a damn good price.
Most of their range has lavender......but their sensitive moisturiser didn't ...I checked the bottle and the website ingredients list.....and was chuffed.

Sometimes I question my intelligence....
I didn't trial it on a small patch.....nope!....I lathered it on....all over my face....neck.....and chest.
Yep this was going to be my all natural...organic....replacement for my QV cream.

Well that was until a few hours later when I started to feel a bit itchy around my eyes....I didn't connect it to the face cream to begin with.....so I continued to wear it for a few more hours....by then I had broken out in a fine red rash in every single spot the cream had touched....and my eyes were blown up like balloons.
I felt like a freakazoid!!
It took 4 days for my eyes to go down....and the rash is only just subsiding now...almost 6 days post.
(Just sharing my hideous swollen face.... my eyes....my neck...all swollen...so frustrating.

So I  would love to hear what others have found works well.
If you are using a healthy....natural...no nasties face cream and are happy Id love to hear what it is.
Obviously I still need to avoid lavender....and clearly there is another ingredient that triggers a reaction....just a damn shame I have no idea what it is.

As for the Sukin range.....I still think its fabulous even though its NOT for me.
 I am ridiculously sensitive....so I don't blame the cream ...I blame my own allergies....and this post is in no way a negative to the Sukin range or product.


  1. Anonymous9:02 am

    Hi Mardi,
    I am pretty sensitive in the skin department too. About a year, no 18 months ago, I switched to Lush skincare and I love it. My skin is becoming more, ahem...mature and I like the Celestial moisturiser. http://www.lush.com.au/shop/product/product/id/33/keyword/celestial/celestial
    I also use the Aqua Marina cleanser and Eau Roma toner - which does have lavender, sorry. You can look on the website for the ingredients. I am not affiliated, I just can't help telling everyone about their products - my teenagers also use the cleansers etc and no more zits. Yay!.
    Good luck finding something to suit you. I know it can be a painful process - in more ways than one.

  2. Mardi,
    I use cream made by a local soap maker. http://www.elliesrange.com.au/
    She is off a farm in Injune Qld and is an absolute treasure. Give her a call on 0746261402 and ask the 'tough' questions.

  3. Hi Mardi,
    My daughter has really sensitive skin as well and has gone through so many creams etc. Clinique is one that realy works but is expensive, we went to a Arborne demo which she found was really good. Some salons are selling it and you can get a trial pack that lasts a week. They also have a 45 day (i think) returns policy. might be worth a try, it is expensive and I don't think you need all that they try and sell, but if you join you get a life time discount of either 15% or 30%. I think that you can request a sample to be sent to you to try.

  4. I too react to many skin products, but have been using the Mary Kay range now for 12 months & had no problems, but I'm not sure of the ingredients. The up side is that they do have samples for you to try their products and while it isn't super cheap, a small amount goes a long way so a tube last almost 12 months! Good luck

  5. Hi Mardi,
    I have no recommendations for you, just empathy!! I will now not take for granted being able to slaver any type of moisturiser on problem free!! Good luck in your quest for the perfect moisturiser!! xxx

  6. Oh Mardi I use sukin and love it. What a bummer. maybe try some pure vitamin e oil. it is greasy so you only need a little. often skin adjusts though. might be a good night cream. good luck!

  7. I use verissima products. They're a little organic company in WA and their creams work on my sensitive skin. http://www.verissima.com.au/

  8. Hi lovely

    It's me again
    Have a look on this website and ask ken (the owner/ cream maker) anything you need to know about the creams he makes. I love them :)

    Manon xxx

  9. Oh Mardi... you poor thing... and how hard it must be to find something that is going to be kind to your skin... and cause no ill effects... I do have sensitive skin... and love the Aldi moisturisers... but to be honest... I don't know if they contains nasties... I will be checking it out now of course though... but they work really well for me... and the price is fabulous...

    Jenny ♥

  10. I have had eczema all of my life and only ever use Alpha Keri lotion, which is very soothing. It is generally used in hospitals and for the elderly but I think it is a well-kept secret as a good moisturiser. It smells nice and is not expensive.

  11. Hi Mardi, you poor thing!! Have you tried just using some organic rosehip oil? It's fantastic! Or, just go to your pantry and try some of your virgin coconut oil ;) GOod luck

    Roz x

  12. Hi Mardi

    Have you had a look at MooGoo, they have heaps of different products and very reasonably priced. I don't have a lot of trouble with my skin but my scalp is a different matter and I find their shampoo and conditioner one of the only ones I can use. Their link is here http://www.moogoo.com.au/
    I do love cows so perhaps I am biased towards the cute cow faces on the packaging. good luck with your quest to find something for you. Leanne

  13. Hi Mardi,

    I also have sensitive skin and have been using Mcarthur Facial creme..it's primary ingredient is pawpaw www.mcarthurnaturalproducts.com
    It's quite a reasonable price. Their website lists their ingredients...as far as I can tell there is no lavender in the face creme.
    If you contact them they might be able to give you a free sample.

  14. Anonymous12:50 am

    Hi Mardi, I could have written this post almost word for word. I had eczema as a child & teenager & still to this day extremely sensitive to products. My eyes water very easily with the fumes of some creams & get itchy so I rub them & my eyelids get very dry & a whole cycle starts. It affects my vision & I become very sensitive to sunlight. If I can find some balance & use a cream that doesn't irritate, I'm more likely not to rub my eyes & I find a little bit of balance & peace for a little while. But up until recently I have never felt truly moisturised. It goes in cycles...

    I have tried so many things over the years with very few successes. The last few years sorbolene & Cetaphil have been my savours when my skin has been so dry but I've found them still not fabulous at repairing my skin & making it feel healthy & fresh. Even QV & Dermaveen have not gone so well with me. The only expensive cream that has ever not irritated me is Clinique moisture surge. Its extremely light & very mosturising. Cliniques main moisturiser, Dramatically something... is too strong for me but the Moisture Surge is lovely. Its about $60 per tub & a little too expensive for me to use daily but I love to use it in summer or when travelling. SKin just sucks it right up.

    Apart from that, I've been trying a few other things. Not sure if any of it will help you.

    Firstly, anything that has an SPF factor irritates my skin so badly. I don't know why. As a consequence I rarely go out in the sun [except for this past weekend, eek!] & now have a vitamin D deficiency but take tablets for that.

    If I am trying a new moisturiser, I try not to wear any makeup on top as they seem to react together & irritate my eyes even more & the whole day is lost tearing up & itching & making my eyes even worse.

    I try not to rub my eyes or use anything new until my skin settles down a bit. If its irritated in anyway, everything will react. Thats harder than it sounds because how does it settle down without help. Anyway, I try sorbolene for a few days and then try a new moisturiser.

    I too tried Sukin. My skin had settled down and was dry but not irritated or broken, particularly on my eyelids etc and I used it only on my forehead, cheeks, bottom of my nose, mouth & chin & it has been ok. I totally avoided the eye area as its the fumes of moisturisers that get me. Its definitely helped moisturise my skin. I can't use the Sukin night cream as there is something in it that is bothering me.

    I also won a bottle of Happy skincare intensive repair oil for cancer patients recently & I have to say its has been amazing. happyskincare.com.au

    Although it was formulated for cancer patients to help prepare & repair their skin before, during & after chemo, its suitable for everyone particularly sensitive skin types. Its organic, definitely no lavender, just a bunch of oils.

    So what I do now is to squirt a little of the oil with a little bit of the Sukin and use on just the outer edges of my face, totally avoiding the eye area. My skin has felt better & felt repaired for the first time in many many years. It also doesn't matter that I'm avoiding the eye area. when the rest of my face is healthier, the skin around my eyes has also become less dry & feels healthier too. This has only happened in the last couple of weeks. All my blemishes, from being way way too dry & cracked & broken have also cleared up too.

    I am definitely going to invest in some other Happy skincare products when I can afford it.

    Good luck Mardi, I know it can be so frustrating.
    Kate M xo

  15. Mardi you poor thing. We have been through a similar quest with Marnie and like Leanne have found great success with MooGoo. They are all natural, small family owned Aussie company and they have excellent customer service. If you email or call them and let them know what you have reacted to in the past they can often tell you what ingredient it might be and also suggest what products you should try. They will sometimes have samples that they will send you so that you can try.

    Their range is very reasonable - I have bought online but a pharmacy now stocks it here as well as a hair/beauty supply place.

    Good luck with finding something.

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  17. Anonymous1:59 pm

    I can totally relate!~ I have such sensitive skin and when I react to something my eyes look sunken with big bags under them and stay that way for DAYS!!! I always used to be able to wear Nivea but even that irritates my skin these days. I was reading Jess Aincough's blog and she uses this http://www.muktibotanicals.com.au/
    I can't speak for it myself but she swears by it. I guess it is worth a try. For now I am sticking to coconut oil on my face. It is a bit too greasy but if I put it on at night it tends to soak in enough.

  18. Hey Mardi,
    I too have very sensitive skin and use 'Grace' skin care products which is all natural (& australian)and I love it. They have a sensitive range for skincare and makeup. Check them out (their parent company is PRO-MA Systems Australia, which has been around for years) Best of luck x Lissa.

  19. http://onlineorders.miessence.com/products/productDetail.jsf?item=11602 Good luck finding something suitable

  20. oh mardi i hope your face has settled down by now.....i have been using coconut oil too but only at night , its too greasy to use it in the morning and then put make up over....it leaves your skin feeling fabulous.....cant believe all the coconut oil can be used for :)
    i use sorbolene too for the day time...

  21. Mardi, the best and most organic thing you can moisturise your face and whole body with, is pure unadulterated, organic coconut oil! It is absolutely divine and extremely healthy for you. your skin just drinks it up...it is anti aging and has natural sunscreen properties too. just look at Islanders skin!.. I have fair skin and freckles and try to avoid as many petrochemicals as possible...and coconut oil makes my skin glow. I will never use another 'bought' product on my skin again. Brooke