Are You Allergic to Your Make-Up?
As a nation, we spend billions of dollars each year on make-up and other cosmetic products to improve our appearance. It can be quite disheartening and even alarming, therefore, to discover these products are causing irritation on your skin instead of the cosmetic benefit they claim. While the FDA and USDA have issued strict safety guidelines on cosmetics, that doesn’t mean that every skin type will respond favorably.
There are multiple ingredients in each make-up product that can cause irritation for certain individuals, and the skin on our faces can be some of the most delicate and sensitive on our whole body. If your eyeshadow, foundation, blush or other cosmetic product is causing itching, redness or swelling, you may have a make-up allergy. At Spectrum Dermatology, we value the importance of helping each patient find cosmetics and skin care products that work best for their unique skin. We also want patients to recognize the warning signs of a make-up allergy and take steps to protect their skin in their quest for a better complexion.
What is Contact Dermatitis?
A make-up allergy is a common form of contact dermatitis. According to Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is a skin rash caused by direct contact with a certain substance, including soap, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and poison ivy. The main symptom is a red rash in the area that touched the irritant. These are not contagious rashes and typically clear on their own within 2-3 weeks. However, the irritant should be strictly avoided.
The Issue with Cosmetics and Your Skin
Cosmetic products are specifically designed to boost your appearance and cover up facial flaws. However, if your skin reacts poorly, you can end up with worse skin than you started with. The facial skin is especially vulnerable to an allergy from make-up because most cosmetic products contain varying mixtures of perfumes, emulsifiers, pigments and preservatives as well as a variety of inert materials and even exotic botanical substances. These ingredients aren’t always tolerated by the sensitive skin of the face.
Signs of a Make-Up Allergy
Whether it is a brand-new foundation or an eye shadow you’ve used for months, don’t ignore signs of a potential allergy. If you notice the following, stop using the product and see a dermatologist for more answers:
- red, itchy and/or scaly rash
- hives or blisters
- stinging or burning sensation after application
- blackheads, folliculitis or darkened skin (less common)
What a Dermatologist Can Do
Rest assured that the majority of make-up allergy cases are easily treated. Beyond stopping the trigger make-up product altogether, your dermatologist may suggest an antihistamine or steroid to treat the contact dermatitis rash.
Do you have to avoid make-up if you have sensitive skin? Not at all. There are many cosmetic products available that are designed for sensitive skin. By consulting one of our dermatologists, we can pinpoint the specific ingredient that is causing your allergy and recommend alternative products accordingly. We suggest trying products that are all-natural, oil-free, paraben-free and/or fragrance free.
Contact Spectrum Dermatology of Atlanta today if you develop signs of a make-up allergy that won’t go away. Our physicians offer a wide range of effective treatments for contact dermatitis. We can help you look and feel beautiful in your skin!