The world of makeup is, no doubt, an endless, limitless playground for all beauty junkies out there. So much that we’re often so excited to try on every new product that crosses our paths. And sometimes, we wake up to one of the worst kinds of surprises.
Out of the blue, your skin can flare up with redness, dry patches, and a drive-you-mad itching sensation.
By: Natalia Primejdie
We all know the magic rule-of-thumb when it comes to buying cosmetics: Read the label carefully. And avoid products that contain those ingredients that you know you’re allergic to.
But what happens when you don’t know what those are? Maybe you’ve never experienced reactions of that sort before.
How Do You Know?
Be it dryness, swelling, flakiness, redness, or itchiness, dermatitis is the general term used for this wide range of skin inflammations.
Check out these natural ways to reduce inflammation.
These can be symptoms of a superficial skin irritation, but they can also be signs of an allergic reaction. When this occurs due to direct exposure to allergens, such as a specific substance or plant, it’s called Allergic Contact Dermatitis. For an exact diagnosis, you should seek medical attention.
However, there are, of course, safety measures you can take yourself.
A Quick Patch Test
When buying new makeup, a quick patch test on your skin can reveal if the product is safe to apply or not. If you’ve experienced a burning sensation after applying some mascara or if you’ve had an allergic reaction to a certain fragrance, you know it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How To Do A Patch Test
Simply apply a tiny amount of product on the skin of your forearm and cover it with a patch for up to 48 hours. If swelling, redness, or itchiness appears after a few minutes, it means you are sensitive to an ingredient in that product. Even if no reaction appears within the first minutes, an allergic reaction is still possible. And in some cases, it might take up to 48 hours to manifest. Here’s a tutorial on how to do this test the right way.
Steer Clear Of Trouble-Makers
Believe it or not, the culprits for most allergic reactions are, in fact, very popular ingredients.
To avoid products that contain these elements in their formulas, look for fragrance-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic products.
The main concern with products containing perfume is that there are currently no regulations for displaying the full list of ingredients that make up a specific product. Because of this, you may find yourself in a situation where you are allergic to exactly one of those compounds.
More on KimberlyElise.com: Analyze beauty ingredients with green beauty expert Paige Padgett.
Parabens are quite a different story.
They are preservatives commonly used in a wide variety of cosmetics to prevent bacteria growth. Sensitivity to parabens, although pretty rare considering their extensive use, can appear on your skin as a rash.
Nowadays, along with the organic trend, more and more makeup manufacturers have completely excluded parabens from their ingredients list.
But be aware that this is a double-edged sword. Once these preservatives have been removed from the equation, there’s more room for microbes to contaminate your makeup at a higher rate.
So if you choose to go with all-organic, paraben-free cosmetics, be sure you know what the shelf life is for that product.
Less Is More
There is an ever-growing consumer tendency of wanting to know exactly what is in the products we use, but sometimes the labels can push us on the verge of a panic attack. Long and almost indecipherable lists can be overwhelming.
But the main thing you should take into account when buying makeup is to select products with the fewest ingredients, as this will lower the chance of an allergic reaction.
Interested in vegan brands? Check out our regular contributor Leah’s vegan makeup routine.
Avoid all the headaches of having to fight those nasty allergic reactions to makeup by choosing your products carefully and always testing them first.
Another idea? Skip the makeup altogether for a Simple Saturday.
Natalia is a makeup enthusiast and editor @stonefoxstyle.com who spends most of her time doing research around the trendiest, natural, and safe cosmetic products out there. She is passionate about art in any form with an eclectic perspective on beauty and lifestyle.