Something Fishy

imagesWe pick bottles shampoo and gels and other cosmetics off the shelves and worry about e numbers and palm oil and alike. But for some of us there are other hidden factors.

I have a severe fish allergy, which you would think is no huge problem in the scale (!) of things.

Avoid eating fish or seafood – job done.
Mostly true…   Many products purporting to be non-beef gelatin do contain fish bone, especially in the making of ice lollies for some odd reason. So no eating those.

The Glucosamine recommended by my GP for arthritis contains mussels and also often fish bone – which explained the side effects.

But there is more, it would seem.

makeiupAll my life I have also had adverse reaction to certain cosmetics, soaps etc. Mascara in particular has been a problem as many make my eyes itch like crazy!

I put this down to ‘chemicals’ or at best the perfumes used in many of these products and learned which brands to avoid.

a98322_fingernailsNail polish has always been a problem because I can ‘feel’ it on my nails. Again something I put down to chemical sensitivity.

Then – watching QI last night – I heard that many cosmetics contain Guanine.

No, it is not bat poo! (as urban legend would have us think) but ground up fish scales.scales

Guanine is an ingredient  commonly used in mascara, foundation, soaps, shampoo, shower gels and nail polish – most especially those with a ‘opalescent’ appearance..

So all has become clear! Not perfumes at all but those dreaded swimming things!

For me at least it also poses a question about other illnesses. Is my PVFS and Fibromyaligia really just another immune response to some seemingly innocuous item that is such a part of my life that I don’t even notice it?

Avoiding the eating of fish and shellfish is simple. But discovering those hidden fishy things is another thing altogether.


  1. I learned about fish scales in nail polish from a friend who sold beauty products but those that had no fish products in them. I was surprised to discover that fish scales were used in things like cosmetics. Besides you don’t need them, as you’re a natural beauty


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