Every living organism is prone to an allergic reaction at some point in their life. There are a lot of people who are under the false assumption that if they did not develop or show signs of an allergic reaction in their adolescent years, then they can’t possibly have an allergic reaction to anything in their adult life either. Needless to say, such individuals need a reality check before it’s too late. Allergic reactions can occur at any time in one’s life.
Allergies are not something a person gets to choose, but if you learn what exactly triggers an allergic reaction on your skin, then you can definitely maintain control over the situation. There are lots of reasons why a person might experience an allergic reaction, such as cosmetic allergy, seasonal allergy, food allergy, etc. Whatever the underlying causes of your allergic state might be, the experience and the aftermath is atrocious.
Allergic Reactions to Beauty Products
There are so many different types and causes of allergic reactions that it’s nothing short of a challenge to really place your finger on why or how it occurs. Many people believe allergy only occurs as a result of eating a food item that you’re allergic to, seasonal allergies or allergic reactions to insect bites. However, the most unpredictable allergy is one that occurs as a result of the ingredients present in the beauty products you use – more commonly referred to as cosmetic allergy.
Beauty products normally contain a variety of ingredients, and it’s rare that a person would know what the affects of each and every ingredient are going to be. In this regard, ‘beauty products’ don’t just refer to makeup, but also to shampoos, perfumes, cologne, and skincare products such as lotions, etc. Although each product, along with the ingredients used in each product, is approved by the FDA before it is made available in the market, there just are some ingredients that may not suit your skin type.
Of course, it is rather rare for one product to cause an allergic reaction to every single person who uses it, because the product would be banned beforehand. Again, this is to confirm that it is not the product itself but the ingredients that are present in the product that cause an allergic reaction. For instance, a topical lotion that works perfectly on your skin might cause an allergic reaction in your friend’s skin. Why? Because each and every human being’s skin and immunity is different.
Types of Skin Reactions to Beauty Products
It’s not difficult to recognize an allergic reaction when it occurs. The difficult part is pinpointing what the underlying cause of the allergy must be. If you really pay attention to how your skin reacts to certain things, you’ll be able to distinguish what the cause of your allergy might be. Here are two of the most common types of skin reactions to beauty products:
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Allergic contact dermatitis has more to do with your immune system. Symptoms of this reaction include itching, swelling, redness or hives. This can affect any part of your body including eyes, neck, face, or lips – the skin turns extremely red and raw.
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This occurs when the ingredient or the product injures your skin, causing it to itch, burn, stinging or turn extremely red upon using the product. In severe cases, the user might notice formation of blisters that ooze when scratched.
In many circumstances, the user may also experience a combination of the two. The most common culprit of this is fragrances that are added in beauty products. Many manufacturers label their products to add fragrances in order to disguise the smell of the chemicals that are present in the product. These scents almost always cause an allergic reaction to people who have sensitive skin.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Allergies
Once you know the underlying cause of allergies, it’s important for you to know what you should and should not do in case of an allergic reaction.
- A patch test before you use any product, be it hair-dye, some topical treatment or a new face wash. To do this, apply a minute amount for about 2 to 3 days, on the inside of your elbow. In case of an allergic reaction, i.e. itching, burning, swelling or redness, do not use the product.
- Research product ingredients before use. This will help you discover ingredients that may be allergens or toxins. EWG skin deep database is excellent for this research.
- Let your doctor know if you have sensitive skin. Most people with sensitive skin have an anti-allergy medication at hand so they don’t have to experience the dreadful aftermath of a product that lied to them or simply wasn’t in their favor.
- Check the expiration date of every product. Most products also have a shelf-life and despite what you may think, by the time the shelf-life is up, the product is useless.
- If a skin rash appears and you cannot recall what you last ate or what product could be the cause of it, contact your doctor immediately.
- Never try to treat a skin condition using information from your own mind or from the internet. Always contact your doctor to get a better understanding of what your condition might be. There’s also the possibility that your skin isn’t reacting to a beauty product, but has something like eczema. Thus, you should be careful about these things.
- If you experience uncontrollable itchiness, try not to scratch or pop any blisters. This can actually worsen the situation. Always opt for an ointment, such as an anti-itch lotion. This will help you calm down the itchiness and give you time to visit the doctor to find the underlying cause of the allergy.
- If you have been using the same anti-allergy medication, chances are that your body has become immune to it. Always change up your anti-allergy medication, especially since the same anti-allergy medicine won’t work for you your whole life.
The aforementioned things might be different for every person, due to the fact that our skin is different. Always contact your dermatologist to confirm what the underlying cause is and never attempt to cure it yourself.