Allergic Reaction to Your Makeup? Here’s What to Do

Allergic Reaction to Makeup

Oh no! You woke up this morning with a breakout— just in time for a special event. Or, perhaps you’re dealing with a serious rash that won’t seem to go away. You thought it might be something that you ate, but maybe there’s some other culprit at work.

Beauty products, including makeup, skin conditioners, and perfume can make you feel beautiful on the outside. But what happens when your once-trusted products suddenly begin to work against you? Skincare and beauty products can cause an allergic reaction such as redness, itching, or swelling. It’s called contact dermatitis and it can cause a multitude of skin irritations.

Our mission is simple—designing safe makeup to help the real women of the
world look and feel absolutely gorgeous.

Is it Possible to be Allergic to Makeup?

Yes. You apply makeup and other skin products to give yourself a healthy-looking complexion. However, these products can eventually cause an allergic reaction. What causes an allergic reaction to makeup can also depend on the individual person. But what is an allergy? An allergy is your body’s immune response to a substance to which it has become hypersensitive.

Anyone can develop an allergy to an ingredient, whether it’s in food, makeup, dust, or even fur. Having an allergic reaction to makeup can happen the first time you use a product or it can build up over time. Just as each person is unique, so are the materials than can trigger certain allergies.


Fragrances, preservatives, dyes, talc, mineral oil, and acids are the top triggers of allergies. They can cause such allergic reactions as topical itching, rash, hives, inflamed skin, and even respiratory problems.

So, how do you know if you’re having a negative reaction to makeup? While some of the below signs may be obvious, a lot of them aren’t.

When you have an allergic reaction to makeup, you could experience a negative response in the following systems: integumentary, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and nervous. In general, negative reactions affect your skin, nose, mouth, and airways.

Here’s a list to keep in mind. If you experience any of the following, be sure to rule out your makeup as the possible cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Rash
  • Burning
  • Dry Patches
  • Blotchiness
  • Blisters
  • Stinging sensation
  • Darkened skin
  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Tenderness
  • Watery Eyes

A makeup allergy can also lead to a more serious response, known as anaphylaxis. This potentially life-threatening reaction can show up as a sudden drop in blood pressure, pale skin, dizziness, lightheadedness, and difficulty breathing. Anaphylaxis could lead to total respiratory failure or heart attack.


Immediately stop using the makeup. Whether you’re completely confident that you’re experiencing a negative reaction to makeup or if you’re just suspicious, stop wearing the offending product. Skin irritation doesn’t simply resolve itself if you continue to wear the offending product.

If you have an allergic reaction to makeup, over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants and antihistamines can help relieve some of the minor symptoms such as itchiness, redness, and swelling. In addition, you can use topical creams containing corticosteroids to help reduce redness, itching , and swelling. If OTC medications don’t work, call your doctor for assistance.


Your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. If you have an allergic reaction to makeup, there are certain basic steps to follow to ensure you have a speedy recovery to healing your skin:

Soothe Your Skin

One of the most important things to remember is to treat the allergic reaction early. As soon as you notice a reaction, apply a soothing and hydrating topical cream that contains at least .5% hydrocortisone, mix with aloe vera gel, and apply to the infected area twice a day.

Cool Your Skin

Applying ice to the inflamed area will help reduce swelling and redness. This is especially helpful around sensitive areas such as around the eyes.

Medicate Your Skin

Antihistamines can help relieve redness, itching, and rashes. However, if you are experiencing itching or watery eyes, nasal sprays can provide relief.

Hydrate Your Skin

Skin that is inflamed and irritated needs rest. Use a gentle hydrating facial cleanser and moisturizer to clean your skin, hydrate it, and protect it. Once your skin is healed, you can begin using your normal makeup products. In addition, you can use natural skin healing remedies such as oatmeal baths, aloe vera, coconut oil, and olive oil.

The days of slapping on lipstick in the car are over…you’ll desire to take your time in the mirror, and play.

Now What?

Having a makeup allergy isn’t the end of the world, and there is no cure. Most adults use five or more skincare products daily, from makeup and lotion to deodorant and soap. Any one of those products or even just one ingredient can cause an allergic reaction. Fortunately, there are plenty of cosmetics brands out there that produce wholesome, hypoallergenic products that feel as good on your skin as they look. We’re one of those brands! Do your skin a favor and shop for high quality, preservative-free cosmetics in our shop now. Your skin will thank you.

5 thoughts on “Allergic Reaction to Your Makeup? Here’s What to Do

  1. Add Your Picture
    Kim says:

    I am going to do more patch testing in July. I gave a contact dermatitis on eyelids. Tried 100 percent pure products , but still react. It may be iron oxides? Do your products contain this?

  2. Add Your Picture
    Barbara says:

    I currently have like raccoon eyes, all red @ my eyes. I assumed it was from make up remover tissues. It could be from my make up. I’ve been using Cover Girl a light tone L3.
    I might go see my doctor tomorrow if she can fit me in. I’m 76 now. I read theses things can happen more as we get older.

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