Beware of the Following Products With Hidden Soy

Products I Threw away

New products added 4/8/14. See items in orange.

The morning after my allergic episode with soy, I made my soy-free breakfast and thought, “why do I still feel like I am having an allergic reaction?” That’s when the gravity of what had happened started to hit me. I was washing my hands in soap containing soy, folding towels that had been washed in laundry detergent with soy, eating on dishes that can been cleaned with soy, getting ready go take a shower in products that contained soy, and had likely taken an antihistamine that contained soy. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the feeling that I was surrounded by a house full of products that were capable of producing a serious allergic reaction.

I started a stockpile in the middle of my living room floor of the following items:

  • makeup
  • shampoo/conditioner/hair styling products
  • soaps and body wash
  • moisturizers and lip balms
  • laundry/dishwashing detergents and liquids (including fabric softeners and scent crystals)
  • over-the-counter medications and vitamins
  • toothpaste
  • contact solution
  • household cleaning products
  • razor blades with moisturizers

Then, I started finding information on all kinds of other things containing soy that explained some of the reactions I had experienced over the years. These included:

  • Pesticides (I couldn’t have my house professionally sprayed for insects without having to leave the house for days or weeks)
  • Liquid Smoke (no wonder I can’t eat BBQ!)
  • New Cast Iron Pans (seasoned with soybean oil)
  • Plastic Bags and Bottles (including frozen fruits/vegetable packaging
  • Canned goods
  • Pet Food
  • Craft Materials (glue, paints, candle making kits, etc.)
  • Soy ink (found in magazines, newspapers, packaging, wrapping paper, fabrics, desk calendars, etc.)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Carpets, Upholstery, Mattresses, and Cars
  • Clothing
  • Biodiesel fuels
  • Soy dust from bakeries, the bulk bin aisle at the health food store, or shipyards
  • Household cleaning products. Some even react just from being near smelly household products in a store.
  • Some toilet paper and baby wipes
  • Fragrances

I began researching, calling manufacturers, and throwing away almost every product in my house that I could afford to replace. I found all kinds of information on websites that were completely outdated or just plain wrong. Since manufacturers change their ingredients whenever they choose, many of the recommended soy-free products listed on blogs either contained “hidden” soy ingredients, or they had begun producing the product with soy. After doing extensive shopping for soy free products, I would estimate that at least 90-95% of household and beauty products in my chain groceries and pharmacies contain soy or soy-derived ingredients, and in some product categories, 100% contain soy. How’s that statistic for one of the TOP EIGHT allergies in the United States?

I estimate that I have spent $350-500 replacing just my over-the-counter medications, household supplies and beauty products.

In upcoming posts, I will talk about products I now use as well as unbiased, unsolicited product reviews.

Calling all soyvivors: Are there other products that you have found that contain soy? Please share with us!



4 thoughts on “Beware of the Following Products With Hidden Soy

  1. In addition to cosmetics and over the counter drugs or supplements, I have had some of my worst anaphylactic reactions in the last year or two due to hidden soy in Prescription drugs. I always ask for the compete ingredient list and read it with a magnifying glass (the print is always very small). The soy can be hidden in the inactive ingredients and I recently read an article that said many of the filler materials are unknown as most of our pharmaceutical companies are now manufacturing in India, China and other parts of the world.

    I would advise if you have anaphylactic shock from Soy products, make sure it is highlighted in your medical chart. Soy lecithin and other emulsifiers are found in Proprofol used for anesthetics, and in inhalers for asthma.

    Most allergy website will say “soybean oil” or lecithin should be ok as the allergen is processed out of the product. If in doubt ask your Doctor. I asked several Doctors who all laughed and said there is no way they can predict if you will have a reaction or not. Do not take that risk. It is a shame that the Soy industry can get away with not labeling this allergen in some cases due to “low risk”. For anyone that experiences their throat closing and shock there is a real risk of death.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louise, thank you so much for this very important note. That would explain why I have difficulties with anesthesia. I am also allergic to Biaxin, and I saw a note on another site that it may also contain soy. My pharmacist had told me that I did not need to worry about prescription drugs, and I thought at the time that this did not seem like correct information, because many of these drugs do contain soy when they make it to the over-the-counter section. I am glad to know that I can request a complete ingredient list from now on!


  3. I had a hospital tell me they were going to use Proprofol to put me to sleep for an Endoscopy. I told them “it would kill me on the table”. I was told that was all they had for this procedure. I said “then I won’t be there.” I received a call from the hospital two days before I had been scheduled for the procedure (which I thought was cancelled) to confirm my appointment. I told them I thought it had been cancelled as they had nothing but Proprofol to give to me. I was advised they had Diprivan. I looked it up and it was another name for Proprofol. I did not keep the appointment.


    1. Hi Betty, I have also heard others with soy allergies raise concerns about Propofol. You may want to try looking into a teaching hospital or a larger regional hospital that is better equipped with more options.


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