Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the US, with millions battling respiratory, food, and skin allergies through a combination of approaches. Some of the most common skin allergies are atopic dermatitis (or eczema), contact dermatitis, and hives. If you are into beauty and love stocking your shelves with skincare and makeup products, you don’t need to forego a fun and effective routine just because you have allergies. Just keep the following considerations in mind when shopping for new items.
Seeing an Allergist
Seeing a specialist in allergies is the first step to take if you have symptoms of skin allergies, such as rashes and itchiness. An allergist will conduct a patch test, to observe the effects of various ingredients (ranging from lavender to coconut derivatives) on your skin. There is actually a slew of ingredients that can cause contact dermatitis—a condition that manifests itself in red, itchy breakouts that can blister, ooze, and flake.
Contact Dermatitis Can Be Deceptive
Allergic contact dermatitis sometimes takes repeated exposure to show up. Seeing a specialist is vital because it can be very hard to guess the cause of your discomfort yourself. Skin allergies can also be very deceiving. Sometimes, you may think that a product has caused your outbreak when in fact, the culprit may be something in your home. For instance, some household cleaning products can trigger allergies. You may clean with these products then touch your face, and mistakenly attribute any ensuing rash to the cream you are using instead of the real villain. The specialist may recommend that you make key changes to your home instead of to your skincare or beauty routine. For instance, if you have a dust allergy, installing blinds instead of drapes and curtains can significantly curb your symptoms.
Seeing Beyond the Marketing
Many brands market their items as ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘suitable for sensitive skin’ but these labels are no guarantee when it comes to avoiding a reaction. The federal government does not regulate these labels, so each brand is free to use them as they wish. In general, aim to avoid any products containing fragrances, dyes, phthalates, and preservatives. Check the ingredients list and steer clear of components such as parabens, formaldehyde, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and others stipulated by your allergist.
Brands Making a Mark in the Sector
Just a few brands known for their gentle nature include CeraVe, Eucerin, Burt’s Bees, and Cetaphil. Each brand has specific products that are often recommended to people with skin allergies. For instance, Shea Terra Organics has a very gentle skin cleanser called Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash, which is highly effective for people with oily skin and acne. The product cleans pores out and provides an effect that is similar to that achieved by microdermabrasion. Burt’s Bees, meanwhile, is as well known for its cleansers and moisturizers as it is for its hair care products.
Having allergies can be a bugbear when it comes to choosing beauty and skincare products. Start by having a patch test, to discover potentially hidden causes of discomfort. Make the changes you need to your home and your beauty routine, finding effective products that are reasonably priced and that have a relatively small ingredient list. Steer clear of products with fragrances, preservatives, and dyes and go with brands that are recommended by your allergist.