Vivre avec un chat allergique

As today is World Environment Day, I have decided to revamp the “Vivre avec un chat allergique” page following our recent audit of new products that may have crept into our regime and potentially contributed to the recurrence of Louis Catorze’s condition. Our findings after the audit are … well … not much, because, on the whole, we have been pretty good.

I am quite fussy with my products because, in an ideal world, I want cruelty-free, plastic-free AND scent-free. The first is non-negotiable, and I have been mostly managing the second whilst reserving any empty non-conformers for dropping off at the Body Shop for TerraCycling when life returns again. They accept clean packaging from any brand of skincare, not just Body Shop, although they offer vouchers for return of their own empties:

I must confess that I don’t buy much from the Body Shop as everything is strongly scented. But, once I am sure that Catorze hasn’t relapsed for a while, maybe I will give their camomile sensitive skin range a go.

The third criterion leaves me a little wriggle room, because luckily Catorze isn’t so sensitive that I can’t have any scented products at all. But, if I buy them, I try to choose subtly-scented products that wash off, or alternatively ones which would stay on over a working day but which would be washed when I came home. So a weekday wardrobe of products and an evening/weekend one, if you like.

Old favourites are as follows:

1. REN: excellent environmental and sustainability credentials and limited allergenic ingredients. (I am reluctant to say “NO allergenic ingredients” because anyone can be allergic to anything. Catorze is probably allergic to water and air, for all we know.) Star product: Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm for sensitive skin (for my skin, not for Catorze’s).

2. Scent Trail: hand-made, cruelty-free products using natural ingredients, and scent- and plastic-free versions of most things are available on request. Star products: Unfragranced Body Treat and Liquid Soap.

3. Lush: cruelty-free, with infinitely recyclable black pots (and freebies if you return them). But, if you have ever walked past a Lush store, you will know that scent-free they ain’t, so choose carefully. Star product: Big Shampoo (low- rather than no-scented).

4. The Natural Deodorant Company: cruelty-free, scent-free AND plastic-free! Hurrah! Star product: Unscented Deodorant Cream.

5. Daniel Field: not strictly scent-free but cruelty-free and free from most allergenic ingredients. I buy a huge 5-litre bottle of their conditioner which lasts me just over a year and, when I’ve finished, I take it back to Daniel’s salon and exchange the empty for a new one. Star product: First Aid Conditioner.

We have also made the following new discoveries (both of which I started using long before Catorze displayed problems, so it’s doubtful that they were the reason):

1. Ultrasun: cruelty-free and scent-free. Star Products: Face SPF30 and Face SPF50+.

2. Ameliorate: cruelty-free, although not all products are scent-free so please check before buying. Star product: Fragrance-Free Transforming Body Lotion.

For cleaning, we still love Method household products, but we have recently discovered Ecozone and Fill, the latter of which offers scent-free variants and glass bottles. We also subscribe to Smol laundry and dishwasher tabs which arrive in the post every few weeks and who have just launched a new plastic-free box.

Please let me know how you get on if you decide to try the above products, which I would recommend even if you don’t have an allergic pet. The links with prices etc. are below: