Why I hate plants

Rant time, kids. Hi, I’m pretty allergic to a lot of things. Not deadly allergic, but very unpleasantly allergic. I have had atopic eczema since birth, and we’re not talking a little redness here and there — if I’m not careful I have been known to break out in full blown rash where my skin peels and weeps and it’s so itchy that I can’t even sleep with the help of sleeping tablets. Dermatologists have asked if they can take some “before” photos of the mess so they can show people later. So it’s not fatal, but let’s just say if I had been born in a time without hydrocortisone ointment I’d probably be some kind of outcast from society, slowly dying from infection in an alley somewhere.

I also suffer from hayfever — the sort where my whole face appears to be leaking, I feel like I want to scratch my throat and eyes out with a fork, and a strange white mucus starts to cover my eyeballs leading to visual impairment. The antihistamines don’t do much in the face of full hayfever onslaught. All I can do is remove myself from whatever nature nightmare I’m in and do my best to wash it all off me.

But hey, most of the time I’m fine. This rant isn’t about allergies. I can manage them by cleaning my house and using hypoallergenic skin products. It’s the skin products that are the focus of this rant.

Lately I’ve noticed a trend among well-meaning folks who are quick to recommend “natural” skin products to me as a hypoallergenic solution. Let me stop you right there, hippies. “Natural” means the OPPOSITE of hypo-allergenic. Do you know what I’m allergic to? Nature. Freaking nature. I don’t even know exactly what part of nature. All I know is that if I sit on the ground, I get itchy. If there’s pollen or ash in the air, I hayfever like it’s going out of fashion.

You know what people love to put into “natural” products? Fragrances like essential oils. That’s one of the main things that dermatologists keep telling me to avoid. If I walk into the perfume section of a department store in a bad day, I will emerge red as a lobster on the other side of it. Fragrances are my kryptonite. Fragrances come from nature, specifically plants. And plants are the devil.

You know all those “harmful chemicals” that “all-natural” products are trying to avoid? Where do you think they came from? Nature, that’s where. The only difference is that the ingredients have been further isolated from their origin so that instead of getting a big bag of nature in my product, I’m just getting the one bit that I need without risking the rest.

Now, the next crazy idea I’ve heard floating around is that “vegan” products are hypoallergenic. That’s even more insane. You know where vegan stuff comes from? Plants. God damn plants. Plants are my number one enemy in the war against allergies. In fact if there were an all-animal product versus an all-plant product I would probably be less allergic to the animal one.

You know what else is vegan? Pollen. Grass clippings. Are dust mites vegan? I guess not. Wouldn’t want to hurt the poor little dust mites.

I guess the most crazy part of all of this is that I don’t even need a solution. I’ve been using Cetaphil and QV cream my whole life. It’s inexpensive and it works great. I just keep getting sucked into the financial black hole that is the global cosmetics industry when a friend starts raving about some new product they’re using. It must be great to use nice-smelling stuff all the time, but I’m pretty fine without it.

Anyway, in conclusion:
Plants are bad for many allergies.
“All-natural” and vegan stuff comes from plants.
Just because something is “All-natural” and vegan, it does not mean it is hypoallergenic.