Could You Be Allergic To Your Makeup? Here's How To Know

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When it comes to allergies, everyone is aware of the typical perpetrators. Items like nuts, pollen, and dust are some of the allergens most people think of when you mention having an allergic reaction. While these are only some of the list of potential allergens, there are plenty of items that many people aren't aware are causing their allergic reactions. Knowing the source of your allergic reactions is an essential step to being able to find a solution. Mount Sinai explains that an allergic reaction means you're experiencing sensitivity to something you've consumed, touched, or inhaled. Since an allergic reaction can happen from almost anything, it's fair to wonder whether our makeup could be the source of allergies.


Pinpointing your allergy to makeup might be challenging as it can be almost any substance you come into contact with during your day. However, there are various ways you can test and see if your makeup is giving you allergies. While it wouldn't be uncommon to find that you are allergic to your makeup, it can often disguise itself as other issues. Knowing the clear signs will help you toss the makeup and prevent a future allergic reaction from happening.

Signs you're allergic to your makeup

Finding the difference between an allergic reaction and an acne breakout can be challenging. While skin issues can appear similar to an allergic reaction, there's a specific sign when it comes to an allergic reaction. Arash Akhavan, the founder of The Dermatology & Laser Group, tells Byrdie, "Allergic contact dermatitis commonly presents as dry, red, itchy skin that does not seem to improve with moisturizing. It is more common in individuals who have a personal or family history of eczema, asthma, and seasonal allergies, but it can happen to anybody." Finding the correlation between an allergic reaction and your makeup might take multiple applications. If you find that a new rash isn't disappearing after treatment and moisturizing, you are likely suffering from an allergic reaction.


While the difference between an allergic reaction and another skin issue might be thin, you can also look at your most recently used makeup products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains that some of the most common ingredients found in makeup that can cause allergic reactions are latex, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, metals, and chemicals found in color dyes. If you know your makeup contains these ingredients, keep a close eye during your next application.

How to treat an allergic reaction to makeup

Many times you won't know you are having an allergic reaction to your makeup until it already happens. Once it occurs, it can be overwhelming and concerning to deal with an irritating rash. Depending on how severe your allergic reaction is, you don't need to do anything out of the ordinary to treat an allergic reaction. Dermstore explains that mild reactions will typically go away once you stop using the product. As long as you discontinue using that product, your skin should ultimately clear up and continue to function as normal. Don't continue to use the same product after taking a break, as this is only going to continue to aggravate your skin to the point where it is inflamed and leads to other skin issues.


If your allergic reaction isn't resolving or is mild to severe, you will need to take further steps to treat your skin. The NY Allergy & Sinus Centers recommends using over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams for treating inflamed skin. A hydrocortisone cream can help soothe the area and relax the irritation until it goes away. If you are still not seeing improvement or you have a severe reaction, you will need to contact your dermatologist for a topical steroid.