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Are You Allergic to Your Makeup?

By September 28, 2015 Allergies, Natural Beauty

Do you know what’s in your makeup? Do you know what kind of reaction your skin will have to the ingredients in your cosmetics? If you don’t, you should. The ingredients in your makeup could be causing you to have a bad reaction.

Although the ingredients are usually listed on the packaging, most people don’t take the time to read the labels or learn what the ingredients are. Many of the ingredients are difficult to pronounce and not things that the average person recognizes. These components are worth looking up.

Continue reading to discover signs that you are allergic to your makeup and common ingredients that are known to cause allergic reactions.

Signs of Allergic Reaction

  • A breakout

One of the easiest ways to tell if you are allergic to your makeup is checking for breakouts after you’ve used the product. The breakout may appear immediately or even days after you’ve used the product. When you add a new product to your skin care routine, you should take notice of any unusual breakouts. If you don’t normally have breakouts or acne-prone skin, you may be allergic to your makeup.

  • A rash

Some cosmetics may cause your skin to break out into a rash. If you notice tiny red bumps on the surface of your skin, you should check to see if any unfamiliar ingredients are listed in your makeup.

  • Itchy or prickly feeling on the skin

You may not have a visible reaction to a makeup product you’re allergic to. If you have stinging or prickly feelings on the surface of your skin, it could be an allergic reaction. You may also have itchy skin.

  • Redness

Red splotches or patches on your skin are signs that your makeup could be causing an allergic reaction. The redness may be all over the surface of your skin or in certain spots, but if you continue to use the product the patches may grow in size.

  • Dry patches

Many people with sensitive skin get dry skin patches all the time. Seasonal changes can also cause dry skin, but if you don’t normally have dry skin and notice dry patches on your skin after using a new product, you may want to re-evaluate the type of cosmetic products you’re using.

What to Do If You Are Allergic to Your Makeup

If you discover you are allergic to your makeup, and the symptoms are benign, you should stop using it immediately. You most likely won’t have to take any further steps, but if the symptoms persist, you should visit a physician. Also, take measures to avoid other products in the future that contain the ingredient that caused your bad reaction to makeup.


Common Ingredients That Cause Allergic Reactions

  • Alcohol

Many cosmetic products contain alcohol. Alcohol can give thick products the feeling of being extremely lightweight, which is a desirable effect in a cosmetic product. It is also a very cheap ingredient, which is why so many companies add it to their skin care products. However, alcohol is an extremely harsh ingredient and can be damaging to the surface of your skin, which is why it causes allergic reactions.

  • Perfumes

Although some makeup products are naturally scented, many contain added perfumes that cause irritation to the skin. Scents make products more appealing and are added into many luxury makeup brands. If possible, you should purchase unscented makeup products to avoid harsh reactions.

  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate

Sulfates are ingredients that can also irritate and dry out the surface of the skin. In the last few years, many companies have stopped using sulfates in cosmetic and skin care products, but you should check to see if they are in a product before purchasing it if you have had bad reactions to sulfates in the past or have sensitive skin in general.

  • Dimethicone

Dimethicone is added into many cosmetics including primer, foundation, blush, and other makeup products. It is a silicone product that is added to cosmetics in order to give the surface of the skin a smoother, more perfected appearance. It is also known to cause breakouts on the skin as well as redness.


  • Beeswax

Although beeswax can be a great natural product, it isn’t for everyone. Many people have beeswax allergies and notice rashes as well as peeling skin. Beeswax can be found in many skin care products, but it can most notably be found in many lip products including lip balms and lipsticks.

The Wrap-Up

While steering clear of products that contain ingredients commonly known to irritate the skin, one can reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction to a makeup product. However, sometimes there’s no way to know whether you will have a bad reaction to a product until you use it. Pay attention to your skin and any inconsistencies in its feel or appearance.

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Elena Shephard

Author Elena Shephard

Elena Shephard (@ElenaShephard) who lives in New York, Albany, USA. She is an independent researcher by profession who loves reading latest lifestyle news, writing and hanging around with friends. In her spare time, she enjoys doing research and write certain health and beauty related articles for online websites, journals, etc. The best part of her job is generating awareness about the many remedial factors one can carry out from his/her daily life practices, with the help of her writing skills.

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