Have you ever tried some new beauty products for the first time and broken out into hives? Or maybe after a year or so, the body wash you’ve used every day began to make your skin itch. A well-cited survey conducted by the FDA states that “up to 25% of people said they had a skin reaction to at least one beauty product.” The reaction is called contact dermatitis, and the strange thing is that even if you have used a product for a long time, you can develop an allergy to it.
Contact dermatitis can occur in two ways:
- Irritant contact dermatitis is a skin reaction in which the substance has caused damage to your skin. This type of response manifests as burning, itching, redness and blisters.
- Allergic contact dermatitis affects your immune system and causes itching, redness, hives and even swelling. WebMD explains, “Your skin can get red and raw. You can get an allergic reaction on any part of your body, although it happens most often on the face, lips, eyes, ears, and neck.”
There are a few ingredients in beauty products that can make your skin look and feel not so beautiful. The best best is to always check the label before buying a product, especially if you know you are allergic to a particular chemical, and with some, such as hair dye or face cream, it’s best to do a spot check before you use it regularly. Even things that are labeled “non-irritating,” “hypoallergenic,” “for sensitive skin,” or “unscented” might contain something can trigger a reaction in some people. Instead, look for “fragrance-free” on the label of your beauty products.
WebMD has compiled a general list of the irritants found in many cosmetics. They include:
- Fragrances in soaps, colognes, deodorants, body creams, cosmetics, detergents and tissues
- Preservatives and antibacterials, added to many liquids to keep them from spoiling
- Substances added to thicken, color or lubricate a product
- Chemicals in permanent hair dyes and other hair products
- Formaldehyde resin, an ingredient in many nail care products
- Sunscreens, often found in cosmetic moisturizers, lip balms and foundations
Everyday Health provides a list of specific ingredients that includes:
- Metals, such as aluminum; nickel; cobalt; chromium and lead, found in antiperspirants, hair dyes and makeup
- Acid in products designed to remove dead skin cells, treat acne and oily skin, or normalize skin cell maturation and help promote collagen stimulation
- Emollients, such as lanolin; coconut butter; cocoa butter; isopropyl palmitate; isostearyl isosterate; and myristyl lactate, found in moisturizers
- Sulfates found in shampoo, body wash and soap
- Essential oils found in shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and face creams
For more information on allergens in cosmetics, regulation and safe use, visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s “Consumers” pages under the “Cosmetics” tab.
What do you do if you think you may be allergic to one of your beauty products?
First, stop using it. Next, schedule an appointment with CT Sinus Center for thorough testing and a clear diagnosis on what is triggering your allergic reaction. Once the allergy is determined, our expert physicians will discuss all possible treatment options and put you on an individualized treatment plan that makes sure your personal hygiene routine won’t make you sick.
Call 860-BALLOON to schedule your appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices today.