Allergy Intimacy with Cottonique
This month it’s all about intimate items for women with allergies, particularly latex allergies, including underwear & bras, sleepwear, period products, ways to spoil yourself and tips to communicate with your loved ones. I’m delighted to share some tips and encourage allergy women to feel gorgeous in their own skin, because when flared up or with a rash, I know it can be difficult to feel that way. Items that touch my sensitive skin, need to be special, and finding simple things, like a gorgeous set of comfortable underwear, has made all the difference to my confidence.
Cottonique Underwear & Bras
Before I found Cottonique I didn’t own underwear and supportive bras that I could wear without reactions as most intimates contain elastane and latex. They have so many styles to choose from, in a range of support levels, suitable for day, work, gym, sleeping and intimate time as well. It feels so special to wear these pieces which are made with such care, just for women with allergies. I was delighted (and spoiled) to receive these two styles in Melange Grey from Cottonique, which are 100% organic cotton, with no spandex or latex, and feature latex-free elastic:
The HIGH CUT PANTIES are comfortable, soft, well fitted with a little stretch, and easy to care for, they are so flattering and give me a little lift.
The RACERBACK PULL-OVER BRA is a dream to move in, comfortable, easy to put on, doubly lined, underwire-free, and smooth under clothes.
After years of wearing them, I couldn’t live without my Cottoniques and look forward to trying more of their range in the years to come.
Cottonique Lounge & Sleepwear
Cottonique’s range of basics make lounging and sleeping with allergies so comfy, I love the following pieces but there are many to choose from, and a range for the men in our lives too.
The ADULT BOOTIES feel secure and comfy, like a sock and a slipper, perfect fo home.
The THERMAL LONG SLEEVES & PANTS are soft, warm and luxurious, with a relaxed fit and honeycomb texture, feminine scoop neck and cosy ribbed cuffs.
The WOMEN’S LOUNGE SHORTS are so comfortable with their non-elasticated drawstring waist, and soft, soft fabric which match the bra and high cut panties.
Intimate Items for Periods with Allergies
Finding simply natural intimate items has been a tricky part of my allergy journey, and I’m delighted that more options are becoming available, which are healthier and more eco friendly for everyone.
Tampons, pads and other menstrual products can contain latex and chemicals unsuitable for allergic women. Fortunately there are many companies such as TOMS Organic that create organic cotton items, available at most supermarkets and chemists.
Though less convenient, I like to use un-dyed, organic, reusable cotton pads, which well work and clean fairly easily. Drying them in the sun helps to keep them fresh.
Silicone menstrual cups are another lovely option to try and see if they suit your body.
Most importantly, find a female doctor that understands your sensitivities as they will be able to navigate check ups with hypoallergenic and latex free options including gloves, and be aware of issues that go hand in hand with your allergies and a hypersensitive immune system.
Spoiling yourself, with allergies
Doing small things to spoil myself, even when my body is seemingly waging an allergy war against me, helps me feel more in touch with myself in body and mind and more able to care for myself.
I love my simple lineup of allergy friendly body and beauty essentials and taking time at the end of the day for a relaxing shower and pamper session. I’m quite minimal and love to DIY with ingredients such as Manuka honey, bentonite clay, charcoal and oils. I’d be delighted to share more affordable tips in my ebook.
Touch your body and apply simple allergy friendly moisturiser or oil (I love emu oil) before popping on an old pair of pyjamas and socks overnight. It’s such a special way to connect with your flared up body and calm your skin.
Create a space at home where you feel inspired to relax and unwind on days when your allergies are flared. I feel so lucky to have a beautiful nook where I can practice yoga or have a lie down, but yours might be a corner of the garden, a chair or your bedroom.
Moving my body is my favourite way to spoil myself, so going for a walk in the fresh air, dancing in the living room, or some simple relaxation exercises and yoga poses can be wonderful for calming the nervous system and potentially reducing allergy symptoms.
Lastly find things you love to replace the things you can no longer use, or at least not for the time being. A great example is in the kitchen if you have found out you can no longer have eggs and gluten. Start by trying new ingredients such as gluten free grains, try new recipes like muffins for breakfast with chia or flax meal to replace the eggs, go to the markets to find new produce and of course keep dark chocolate in the house at all times.
Communicating with your loved ones
Living with allergies can be challenging, and it can be challenging for our loved ones too as they often need to make changes to their lives and routine. It can be frustrating and without clear communication they might be confused as to why some days we seem to be able to handle more than others, or why a product we've been tolerating, suddenly flares us up, particularly if we are in the midst of figuring it out ourselves.
My number one tip is to keep in mind, and also tell them, how much you appreciate them, and notice when they remember to do the little things that make a big difference to you, and keep your home an allergy sanctuary, such as buying a particular type of deodorant or cleaning product.
If you have a loved one that you are a little allergic too, or they are unaware, it can feel daunting to talk to them and find what it might be that they are using in their home, body or beauty routine, that is causing the reaction. If it is someone you love dearly and will be spending a lot of time with in the future, remember that this person loves you too, that they will want to help and they will feel bad if you don't say anything and continue to flare up in quiet.
Having a great sense of humour about allergy life, and offering to share samples of all the lovely allergy friendly things you have found also helps a lot! And you never know, this person might become your new allergy ally and help make your world more allergy friendly.
The most intimate conversations about allergies will be with your partner as they will need to be aware of your allergies in a much deeper level. Luckily latex free and allergy friendly intimate items are also becoming more available and like everything else, it might take some trial & error to find what works for you both, but at least it will be fun! So don't be afraid to talk to your partner about your unique allergy needs.
Thank you so much for having me.
I’d love to know, what is your best advice for intimacy with allergies? Awareness, availability and affordability of allergy-friendly intimate items is increasing each day. Even if you are new to allergy living, hang in there and keeping looking out for allergy friendly companies such as Cottonique, to help you spoil yourself. I’m so looking forward to sharing next month’s blog on creating a Capsule Wardrobe (and sparking Joy!).
This post was written for Cottonique and was first published on June 11, 2019 here.