Makeup Allergies

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What are cosmetics? What is in makeup?

Cosmetics are substances applied to the skin (makeup and moisturizer), hair (conditioners), or nails (polish and lacquer) designed to enhance appearance. Cosmetics do not produce any sort of biological effect. They contain additives which augment their odor (perfumes), physical form (emulsifiers), color (pigments), and inhibit their degradation (preservatives) as well as variety of inert materials. They also may contain a array of exotic botanical substances for which the manufacturer may ascribe some vague benefit. The FDA and the USDA are responsible for administering laws involving the safety and purity of cosmetics. Revenue of the U.S. cosmetics industry will be about $59 billion in 2014!

What causes cosmetics reactions?

Untoward reactions to cosmetics seem to be rare considering their extensive use. This may be partly due to the fact affected individuals may just stop using the offending product rather than complain about it to a professional. Cosmetics may irritate the skin directly (by far the most common type of reaction) or induce an immune-mediated allergic response. Usually irritation would occur the first time a cosmetic is applied, as opposed to an allergic reaction which would require repeated exposures.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/2/2015

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Cosmetic Allergies - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your cosmetic allergies?
Cosmetics Allergy - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your makeup allergy?
Do hypoallergenic cosmetics prevent cosmetics allergies?

Are "Hypoallergenic" Cosmetics Really Better?

When shopping for cosmetics or skin-care products, you'll frequently see products that are labeled hypoallergenic. Implicit in this term is that these products are less likely to cause allergic reactions than other cosmetic products and that these products will be gentler or even safer for the skin than other products.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) counsels that consumers should realize that no federal standards or regulations exist governing the use of the term hypoallergenic.