Is It A Sensitivity Or An Allergy

Some people that have a reaction to a certain type of makeup or lotion are not truly allergic to it, but it does cause an irritation that is…well…irritating! Cosmetics and lotions are made up of complex ingredients, some containing a variety of substances like sunscreens, perfumes, pigments, emulsifiers, and preservatives as well as some inert materials.Skin sensitivity or allergies to makeup and lotion

Since everyone’s skin is different, with oily, dry, combination, sensitive, and aging skin, it’s pretty tough to match all of these variables with a formula that is one-size-fits-all. That is why many companies market products that are touted as hypoallergenic or fragrance free. But are they?

Hypoallergenic and Fragrance Free Products

This article suggests some of these claims aren’t true:

Northwestern University researchers found that nearly half of moisturizers advertised as devoid of scent contain chemicals that could irritate the skin as much as fragrances. Worse, 83 percent of products labeled “hypoallergenic” contained at least one potentially allergenic ingredient, according to the study, which was published in BMC Medicine.

In fact, only 12 percent of the 174 best-selling moisturizers analyzed by the researchers were free of ingredients known to cause reactions in some people.

And it’s no better with a product labeled “dermatologist recommended.”

Most moisturizers touted as hypoallergenic actually aren’t –

Is It Really Dermatologist Recommended?

Charging more for products that aren’t what they claim is inexcusable for people that have ultra sensitive skin. The study’s lead author, Dr. Steve Xu, said that it is unfortunate because these misleading labels could truly help patients with atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and other skin problems.

In addition, the assertion that the cosmetic product is dermatologist recommended can mean anywhere from 3 to 1000 doctors actually endorsed the product. This is confusing to those that have to be careful when they shop.

The following video is done by a young lady who has ultra sensitive skin. She offers some suggestions for different products she uses to help people with similar problems:

Allergic Reactions To Beauty Products

There are two general categories of reactions you will experience if you use a product that you have a sensitivity to:

  • Contact Dermatitis – This is caused by direct contact with a substance which irritates the skin.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis – This is when your immune system reacts against a specific substance.

Everyone’s skin reacts differently, but here is a list of potential side effects:

There are two types of skin reactions to beauty products. One, called irritant contact dermatitis, happens when something actually damages your skin. Your skin might burn, sting, itch, or get red right where you used the product. You might get blisters and have oozing, especially if you scratch.

The other kind of reaction actually involves your immune system. It’s called allergic contact dermatitis and symptoms can include redness, swelling, itching, and hives. 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.

Allergies Triggered by Cosmetics

What Products To Avoid

Skin care products that cause reactions


Let’s start with what ingredients you should check the label for if you have allergies to makeup and lotion. If you find that any of these 10 agents are in the ingredients, beware:

  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Bismuth Oxychloride
  • Petrochemicals
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Phthalate
  • Triclosan
  • Fragrance
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cinnamic acid
  • Essential Oils

10 Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Skin

To give you a general idea of products that could contain the above hard-to-pronounce elements, be especially careful with bath soaps, antiperspirants, detergents, eye makeup, moisturizers, shampoos, and lipstick. You should immediately consult with your Southern California dermatologist if you experience a severe reaction to a beauty product.