A study revealed that many women are using at least seven types of cosmetics each day. They include moisturizers, deodorants, colognes, shampoos and other products that are often considered as necessities these days. Cosmetics are used to enhance beauty and over time, these products become an inseparable part in our lifestyle.
It is important to understand that there are a number of ingredients in these products that act as triggers, such as preservatives and fragrances. Cosmetic allergy is relatively rare compared to other allergies and researches showed that only ten percent of the population is expected to experience some form of cosmetic-related energy at some point of their life. Due to higher exposure, women are more vulnerable to this condition than men.
Preventing Cosmetic Allergy
These are a few measures that can help in preventing cosmetic allergy.
• Always read the label first. Some active ingredients can trigger allergic reactions to your skin. Find products that are safer.
• If a tester is available, you should perform a mini-patch test to determine whether it causes unfavorable reactions on your skin. Rub your wrist with a few different products; wait for 24 hours to see whether redness appears on the tested area. If you get no allergic reaction, you can return to the store and buy the product.
• Choose a cosmetic with the simplest formula and fewest ingredients.
• When using perfume, apply it on your clothes, instead of your skin.
There’s no harm in making necessary precautions, prevention is often easier than treating the symptoms of cosmetic allergy. Remember that, like any other allergy, cosmetic allergy is incurable, it is only treatable.
Symptoms of Cosmetic Allergy
These are two common skin reactions caused by cosmetic allergy:
• Allergic contact dermatitis. It happens when the area of the skin develops blisters, skin patches or rash, which is very itchy. Sufferers often scratch the area, which can aggravate the condition and cause oozing.
• Irritant contact dermatitis. The symptoms are usually milder, with hives that break out on the neck and facial area. However, in some cases, it can occur on other areas as well.
In general, the affected area exhibit swelling and redness, occasionally it can be accompanied by some itching. Symptoms of cosmetic allergy usually occur hours after the contact between cosmetic product and skin. It happens because a harsh ingredient enters the skin pores; the body’s immune system considers them as a harmful substance. As the result, cosmetic allergy shouldn’t be considered as a disease.
Treatment of Cosmetics Allergy
It may seem strange that our body develops allergy to cosmetics that you’ve been using for years. It happens because our body can develop higher sensitivity to certain ingredients over time. Once a specific sensitivity level is reached, the allergic response occurs and the reaction can get worse if you continue to use the product.
The first step in treating cosmetic allergy is to stop using the offending products. Because, you may use more than five products each day, you may need to stop using all of them during the weekend and wait until the symptoms clear up. You may also use steroid ointment to remove the symptoms faster. Determining the real culprit will require a good deal of detective work. After your skin is free from symptoms, you should start using a product that you think is safest. If no reaction occurs after one week, you can use another product. Continue adding them until you can pinpoint the real cause of your condition.
It is a good idea to switch to hypo-allergenic products, as they cause less severe and fewer allergic reactions. Hypo-allergenic cosmetics are manufactured using fewer allergy-causing ingredients. However, some people can’t even tolerate hypo-allergenic cosmetics, as the result, non-allergenic cosmetics must be necessary. These products are specially manufactured using safe substances.
OTC products for treating cosmetic allergy are available on drug stores and often sold as ointments and creams. They usually contain hydrocortisone and hydrocortisone acetate, two forms of cortisone. They help to reduce swelling, redness and itching caused by allergy symptoms. If these products can’t help you, seek a dermatologist for the diagnosis. The doctor may prescribe stronger ointments and medication in order to relieve the allergy symptoms more effectively. If blisters appear, antibiotics will be needed, as the swollen area has somehow become infected by bacteria.
These are some remedies can help to reduce symptoms and accelerate the healing process on the inflamed areas.
• Vitamin E aids our body to heal rashes and improve the immune system.
• Folic acid helps in coenzyme reactions, which can promoter new cell formation and cell growth.
• Olbas can open the skin pores up and increase the circulation under the skin. In many cultures around the world, olbas oil is used for its healing properties.
• Tea tree oil can naturally treat and soothe skin problems, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Should You Use Mineral Make Up Instead?
As people are increasingly sensitive to regular cosmetics due to continuous uses, they are looking for alternatives that may not provoke allergic reactions. One of those alternatives is mineral make up. Although dermatologists recommend mineral-based make up for those with oil problem, rosacea, acne and sensitive skin, there is no assurance that all patients will respond well to these products.
Zinc oxide in mineral make ups exhibits natural anti-inflammatory properties and calms the skin; it is among the primary reasons why dermatologists recommend these products. To protect the skin against the UV rays, some mineral manufacturers add titanium oxide.
Although mineral make up promises a number of benefits, you should still be conscious when choosing the one you want to use. Always check the ingredient list and if you can’t find it on the product, you should visit the manufacturer’s website to get more information. Some products contain bismuth oxychloride, which can cover the wrinkles and fine lines buyers are trying to hide. Unfortunately, it may block the skin pores and cause irritation. Consequently, some women experience blotchy red face and itching. Carmine, another risk factor of allergy, can also be found on mineral make up. It comes from the cochineal beetles shells and used as coloring in cosmetics. If your skin is especially sensitive, you should check whether carmine is included in the ingredient list.
If you’re allergic to regular cosmetics, you may switch to mineral make up, however you should be aware that some products may contain bismuth oxychloride and carmine, which can cause allergic reactions on some women.