A Conversation with Co-Founder and Managing Director Ms. Sirilak Narongtanupone:
Caring for Loved Ones that Have Allergies
A wife’s concerns for her husband’s allergy problems served as a defining moment fueling the mission to create natural products safe for everyone in the family. That wife was Ms. Sirilak Narongtanupone, Co-founder and Managing Director of Equator Pure Nature Co., Ltd., PiPPER STANDARD’s parent company. Ms. Sirilak’s experiences caring for allergy-related problems of loved ones, including her husband and Co-founder of Equator Pure Nature Co., Ltd., Mr. Peter Wainman, motivated her to learn more about the causes of allergies. This later inspired her and her husband to create a line of all-natural products that help to reduce allergy risks. With these products, PiPPER STANDARD aims to meet the needs of health lovers and people with sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions. Check out the conversation with Ms. Sirilak below!
Q: Can you tell us more about your experience taking care of your husband’s allergies?
Absolutely! First, I have to admit that I personally don’t suffer from allergies. Back before I married Peter in 2009, I thought allergies were just temporary irritations that would disappear after some light scratching or a few sneezes. After being with Peter for more than 12 years now, I have a much deeper understanding of allergies and how they can be so irritating and harmful. Peter is prone to both sinus and skin allergies and has sensitive skin that is easily irritated. At first, it was difficult because I didn’t understand how Peter’s body was reacting to certain products and situations as I was basing my judgments on my body’s own personal experiences.
In 2010, Peter told me his skin was itchy because of his clothes, and I wondered if it was because the clothes weren’t thoroughly washed. Since I didn’t experience the same itching sensation, I just thought Peter was overthinking. But even after we washed the clothes many times, the itchiness and irritation continued. After the allergies started to spread into Peter’s respiratory system, I began to grow more concerned about the cause of my husband’s allergic reactions.
Trying to trace the cause of allergic reactions is very difficult as we are exposed to a huge number of potential allergens through what we eat, touch and breathe both inside and outside of our homes each day. We were so determined to find what was causing Peter’s allergies that we began to make a list of the possible allergens and noted how Peter’s body reacted. Eggs? No problem. Coffee? No allergic reaction. Milk—nothing. After a long process of tracing possible causes of his allergies, we finally determined it was the fabric softener we were using!
Peter had mentioned to me he was allergic to fabric softener, so I originally told the maid to use it only for my clothes. I wanted to use fabric softener on my clothes because marketing advertisements made me think I had to if I wanted my clothes to be soft and smell great. Later, we discovered she was using fabric softener when washing all of the fabrics in the house, including Peter’s clothes. If I had known as much about allergies in 2010 as I do now, I probably wouldn’t have let the maid use fabric softener at all since I met Peter.
Q: How can you care for those who suffer from allergies?
As a rule of thumb, the first action to take against allergic reactions is to remove the allergens causing irritation from the body as quickly as possible. After, you should focus on removing the possible allergens from the home environment. We learned from Peter’s situation that if clothes washed with fabric softener touch other clothes, the potential allergens can also spread to clothes that weren’t even washed with the softener. This meant that we needed to wash all of the clothes in our house. Looking back now, I can only laugh-we went straight to Google looking for a way to rid the clothes of the allergens, and we followed recommendations telling us to use borax and vinegar. We went looking for borax and tried to use it to wash both of our clothes several times. Finally, we gave up and just got rid of our clothes, leaving both of our wardrobes empty. Apart from our clothes, we also tried to clean all of the other fabrics in our house-bedsheets, pillows, everything made of fabric. This made me realize that we have tons of fabrics in the house!
Back then, Peter’s allergic reactions from the pillows, blankets and sheets were so bad that they would flare up and cause major irritation. We had to change the bedding several times, and Peter chose new bedding with a mix of natural fibers and weaves to reduce skin irritation. After discovering it was the fabric softener, I also called the company that made it so I could ask for the ingredients. We wanted to know what in the product was causing Peter’s allergic reactions.
Q: Allergies seem like a learning-experience requiring a deep understanding. How have things changed in your home since discovering your husband’s allergies?
After discovering what caused Peter’s allergies back in 2010, I became very selective in choosing products for our home. Before buying any products, I read product labels very carefully in order to be aware of their ingredients. I try to use only natural products when possible, and I use cleaning products without synthetic fragrances. Even when getting my hair done, I ask the hairdresser not to use any mousses, sprays, gels or nourishing serums containing fragrances. Synthetic fragrances are important to avoid because they are one of the five most common allergens. Even if we don’t experience allergy-related issues, the products we use can still cause problems for the people around us who do. I also keep the house clean to avoid the accumulation of dust and am sure to clear out unused items and appliances to make cleaning the house more manageable.
Q: Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with allergies today. Is there anything else you want to share?
I am happy to share and hope my experiences can help others to take care of their loved ones! I would just like to add that problems related to allergies can be prevented if we are observant and care for our loved ones. It is most important to remember that everyone is different, and what may cause an allergic reaction in your body might not affect mine. Being proactive by using products that don’t contain potential allergens and taking steps to prevent allergies for both you and your loved ones can make your home a safer place for everyone!
Thank you for taking the time to read about Ms. Sirilak’s experience and check back for more from PiPPER STANDARD in the future! Find out more information about our products at: http://www.pippersingapore.com