Monday, 7 August 2017

Contact Dermatitis to Color Cosmetics

This morning, my 21-month-old daughter did this to my eye palette. (She loves to play with whatever on my vanity table.) I thought maybe it's time I should write something about cosmetics. Thanks for the reminder, little girl.


Not too long ago, a friend of mine told me his wife cannot put on purple color eye shadow.

"Anything to do with purplish hue will make her itch and red and swollen."

Yes, this is a form of allergy.

Color cosmetics can cause various skin reactions. These include:
  • Contact urticaria - wheals and hives, itchy or burning, often resolve within 24 hours
  • Contact dermatitis - dry, itchy and scaly rashes, may form blisters and become oozy and weepy, lasted for days
  • Photocontact dermatitis - similar to contact dermatitis, but form because the ingredient interacts with sunlight
  • Anaphylaxis - eye and lips swelling, difficulty to breathe, death has been reported in association with black dye
  • Others: acne, pigment and skin color changes
Common allergens found in eye shadow include:
  • Nickels (often found on eyelash curler, and some make up brushes as well)
  • Cobalts
  • Fragrance
  • Preservatives
  • Carmine (red, violet, margenta shades)
  • Dyes
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lanolin

No, I'm not saying you should not make up. I do regularly apply make up myself. But if you are atopy (having conditions such as eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis) and are prone to skin reactions, be in the knows and this is what you may want to do:
  1. Read the list of ingredients before buying a product.
  2. Do a mini test, try the product on the inner aspect of your elbow or wrist a few times before buying it. (That is what testers are for!)
  3. Choose hypoallergic, fragrance free and non-comedogenic ones, even though it doesn't guarantee no skin reaction.
  4. Perhaps pick product with less complicated ingredient.
 Finally, enjoy your color cosmetics!


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