Allergy Show gets rolling with the presentation of the FreeFrom Skincare Awards

Like ‘freefrom’ in general the Allergy and FreeFrom Show continues on its upward trajectory! Yesterday’s opening day in the larger – and much nicer – National Hall at Olympia was packed with keen ‘freefrom-ers’, allergy sufferers, coeliacs, veggies and those who just wanted to come and see what all this ‘freefrom’ business was about.

Winner FFSkin are AwardsWe, naturally, also believe that a good deal of the buzz was about the announcement of the winners and the presentation, by Janey Lee Grace, of our FreeFrom Skincare Awards! Twelve categories this year, including  Mothers and babies, Problem Skin, Men’s Grooming, Make up and Nail care and loads of ‘leave on’ and take off’ products for the face and the body. And some excellent winners – this is Lindsay Doncaster of Barefoot SOS, winner of the Best FreeFrom Skincare Product 2013 for their Face and Body Rescue cream – what one of our Beauty Bible testers called a ‘There, there, it will all be OK cream in a tube’!

But loads of other excellent winners too – Gentle Green’s Soothing Cream – ‘magic in a jar’s was what one eczema suffering tester called it after it entirely soothed her eczema; le belle Detoxifying Body Polish – ‘Wonderful uplifting grapefruit, peppermint fragrance from the jar…'; Live Native’s Head to Toe for Men Remedial Moisturiser – one keen tester said it smelt like Pina Colada!!  Anyhow, all the winners now up on the FreeFrom Skincare Awards site here so do go and check them out.

Meanwhile, I must run as we need to get to Olympia for another busy day today – including an interview with the One Show…. And then tomorrow a presentation and workshop for Action Against Allergy with Dr Marie Wheeler on paediatric allergy….  And if you have not already booked up to come and see us (we are on Stand 119, by the way) you can still get free tickets right here.

FreeFrom Skin Care Awards……..

Well, we were keeping these a deep, dark secret and had planned not to spill the beans until later this month, but Amy, our lovely American intern who is running our social media sites, thought she might test the water yesterday afternoon by setting up a Twitter account (@FFSkincareAward) and putting out the odd tweet – and by this morning we had 40 followers with more popping up all the time. Whoops –  here come another two…

And we thought that ‘freefrom’ food was the topic of the moment – obviously ‘freefrom’ skincare is even hotter stuff! So now that the cat is out of the bag, I had better tell you about them….

We have been aware, from the popularity of the SkinsMatter site, that finding allergen-free and chemical-free skincare products was a major problem for many people.  But although most of us are now aware that not all cosmetic and personal care products are as ‘natural’ and beneficial as we might hope – indeed, that many contain chemicals that we would really not want to put on our skin –  very little work has been done on the relevance of food allergens (dairy, gluten, nut etc) in personal care products. In fact, as Alex Gazzola, who runs the SkinsMatter site for us, discovered in his excellent article (just published) on gluten-free cosmetics – there is very little understanding of how much gluten could enter the body via the skin, although there is no doubt that those who are allergic to nuts should certainly steer clear of any products made from cold-pressed nut oils.

(Goodness, another four Twitter followers just clocked in…)

Given the success of the FreeFrom Food Awards in unearthing and encouraging both large and small manufacturers of freefrom foods, a freefrom skincare award did seem like a logical step – which became a reality during a discussion with the Allergy and FreeFrom Show during the summer. We were keen to encourage freefrom skin care manufacturers to become more freefrom, they were keen to encourage them to exhibit at the show; awards seemed the ideal way to do both.

The triumvirate was completed a month or so later when I mentioned the idea to my old Guild of Health Writers friend, Sarah Stacey who, apart from running YOU Magazine‘s health pages has combined with Jo Fairley (of Green & Black’s fame) to write no less than seven Beauty Bibles, one of which, the Green Beauty Bible, focuses specifically on ‘natural’ skin care. The icing on the cake came when NATorigin signed up as our first category sponsor a few  weeks ago. Two more categories now looking for sponsors, if anyone is interested out there….

So, welcome to the FreeFrom Skin Care Awards 2012 – in association with the Allergy and FreeFrom Show and the Green Beauty Bible. Please check out the awards website where you will find the rules and criteria for entry and can request an entry form. You will also discover that the awards officially open on January 1st, that a shortlist will be published on March 7th and that the winners will be announced and the presentations made at the Allergy and FreeFrom Show at Olympia on May 18th.

More anon – and here come two more Twitter followers….