ZocdocAnswersCan one identify allergic reactions to cosmetics?

Question

Can one identify allergic reactions to cosmetics?

What's the best way to identify whether you're having an allergic reaction to your cosmetics? I am 22 and I sometimes use makeup to cover up acne, but sometimes it seems like the makeup itself might be irritating your skin. Stopping makeup entirely isn't really an option.

Answer

Allergic reactions to cosmetic products are relatively common. Common symptoms would be redness, itching, or blistering of the skin where the cosmetics were applied. If this occurs, the only definitive treatment is to discontinue use of the product permanently. You can consider reading cosmetic labels in the future to see if you can identify which ingredient might be causing the reaction, and you can also test out new cosmetics by applying a small amount to a patch of skin on your arm. A larger issue raised by your question is the treatment of your acne. Covering up acne with makeup is not a good treatment for acne; in fact, since acne occurs by clogging of skin pores, applying cosmetics is likely making your acne worse. If you are not actively treating your acne, I suggest that you begin doing so. In addition to washing your face daily and exfoliating regularly, begin with an over the counter product that contains benzoyl peroxide. If this does not work for you, then you should set up an appointment with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist, who can help you to get rid of this problem.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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