Skin allergy testing and a Radical discovery


I’ve always been lucky to have a skin that seems to cope with everything from neglect to complete overload with the huge variety of lotions and potions that I get to sample from our Beauty department. I suffer the odd spot, a greasy nose, areas of pigmentation and occasional dry patches, but nothing to really complain about, and all easily hidden with the vast array of cosmetics available at QVC.

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But recently that has all changed. It started with lots of tiny pimples on my cheeks and I worried that I was developing rosacea. Then my eyelids became scaly and irritated, even to the point of bleeding. The redness and flaking spread below my eyes and around my mouth and nose. I tried a number of creams offered by my GP but nothing seemed to work. I couldn’t pinpoint anything that made it better, or worse. The problem was erratic and unpredictable – probably exacerbated by topsy turvy menopausal hormones, and certainly not helped by covering up the redness with makeup to appear on QVC, and then having to remove it all.

photo (3) editEventually I was referred to a consultant dermatologist, who decided to test me for allergic reactions. I had to attend a clinic every other day for three visits, to have a huge variety of known allergens applied to my back to see which I would react to. Then it would be a case of identifying the problem substances in make-up and skincare, and avoiding them. I had dozens of little metal discs attached to my back and was instructed not to scratch them, or shower, until the test was over.

I didn’t know whether to be pleased or not when the consultant told me that the only real reaction I had was to nickel, a common irritant that is strictly controlled in jewellery and would not be present in skincare. It meant that I don’t have to avoid specific ingredients but also that I couldn’t tell what was causing my skin to react so badly.

It was explained to me that we all have a level of sensitivity to a variety of substances, and that the level can vary depending on a number of factors such as stress, lack of sleep, using lots of different or new products, hormone fluctuations and more. I was given a simple but rather medicinal-looking emollient to use as a cleanser and moisturiser, and a fairly high percentage steroid cream to use when needed but as sparingly as possible. My skin settled down a little, but I began to see the effects of not using the high-tech anti-ageing skincare that I’ve enjoyed from QVC for years.

This is when, as luck would have it, our Beauty department asked me to attend a training session with a fairly new range that we are featuring on QVC, called Radical.

As it turns out it is very aptly named – the results for me have been totally radical and have made SO much difference to my skin. The range was developed by two sisters who, between them, had suffered very similar symptoms to me. Liz Edlich was in her forties and not enjoying the signs of ageing that she was seeing in her skin. Her younger sister Rachel was suffering from horrible rosacea after the birth of her second child. The daughters of an eminent medical professor in plastic surgery and skin healing (who developed dissolvable sutures and steri-strips among other things) they had both worked in his laboratories since they were young and in the cosmetic industry for years. But they wanted to develop, just for themselves, skincare that was both powerful enough for Liz’s skin and gentle enough for Rachel’s.

With their medical heritage and access to some of the best chemists in the world, they hoped they could create a potent anti-ageing solution for Liz that would also help calm the inflammation and sensitivity that Rachel was enduring.

The short answer is that they managed to develop a new complex which is in every Radical product and does exactly that. It was so good that they were impelled to produce it on a commercial scale, and they have brought it to QVC.

When I tried the range, with some trepidation, I was delighted by how my skin reacted. Of course, what I mean is that it didn’t react!

I removed that morning’s TV make up with the Hydrating Cleanser, waited for the usual immediate redness, and it didn’t happen. I then tried the Youth Infusion Serum and the Restorative Moisturiser – my skin began to glow. Finally, I applied the SPF30 Skin Perfecting Screen and my skin hadn’t looked or felt so good in weeks. We took a photo of me with Liz and Rachel, wearing no make up and a huge smile – my skin hadn’t looked this healthy for so long.

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I have continued to use the range, even daring to try what are now a firm favourite, the fruit acid-based Age Defying Exfoliating Pads. They create a slight tingle but no flare-up and have virtually eliminated the dry flaky patches around my nose and mouth. Of course, they prepare my skin so that the other products can do their best for me.

I am so relieved to have found a solution to what had become a worrying problem for me, and although I’m still careful which (and how much) make-up I use, my skin seems to have re-discovered some of its old resilience. I’m writing this on the ferry home after a two week holiday without wearing cosmetics (not just to give my skin a rest but because it now looks so Radically clear and even that I don’t need make-up!) but tomorrow (Tuesday) morning I’ll be back on the Morning Show with a made up face. I’m pleased to say that our stocks of Radical have been replenished as Liz and Rachel are also returning to QVC. They’ll be guests on Alison Young’s Beauty Night In at 8pm on Wednesday and have a full hour of Radical on Thursday at midday.

It’s not just me that would recommend the range – it’s gathering great reviews on our website from customers who have tried it. Many comment on the fantastic anti-ageing results they’ve noticed, and others remark about how it helps calm their sensitive skin. But others, just like me, are delighted to have enjoyed both aspects of Radical – high performing technology delivered in the gentlest of ways.

Take care
Kathy x


  1. Liz August 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, I was very interested in your article as I too have recently had redness sore itchy skin round my eyes making it impossible to use any of my expensive skin care that I buy from QVC! The soreness has calmed down but has left my skin underneath my eyes quite dry so I shall defiantly be tuning in to watch all about Radical skin care!

    nice to see you back from your Hols,

    Thanks, Liz x

  2. stefanie gilder August 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Kathy have a look online or buy the book Wheat Belly in the section about Dermatitis Herpetiformis.It is a form of gluten intolerance that seems to affect the skin especially on the head and face.Probably your daughter will know about this.

  3. Kay August 5, 2015 at 12:01 am -  Reply

    Kathy will ye be having a TSV coming up on Radical Skincare Please

  4. Dolly August 5, 2015 at 9:24 am -  Reply

    Such an interesting post! Thank you for sharing your experiences

  5. jenny stanford August 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm -  Reply

    Kathy , I was most interested to read your blog about your skin problems and I was pleased to note that you have sorted it out now and are looking very good . I was watching your taxco jewellery hour which I did enjoy such a lovely selection of things and I happened to notice your watch it appears to have a sort of tortoiseshell bracelet and I wondered if it was one from QVC I did telephone to ask but there were no details about it on the email that they had so I wondered if you could let me know where it came from . Also i would like to say how much i enjoy morning style i am so pleased that it is back on again. many thanks, Jenny

  6. Hellen Jones August 9, 2015 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    HI Cathy I am in that Peri Menopause phase and boy are my hormones causing reactions to ingested and applied foods/lotions. I am now hyper sensitive to caffeine and sugar. Alcohol is a no no as it brings on a severe allergy of swollen tongue and closed air ways. Has your Dr suggested your skin problems are seborrhea dermatitis. I had that and used anti fungal cream it cleared up however I also follow a low yeast diet.
    Lots of love and keep your chin up.


  7. jilly August 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy Ah… so sorry you have suffered this horrible setback, not a very pleasant experience. So glad you were able to pinpoint the cause. Hope your skin continues to improve.

  8. steph eddleston August 10, 2015 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    My skin died with this menapause madness .I didn’t want the HRT but my flushes were more permanant volcanoes of torturous heat and sweat.So bad. HRT has saved my life.Also my decaying bones are now strong bones I have good skin back to how it was before. Radical is perfect, a good quality hydrater/cleanser toner and moisturiser and factor 50 alpha thingy is perfect. less tacky than ultrasun. Job done.Just the flab to tackle now.

  9. sharon dorsett August 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm -  Reply

    hi cathy i wondered how you become a tester for beauty products i do buy lots of products from QVC and i have watched people giving their results on testers and i would love to be one love QVC and the great product information and value and you presenters lots of sharon Dorsett

  10. Brenda S August 13, 2015 at 11:01 am -  Reply

    Hi Cathy, really pleased for you that you’ve got your skin sorted. The pic without make up looks absolutely fantastic. I’m always trying various brands from QVC with my skin being quite sensitive and also wondered how I can become an customer tester for all products not just beauty. I’d love to try Radical and Alpha H but I had a friend whose skin reacted really badly so I’m a little apprehensive so haven’t plucked up the courage yet to give them a whirl.

  11. Jill Cope August 14, 2015 at 5:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy my sister was very pleased that I read your blog. As soon as I saw your photo I rang her to explain that your skin looked just like hers. She has been suffering now since November of last year. She has seen several doctors who have all diagnosed something different. She will be trying Rodial, hopefully she will see the same results as you. Thank you for highlighting this problem.

  12. Susan August 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm -  Reply

    Fabulous Kathy! That’s so great your skin has calmed. I too have had those familiar eye reactios. So sore and even water irritated mine. Still don’t know why mine flare up either. Have you tried their eye creams? You look fab with a bare face BTW!!
    Susan x

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