Specific ingredients can irritate and produce an allergic type response. It is important to read the labels on cosmetics. Here are some guidelines to assist you in determining which specific ingredients may cause you an allergic reaction.

• The most common allergen is most probably fragrances.

• Coal tar dyes can be an irritant to sensitive skin.

• Lanolin is often cited as a possible allergen.

• Preservatives, these include parabens, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, boric acid, propylparaben, benzoic acid, and imidazolidinyl urea to name just a few that are commonly used.

Detergents such as sodium laurel sulphate and laureth-4, may be irritants for any skin type.

• Other ingredients such as aluminium, bronze, silk powder, shellac, nylon and rayon ceresin can cause irritation.

Testing For Cosmetic Reaction

Outline one square inch on the inside of the forearm, then apply the cosmetic product twice a day to this area, for five days. If you experience redness and itchiness*then you have an allergic reaction to the product. It is a trial and error process as nothing is perfect. A product may not irritate the skin on your arm, but you may experience irritation on the facial skin.

Treatment for Cosmetic Reactions

For a severe reaction from cosmetics , such as swelling, redness and itching, stop using the products immediately and consult with your dermatologist.


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