Allergic Reactions To Cosmetics
Acute allergies:Acute allergic reactions to cosmetics are easily recognisable. The skin becomes red and inflamed or develops oozy rashes immediately or within 24 to 48 hours of the use of a new cosmetic. It is especially true with hair dyes. Discontinuing the use of the cosmetic in question prevents future allergies.
Chronic allergies:Chronic cosmetic allergies develop in a variety of ways and they can even go unrecognised if the person is unaware of the possibility of an allergic reaction. Some of their signs are:
- Mild burning or stinging sensation upon the use of a cosmetic.
- Fine scaling on the face at the end of the day.
- Chronic, fine, pimple-like eruptions which fail to respond to treatment.
- Acne or comedone formations at an age where you are not supposed to develop them.
- Pigmentation and darkening of skin, because some cosmetics may be photosensitive, making your skin sensitive to sunlight and causing the tan.
Causes Of Cosmetic Allergies
- You may be allergic to one or more components in a given cosmetic.
- The product in use by you is likely to be past its expiry date.
- The product is too thick that it blocks the pores and leads to pimple formation.
- The product is making your skin sensitive to sunlight and is causing pigmentation.
Treating The Adverse Effects Of Cosmetics
- For chronic cosmetic allergies, you should use a prescribed steroid cream for a few days. Once the allergy subsides, it is best to give yourself a two-week break for the hypersensitive nature of the skin to heal.
- Start by using only one cosmetic at a time. You may add a new one every seven days to determine which product is causing the reaction.
- Complex allergies, where you are unable to identify the allergen, should always be referred to a doctor.
Choose The Right Product
- Buy branded products, because branded products would have gone through the mandatory tests before arriving in the market. They are also more likely to contain hypoallergenic substances.
- Buy cosmetics according to your skin type. Then, skin irritation and pimple formation will not happen.
- Desist from changing your cosmetic brand if your current brand is suiting you well. There is no guarantee that a new brand will suit your skin better.
- Check for a hypoallergenic label. These products are formally tested to minimise allergic or irritant reactions, making them relatively safe.
- Buy products with few ingredients. It minimises the chances of cross reactivity.
- A lot of skin care products have added vitamins, but there’s no proof about their benefits to skin.
- People with sensitive skin should be more careful while using multiple cosmetics.
- Skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or severe dry skin have decreased barrier function, which increases the chances of allergic reactions.
Patch Test for Cosmetic Reactions
- Apply a little product on the forearm or on eyebrows (for facial products).
- Leave it overnight for observation.
- Continue the test for about five days and use the cosmetic only if there is no reaction.
The Right Way To Apply Cosmetics
- Apply moisturiser half an hour prior to applying a cosmetic. It makes for better blending and even distribution.
- Use a sunscreen below a cosmetic to prevent sun allergies.
- Apply light cosmetics and add more, only if necessary.
- Always remove your old make-up before applying a new one.
- Sleeping overnight without removing the make-up increases the chances of acne formation and allergic reaction.
- Always moisturise after removing the make-up.
Cosmetics are harmful when their preservative agents break down over time. To prevent allergic reactions, one should desist from using cosmetics that are over a year old. Discipline yourself and make a habit of discarding old and long-in-use cosmetics, periodically.