Makeup Allergies

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Is it possible to prevent a cosmetics allergy?

The best way to avoid a cosmetic reaction is to avoid cosmetics entirely. Since this is impractical, then using cosmetics with a minimal number of ingredients might be helpful. Some cosmetics may contain labeling using the terms unscented or fragrance-free. This distinction can be important because unscented products often contain fragrance chemicals that disguise odor whereas fragrance-free products are supposed to be devoid of fragrances entirely.

What makeup brands are allergy tested? Which cosmetics brands are the safest?

There is no government body that certifies the safety or non-allergenicity of cosmetics or makeup. From the FDA's web site: "FDA does not have the legal authority to approve cosmetic products and ingredients (other than color additives) before they go on the market. We also do not have a list of tests required for any particular cosmetic product or ingredient. However, a manufacturer or distributor of a cosmetic is legally responsible for ensuring that a marketed product is safe when consumers use it according to the directions in the labeling or in the customary or expected way. FDA can take action against the manufacturer of a cosmetic on the market if we have reliable information to show that a cosmetic does not meet the legal requirement for safety."

REFERENCES:

Dinkloh, A., et al. "Contact sensitization in patients with suspected cosmetic intolerance: results of the IVDK 2006-2011." JEADV 29 (2015): 1071-1081.

Park, Michelle E., and Jonathan H. Zippin. "Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Cosmetics." Dermatol Clin 32 (2014): 1-11.

United States. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Product Testing." Oct. 5, 2016. <http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/scienceresearch/producttesting/>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/14/2017

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Allergy and Asthma Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors