Food Allergy Counseling: Dating, Food Allergies, Soap

Tree nuts show up in the funniest places. A few weeks back, having a conversation with D. about my food allergies (this was after the kissing convo), all of sudden he said, “I use almond soap in the shower? Is that problem?”  

My first thought was no, probably not. He had showered hours before. And unless it was some fancy scrubbing soap with almond chunks (which it probably wasn't), synthetic almond fragrance (more likely in a commercial shampoo) shouldn’t have any protein in it and therefore shouldn’t be a problem. Even so, his shower had been hours before and we had been hanging out already for hours; I had touched his skin and nothing, no reactions. 

D., a conscientious person, emailed me a picture of the ingredient label from the soap the next morning. It was Dr Bronner’s Almond Soap. I know Dr Bronner’s; I’m a second generation user of their Peppermint Soap. My dad used the soap back in the 1970s:  “wash your hair and your teeth!Dr Bronner’s is a natural company that prides itself on natural ingredients. 

And indeed, the Dr Bronner’s Almond Soap uses a natural almond fragrance. Here are the ingredients: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic fairDeal Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Natural Almond Fragrance, Citric Acid, Tocopherol. Again, fragrance shouldn’t have any protein in it but I figured I’d give the website a quick look. On Dr Bronner’s FAQ page here, they state that their products are free from tree nuts.

So, no reaction from contact and the company states no tree nuts in ingredients which confirms my lack of reaction. I went one step further and emailed the company to triple check. Their reply was very interesting.

Thank you for writing. Our soaps are all natural and pure as you can get. We are certified organic under the food grade standards. We do not use any synthetic ingredients in our soaps. The Natural Almond Fragrance in our Almond Soaps is Natural Benzaldehyde from Cassia flowers.  The scent is very similar to almonds, but without any traces of nuts or cyanide. FAQ's Ingredients Breakdown:

So no almonds involved at all. This is not uncommon, you see this with almond flavoring as well, frequently made from peach pits (similar botanically and cheaper) and not containing any almond at all. But it always pays to communicate, check and double check. 

Bottom line is if there is no reaction, there is no problem.


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