5 signs of allergy to cosmetics you should know

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Allergies are not always flashy but can start as minor annoyances. It is important that we take them into account, especially if we are starting to use a new product.



An allergy to cosmetics can appear at any time. Women love to try new products. It is common for us to buy different brands of makeup, that for a time we use certain types of creams, or that, later, due to changes in our skin, we need new treatments.


This means that at some point we can suffer an unexpected allergic reaction. In fact, it is estimated that almost 20% of the population is allergic to some component of cosmetics. That is why it is so important to know what element we have reacted to in order to avoid it in the future.


In addition, our skin is unique and not all the same treatments are good for us. If we add to this that beauty companies innovate, every day more, introducing new elements in creams and makeup, it is normal that, at some point, we suffer from an allergy to cosmetics.


Let us now see what those reactions are that we cannot ignore and that indicates that we should stop using some of the products.


Today, an allergy to cosmetics is becoming more common. Many of them contain substances that can cause damage and alterations when applied to the surface of the skin (such as makeup or moisturizers), hair or even nails. Cosmetics can often contain slightly more aggressive and even toxic compounds. It is recommended that you always pay close attention to the product you buy and its brand. Next, we explain more about allergies and the type of product to use to avoid them.


Makeup is intended to be removed once you have used it, while creams must have a great absorption capacity on your skin. When a cosmetic begins to produce irritations or allergies, we should immediately remove it and rinse it with plenty of water.


We can distinguish an irritation from a cosmetic, which appears moments after you have impregnated it, and an allergic reaction that would occur after exposing yourself to that cosmetic repeatedly previously. It can be somewhat expensive and difficult to differentiate between allergy and irritation, however, both types indicate an intolerance against the cosmetic used and for which you will have to exercise some caution.


  • Cosmetic allergy: acne breakouts

  • It is very frequent. We have just tried a new foundation or compact powder. You may have bought a new anti-wrinkle cream, you have been using these cosmetics for a couple of days and, little by little, we are noticing how a fine layer of granites appears to us.


    However, it is not about normal granites, but it is like a very fine accumulation that, in addition, itches you on contact with the hand.


    The first thing to do in this case is to wash your face thoroughly with fresh water and let the skin rest for 5 days in a row. If we see these acne breakouts disappear, then you already know that it is undoubtedly due to that new cosmetic you have tried.


  • Watery and inflamed eyes
  • This symptom is one of the most classic when it comes to using certain types of mascara or eyeliner. It happens very often with waterproofs, that is, that long-lasting mascara that does not disappear with water. It is frequent that we do not remove it correctly and that it accumulates until causing an allergic reaction.


    Another fact that we must take into account is the quality of the products. Sometimes the composition of these eyeliner pencils is not adequate and usually causes very fast reactions, such as a very strong itching, red eyes and tearing.


    If this happens to you, quickly remove the cosmetic from your eyes and do not use it again; choose better hypoallergenic cosmetics. You should know that allergies related to eye pencils and mascara are often the most dangerous.


  • Inflammation on the skin

  • You have to be very careful with skin creams. A recommendation that dermatologists give us is that it is convenient to try the creams first on a small piece of our skin, in the hand, for example, and allow a few hours to see if there is a reaction.


    They also explain to us that the elements we most often react to are fragrances and preservatives. These are two components that usually include in most cosmetics.


    It may happen that, one day, we choose a certain type of cream because it smells very good and, when applied to the face, we immediately suffer a very striking inflammation.


    Always remember that the perfumes included in creams have alcohol, and it is common for people with sensitive skin to not receive this element well. Choose softer creams, without too much odor and, if possible, hypoallergenic.


  • Dry spots, scabs or scales

  • These white spots where sometimes even a kind of scales appear are usually, as you already know, a dermatitis or atopic eczema, there where these striking skin lesions are that are always accompanied by an annoying itch.


    They usually appear on the face, but they can also be seen even on the extremities or on any part of the body where we have not applied that cream or that cosmetic.


    It would be, then, a general reaction to an element that hurts us. So do not hesitate to go to the doctor and your dermatologist to find out what caused it and how you should treat yourself to make that dermatitis disappear.


  • Simple burning, discomfort, discomfort

  • The body is wise and always gives us clues. There are times when something as striking as an eczema or a few pimples does not appear. Sometimes we feel little discomfort that indicates that something is happening, that our skin and our body are not comfortable with that element that we are applying to it.


    Take note of these more unusual and not so obvious symptoms of a cosmetic allergy:


    • Notice the dry eyes, as if we had sand. Something subtle, that comes and goes, but that bothers us every time we put mascara on.
    • Feel like swollen lips and a slight itch.
    • When applying a cream, notice very dry and stiff skin. It does not matter that the cream is hydrating. Sometimes, when faced with an allergy to cosmetics, the skin responds by stiffening without immediately showing inflammation.

    As you can see, they are small symptoms that you must attend to yourself. Never ignore them and if discomfort continues after stopping treatment, do not hesitate to go to the doctor.

    Sonia Corredor/Shimarz Blog Writer 

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