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Makeup allergy: what to do when your skin is allergic to cosmetics

Women's Best Beauty Team

Reading time: 3min

If you notice that your skin shows an allergic reaction to makeup, it’s time to act! Keep on reading and find out what to do in case of cosmetic allergies and which ingredients you should avoid to prevent it.

Allergies to makeup and skin products are difficult to prevent because in most cases we don’t know exactly which ingredient is causing the allergy. Symptoms can start right after you use something new but also after years of using a product without any problems. Common signs of skin allergies or irritation due to makeup are rashes, red bumps, itching, dry patches, blisters, and pain.

What to do to treat and prevent makeup allergies:

  1. To treat a makeup allergy immediately, remove whatever has been applied to your skin. Even if you don’t see any symptoms but feel burning, itching and stinging, remove the moisturizer, foundation or bb cream immediately. Apply cooling compresses to your skin to relieve the symptoms.
  2. The beauty products most likely to cause allergic skin reactions are moisturizers, makeup products, bath soaps, antiperspirants, sunscreen, shampoos, long-wearing lip stains, nail polish, and fingernail glue. Be careful when using these products and check the ingredient list beforehand.
  3. If your cosmetics have been in your bathroom for a while, it may be time to get rid of them. Old makeup can cause irritation and infections and most likely, an allergic reaction.
  4. When searching for the best makeup for allergic skin, check the label and look for products with the fewest ingredients. This will make a bad reaction less likely.
  5. Do a patch test first. Before you start using a new product, place a small amount on the inside of your neck and wait 1-2 days. If you notice no redness, swelling, itching, or burning on that spot, you can apply it on your face.
  6. Use your perfume right! Always put fragrance on your clothes instead of your skin. You’ll be less likely to have a skin reaction to it.
  7. The labels “dermatologically tested“ or „hypoallergenic” don’t guarantee that your skin won’t react with an allergy to any of the ingredients.
  8. Avoid applying creams that contain cortisone to get relief from irritation. These creams just provide temporary relief and may weaken the skin tissues.

Toxic Ingredients you should avoid to prevent allergies

The skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs what you put into it. Always read the ingredient labels carefully and know what’s in your products.

List of ingredients to avoid in cosmetic and skincare products

    A common ingredient in deodorants and antiperspirants. It is often linked to brain disorders and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer.
  • PEGS:
    Mostly used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc. It can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which can cause cancer.
    Used in hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lipsticks, and moisturizers. It is linked to cancer as well.
    Avoid any ingredients containing the letters „eth“.
    Found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, and shampoos.
    It is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.
    Linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
  • LEAD:
    A heavy metal found in lipstick and hair dye. Heavy metals can build up in the body over time and can lead to various health problems.
    A heavy metal found in mascara and some eye drops.
    Used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.
    The active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues. It is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, and low birth weight.
    Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity.
    Used in hair products and dyes. It is toxic to the skin and immune system.
    Found in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, and lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, and cancer.
    Used in some skin and hair products. It is linked to endocrine disruption.
    Penetration enhancers used in many products. It’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide which can cause cancer.
    Used to make a product feel soft. They don’t biodegrade and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumor growth and skin irritation.
  • TALC:
    Similar to asbestos in composition. It’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, and deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.
    Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development. It’s used in nail or hair products and is often hidden under the fragrance.
    Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants. It is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.

Also, avoid sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfates (SLS) in your skin and hair products. It is used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, and engine degreasers – and in 90% of cosmetic products that foam. Sulfates are harsh and drying and can lead to more inflammation. You will find these chemicals in many common cleaners.

To make sure that your skin is always well nourished and your body has enough vitamins and minerals, discover our products made for your well-being!

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