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How to Choose the Right Makeup If You Have Contact Dermatitis

Finding the right hypoallergenic makeup for sensitive skin can be a challenge. When you have sensitive skin, trying new makeup means risking triggering a flare-up. This can happen even when the makeup you choose is labeled hypoallergenic. 

We’ve put together some tips to steer you in the right direction, reduce the risk of irritating your skin, and help you find a makeup that works for you and your skin.

Living with contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction that occurs following contact with a chemical trigger. The skin has a protective outer barrier that retains moisture and produces antimicrobial substances to keep harmful substances out. In people with contact dermatitis, immune cells react to otherwise harmless substances that come into contact with your skin.

This includes jewelry and personal care products. The immune system releases chemicals that create inflammation in response to environmental triggers, and it’s the resulting inflammation that causes symptoms such as a rash and itching.

Sensitive skin

Everyone’s skin is different, and that holds true for people with contact dermatitis. That means triggers vary from person to person, too. Any ingredient in makeup can cause problems for people with contact dermatitis.  

However, some common ingredients have a higher likelihood of causing problems in people with sensitive skin than others. We’ve put together some helpful guidelines.  

Search for fragrance-free

Scent chemicals are commonly added to makeup to make them more appealing. Perfume chemicals are a common trigger of inflammation in patients with contact dermatitis. When looking for a safe makeup brand for your sensitive skin, check the label for fragrances, and narrow your choices to fragrance-free options.

Avoid preservatives

Parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, and isothiazolinones are preservatives that commonly cause reactions in patients with sensitive skin. Manufacturers add preservatives to products to extend their shelf life, and cosmetics are no exception. Preservatives play a key role in preventing the growth of microbes to prevent damage to products.

Look into natural brands that use natural preservatives or produce preservative-free cosmetic products. Become familiar with common preservatives and avoid makeup products that contain them.

Fewer ingredients for the win

It’s probably safe to say that makeup that contains a slew of ingredients likely contains a chemical that may trigger a reaction in people with sensitive skin. An important guideline is to look for products that contain fewer ingredients.

Natural ingredients are generally easy to recognize and pronounce, such as hibiscus powder and coconut oil. Check ingredient labels and look for products that contain a small list of ingredients that you can recognize.

Opting for products that have fewer ingredients overall will reduce the chances of irritating your sensitive skin.

Look into mineral-based makeup

Mineral-based makeup products typically contain fewer ingredients overall and are less likely to clog pores and trigger inflammatory reactions. Mineral-based makeup is hypoallergenic and a good choice for patients with sensitive skin such as contact dermatitis and other forms of eczema, and rosacea.

With proper management and wise choices, you can manage your sensitive skin without giving up cosmetics. To learn more, call our Redondo Beach office and speak with one of our team members to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner, or request your consultation online. You can also send a message to Dr. Ziegner and the team here on the website.

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