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Warning about cosmetics - how to avoid allergic skin reactions

Updated on May 30, 2017

SPF allergy?

This hub will discuss a little about how to avoid allergic skin reactions to cosmetics. One of the ways to avoid allergic skin reactions to cosmetics is to recognize a specific culprit, a particular ingredient perhaps that does not agree with you. You might be fortunate enough to be able to make such an identification perhaps by process of elimination, finding a sensitivity to one cosmetic product among other cosmetic products that you use daily or on rotation. For example, it took me longer than it should have to realize that I have a sensitivity to cosmetics and lotions with SPF.

If you have a certain sensitivity to some cosmetic products, it is important to be sure that you are not allergic to a specific ingredient in the contents. Once the culprit is eliminated, you can begin enjoying your cosmetics again. Simply read labels/packaging carefully and never purchase an item that has an ingredient that does not agree with you.

For example, I found that many day time face creams contain SPF. Since I have to avoid it, I found a great night cream that I use day and night. As a night cream, it does not contain the SPF. Remember to avoid a lot of sun exposure if you find that you are sensitive to products containing SPF and you want to stop using them.

Paying attention to expiration dates on cosmetics is just one among examples to help avoid skin reactions. If you do unfortunately have an allergic reaction to

Additionally, it is very important to buy new and sealed cosmetics (nothing that is used or past its shelf life). Even when most makeup packages do not post expiration dates, cosmetics can indeed expire. If you have had unopened cosmetic products for several years, you should not use them. You should throw them away.

Cosmetics products that have been opened should be thrown away if you have been using them for several months, even if they are not near empty.

Allergic reactions are unfortunate for all people who experience them whether the allergic reaction was triggered by ingesting a certain food or by an insect bite or by applying something topically to the skin such as lotion or makeup. Allergic reactions to makeup / cosmetics can run the gamut in severity from causing general discomfort with itching, redness, what might look like little acne breakouts or a fine rash to genuine pain with a thicker rash or even dangerous swelling. It is important to monitor the severity if you ever suspect that you are experiencing an allergic reaction and seek medical attention if necessary. If you think that you are having an allergic reaction and that it is being caused by makeup that you have applied to your face, then wash all of the makeup off of your face immediately. For those who can tolerate it, Benadryl allergy medicine is also a trusted go to allergy medicine for many people. Some people make sure to have Benadryl allergy medicine on hand in their medicine cabinets, giving it comparable importance to fever reducing medicine such as iboprofen, just as medicine to have on hand in case it is needed.

It can be clever, smart, industrious, resourceful, strategic, health conscious and just plain safe to keep a well stocked medicine cabinet and include both over the counter fever reducing medicines and over the counter allergy medicines among examples of the medicines in the cabinet. Remember to keep all medicines out of children's reach and check expiration dates on the medicines as well.

Many people talk about liking the Benadryl liquid gel caps more than the version of the Benadryl medicine that contains red dye. Some people have their own sensitivities to red dye. Generally, it is important for people to keep in mind that Benadryl medicine can assist with some allergic reactions of varying natures not only the coughing and sneezing of seasonal allergies and dust as many people assume. It might help with a skin reaction as well. If you do not have over the counter medicine such as Benadryl on hand or you are not confident that it will help, then as mentioned before, seek medical attention when in doubt and the allergic reaction seems severe or serious enough. Being cautious is best.

Wash makeup brushes with a gentle cleanser

To avoid skin reactions, it is important to consistently use clean makeup brushes for makeup application. You will find that makeup brushes can readily be cleaned with a gentle shampoo or antibacterial soap. Allow the brushes to air dry.

The best thing for healthy skin when using cosmetics is to keep your face clean, washing all makeup off with a gentle cleanser at the end of the day. Pat dry and apply a gentle face moisturizer. You have probably heard it said many times before but it is worth reiterating, do not sleep with makeup on.

In addition to the makeup brushes,

Applying your makeup can be a practice in your creativity. Perhaps you use more muted tones on a daily basis and enjoy using more vibrant makeup with less subtle tones for special occasions. Either way, your cleansed face can be like your fresh canvas for applying makeup. Applying makeup can be an artistic and creative endeavor indeed. It can also be a lot of fun. Nowadays, the wide range of eyeshadow colors available for example is just abundant. You can pick your color palette and get to work.

For the makeup artistry task, perhaps you keep a collection of makeup brushes. Some of these makeup brushes might be large and might even remind you a little of the paint brushes that an artist working on a literal canvas with oil paint, acrylic paint or watercolors might use. We have discussed the importance of keeping the makeup brushes clean.

In addition to makeup brushes though, you should also readily consider the wands that are used to apply mascara, the swabs that are used to apply eyeshadow and the flattened powder puff that is provided when you purchase a pressed powder or liquid to powder foundation as examples. These are all items that can eventually harbor bacteria and cause skin breakouts.

When it begins to look like you are developing acne or an allergic reaction to the makeup that you apply, it might not always be the makeup itself but rather what you are using to apply the makeup. It is of preeminent importance that you consider using disposable makeup applicators such as disposable one time use cotton swabs for applying your eyeshadow instead of overusing that reusable swab that may have been included with your purchase of eyeshadow. Similarly, be ready to discard the flat powder puff from the pressed powder or powder to foundation mirror compact when the time seems right and it is deemed necessary. Instead, you can replace it with 100% cotton balls. Dispose the cotton balls with each use.

In summary here, if you are a makeup enthusiast, I definitely recommend that you keep both a container of cotton swabs (Q-Tip brand cottons swabs are more high quality than most and don't fall apart easily) and a package of 100% cotton balls with your supply of makeup products and have these on hand, ready to use daily as needed.


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    • Journey * profile imageAUTHOR

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks very much Hello, hello and Tina V.

      Tina V., yes the skin tests are very important. Thanks.

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      7 years ago

      Generally, cosmetics expire 3 to 5 years depending on the manufacturer. I agree with you that make-up brushes should be cleaned regularly with anti-bacterial soap or gentle shampoo. If the person is using a new product, she could try a small amount first at the side of her neck to check if she has any allergy with that brand. These are good tips about using cosmetic application to avoid skin allergy. This is a short, but useful hub.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your kind and useful hub to give that warning


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