allergy to coconut oil or soybean oil in Vitamen E gel caps

Answered on June 30, 2013
Created May 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I found a recipe on pinterest for an eye cream using raw coconut oil and vitamin e capsules. I used it one time and the next morning my eyes were puffy. I washed my face and took some benadryl. I also put a cool wet wash cloth on my eyes. They seemed to be getting better but the next morning I looked like Quasi Modo! My left eye was so swollen I could barely open it. I went to urgent care and had to get a steroid/cortizone shot. It's doing better now but I don't know if I was allergic to the coconut oil or the soybean oil from the vitamin E oil. :( Any thoughts?

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on May 13, 2013
at 09:36 PM

Both coconut and soy are very, very common allergens. If you had a strong reaction, you may want to get tested for allergies by a doctor. If it was a lesser reaction, and elimination trial would probably identify the culprit. Note that it could be both.



on June 30, 2013
at 06:33 PM

My wager is you are allergic to neither soy nor coconut. You simply placed a chemical (vitamin E) on very sensitive skin. Just because it's a vitamin doesn't mean you should slather it on. It shares some structural similarities to things like urushiol (the irritant in poison ivy) and capsaicin (the compound that gives peppers their kick).



on May 14, 2013
at 07:06 PM

I certainly wouldn't try anything like that near your eyes again, at least not until you isolate what caused the reaction. IMHO, putting ANYTHING like that near your eyes is not a great idea. If your eyes are puffy, try cucumber slices or an ice pack.

You could try testing one ingredient at a time against the soft skin of your inner forearm. You might get a reaction.

Soy oil is pretty inflammatory, so it's what I'd try first. When I went through fertility treatments, I had to take progesterone shots and the progesterone was suspended in soy oil. YIKES! I'd swell up like crazy from every shot, around the injection site, and it would take a few weeks for each site to calm down.

My general rule of thumb is that I don't put anything on my skin I wouldn't eat, and I certainly wouldn't eat soy oil.



on May 14, 2013
at 07:24 AM

I'd re-run the experiment with 100% coconut oil and see what happens.. for science! Maybe keep some benadryl / pepcid AC on deck.

I really like what coconut oil does on my skin, though, I suppose not if you're allergic.

Shea butter + coconut is pretty magic (fuck soy). I hope you're not allergic.

Though, it seems like if you were allergic to soy, you'd have noticed by now. (It's in everything.)

Edit: I just got a stye in my left eye that I'm attributing to too much coconut oil blocking a pore right before bed. Thought of this post!

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